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Slaughterhouse-Four

Author: Ayre от 13.08.2014, 17:51
(голосов: 2)

When will Kiev start a new offensive against Donbass and how will it end?
In July Kiev’s offensive against New Russia did not result in any dramatic turnaround: defeat of the militia and establishing Kiev’s control over Donbass region. Exerting all their efforts and virtually all resources and suffering terrible losses Kiev punishers managed to get only six Donbass districts under control. Despite this, they were not able to achieve their principal aims, notably surround Donetsk and cut Donbass off Russia by taking over the border.
Kiev needs to win before it gets cold
During a fortnight of continuous fighting the punitive corps suffered huge losses. Two mobile brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and two battalions of the National Guard were utterly defeated in the southern pocket and the group itself was dispersed and destroyed. In all other sectors the enemy was repelled with a considerable loss of life and equipment. During only two weeks Kiev lost more than 1,200 soldiers and officers killed, which means that over eighty people died every day! More than 3,000 people were wounded. Between thirty and forty tanks and more than two hundred light armoured vehicles and cars were destroyed.
As a result, the headquarters had to stop the offensive at the end of July and even withdraw the troops from the most dangerous sectors. It is in fact Kiev’s military defeat – the third one starting from the beginning of the so called “anti-terrorist operation” (ATO). All in all, the three months of war against Donbass have cost Kiev more than 2,500 soldiers and officers killed, over 120 tanks and around 1,000 IFVs, APCs and other vehicles destroyed, 16 military planes and helicopters brought down.
Thus to advance further in Donbass Kiev has to literally spit blood. Nevertheless, the political leadership of Ukraine continues to believe that it can solve “the Donbass problem” by force and keeps building up armed forces. The war against the South-East has become their main concern and military needs - their number one priority, to the detriment of all other state interests.
President Poroshenko understands that prolonged warfare may be fatal for his administration, and he demands from his generals to put an end to it before it gets cold as his army is simply not prepared for a winter war. There are no standard winter uniforms, winter tents and adequate rear equipment. What is more, no winter camps and field repair shops can be organized. If the war continues into the cold season, it may have catastrophic results for the Ukrainian army.
 Stakes are on concentrated force
For that reason Kiev general headquarters presses preparation for a new offensive against Donbass, this time bearing the experience of the past months in mind. Previously Kiev attacked sending the freshly coming reserves into the battle straight off the march, which dramatically decreased their offensive capabilities. The “enlightened patriots” in the Ukrainian command must have learnt the lesson and the next attack will be carried out by the trained corps-sized task forces which are being formed in the ATO area. They are currently reinforced with equipment and personnel. The equipment is taken from warehouses and storage bases and, after being restored at military plants, is handed over to the troops. The personnel is increased by a special mobilization.
Ukrainian generals see each of these groups consisting of 3-5 brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as the main striking force; separate battalions of the National Guard (up to 5 units) as light infantry; several units of internal troops that will be cleansing the occupied territories; special mission and rear units. Each group will also be equipped with up to 100 tanks, 150 arms and MRLS. In total, such a group may number 20, 000 soldiers and officers.
To succeed in their offensive against Donbass Kiev will need no less than three such special groups. As for the punitive Ukrainian army itself, by the end of August it might already exceed 80,000 soldiers, officers, national guards and “volunteers” from various private units and private military companies.
There are reasons to suppose that a large-scale offensive will commence in mid-August when the new task forces will be mostly formed. However this does not mean a lull at the front. Kiev army leaders will be testing the militia defense by local strikes and trying to achieve tactical success establishing control over the key positions.
The vague allusions made by Kiev politicians about “the new offensive taking the militia by surprise and bringing results” most likely mean that they will abandon their current tactics of subversive groups scattered along the frontline. Instead they will probably choose to concentrate their forces on key directions and strike by powerful cutting blows relying on their firepower and superiority in heavy equipment. The know-how will be extremely concentrated artillery and tank shelling to suppress the resistance and clear the way for heavy infantry which will be cleaning up the covered territory.
The obvious weakness of this strategy is that there is actually nothing new about it. The emphasis stays on their superiority in heavy equipment and artillery. The targets are still to cut Donbass off the border with Russia and divide its territory in two by surrounding Donetsk.
 “Down with Machnovism!”
At present Donbass can resist the pressure but from now on it will require collecting militia’s resources and reorganization of New Russia’s military structure.
“Machnovism”, when a considerable number of militia are in fact split in dozens of brigades led by field commanders which practically do not cooperate, must be finally overcome. To further tolerate this state is to risk losing everything! Only with all forces and resources fully under control of a sole command will it be possible to achieve success.
Besides, as I have already written, it is necessary to form brigade-sized mobile units equipped with artillery and anti-tank weapons, which will be moving along the frontline and counter-strike at the most critical spots.
Donbass countryside and road network allow to successfully maneuver reserves and concentrate them on the most dangerous directions. A further increase of artillery efficiency is crucial and it will require voluntary experts to organise effective fire damage to the enemy.
Finally, in the period of comparative quiet the priority should be given to making reconnaissance and organizing sabotage along the enemy communication lines.
Scorched earth
Besides the military danger Donbass also faces an utterly different kind of threat. The life of the Donetsk-Lugansk agglomeration is in fact paralyzed. The region suffers a humanitarian disaster. Water facilities are either destroyed or damaged. There is no electricity in most villages and cities. Gas pipelines are also partially damaged. Food supply has practically stopped and there are no medications. Every day shelling and bombing take dozens of civilian lives.
