New article by M.V. Litvinov on the topic of the numerous attempts by the fascist junta to carry out at least some kind of mobilization.
Even though one more July weekend lies ahead of us and, consequently, some or other changes in the situation cannot be ruled out, certain conclusions can be made. Because the general offensive of the punitive troops, which started right after the cease fire, fizzled out already on July 15th, achieving the nearest tactical goals can be discussed at this time only. Meanwhile, the results of the July offensive of the punitive corpus of the armed congregations of Ukraine in Donbass ended up fairly ambiguous.
On the one side, the punitive troops managed to liquidate the two (Slavyansk–Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk–Lisichansk) out of the six major regions of the resistance. This led to an improvement of the conditions for the armed congregations of Ukraine, which, given their overall numerical superiority, improved their operational situation as well. At the same time the punitive troops managed to proceed significantly toward isolating the Gorlovka resistance region from the Donetsk and Luhansk and, after the abandonment of Popasnaya and a part of Lisichansk, the threat of abandoning Pervomaisk, Stakhanov, and Bryanka is now looming. Also, the punitive troops improved their situation in the area of bringing their siege lines closer to Donetsk and Luhansk and also established a stable link to the Donetsk airport.
On the other side, not only the problem of cutting the militia off the Russian border remained unsolved, but, quite the opposite, the group that was supposed to solve this problem ended up routed. Currently, between Chervonopartizansk and Dmitrovka there are 8 strongholds of the punitive troops. These strongholds are isolated from each other and are seriously lacking in all kinds of supplies. And they are also regularly shelled by the militia. Attempts to unblock these groups were unsuccessful, despite making use of the last remaining mechanized reserve of the punitive troops – the battalion tactical group of the 28-th mechanized brigade, which was reinforced by the tactical group of the 25-th airborne brigade.
Thus, about a quarter of the most combat ready units of the punitive troops (mechanized and highly mobile airborne units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine) are out of action. It is crucially important that the majority of the available armor is lost. Meanwhile the isolated situation of the Luhansk airport continues, where very significant forces of punitive troops are bound (tactical groups of the 8-th regiment of the special forces, 25-th airborne brigade, 15-th mountain infantry regiment, and the 80-th airborne brigade).
The attempts of punitive troops to continue their offensive on July 20-23rd by throwing the territorial defense battalions with the highest motivation into battle, even though they led to a number of tactical successes, were accompanied by a significant increase in losses and also triggered a number of successful counterstrikes of the militia. All of this confirmed the weakening of the punitive troops group in Donbass. Trying to improve the situation, the leadership of the punitive troops in Kiev started the next stage of mobilization.
Goals of the third stage of mobilization
The main and the crucial reason of the third order of mobilization is a simple fact that the action of the order is the only legal foundation for keeping the mobilized in the military units, because there is neither war nor martial law. However, the term of action of the partial mobilizations is limited by 45 days (not the term of draft, but exactly the term of the mobilization). Of course, those who were mobilized were talked into signing a contract by hook or by crook. The crucial motive – there is still mobilization, and now you will at least make money. This was imposed on the absence of jobs in the country. However, the intensification of military action forces the mobilized to review their views on the profitability of such an offer. And breaking a contract under the conditions of the absence of war and military actions is in essence a purely lawful affair.
This way, between June 20 and July 24th of 2014, in essence, abandoning their units by the military service members who were mobilized couldn't be considered deserting. And if in the beginning the legal illiteracy and the truce led to ignoring this possibility, then, as the July offensive was ongoing, the deluge of "deserters" and "MIAs" started to grow. It reached a point when the service members of the armed congregations of Ukraine started to break to their native places within APC convoys through the Russian territory in order to break the contract and to surrender the military ID.
