The fate of Donbass: a vicious circle of “local conflict”

By the fifth year of the war in the Donbass hundreds of analytical articles had been published, Russian political talk shows had been discussed many times, and sometimes even any sneeze from Ukraine had come to the point of absurdity. Serious topics by and large also did not go beyond the walls of the studio. But more than once we will hear about peace agreements, international norms, the state of affairs in combat positions, and simply about the motivations of the parties. Therefore, for those who have already become difficult to understand this endless stream of news, let us sum up the complex results in simple words.


After active hostilities, the end of which can be considered the battles for Debaltseve, public attention shifted to the meetings of the Channel Four. And to the attempts of ordinary people to figure out what the Minsk-2 agreement differs from the Minsk-1. Now, after a while, you can even resort to an allegory, that all these agreements help to return to the starting positions for all parties to the race-conflict. One of the participants constantly makes a false start – this is Ukraine. Instead of sanctions, an international judge makes a shot from the starting pistol at her opponent. Russia understands the absurdity of what is happening, but still believes that time works for it. The Ukrainian authorities, in turn, have nothing to do except provocations. But these actions can be considered successful only because every time when loud news such as “ATO is renamed to OOS“ Operation of the United Forces ”and“ In Ukraine, martial law was entered ”, Ukraine in fact only worked out its status as an eternal irritant. In the interval between loud statements, they still did not avoid the most useless, and at the same time frankly inhuman acts. Such, for example, as the shelling of residential areas of the MLRS.


Usually, the Ukrainian side resorted to this method in the period of the greatest despair. It became increasingly difficult to raise the level of patriotism at the expense of the military “Peremog” (Victory). Therefore, the seizure of empty villages, and further their loss, is repeated again and again. In his time, Benito Mussolini was very fond of such tactics, inspiringly telling people about how the Italian army fights for the conventional Hatsapetovka, and with a victory in this battle will provide a turning point on the entire Eastern Front.


Since Khatspetovka itself (the former name of Uglegorsk), Ukraine lost even in the winter of the 15th, the maximum that remained this year is to talk about the heroic seizure of the village in the gray zone called Chigiri, which did not exceed sixty houses in size, and no one not defended. Kiev authorities still need heroism and sacrifices through the fault of the damned Moscow. Especially when everyone has already forgotten about the “heavenly hundred” and “cyborg” at the Donetsk airport. The fact that something similar will go on and on has been proven by the famous incident in the Kerch Strait.


Now directly about how the combat capability of each side has changed. Nothing demonstrates the ability to change in the state like reforms in the army. If there is a lack of financing or management, it will soon emerge out. Since the moment of real hostilities, we now and then heard that the APU is switching to NATO standards. By experts, the ability to translate the entire military-industrial complex of Ukraine to Western standards was immediately evaluated as dubious. And, of course, corruption and weak military training in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine contributed to the failure of the venture. Any news about the new lethal weapons is broken about the video of the winter of 2015, in which among the abandoned and absolutely whole tanks and BTR-ditch the American artillery reconnaissance radar station is lonely seen.


The question immediately arose: wouldn’t the same fate happen to a more important and expensive technique, for example, the same Javelins? At all demonstrations of this technique, only American instructors worked with it. Will they allow all this good to migrate into the mining callused hands?


Do not just underestimate all the explosions that occurred in warehouses in the rear. Behind the scenes this is the case: the APU has a big problem with the ammunition on the MLRS, in fact, their main weapon in the early stages of the conflict. The shelling of peaceful neighborhoods is still enough, but in the case of active hostilities there will be real problems: the whole burden will fall on the armored forces. True, their current state demonstrates the only positive change for the APU. No, of course, not in the spirit of “our” Stronghold “will tear your” Armata. ” But if we talk about tank power, it makes sense to realize: here Ukraine was best able to make up for its losses.


