Military Review

Aggravation of the situation in Donbass: a bluff of Zelensky's team or an approaching full-scale conflict


Photo: Maxim Tucker (Courtesy Photo)

The aggravation of the domestic political situation in Ukraine since the beginning of the year and the intensification of provocations in Donbass indicate that Zelensky is losing ground and is looking for ways to stay in power. From the game of democracy and the "president of the world", he goes on to authoritarian methods of government, having certainly received the approval and go-ahead from Washington and Brussels.

Zelensky's team problems

After two years of reign, Zelensky's team is changing tactics and from focusing on supporting the majority of the population striving for peace and tranquility, reorienting to an active and aggressive neo-Nazi minority that sets the tone and discourse in domestic and foreign policy.

These actions are associated with many factors - the catastrophic drop since the beginning of the year in the rating of the president and his political force and the transition of his electorate to the Medvedchuk camp, the most difficult socio-economic situation in the country, caused by pressure from the IMF and the growth of tariffs for housing and communal services and prices for basic necessities, the struggle for the influence and "food base" between the oligarchy and the elites, the activity of neo-Nazi groups and the still passive position of the Biden administration in relation to Ukraine and the uncertainty on whom it will stake.

Zelensky's attempts to squeeze out the conditionally pro-Russian forces from the political field, leaving the population with the right to choose only between radical and moderate nationalists, receive the approval of the nationalist circles of the West, but embitter the population and lead to a further decline in the authority and legitimacy of the authorities.

In addition, the president's team undertook a number of political initiatives to complicate the situation in Donbass and discredit its residents, starting a discussion in parliament of provocative bills on collaborators, a special transition period for Donbass, depriving its residents of many civil rights and, in case of reintegration, internment of certain categories of citizens. supporting the republics.

Looming Wagnerian scandal

Zelensky's position is further complicated by the impending international scandal related to the release in mid-March of a Bellingcat film about the failure of the Ukrainian intelligence services, the CIA and Mi-6 to detain 32 Wagnerites in Belarus and extradite them to Ukraine, which could seriously undermine the legitimacy of the president and his commands. Zelensky has something to fear, Bellingcat is connected with the British intelligence Mi-6 and is used to leak all kinds of compromising evidence and fabricated information.

The presidential office, through representatives of Mi-6, tried to prevent the release of the film, but the British side refused to comply with this request, citing freedom of speech. The head of the office of President Yermak, who objected to its implementation, is accused of disrupting the operation. Zelensky, who supported him, ordered to postpone the operation for several days, which led to its failure. Bellingcat has already announced the presentation of the film, its main message is that the Ukrainian leadership is cowards or traitors. With this film, the West is trying to put pressure on Zelensky to become more compliant in fulfilling his demands.

Zelensky's team is preparing to confront the impending scandal and through its "flush cistern" in the person of Gordon has already announced that on March 15 a meeting of the NSDC will take place, at which it will be announced

“Very important and very difficult information for Ukraine, this will become a borderline after which the Ukrainian society will split and that information will become historical for Ukraine."

Attempts to evade the implementation of the Minsk agreements

Against this background, the activity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine sharply intensified on the line of contact with the entry into the "gray zone", constant shelling of the territory of the republics and the demonstrative transfer of heavy weapons to the conflict zone and tanks.

In support of their actions, Zelensky's team is doing everything possible to discredit the Minsk agreements, declaring their deadlock and impossibility of implementation, while taking steps in several directions - it offers its alternative peace plan for Donbass, instead of Minsk, it is trying to form a new negotiating platform with the participation of the United States and Great Britain and is pushing the international platform "Crimean Platform" with an attempt to unite the Crimean and Donbass "cases".

Kiev is vigorously promoting a new peace plan with a roadmap for the reintegration of Donbass "Key clusters for the implementation of the Minsk agreements" fours, while Berlin, Paris and Moscow do not say anything about the existence of such a plan. Apparently, we are talking about the version of the so-called "plan B" of Kravchuk with the "de-occupation" of Donbass, subjecting the Minsk agreements to revision and emasculating the political component of them.

In early March, the head of the presidential administration, Yermak, said that

“Today on the table is a specific peace plan proposed by Germany and France, finalized by Ukraine, which, we believe, corresponds to the spirit of Minsk, meets the norms of international law <...> and we are looking forward to the same position from the Russian Federation. "

He stressed that this issue will be discussed in a few weeks at a meeting of advisers of the countries of the leaders of the Normandy Four. From the side of Kiev, this looks like the presentation of an ultimatum to Russia, to which, in their opinion, it must agree under pressure from the West. Such belligerent and self-confident plans with the expectation of the help of the West are Kiev's biggest illusion; it is very risky and dangerous to talk to Moscow in such a tone.

