However, each time Russian troops and their proxies in eastern Ukraine face battlefield setbacks, the Kremlin reinforces their military position. And Jan. 19 proved no exception. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council reported that two battalion-sized tactical groups of the Russian army crossed the Ukrainian eastern border. (A battalion in Russia reportedly can range in size from a few hundred to about 1,500 soldiers.) Earlier, Ukrainian officials reported the presence of more than 7,000 Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian army’s counteroffensive allowed it to regain control over the new terminal of the Donetsk airport and advance to regain control of the territory.
As of 8 p.m. on Jan. 18, the Ukrainian troops advanced two kilometers inside Donetsk, a Kyiv Post source in 95th airborne brigade that is fighting in the airport said. To stop them, the Russian-backed separatists blew up a bridge in Donetsk, closing entrance to the city from the north.