Ukrainian General Staff confirms Debaltsevo force collapse

Posted on Fort Russ, February 17, 2015


Ukrainian General Staff Confirms Losing Control Over Debaltsevo Forces

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Earlier today the Russian Spring reported that, according to the information from the relatives of UAF troops located in the vicinity of Debaltsevo, the chain of command has completely broken down and the troops were issued orders to break out of the cauldron on their own. However, several Ukrainian media immediately denied the reports, claiming it was panic-mongering.

However, only an hour ago the acting spokesperson for the Ukrainian General Staff Vladislav Seleznev confirmed this information during a live interview on the TV channel 112, saying that DPR units were assaulting the UAF base-camp at Debaltsevo, and that the headquarters for all UAF forces there has been destroyed.

Oddly enough, Seleznev would not confirm that the Ukrainian forces are in a cauldron. But he did not deny it either.

J.Hawk’s Comment:  So it’s coming to an end. It’s only a matter of how many troops make it out alive. But the loss of equipment, combined with earlier losses here and everywhere, put into question the UAF’s ability to conduct large-scale operations for a long time to come. The days of “Victory” have come to an end. The days of “Treason” are only beginning… Poroshenko and others were able to avoid reckoning for the earlier Ilovaysk debacle apparently only by promising a rematch. They seem to have lost that one too, and Round 3 does not seem in the cards. But Round 2 is the only thing that kept all the different factions of the very fragile “pro-European” junta together.


The situation in Debaltsevo may overturn all Minsk agreements

Posted by Fort Russ

“There is no cauldron, Mister President!”

February 12, 2015
Translated from Russian by Kristina Rus

The situation in Debaltsevo may overturn all Minsk agreements

During the entire Minsk negotiations Ukrainian General staff disinformed Poroshenko about the situation in Debaltsevo, and the most important trump card in the hands of the President of Ukraine turned out to be a bluff. UAF was not able to crack open the cauldron, and it has turned into the most sticking point of negotiations, which may turn everything agreed upon in Minsk upside down.

Poroshenko’s perception of reality was ultimately shattered by his propaganda trip to Kramatorsk in the company of the chief of the General staff Muzhenko and a French philosopher-Russophobe Bernard-Henri Levy. The President of Ukraine is a man not too brave, very emotional and gullible. What was originally conceived as “pumping” of Western public opinion with all the classic moves of PR campaigns, turned into a psychological trap for himself.

The Minister of Defense and head of General staff, spurred by Turchynov, had promised the President to carry out the operation, which will deblock Debaltsevo, and at the same time “will pay back for Kramatorsk.” When Poroshenko was already flying to Minsk, he was convinced that it is enough to buy some time and the attack on Logvinovo will end in complete victory, and he will get a new starting position for negotiations. Throughout the entire night Poroshenko checked for updates from his General staff, but victory did not come. It hasn’t come by morning, and a light bulb went off: something is not right, the cauldron does exist! Although he has already for 10 hours told respected people that it did not.

One can only guess about the motives of the security block of Ukraine for disorienting and misinforming their Commander In Chief. The dominant conspiracy theory: Turchynov, actually managing the security block, thus was buying time, following the general American line. More down to earth and realistic version: it was a traditional (of all times and all peoples) aspiration of parquet generals to please and ward off accusations, glossing over reality. Considering the general panic mood, combined with an unbridled propaganda, it is much more likely than a transatlantic conspiracy about Debaltsevo cauldron. The Ukrainian command also doesn’t quite understand what is happening. There is no connection with some units for more than a week, and if there is, it boils down mainly to cries for help and heated exchanges about “who is to blame”. The chain of misinformation may well start from the very bottom, gradually accumulating “meat”. And to treat any information in a favorable light is a very common mistake of bad scouts and analysts. The past six months revealed much about the strategists of the Ukrainian General staff.

All night from Wednesday to Thursday UAF tried to exert pressure upon the entire front line. A formation of two thousand from Svetlodarsk, which was assembled by UAF for almost a week, went head on to the strongholds and minefields of NAF at Logvinovo, but the militia has also strengthened this position in recent days. NAF even managed to transfer significant reserves to Uglegorsk. As a result an attack on Logvinovo from two sides (there was also an attack from Debaltsevo, but very unconvincing) was stopped only by the morning. By this moment Poroshenko got his own localized apocalypse.

UAF also tried to attack directly from Lugansk through the infamous village of Schastye, simultaneously firing on the city from MLRS, which has not happened for six months. UAF command, as it turned out later, believed that LPR units were too busy near Debaltsevo and Bakhmut highway, that supposedly weakened defense of the direct road to Lugansk (this is, again, another demonstration of the low level of Ukrainian intelligence and strategic analysis). Battalion “Azov” again imitated the offensive on the coastal route through the neutral zone with the same results, as a few days ago. These people are generally more prone to simulate turbulent activity than to thoughtful action.

