Operation Su Kien Tet Mau Than Part 1
Operation Su Kien Tet Mau Than Part 1
The Tet Offensive (Vietnamese: Sự kiện Tết Mậu Thân 1968, or Tổng tiến công và nổi dậy Tết Mậu Thân) was one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War, launched on January 30, 1968, by forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam against the forces of the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States, and their allies.
The North Vietnamese launched a wave of attacks in the late night hours of 30 January in the I and II Corps Tactical Zones of South Vietnam. This early attack did not lead to widespread defensive measures. When the main North Vietnamese operation began the next morning the offensive was countrywide and well coordinated, eventually more than 80,000 North Vietnamese troops striking more than 100 towns and cities, including 36 of 44 provincial capitals, five of the six autonomous cities, 72 of 245 district towns, and the southern capital. The offensive was the largest military operation conducted by either side up to that point in the war.
Signs of impending communist action did not go unnoticed among the allied intelligence collection apparatus in Saigon. During the late summer and fall of 1967 both South Vietnamese and U.S. intelligence agencies collected clues that indicated a significant shift in communist strategic planning. By mid-December, mounting evidence convinced many in Washington and Saigon that something big was underway. During the last three months of the year intelligence agencies had observed signs of a major North Vietnamese military buildup. In addition to captured documents (a copy of Resolution 13, for example, was captured by early October), observations of enemy logistical operations were also quite clear: in October, the number of trucks observed heading south through Laos on the Hồ Chí Minh Trail jumped from the previous monthly average of 480 to 1,116. By November this total reached 3,823 and, in December, 6,315. On 20 December, Westmoreland cabled Washington that he expected the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese "to undertake an intensified countrywide effort, perhaps a maximum effort, over a relatively short period of time."
Despite all the warning signs, however, the allies were still surprised by the scale and scope of the offensive. Since, in the allied estimation, the communists hardly had the capability to launch such an ambitious enterprise: "There was little possibility that the enemy could initiate a general offensive, regardless of his intentions." The situation from the U.S. perspective was best summed up by an MACV intelligence analyst: "If we'd gotten the whole battle plan, it wouldn't have been believed. It wouldn't have been credible to us."
At 03:00 on 31 January North Vietnamese forces assailed Saigon, Cholon, and Gia Định in the Capital Military District; Quảng Trị (again), Huế, Quảng Tín, Tam Kỳ, and Quảng Ngãi as well as U.S. bases at Phú Bài and Chu Lai in I Corps; Phan Thiết, Tuy Hòa, and U.S. installations at Bong Son and An Khê in II Corps; and Cần Thơ and Vĩnh Long in IV Corps. The following day, Biên Hòa, Long Thanh, Bình Dương in III Corps and Kien Hoa, Dinh Tuong, Gò Công, Kiên Giang, Vĩnh Bình, Bến Tre, and Kien Tuong in IV Corps were assaulted. The last attack of the initial operation was launched against Bạc Liêu in IV Corps on 10 February. A total of approximately 84,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops participated in the attacks while thousands of others stood by to act as reinforcements or as blocking forces. Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces also mortared or rocketed every major allied airfield and attacked 64 district capitals and scores of smaller towns.
The Tet Offensive created a crisis within the Johnson administration, which became increasingly unable to convince the American public that it had been a major defeat for the communists. The optimistic assessments made prior to the offensive by the administration and the Pentagon came under heavy criticism and ridicule as the "credibility gap" that had opened in 1967 widened into a chasm.
On 18 February 1968 MACV posted the highest U.S. casualty figures for a single week during the entire war: 543 killed and 2,547 wounded. As a result of the heavy fighting, 1968 went on to become the deadliest year of the war for the US forces with 16,592 soldiers killed. On 23 February the U.S. Selective Service System announced a new draft call for 48,000 men, the second highest of the war. On 28 February Robert S. McNamara, the Secretary of Defence who had overseen the escalation of the war in 1964–1965, but who had eventually turned against it, stepped down from office.
Although the offensive was ultimately a military defeat for North Vietnam, it had a profound effect on the US government and shocked the US public, which had been led to believe by its political and military leaders that the North Vietnamese were being defeated and incapable of launching such an ambitious military operation, whereupon the U.S. public support for the war declined and the U.S. sought negotiations to end the war.
