Last moments of an Estonian contractor in Donbass subject logo: DONBASWAR
Posted by: badanov

Russian bloggers and military journalists such as Boris Rozhin have made much of the death of Mikola Ilin, an Estonian mercenary who was fighting for the Ukrainian side.

Originally, the video (link is in the title of this article) posted on Russian social media showed only the last few minutes of the video, when Ilin was struck and killed by a Russian directional mine. (similar to the claymore mine)

The action takes place near the village of Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka. Both Zaistevo and Gorlovka have been under near constant artillery fire since 2015.

It is hard to get a sense of what was going on. In the last few minutes of the video, you can hear the ballistic crack of gunfire, as Ilins move along a defilade. It could be Russian rifle counterfire or it could be Ukrainian rifle fire covering Ilin. Or both.

According to additional information supplied by Rozhin in the video's description, Ilin was part of a recon platoon, attached to a Ukrainian special forces group. The unidentified commander of the recon platoon also was killed, though it is not clear if the men were killed in the same mine attack.

The video is in fact showing a subsequent operation by Ilin and his commander to extract wounded who also has been struck by mines.

I haven't been following the war in southeastern Ukraine too closely lately. I know that Ukrainian artillery continues to be fired against rebel troops and rebel artillery fire continues as well, though the rebel claim they rarely return artillery fire.

But one thing the Ukrainians continue to do still is to launch infantry probes against rebel fixed positions, which wind up being casualty producing fire fights -- for both sides. And some of these fire fights include armor vehicles such as BMPs and even tanks.

Our beloved military often scoff at the Russian way of war, but one thing the Russians will always get right is fixed defense in depth. Their opponents have to dig the defenders out, one by one, just like an Oklahoma tick.

If you have something to add, Fire Away!

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