by Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated from the Russian by Robin
Rostislav Ishchenko, political scientist and president of the Center for System Analysis and Forecasting, was interviewed by Tatiana Dobrodeeva about the outlook for the counteroffensive by Novorossia’s army.
– How far and how fast can the Donetsk People’s Republic army continue its counteroffensive?
– Today the counterattack is for the most part over. Taking into account the territories already occupied by the militia, the most they can do is to control these areas and gradually advance by means of groups that carry out reconnaissance and small-scale attacks.
They have a complicated task: they need to control their communications, leave garrisons in the occupied towns, continue trapping the junta’s troops and destroying those already trapped, and at the same time keep up their offensive. But they don’t have the resources to achieve all these objectives. According to the most optimistic estimates published by the militia, they have 25,000 to 33,000 troops – enough to be victorious on the frontlines, but not enough to be able to control the territory.
Therefore, taking into account the depth of the offensive, it has done about as much as it can. The most the militia can do is to secure victory in the south by taking Mariupol, which is already surrounded, and to continue a partial offensive in the north to push the front line away from Donetsk and Lugansk.
Thus the potential of this offensive is limited to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even so, they need time to regroup and reorganize, even taking into account the recently signed cease-fire. Theoretically, the offensive can continue uninterrupted, but only if protests against the Kiev government break out in Kharkov, Odessa, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson, and Nikolayev.
If such protests are serious enough and sufficiently well supported, the militia will only have to lend them a hand. Then they will be able to mobilize more troops and move as far as the Dnieper.
But if they rely solely on the resources of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, then the militia will need a two- or three-week break to regroup and reorganize. The last time the militia needed to build up its forces, it took two or three weeks. And now, taking into account the captured equipment and the fact that the Kiev army has actually been defeated, they will need this break to increase their numbers and continue their advance.
Then, of course, after Kharkov, Odessa, and Zaporozhye are taken, the militia will have new resources they can mobilize, and then Kiev won’t stand a chance. Frankly they don’t have a chance even now. But then they would not even theoretically have a chance, and the militia could easily advance right up to Lvov. But, as of today, we must expect that the militia will take time to regroup, so that they can increase their strength and then launch the next offensive between the end of September and mid-October.
– During this break, can the junta resume its offensive against the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic?
– They won’t be able to resume their offensive because they’ve already lost a significant portion of their truly motivated people. Their mobilization efforts have failed because no one wants to fight the war anymore. Everybody wants to win, but nobody wants to fight. Moreover, in terms of technical strength, the sides are now roughly equal. Before, the junta had significant superiority in terms of tanks, aircraft, and artillery, but now the ratio for artillery is 1:1 and for tanks it’s 1:2. Military aircraft are no longer flying because they just get shot down.
Now the sides are equal but the militia are much more motivated. Therefore, if the militia had had enough resources to control the occupied territories, they could have advanced all the way to Lvov and they would have been unstoppable. The junta is in no position to launch a new offensive; they just don’t have the strength.
At best, they could try to consolidate all their units to create a serious front line along the Dnieper and Desna, and try to defend themselves. That’s the most they can do: to try to spill as much of the militia’s blood as possible and then come to some arrangement about the territories.
But in terms of domestic politics, taking into account the fact that the junta is channeling all its resources into “the fight for the Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” anyone who negotiates an agreement recognizing that at least two regions will not be part of the Ukraine is a political corpse.
So the junta has no option but to fight to a victorious finish – except that the victorious finish will belong not to the junta but to the militia.
– What is the likelihood that the junta will survive in its current form, given the mass protests against it in Kiev?
– There’s no chance because, to preserve the junta, it will have to be propped up. But no one will do that. The United States and all other sponsors want the junta to disappear. The only thing they are concerned about is how to pull their tails out of there without getting them stepped on. So the question now is not whether to preserve the regime in Kiev, but how to surrender it in such a way that the sponsors get out on a break-even basis.
– What do you think is the likelihood of a third Maidan? And if there is one, who will be its sponsors?
– A third Maidan would be altogether different. The first Maidan was a real mass movement, with tens of thousands of people taking part. The second Maidan saw a total of only about 10,000 people, of whom half were Nazi militants and the other half were marginal. Any third Maidan will just consist of armed men who will kill Poroshenko and install a real Hitler in his place, because Poroshenko isn’t a real Hitler, and the Nazis need the real thing. It won’t be a Maidan; it will be the next coup d’état.
– Has the geopolitical situation around the Ukraine changed?
– The situation hasn’t changed. Whatever anyone says, in reality the Ukrainian crisis is part of a global crisis – the global confrontation between the United States and Russia. Russia has already become the second superpower, and the United States is trying to go back to a time when it was the sole superpower – hence Afghanistan, Georgia, Syria, and now the Ukraine. So what is happening in the Ukraine is a confrontation between the United States and Russia. All the others are only minor conflicts.