The West is also taking steps to aggravate, Russia is threatened with more sanctions for violating human rights in Crimea and "non-compliance" with the Minsk agreements. To this end, we have prepared an informal discussion on the topic of Crimea on the UN platform on March 12 with the participation of the civil society, and Russia, in response, convenes an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on Crimea on March 17.

Russia's actions in the Ukrainian direction

Russia and the LDNR also do not remain in debt, emphasizing that about 300 thousand Russian citizens now live in the republics and they will not be left without protection. The leaderships of the republics are more and more insistently and radically declaring the creation of a "new Russian state", and this is happening in parallel with the holding, probably not without the approval of the Kremlin, of the Russian public in Donetsk the conference "Russian Donbass". Putin's warning that Russia will not abandon the Donbass, as well as the statement of Sherin, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, is also quite symptomatic:

“We need to warn the Kiev side that we will react promptly and harshly if any attempts are made to disregard the Minsk agreements, to disrupt the ceasefire system.”

He stressed that in the event of an attempt by the Ukrainian troops to attack and capture the DPR and LPR, Russia will act "promptly and proactively».

All this suggests that many internal and external factors are now intertwined in Donbass, and the situation can develop in a completely unpredictable way.

The demonstrative actions of the Zelensky team about their readiness to aggravate the armed conflict in Donbass are still most likely a bluff associated with an attempt to arrange serious armed provocations with artillery and rocket attacks on Donbass and Crimea. This can be done with the aim of consolidating and diverting society from internal political problems and playing along with the Biden administration in its desire to unfreeze the conflict in Donbass and resume the war at the end of the summer before the elections to the State Duma, moving on to harsh sanctions and an attempt to provoke mass protests and a coup d'etat to overthrow the "regime Putin ".

The likelihood of a bluff is also indicated by the fact that heavy weapons are being too demonstratively thrown into the conflict zone; when preparing an offensive, this is done covertly and unexpectedly for the enemy. In addition, Russia is taking measures to counter-battery suppression of the enemy, pulling the necessary equipment to the western Crimea, probably the same measures are being taken in the Donbas.

The likelihood that there will be a full-scale offensive in Donbass is very small, although there are enough hot and brainless heads in Ukraine to take this insane and suicidal step. At the same time, Kiev cannot but understand that such actions will not remain unpunished by Russia, immediate retaliation will follow, and "ukram" will have to recall Saakashvili's sad experience with the 08.08.08 operation, heavy losses and "boilers" without any military successes are guaranteed and can lead to the finish of the statehood of Ukraine, as it has been warned about this more than once.
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  1. Pessimist22
    Pessimist22 15 March 2021 04: 56
    I also think it's a bluff. How is the economic situation with the non-brothers? Does the IMF not give pennies?
    1. iouris
      iouris 15 March 2021 09: 25
      Quote: Pessimist22
      I think too

      It's too late to think. The giraffe is big - he knows better.
    2. Achilles
      Achilles 15 March 2021 10: 15
      Quote: Pessimist22
      I also think it's a bluff. How is the economic situation with the non-brothers? Does the IMF not give pennies?

      I think the hostilities in Donbass are only a matter of time.
      After the meeting between the head of the delegation of the joint command of the NATO ground forces Roger Cloutier and the commander of the ground forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Alexander Sirsky, the questions of the possible military aggression of Ukraine disappeared even from zealous skeptics. The parties discussed a number of issues on the development of military cooperation between the commands of the ground forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO, and Mr. Cloutier openly mentioned the training in the Armed Forces system of nineteen thousand fighters who are ready to fight in the city, and it is not difficult to imagine which one.

      Obviously, the forces of Donbas are inferior to the Armed Forces of Ukraine both in number and in technical weapons. If you make a detailed analysis of the experience of local wars, namely the Second Lebanese War in 2006. I consider it impossible to ignore the world experience of the struggle of a high-tech adversary with forces inferior both in numbers and in technical terms, and in my assessments, I proceed solely from expert activity, and not from political predilections or sympathies for any of the parties.

      At one time, I became interested in the armed clash between Israel and Hezbollah. What lessons would be useful for LDNR to learn from the 34-day (12 July 2006 - 14 August 2006) armed conflict?