However, the mobilization also has secondary goals. It must be pointed out that the essence of the mobilization measures is different from the previous measures this time around. During the prior measures, 71 military units were mobilized. Their majority were military units. Not counting the 6 border patrol units of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, 3 reserve volunteer battalions, and 9 military units of the National Guard of Ukraine, 53 military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were mobilized. It must be noted that among the mobilized military units of the AFU the majority (29) are the territorial defense battalions. The military supply units (engineer, supply, repair, communication, medical-nursing) effectively weren't mobilized. Their activities were replaced by the actions of the non-deployed personnel of these units and by outsourcing them to oligarchic structures and civilian volunteers.
As a result, the military activity of the punitive troops had an appearance of the work of a commercial organization. From Monday to Friday the office workers in uniform, making a wide use of outsourcing, collected and delivered shipments for carrying out military actions, after which during weekends the armed congregations of Ukraine fought. If any resources were left, then active military actions continued on Monday-Tuesday. Any deviation from the normal functioning of the peace-time period – large one-time losses in wounded or in damaged equipment, attempts to make a bridge or to create a major stronghold – triggered an immediate break in the development of the operations. New stage of mobilization includes deploying 15 military units and 44 supply units. By the continuity of operations it is supposed to compensate weakening of the combat capabilities of the units, and the high expected losses – by reinforcements, evacuation, treatment, and repair.
It must be noted that the replacement units were also not deployed. So, a number of combat capable units remained in the places of their permanent dislocation for replacing the losses, out of which the losses were compensated. This system was promoted by two factors. First – there is a legal reason to avoid front-line duty for the most quirky officers and soldiers of the mobilized units. Second – the lack of equipment for due deployment, which will be described below. Naturally, within the AFU, unlike the NGU, it was impossible to organize proper rotation, and the problem wasn't even stated in this way. However, replacing the losses properly under this system was also impossible. And the losses are increasing – the bloody losses of July exceeded the losses of June by a third. And July is still far from over. That is why the AFU needed to be inflated with additional personnel to replace those who were eliminated.
Content and prognosis of the results of the third stage of mobilization.
It must be noted that the previous stages of mobilization failed to mobilize even all of the military units. And the new stage of mobilization will not help much here. Of course, nobody can impede further deployment of the territorial defense battalions, which are equipped by school buses instead of armor. And the situation with armor is such that effectively not a single full-fledged brigade was properly mobilized. According to the roster, the land forces, the navy, and the highly mobile airborne brigades were armed with 723 tanks and 2426 other armored vehicles. Also, 400 armored self-propelled artillery mounts need to be added. Of course, the information about how many of them were operational remains a major military secret of the Kiev regime. As well as how many of them could be actually repaired. But resorting to the historical examples allows to make a fairly precise estimate without peeking into the secret documents of the Kiev regime. It must be understood that the overwhelming majority of armor and automobile vehicles is 23 or more years old (e.g., in the NGU out of 3000 vehicles 70% are older than 30). Keeping the engines and the chassis operational is the hardest (even if they are simply stored).
Here, for example, is a testimony of one of the eye-witnesses, in which state was the equipment of the automotive battalion in Crimea. "In the auto-bat, out of 130 wheeled vehicles only 9 were more or less operational (and even among those, during a 50-km trip 3 had to be towed)". That is, only 7% of vehicles were operational at one time. Of course, this is an automotive unit, and spare parts from automobiles are in higher demand on the market than the spare parts from armored vehicles. Of course, this was a skeleton unit. Nevertheless, this gives an impression of the order of figures of the operational equipment.
There are not many examples of a country that entered war while having effectively no military equipment younger than 20 years old, and also with a quite prolonged neglect of the questions of its maintenance. Even the experience of the USSR entry into the Great Patriotic War doesn't fit here. Its military arsenal was actually somewhat younger than 20 years. About three times younger. And it is quite hard to blame the USSR leadership for neglect. However, something can be actually learned from history. For example, the French tank F18 "Renault" was accepted for service in the French army in 1918. There were 3177 of those machines. By 1940 only 832 were operational or about a quarter of the whole fleet, and more than a thousand vehicles were completely written off by this time. Based on these facts, we can make certain conclusions. And these conclusions will be actually tilted to the Ukrainian side, because the French took a better care of their military equipment between the wars, and the 23 years were the maximum age there, while in Ukraine 23 years are effectively the minimal age.
