How we miss the victories. We even forgot how to read from the desire to win. After the head of the musicians announced the establishment of control over Soledar, I read hundreds of messages about the victory. We took!.. We defeated!.. We won!..
How I would like it to be that way. But, alas, Yevgeny Prigozhin said exactly what he said. PMC Wagner established control over Soledar. They expelled part of the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and occupied strongholds. But a fairly large part of the VSUk remaining in the city went into the dungeons, into the mines. And there is nothing less than about 200 km of these same dungeons.
And picking out these fanatics will not be any easier than it was in Mariupol. If in Mariupol the core of the enemy units were the fascists from Azov, then in Soledar this core is precisely the fanatics and mercenaries. The remains of just those elite units and formations that were driven from other sectors of the front to plug holes.
If you fight on the map, then everything looks quite beautiful. Opportunities open up there, we can reach such and such a settlement (points). It seems that there is a possibility of real fulfillment of the task set by the Commander-in-Chief to liberate the entire territory of the DPR ...
Indeed, we have cracked a fairly serious line of defense. Indeed, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have lost the strategic initiative. Indeed, we can return the positions left in the fall. We can, we can, we can... I think it's worth reflecting on what lies ahead.
A blow to the ideology and morale of Ukrainian society
Today, the main result of taking control of Soledar is, first of all, a blow to the moral and psychological state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Ukrainian society as a whole. Moreover, this is a blow to the picture of war that has been created in Western society.
A picture where the valiant Armed Forces of Ukraine are smashing the Russian units, where Russia is on the verge of an internal conflict, and possibly an imminent collapse, where the Russian "Ivans" stand in positions armed with spears against excellent Western weapons.
Kyiv, Brussels and Washington understand this very well. Those 25 thousand dead, which Rodion Miroshnik announced on Russian TV, were thrown into a meat grinder for a reason. These are precisely “ideological sacrifices”. Those thanks to whom Zelensky supported the legend, which held a lot. And these are not the last losses of Ukraine in this area.
I enjoyed watching Western countries suddenly stop playing democracy. How long did the same Poles and Germans discuss the issue of supplying Leopards to Kyiv? We will deliver, we won't deliver... And what happened shortly after Prigozhin's announcement?
There was a shout from Washington: “Stop talking and start deliveries! Sit and talk and that's enough." Moreover, images of weapons that are already in Ukraine appeared in various Telegram channels, but the decision on the supply was made only a day before.
That is, the West is working according to the same scheme that the Americans have been working all this time. At the beginning they deliver, and then they announce the deliveries. We have already discussed this scheme on the pages of VO. This is just confirmation.
Many have already noticed how the tone of statements by Zelensky and other talking heads from Kyiv has changed. More recently, Soledar and Artemovsk were compared with Mariupol and even with Kyiv, and suddenly “these cities, from a tactical and strategic point of view, are not so important for the defense of Ukraine". It turns out that those who died in Soledar were engaged in "disposal of the Russian army».
Even more revealing are some of Kyiv's actions. There are almost no reports in the press about those units that were redeployed due to huge losses of personnel. The reason for the lack of interest in this topic is quite simple.
The remnants of the battered brigades are being redeployed to the north, to the border with Belarus. And fresh units, respectively, are moving to the Donbass. Thus, Kyiv is trying to minimize the dissemination of truthful information about the state of affairs in the area of Artemovsk and Soledar.
The musicians did their best, now it's up to the army units
The fact that the musicians have done the impossible is a fact. Capturing Ukrainian oporniki at night is worth a lot. I will not discuss this topic. Heroes, that says it all. By the way, I cannot advise the Wagner command, but I will express one thought, which, I am sure, arises in many.
Contracts with fighters are an internal matter of the company. We cannot and should not venture into this sphere. But there is one more nuance that we can and should voice. It concerns the personal freedom of musicians, those very convictions that hang until the end of the contract, regardless of how the fighter fights. Isn't it time to remember the experience of the Great Patriotic War?
The fighter is fighting heroically - amnesty for the hero. He concludes a contract with PMCs - and nothing changes here. But the fact that he is already fighting as a free man is quite important. Not amnesty for a disabled person who has not received a serious wound, as far as I know, this is being done, but for a hero. Agree, we will give you a medal for courage, but wait with a criminal record - it somehow sounds inhumane.
