April 2, 2015

Russia-Ukraine: "the third round"

Yuriy Radkovets


Will be or not? Where, when and under what circumstances?

Due to constant Russian and Donetsk-Luhansk separatist parties' loud statements regarding Ukraine's violating the provisions of the Minsk agreements, as well as Russia's not participating in the conflict in the East of Ukraine, the Russian Federation's leadership is actively, but (again!) secretly preparing a new military operation against our country. And this operation is increasingly getting distinct contours.

This is evidenced by Russia and separatists' further military provocations on the line of clashes of the sides (including the shelling of heavy weapons), “feeling” of the Ukrainian defense with the help of local offensive operations (primarily at Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol directions), as well as repositioning, strengthening and concentration of armed groups of both, terrorist separatist and Russian forces for the planned further actions against Ukraine.

The Deployment of Russian troops in the Donbas and Crimea

As for the separatist-terrorist forces of militants, using (again!) the ceasefire and diverting of heavy armed groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of ​​anti-terrorist operation (ATO), the militants have beefed up their forces with personnel, weapons and military equipment. At the same time, with the participation of Russian military experts, there has been created a unified command structure of the so-called “Army of Novorossia” (“New Russia”). Now may state that their force formations have been reformed and have a clear organization, as well as a unified system of both administrative and tactical management in the so-called DPR and LPR. Currently we should expect their joint actions (according to a single concept and plan), coordinated and harmonized with each other (“DPR” and “LPR”), as well as with Russian troops in the occupied territory of Ukraine. According to professional estimates, the Russian military experts have managed to significantly improve the level of combat readiness of the militias that is actually to create an efficient “army.”

At the same time there continues concentration of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine in various areas (including in the Crimea) and the preparation and conduct of large-scale military exercises, usually offensive, involving units of airborne troops, special forces, intelligence and electronic warfare, military strategic, tactical and army aviation, as well as a diverse fleet of ships.

All this is accompanied by a massive targeted information campaign and Russia and terrorists' practical actions to create secure basis for the resumption of the offensive against Ukraine through militants' provocative shelling of settlements and civilians in the territories of the so-called DNR and LPR, as well as accusing our state of violation of the Minsk agreements. In particular, a clear example of the cynical behavior of separatists/terrorists has become the “ultimatum” of the leaders of the breakaway republics of “absolving themselves of responsibility for keeping peace in the conflict zone” (in fact, it is — “the legitimacy of justification” of the resumption of hostilities), if Ukraine does not provide “special status” to certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

And the further it goes, the messier it gets. After the Verkhovna Rada's adoption of amendments to the Law on the Special Status, Plotnytskyi and Zakharchenko said that those amendments had not been coordinated with the DPR and LPR. Today, the so-called “leaders” of the DPR and LPR already “demand” from the Ukrainian side to conduct “preliminary necessary consultations” with representatives of the self-proclaimed republics on introduction of amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine regarding decentralization of power. Putin, Lavrov, and Karasin have been recently boldly professing about Ukraine's needing to negotiate with Donetsk and Luhansk (“...modality for future elections in the Donbas must be agreed with... Donetsk and Luhansk”). So what should Ukraine expect from them in the future?

Today, a number of both Western and Ukrainian leading politicians, military experts and analysts believe that the Minsk Agreements, in the situation established between Russia and Ukraine, in fact, do not mean anything, because Russia is just expending time. No one believes that this truce in the Donbas will be long. Putin benefits from instability in Ukraine, because it, in his opinion, “proves” that the Revolution of Dignity cannot be successful, and it is doomed to failure.

Otherwise, if there is peace in Ukraine, Putin's power will fall apart, as militants armed by him will go back to Russia and present the Kremlin with the bill. They will perceive any peace between Russia and Ukraine as a betrayal. In this case, they will begin their “revolution” in Russia, but it will be quite different — a “black/fascist/revolution”, that sweeps away in its path everything and everybody, together with Putin. And Putin is well aware of this, which is why he does not want peace in Ukraine and with Ukraine. There is only one thing for him — war with Ukraine.

However, it can be stated that over the year of the war Putin has not achieved his strategic objectives regarding Ukraine. Despite the taking by force and further annexation of the Crimea (the “first round” of strategic forceful/ “hybrid”/ Russia's operation against Ukraine) and the provoked by it conflict in the East of Ukraine (the “second round” of the strategic military operation), Moscow has not managed: to split the Ukrainian people and deprive it of its statehood; to disrupt Ukraine's European course and to remove the new democratic Ukrainian authorities; to destabilize the socio-political situation in the central, southern and western regions of the country. At this, having not solved the “Ukrainian problem,” Russia has got under the targeted blow of international political and economic sanctions, which have already resulted in tangible, crushing losses of its economy.

