In August, ATO forces were conducting a strategic offensive, its objectives having been determined by the president of Ukraine at a meeting on Aug. 2. The Donetsk and Luhansk agglomeration was to be blocked by surrounding six largest cities and cutting them off the border, in order to achieve withdrawal of militants and clean the territory. It was forbidden to assault big cities and engage in street fighting - the president wanted to avoid major civilian casualties if heavy weapons had been used in densely populated areas. We expected it would work out like in Slaviansk and Lysychansk. The plan seemed quite sound and humane with respect to civilians. The logic was correct. But the military were not enough to implement such a large-scale operation, given the actual situation and defeat of our troops in the D sector, who had broken out of the encirclement near Izvarino with great losses on Aug. 6-7.
Because the war was baldly entered by the armed forces of the Russian Federation. From July 11, Russian regular army engaged in hostilities against Ukraine, dealing massive artillery strikes on Ukrainian troops.
Aug. 13, the military situation changed dramatically. It was the first time Ukrainian military command had recorded in the war diary involvement of Russian armored and mechanized units in fighting on the territory of Ukraine. The 3rd Battalion of the 30th Mechanized Brigade was defeated by a Russian battalion battle group in the village of Stepanivka.
Aug. 16, Russian troops clashed with the 80th Airmobile Brigade units near the village of Krasne, in the vicinity of Luhansk. Russian forces attacked Ukrainian troops, which had encircled Luhansk. A full-scale invasion began.
Aug. 19, Marko Paslavskyi (Franko) died a heroic death in a mortar strike in Ilovaisk...
A Ukrainian hailing from the US, a Donbas battalion volunteer. Marko was born in Manhattan, New York. He was into scouting, served in the US army, had higher military education, and came up through the ranks to become a company commander. At the age of 32, he left the army, took up agricultural business, and moved to Ukraine to live a wealthy and safe life. But when the war came, Marko decided to go to the front. He did not want to be talked about like "an American fighting for Ukraine." He considered himself a Ukrainian. In June 2014, I organized a visit of a NATO delegation to a Donbas battalion base - Marko saw the observers around the camp, shocking the majority with his life story. He worried that in his 55 he would not withstand all that physical pressure and be able to run as a young man. But he believed that one was obliged to do what they could and should to. So, he served on equal ground with others. He saw all the flaws of our preparedness and arrangement, but was not discouraged by that. It was his mission... Dec. 8, 2014, before a hockey game between Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils, Americans honored Marko's memory at the ice arena with all his family present.
Aug. 19, 2015, a memorial to Marco was unveiled at Askold's Grave in Kyiv.
If you happen to be there - do not forget to worship this patriot. He renounced all his fortune and his prosperous American life for the sake of a decent future of our Ukraine, for the sake of all of us and our children. We will not forget your sacrifice and your heroism, Marko.
Aug. 20, soldiers of the 24th Mechanized Brigade and the volunteer battalion "Storm" captured a BMD-2 fighting vehicle in a battle with units of the 76th Air Assault Division of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
On this day, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian Union of Afghan Veterans Oleh Mikhniuk died a heroic death in a battle near Luhansk.
A hero of the Afghanistan war, twice holder of the Order of the Red Star and Medal for Valor, he was one of the prominent leaders of the Revolution of Dignity on Maidan. He practiced what he preached about Ukraine. This is what Mikhniuk said from the Maidan stage on Feb. 15, 2014:
"We went out to preserve the integrity of our state, to prevent federalization, to protect the people of Ukraine, to not let Berkut (riot police officers - ed.) bastards raise their batons at our children, our grandchildren, we are here to protect our women and parents. They should know that as long as we stand by each other, we are able to repel anyone attempting at your lives, because we, like anyone else, know the price of life and blood. Thank you, we are always yours, we serve the people of Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine!"
Mikhnyuk initiated enrollment of former Afghan fighters at Maidan in Aidar battalion. The Afghans formed a backbone of two assault units within the battalion, which led an operation to encircle Luhansk.
Oleh Mikhniuk fell in the battle for Novosvitlivka. It was one of the key positions, which cut off Luhansk from supply of weapons to militants and Russian troops struggled hard to break through Ukrainian defense. Our fighters were holding the line desperately, despite an overwhelming firepower of the Russian troops.
Oleh Mikhniuk has been awarded the Order for Valor of the 1st class posthumously.
According to Olha Bohomolets, hero's commemoration ceremony will start at Lukianivske military cemetery on Aug. 20, 2015, at 00.30 p.m...
Aug. 23, Russian armored groups started to advance in the Starobesheve-Kuteinykove direction, aiming to encircle the B sector attack group in Ilovaisk...
Putin intended to destroy ATO forces and prevent liberation of the Donbas. Russian regular army became the main Ukraine's opponent in the Donbas in August 2014.
Ukrainian command lacked time to assess threats and react under volatile circumstances, it lacked time to change strategy. However, the aggressor was countered everywhere along the front line. The enemy was stopped in heavy fighting, where many lost courage and fled, while others fought against all odds, their heroism compensating for everything - our unpreparedness for war, our shortage of equipment and supply, errors by headquarters, and a huge technical and organizational supremacy of the enemy.
Ukraine paid blood and many human destinies in order to withstand. Our heroes made Russia pay dear price for its aggression - the war was not just a walk for Russian troops.
Our memory of the dead and alive is a homage to be kept in our hearts for those who took the fight with honor, those who fought to the end...
Yurii Butusov. Censor.NET
Related materials: Episodes of the Russian-Ukrainian war