The fleet of armor in Ukraine, after the unavoidable cutting due to CFE treaty, amounted to 4000 tanks, 5000 APC and IFV, 1300 self-propelled armored artillery mounts. Correspondingly, the estimate of the potential of the armor of the armed congregations of Ukraine of about 1000 tanks, 1300 APC and IFV, and 350 self-propelled artillery systems will be reasonable. However, this estimate is subject to certain corrections. First of all, they have to do with tanks. Out of 1300 T-72 tanks, 700 were sold abroad. Of course, this was done at the expense of cannibalizing the remaining 600. And this has to do primarily with the engines. Of course, it is possible to put a made-in-Ukraine engine into a T-72. However, Ukraine can only produce several dozens engines per month. And it is best to put them into the available armored carcasses of T-64. The situation with T-80 and its turbine engine is even worse. So, in reality we can speak about approximately 550 – 600 T-64s. Regarding the self-propelled artillery, it must be noted that the SpH "Gvozdika" were retired and re-entering them will take longer than other vehicles.
The fact that the vehicles in storage warehouses are effectively not worthy of repairing and it is necessary to speak about a full-fledged restoration effort is especially highlighted by the following fact. The storage warehouse in Artyomovsk has several hundred armored vehicles. The warehouse remained in the militia rear for more than two months, being subject to regular attacks. During this whole time not a single armored vehicle from this base was used to defend the base. The talk about repairing about 1000 armored vehicles, which was supposedly done by the Ukrainian factories over the last 3 months, perfectly matches the difference between those vehicles that were actually operational by the beginning of the punitive operation and those vehicles that could be repaired using the internal resources and minor shipments of spare parts. It must be noted, that the videos and photos from the area of the punitive operation confirm that currently the armed congregations of Ukraine make a wide use of various ersatz replacements of armor.
Thus, we can say, that the tank detachments could be reinforced by the roster to 80%, the mechanized and the highly mobile to 55%, the self-propelled artillery to 90%. There is nothing surprising that given this state of affairs they could only use 12 mechanized battalions out of 25 for the punitive operation. And the remaining ones are unlikely to be properly used – they will have to fight with a limited amount of armor.
Also, it must be noted that a significant part of this fleet of armor was lost. In Crimea, the navy had 40 tanks, 199 IFV and APC (and altogether up to 279 armored vehicles). According to the Ukrainian media, 184 armored vehicles from the Ukrainian navy weren't eventually returned by Russia. It is also true that the same Ukrainian side announced that 121 armored vehicles were actually transferred to it by May 27th. This information is puzzling, because the numbers don't match each other. Apparently, between 30 and 70 armored vehicles were transferred by Russia to Ukraine, about which there are official documents. And later in Ukraine they were lost. And somebody in Ukraine apparently found them. Nothing surprising for a country in which the state failure has occurred. Meanwhile, there are also insinuations that all of the armored vehicles from Crimea were transferred to the Ukrainian side between May 27 and June 17. It is possible that it was also lost.
With the same level of confidence it is possible to write off the balance of the armed congregations of Ukraine the equipment of 3 mechanized, 2 airborne, 1 tank battalion, and 1 self-propelled squadron of artillery, which were routed near the Russian border. As a result, the armor equipment status of the mechanized battalions of the punitive troops will decrease down to the level of the battalions of the highly-mobile airborne forces – from 42 AFV down to 22 AFV. And increasing these figures will be very hard. Because the equipment will not only be exposed to combat losses, but it will be used by the crews, whose preparedness is far below norm, in extreme modes. There are also certain problems with shipping vehicles from abroad. Primarily because the fleet of the main Ukrainian armored vehicles is unique – T-64 and BMP-2 are not listed in vast numbers in NATO armies. And in places where there are auxiliary for the Ukrainian army systems – T-72 and BMP-1 – they are very different from the basic Soviet samples. And so, keeping these shipments secret will be exceptionally difficult.