      1. Requires very serious engineering and defensive structures. At Hezbollah in the Israeli-Lebanese border, a whole network of fortified areas was created, interconnected at a depth of 15-20 meters. These were high-class engineering structures that allowed to move underground, including transferring weapons, ammunition and personnel on vehicles, which made it possible to avoid defeats and losses during air strikes. (There are currently no high-class engineering structures in the LPNR)

      I would like to note that the balance of forces is similar to that of Donbass, approximately 1 in 5-7 thousand armed formations of the Hezbollah units, the Amal Shiite movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

      2. The Hezbollah was armed with various artillery systems and MLRS, in particular, the BM-21 Grad, as well as Iranian, Chinese and other systems.

      3. Active activity of sabotage and reconnaissance groups (DRG). Up to 30 DRGs were created, operating, including in the rear of the Israeli army, striking armored vehicles. The Afghan insurgents acted in a similar pattern - a strike on the first and last tank, and then a strike on the columns. According to Russian specialists, 400 of the 50 tanks were destroyed.

      The command and control system of the Hezbollah, Amal and PFLP military units was DECENTRALIZED, which made it possible to minimize losses from air and artillery strikes.

      The defense for the Lebanese city of Bint Jubail deserves special attention. From the first days of the war, the Israeli command claimed control over the city. The city was defended by 150 Hezbollah fighters, operated in small groups, and were armed with anti-tank weapons and small arms. They maneuvered all over the city, striking in completely unexpected places! Until the end of the war, the city was never taken under control. Israeli officers paid tribute to the preparation of Hezbollah for the war and, in particular, noted the high efficiency of fighting in urban settings.
      The active use of anti-tank weapons against the Israeli infantry deserves special attention. Hezbollah and its allies launched anti-tank attacks on the structures while Israeli infantry was stationed, resulting in high casualties. According to official figures, the death toll has reached 121.
      Similar tactics were used against the Golani brigade in the battle for Bint Jubail. Anti-tank weapons, such as the Soviet Metis and RPG-29, were actively used.

      Under no circumstances should one engage in "shapkozakidatelstvom", the LPNR is one step away from war, and it is necessary to REALLY look at things, prepare and learn different lessons, different wars.
      1. Romario_Argo
        Romario_Argo 15 March 2021 11: 37
        LDNR is one step away from war, and it is necessary to look at things REALLY

        2 brigades of Iskander-M / K detachment have already been deployed: Novocherkassk, Kursk - 48 KR, 24 TR = 72 missiles per salvo, 144 per hour
        AB Morozovsk and Baltimore: 60 Su-34s with 4 CR Thunder = 240 targets, at a distance of 65 km.
        (equivalent 1,5 times higher than OFAB-500)
        + 36 Ka-52 (only 12 stop a tank division with 240 tanks)
        + 60 self-propelled guns Msta 152-mm with topographic location and control unit up to 12 rounds per minute
        10 minutes of fire per hour 7200 shells with CEP 0,3 meters
        UAV Orion, Outpost, S-70, etc. - KABs, ATGMs
        Electronic warfare / REP - there will be no communication at all in the Armed Forces of Ukraine
        MLRS Smerch, Hurricane 8th Army - remote mining of wastes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

        - this is still at a minimum
        1. Vladimir Mashkov
          Vladimir Mashkov 15 March 2021 17: 46
          I do not agree with the opinion of Yuri Mikhailovich that what is emerging in / in the Donbass is a bluff: there is too much evidence that there will be an invasion attempt. And the opinion of many well-known experts is FOR something yes ...

          Of course, this will NOT be (as planned by the Americans) neither a full-scale nor a long-term war. Moreover, against Russia. laughing It should be powerful, concise operation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to "release a part its territory seized by the separatists "with an abrupt halt and shouts-screams of the entire democratic West about Russian aggression, demands for Russia to stop.

          Have you heard of Operation Oluya (Tempest)? Here ukrostrategi (American too) have been dreaming about it for seven years and all this time they have been preparing. Now, as Joker says, the Americans considered the Great Breeds ready and ordered an invasion and takeover. Only the start day is unknown. Today "Rambler" wrote that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are fully prepared ...

