Road to nowhere
In general, "look at yourself" can and should be. But be sure to compare yourself with others. Without such comparisons, “looking at oneself” simply does not make sense: categories like “good”, “bad”, “progressive”, “backward”, etc. can be attributed to the object only when comparing it with other objects of the same type, and to the “things in themselves” these categories are obviously inapplicable. Moreover, it is necessary to compare both with positive examples and negative examples. Among the latter, the main example is Ukraine, which is a negative example of almost everything. In the new and newest stories humanity simply does not have analogues of such a comprehensive deepest failure, which was demonstrated by an independent Ukraine. Given its ethnic and mental proximity to Russia, this example actually deserves much more attention than it is given to us now. Only, of course, when considering it, it is advisable to filter out propaganda.
One side of this negative example is military construction. At the same time, over the past three years, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU) have undergone almost more changes than in the entire previous 22-year history.
NOT HELP AND "PATRIOTIC RISE"
By the beginning of the civil war, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were completely collapsed by the efforts of all four previous Ukrainian presidents (although Yanukovich was, of course, the only one to blame). A miracle can be considered the fact that she was able to do at least somehow fight. The reasons for this miracle were a significant patriotic upsurge that took place in 2014 year and, most importantly, the fact that the Ukrainian army remained Soviet, that is, capable of fighting in any situation and regardless of how it mocks its own political power. However, in order to win the war, this was no longer enough.
During the three years of the war, the Ukrainian Armed Forces acquired a very significant and very valuable experience of a brutal ground-based contact war with a very strong and serious adversary. This experience, perhaps, can be considered the only truly valuable and useful acquisition of the Ukrainian army. Losses much more. In particular, the very patriotic upsurge almost completely disappeared both from the army and from society as a whole.
Still in the APU is very bad with weapons and equipment. Only the Soviet inheritance saves them. It turned out to be so gigantic that even massive utilization, sales abroad, and now huge losses in the war did not destroy them, although they were reduced by three to four times. However, with what remains, you can fight for a long time. But this resource is nevertheless finite.
Paradoxically, after three years of war in the combat units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, combat-ready equipment is now much more than it was before it began. But in general, the balance of the Armed Forces has, of course, become much less. Firstly, due to very large losses; secondly, surprisingly, due to the continued, albeit on a much smaller scale than before, exports from the presence of the Armed Forces; thirdly, due to the complete dismantling of parts of the machines that were in storage for restoring other machines from storage, as well as for repairing damaged ones in battle. That is, it is very much reduced stocks, they already tend to zero. And almost no compensation to them. It is the restoration of Soviet technology - the only way to replenish military units and even the formation of new ones. To produce equipment from scratch is still formally a very powerful Ukrainian military-industrial complex (MIC) is almost not capable.
MONEY IS JUSTED
Although in the past three years, the military budget of Ukraine has increased significantly compared with the prewar, it has hardly affected the provision of new equipment to the army. Money is either stolen (largely by embezzling the military budget and written), or in the best case for the APU eaten away (by eating away, in particular, is the repair and restoration of Soviet equipment instead of producing new ones). Ukrainian officials almost every day report on the creation of the next sample of equipment, significantly surpassing Russian counterparts, but now it is not even funny.
The most massive example of truly new weapons is the 120-mm mortar "Hammer". It has already been released on the order of 300 units, which is explained by the extreme simplicity of this class. weapons. At the same time, there were already several cases of mine explosions in the Molotov barrels with the destruction of the calculations, up to half of the mortars failed without such dramatic consequences, but without the possibility of recovery.
The production of equipment more complex than a self-explosive mortar turns out to be unbearable for the Ukrainian military-industrial complex. In particular, in the summer of 2014, the Lviv armored plant promised to launch the production of the Dozor-B armored car in the number of 100 units per year. This machine is extremely simple and straightforward. Such really can and should be released hundreds per year. In reality, 10 units were released, which were hardly managed to be pushed into the army (she didn’t want to accept Dozors because of extremely low quality). That's all over with. The plant today has no money, no cars.
The situation with the BTR-4 is quite strange. How many of them entered the troops during the three years of the war is extremely difficult to understand. It is possible that the whole matter was limited to those 42 export machines, which Iraq refused in 2014 in the year due to cracks in the buildings. For their military vehicles, not needed by the Iraqis, they were quite suitable. Whether the Ukrainian military-industrial complex has managed to produce new BTR-4 already specifically for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, it remains unclear. Apparently, if it was possible, then only a few units, although such machines should be produced, if not hundreds, then dozens a year.
