Will Minsk-2 Checkmate the Warmongers?

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Porky tries to pump up the next batch of cannon fodder

02-21-15_A_051

“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” – George Orwell

… by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor    … with New Eastern Outlook,  Moscow

 

The more killing and destruction...the harder to make the peace
The more killing and destruction…the harder to make the peace

The rolling thunder of Kiev’s artillery attacks has grown more distant each day since the Debaltsevo pocket was “neutralized”. The cauldron that never was might go down as the last nail in the current Kiev government’s coffin.

This defeat followed closely behind the devastating loss of the Ukies’ armored brigade, which was wiped out in a two-day attack on the Donetsk airport.

The militia defenders were well prepared for it, and took care of business when it came. Poroshenko doubled down on his denial bet on Debaltsevo not being another such disaster, but it was worse.

His denial of his troops being surrounded there gave the Republics legal cover to continue operations to “disarm or neutralize illegally armed groups” in their territory, per the Minsk2 agreement. Here is what happened.

I have the video below of the Republic militias cutting the MO3 highway north to Artemyevsk. A militia company had advanced on Logvinovo, the first settlement north of Debaltsevo, during the night and attacked it without artillery covering fire in the morning.

Using light weapons and RPGs, the Ukie post was so quickly overrun that it did not send out a warning it was being attacked and overrun.


This was soon proven by the staff car coming south down the highway that got shot to pieces with two Ukrainian army colonels inside, one of them carrying orders that he was the new deputy commander of Debaltsevo. I watched the one as he was dying, and with it Poroshenko’s claim to military fame.

The militias had closed the pocket prior to the Minsk2 meeting and Poroshenko soon knew it. The deaths of these two colonels were to be followed by many more Ukies. In a futile and desperate attempt to hide the disaster, Poroshenko spun a fairy tale of an organized withdrawal, which of course left abandoned units all over the pocket.

Why he thought he had any chance of maintaining this illusion for more than a day or two is beyond me. The dead don’t speak, but they can vote with their corpses. But let me cover the combat tactical situation more fully before the sad ending.

The Ukies were in the Debaltsevo salient because it controlled the railway for the export of coal from the Donbass mines and the main east-west highway between Donetsk and Luhansk. Gorlikva to the west controlled the water mains for the two Republic regions. Controlling these areas effectively negated any potential functioning economy for the Republics, and would put Kiev into a much stronger position in future settlement talks.

Death in Donetsk for an entire Ukie armored brigade
Death in Donetsk for an entire Ukie armored brigade

The Ukie armored brigade attack on the Donetsk airport had the dual goal of maintaining it as the artillery punishment platform for the entire Donetsk area.

Western military strategists advising Kiev had bet the farm that the continued shelling of these civilian areas would erode support for the Republic governments, or force Russia to really send troops in to save them, and thus give credence to the West’s long claimed Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The freedom and democracy Westerners who thought they could use the Donbass people and Ukie conscript army as their new throwaway Free Syrian Army were dead wrong.

The continuing slaughter of both created the obvious blacklash that anyone with some moral fiber could have told them beforehand. “No General Breedlove, this does not include you, sir.”

We could see this at VT clearly without even being on the scene. Just from watching the militia videos, including the women fighters… they told you straight out they were not just fighting for their land. They were up against an enemy killing their grannies and children which had to be fought tooth and nail for the devils they were.

I hope you are reading this General Dempsey, as you were smart enough to know this.

The second hammer to fall was the legions of targeted conscripts fleeing Ukraine to avoid being sucked up into the Kiev fratricidal tornado. Some villages even contracted buses to take all their draftees out of the country. Estimates were that 1.5 million men of military age had left the country. Those are some very substantial tea leaf hints that your cause is not just.

The Ukies even left behind their east to tow tank killing weapons, to be used by the militias now
The Ukies even left behind their easy to tow tank killing weapons, to be used by the militias now. This is a rapier, light, highly mobile and can be sited in a concealed position that is hard for people inside approaching armor to see. The shell from this is fatal.

Then, we had the overconfidence of the Ukie Army. They had a substantial three-ring defense around Debaltsevo, with lots of artillery and anti-tank weapons. They thought they were a killing machine for the expected militia attack to push them out, which the Republics had to do to have any economic viability. But the Ukies made some tactical mistakes.

They were a stationary target. Once the militias had them ranged, they could pummel them with artillery and mortar fire. But when it came time for all the massed Ukie artillery to obliterate them, they ran into a few problems.

