"The beginning of the Minsk talks was marked by a sharp escalation of hostilities. Yesterday, Feb. 12, saw the heaviest fighting in the area of Lohvynove and Debaltseve.
"Today, for the first time in three days since capturing Lohvynove, the Ukrainian army focused considerable forces to destroy the Russian unit controlling the M-103 highway. However, in these three days the enemy redeployed its most combat-capable reserves, including units of "soldiers on leave" to the area of Lohvynove. The progress is very slow. The area of Lohvynove is still controlled by Russian troops that are deployed on the high ground near the village.
"Massive use of large forces of the Russian regular army artillery is a decisive factor. All paths and communication from Luhansk to Debaltseve, as well as all towns and villages are being shelled by artillery.
"The Russian troops are firing at the areas and towns to disrupt access of the Ukrainian units to the line of attack and promptly carry out fire massing in certain areas.
"The corridor to Debaltseve is almost completely fire-swept. The blocked troops are now in a very serious situation.
"However, the Ukrainian units at the bridgehead have maintained fighting capacity and responsiveness to command in these difficult conditions. Russian troops are suffering significant losses as a result of resistance and Ukrainian artillery fire. However, the Russian command is also redeploying additional reserves to the area.
"The Ukrainian command is fully aware of the gravity of the situation at the front.
"The issue of Debaltseve cannot be resolved by peace talks. If the corridor is not created by force, the enemy will do everything to eliminate the blocked units during the "truce", Butusov wrote.