Tanks "Oplot" for APU Kharkov plant in 2014 promised 40 in the first year, and then 120 units a year. So far, not a single one has been produced, with a huge lag behind the schedule, the only export contract for these tanks is being implemented (for Thailand).
The Ukrainian military-industrial complex could never produce combat aircraft and helicopters.
The situation with ammunition, which is spent in large quantities, is not very clear. It is not known how many of them were, how much was spent and how much was produced (if produced at all), how much was lost in March of this year during the explosions in Balakliya and how many were illegally sold “on the side” (including in the DPR and the LPR). True, the resource of Eastern Europe can be involved here. Despite all the talk, no deliveries of heavy equipment from the former Warsaw Pact countries, now NATO members, to Ukraine have been recorded. But, objectively speaking, Ukraine does not need it. For the time being, Ukraine has more such equipment and better quality than Eastern European countries. But the delivery of any ammunition from these countries to Ukraine is quite possible, especially since it is completely unrealistic to fix it. True, there are simply no types of ammunition in Eastern Europe (for example, ammunition for Uragan and Smerch multiple launch rocket systems).
HOPE FOR THE WEST CLEARLY
Thus, the Ukrainian army does not have to rely on its military-industrial complex. Deliveries of Soviet equipment from Eastern Europe are possible, but so far there is no sense in them. Moreover, there is no sense in the supply of Western weapons of the 70-80s: it is no better than the Soviet one, while the Ukrainian military needs considerable time to develop it. As for the latest Western weapons, no one will give them to Ukraine (they are too expensive, they are available in very limited quantities in the Western armies themselves), and the entire military budget of the country will be spent on the purchase of only a few samples. After all, most of the Western "precision weapons" that are so dreamed of in Kiev are aviation ammunition. They themselves are very expensive, but, most importantly, they also need airplanes. So they’ll eat the whole Ukrainian military budget, and besides, they need to be mastered for a long time.
Here you can separately say about the Javelin American anti-tank missile systems (ATGM), practically the only example of modern Western weapons that Ukraine could theoretically actually acquire, since the plane was not needed for it, and Ukrainian personnel could quickly master it. Three years ago almost housewives dreamed of “Javelins” in Ukraine (now the question has somewhat lost its former urgency). "Javelin" is also not cheap: about 250 thousand dollars worth of launcher (PU) and about 150 thousand - one anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). Thus, the 100 PU and 1000 ATGM (this is quite a bit for this class of weapon) would cost Kiev about 175 million dollars, which is not very little. But it would seem to make sense if the Javelins' Ukrainian fighters began to massively burn modern Russian tanks (T-72B3 or even T-90), and in these tanks they would massively die Russian contract soldiers and even conscripts. Huge human and material losses, the growing discontent of the population (especially the soldiers' mothers) could force the Kremlin to stop the aggression against Ukraine. Of course, there is no pity for 175 million or even 350 million dollars.
The fact is, however, that the picture described here was created by the Ukrainian agitprop, it has, to put it mildly, a distant relation to reality. In this very reality, the T-64 would have been the victims of the expensive “Javelins”, the practical price of which is zero. And regardless of how this particular T-64 got to the Donbass militias - from the Armed Forces of Ukraine or through the line "Voentorg" from the storage bases in Topchikha and Kozulka. Russia removed the T-64 from service in the 1992 year, and since then it has been slowly utilizing them, but there were so many of them left on the Voentorg. They never planned to return it to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, no one needs it on the world arms market. That is why T-64 doesn’t cost anything in practice, unlike Javelina. And in T-64, not Russian contractors, not to mention conscripts, would have burned, but Donbass militias, among whom at least 80% are citizens of Ukraine (although many of them do not consider themselves to be such). Their death would only increase the hatred of Donbass towards Ukraine and would push more and more people into the ranks of the militia, the only motive of which is revenge. Therefore, it is not obvious that the Javelins would benefit Ukraine, not harm. However, the Americans do not sell them for reasons that are quite pragmatic - because from the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine several such anti-tank systems would very quickly turn out to be in Russia (both by forceful seizure and by direct sale).
