Preliminary results of the field and political “battle reconnaissance” in Ukraine

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June 4th, 2015

@Mikle1, Live Journal

Translated by Kristina Rus

Fighting started yesterday morning west of Donetsk was perceived by many as the beginning of a general counteroffensive of the militia, tired of constant shelling of Donetsk. And the first emotional evaluations from both sides of the front were seemingly justified – after all, the forward detachments of DPR army approached Kurakhovo, supported by armored vehicles. And it is 52 kilometers down the road. The direct route is closer, there are no direct routes in a war.

But only a few people noticed that even the most panicked messages from the junta estimated the attacking forces at a thousand fighters with support of a company (10 units) of tanks. For a general offensive it was clearly not enough. Moreover, only in Donetsk there are units of “Vostok”, “Oplot” and brigades of the Republican guard “Pyatnashka”. By the way, all of them participated in the battles in some way. But just not at full capacity – dispatching a maximum of a battalion to participate in the operation.

Today adviser to Poroshenko, Yuri Biryukov summed up the results: 

“Final combat losses for yesterday (midnight to midnight, reported at 7am): 5 dead (of them in Maryinka – 4), 39 wounded (1 – 43rd OMPB, 26 – 28th OMBR, 11 – 30th OMBR, 1 – NGU [National Guard of Ukraine – KR]), destroyed 1 GAZ-66 and 2 UAZ-452. Getting their butts kicked yesterday, separatists quieted down. Because they should. From midnight to 7 am – only 3 shootings … I am not rejoicing, don’t want to waste emotions on them, but here is the data on the losses of the separatists: 24 – 200 [killed], 91 – 300 [wounded]. These are recorded bodies in morgues, as well as data from Donetsk hospitals. Data is serious, but not final – the score is increasing”.

Given the scale, duration and intensity of the fighting, we can agree with the losses of DPR army. Especially that the Republican leadership confirmed the loss of 14 killed and 86 wounded. Here the truth is somewhere in the middle.

But as to the ukie losses, there is reasonable doubt. Simply because junta troops which missed the attack of the militia and disorderly retreated, could not lose three times less killed and wounded. Which is confirmed by data received from Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov. Helicopters delivered 20 lightly and seriously wounded to the former fiefdom of Kolomoisky, only to one military hospital in Kharkov region – 27. And the hospital reported that they expect a new batch of the wounded. Agree, 47 is already more than 39 announced by Biryukov.

Moreover, the medical officers know well, that homefront hospitals get less than half of average or seriously wounded. Some cannot be transported, (for example, with penetrating lung injuries, risking pneumothorax), some go to the hospitals of Izyum and Chuguev in Kharkov region and similar in Dnepropetrovsk region. We are not even talking about relatively mild injuries – and there are more of those than medium and heavy. So, based on the data from Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk, we can talk about two hundred wounded at least.

The situation with the dead is even worse. Retreating from their positions ukies did not carry the bodies and fragments of bodies for further accounting. Moreover, when militia retreated after a successful raid, the bodies are yet to be dug up and identified from the ruins of fortifications. Announced 5 killed most likely are only those whose bodies have been identified and are at the morgues on the territory controlled by the junta.

As for the loss/acquisition of territory, everything began with panicky statements of a sotnik [commander, heading 100 fighters] from “Kiev-1” and simultaneously deputy Deidei, that Marinka is in operational encirclement, 70% of the town was lost, the separatists are about to enter Kurakhovo and will occupy the key heights behind it, the losses are huge, there are no reinforcements. Already began screams that Maryinka has no strategic importance and there is a planned withdrawal of the army from obsolete positions.

Marinka offensive:Карта, Марьинка, наступление|Фото:

After lunch the alarmism was crushed in the bud and gave way to traditional hurrah-patriotism, common for the junta towards the end and after lost battles.

The point is very simple. By the night of June 3rd to 4th, the fighting stopped, limited to sporadic gunfights. Militias did not claim any Kurakhovo, limiting to the outskirts of Maryinka, where they dug in by now. As anticipated yesterday, there was no attempt to storm Krasnogorovka, where a powerful UAF formation settled since last summer at a factory. It appeared to be a typical battle reconnaissance, during which small local success was achieved in the area of Maryinka.

But this is a purely military aspect of the finished battles, which have a secondary character in the current war. Much more important are political consequences. In this case, it is absolutely irrelevant what the junta officials and heads of DPR say to justify their actions. This is a standard set of phrases and statements, which both sides are expected to say.

Марьинка, разрушения, обстрел|Фото: Джон Траст
Maryinka damage

Much more important is that the foreign masters of the junta de jure silently swallowed the slap caught by Poroshenko. The EU preferred “not to notice” the incident, and only the United States “expressed concern and laid the responsibility for the escalation of the conflict in Kiev on the militia and the Russian Federation.” That is – on all. We will emphasize – de jure did nothing. No extraordinary convocation of the UN Security Council and no immediate military assistance to the junta – “the troop did not notice a loss of the fighter”.

Донецк, взрыв|Фото:
Donetsk explosion

Virtually simultaneously with the fighting, Russia announced two versions of the destruction of the Malaysian Boeing last summer. The experts of  “Almaz-Antey”, which produce Buk missiles, showed on the available factual material that the Boeing was shot down by an outdated missile, discontinued in 1999 and long replaced by more modern designs by the air defense of Russia, but remaining in service of the air defense of the junta. At the same time determined the place of the launch, proving the presence of missile systems “Buk-M1”  there at the time of the downing of the aircraft, belonging to the junta.

MH-17, Боинг|Фото: Игорь КоротченкоMH-17, Боинг|Фото: Игорь Коротченко

Almost simultaneously the central TV channels showed a defector who received protection in Russia and was recognized as an important witness. Former pilot-mechanic showed that the SU-25 of captain Voloshin flew on a combat mission and returned with spent rockets. He quoted the words of the pilot, indirectly confirming his role in the destruction the Malaysian plane.

Such coincidences are not accidental – Russia demonstrated “its Western partners” that it has enough aces up the sleeve to play on equal terms, and the situation on the remains of Ukraine is controlled from the Kremlin, and not from the White house, which can only adjust.

What is particularly interesting is “a coincidence” with the aggravation of the situation around Transnistria. Declared by Kiev full blockade of the unrecognized republic and the appointment of Saakashvili to the border Odessa region, the concentration in the region of a large military group with S-300 division was recognized as an unnecessarily demonstrative unfriendly step. And yesterday west of Donetsk there was a clear demonstration of the capabilities of the DPR army. If necessary (and it will soon be necessary)  similar capabilities will be demonstrated in another direction.

We must understand that DPR and LPR armies are capable of liberating Mariupol, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk since May and to triple the area under their control, expanding to the administrative borders of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. But for now there is no such tactical task before the leadership. 

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