Operation Su Kien Tet Mau Than
Operation Su Kien Tet Mau Than
During 1961, his first year in office, President Kennedy found himself faced with a three-part crisis: The failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba; the construction of the Berlin Wall by the Soviets; and a negotiated settlement between the pro-Western government of Laos and the Pathet Lao communist movement. Fearing that another failure on the part of the U.S. to stop communist expansion would fatally damage U.S. credibility with its allies, Kennedy realized, "Now we have a problem in making our power credible... and Vietnam looks like the place." The commitment to defend South Vietnam was reaffirmed by Kennedy on May 11 in National Security Action Memorandum 52, which became known as "The Presidential Program for Vietnam".
Its opening statement reads:
"U.S. objectives and concept of operations [are] to prevent communist domination of South Vietnam; to create in that country a viable and increasingly democratic society, and to initiate, on an accelerated basis, a series of mutually supporting actions of a military, political, economic, psychological, and covert character designed to achieve this objective."
Kennedy was intrigued by the idea of utilising United States Army Special Forces for counter insurgency conflicts in Third World countries threatened by the new "wars of national liberation". Originally intended for use behind front lines after a conventional invasion of Europe, Kennedy believed that the guerrilla tactics employed by Special Forces would be effective in the "brush fire" war in South Vietnam. He saw British success in using such forces during the Malayan Emergency as a strategic template. Thus in May 1961 Kennedy sent detachments of Green Berets to South Vietnam to train South Vietnamese soldiers in guerrilla warfare.
The Diem regime of South Vietnam had been initially able to cope with the insurgency of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF, or derogatively, Viet Cong) in South Vietnam with the aid of U.S. matériel and advisers, and, by 1962, seemed to be gaining the upper hand. Senior U.S. military leaders received positive reports from the U.S. commander, General Paul D. Harkins of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, or MACV. By the following year, however, cracks began to appear in the façade of success. In January a possible victory that was turned into a stunning defeat for government forces at the Battle of Ap Bac caused consternation among both the military advisers in the field and among politicians in Washington, D.C. JFK also indicated to Walter Cronkite that the war may be unwinnable, and that it was ultimately a Vietnamese war, not an American war.
Diem was already growing unpopular with many of his countrymen because of his administration's nepotism, corruption, and its apparent bias in favor of the Catholic minority—of which Diem was a part—at the expense of the Buddhist majority. This contributed to the impression of Diem's rule as an extension of the French Colonial regime. Promised land reforms were not instituted, and Diem's strategic hamlet program for village self-defense (and government control) was a disaster. The Kennedy administration grew increasingly frustrated with Diem. In 1963, a crackdown by Diem's forces was launched against Buddhist monks protesting discriminatory practices and demanding a political voice. Diem's repression of the protests sparked the so-called Buddhist Revolt, during which several monks committed self-immolation, which was covered in the world press. The communists took full advantage of the situation and fuelled anti-Diem sentiment to create further instability.
On July 27, 1964, 5,000 additional U.S. military advisers were ordered to the Republic of Vietnam (RVN or South Vietnam), bringing the total American troop level to 21,000. Shortly thereafter an incident occurred off the coast of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) that was destined to escalate the conflict to new levels and lead to the full scale Americanisation of the war.
On the evening of August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox was conducting an electronic intelligence collection mission in international waters (even as claimed by North Vietnam) in the Gulf of Tonkin when it was attacked by three P-4 torpedo boats of the North Vietnamese Navy. Reports later reached the Johnson administration saying that the Maddox was under attack. Two nights later, after being joined by the destroyer C. Turner Joy, the Maddox again reported that both vessels were under attack. President Johnson addressed Congress asking for more political power to utilise American military forces in South Vietnam, using the attack on the Maddox as cause to get what he wanted.
There was rampant confusion in Washington, but the incident was seen by the administration as the perfect opportunity to present Congress with "a pre-dated declaration of war" in order to strengthen weakening morale in South Vietnam through reprisal attacks by the U.S. on the North. Even before confirmation of the attack had been received in Washington, President Johnson had decided that an attack could not go unanswered.
Just before midnight he appeared on television and announced that retaliatory air strikes were underway against North Vietnamese naval and port facilities. It was on the basis of the administration's assertions that the attacks were "unprovoked aggression" on the part of North Vietnam, that the United States Congress approved the Southeast Asia Resolution (also known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution) on August 7. The law gave the President broad powers to conduct military operations without an actual declaration of war. The resolution passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and was opposed in the Senate by only two members.
