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Killing Europe. Ukrainian conflict will be short-living in its current form

Author: Ayre от 18.03.2015, 09:19
(голосов: 1)

EuropeAfter a series of defeats of the Kiev government army diplomatic activity of leaders of major EU states - Germany and France - increased sharply. For the first time since the beginning of Ukrainian drama Merkel and Hollande rejected the sweeping accusations against Russia, and started negotiating from more or less pragmatic positions. And for the first time since the beginning of the armed conflict they began to discuss the postwar peace order in the region, including the possibility of introducing of peacekeepers in the demarcation zone between the opposing forces with the preservation status for a long term under the model of Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

This is evidence of serious disagreements between the EU and the US on the Ukrainian issue, which is due to incurred losses from mutual sanctions and most importantly – due to the expected incomparably higher losses from a possible involvement of the European Union in the armed conflict (even if not directly) with Russia with a high risk of its expansion into a large-scale one.

Talks in Minsk became the climax of diplomatic activity of EU leaders, it was possible to conclude an agreement on ceasefire during them. Many people hope that is the basis for a complete termination of fighting in Ukraine. However, analysis of the final document does not provide to such hopes. Terms for peace, which was signed by Ukraine, are mostly unenforceable for it because they presuppose de facto recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, including their right to a special foreign policy. This document would not find support in the Verkhovna Rada. Accordingly, the key condition - making changes to the Constitution of Ukraine - will not be performed. So, Kiev cannot comply with the conditions of Minsk agreement. Poroshenko is well aware of it all. By signing the final document, he sought to obtain operational pause to prevent the emerging defeat of his group in the southeast. Therefore, the new Minsk agreement means only a truce, which may be followed by an even more large-scale and fierce fighting, and it would be Ukraine to start them. All these circumstances indicate that the civil war is not finished, but it came to a turning point.

Alignment of forces

First of all, we should mention the fact that the militia of DPR and LPR finally turned into a full-fledged armed forces capable of conducting major offensive and defensive operations. Their combat potential, defined by high tactical training of fighters, operational training of commanders, absolute moral and psychological superiority over their opponents, is very high. Despite the deep - about 2-2.5 times, maybe even more - reduction of the DPR and LPR Armed Forces after the Armistice agreement in September last year, they were able to conduct counter-offensive in January - early February 2015. Although not all of the tasks of the operation were carried out completely, the main one – encirclement of large enemy forces in Debaltsevo – was solved successfully. Mobilizing of ten thousand people announced by DPR was fully justified in these conditions. And there is no doubt that it will be successful even being voluntary (as opposed to the Kiev one). This will raise the combat potential of DPR and LPR troops to a level at which they can inflict a decisive defeat to AFU grouping.

Meanwhile, the much-touted fourth wave of mobilization declared in Ukraine actually failed. It was able to mobilize only 20 per cent of the planned 62 thousand - a little more than the mobilization plan of DPR. Meanwhile, the moral and psychological potential and training of reservists is incomparably lower than of those who go into the DPR and LP army voluntarily. The failure of mobilization in the country with nearly 42 million people indicates that Ukraine does not want to fight and does not trust its government in spite of all official polls and massive media propaganda. In this case, several hundred thousand people, many of whom are men of military age, came to Russia, which is officially considered as an aggressor in Ukraine, fleeing from mobilization. That is, the vast majority of the population is in the hidden opposition to the current government and still considers Russia as a friendly country. These facts, coupled with the mass protests against the mobilization in Ukraine, show that the spiritual life of warfare is almost exhausted. There are still politically and ideologically convinced supporters of its continuation, but they are quite little, and their number is being reduced proportionally to the losses, reports on casualties, poor support of warring forces against the backdrop of demonstrative luxury among Ukrainian politicians and businessmen.

Possible options

As Ukrainian society mobilization resources necessary for the continuation and successful conclusion of the war are largely exhausted, it means civil war in Ukraine came to its final phase, which may result either in the settlement of peace, or in the transformation of the internal conflict into international one.

Russia seeks and sought a peaceful ending, and then leaders of Germany and France also realized its acceptability to Europe. Today, peace is possible only on the basis of the existing military-strategic and military-political realities in the combat zone.

Russia's interest in such a project is clear - there is a relatively stable friendly administrative unit in the south-western border that would be a buffer between our country and the hostile part of Ukraine regardless of its status. In addition, it can be a force that after the breakdown of the current pro-Western regime under the pressure of social protests would extend its authority to the other regions in case of an increase in the Kiev-controlled area of ​​political and economic crisis, with the exception of regions historically gravitating to Europe.

EU interest in termination of the war in Ukraine is also obvious. The armed conflict in the center of the Old World, threatening with involvement of Russia and the US, a possible military confrontation (even if very limited) between our country and NATO on this background, are fraught with grave economic and political losses for Europe, including shocks wave that could lead to the collapse of the current elites. The victory of Syriza in Greece is an example. In addition, the continuation of the conflict in Ukraine may lead to a mass migration of the population to Europe. In this case, criminals would make a significant part of "refugees" having the fighting experience and having been involved in political clashes on Maidan. Lacking the economic base in Europe, ability and desire to work well, these people will become a serious destabilizing factor.

The second way of developments involves escalation of the war in Ukraine through its internationalization with the prospect of becoming a full-fledged international armed conflict and participation of the leading countries in it. The US is interested in this scenario, and current leaders of the Kiev government controlled by them. The motives are obvious - US need to have reliable access to the Russian-Ukrainian border to further advance to our country with the use of "soft power". And Donetsk and Lugansk regions are important for the Kiev authorities from an economic point of view. Here are significant reserves of energy (coal) and industrial power, without which the existence of Ukraine's economics would be very difficult. In addition, the political loss after defeat (which is equivalent for Kiev authorities to peace settlement with keeping DPR and LPR) are fraught with the collapse of the current government, and very likely collapse of Ukraine.