Using the results of mobilization.
After completing the mobilization measures of the third stage, Ukraine will have no more than 38 infantry battalions with a limited amount of armor. It is possible to add to them 29 more battalions of the territorial defense without armor and heavy weapons. There will be no more than 50 tank companies (of 10 vehicles each), 14 squadrons of self-propelled howitzers (of caliber 122-152mm), 1 squadron of self-propelled cannons "Nona" (18 vehicles) to support them. In addition to them, 10 squadrons of "Grad" MLRS, 3 squadrons of "Uragan" and "Smerch", 2 squadrons of "Pion" and "Giatsint" (12 vehicles each). It is harder to assess the state of the towed artillery. But it must be considered that with full deployment of personnel of the two artillery brigades, there won't be more than ten squadrons. Altogether, about 690 barrels of tubed and launch vehicles of rocket artillery.
The capabilities of the AFU described above are limiting and, absolutely obviously, won't be achieved after the publication of the next order of mobilization. Quite the opposite. Such a publication will only become a starting point for said measures. The previously described level will be achieved no earlier than in a month, which is suggested by the experience of previous mobilization measures in Ukraine. In the nearest time the main source of sustaining military capabilities of the punitive corpus will be entering the battalions of territorial defense into the combat ranks. By today, 5 territorial battalions were thrown into combat already (12-th "Kiev" and 24-th "Aidar" North of Luhansk, 34-th "Kirovograd-2" and 39-th "Dnipro-2" North of Donetsk, 5-th "Prikarpatye" in the area of Amvrosiyevka). Also, 6 more battalions carry out occupation service (9-th "Vinnitsa" on the South of Donetsk region, 40-th "Krivbass" on the West of Donetsk region, 10-th, 13-th, 15-th, and 22-nd on the North of LPR). Judging from the density of occupation forces on the North of the LPR, there are grounds to suppose that the number of territorial defense battalions who serve on the DPR territory is much higher than two and probably amounts to 6-8, keeping in mind the necessity of occupying the area of Slavyansk – Kramatorsk – Artemovsk. Also, occupying the area of Rubezhnoye – Lisichansk – Severodonetsk will require no fewer than two battalions, and the area Popasnaya – Pervomaisk – Stakhanov – Bryanka will require two more. After this measures the Kiev authorities will have no more than 10 battalions at their disposal.
It must be noted that occupation is performed not only by the territorial defense battalions. Effectively these detachments don't enter settlements – because they will immediately dissolve within the local population. They guard checkpoints, which surround the district centers and their own bases. But even there the AFU personnel is intermixed with the NGU detachments. Primarily the joint detachments of specialized motorized military units of the police are used for this purpose. Their ratio is about one platoon of the NGU for a company of the AFU. The overall manpower of these detachments of the NGU in the zone of the punitive operation is about 3000 people or 100 platoons. Unlike the AFU, they are being rotated regularly (one and a half months) and receive decent salary and benefits. They perform the function of providing internal security of the checkpoints and the garrisons of the AFU. The external security is established primarily by fortifications and separate light armored vehicles of the same NGU. It must be pointed out that the NGU provides not only the robustness of the occupational force. These formations operate on the same principles on checkpoints and in battle ranks.