National Security Council members, including United States Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and General Maxwell Taylor, agreed on November 28 to recommend that Johnson adopt a plan for a two-stage escalation of the bombing of North Vietnam.
In February 1965, a U.S. air base at Pleiku, in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, was attacked twice by the NLF, resulting in the deaths of over a dozen U.S. personnel. These guerrilla attacks prompted the administration to order retaliatory air strikes against North Vietnam.
Operation Rolling Thunder was the code name given to a sustained strategic bombing campaign targeted against the North by aircraft of the U.S. Air Force and Navy that was inaugurated on March 2, 1965. Its original purpose was to bolster the morale of the South Vietnamese and to serve as a signalling device to Hanoi. U.S. airpower would act as a method of "strategic persuasion", deterring the North Vietnamese politically by the fear of continued or increased bombardment. Rolling Thunder gradually escalated in intensity, with aircraft striking only carefully selected targets. When that did not work, its goals were altered to destroying North Vietnam's will to fight by destroying the nation's industrial base, transportation network, and its (continually increasing) air defences.
With the advent of Rolling Thunder, American airbases and facilities needed to be constructed and manned for the aerial effort. The defence of those bases would not be entrusted to the South Vietnamese. So, on March 8, 1965, 3,500 United States Marines came ashore at Da Nang as the first wave of U.S. combat troops into South Vietnam, adding to the 25,000 U.S. military advisers already in place. On May 5 the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade became the first U.S. Army ground unit committed to the conflict in South Vietnam. On August 18, Operation Starlite began as the first major U.S. ground operation, destroying an NLF stronghold in Quang Ngãi Province. The NLF learned from their defeat and subsequently tried to avoid fighting an American-style ground war by reverting to small-unit guerrilla operations.
The North Vietnamese had already sent units of their regular army into southern Vietnam beginning in late 1964. Some officials in Hanoi had favored an immediate invasion of the South, and a plan was developed to use PAVN units to split southern Vietnam in half through the Central Highlands. The two imported adversaries first faced one another during Operation Silver Bayonet, better known as the Battle of the Ia Drang. During the savage fighting that took place, both sides learned important lessons. The North Vietnamese, who had taken horrendous casualties, began to adapt to the overwhelming American superiority in air mobility, supporting arms, and close air support by moving in as close as possible during confrontations, thereby negating the effects of the above. The Americans learned that PAVN (which was basically a light infantry force) was not a rag-tag band of guerrillas, but was instead a highly disciplined, proficient, and well motivated force.
On November 27, 1965, the Pentagon declared that if the major operations needed to neutralise North Vietnamese and NLF forces were to succeed, U.S. troop levels in South Vietnam would have to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000. In a series of meetings between Westmoreland and the President held in Honolulu in February 1966, Westmoreland argued that the U.S. presence had succeeded in preventing the immediate defeat of the South Vietnamese government but that more troops would be necessary if systematic offensive operations were to be conducted. The issue then became in what manner American forces would be used.
These limitations were not foisted upon the military as an afterthought. Before the first U.S. soldiers came ashore at Da Nang, the Pentagon was cognizant of all of the parameters that would be imposed by their civilian leaders, yet they still agreed that the mission could be accomplished within them. Westmoreland believed that he had found a strategy that would either defeat North Vietnam or force it into serious negotiations. Attrition was to be the key. The general held that larger offensive operations would grind down the communists and eventually lead to a "crossover point" in PAVN/NLF casualties after which a decisive (or at least political) victory would be possible.
Soldiers served a one-year tour of duty. The average age of the U.S. military men who died in Vietnam was 22.8 years old. The one-year tour of duty deprived units of experienced leadership. As one observer put it, "we were not in Vietnam for 10 years, but for one year 10 times." As a result, training programs were shortened. Some NCOs were referred to as "Shake 'N' Bake" to highlight their accelerated training. Unlike soldiers in World War II and Korea, there were no secure rear areas in which to get rest and relaxation.
