'Zenit' and 'Zozo' were key defense centers at the bridgehead, because passing through Novohryhorivka allowed the enemy approaching out bridgehead group from the rear and surrounding our troops. In order to break through our defense, the enemy attacked our strong points with seven tanks, three APCs, and infantry, after artillery preparation.
Without support of their tanks, infantrymen of former area defense battalion of the Dnipropetrovsk region, who had no career soldiers within their unit, destroyed three tanks of the 1st 'Slavyanskaya' motorized rifle brigade of Russian mercenaries from the "DPR", and inflicted other losses that could not be calculated (presumably, one more tank and one APC, and at least 10 enemy infantrymen - the images only show what had been posted in social media) - all of that without a single loss for their part!
Two formers of the destroyed tanks of the 1st 'Slavyanskaya' motorized rifle brigade of the Russian mercenaries near 'Zenit' strong point. In the foreground one can see the former of T-72, in which Vitaliy Zakharchuk, a turncoat, was killed. He was later awarded with 'hero of dpr ["Donetsk People's Republic"]' star posthumously. In the background there is the former of the T-64BV.
In this battle, Ukrainians destroyed a T-72 (the near former at the first photo), which was commanded by turncoat Vitaliy Zakharchuk, who chose to become a Russian mercenary. Zakharchuk participated in many combats, was respected by Russian special services, and he was the first to be awarded with the 'hero of dpr' star posthumously.
The turret of the Russian T-72B of the 1st Slavyanskaya' motorized rifle brigade of the Russian mercenaries - the remains of the 'hero of dpr' Zakharchuk's tank, who was destroyed together with his tank by soldiers of the 40th mechanized battalion at 'Zenit' strong point near Novohryhorivka village on Feb. 8, 2015.
Burned down T-64BV of the 1st Slavyanskaya' motorized rifle brigade of the Russian mercenaries near Novohryhorivka, destroyed by soldiers of the 40th mechanized battalion at 'Zenit' strong point.
The first to enter the battle was 'Zozo' strong point commanded by Senior Lieutenant Vladyslav Lomako. The enemy attacked them first, but upon receiving fire rebuff and being shelled from the flank, assaulted 'Zenit' positions head-on.
'Zenit' strong point was commanded in that battle by Senior Lieutenant Yurii Brekharia, who had worked as system analyst at Privatbank before the war (he returned to his job after demobilization), who had never served in the army and graduated from a senior division of a university. Yurii turned out to be a real war talent. He was wounded earlier near Ilovaisk, but he fought reliably and efficiently. None of his soldiers at the strong point were killed or wounded during the month of the Debaltseve battles - that's a unique story. You can see his brilliant tactical mind from this battle description written by him, presented together with video and photos to illustrate how exactly the success was achieved.
Brekharia and Lomako have proven their professionalism in the battle. But the General Staff treated them deceitfully, while the state acted ungratefully and in honorless way.
Acting on behalf of the 40th battalion, Vladyslav Lomako signed a letter by a group of officers from various units of the Armed Forces demanding resignation of the General Staff leadership and Viktor Muzhenko personally for lies and complete incompetence.
State propaganda started to trash the authors of the letter and announced that there had been no letter at all and all of this was a 'fake' aimed at defamation of Muzhenko.
President dubbed the 40th battalion "jig-is-over battalion", and the General Staff officially blamed them of the operation failure. In order to cover up tracks, the battalion has been disbanded, military dragged through the mud for alleged capitulation of Debaltseve.
Most of the battalion's soldiers were never awarded by the state.
This is a paradox - any army would have been proud of such heroes, while out command is attempting to discredit the activities of its own military.
In the General Staff's official report about the Debaltseve battle, posted now, in February 2016, there is not a single word about this tank battle.
Due to its mean revenge, the General Staff has not paid any rewards for the destroyed equipment, despite abundance of photo and video evidence and confirmation by the enemy, which happens quite rarely.
Yurii Brekharia, senior lieutenant of the 40th 'Kryvbas' motorized rifle battalion, 'Zenit' strong point commander near Debaltseve. Works as system analyst in Privatbank. The image is dated February 2015.
The only recognition from the state to the 'defamators of Muzhenko' came in the form of several decorations.
Yurii Brekharia and Vladyslav Lomako were awarded with Bohdan Khmelnytskyi order of the 3rd degree for their actions near Debaltseve. But they continue fighting to subject true culprits of the Debaltseve capitulation to the glare of truth, and to wash off the blot put on the 40th battalion by the military command.
We have recorded another episode of the "Stories of the war" show on '3S' channel about the 40th battalion. It will soon be broadcast. That's not the last one.
Today is the remembrance day of the professional act of bravery by the Ukrainian infantrymen at 'Zenit' and 'Zozo' strong points.
Ukrainian society and Ukrainian people will not forget you.
Glory to 'Kryvbas.' Glory to Ukraine.
Yurii Butusov, Censor.NET
Related materials: Episodes of the Russian-Ukrainian war