The Battle for Ilovaisk
The nearly month long battle ended in a tragic defeat for the Ukrainian military by Russian forces
Photo from Ukrinform-UATV
On August 10, 2014, the first clashes between the Ukrainian military and armed formations of Russian controlled areas of Donetsk region for one of the strategically important Donbas areas began. Allegedly, forces in certain areas of Donbas acted with direct coordination and military aid of the Russian regular army, Ukrinform informs.
Having gained control of Ilovaisk, 25 km to the east of Donetsk, Ukrainian troops could have cut off the supply of weapons and new so-called “rebels” from Russia.
The purpose of the military operation launched by Ukrainian forces was to destroy the fortified areas and checkpoints, set by the militants, and gain full control over the important strategic area. On August 12th, Ukrainian army units made attempts to capture the city from the west, from the side of Shakhtarsk, direction but failed. Pro-Russian militants opened fire from apartment buildings and ran with the support of heavy artillery.
The second assault attempt was on August 18th. Ukrainian troops managed to take control over more than half of the city area in that attempt
However, Russian regular troops crossed into Ukraine and then entered the city on August 23rd and 24th and the Ukrainian soldiers wound up encircled.
Donbas, Dnipro-1 volunteer battalions, battalions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Kherson, Svitiaz, Myrotvorets, Shakhtarsk and a composite company of 93rd and 17th brigades of the Armed Forces were trapped in the Ilovaisk encirclement.
On August 29th, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to establish a humanitarian corridor, which was designed to guarantee a safe exit from Ilovaisk for the trapped Ukrainian soldiers.
However, as the Ukrainian forces were departing through the open corridor on August 30th, they were violently and viciously attacked by Russian forces with hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers killed during the retreat.
The history of the Battle of Ilovaisk, which lasted for almost a month, was also called ‘Ilovaisk Entrapment.’ The loss of the Ukrainian army near Ilovaisk became one of the largest during the war and prompted the Ukrainian side to agree to the terms of the first Minsk Agreement, signed in Minsk on September 5, 2014.