American forces would conduct operations against PAVN forces, pushing them further back into the countryside away from the heavily populated coastal lowlands. In the backcountry the U.S. could fully utilize its superiority in firepower and mobility to bleed the enemy in set-piece battles. The cleaning-out of the NLF and the pacification of the villages would be the responsibility of the South Vietnamese military. The adoption of this strategy, however, brought Westmoreland into direct conflict with his Marine Corps commander, General Lewis W. Walt, who had already recognised the security of the villages as the key to success. Walt had immediately commenced pacification efforts in his area of responsibility, but Westmoreland was unhappy, believing that the Marines were being underutilised and fighting the wrong enemy. In the end, MACV won out and Westmoreland's search and destroy concept, predicated on the attrition of enemy forces, won the day.
Both sides chose similar strategies. PAVN, which had been operating a more conventional, large-unit war, switched back to small-unit operations in the face of U.S. military capabilities. The struggle moved to the villages, where the "hearts and minds" of the South Vietnamese peasants, whose cooperation was absolutely necessary to military success, would be won or lost. The U.S. had given responsibility for this struggle to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), whose troops and commanders were notoriously unfit for the task.
For the American soldier, whose doctrine was one of absolute commitment to total victory, this strategy led to a frustrating small-unit war. Most of the combat was conducted by units smaller than battalion-size (the majority at the platoon level). Since the goal of the operations was to kill the enemy, terrain was not taken and held as in previous wars. Savage fighting and the retreat of the communists was immediately followed by the abandonment of the terrain just seized. Combined with this was the anger and frustration engendered among American troops by the effective tactics of the NLF, who conducted a war of sniping, booby traps, mines, and terror against the Americans.
As a result of the conference held in Honolulu, President Johnson authorised an increase in troop strength to 429,000 by August 1966. The large increase in troops enabled MACV to carry out numerous operations that grew in size and complexity during the next two years. For U.S. troops participating in these operations (Operation Masher/White Wing, Operation Attleboro, Operation Cedar Falls, Operation Junction City and dozens of others) the war boiled down to hard marching through some of the most difficult terrain on the planet and weather conditions that were alternately hot and dry or cold and wet. It was the PAVN/NLF that actually controlled the pace of the war, fighting only when their commanders believed that they had the upper hand and then disappearing when the Americans and/or ARVN brought their superiority in numbers and firepower to bear. North Vietnam, utilising the Ho Chi Minh and Sihanouk Trails, matched the U.S. at every point of the escalation, funnelling manpower and supplies to the southern battlefields.
By mid-1967, Westmoreland said that it was conceivable that U.S. forces could be phased out of the war within two years, turning over progressively more of the fighting to the ARVN. That fall, however, savage fighting broke out in the northern provinces. Beginning below the DMZ at Con Tien and then spreading west to the Laotian border near Dak To, large PAVN forces began to stand their ground and fight. This willingness of the communists to remain fixed in place inspired MACV to send reinforcements from other sectors of South Vietnam. The Border Battles had begun.
Most of the PAVN/NLF operational capability was possible only because of the unhindered movement of men along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. To threaten this flow of supplies, the Marine Corps established a combat base on the South Vietnamese side of the Laotian frontier, near the village of Khe Sanh. The U.S. used the base as a border surveillance position overlooking Route 9, the only east-west road that crossed the border in the province. Westmoreland also hoped to use the base as a jump-off point for any future incursion against the Trail system in Laos. During the spring of 1967, a series of small-unit actions near Khe Sanh prompted MACV to increase its forces. These small unit actions and increasing intelligence information indicated that the PAVN was building up significant forces just across the border.
Indeed, PAVN was doing just that. Two regular divisions (and later elements of a third) were moving toward Khe Sanh, eventually surrounding the base and cutting off its only road access. Westmoreland, contrary to the advice of his Marine commanders, reinforced the outpost. As far as he was concerned, if the communists were willing to mass their forces for destruction by American air power, so much the better. He described the ideal outcome as a "Dien Bien Phu in reverse". MACV then launched the largest concentrated aerial bombardment effort of the conflict (Operation Niagara) to defend Khe Sanh. Another massive aerial effort was undertaken to keep the beleaguered Marines supplied. There were many comparisons (by the media, Americans military and political officials, and the North Vietnamese) to the possibility of PAVN staging a repeat of its victory at Dien Bien Phu, but the differences outweighed the similarities in any comparison.