Besides, Putin's apologists hopes for the so-called “Third Maydan”, provoked by (first of all, from the outside) socio-economic/socio-political riots in Ukraine, are not finding real ground. The last year's events (the annexation of the Crimea and Russia's secret aggression in the East of Ukraine) have actually excluded any provocative actions of anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces in our country. Not to mention the fact that all the “Maydans” in Ukraine were purely political, and in no way socio-economic ones. The Russian side's not understanding this has been one of Putin's regime's main mistakes in its policy towards Ukraine.

These circumstances, on the one hand, irritate the radical part of Putin's clan (the so-called “party of war”), and on the other — they cause extremely negative reaction of Russian oligarchs (“economic liberals”), who have already been losing their money (in the amount of billions of US dollars), as well as opportunities to continue their business, including in Ukraine with its huge market. This situation is getting even more complicated as the Russian-terrorist war against Ukraine continues, causing the RF's more tangible political and economic losses. According to most of the leading, both Russian and Western experts, and even in this context, almost the only opportunity for Putin to preserve his regime would be to achieve victory over Ukraine, and, in the nearest future, that is, until the international sanctions have not led to more irreversible catastrophe of the Russian economy.

Taking this into account, Russia, this way or other, will continue the offensive in the East of Ukraine in order to capture new Ukrainian territories (to create a land corridor to the Crimea and Trans-Dniester included) and to make our government and its Western allies “freeze” the conflict on the conditions and unquestioning dominance of the Russian Federation's position. At this, as before, Putin will hide (mask) the military operation (military aggression) against Ukraine under the actions of dissatisfied “insurgents” and “militias”.

Battle Groups of the Russian-terrorist forces in the Donbas

The vast majority of Western and Ukrainian military experts, not without reason believe that today, regrouping and maneuvering of the forces and means of separatist-terrorist groups of militants, with the support and direct participation of Russian troops, there have been created some pretty powerful groups ready for further offensive actions against Ukraine (the so-called “third round” of Russia's strategic military operation against Ukraine) in a number of areas and at operational directions, namely:

  • the Donetsk Tactical Battle Group — on the Donetsk-Avdeyevka direction (the main forces focused on Avdeyevka site);
  • the Luhansk Tactical Battle Group — on North-Luhansk direction (Shchastya, Stanytsia Luhanska). Part of the strength of this group is concentrated to the east of Luhansk around the Bakhmutka motorway;
  • Primorsk Tactical Battle Group — on Mariupol direction, which is mainly concentrated to the north and north-west of Novoazovsk. Part of the strength of this group is involved in the line Pavlopol-Shyrokino and near Zaychenko-Oktyabr.

At this, each of the tactical battle groups has its own operative-tactical reserves both, on the occupied territory of Ukraine and on the Russian territory, close to the border with Ukraine, which allows to quickly build up their offensive potential in certain areas, and conduct some flanking maneuvers in the interests of other groups in the areas that will provide the greatest success.

According to current estimates, the attack can be applied in one direction or (with the concentration and subsequent building up of efforts on it in order to solve an actually “strategic” military-political task), which is considered by the overwhelming majority of experts the most likely, or simultaneously on several (another group of experts) directions in order to disperse (“to spray”) efforts of the Ukrainian forces to stop the terrorist-Russian troops. The purpose of such action, at first glance, is quite clear — they need to expand their zone of control/influence until at least within the borders of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and if possible, on the other eight regions (Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhya, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odesa, as well as Sumy and Chernihiv).

Strategically — by performing an operation on Mariupol direction and building up its efforts on the southwestern direction, Putin will seek any means to make Ukraine provide Russia with a land corridor to the Crimea. Otherwise, in order to guarantee the solution of this problem, apart from the Maritime Task Force, the battle group of Russian troops and forces of the Black Sea Fleet from the Crimea may also be engaged.

A good enough excuse for the Crimean Russian troops (forces)' military invasion into the territory of Ukraine could be Russia's intention to provide the Crimea with fresh water (due to the filling the North Crimean Canal with the Dnipro water — ahead are the spring and summer!). Today, within the framework of the information campaign, the Kremlin has begun to actively “unwind” the theme of “ecocide” of the Crimea to discredit Ukraine, and, according to experts, it can use it for further military incursions into the territory of Ukraine. (“Ecocide” has to be understood as the mass destruction of flora and fauna, poisoning of the atmosphere or water resources, as well as other actions that could cause an ecological catastrophe).

