About the yesterday's retreat and the abandonment of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.
First, the events of abandoning the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk area, according to Mr. Strelkov himself.
– During the night we accomplished a breakaway from Slavyansk, which is encircled by the Ukrainian army. For this we arranged a demonstration attack against the enemy positions. It was performed by our armor group. The majority of it, unfortunately, was lost. This is due to a mistake by the leader of the group – said Strelkov.
He also noted that between 80% and 90% of the manpower and 90% of weapons were moved out of the city. According to him, the families of the servicemen and the voluntary assistants were evacuated, the people for which staying in the city was a fatal danger.
Igor Strelkov added that, prior to the breakout, the camouflage activities were arranged, a part of the militia was actively shooting and demonstrated its presence on the positions to the enemy.
– On July 7th I intend to create a central military advisory by my order, in which all major field commanders will be represented. In this organ we will coordinate the questions of further defense of the DPR and, maybe, a part of the LPR. Besides, I intend to perform the duties of the military commandant of Donetsk prior to his appointment, and also take on the role of the garrison commander, – said Mr. Strelkov.
According to his information, the Naziguard will take their revenge on the civilians in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, and Artyomovsk for their numerous losses. This once again confirms that people who think that if the militia will leave without a fight, then it will save them from repressions, are gravely mistaken.
1. Actually, everything is quite obvious, by the evening of July 3rd, after enemy fortified in Nikolayevka, where the remnants of the Motorola squad continued to resist, the Slavyansk grouping of the DPR, under Strelkov's command ended up in full operational encirclement, because its final remaining communications were intercepted on July 2nd. The enemy had an advantage in infantry of 3.5–4 times, in artillery and tanks in dozens of times, and an absolute aerial superiority. Without organizing supplies, the defeat of the Strelkov's group and its complete destruction was to be a fairly quick affair.
The enemy, quite competently, didn't start to batter against the Slavyansk defense, but instead kept pursuing the line toward encircling Strelkov's group, which in the end achieved the result.
Withdrawal from Kramatorsk.
2. Because this threat was clearly understood by both the junta and Strelkov himself, apparently since July 2nd (when Nikolayevka was cut off and the main serious supply line was severed) in Slavyansk they started to think about breaking out of the city, along with this the junta's intelligence also must've studied this variant, because sitting without supplies in Slavyansk was becoming senseless.
Because the encirclement ring was quite loose, and the blockade-lifting strike wasn't coming from anywhere, only the strike from within remained. Breaking out East, towards Artemovsk, or South-East to Lisichansk was hard, because the strike units of the junta were stationed there, which were squeezing the militia from the fore-field into the city itself, and where the risk of ending up under an airstrike or a volley from MRLS was especially high.
That is why the direction toward Kramatorsk was chosen for the breakout.
3. The breakout ended up being unexpected for the enemy and the main forces that were withdrawing from Slavyansk didn't suffer serious losses, even though they were shelled (they say about couple dozen of cars that were shot). The fascists are having a minor temper tantrum in the spirit of "wtf, we let them exit, maybe they negotiated with Strelkov, traitors and fraud everywhere". Actually there is nothing complicated here – this is an elementary weakness of the coordination of the junta's forces and a slow reaction to the change of the operational situation – while in the junta's headquarters they were still figuring out what is what, the possibility of carrying out airstrikes on the withdrawing convoys was lost.
Here I can only recall the story of breaking out from the French Brest of the German fleet through La-Manche in 1942, when literally under the nose of the Brits the "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" slipped into Germany, while the Mistress of the seas couldn't arrange any effective measures for blocking the breakout.
Mr. Strelkov partially lucked out, because his convoys on march presented a convenient target for airstrikes and his losses could be much higher, in the spirit of the huge losses of the Iraqi army as it was withdrawing from Kuwait in 1991.
The destroyed convoys of the Iraqi army on the "road of death".
So, with the help of courage and luck, Strelkov managed to break into Kramatorsk with only a few losses. The main losses were suffered by the rearguard that remained in Slavyansk, which covered the retreat. Everything more or less valuable was taken, the few crates of ATGM's demonstrated by the junta, are from the defective order, about which it was announced a week ago.
There isn't much joy from the meeting of the "liberators" displayed in Slavyansk http://poltora-bobra.livejournal.com/906345.html (in Russian). It goes without saying that, just like in Kharkov, Mariupol, and Dnepropetrovsk, now in the captured cities the hunt for those who helped the militia but couldn't get out will start. The fascists are quite predictable in this respect.