This appears to be an old article, Mariupol was nearly surrounded but not now. I couldn’t find a date from the source though.
September 17 2014?
The Russian authorities have received a draft report on MH-17 from the Dutch inverstigators. The Russians appear to have been told to respond within 30 days. The standard response time in ICAO Regulations is 60 days. Why the rush all of a sudden?
I wonder if the draft is available on the Dutch investogators website.
Any coincidence? A kangaroo court perhaps with Oz and Ukraine and vassals?:
“Malaysia, The Netherlands, and three other countries are expected to formally request a UN court to try the culprits behind the downing of MH17, according to AFP.
The five countries of the Joint Investigation Team — Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine — met last week in New York to discuss the proposed international court”.
Please disregard msm noise, it is designed to make look like Russia is unwilling to have the investigation implying Russia’s hidden guilt.
Here is the real thing:
The Dutch Safety Board has reported on the progress of the investigation into the MH17 crash to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO ).
Such a report is required by Article 6.6 of ICAO Annex 13, which obligates the Dutch Safety Board to release an interim statement one year after the occurrence. In this interim statement, the Dutch Safety Board briefly clarifies which steps have been taken in the past year and when the final reports are expected to be published.
Below is the full text, which was sent to ICAO on 1 July 2015.
The ‘full text’, unless I am missing something, doesn’t actually say anything except that a “draft final report on the investigation into the crash and the investigation pertaining to flight routes were made available to the accredited representatives of the participating States on Tuesday, 2 June”.
Participants have the usual 60 days to comment, now 30 days since it was sent amonth ago.
Other than that it’s all fluff and nonsense. What will the final report in October state -that MH17 was hit with a kinetic device (Russian, of course) ?
ICAO Annex 13, which defines the purpose and scope of air crash investigations by parties to the UN treaties on civil aviation investigations, requires to seek answers to the causes of air disasters and draw and circulate among the aviation community world wide the safety lessons and recommendations that would improve air safety and prevent accidents with specific identified causes from happening again.
These investigations are specifically excluded from determining guilt.
For example the stitching up of the pilot of the Pel-Air corporate jet that was ditched near Norfolk Island in 2009 as being to blame by a discredited and disgraceful investigation by the ATSB is a clear case of the Australian investigator disregarding its obligations to Annex 13 and making Australiay look both derelict and unjust in relation to crash inquiries.
But the junta has foreign soldiers and mercenaries, and this article does not seem to take it in consideration.
Thank you Robin for the translation.
Very realistic analysis. The militia is too small and its leadership is too limited to fight a widespread war.
Realizing Russian generals and colonels are actually the theater commanders of the Donbass, it is necessary to look at Russian military tactics as to what makes the militia successful.
With no large rear force to push through openings and overwhelm the Ukies (Russian Tactic), the only thing left they capably can execute are these cauldrons. The most successful and least costly involved trapping the Ukies along the Russian border where Russian GRADS tore them to shreds for days and nights last August.
Subsequent victories were more costly, though they used the same cauldron tactic. Ilovyask was close quarters small arms and small mortars and RPGs (Motorola’s brigade, Sparta, leading the attack).
Debaltcevo was very costly because so many civilians were inside the cauldron and only small arms could be used, while the Ukie force was bolstered by elite troops and NATO special ops caught in the cauldron, also.
Realistically, only a series of uprisings in the occupied cities could enable a Donbass army to fight a wider Novorossiya war of liberation from the fascists.
Ishchenko is very correct in his analysis.
Strelkov, Bazov, Sleboda, et al have been blaming Putin for not launching a grand offensive.
I have a suggestion. There is no age limit for any of them to go join the militia. They don’t even have to go to the front line. Load ammo cases, lube tanks, drive an ambulance. Maybe a month (even during the nice summer days) would give them some insight into the real size and strength of the militia.
As Ishchenko points out, they are not at 75,000 or 100,000. Unless you count everyone twice.
The reality is Ukraine will be Russia’s eventually. The trick is to get the Ukies to kill the Ukie nazis.
That’s the next level, gamesters. VV Putin is way ahead of everyone playing this game.
Yes – they are bragging about 60 to 75 000 soldiers for a reason – probably to keep off the moment when Maidan 3 happens.
But the cauldron tactic is not so much a rebel tactic as a Junta failure.
Cauldrons happen when the trapped cannot retreat. In Ukraine failed retreats are a function of the Kiev command structure not the Rebel cleverness. Nobody can give the command “retreat” – they face more certain death doing that than fighting on.
That may well change.