Where UAF is not capable of real activity, the pressure was carried out using MRLS and heavy weapons. For example, Peski, Opytnoye, Donetsk itself, Gorlovka, Yenakievo, Makeevka, Dokuchayevsk, and Dzerzhinsk were heavily shelled.

Vladimir Putin, appearing to the press after the talks, openly called on the Ukrainian side to allow troops in Debaltsevo to surrender, or to arrange an organized exit. Poroshenko wanted to turn the situation around Debaltsevo into his almost only trump card, and in the end it became a monstrous failure. In fact, regardless of what and in what language is written in the agreement of the contact group, Debaltsevo cauldron may turn into a huge mass grave in the next two days, because none of the demoralized generals (as Poroshenko himself) will give an order to surrender. And to organize a controlled exit of the Ukrainian troops from the encirclement in such a short time is impossible. Soldiers are not concentrated in any one place, but scattered in groups by checkpoints, many without communications, without commanders and without ammo. Even if they can scavenge some food at homesteads, no one will bring them ammo or medical supplies. In the steppes there is dirt and slush, to detour the positions of the militia on the road to Logvinovo through fields is impossible, even if there was fuel. Militia doesn’t even need to use heavy weaponry, it is enough to gradually cut off one checkpoint from the another.

After the defeat of Ukrainian attack on Logvinovo a real danger emerged to get a second cauldron in Svetlodarsk, which would trap this other “deblocking unit”, that was built up over a week. Another thing is that it is problematic to create a new operational encirclement of a large formation in two days, and any offensive action by NAF will now be associated with hysterical information uproar in Ukraine, although UAF themselves have failed at Uglegorsk, Logvinovo, and now of Svetlodarsk. Only officers and soldiers can explain to the Ukrainian public that “a cauldron – is no good”, but if they start talking, it will seem more like a riot, and in a hysterical atmosphere no one will listen.

It is interesting, that a new offensive on Logvinovo was started by UAF immediately after the announcement of the results of Minsk talks, sometime around noon. Commander Semen Semenchenko – one of the most active “Twitter warriors” – said that the Ukrainians had already taken Logvinovo and are “carrying out a sweep”. In reality, the situation remained exactly what it was, a new attack on “cauldron lid” is purely political in nature.

Thus, a small village Logvinovo on the highway Debaltsevo – Artemovsk turned for Poroshenko into a “new airport“, only now these attacks also have a purely military, practical value.

Poroshenko will be now learning about the difficult reality with apparent difficulty and reluctance. For him this reality, among other things, is dotted with various “red lines” which he can’t cross even verbally. The military situation had become a taboo, although it remains a key part of the agenda. Even the questions of the political status can be brushed off, creating “joint commissions” including representatives from DPR and LPR, but the front line requires immediate decisions. Sometimes everything depends not on big ideas and global plays, but simply on the human qualities of a particular politician or officer. But a commander in chief of the Ukrainian army, alas, got this position as a figure of compromise and was controllable from the start. He, as a person, may want to achieve something. To preserve peace in Europe, for example. But it is beyond the range of circumstances and human power.

Debaltsevo cauldron has evolved from a military operation of a local value into the main factor of political settlement. What will happen there in the next few days (or rather, what steps will Kiev take to change the situation) will determine the further balance of power. To demonstrate DPR and LPR in the face of Europeans as “wild barbarians”, and Russia as the aggressor will not work anymore. You were given options – it’s your choice.  Even Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky were brought to you for negotiations, and in the end we got a vague paper signed by Kuchma, whose position at the moment is – a retiree. “Ratified verbally” certain agreements – it’s such a fresh and new phenomenon in international diplomacy that all textbooks should be rewritten.

To seriously discuss the details of pulling the heavy artillery to some distance from the front line (lines?) is pointless. As well as to discuss clause-by-clause an agreement, from which there will not even be a memory left in a short time. Yes, the Ukrainian troops will be pulled from the actual line, but Ukraine’s control over the border with Russia can only be restored after a constitutional reform, guaranteeing new status for Donetsk and Lugansk. That is, “money – in the morning, chairs – in the evening”.

