Translation by Nataly / Editing by @GBabeuf
Original article here: Anti-Maydan
From the Militia:
The Zhdanovka Cauldron is no more. It seems that, having received a “corridor” from the NAF, the remains of the garrison headed towards Debaltsevo. Uglegorsk is reported to be also occupied by the NAF. The source from Svetlodarsk says that the cannonade from outside of Debaltsevo continued all night long and has not ceased up to the present moment. There is your ceasefire. By the way, today they got mobile connection of MTS [a Ukrainian mobile service operator -ed.]. In the city itself there are neither units of the UAF nor of the NAF. Formally, the city is still considered to be neutral: it is part of another cauldron in Debaltsevo. It looks like the UAF have decided to concentrate the troops in one fist. To what end, tomorrow will tell. Today let us look at Debaltsevo. If they repeat the same trick as in Zhdanovka, it means that under the veil of a truce the UAF are silently retreating, withdrawing the surrounded units from the cauldron. By and large, this is advantageous for both parties. The question of heavy materiel is also interesting. To whom will it be left? As it stands now this is the most painful issue for the UAF. Cannon fodder can still be found, but as for military hardware, the Ukrainians are facing a complete crisis. In twenty-three years of independence, Ukrainian ensigns and generals did more for the victory of the Militia than the Militiamen themselves.
The enemy left a number of settlements in the DPR, but attacks and atrocities still continue. Continue reading
Preamble: “‘Rien pour la gloire! Glory brings no profit! Peace everywhere and always! War depresses the quotations of the three and four per cents!’ the France of the Bourse jobbers had inscribed on her banner.”
-Karl Marx, The Class Struggles in France
Translations by Gleb Bazov / Editing by @GBabeuf
Original article here: El Murid
Photographs – Associated Press
Judging by the fact that, on both sides of the front, the participants are scaling back their activity and preparing for winter (and that, on the Ukrainian side, conversations about the Army’s lack of readiness for wintering in the field are getting louder), it can be assumed that, after all, a decision has been made to wait until the spring. We no longer need to suspect the sides of some kind of clandestine intentions—it is getting colder and damper, and, while, of course, there could be fighting, it will be solely in the form of torpid skirmishes and sabotage behind enemy lines. The usual kind of positional war following a Verdun-esque meat grinder.
In a sense the Cunning Plan has prevailed. Kiev was not allowed to finish off Donetsk and Lugansk, and they were pulled back from the brink at the very last moment. The existence of the rebel territory remains a thorn in the chubby backside and carries the threat of the pain being drastically amplified in case of misconduct. On the rebel territory itself, by the looks of it, a classic sweep of disloyal elements and the transformation of the freemen into something like a controllable entity has begun.
The existing bedlam has its negative aspects—the proliferation of weapons has taken on quite a menacing form. Just today, two contract soldiers were caught trying to sell a hundred grenades in the Rostov region. One can hazard the guess that this was simply scraps from the master’s table of the mobile Voentorg shop. What is carried out of the shop by men with stars on their epaulettes is, of course, not reported to the general public; but, as always, in times like this the arms trade is brisk and not at all retail in nature. Pumping the border regions—already complicated in every respect—full of weapons can only be done at one’s own peril.
On the other hand, by swiftly and firmly reining in the offensive impulse of the reinvigorated Militia, Moscow has demonstrated its commitment to a partnership with Kiev. It does not in the least fancy losing a thirty billion cubic metre Ukrainian gas consumption market, and the fact that Yatsenyuk is threatening that in ten years Ukraine will become fully self-sufficient in this product only causes them to sniff disdainfully in the Gazprom offices—“we will see where Yatsenyuk himself will be in ten years.”
We can assume that in the near future we may see a breakthrough in gas relations. The issue of the debt has not been resolved; however, “Aleks”, my acquaintance from Kiev, has already enlightened me as to the mechanism of this breakthrough. An international consortium has already been created, which will issue to Naftogaz a special purpose loan of six billion dollars so that it can repay the debt to Gazprom and make prepayment for additional volumes of gas required to maintain an uninterrupted transit to Europe. Naftogaz will also have to pay something, but it will be a mere trifle—approximately a hundred million dollars. The Ukrainian gas transport system (GTS) will serve as collateral for the loan. It is clear that no one will pay anything back, and we can already guess who will be the next owner of the GTS. Continue reading
What Could Happen From Here
September 22nd, 2014
Author: Jeb Stuart
Editor: Linda Sakadd
The purpose of this analysis is to consider the present situation in Donbass between the opposing forces and what might take place from here. This evaluation is primarily based on the September 15th map of hostilities and may, therefore, be somewhat out of date.
Due in part to the widespread dissemination of photos of Ukrainian punitive battalions wearing Nazi insignia and to reports of their atrocities against civilians, volunteers from all over the world have come to the aid of the Novorossiyan cause, boosting their numbers considerably in August and September. This substantially evened the odds of the conflict, which had initially been heavily in Ukraine’s favor.