Commanders of howitzer battalions in the republics with great nostalgia recall that the first goal they were given in the 14th year was 500 square meters by 500 meters and mainly concerned armored vehicles. Such a goal could have been struck even without such artillery wonders as meteorological correction and concentrated fire.


Later, the higher the training of Donetsk and Lugansk artillerymen grew, the more diligently their opponents began to harbor their equipment. The maximum accumulation is no more than five units, which are often hidden in the hangars, behind the line of contact.


The most significant shortcomings of the DNR and LNR armies are also characteristic of their opponent. For example, the struggle for unity of command in the army was carried out here and there. Only in one case, the “dobrobat” reassured them, since they are really dangerous for the current government. In the republics, mainly in the DNR, they fought with the last units, beyond the control of the army corps, for a different reason. Although these units were less susceptible to the “north wind,” it was they who most often violated the Minsk agreements at their sites. It was in these parts that the bulk of Russian volunteers flowed, and the militia from the local who had been in action since the very beginning of the fighting.


The biggest difference between the quality of the soldiers and their motivation so far lies in the fact that, despite all the waves of mobilization, in Ukraine there is some duality between the peaceful army and the belligerent. In the Republics, some houses are located in distant areas for a hundred kilometers, while for others, literally behind their back, in some cases, just a few hundred meters. Is it worth talking about comparison?


The armies of the DNR and LNR, one way or another, will spend time on the mobilization process in the event of a big war, because many who went through the hottest battles at the beginning of the war have long been in a “civilian” state. Of course, according to them, berets and unloading is still at the front door. But to put all these people in line, it takes time.


Speaking about the pros, it is impossible not to note the end of 2016, when the DNR artillery for the first time since 2015 responded with counter battery from all trunks. Losses APU were less than in the summer boilers, but it is very noticeable for the army, which remains on the same lines. It became clear that one of the main advantages of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – in firepower – now will not be so weighty. What can I say: not without the help of the “elder brother”, who, with any amateur performances, gives a hit on the head, but a “little grown up”, as sung in one song.


Well, and a few words about the general mood.


At times, it seemed that the Ukrainian people would wake up the next morning and understand what mistake they had made. After all, they are constantly trying to convince us that the radicals are no more than three percent of the total population. But awareness did not come either after the “Maidan”, or after the 2nd of May, or even after the summer defeat of the Ukrainian army. Fear and hidden malice – these are the basic feelings that now rule in the Ukrainian majority. But this is not enough to change the government. At one time there was hope for an evil Ukrainian demob, who, upon returning home, will understand who his real enemy is. But while for everything that happened with him, he takes revenge only on himself. Statistics of suicides among demobilized will not allow to lie.


“Reforms” of the current authorities are similar to the decisions of Nikita Khrushchev.

There is another small part of the Ukrainian people who do not like the fate prepared for him by  Poroshenko. Many of the Ukrainian oligarchs understand that the eternal presence between the hammer and the anvil will sooner or later harm their assets. There was a time, and they all supported the “Maidan”, the army and do-it-yourself. But then they really believed in the nonsense about the fact that their tanks “reach Moscow”, and “abroad will help.” The war has not touched these people, but if it starts to approach them, the last thing they will think about is loyalty to their former views, and the correctness of their previous actions.


In the Republics, now everything is as everybody wanted. All but the residents of Donbass themselves. The Russian authorities, providing real assistance, wanted to smooth out the “sharp corners”. Today, residents of Donbass believe that Russia considers their republics simply to be self-proclaimed and unrecognized as “something there” in the east of Ukraine. And this faith in the future will only strengthen, especially after the regular festivities about the annexation of the Crimea. Or, for example, when instead of a real leader, a plump and all-convenient “jacket” will look at them from posters, for which the main thing in all his speeches is to lean on the word “peace” and “peaceful”, hoping that everything will work out in the future.


Therefore, in the coming year, you are not surprised when the next sensational news will not cause you any emotions, no matter what headings they come up with. After all, somewhere you have already heard it …