There is another choice for moving forward — surrender. Walk over to the other side. This option is being advertised to UAF in the past week or two very loudly and clearly. The timing of the advertising indicates NAF is expecting something soon, maybe planning something soon.
They’ve just evacuated everyone out of one Donetsk border settlement (that they’ve told us of, and maybe it’s neighbours too). Ostensibly this keeps the people safe from ongoing shelling. It keeps them even safer from much heavier fighting, if they decide to go out and put a proper stop to the bombardment. They’ve announced they’re demilitarizing Shirokino (which all civilians have been moved out of) …. open invitation for Right Sector to move in, otherwise known as a trap, if NAF decides to go on the offensive. This would go a long way to removing nuisance attacks in the Mariupol area…. and allow NAF to go into Mariupol without a battalion of RS behind them.
@ Kat Kan,
Q; …open invitation…
R: A true warrior masks his invites and makes them look like daffodils, dancing in a late spring’s afternoon draft, because, when the front opens, he wants his adversaries to run, like mad beasts, escaping from a burning forest…
The wrong crowd?
The article is seriously outdated.
The article is from a few months after the kiev coup happend, not long after the naf left slavyansk and regrouped in Donetsk etc.
So 20.000 was then.
It is proberly closer to 70.000 now.
(But also alot more territory to cover, and more active western involvement on the ground).
Strelkov,has already done that as I recall.Wounded at least once as well.I think we forget that he was the one that risked his butt under the shelling in Slavyansk through all those months.As well as wadding through the chaos of those days.While also dodging Ukie murder squads hoping to take him out.I may not (or may,depending) agree with him on some things.But never once would I doubt his convictions or courage of those convictions.
agreed on that one Uncle Bob all that Strelkov criticism I heard from they who never risk their neck, tis a shame.
One problem complicating a Novorssian advance relates to the Ukrop adoption of NATO stay-behind terrorist attacks. Some resources will have to be devoted to dealing with this. The problem will get worse as the size of the unoccupied part of Novorossia increases. On the plus side, the destructiveness of stay -behind groups will be much less significant than the current Ukrop onslaught.
I am surprised Mr Ishchenko does not regard the 2014 Maidan as a coup. It was clearly orchestrated by a foreign power with the intent of regime change.
Rostislav Ishchenko: Questions: 1. a front line across the Dnieper? Wasn’t that the fall back position of the retreating Nazis during WWII? It is a long line to defend and problematical since one can assume that they will not be doing scorched earth policy in 2015-16. 2. Will the Ukie army allow a blatant Nazi coup? Have they no self respect left?
This interview appears to have taken place right after the Minsk 2 agreement was signed, but I cant find a date for it on the site linked.
but it seems like it could be for today…very hopeful….I hope its right.
I give it now 1 year max for the present Government to be gone, US backed or not. Over the coming year, price rises are going to be unpayable for a lot of people, what with high inflation and remuneration increases not matching it, and if it is a cold winter…
Also, the Donbass military does not have to fight alone, along the way others should be joining it, it’s either that or freeze/starve (also evicted for not being able to pay the rent). What would speed things up for peace in the Donbass is also when the situation becomes serious enough for the Junta to have to withdraw the troops to deal with the protesting or rioting people in the centre and western Ukraine.
Another factor is a default in the meantime too. Ukraine’s Federation of Employers (UFE) wants the government to resign, because ukraine’s aggregate foreign debt has exceeded its GDP and reached 110.5%.
That is why I think one of the reasons Putin didn’t invade is because then he would be responsible for the whole of ukraine, and ALL of its debt too. The USA also doesn’t want ukraine’s debts, it wants its assets on the cheap, that is why the currency got devalued and why privatisation is taking place. Also, according to the UFE: ‘Most of the 300 debtor enterprises subject to privatization will be sold at a price that is lower than their real cost.’
Very old article yes.
What do the readers think of the casualties of the Ukraine war, so far?: ‘The total losses of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Donbas since April 13, 2014 – June 29, 2015 amounted to 81515 people’. Source: http://www.prezidentpress.ru/news/3159-obschie-poteri-vsu-na-donbasse-s-13-aprelya-2014-po-29-iyunya-2015-sostavili-81515-chelovek.html
The report is signed Sergey Ignatov but doesn’t say who he is. This kind of detail is either official or a hack of something official.
The total losses of the APU in the Donbas from April 13, 2014 – on June 29, 2015 – 81,515 people (the load 200, 300 and 500), the loss of foreign intelligence services PMCs and NATO in these figures are not included; of which: 68760 (load 200 and the load 300); 11,200 deserters, or passed to the militia.
“load” I imagine meant to be “cargo” 200 is deaths, 300 is wounded, 500 is “other” ie deserters or MIA…,.though they say “passed to militia”.