Any normal life here is impossible. The region has turned into “mini-Yugoslavia” of the beginning of 1990s. This cannot but undermine the spirit of people. Tormented by the war they start to desperately yearn for this horror to finally stop.
Slowly but persistently the Ukrainian punitive army “squeezes” New Russia, having already reduced it from 36 districts and 42 regional cities with the population of 6 million people to 8 districts and 22 cities populated by 3 million. This has a more and more demoralizing effect on people. And the question arises: how much longer can the agglomeration controlled by the DPR and LPR resist and what is going to happen next?
 What are the consequences of losing Donbass for Russia?
They are going to be grave. The loss of New Russia will be a major geopolitical defeat for Russia. Firstly, she will show the whole world her inability to effectively resist the united pressure of the USA and NATO and, consequently, demonstrate her immaturity, thus ending up in the class of regional powers.
Secondly, the current Ukrainian regime will consolidate its positions and free its hands to continue to press Russia and start a large-scale campaign for “the Crimea return”.  Even “giving in” Donbass Russia will not escape sanctions. They will be automatically prolonged till Crimea is returned and, as the situation progresses, will only get more severe.
Thirdly, the loss of Donbass will inevitably trigger “the Miloshevic effect” in Russia itself: people will be deeply disappointed with the incapacity of the country’s political leadership to calculate the consequences of the decisions they make and the inconsistency in trying to carry them out. Russians are ready to put up with the difficulties of the external pressure on their country and unite round the president only if Donbass receives sufficient help. But they will not accept its surrender asking a legitimate question: why was it necessary to get involved in the confrontation with Kiev and Washington and suffer to give in in the end?
Now it is clear for everyone that Americans and their allies aim to do a considerable economic damage to Russia whether she supports Donbass or not.  The economists may well explain the ultimate “good” these sanctions will do to the Russian economy. Nevertheless, in reality they will cost us hundreds of billions of dollars.
If Kremlin does not realize the political consequences or plans to minimize them by blaming certain high-ranking officials, they are making a serious mistake: losing Donbass will devalue all previously achieved political dividends.
That is why it is time Kremlin realized the full importance of the present moment. In fact the situation has now reached its climax. Next it is either the fatal fall of New Russia or the fatal defeat of Kiev which finally starts to understand its incapacity to solve the South-East problem by force.
 Emergency measures are called for
The major issue today is not the capacity of Commander Igor Strelkov to effectively defend the cities of Donbass and it is not the question of whether Alexander Borodai can be the prime minister. The key problem is that New Russia can no longer be an amateur project. If three months ago, when the new Kiev authorities, not yet established, had neither military strength nor a clear plan of response to the threat of Donbass secession, it was possible to provide a comparatively limited support to the rebellion in the South-East, without getting deeply involved in the Ukrainian confrontation; by the beginning of July the situation had dramatically changed.
A new force has actively come into play – that of the USA. Ukraine has received a huge financial and organizational help and, more importantly, a powerful moral and political backing-up of an ally who has virtually taken Ukraine under its protection. Kiev got an opportunity to focus on military activity and mobilize all resources and freshly received loans to build up a 50, 000 punitive corps in the following 2 months. Although its fighting efficiency has always been and remains extremely low, the massive superiority in heavy equipment, artillery and aviation enables punitive forces to achieve their objectives.
The Ukrainian command has obviously identified the weak link in New Russia’s defense. It is the absence of accord between its forces and the “reactive” tactics of the field commanders which leaves all initiative to the attackers. Kiev has already tried to take advantage of this weakness, going round the centres of resistance, surrounding them and disrupting communications thus leaving them without resources for effective defense.
At the same time the USA and their allies are leading a large-scale campaign against Russia. The sanctions are in fact the forefront of an economic war which could result in an economic blockade. Under the circumstances a one-horse support of New Russia seems no longer viable.
The time has come for a QUALITATIVELY different scale of assistance rendered to the DPR and LPR. Uncoordinated efforts of disparate formations when “power ministries” fight the war, “economists” look for money to patch the budget, and “social workers” solve refugee problems must be united under a single command with full powers.
 Russia is at stake
We must realize that we are already at war. Not with Ukraine, which could not last six months in her current state, we are at war with the number one power in the world – the USA, which is the one that pulls the strings. It was not we who declared this war, it was declared TO us! And it will not end even if now Russia meets all the demands made by the USA. This war aims at total destruction of modern Russia and utter elimination of her political leadership.
Americans are trying to correct the mistake they made in 1991 when Russia was left unbroken. Today they are determined to divide Russia into a range of small entities. The battlefield now is the South-East of Ukraine, Donbass. Breaking into the region of vital importance for Russia, the USA needs to support and secure their strategic ally Petro Poroshenko and his “patriotic” entourage that seized power in Kiev. Ukraine will serve a springboard to undermine Russia with the war victory used as a “neutron bomb” against Kremlin.
The best response is a clear formulation of New Russia as a project of a new Ukraine free of the Banderite dirt, Nazis from Pravy Sector and criminal oligarchs. This new Ukraine will combine the best that was in the common history of the kindred Russian and Ukrainian peoples.
The priorities are a full-scale humanitarian aid, the salvation of the people of New Russia from famine and humanitarian disaster. It is vital to develop a plan of Donbass restoration and its inclusion in the Common market. A considerable and active military aid remains essential. Only a large-scale military defeat could make Kiev realize the hopelessness of the coercive approach, start negotiations and stop the war.

 

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