As stated at the beginning of the article, the Ukrainian army was able to fight only solely because it remained Soviet. If it went over to NATO standards, which Kiev allegedly seeks, this would mean, in particular, the immediate collapse of the so-called ATO in the Donbass: NATO standards do not allow fighting in the absence of overwhelming quantitative and qualitative superiority over the enemy on the ground and absolute air supremacy. But the worst side of the Soviet army APU inherited completely. For example, the tendency to overwhelm the enemy with the corpses of their own soldiers, complete incompetence of a significant part of the commanding staff, a very high level of drunkenness (regardless of rank and position).
In a very Soviet way, an increase in the number of APU units is taking place: one battalion is pulled out of a relatively combat-ready brigade, several units are added to it, and this is announced by another brigade. In fact, instead of one relatively combat-ready brigade, two completely non-capable teams are obtained, especially since the new brigade has nothing to arm because of the lack of a new technology. But in just this way, over the last three years, new brigades of 22 were created: six mechanized and motorized infantry, two mining-infantry, air assault and airmobile, and then the whole "4 Army Corps" (three tank, five mechanized, one mining , one artillery brigade), which is designed, despite the almost complete lack of equipment, to protect the border with the Crimea from the constantly advancing, but in no way happening “Russian aggression”.
In this regard, it should be noted that the balance of forces between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and their only now potential adversary, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, has changed greatly in three years. But not at all in favor of Ukraine, although Kiev propaganda loves telling about how much the country's combat capability has substantially strengthened and how it will not greet the “Russian aggressors” now, when they will invade the Independent Square.
No matter how much Kiev propaganda tells about “Russian aggression”, in 2014 from the Russian side the border with Ukraine was “wide open”, and Russia was completely unprepared for a direct military confrontation with Ukraine. Parts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine could easily reach almost to Moscow, without encountering parts of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on their way, they simply did not exist in this region. Similarly, Rostov-on-Don was not protected from the north, where, by the way, the headquarters of the Southern Military District is located. Fortunately, then Ukraine was not able to do that, but now the situation has changed.
On the border with Ukraine, the 20 Army, with its headquarters in Voronezh, was urgently formed (more precisely, restored). The parts and formations that entered into it were either redeployed from the eastern part of the Central Military District and the western part of the Central Military District, or deployed from weapons and equipment storage bases, or formed on site. Moreover, the process of formation of new compounds is not yet completed. In the Rostov region no less urgently formed 8-I army with headquarters in Novocherkassk.
Of course, the potential of units and formations of the Ground Forces and the Air and Space Forces of the Russian Federation, deployed along the Ukrainian border, is formally significantly inferior to the potential of the Ukrainian army. In fact, almost all combat-ready Ukrainian units are at the front in the Donbas. The capacities of the 8 and 20 armies, the 105 air division (also with headquarters in Voronezh) and the aviation units of the Southern Military District are enough to hold off any adventures of the Kiev authorities at the first stage if they really want to run into the war with Russia . After that, the remaining parts of the Western Military District, as well as the South Military District and the Central Military District will solve the problem radically and finally. Moreover, the overall balance of power between Russia and Ukraine has changed a lot: while Ukraine reanimated Soviet scrap metal, and then lost much of it in the Donbas, Russia produced and transferred to the troops completely new equipment, which the Ukrainian military did not even dream of.
Therefore, the statements that when trying to break through the land corridor to the Crimea, the Russian army will lose half a million people (Yevgeny Marchuk, a representative of Ukraine in the tripartite contact group in Minsk, said a year ago) was not even propaganda, but frank nonsense. However, Russia will not break through the corridor and will not commit any aggression, even if the “world community” starts to beg for it - simply because of the unwillingness and inability to feed the ravaged and impoverished country with an extremely embittered and sometimes not quite adequate population. That is, in fact, it is not difficult for Russia to capture even the whole of Ukraine by military means, but in economic terms it is absolutely impossible to contain at least a small part of it. The Kremlin understands this more than well. In general, in the Ukrainian media, the discussion of scenarios of future Russian aggression against their country is no less popular than in the Russian media — a discussion of scenarios of NATO aggression against us. Realism of both the first and second scenarios is the same - purely zero.