4. In the light of the abandonment of Slavyansk, there wasn't any sense in staying in Kramatorsk, the city was also operationally semi-encircled and after 2-3 days the roads out of it would be cut, and Strelkov would end up in an operational pocket yet again. Therefore the DPR military continued their retreat, taking the garrisons of Kramatorsk and Konstantinovka on their way, which were joined by the remnants of Motorola squad who broke out of Nikolayevka led by their commander (the dude is alive and kicking, there is still war left in him). Overall, summarily, about 2200-2500 men withdrew with a fairly numerous armor – up to 20 tanks, amphibious IFV (including 3 Nonas) and IFV, APC, armored reconnaissance vehicles + a few antiaircraft guns mounted on trucks and pickups. All of this retreated toward Donetsk and Gorlovka, where the work on building a new fortified area began, which has to include in itself not only Strelkov's forces, but also local garrisons and militia squads.
During the retreat, naturally Artemovsk and the flank of Mozgovoi group in Lisichansk were exposed, therefore their abandonment in the nearest time is also quite possible – the group from Artemovsk will be retreating toward Gorlovka, and Mozgovoi group will have to either fortify its flank that faces Seversk and Yampol, or withdraw South-East toward Severodonetsk, abandoning Lisichansk and Rubezhnoye.
"Motorola" who broke out of the pocket in Nikolayevka.
5. Regarding the retreat, those who weren't taken onboard (the majority of those who cooperated with the militia left) were essentially sacrificed, as well as a part of the rearguard. But Strelkov in essence had no choice – by making the decision to continue the war and not heroically, but uselessly, perish – there was no way he could evacuate everybody, and also no way he could break out without a fight, which is why the population was left at the mercy of the enemy, and the rearguard suffered certain losses. The only alternative was to continue the already doomed defense and perish together with his whole squad in a week to week and a half. From the point of view of continuing the war, the choice was obvious – because Russia didn't intervene, and Donetsk, judging from everything, didn't even care about the question of unblocking Slavyansk, then Strelkov as a supreme commander took the whole responsibility upon himself and made a strategic decision of leaving the Slavyansk–Kramatorsk fortified district.
6. All of this caused a certain temper tantrum in the spirit of "game over man, game over", as a consequence of mass disappointment in the Putin's Clever Plan, and also an open exhibition of the suddenly surfaced in Donetsk Mr. Kurginyan, who accused Strelkov of not wanting to die in Slavyansk, along with everybody else. I haven't written about this quite ugly character for a long time, and he showed up again, and in all of his beauty.
The scoundrel Strelkov didn't want to die and now the combat continues (in 3-5 days) on the line Donetsk–Gorlovka, and Strelkov himself will continue to undermine the belief in Putin's Clever Plan all over again with his announcements being uncomfortable for the Russian authorities (who ignored him demonstratively), those politicians which Moscow is trying to implant in Donetsk, and for all those traitors and marauders (who blocked the supplies of aid into Slavyansk), and for those who wished for the soonest possible dump of the DPR.
Now, when Strelkov arrived into Donetsk and started to assemble the gathering of the field commanders under himself, the risk of a military coup increased, when the militia will simply disband the useless political den of Tsaryovs, Pushilins, and others and will establish a direct military rule, as Strelkov did it in Slavyansk. The ground for various "clever combinations" in Donetsk is now in the high risk zone, because few expected to see Strelkov in Donetsk, where he is the person with the highest informal authority, and also as a supreme commander with a large number of armed people, who obey him, and has a claim for the entirety of real military power, which will allow him to create a full-fledged army of the DPR, which, as it is easy to notice, wasn't created during the 3 months of Strelkov's sitting in Slavyansk – the local politicians and warlords failed to create it by being mired in mutual arguments, Makhnovism, and betrayal (hello to Mr. Khodakovsky – now he risks being lost somewhere in the Donetsk region never to be found again).