But back to Soledar. Control over the city does not mean at all that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will so easily put up with its loss. There have already been counteroffensive attempts and there will be more. Yes, we repulsed this attack. Yes, the Ukrainians lost up to 200 people and retreated. So, what is next? And then quite a logical ring. Encirclement and destruction.
The specificity of this ring is that it must be not only internal, but also external. Breakthrough attempts will come from both sides. Musicians can't do it on their own. Yes, it's none of their business. This is the business of the infantry. But those units that are today in this area, in my opinion, are few. It is necessary to replenish the line of contact with fresh units. It's on the outer ring.
The work of clearing the dungeons of Soledar must be given to those who have experience in the destruction of such groups and units in Mariupol. First of all, the divisions of the Russian Guard. More precisely, the Kadyrovites. I do not think that the special forces have forgotten the skills of fighting in a confined space. Musicians are needed in Artemovsk.
We took into account the lesson of Mariupol, so we will act much tougher. There will be no more agreements. In short, the algorithm of actions of the Russian army will be approximately the same as that of the musicians. An offer to surrender and, if not accepted, destruction. Moreover, this algorithm will work on both sides of the ring. Both externally and internally.
Generally speaking, the result of the establishment of control, and later the liberation of Soledar, would be the destruction of the defense system along the Seversky Donets-Toretsk line. The defense system that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have created includes oporniks, which, according to the idea of the Ukrainian military, should become centers of defense, on which the Russians should “break their teeth”. Soledar, Seversk, Artemovsk, Konstantinovka, Druzhkovka, Kramatorsk, Slavyansk…
Prospects for the development of events
What will we get after the final liberation of Soledar? With the tactics used by the Russian Armed Forces today, the issue of cleaning Soledar is a fairly quickly solved problem. But even the establishment of control over this town makes it possible to actually deprive the Artemovsk garrison of the supply of reinforcements, ammunition and food.
I think that the issue of surrendering Artemovsk has already been resolved. In just a few days, we will occupy this city as well. Although it will not be easier to do this than to take Mariupol or Soledar. Mercenaries and regular units of the Polish army are by no means eager to be captured.
And those Ukrainians who are now fighting in Artemovsk are by no means whipping boys. For some reason, many bloggers in our country believe that the majority of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are those who were caught and forcibly sent to fight. Yes, there are many of them, but look at the prisoners, whose harvest is quite plentiful today.
The vast majority are just “mobiles”, almost immediately throwing weapon and raising their hands up. The overwhelming majority of those who continue to resist are seasoned fighters who have been fighting for more than one day. Behind which there are a lot of things, including military crimes.
And the fact that the prosecutor's office of the republics very scrupulously deals with every shelling, every crime of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, they are well aware. Alas, the well-known principle “war will write everything off” does not work in Donbass. The names, places of service and even often the places of residence of those who commit crimes are known.
The next city to fall soon, perhaps even in parallel with Artemovsk, will be Seversk. The Armed Forces of Ukraine will not be able to hold this city for a long time. Approximately for the same reasons that Artemovsk will be surrendered. And there they will begin to grind military units and subdivisions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine quickly enough.
The frontier for which we will have to fight seriously is the defensive midfielders in Kramatorsk and Slavyansk. Unfortunately, the liberation of the territories of the republics will be accompanied by huge destruction of cities and towns. This is a completely conscious policy pursued by Kyiv. Something from the series "so don't get you to anyone."
What's important for today
It is too early to talk about any results. The fact that the defense system has been broken is a fact. The fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine is demoralized, too. Even the fact that Kyiv needs not only weapons and equipment, but also "volunteers" to continue the war is also a fact. It is also a fact that the US and Europe are not yet ready to stop the war. They need a war in Ukraine.
The West, unlike us, acts quickly. And it doesn't work the way we do. Make a decision about the supply of something after the fact. And already today we see a lot of what should be delivered "tomorrow". This means that no one removes the task of destroying logistical routes. I think that in parallel with the liberation of the territory of the republics, we will destroy the infrastructure of Ukraine.
And there will be victories. We won in Mariupol - we will win in Soledar, and further down the list.