KIEV PROVOCATIONAL DREAMS
But for Kiev to provoke Russia into a direct war is a great option, allowing you to instantly solve all domestic and foreign policy problems, the number and complexity of which is rapidly increasing. However, three circumstances restrain Poroshenko and Co. from open provocation. The first is the fear of losing not to Russia, which will remain on the sidelines, but to the militia, which the Ukrainian president can no longer forgive (in the first place, his associates). The second is an even stronger fear that if Russia can be provoked, it will get angry seriously. And then Peter Alekseevich will have a good chance of not having time to run as far as Borispol. Third, the West will not understand, especially Europe, for which the very fact of war in this part of the world is completely unacceptable.
The situation seems to be a dead end for Kiev, but in reality it is not at all. The oligarchic group in power, having carried out a coup three years ago, did not plan either for the loss of the Crimea or the war in the Donbas, but both of these became a real gift of fate for her. In political terms, this allowed the ruling oligarchs to acquire the title of “victim of Russian aggression” higher in terms of the West. The main thing is that the war has become a great business. In addition to the aforementioned business, on a failed defense order, a business is being done on selling equipment and uniforms for soldiers and officers, on trade with the DPR / LPR through the front line, including weapons and military equipment (a considerable part of the militia’s equipment was not captured, but simply bought from the Armed Forces of Ukraine) . This business covers the highest state power, the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the military industrial complex, a significant part of the officers and even the rank and file at the front, the volunteer movement. Nobody wants to give up business, especially in conditions of a catastrophic economic situation in the country. Finally, thanks to the war, the Ukrainian oligarchic-anarchist democracy turned into a military-oligarchic dictatorship.
In this regard, the regular forecasts that Ukraine will repeat the Croatian operation “Storm” (in 1995, just a few days, the Croats eliminated Serbian Krajina, and Serbia did not come to the rescue) are completely frivolous. Not because Ukraine is far from Croatia, and Russia is not at all Serbia, but because the Kiev authorities absolutely do not need it. If the war ends, to this power in just a couple of months there will be serious questions from both its own citizens and the West. Since the only goal of the current government is the complete and final plundering of Ukraine, it does not need victory in the war at all, we need its eternal and endless continuation. Therefore, the number of “Molotov”, “Patrols” and “Strongholds”, as well as the lost T-64, BMP-2 and BTR-80, does not matter. And even more so - the number of citizens killed in the endless war of the country, "made the European choice." In Ukraine, there is simply no subject of state, and consequently, no military construction, this is what makes the discussion of the prospects for the Ukrainian Armed Forces a rather pointless exercise. The reasons for all this - in a not very long history.
The Ukrainian idea, especially the idea of Ukrainian statehood, is of a frankly artificial nature, and the only purpose of this idea is to strike at all Russian and Russian. For example, this was written by the wonderful Ukrainian writer and historian Oles Buzin, who was killed by the Ukrainian Nazis for it in April 2015 in broad daylight in the center of Kiev (the murderers were not only not convicted, but released to freedom and, in fact, declared national heroes) .
Until 1917, this idea was mainly imposed from outside (primarily from Germany and Austria-Hungary) for geopolitical purposes - in order to maximally weaken the Russian empire. But she was given real life by the Soviet Communists. It was they who painted the Ukrainian SSR in completely artificial borders, including purely Russian regions. It was they who all 20-th and the first half of the 30-s of the twentieth century, pursued there a policy of violent Ukrainization. There has never been anything like this in any of the Soviet republics. And one of the main conductors of this policy was Stalin. This was all done with the same goal - the suppression of everything Russian and Russian (including because it prevented the building of communism).
And after the Great Patriotic War, all of those convicted under the 58 article were Bandera most quickly released, and they were best at large with the connivance (at least) of the party and Soviet organs of the Ukrainian SSR. All this led to a well-known result. It is quite natural that, until now, almost exclusively former party, Komsomol and Soviet workers are in power in Ukraine - they were striving for this result, only they were ready for it.
In fact, the Ukrainian idea has become a kind of "virus" programmed to destroy Russia. And the virus worked: it was the Ukrainian referendum on independence 1 of December 1991 that made the further existence of the USSR impossible, the so-called Belovezhskaya conspiracy only legally issued this fact. But the virus failed to reprogrammed and did not turn into a normal organism. He began to simply destroy further - now himself. What we are seeing today.
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