MACV used this opportunity to field its latest technology against the North Vietnamese. A sensor-driven, anti-infiltration system known as Operation Igloo White was in the process of being field tested in Laos as the siege of Khe Sanh began. Westmoreland ordered that it be employed to detect PAVN troop movements near the Marine base and the system worked well. By March, the long-awaited ground assault against the base had failed to materialise and communist forces began to melt back toward Laos. MACV were left with only questions. What was the goal of the PAVN? Was the siege a real attempt to stage another Dien Bien Phu? Or had the battles near the border (which eventually drew in half of MACV's manoeuver battalions) been a diversion, meant to pull forces away from the cities, where another PAVN offensive would soon commence?
As winter draws in and 1967 comes to its end, the US/ARVN forces settle into garrisons as the PAVN/NLF call a cease fire to celebrate the lunar new year festival of Tet.
Operation Jupiter: Phase II
Operation Jupiter – Phase II
Elektrozavodsk – A shaky seize fire brokered by Ukrainian diplomats has been in place for three weeks.
The Chernarussian military had made significant concessions: Russian troops would be allowed to withdraw freely from the area of Balota, where one of the major battles in the conflict left them surrounded and cut off from any support. Twenty-three wounded Russian soldiers had to be left behind and they are now in Chernarussian care as prisoners of war. CDF soldiers arriving on the scene after the Russian withdrawal encountered a scene of horror, with unburried corpses strewn all around the Balota air field.
Russian VDV and armoured formations still hold parts of the Chernarussian North, where fighting first erupted in the beginning of April. However Russia still maintains the position that Chernarus in its entirety rightfully belongs to the Russian Federation.
Chernarussian officials suspect that the seize fire is not a genuine gesture on the Russian part. Many in the Chernarussian government assume that the opposing side will use every quiet day to rebuild their forces which, surprisingly, took heavy losses in major engagements in April. Observations made by the OSCE seem to confirm Chernarussian suspicions. Civilians trying to return to their property in the area of Gvozdno became witness of a skirmish between VDV and Chernarussian special forces, in which a minimum of five soldiers died. The Chernarussian Ministry of Defence claims to have information about a Russian build up at the border, as well as evidence that the pro-Russian Chedaki militia has received further aid. The Chedaki are maintaining pressure in several areas deep within Chernarussian territory and have so far refused to take part in negotiations.
Due to the situation still being tense and no follow-up negotiations taking place, Chernarussian military is preparing for the worst. CDF and CSFB are maintaining high standards of readiness. A number of modern BTR-90 infantry fighting vehicles have been bought from neighbouring countries, bolstering the country's otherwise relatively weak ground forces. The CSFB received a shipping of new, more modern weaponry. Chernarussian pilots took part in training excercises with a number of NATO countries.
The current state of affairs doesn't seem to develop towards a lasting peace. Quite the opposite, both sides appear to be ready for another round of heavy fighting.
Operation Tanoa Serpent
Operation Tanoa Serpent
16th of August 2031 - Governor Elections, Tanoa being part of France elects its own leadership, who are guided by the french government. The candidates represents different groups of people on the island. Candidate Alexis Duchamps supports the poor people of the island and lean more towards the political left whilst Candidate Francois Richelieu supports the middle and upper classes, leaning to the political right.
The people of Tanoa are split into different classes, where the lower classes live and work in the poorer developed regions of the island. Meanwhile the upper classes live in the major cities enjoying the fruits of being a privileged citizens, easy access to food, clean water, electricity and other luxuries.
The gap between the classes have been growing the past 2 years, the previous governor supported corporations, he changed laws to best support an economy with focus on middle-class and upper-class workers. The Lower-classes out in the smaller villages on Tanoa do not have access to things already provided to the cities in quantity. Life is tough for the lower-classes and their only hope is to side with Alexis Duchamps in the coming election.
20th of August 2031 - The Election results have been announced, with Candidate Francois Richelieu as the clear winner, gaining 72% of the vote. This was considered suspicious if not outright obvious, considering that 60% of the islands inhabitants are considered as lower-class citizens. Not long after the announcement of the results, left-wing media accused the government of having rigged the elections which sparked civil unrest around the whole island of Tanoa.
"We will not stand for this! The People of Tanoa will not accept corrupt officials who cheat their way into office! France must investigate these accusations and serve justice! And if they won't the people must rise up and take power from corruption!" - Comment by Candidate Alexis Duchamps
25th of August 2031 - The middle and upper class citizens of Tanoa gather in city squares and celebrate the election results, students parade in the streets and many officials and leaders have gathered in the gardens of the Chapel in Georgetown. Two hours into the celebrations the first shots were fired in what would be the bloodiest terrorist attack in Tanoan History, groups of men with automatic weapons opened fire and threw bombs into the masses.