Besides, in the context of Russia's plans and intentions to establish a land corridor with Trans-Dniester, Ukraine should also take into account the presence of the Russian military threat on the border with Odesa region from the Trans-Dniester region of Moldova. Special attention should be paid to the fact that it is no coincidence began that elements of “hybrid war” have been recorded recently in Gagauzia (in addition to Trans-Dniester). And those elements are aimed at undermining of the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova.

That is, today there is really possible preparation and ensuring by the Russian side of a step-by-step operation (the so-called “third round” of Russia's strategic military operation against Ukraine) to establish a land corridor from Russia to Trans-Dniester, with simultaneous elimination of Ukraine's exit to the Black Sea and the RF's getting instead of one (Eastern) at least two fronts (Southern and Western) more.

From where Russians could attack

Recently, a number of leading Western and Ukrainian experts and analysts have expressed grounded concern and do not exclude the possibility of Russia's applying a treacherous attack on almost unexpected directions, namely, on Sumy and Chernihiv ones. These impacts can be both distracting and, under certain circumstances acceptable to Russia, they may become the main ones (especially because from Chernihiv to Kyiv the distance is only 160 km). The experts strongly advise to note that so far the Russian side has not used against Ukraine the shock-offensive capabilities of its combat military and tactical aviation.

From where Russians could attack

Any expert does not doubt the fact that the Russian-terrorist groups will inflict another blow to Ukraine today. The question is: When will the “third round” begin? Here, experts and analysts also almost certainly predict that, most likely, it can happen close to some nearest/important enough date in April-May 2015.

In April-May 2015 in Russia, on the occupied territories of Ukraine, as well as in Ukraine will be celebrated several holidays and quite remarkable events. Among other things, the great religious holiday Easter, and the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, as well as the anniversary of the “referendum” in the Donbas. Also in May this year in Riga there will be held an EU Summit “Eastern Partnership” at which the Ukrainian question will be discussed. We should not forget that in May this year is the anniversary of P. Poroshenko's election for the post of President of Ukraine.

At first glance, this seems to be nothing special. But taking into consideration some /almost mystical/ dependence of Russia's top state leadership /including Putin/ on dates, numbers, symbols, events and the like, we should not exclude the possibility of a new operation (“third round”) devoted exactly to some date or event.

But then, such a policy and practice of the regime of Vladimir Putin will inevitably lead to disaster, related both to him and to the entire Russian Federation. No Russia's attempts to hide its role in the organization of the next outbreak of hostilities in the East of Ukraine will be successful. Today the leaders of the USA, EU, NATO and leading European countries have officially recognized the presence of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory and set out to impose new sanctions against Russia if it continues military invasion into our state.

Confirmation of determination and uncompromising position of international organizations and the majority of Western countries towards the Russian Federation can be regarded the reaction of the United States and the EU to the Russian terrorists' capture of Debaltseve already after the signing of Minsk Agreements. As forecasted by “Borysfen Intel”, the consequence of the reaction was reduction of Russia's international credit ratings (has led to drop in the value of Russian securities worth about 6 billion US dollars), introduction of new sanctions against Russian officials, companies and banking institutions (including “Sberbank of Russia” — the main operator of bank settlements in the occupied Crimea), as well as the resumption of the trend of falling oil prices. Besides, the USA eventually has decided on the supply of military equipment to Ukraine, although not lethal, but very necessary for our Armed Forces one.

Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that Russia's resumption of active offensive operations against Ukraine will inevitably lead to further strengthening of the USA and EU's sanctions against the RF, which will go to a new level and will have disastrous consequences for the Russian Federation. In particular, if under the present circumstances a technical default of the Russian banking system is expected before the end of this year, in case of Russia's attempts to capture Mariupol, Moscow may lose all its gold reserves in four or five months.

Besides, to date, there are signs of increased activity of certain political and oligarchic circles of Russia, aimed at replacing the Putin regime. In particular, lately as such signs can be considered: a certain increasing criticism of the country's leadership in some Russian media which previously demonstrated loyalty to the government; preliminary consultations between individual financial oligarchs and opposition forces to strengthen their solidarity and coordination in the future, as well as the growth of protests, more organized and coordinated, including with political slogans.

At the same time, according to some Russian political analysts and experts, including those from Putin's former environment, in Russia is gaining momentum the so-called “generals' revolt” (or the “war party’s” revolt) — namely, the heads of security agencies and special services of the country are seeking full power in the Russian Federation. According to them, the tactics of security forces will provide for Putin's gradual isolation with further removal of the Head of the Russian state under the guise of severe (fatal) disease, a traffic accident or other “force majeure” circumstances. It was within the framework of such tactics that the leader of Chechnya — Kadyrov was struck, when persons close to him were accused of involvement in the murder of one of the most famous Russian political opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov on February 27 this year. At this, as some Western and Russian experts believe, Kadyrov himself, not without reason, is suspected of organizing the “cleansing” of the Russian political environment from opposition activists who oppose the Kremlin's (read — Vladimir Putin's) policy, including regarding Ukraine.