Immediately in the cities and towns the occupational order is provided by the MIA battalions of special designation. Overall there are 27 battalions and 5 companies with a roster personnel of 5660 people. And even though right now they are not staffed, there are grounds to suppose that the third stage of mobilization will allow them to reach the roster headcount. There is no information about the rotation of these detachments at this time, and the conditions of their service are sufficiently comfortable at this time in order to demand such a rotation. However, the whole unit rotation cannot be excluded. At this time it is known that 12 battalions and 1 company from these detachments were sent into the zone of the punitive operation. These are quite famous names: "Azov", "Artyomovsk", "Shakhtyorsk", "Dnipro-1", "Shtorm", "Luhansk", "Kievshyna", "Slobozhanshina", "Kiev-1", "Kharkov-1", "Chernigov", "Nikolayev", and the "Kharkov-2" company. These detachments closely cooperate with the special detachments of the SBU on the occupied territory. Meeting them on the front lines is unlikely (they don't want to be there at all), and to rout them it is necessary to actually perform partisan raids in the cities occupied by the punitive troops. For example, like it was done in Lisichansk.
The reserve volunteer battalions (total of three) are the military detachments of the NGU, the first of which is currently rotated and withdrawn to rest. The third reserve battalion of the NGU was formed from the personnel of the 25-th battalion of territorial defense "Donbass". Now there is no such battalion in the AFU, there is only the "Donbass" company in the constitution of the 24-th battalion of territorial defense "Aidar". The new 25-th battalion of territorial defense was formed in the Kiev region and is called "Kiev Rus". Besides the three reserve battalions, active military action on the front lines is also performed by the tactical groups from the constitution of the special forces of the National Guard of Ukraine, totaling un to 200 people each. They are rotated regularly with a period of one and a half month, so their overall total number on the front lines does not exceed 7.
Immediately in the combat ranks there are 32 infantry battalions, 25 tank companies, 15 squadrons of tubed artillery, 7 squadrons of MLRS "Grad", 5 squadrons of heavy artillery, and up to 30 separate reconnaissance and special task companies, the overall headcount according to roster is 35 000 people, rears included. And considering the suffered losses and deserters, no more than 30 000. Their distribution on the front lines at this time is the following:
- North and West of Luhansk – 7 infantry battalions with means of reinforcement;
- Luhansk airport – 3 infantry battalions with means of reinforcement;
- between Chervonopartizansk and Dyakovo – 4 infantry battalions with means of reinforcement;
- from Marinovka to Starobeshevo – 4 infantry battalions with means of reinforcement;
- West and North of Donetsk – 5 infantry battalions with means of reinforcement;
- around Gorlovka – 3 infantry battalions with means of reinforcement;
- in the area of Popasnaya – Lisichansk – Severodonetsk – Krasnyi Liman – Yampol – 5 infantry battalions with means of reinforcement.
As fighting unfolds in the zone of dense urban development, battalion tactical groups will be used increasingly less often. The company tactical groups will be the most common, with a significant tank reinforcement. However, the management problem is not made easier because of this, rather, it becomes harder. Because robust success can only be achieved by coordinated action of several such groups, reconnaissance detachments and several batteries – squadrons of assorted artillery means. This is a task on a level of brigade headquarters, not on a level of battalion headquarters. For now the efforts of punitive troops will be directed at squeezing the weak militia detachments from separate positions with the goal of avoiding binding of their own forces by a siege of such positions. The battalion tactical groups can be used for dismembering the militia communications on the directions:
- Pervomaisk – Stakhanov – Alchevsk;
- Alchevsk – Zorinsk – Debaltsevo – Yenakiyevo;
- Khartsyzk – Shakhtyorsk – Torez – Snezhnoye;
- Antratsit – Rovenky – Sverdlovsk;
- to cut off Krasnodon from Luhansk.
Only a defeat of the punitive troops during the assault on one or several of the enumerated cities can prevent operations of such kind. To achieve this in each case it is necessary to risk the militia group of up to 500 people, who have 50-60 qualified grenadiers and about 20 heavy infantry complexes (ATGM, MANPADS, AGL, high-caliber machine guns, and company mortars).
Author: M.V. Litvinov
http://cassad.net/category/war/274-permanentnaya-mobilizaciya.html (in Russian) – link
Original article: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/1694828.html (in Russian)