Over the course of August, Ukrainian forces lost several brigades and over a hundred armored combat vehicles and artillery pieces, due to these units driving too far into NAF-held territory in an attempt to encircle Lugansk. Instead of encircling the city, they were themselves encircled and pinned down in a pocket called a “cauldron”, referring back to the Battle of Kursk in World War II. In a “cauldron” or “boiler”, the advancing armored forces were slowed down and stopped by defenders, and then encircled from behind to cut off their supply lines. The NAF forces then hammered the encircled battalions with artillery and direct fire until they were either destroyed or ran out of ammunition and surrendered.
Several Ukrainian units were still encircled in pockets inside NAF territory at the beginning of the ceasefire on September 12th and remain dug in their positions.
Reports from the field indicate that Ukraine forces currently number forty thousand combatants while the NAF forces number thirty-two thousand, made up of a mixture of Donbass residents as well as several thousand international volunteers, many of whom are combat veterans of the Russian Army.
Given that the military doctrine requiring requires a 3:1 numerical advantage by the attacking forces, this means that Kiev has lost the numerical superiority needed to decisively win by brute force.
Ukrainian forces have pulled back into a defensive arc from the North of Lugansk circling West and South around to Mariupol on the Azov Sea, and are now digging in.
During the previous three months of the ATO, Ukraine’s primary “punitive” strategy was to batter the civilians into submission by destroying their cities with heavy artillery. As of September 22nd, Kiev has pulled its heavy artillery twenty kilometers behind the defensive line, out of firing range of the Donbass population centers.
Original article by Denis Seleznev
Translation: Daniel Mihailovich
Editors: S. Naylor and O. Luzanova
What will the final offensive of the junta look like?
The situation in Donbass is in limbo. On one hand, the signed truce has halted large-scale military operations; on the other, exchange of fire did not stop for a single day. There have even been attempts to carry out limited operations. For example, the Ukrainian command has not abandoned hope of rescuing the encircled special forces units from the Donetsk airport (so far all attempts at this have been repulsed). According to the [Ukraine] National Security Council, over the first 5 days of the armistice, the Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) units came under fire from the Novorossiya Armed Forces (NAF) about 130 times. The NAF quote similar figures for the UAF shelling of their positions.
The peace is too ‘fragile’
At the level of statements, it is already clear that leaders in Donetsk and Kiev have opposite views on the future of Donbass. Poroshenko said that the agreed “special status” for Donbass is temporary, and is not even prepared to talk about a transition to a federation-type structure in Ukraine. Yuriy Lutsenko, who is now the head of the president’s electoral bloc, has been more outspoken and insulting, sharing his plans for staging a blockade of the region. As for the DPR, the Prime Minister Alexandr Zakharchenko stated on September 9 that the truce is only an opportunity for the UAF to retreat from the rest of the territory of the DPR/LPR without further bloodshed.
It is also worth noting that at the level of the individual unit commanders, there is open discontent with the Minsk accords. In particular, Alexey Mozgovoi, the Prizrak brigade commander, said that 100% of the NAF personnel do not support these agreements with Kiev. As for the “hawks” in the rest of Ukraine—those supporting Kiev in the continuation of the war—there is a clear decline in their aggressive mood. At the end of June, during the previous truce, there were rallies in Kiev demanding the continuation of the war; they nearly set fire to the Parliament building. Today, after a series of crushing defeats, Ukrainian “hawks” are much more moderate, although the desire to harm Donbass has not evaporated. In general, it is worth noting that the two sides consider the truce to be nothing more than a pause before the next stage of active hostilities.
As for the immediate future, at the moment there are three main options: the UAF offensive, the NAF offensive, or the indefinite freezing of the conflict. In Novorossiya, the first option is considered the most likely outcome. Continue reading
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov
In the last hour information is coming in from Donetsk. In the area of the airport, there are artillery strikes and intense shooting. It is not exactly clear whether this has to do with the latest (the second in the past twenty four hours) attempt to break out of the airport or if, instead, the Militia is assaulting the airport fortifications.
According to the latest information, it appears that this is an attempt to unblock the airport from without by Ukrainian units. Intense shelling of the city districts near the airport is ongoing.
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov
After all the battles in the area of the airport have seriously intensified. The Junta is shelling the position of the Novorossiya army; moreover, shells, primarily from cannon artillery, are flying into the city’s residential neighbourhoods. The Novorossiya Armed Forces (“NAF”) are meeting the attempt to advance to the airport from the north-east with artillery and MLRS fire, and this is characteristically notable on the video above.
It is not difficult to guess that the mass media portrayal of the “ceasefire” is increasingly at odds with the realities of the ongoing war, in which full Grad missile packets that are lobbed at the advancing troops and at the airport have become quite the usual routine.