At the same time, taking into consideration the experience of the events of the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East and North Africa, it is the security forces that are real organizers of coups to overthrow totalitarian regimes, after which they “quietly” leave the stage. In particular, it was exactly so when the power in Egypt was changed.

Does Russia's political elite realize this? It surely does.

The evidence of this was the massive withdrawal of the financial capital from the Russian Federation now not only by foreign investors but also by representatives of large and medium-sized enterprises of the Russian Federation. Thus, according to the UK Treasury, lately from Russia only to British banks have been transferred to 60 billion US dollars. At this, as a demonstrative means of pressure on the Russian Federation's leadership, London has promised to publicize all the bank accounts of Putin's inner circle, and has blocked some of them (in the amount of 650 million US dollars), causing panic in the governing and close to them financial and business circles of the Russian Federation.

But the main reason for V. Putin's such policy and practice, which have led the Russian Federation to almost a state of political and economic collapse, is the essence of his regime, and personal imperial neo-ambitions of Putin's, who will never give up the implementation of his predatory aggressive plans for the destruction of statehood of Ukraine, because the failure of his plans would mean to him personal political catastrophe. In the best case, the consequence will be the Hague Tribunal for Putin and his inner circle, and the worst — his physical elimination by the hands of his own environment.

All this leaves no choice to Vladimir Putin's regime and does not give him the slightest chance. Nazis at the time also used to win (including capturing the Crimea and Donbas), and their “Fuhrer” enjoyed the support of the majority of the German nation. How it ended — the year of 1945 shows. It's bound to happen to Putin's regime, possibly in the nearest future. That is, after the symbolic 70 years after the defeat of Nazi Germany. Isn't it a good reason for festive military parades in Moscow and other capitals, above all, of the CIS member states, which finally will be able to choose the path of a truly democratic development, as well as to get free from the threat of the Kremlin's armed aggressions and its “Fuhrer's” neo-ambitions.

That is why Putin needs only war...



GRU Intelligence centers working against Ukraine:

Moscow Intelligence Center (military unit 46188) — is located in Moscow (Sokolniki district, 10/27 Matrosskaya Tishina Street,) in the territory of the military unit 25969;

The 2nd Operational Unit of the Moscow Intelligence Center (military unit 46188-II) — is located in Kursk (23, Blinova Street) at the Kursk Scientific Research Institute of the RF Defense Ministry. The operational mission of the Unit is collecting intelligence in northern regions of Ukraine;

The 3rd Operational Unit of the Moscow Intelligence Center (military unit 46188-III) — is located in Voronezh (4, Matrosova Street) at the training base of the Voronezh Aviation University. The operational mission of the Unit is collecting intelligence in central regions of Ukraine;

The 4th Operational Unit of the Moscow Intelligence Center (military unit 46188-IV) — is located in the military town №29 in the city of Tver (29, Bobkova Street) in the territory of the military unit 53956 of the 79th Guard Artillery Brigade. The Unit uses as cover the premises of the local Military Transportation Inspection;

The 78th Intelligence Center (military unit 35555) – the outskirts of Rostov-on-Don (22, Sadovaya Street) at the military base № 4 under the guise of the 175th Control Brigade (military unit 01957) of the Southern Military District;

The 1st Separate Operational Group of the 78th Intelligence Center – until March 2014 in the ARC, under the guise of Russian military bases in the Crimea;

The 2nd Separate Operational Group of the 78th Intelligence Center — stationed in Sochi under the cover of the Commandant Office’s local military base (14, Severnaya Street);

The 3rd Separate Operational Group of the 78th Intelligence Center — in the 7th Military Base of the Russian Defence Ministry in Abkhazia, also under the cover of the Air Force Base 686 (military unit 36660), Babushara airfield;

Krasnodar's Intelligence Center (military unit 62986) — at the former Krasnodar Military Academy, the Krasnodar military base № 3 (267, Severnaya Street), under the guise of the “10th Publishers House of the Defence Ministry of Russia”;

Separate Operational Group of the Krasnodar Intelligence Center — on the territory of the Khankala military base of RF in Chechnya, under the cover of the headquarters of the 18th SMB of the 58th Army; — Separate Operational Group of the Krasnodar Intelligence Center — in the 4th Russian military base in South Ossetia.




Original of the article: http://static.gazetavv.com/files/1/3/13_2vv.pdf