          Will it work?
          1. Romario_Argo
            Romario_Argo 15 March 2021 17: 52
            It should be a powerful, brief APU operation

            On March 13, the Armed Forces of Ukraine already flew in according to the position of the artillery battery, they say it is not known what
            and we know that the Thunder missile and bomb complex has worked
            so they have quieted down, the war has not yet begun and the losses are no longer acceptable
            1. Andrei Nikolaevich
              Andrei Nikolaevich 18 March 2021 13: 51
              I wonder if the LDNR will still push its boundaries, what will the "gay-European" media say? Yes, and Mariupol would not have prevented the DPR. Still, access to the sea ..
              1. Romario_Argo
                Romario_Argo 19 March 2021 12: 40
                Yes, and Mariupol would not interfere with the DPR

                there is a problem due to the presence of only 6 battalions in this direction
                and it takes at least 8-9 to cover the approaches to Mariupol from the server
    3. Vend
      Vend 15 March 2021 10: 49
      Quote: Pessimist22
      I also think it's a bluff. How is the economic situation with the non-brothers? Does the IMF not give pennies?

      Or maybe not a bluff, the United States is already tired of Ukraine, but cannot give up, but a full-scale military conflict will lead to the offensive and victory of the LDNR. Thus, through blood and sacrifice, the partition and elimination of Ukraine will take place. And the United States will, as it were, on the sidelines, "and we are nothing, Ukraine itself has lost the war." Well, and then Western emissaries will try to tame or replace the leadership of the LPNR.
      1. Romario_Argo
        Romario_Argo 15 March 2021 17: 54
        panic at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. The United States gave the go-ahead for the APU to attack. And Europe will not associate this with Moscow. The European Union washed the United States away. Ukraine again got into trouble (404)
  2. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 15 March 2021 05: 16
    very important and very difficult information for Ukraine, this will become a borderline, after which the Ukrainian society will split
    Declaring war on Russia (as some predicted) is a bit tricky. Maybe familiar to us - I'm tired, I'm leaving ...? Well, this will not split the Ukrainian society. We are waiting.
    1. Uncle lee
      Uncle lee 15 March 2021 05: 28
      Russia will act "promptly and proactively."
      And when I wrote about the "preemptive strike", then, apparently, the non-brothers, they showered me with minuses ... In impotent rage, I suppose. smile
      1. Uncle lee
        Uncle lee 15 March 2021 10: 50
        Quote: Uncle Lee
        "Promptly and proactively»

        The eternal Sumerian question arises: What about me? laughing
      2. geniy
        geniy 20 March 2021 00: 06
        For example, I put a minus for you, although I am entirely for Donbass. I'm just sure that Russia will not fight this time either because Novorossia will fight off its own forces, and maybe it will also be able to expand its borders.
        1. Uncle lee
          Uncle lee 20 March 2021 01: 31
          Comrad hi I understand your position.
    2. 210ox
      210ox 15 March 2021 12: 42
      And it will be the following: "As a result of the heroic actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ukrainian leadership, Moscow's plans to seize Ukraine were thwarted." This is a quote from an expected performance by Zelipuha the other day. Although Moscow again did not come to the war. And so on ad infinitum.
      1. geniy
        geniy 20 March 2021 00: 09
        But let's see if they will succeed in thwarting "Moscow's plans." Personally, I hope that if the leaders of Novorossiya again do not have enough peacekeeping itch, then the militia troops can reach the original borders of the Donbass and Luhansk regions. And then it would be good to continue the creeping civil war and slowly move towards Kiev and Odessa.
        1. 210ox
          210ox 20 March 2021 09: 17
          They will not even be able to maintain a long-term defense on their own. Not like liberating territory. The time has gone.
          1. geniy
            geniy 20 March 2021 09: 29
            Please justify your opinion. Have you ever been there? No, I do not measure myself in different parts, because I myself have not been there. BUT it is very important for me to know the opinions of other people and yours. The fact is that I am thinking over the optimal tactics for the LDNR army. And I think that the leaders of these regions do not give their troops freedom of action and interfere with the effective use of military equipment.
            But if you create the right defense system, then you can contain ten times more enemy. Suffice it to recall how the Germans defended the Sinyavinsky heights with the forces of one division against an entire army. And so I am working out the tactics and strategy of how the LDNR army can withstand the first blow, and then go over to the counter-offensive and at least reach the initial borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and then continue the long sluggish civil war and reach Odessa and Kiev.
            1. 210ox
              210ox 20 March 2021 14: 21
              Well, I was there. In 2015, together with the Rostov RECs, they helped to restore the energy sector. Then why can't they? The balance of forces and means is not in favor of the AK LDNR. No matter how it was, the APU has recently significantly strengthened with and they can resist, to a certain extent and time, even our army. And I do not think that there will be such an aggravation that everyone will rush into the attack. From the side of Kiev they are now bluffing, from the side of Moscow there is a political game (and she, as you know, is a dirty girl). After a while, everyone will remain in their own interests.
              1. geniy
                geniy 20 March 2021 14: 54
                Thank you for your opinion
                210okv (dmitry) Today, 14:21