It is possible to predict the probability of events consistently with opportunities of forces interested in the termination of the civil war in Ukraine on a particular scenario

 

Forced peace

Condition for a peaceful completion of the Civil War is the ability of Poroshenko and HollandeEuropean and Russian leaders to maintain their commitment to the early establishment of peace in Ukraine under the inevitable pressure by the US, as well as to convince Washington of non-internationalization of the conflict. In this case, arms supplies to Ukraine may be well limited, and even the number of representatives of western PMCs increased (which is executed secretly violating Minsk agreements).

The politics of Ukrainian authorities and leadership of DPR and LPR would play a key role during the final phase of the civil war and the formation of the postwar peace order in the region. The first, are not intended today to take into account the realities of the military-strategic balance of forces judging from their rhetoric, and they are hoping to restore full control of the breakaway regions. The second deny the possibility of any interference by current Kiev authorities.

On this basis, one can assume that pro-American government will focus on restoring the combativity of its troops in the south-east in terms of the armistice in the near future. There may be another wave mobilization. A large-scale retraining of the personnel of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine by specialists from the United States is expected. It cannot be excluded that part of the commanding positions in units and operational headquarters of ATO will be officially replaced by US personnel officers and generals (bearing in mind the law giving foreigners the right to occupy leadership positions in the Ukrainian state). Supply of arms is very possible. Due to these measures, the combativity of the troops in Ukraine can be increased to a certain extent. After that, approximately in one to two months, the fighting would resume with renewed vigor.

At this point, the command of the DPR and LPR would certainly be able to create sufficiently powerful groups to reflect the impact of the Kiev government and the subsequent successful counteroffensive. Its purpose will be at least defeat of the Kiev government troops in Donetsk and Lugansk regions to move aside the front line beyond the reach of large cities by opponent heavy artillery and MLRS. This operation would take two to three weeks. Realizing the military defeat, the president of Ukraine would start taking desperate steps towards internationalization of the conflict, ensuring open accession of the United States and some EU countries to it. Failing that, it would be forced to hold the peace talks on terms acceptable to the people's republics. Peace would be installed in the region on the principles, such as those that took place in Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. thT situations are almost the same: the undisputed military victory of separating region without recognition of this fact by the world community. Peacekeeping forces from countries that are not related to the conflict would likely be introduced in the demarcation zone between the conflicting parties. The fighting cannot last more than a month and a half under this scenario, followed by the signing of a peace agreement or any other Act terminating military confrontation. The formation of the post-war order will take one or two months. At the same time, the West will try to claim from Russia to recover Ukraine, not Novorossia, which will be maintained with no external obligations, but namely the rest of the country.

Great War

An escalation of armed confrontation can be considered as the alternative scenario. It can happen after the failure of the projected offensive of Kiev government forces and the successful development of counter-offensives of armies DPR and LPR based on the current situation. In these circumstances, knowing that their policy in Ukraine suffers the total collapse, the US can go to the length of large-scale deliveries of weapons and military equipment to the Government of Kiev, and in quantities that would allow to change the unfavorable course of the war for Kiev. Large supply of foreign weapons without specialists on its use may justify sending of a significant number of military advisers and specialists to Ukraine who would soon become combatants significantly outnumbering current foreign PMC fighters in the ATO armed forces. Under these conditions the DPR and LPR troops would suffer significant losses, and the Russian leadership will face a dilemma - to refuse to support Novorossia, thus losing face and finding itself on the verge of a social fallout in Russia, or go for the provision of a large-scale military-technical support to DPR and LPR as a symmetric response. Judging by the dynamics of the foreign policy of Russia, the likelihood that our leadership can decide to support Novorossia with weapons, volunteers and advisers, is very high. Of course, social movements would become more active, which can send several thousand volunteers to the ranks of the defenders of Novorossia. As a result, the hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine would gain much larger scale than they have today. In this case, one may assume that the Kiev government troops and foreign formations would suffer defeat after some successes. Having already bogged down in the war in Ukraine, and now facing impending defeat, the United States and some of their NATO allies who would decide to join them have nothing else to do but to intervene in the war with their regular forces. This would likely be preceded by any provocation to justify such intervention (such as a downed "Boeing-777"). Judging by the experience of such military conflicts of the late XX and XXI centuries, rapid deployment forces of NATO and the United States would be introduced in the territory of Ukraine immediately after provocation, and the positions of DPR and LPR troops would suffer massive air strikes by alliance. Then active operations would begin aiming at complete defeat of the armed forces of People's Republics in a short time. According to the experience of the wars in the last decades, NATO members could raise up to 30-40 thousand personnel to conduct ground operations. Presumably, the general secretary has decided to increase the number of RRF to 30 thousand people in preparation for such a scenario. In these circumstances, Russia will have nothing left but to start introducing its troops and aircraft to counter the aggressor at least with its air defenses. Thus, the internationalization of the civil war in Ukraine will lead to a clash between Russia and NATO bearing severe consequences, up to the decision to use the nuclear weapons (after all, the Russian Armed Forces, having order less number of troops compared to the alliance, would not be able to resist them without use of nuclear weapons in case of an escalation of the conflict, even in a local war). Apparently, a similar scenario was meant by French President Hollande, who noted that a big war can become the alternative to peace in Ukraine.

Thus, the civil war in Ukraine made the Ukrainian people, the US, the EU and Russia face a choice: either giving up some claims and start the settlement of peace under the objective conditions, or following the way of the outbreak of the European war with a high risk of its nuclear staging.

Doctor of Military Sciences

Konstantin Sivkov


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