357 killed in the first hour of the attack, everyone from teenagers, children, the old and the rich. Police was called into action to stop the massacre, but the Tanoa police force was ill-equipped and untrained to deal with the situation and the island was put into a state of emergency calling in the Tanoan Military.
The Tanoan Military is a low-budget defense force who mainly consist out of middle & upper-class officers and lower-class recruits and soldiers. When the call was made to mobilize all military forces only a handful of soldiers and officers were gathered to counter the coup, the majority of soldiers and recruits had deserted being supporters of the lower-classes.
The conflict in the major cities went on for two more hours, after which the terrorists had successfully killed 424 people and injured 613. When the remnants of the Military and the French Gendarme managed to secure the cities, the terrorists fled into the jungle and the bloodiest day in Tanoan history was over.
26th of August 2031 - A Left-wing "Freedom" group called Syndikat claimed responsibility for the events during the night of the 25th August, they announced to the world that they would not stop fighting the government until the left-wing party was given control of the island. Syndikat had now moved into many smaller villages and towns around the Island of Tanoa and now threaten to overthrow the government. The newly elected governor requested aid from the United Nations and France, demanding that they send military forces to stabilize the island.
5th of October 2031 - The United Nations gathers for an emergency meeting and decide that the group known as Syndikat are terrorists attempting to overthrow the government of Tanoa. The response for this threat will be to gather a force to stabilize the island and provide security for the people. A small task-force is gathered from France, Germany and the United States, this force will deploy on Tanoa and begin securing the island, rooting out the Syndikat terrorists.
15th of October 2031 - French forces gather around the central area of the island holding positions that will deny Syndikat free movement in the south region of Tanoa, this is in conjunction with German forces sweeping and clearing the villages and towns in the south region. American pilots join the effort, flying reconnaissance sorties and conducting airstrikes for the German & French ground-forces.
18th of October 2031 - German KSK raid a small plantation held by Syndikat bandits and found a weapons cache of high-tech weaponry, the commander later confirmed that the weapons were of Chinese and Arabic origin which hints at possible connections between CSAT and Syndikat.
19th of October 2031 - The Task-force commander orders the UN Peacekeepers to double their efforts in finding enemy weapons caches and destroying them, Operation Tanoa Serpent will commence and the German KSK will be the tip of the spear, hunting down Syndikat Bandits and Tanoan Deserters, destroying weapons caches and rescuing hostages.
Campaign Start: 16/07-16
Campaign End: 30/07-16
Length: 3 Weeks
Creators: R4IDER & Oksman
Chernarus - Russian Offensive Stagnates, Civilian Casualties
OSCE Report Kozlovka/Balota Excursion 14/04/2032
The Chernarussian nation over the past week has had to open up a second front against Russian invasion to its south. Its main industrial areas in Elektrozavodsk and Chernogorsk are threatened by Russian troops. A large scale battle took place along a line stretching from Kozlovka to the North-West of Chernogorsk to Balota at the southern coast.
Once again, Chernarussian authorities were very cooperative. Our observers were granted full access to the area controlled by Chernarussian military and were able to obtain information from all available sources without interference.
Due to the surprising nature of recent engagements, the civilian populus couldn't be evacuated from the area in time. CDF authorities estimate the total loss of life over the past week to include 800 combatants from both sides, as well as ca. 300 civilians.
The town of Kozlovka has been almost completely destroyed in the course of recent fighting. Russian troops had used it as a staging area. When Chernarussian special forces were unable to dislodge them, they called for extensive air strikes. OSCE personnel are currently making an effort to gather bodies and document the events in Kozlovka. Some civilians were able to flee towards Chernarussian lines at the beginning of the battle and are currently being interviewed.
When traveling further south, it became apparent that combat in the area was still going on. Mechanised CDF units had succeeded in isolating the Russian invasion force in and around Balota and were still skirmishing for the small Balota air field. The air field is currently the only way Russian forces can be supplied and reinforced. Their southern push appears to have turned into desaster, in spite of heavy Chernarussian losses. Once again, our obsevers were unable to establish the disposition of isolated Russian forces due to their aggressive behaviour. However it appears they are allowing civilians to pass through their lines freely.