                As for the entry of Russia into hostilities, I am sure that this will never happen. Firstly, because the militias seated in the fortifications will still withstand the blow, because the defending side is able to withstand the multiple superiority of the enemy's forces. And secondly, if Russia joins, then the whole world will simply start an orgy of accusations of Russia of aggression.
                As for the advantage in the forces of the Ukrainian army, I will remind you that in 1917, the Russian imperial army, which was very efficient on paper, politically completely disintegrated and fled from the front line. I propose to arrange about the same with the current Ukrainian army.
  3. nikvic46
    nikvic46 15 March 2021 06: 20
    Even if the operation fails, Russia will remain guilty in any case. Western media are already sharpening their feathers.
    1. Uncle lee
      Uncle lee 15 March 2021 09: 18
      Quote: nikvic46
      Russia will remain to blame anyway

      This is what the Western puppeteers are planning ... It remains to give Ze the command "Fas"! Repetition 08.08.08 ....
  4. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 15 March 2021 08: 12
    I will wait for the release of the named film. But, I think, this will not fundamentally change anything.
    But with Medvedchuk, the author had some fun. Apparently, Yuri Apukhtn is in some kind of information isolation. For then I would have known that even the regionals hate this subject in Ukraine! So the electorate, well, does not go over to V. Medvedchuk!
    1. Kronos
      Kronos 15 March 2021 09: 55
      Well, he managed to build up his rating quite well before the bans.
    2. Kisa
      Kisa 15 March 2021 17: 14
      Illarionov sounded an interesting conspiracy - Medvedchuk is being poured into the Kremlin by a group of generals. not everything Vova decides.
      it is not logical for me why Belinkat is going to drain Zelya - they will not find a more agreeable person in Washington
      1. 210ox
        210ox 15 March 2021 20: 39
        Illarionov listen, do not respect yourself. The pipe is out of the ordinary.
  5. tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 15 March 2021 09: 20
    For the Luhansk Madonna, they all burn in Hell.
  6. Andrei Nikolaevich
    Andrei Nikolaevich 18 March 2021 13: 46
    Did anyone really believe that Ukraine would fulfill the Minsk agreements? The point was to release the army coming out of the cauldrons? Would they grind them there and only then, could you set your own conditions for the separation of the parties? Fantastic Kremlin ...
    1. geniy
      geniy 20 March 2021 00: 11
      I completely and completely agree with you ...
  7. ifdru74
    ifdru74 18 March 2021 17: 22
    There will be a military operation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. But its goal is not the one declared (victorious Ukrainization of the LPNR), but quite different - to hang ukrov on the balance of the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian Armed Forces start and lose brilliantly, after which the entire government is heading into exile quickly, until it is caught, and the Russian Federation has to send troops, because the cheerful Hungarians, Slovaks and other Poles are already at a low start. Introduce in spite of the fact that the population of a great power will be "not for" the accession so much that no referendum will be organized.
    However, another option is also possible. War by proxy, when imported "ichtamnets" will fight instead of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In this case, the victory of the "Armed Forces" over the bloody Terran ™, frustration and disintegration in the Russian Federation with the subsequent arrival of "civilizers" from all directions is possible. The Japanese are already prepared. Information noise, however, does not reveal the specific plans of the enemy. There are preparations on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, but they are probably secondary, since this is the deployment of forces and means exclusively against the Russian Federation. So far there is no 100% readiness to strike to the east, but the tendencies of such preparation are undeniable.
    However, a disarming strike from a southern direction from the airspace of a neighboring state is possible. And then everything will be even less unambiguous.
    So we are closely monitoring the concentration of NATO and not only military clique at the borders and think about what exactly and in what conditions can be useful.
    1. Andrei Nikolaevich
      Andrei Nikolaevich 18 March 2021 19: 25
      because the cheerful Hungarians, Slovaks and other Poles are already at a low start.
      Sorry, Alexey, but what's wrong with that? Very well, if the Lviv region and Transcarpathia, in the presence of any servicemen, without insignia, will hold a referendum on secession from Ukraine and on joining Poland and Hungary. Sincerely, I will be happy for these people. ) But this does not mean that the rest of Ukriya will be taken automatically by someone else.