Kyiv hopes to implement the Croatian scenario for the Donbass
The Armed Forces of Ukraine should be ready for the military liberation of the territories of Donbass, if such a political decision is made
In Kyiv, they believe that the power capture of Donbass is possible, but under certain conditions. Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Sergey Krivonos said in an interview with Radio Liberty that in order to defeat the DPR and LPR militia, it is necessary to strengthen the Armed Forces of Ukraine and weaken Russia to such an extent that it will stop supporting the militias.
“My opinion: The Armed Forces of Ukraine should be ready for the military liberation of the territories of Donbass, if such a political decision is made,” he said. When it came to the Croatian scenario for resolving the Donbass issue, Krivonos rightly noted: “If there were no support for Croatia from NATO countries, then there would be no Croatian scenario.”
In fact, he named two more conditions necessary for the capture of Donbass: this is the political will of Kiev and large-scale support for the West. At the expense of the second and Krivonos himself, there are serious doubts that the Nezalezhnaya leadership can only rely on strengthening economic sanctions against Moscow, strong enough so that the latter refuses to “support the separatist units”.
The rebellious Donbass has traditionally given a tough verbal response to the monologue of a Ukrainian official, promising that any attempted offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine will come to an “total pacification” of Independence.
An assessment of the current operational situation in this region should be preceded by information that the warring parties, that is, the armies of these parties, have serious problems with staffing units and discipline in the troops.
Before analyzing the state of the forces and means of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the DPR and LPR militia, it should also be noted that they fight not by numbers, but by skill. And the first problem that the Ukrainian army will encounter if it takes a ride along the Donbass by force is that it does not know how to conduct offensive military operations.
All attempts to wage a maneuvering war in open space ended deplorably for the Armed Forces, and therefore, Ukrainian troops have not recently crawled out of their trenches.
Information about the forces of the warring parties in open sources is ambiguous. The armed groups of the DPR and LPR are averaged about 40 thousand each, about 80 thousand in total. According to some sources, the militia of the republics of Donbass has 410 tanks (T-64, T-72, T-80 and even T-90), 544 – BMP (1, 2), 99 – armored personnel carriers and 140 – self-propelled guns. In the presence of multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) – about 150 units (perhaps more than 200), anti-tank systems and various air defense systems. According to other sources, only the militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic has 69 Grad systems, 10 9K57 Uragan MLRS, five 9K58 Smerch MLRS, and six Solntsepek TOS-1A.
There are more than 750 vehicles in his tank fleet. To all of the above, it is worth adding that in the event of a crisis, the Donbass will definitely receive assistance from the east. In addition, the LDNR police are well aware of the enemy. On the territory of Ukraine in the deep rear of the Armed Forces there are so-called partisans. Now their shares are insignificant, but if necessary, it can be significantly activated.
In contrast to the militia of the rebel Donbass, the Armed Forces have combat aircraft. So, the Ukrainian Air Force can theoretically fly 45 MiG-29 fighters and 35 Su-27 fighters into the air. Independent quarter has at its disposal hundreds of Su-24 front-line bombers and 23 Su-25 attack aircraft.
Given the poor training of Ukrainian pilots and the presence of air defense equipment in the militias, Ukrainian aviation can only count on surprise, otherwise the Nezalezhnaya fleet will quickly decline. The helicopter fleet of the Ukrainian Armed Forces includes 133 transport and strike Mi-24, 30 transport Mi-8 and two old Polish light Mi-2. Blue-and-yellow drones also have two dozen Spectators, five Furies and 72 small RQ-11 Ravens. But the latter are used as intelligence tools. Speaking of intelligence, the US Air Force is adequately supplying the General Staff with the necessary information.
Theoretically, the APU tank fleet numbers more than 1000 T-62, T-64, T-72, and T-80 vehicles, but most of them are now in mobilization warehouses and require re-conservation. There are still a small number of mutant tanks: Otlot and Bulat. The fleet of armored vehicles has 215 armored personnel carriers BTR-70 and a hundred BTR-80.
There are also several hundred infantry fighting vehicles of various modifications and about 400 light armored vehicles of the BRDM-2 patrol. In addition to the above, it is worth mentioning a small amount of trash in the form of BTR-60, British AT105 Saxon armored vehicles.
In the VUS artillery park there are more than 1,500 units of towed artillery, more than a thousand self-propelled artillery installations, including Peonies and MSTA-S. Jet artillery totals 400 “Gradov”, 70 “Tornadoes” and as many “Hurricanes”.
Still there are available old tactical missile systems “Tochka-U” (90 units). But with ammunition for all this good, Independent has a problem. Not only are stitched shells and mines stored in warehouses, there are simply few of them, and warehouses burn with amazing frequency. Even plentiful deliveries from Eastern European countries do not fill the need of the Armed Forces in this segment.
Anti-tank weapons (PTS) APU is about 500 units of anti-tank guns MT-12 Rapira. Other PTS: Soviet – “Fagot”, “Metis”, “Competition” and own – “Stugna-P”, “Barrier” and “Skiff”. There are also 37 launchers of the Javelin anti-tank missile system with 210 self-guided missiles. Of the air defense systems for ground targets, fifty Shilok and about 100 Tungusok can operate.
The number of combat-ready units of the Armed Forces is estimated at 100 thousand bayonets (21 brigades). Of these, according to experts, up to 68 thousand fighters, or 17 brigades, can be concentrated in the Donbass direction. Specialists distinguish the 25th airmobile brigade as the most trained and equipped 1st and 17th separate tank brigades.
Out of all 19 Ukrainian artillery brigades, self-propelled guns are reduced to only two: to the 20th and 43rd, but their combat effectiveness is a big question. In fact, the most reliable and numerous artillery weapons in IEDs remain only the 120-mm Molot mortar and the 152-mm D-20 howitzer gun.
Apparently, Kyiv, if, of course, there is political will, will have to strengthen its armed forces for a very long time. Nezalezhnaya may not count on the powerful military assistance of the West under the current owner of the White House.
Of course, Kyiv can go all-in and fall into the Donbass with all the forces it has in the hope that the West will put pressure on Moscow and force it to abandon support for the militia of the DPR and LPR. But no one in the Ukrainian leadership even has the ephemeral hope that this step will lead to success. [end]