The militias had superior recon talent, both offensively and also for finding and killing the Ukie spotters who were hunting their guns.

Added to that was the militias’ use of constant movement due to the US satellite passes being made overhead, and the time needed to transfer that position intelligence to the Debaltsevo batteries. The militias’ big guns were not there any more. Usually they would have been moved closer in.

The militias also had helicopter drones for aerial recon and artillery fire correction support. When you are being shelled the last thing, you are going to be doing is sticking your head up looking for a tiny drone 5000 feet over you. I had earlier watched a video of one of these correcting artillery fire on Ukies at the Donetsk airport.

This is a helicopter drone still frame over the Donetsk airport. These could easily adjust artillery fire on target
This is a helicopter drone still frame over the Donetsk airport. These could easily adjust artillery fire on target

So the heavily entrenched Ukie army started getting hammered, and no one seemed to know what to do when the counter battery fire seemed unable to knock out the militia guns. And when Logvinovo was taken, everyone knew that resupply was cut off.

The question was not if to retreat, but how to do it. The Ukie general staff made a fatal mistake of not putting in a reserve brigdage to defend its retreat lines. An idiot could have seen that was the big play for the militias that had to be guarded against.

On February 17th Colonel Sergey Shaptalo realized what was going to happen to his men and negotiated with the militias an adjustment to the green corridor restriction of leaving with all weapons and equipment left behind. The militias agreed to let him take his men and transport out with light weapons but all heavy guns and armor behind.

The staff column and about half the men got out. But after Porky had declared that his army was not surrounded in Debaltsevo, huge pressure was put on 128th’s Colonel Shaptalo to break the agreement with the militias and retreat with his armor, which turned into a disaster for them on the Artemyevsk highway. I watched a short helicopter drone video today of a stretch of that highway and it was not pretty.

I have watched a militia video of the exact moment when a recon team spotted the first tanks heading north. The video includes the radio message being sent in to the artillery guns to begin shelling the road. A total of only 1000 men, which included 300 wounded, made it out to Artemyevsk, in what was described as a mutinous state.

Porky tries to pump up the next batch of cannon fodder
Porky tries to pump up the next batch of cannon fodder

But Porky got his media moment to claim 2450 men had retreated in order with all of their equipment. But the dead men had the last word.

Kiev now admits to at least 1500 missing in action. And because the militias used jammers to break up Ukie communications, isolated pockets of their troops found themselves cut off with most not even knowing they had been surrounded.

When the 128th mountain brigade pulled out of its positions, that left the southern door wide open for the militias to make their first entry in force into the city. Most of the Western contractors and technical mercenaries had sneaked out during the earlier “civilian” evacuations, dressed up as locals and wounded.

The militias found the civilians still hiding in their basements, and thrilled to learn their horror was finally over.

As for Porky’s claim to equipment removed, the battlefield tells a different story. It has been a Santa Claus moment for the militias, as they remove the hundreds of guns, APCs and tanks they can repair and use to continue defending their land under the Cross of St. George.

I watched commander Givi in an Donetsk airport interview being asked where did the militias get their equipment if not from the Russians. He gave a very credible short laugh and casually said they were supplied by the Ukrainian Army.

Their estimate on munitions recovered in the Debaltsevo pocket was 500 tons, plus enough armor for four new brigades. So expect to hear of new reports by Kiev of more Russian armor brigades inside the Republics.

The EU leaders foresaw the destruction of the best third of the Ukrainian army, which pushed them to Minsk-2
The EU leaders foresaw the destruction of the best third of the Ukrainian army, which pushed them to Minsk-2

Some of the EU countries like Germany began to get a handle on the reality of what was happening, in terms of the collapse of the Ukie’s best military force.

It sparked the quick trip to Moscow by Merkel and Hollande after the Munich Security conference, with the US and NATO crowd sneering at them for abandoning the  sinking Western ship.

German Intelligence has been leaking their comments, including General Breedlove’s, and time has proven them correct. But the Germans twisted the knife on Breedlove. They quoted him saying that sending lethal weapons to Kiev might not allow them to win a military victory, but it would drag the fighting out longer.

His justification was that it would buy more time for the sanctions to work against Russia. It also showed that he and his bosses cared nothing for those killed and the lives destroyed in Ukraine if it served some US interest.

Breedlove is a guy I hope to watch being sentenced for war crimes some day. He and at a lot more of them have earned it, and the battlefield dead request their company.

Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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14 COMMENTS

  1. When Obama made it a crime to assist the Ukraine in any way I knew what was coming. Most don’t understand what that means, I do, and so do a lot of mercs in Africa.

    These guys shoot, scoot, and communicate very well. They should be proud. This US general is an embarrassment to everyone and everything for myriad reasons. One that immediately sticks out for me is the medieval belief that fortified emplacements can be defended in modern warfare. Patton rolled over…..good read.

  2. nice display of tactical brilliance on the part of the militias, but it is evident the “cease fire” is likely to be brief. It would be nice if Germany would show some backbone and tell the US to go stuff it.

  3. Mr. Dean – nice piece. Your highly warranted and righteous ire with these imbecile warmongers at NATO and in the Ukraine is well placed, and I also share it immensely. On the one hand, it’s fantastic to see that the militias, imbued with nothing but just cause are handing the posterior of the ill-fated UKie army right back to them – in pieces. This should always be the result of such heinous and criminal disposition. Ultimately, might will always side with right.

    But I also feel deeply for the losses and the heroism that these people have had to summon so quickly and with so little in terms of resources. I am mad as Hades and sick of the behavior of NATO and the government of the US. With every passing day, I become more and more a motivated and offended force for justice.

    It’s going to come full circle – it’s about 10pm on the wheel as it is.

  4. amazing!!!!….just amazing!!!!…my heart goes out to those people in the Donbass…”fighting tooth and nail”….to avenge the murder of their “grannies and children”……these people are fighting for their right to self-determination…and i want to go on record giving my full support…if our military had commanders like Jim Dean, we wouldn’t be in this mess all around the world…i never served in the military because i don’t want to be “cannon fodder” for these psychos in charge…but if my land was being attacked, i would walk right down and sign up…Jim Dean is a man i would proudly serve under.

  5. great article, Jim. read it on NEO. I, too, have followed the videos since the beginning, mostly on FortRuss blog, which has links to more than a dozen Uke and Russ websites. it’s difficult to watch all the vids, but morsels of truth are there, to be pondered, or verified for ourselves. as you explain so well, it was not as simple as drawing a line on a map and then executing a master move, a la Hollywood. I am sure that the rebels or whatever have a dedication that the mercenaries do not have -plus, better-trained leaders.
    who would ever have imagined that the next world war would be conducted, and the facts managed, via twitter?
    joe

  6. “Breedlove is a guy I hope to watch being sentenced for war crimes some day. He and at a lot more of them have earned it, and the battlefield dead request their company.”

    A haunting statement and an undeniably appropriate curse.

  7. Jim, this is really great analysis, thank you! One never finds this kind of insightful reporting on The Saker or anywhere else, to my best knowledge (let me know if I’m wrong, please). Those sites are not meant to reveal that kind of tactical info apparently, a lot of diversions over there.
    But I do not understand why those Western subhuman murderers – contractors and mercenaries – were spared? They should’ve been captured by special-ops teams, shown to the media and then dealt with accordingly.

    • These other sources all contibute pieces of the puzzle. The Saker for example is closer to the scene as we assume he is Russian and there for has a grasp of what all they are saying, and feeling, which I can only get filtered material from, and Saker is anonymous, so we can’t do a background check on him. But my general tactic is a simple one. This so clearly seems a black and white issue to me that we are running with the bad guys here, I am mystified why the public at large has been so ho hum about it. So I am looking for ways in my writing to find thing to help snap the hell out of the stupor they seem to be in. How anyone can follow what they have done in defending themselves and not see an anology with our Continental Army and militias fighting the British and very greatful for the French assistance. And the same happened with the Confederacy, but with different results, and they became a “colony” just like Kiev wanted to make out of the Russians…proto slaves to be used to bump up the standard of living in Western Ukraine.

    • It looks like there was some secret deal made in Minsk. Like to allow 1000+ western mercenaries to escape from Debaltsevo cauldron in exchange for pollitically accepting fall of Debaltsevo into separatist hands.

  8. A truly outstanding report. Cannot get this info anywhere else but VT. VT Managing Editor Jim Dean brings clarity to what appears to be a confusing mess.

    • Ha!! Always a different viewpoint from Jack. Well look at is as their not being able to afford Rove, as they got Breedlove in a spin of the wheel. How Obama could have picked a guy like this is beyond me. He is going to own the baffoon award in the history of NATO cmdrs.

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