Fierce fighting continues around Debaltsevo. If NAF forces succeed in surrounding the estimated 6,000-8,000 Ukrainian troops in the area—which could happen in the next 24 hours or less—Kiev will be faced with a catastrophic defeat, one that will be hard to recover from.
For an excellent analysis of the current situation, we strongly recommend the latest from Fort Russ.
Here is the most recent update on the fighting that we could find:
According to official DNR evening briefing for 31.1.2015, the main military activity is in the Debaltsevo cauldron. With caputure of Uglegorsk confirmed, Chernukhino about to be seized (indications today are, it has already fallen to NAF) and attempts by NAF to close the northern entry at Svetlodarsk/Luganskoye and establish a checkpoint north of Debaltsevo on the road from Luganskoye to Debaltsevo. Seems that NAF is not letting out any military vehicles from Debaltsevo, but is letting civilian vehicles pass.
Around Mariupol, there was no military activity reported.
UAF losses in past 24 hours, as reported in evening briefing on January 31: 5 tanks, 7 BMP/BTR, 12 field artillery pieces and 97 soldiers killed or injured. 19 UAF members, including 2 officers have laid down arms and surrendered.
NAF losses in past 24 hours, as reported in evening briefing on January 31: 4 killed and 19 injured. Civilian losses: 2 killed and 5 injured by shelling from UAF positions in Makeevka.
The next 24 hours will be critical for both sides. We will keep you updated as more information comes in.