There are not that many possible explanations for what is going on. Either the Junta has resolved to try to unblock the airport, or, more likely, decided to react to the whining of the punitive forces garrisoned at the airfield that everyone has abandoned them, that there is no materiel left and that assistance is required (see example below).
The Donetsk Airport. They are surrendering. The top military brass. But that, in itself, is not the biggest problem. The problem is in how they are going about it. They are waiting until there is nobody to defend it. They are simply stonewalling; they are not providing reinforcements or giving an order to retreat. Our sworn brothers are there. The Praviy Sector Corps, the 3rd Spetsnaz Regiment. They are being methodically shelled from 150 metres away. 152 mm artillery shells are being lobbed point blank at the buildings. All the armoured vehicles have been destroyed. The command is incommunicado; the calls are being dropped. Most likely, they have decided to leave the airport garrison to its own devices until there is nobody left. Those who fought there for two months. Bleak.
On the whole, this resembles the operation with the breakthrough of a mechanized group through Aleksandrovka to the Lugansk airport in the middle of July. However, considering the fairly dense defense formation of the NAF in this area and a significant number of artillery, it does not appear that the Junta will be able easily to realize on its objectives.
UPDATE #1: According to the so far unconfirmed information, one of the mechanized groups of the Junta was able to break through to the airport.
UPDATE #2: In the area of the Peski settlement there is a fierce battle with the use of small arms and grenade launchers.
UPDATE #3: There are reports of a guerrilla attack near Odessa.
Militiamen have attacked a checkpoint of the Ukrainian punitive forces near Odessa. An explosion took place at a checkpoint in the area of the village of Kotovka, in the Belyayevsk district of the Odessa region. According to eyewitnesses, at approximately four o’clock, Russian guerrillas reached their positions and fired on the checkpoint using grenade launchers. As a result of the attack, an APC standing was hit and losses were inflicted on the enemy’s personnel.
If this is confirmed, this would be excellent news. The attack was, in fact, confirmed. According to Odessa News – Timer, in the Odessa region, there are guerrillas with grenade launchers.
UPDATE #4: According to the information received from General Petrovskiy (otherwise known as Bad Soldier and Khmuryi), 250 paratroopers of the 25th Airborne Brigade and approximately 600 militants of the punitive corps commanded by Lyashko broke through to the airport. At this time, our troops are holding their positions. It appears that the situation with the breakthrough to the Lugansk airport in July is repeating.
Original article by Dmitry Sokolov-Mitrich: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/jurnal/73443.htm
September 8, 2014
Translated by: Daniil Mihailovich
Edited by: S. Naylor
We loved America. I remember, we did. When we were teens, growing up in the early 90s; most of my friends the same age did not even question their attitude toward Western civilization. It was great, how could it be otherwise?
Unlike our grandfathers and even fathers, we did not think of the USSR falling apart – the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the XX century” – as a disaster. For us it was the beginning of a long journey. Finally, we would break out beyond the Soviet shell into the big world – limitless and cool. Finally, we would quench our sensory deprivation. We are born, maybe not in the right place, but certainly at the right time – or so we thought. It’s hard to believe now, but even the Orthodox Church coming out from under communist supervision was for us the same thing as the triumph of Western liberal values. The celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia and the first concert of the Scorpions in Moscow with their “Winds of Change” — was, for us, all part of the same thing.
The war in Iraq and even the breakup of Yugoslavia mostly escaped our attention, somehow. And it was not just that we were young and carefree. I, for one, was already trained in the “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, in the International Department. I was monitoring the English Reuters feed that was full of Izetbegovic, Karadzic and Mladic, but somehow did not take all these events seriously. It was somewhere far away, and not in our area. And, of course, the war in the Balkans did not fit within any kind of anti-Western storyline for me. Croats killed Serbs, Bosnians killed Serbs, the Serbs killed both of those – why blame America? Continue reading
(Entirely inadvertently, an error was made in the translation of the document below. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused)
with respect to the performance of the provisions of the Protocol of the results of consultations
of the Trilateral Contact Group with respect to the steps
aimed at the implementation of the Peace Plan
of the President of Ukraine, P. Poroshenko
and the initiatives of the President of Russia, V. Putin
In accordance with Paragraph 1 of the Protocol of the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group with respect to the joint steps aimed at the implementation of the Peace Plan of the President of Ukraine, P. Poroshenko and the initiatives of the President of Russia, V. Putin ([executed in] the city of Minsk, Republic of Belarus, [on] September 5, 2014) the participants of the Trilateral Contact Group, consisting of the representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europea [“OSCE”], and the representatives of the certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions have reached an understanding with respect to the following measures, aimed at securing the agreement regarding the bilateral cessation of the use of weapons.