Expert Opinion

Part I: Comments from a Military Man – July 25, 2014

Authored by John Kohchang / Edited by S. Naylor

General Thoughts on Ukrainian Army Operations, Conscription

The Ukrainian Army (UA) is fighting on a massive, broad, and changing topography varying from small hamlets/villages to large cities to open steppe. The SDF (Novorossiya Militia) forces cannot defend everywhere, as their numbers are small in-comparison to the UA.

We are seeing the UA advance on many different avenues in an attempt to split SDF’s ability to use artillery in concentrated form against UA positions like we saw here and here.

The 3rd call-up (conscription) proves just how manpower intensive operations of this kind are.  As we have seen in Slavyansk, when the fighting is over, then the policing of the population starts and holding/pacifying that area requires men and material in constant numbers. Remember, the people here voted not to be governed by Kiev; so they are still in essence a hostile populace, which is why the Junta is arresting all men aged 18-55 regardless if they supported the militia or not.

While a number of able-bodied men in Novorussia who voted to separate from Ukraine are not enlisting in the militia and choosing to wait it out, other men are enlisting to fight and defend their right to that vote. But as we see from the evidence from Mariupol and Slavyansk all men who voted are being arrested anyway, and their whereabouts are still unknown.

Situation in the Occupied Mariupol

Notes from a local resident with respect to the situation in the second largest city of DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic]:

  1. With respect to the mobilization: there are rumours that the quota for Mariupol was set at 5,000 – 20,000 conscripts (depending on the source), and for the Volodarskiy district – 2,000. And here is the most interesting fact – All! All of my friends who had served in the army in the past are planning to flee to Russia or to join the Militia (as they are the first on the list to be mobilized). In other words, no one wants to fight for Ukraine.
  2. I do not know the situation with the local Ukies who sympathize with the Junta (there are none among my close friends), but there have been no lineups in front of conscription centres.
  3. The local metallurgy is almost finished. One of the plants has gone bankrupt. Two more are about to, due to the Ukie Nazi Guard [National Guard] destroying the Avdeevka Coke-chemical plant. It is not clear what will happen in the future. Without metallurgy, the city will not last long.
  4. Ukies run around town, wave their flags, organize auto-caravans in support of Ukiestan, draw Ukie flags everywhere they find space.
  5. However, normal, sane people are not asleep either – the Ukie flags painted on posts and other constructions are regularly sprayed with red paint (to demonstrate that the flag has been smeared with blood).
  6. It is remarkable that in certain areas the painted Ukie flags remain smeared in “blood” for weeks – i.e. no one erases or repaints them. This is an indication that those who draw them are not local, but that they were sent in to sweep the area and paint their scribbles wherever they could.
  7. Numerous people have “suddenly” disappeared in the city. There is a ton of “Help Us to Locate” and “He Left and Never Returned” ads posted around.
  8. The city is surrounded with Ukie checkpoints that seem in no hurry to leave the city. Looks like Taruta is terrified. At the checkpoints, there are a lot of Ukie-speakers, but there are also some Russian-speakers present.
  9. Lately, we have noticed a lot of vehicles bearing Kiev registration plates (the AA series). This is very strange.
  10. A great number of very strange “refugees” have taken up residence in the city – they sunbathe at the beach, relax in cafes and clubs, drink, entertain themselves, shoot fireworks, enjoy themselves – not a shred of fear, no concern or anxiety. It is as if they are not refugees at all, and, yet, they keep saying that they are from Donetsk or Lugansk. But not everyone is like that. There are also a great many of those who arrived penniless. These refugees are assisted by volunteers, special organization and concerned residents.
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  1. Pingback: MARIUPOL CITTA’ OCCUPATA | Volti del Donbass - July 26, 2014

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