This is well in line with a German intelligence figure 3 or 4 months ago putting total losses around 50,000. The breakdown here for DEAD ONLY is
Of the 68760 dead and wounded, we have DEAD ONLY
35815 – the military and various militias. Broken down into units:
4460 various “Right Sector”, included in the National Guard;
5500 Employees of the Interior Ministry, the Interior Ministry special forces and Interior Ministry territorial battalions
3005 other categories of armed groups (MOE, military prosecutors, physicians, repairmen, the guards brigade, feldegerskaya service, engineering service …).
350 employees of the Border Guard Service.
1500 SBU (“secret police” — long with Military Police these traditionally have “enemies on both sides”)
21000 Ukrainian Army soldiers.
1600 killed and wounded mercenaries from 39 countries, including:
American PMCs Academi – 270;
and her “daughter» Greystone Limited PMC – 180;
Polish PMC «ASBS Othago» – 700;
255 (130 – dead, 20 – wounded) – CIA, FBI, military forces SSO (Special Operations Forces) US Special Forces DIA US, SAS – Soldiers Airborne service UK, Soldiers of the French Legion of employees Israel intelligence Mossad, Military Intelligence “Aman” and the General Security Service “Shabak” counterintelligence Shin Bet and IDF soldiers of the Israeli Army
WOW they are admitting to a LOT of mercenaries dead/wounded, so that is a lot of them IN COMBAT. Also a lot of Israelis, different sections.SOME Israelis are known to be operating drones and other technical stuff, the others I had no idea there are so many on the ground.
That leaves roughly 33,000 wounded. Against 35,000 dead. Strange percentages. NAF we don’t have total figures for but from fight to fight they always have 4 or 5 wounded for every one dead. What’s happening here?
* the numbers include huge losses in cauldrons, where “wounded” is a lot more catastrophic than just a single bullet wound
* we have reports of UAF “finishing off” very badly wounded, fair enough depending on what they count as “badly”.
* we know from the US trainers that they need to be taught how to rescue their wounded, not being in the habit of doing so — so they may be being left on the field until they succumb to the injuries. ALSO likely from the fact we know they don’t pick up their dead, either, admittedly hard to do when well obliterated in a cauldron.
Kat Kan: I had it translated using yandex, I think. Also, is it true to say that it is Putin’s official site as Pres?
Yep, it is from September last year.
The fact that it still seems to be relevant just goes to prove how little the situation has actually changed.
Except in between there’s been another Minsk agreement, and the big victory of Debaltsevo that made that possible (because, all Poroshenko’s denials to the contrary, Debaltsevo was only a few days from being a huge loss to the junta, that is why they agreed to the Minsk talks in the first place).
The relative strengths, in terms of people, are about the same. Junta is being reinforced at one level by NATO trainers, while leaking like a sieve at the other end, in favour of defections to Donbass.
On the civilian front,. Donbass has gone from near starvation in basements to an almost normal life except at the very edges. Ukraine meanwhile is starting to clean up the worst of the “national guard” goons, admittedly more to reduce their danger to the government than to ease up on the terrorised population, but it does work for that, too.
And the question still hovers — when is the next attack? and where? Kiev (or maybe just Right Sector?) is constantly moving up heavy artillery, and OSCE is constantly not bothering to go and check, even when NAF tells them of it.
However, the JCCC with both Ukie and Russian officers, is apparently doing local ceasefires. One side or another appeals to their own guy, who talks to the other, who tries to talk to the shooters on his side. A recent OSCE report showed abut half such appeals resulted in actually stopping the shooting (sorry can’t find it now). I imagine some of the failures are when Right Sector is involved, as they think they are a law unto themselves.
Shirokino is about to change hands, I think…. DPR declared it demilitarised, which probably means RS will take it over, ie walk into a trap. I do hope.
That long ago, after Minsk 1 then. I mistakenly thought it was more recent and after Minsk 2. RI was then pretty far off in one of his predictions, then:
“They won’t be able to resume their offensive because they’ve already lost a significant portion of their truly motivated people.”
Well, the orcs did renew their offensive, and lost again. It’s probable they are right now just waiting for their ZPC/NWO massas to give the go ahead for the next one. I assume the ZPC/NWO is waiting on some planned provocation or the “right” political opening.
Very OLD and outdated article.
It is from aprox 14.sep 2014 (and been published to several sites 14-17.sep.
Thank you for translating all of the above. Very much appreciated.
This is an old article. I suggest to translate this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNMhDYlLkxA
Speaks of the situation as it was little before signing minsk II ? A date would be the minimum. . .
It is identified up-thread as mid-September 2014
What’s the point of translating this? It’s outdated, wishful “hurray-patriot” thinking.
Russia is not the second superpower, or at least not by itself. As a partner to China, sure (but hopefully not in the same way that the EU is a “partner” to the US).