A fresh article by M.Litvinov, which is dedicated to the consequences of the offensive conducted by the army of Novorossia and the disintegration of the south front of the fascist junta.
At the same time it is necessary to recognize some of the results that were already achieved by the Kiev regime in the process of the 3rd stage of mobilization. A common point of all military calculations of the situation in Donbass was the fact of absence of a significant quantity of infantry that can be used for determined offensive actions in urban area within the ranks of punitive troops (and actually within the ranks of both opposing sides). Not surprisingly, the priority of foreign military missions was to compensate for this drawback. 16 battalions of operational designation were formed within the National Guard of Ukraine to solve this problem. These battalions consist of troops who serve under contracts. These troops already went through a lengthy term of compulsory military service. Effectively, these are the troops who should have long since been demobilized, but the announced mobilizations and the ATO stripped them of this right. So for them the contract is an improvement of the situation compared to disenfranchised compulsory service.
The process of forming these units was conducted on the bases and with a major involvement of the personnel of the 14-th brigade of the Special Designation of the National Guard of Ukraine "Bars", the 8-th regiment of Special Designation of the NGU "Jaguar", and the 9-th regiment of Special Designation of the NGU "Gepard". In fact, these military units and the 16 battalions of operational designation are different parts of the same whole. The bodies of the brigade and of the regiments are supposed to support organizing, reinforcing, and rotating the personnel. Two new brigades - the 1-st and the 2-nd operational brigades of the NGU - were formed for the immediate military control of these battalions of operational designation. The created brigades have their own battalions of material and technical support, one artillery, and one air defense division. The latter is designed to target UAVs and to provide immediate firepower support for the infantry. The battalions of operational designation have their own mortar batteries.
The analysis of organizational and staff structure allows to suppose with a high probability that the battalions of operational designation will be deployed into action in two waves with the goal of supporting rotation and replacement in the case of major losses. It is expected that each operational brigade will consist of 4 battalions of operational designation. It must be strongly emphasized that these battalions don't have anything to do with the separate reserve battalions of the NGU, of which there are five, including the famous "Donbass" and "Volunteer Corpus of Ukraine", or the numerous battalions of special designation within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. All of the aforementioned units are the "political" military that consist of radical nationalists of various backgrounds, which are called upon to provide for political and business interests of their sponsors. In contrast to them, the battalions of operational designation of the NGU are regular infantry with combat qualities on the level of the 3rd and the 8th regiments of the army special forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. A qualitative difference between the battalions of operational designation of the NGU and the separate reserve battalions of the NGU are the management organs on the brigade-regiment level that accompany the battalions of the operational designation of the NGU, which allows massing and coordinating forces, and also the availability of their own means of heavy firepower.
I suppose that the armed forces of the people's republic will devote special attention of their reconnaissance and strike forces toward the management organs of the two operative brigades of the NGU and to their artillery and mortar detachments. This needs to happen as they appear in the war zone. Because these detachments are the strong side of these new units, they are also their weak spot due to their novelty. As for the battalions themselves - even though they have good potential, they are unseasoned and their first combat experience will define the subsequent fate of each of them. It will be extremely useful if this experience will occur under the conditions of the absence of significant numerical advantage on the side of of the punitive troops and with a wide application of the means of heavy firepower of the people's republics. But, of course, this would be ideal.
The military command of the DPR was absolutely correct in their determination of the most perspective direction for their offensive - on Mariupol. The offensive on this direction potentially allowed to achieve a strategic, an operational, and a tactical success. The strategic importance of Mariupol is difficult to overestimate. Actually, it is precisely the control over this city and over its economic and export potential that clearly separates the two alternatives for the people's republics of Donbass: the fate of Greater Transnistria and the fate of truly sovereign states. Moreover, conducting the elections into Verkhovnaya Rada on the territory of Mariupol will strongly undermine the legitimacy and the claims of sovereignty for the DPR. Finally, the Mariupol port will allow the DPR to unfold the widest possible military and technical cooperation with Abkhazia. On the other hand, the latest consideration is certainly somewhat compensated by the fact that it is well-known that the Kremlin dumped everything and that the stuff that it dumped accumulated in the neutral zone of the former Russian-Ukrainian border in Donbass. Nevertheless a major port is a major help in military and technical cooperation.
However, it must be noted that a strategic success would be constituted by a complete liberation of Mariupol and primarily of the whole area of the port. Simply occupying the settlement, especially with a threat of continuation of the enemy control over the local port and the airport would not be much of a strategic success, which is in general confirmed by the humanitarian tragedy of Donetsk and Lugansk. One condition for the strategic success of conducting such an operation would be its decisiveness, the factor of surprise, and the allocation of a sufficient amount of forces. The conditions for such an operation were present only during the first decade of August. It was exactly then when it was possible to liberate Mariupol and capture a lot of resources and high ranking and informed POWs after a daily blitz using the territory of the Russian Federation. The amount of forces that were required depended on the real situation in Mariupol. Alas, the sad story of Miusinsk and Krasnyi Luch and the organizational weakness of the militia that were in the foundation of that story didn't allow it to achieve this strategic success.
However, it must be noted that this was exactly an absence of a strategic success, but not a defeat. And the case is not in the preservation of the ability to liberate Mariupol. This ability is indeed preserved. This is true even despite the fact that the first wave of panic in Mariupol settled and the 1-st operational brigade of the NGU significantly strengthened its defense. Nevertheless, given determined pressure that is applied over a couple of weeks by the force of 10-12 infantry battalions, a couple tank battalions, 5-6 artillery divisions, the city will fall. But there are serious doubts that the armed forces of the people's republics can afford such an expenditure. Because they face a wide range of problems that must be solved to support normal life on the territories controlled by the people's republics. This includes the elimination of the Lutugino group of the punitive troops, routing of the punitive strongholds within 20 km from the outskirts of Donetsk, Gorlovka, and Lugansk, the liberation of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk.
And, finally, everything that happened is the second, after the liquidation of the border "cauldrons", major defeat of the punitive troops that was delivered to it by the armed forces of the people's republics. A defeat that culminated in the rout of a number of armed congregations of Ukraine, which was accompanied by mass casualties, losses of materiel and weapons, a large number of POWs, internees, and trophies. All this has an extremely depressing effect on the morale of the punitive troops. Already there are facts of mass exodus of whole battalions from the theater of operations. A moral breakdown occurred even in the divisions of the NGU, which disarmed en masse and departed to the territory of the Russian Federation for the first time during the period of this conflict. The consequences of these defeats will reduce the military resilience of the punitive troops and their combat capabilities even further. Only the deployment of significant reserves or the units from other combat locations into the battle line can improve the situation. Meanwhile, the reserves aren't ready and the units on other locations require significant time for their redeployment, are quite exhausted by fighting, and may be used only at the price of surrendering important positions. The defensive resilience which was demonstrated by the punitive troops on Karachun, the Lugansk airport, in the area of Izvarino, Dyakovo, Bykovo, and Dolzhansky is now in the past. And this is an extremely important consequence of the offensive of the armed forces of the people's republics of Donbass, which will have a significant impact on all subsequent operations.