It is precisely this Makhnovism that is threatened by the military dictatorship that Strelkov potentially brings to the table. The situation that was convenient for the Kremlin, when the non-delivery of aid could be underwritten for the discord and swaying between the militia, meanwhile giving money to people like Tsaryov for the bombast but senseless events, risks to end abruptly after the start of active combat in the Donetsk suburbs. The characters like Mr. Kurginyan, who service the official Kremlin line and the ruling Russian oligarchy, now will desperately try to destroy Strelkov's authority (as it is easy to notice, a part of Kurginyan's sectaries already picked up the theme of Strelkov's "betrayal", the sofa warriors yell, like, how did he dare not to die in order for the characters like Kurginyan to pronounce the bombastic and pathetic flow of conscience about the "deceased hero of Novorossia"), to preserve the convenient for the Kremlin state of Makhnovism and to prevent the creation of a military block around Strelkov, which will disperse the Donetsk Makhnovism and will start to create adequate structures for waging war and governance under the conditions of war. For this they will press on emotions – how so, abandoned people, blurring out the main problems of the DPR, which if could be solved in Donetsk, then only by Strelkov himself, by scattering all of these Tsaryovs, Pushilins, Khodadovskies, and Kurginyans, who are already stably associated with the pitiful political impotency and the atmosphere of betrayal, which can be observed around the DPR leadership for months.
The thing is that now if the junta will actually arrange mass terror, then according to the growing disappointment in the Putin's Clever Plan, these victims will hang not on Strelkov at all. Strelkov directly said that the point of holding on to Slavyansk was that we capture the city (which intercepts the communications of the junta grouping on the Northern borders of the DPR) and wait for the arrival of the Russian troops. And the Russian troops after the turn of the foreign policy line of the Russian Federation didn't arrive, after which Slavyansk played the role of cover for the referendum of May 11th and for forming the DPR as a state.
The Russian Federation didn't recognize the referendum and what kind of authorities emerged in Donetsk you can see for yourself. In this regard, Strelkov could only die heroically, to cover with his death the April bend of the Russian Federation and the worthlessness of the Donetsk political impotents, who couldn't do elementary things over 4 months.
Therefore, the announcements of Kurginyan is a typical manifestation from the side of those forces, for which such a turn of events under Slavyansk became unexpected and which expected that Strelkov will perish there, and he dared not to die. It is remarkable, but among the junta's supporters the sentiment quickly spread that the retreat of Strelkov out of Slavyansk stole the real victory from them, because the fighting will be even more heavy in Donetsk.
7. If Strelkov manages to bring the most authoritative warlords under his control and point their place to the local politicians (getting rid of characters like Khodakovsky and Kurginyan on his way), then by the time the main junta forces arrive to the line Donetsk-Gorlovka, he will have quite enough forces to offer a determined and resilient resistance relying on a city with population of a million, which has wide supply channels and a robust link to the LPR, from where the most weapons and ammunition come from, without which waging war is impossible. And so, if Strelkov will hold Donetsk, and if the supply channels through the border with the Russian Federation will survive, then the war indeed risks being prolonged until Autumn, because advancing in dense industrial and residential building areas of Donetsk will be very hard (this even a harder problem than capturing Grozny), and the junta simply does not have sufficient forces for blockading such a huge city. That is why under Donetsk and Gorlovka something of a positional front line may emerge, which will depend on the results of fighting in the LPR – if Bolotov will keep Luhansk and Kozitsyn will keep the border, then the DPR is guaranteed to survive for at least several months at the minimum.
http://5.firepic.org/5/images/2014-07/05/lmknzk7jx4hf.jpg – map in high resolution.
Overall, as Churchill correctly noted about the operation "Dynamo", wars are not won by retreating. The abandonment of the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk fortified area is a serious loss for the DPR, the consequences of which will be felt in Artyomovsk, Lisichansk, Konstantinovka, Druzhkovka, and a number of other key points of the DPR. But if the situation is viewed objectively, the DPR militia simply lacks forces and weapons to oppose a regular army, which is superior to them numerically and technically. Therefore, the fighting in the DPR is reduced to heroic defenses and slow abandonment of the settlements under the onslaught of the enemy. But while the DPR still has a combat-ready army, it is too early to speak about the defeat. Slavyansk and Kramatorsk fell, the fighting for Gorlovka, Donetsk, and Lisichansk lies ahead. Strelkov, if he won't let himself to be killed or overthrown, will be among those on whom this defense will hold, which will be even more robust, if the ulcers in the rear, which contribute to the defeat of the DPR in the same measure as the offensive by the military of the fascist junta, will be crushed.
It is now obvious that the war will be continued and the hasty announcements from Moscow about the combat ending in a few weeks are far from reality.
Original article: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/1649974.html (in Russian)