A much more important question, is how long can the state of “no peace, no war” hold. To predict it now is extremely difficult, it all depends on many factors, including purely private, invisible to the naked eye. Most of these factors are now in Kiev. What will happen to public opinion, if the losses exceed all reasonable limits? When and on what conditions will Debaltsevo surrender? How hard will the Parliament groups fight against the bills on the new status of Donbass, and how will Poroshenko cope with it? There is a myriad of these key elements. Especially that in reality there is no monitoring mechanism for the removal of heavy weapons from either side. OSCE can not monitor the ceasefire: tanks and 80 mm mortars will remain at the contact line, which do not fall under the category of “heavy artillery”, and in an urban setting – they are terrible, deadly weapons. A mine doesn’t break the asphalt, but bounces from it. Shrapnel flies in all directions parallel to the ground, and people lose their legs.

All this looks like a new calm before a big war.

What is the Debaltsevo cauldron hiding?

From Fort Russ

February 8, 2015

What’s inside in the Debaltsevo cauldron? Why did the leaders of Europe rush to Russia?

Admittedly, when “the mousetrap” began to shut, everyone began to shout about the need… the need of what? Oh, about the need to follow the Minsk agreements..

The “Debaltsevo cauldron” was intended as a “Debaltsevo springboard” to start a victorious attack on DPR and LPR. In this regard, huge quantities of weapons, ammunition and food was brought to this area. This was confirmed by the militia after the capture of Uglegorsk. They got arsenals overflowing with weapons and warehouses with American food.

To foolishly lose such volume of weapons and “illegal American aid” for tens and hundreds of millions of dollars, and then to beg for the “ultimate weapon to defeat Putin” – this is the height of idiocy and helplessness of senior command.

Likely for this reason, to rehabilitate themselves in the eyes of sponsors, the Ukrainian offensive started today on all fronts at once, and with a simultaneous request for a truce…

It is a madhouse, and not a government and a General staff! They are so unpredictable, that honestly, it’s laughable! And yet, there are theories that in the arsenals of Debaltsevo one will find phosphorous and cluster shells and bombs, banned by international conventions, but used by the Ukrainian armed forces during the shelling of cities and towns. This could be evidence of war crimes…

Obama refuses to rule out arming Kiev following talks with Merkel

The volume increases on the war talk. What will happen in Minsk? Who will pressure Obama to take lethal weapons off his options list, and to admit there has been no Russian invasion of Ukraine?

The White House phone number for making comments is 1-202-456-1111.

From World Socialist Web Site
by Patrick Martin and Barry Grey, February 10, 2015

At a joint White House press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, President Barack Obama made clear he was considering authorizing the dispatch of advanced weapons to the US- and NATO-backed regime in Kiev, to be used against pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

Obama indicated that he would wait to see the results of talks set for Wednesday in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President François Hollande and Merkel before making a decision on sending US arms to Kiev. The talks are aimed at brokering a new cease-fire agreement between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists following the collapse of an agreement reached last September.

At the press conference following talks with Merkel, Obama said:

“If, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options. What other means can we put in place to change Mr. Putin’s calculus? And the possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options being examined.”

Obama then added, “I want to emphasize that a decision has not yet been made.”

The US president left open the sending of weapons such as antitank missiles and armored vehicles to the Kiev regime, which has lost territory in the east of the country to rebel forces in recent weeks, despite warnings from prominent officials and some newspapers internationally that doing so could dramatically escalate the conflict and trigger a military conflict between NATO and Russia, with the possibility of a nuclear Third World War.

Merkel and the leaders of Britain and France have made clear in recent days that they oppose a US move to directly arm Kiev. Instead, they call for tougher economic sanctions combined with increased NATO military forces in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe to compel Moscow to accept the transformation of Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, into a staging ground for US and European imperialist moves to reduce Russia to a semicolonial status.

In her remarks, Merkel indicated her opposition to the dispatch of American weapons to Ukraine, saying, “I don’t see a military solution to this conflict.” But she stressed that Europe and the US were united in backing the Ukrainian regime, which came to power last February in a US- and German-backed coup led by fascist militias, and forcing Russia to end its support for pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Luhansk and other Russian-speaking regions.

“On certain issues we may not always agree,” she said, suggesting that Germany would continue to back the US-led offensive against Russia even if Washington decided to arm the Kiev government.

Obama, for his part, seemed to echo Merkel, saying there “may be some areas where there are tactical differences” while the US and Europe remained united in basic strategy and goals.

US military and civilian officials, including some within the Obama administration, are pushing for a decision to begin sending heavy arms to Kiev. At the Munich Security Conference last Saturday, US Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s military commander, said sending weapons to help Ukrainian forces crush the separatists should not be ruled out.

At a Senate confirmation hearing last week, Obama’s choice to become the next defense secretary, Ashton Carter, said he would be inclined to back Ukraine with American arms.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko triggered the latest crisis in eastern Ukraine by ordering an offensive by Ukrainian military forces, including some battalions of neofascist “volunteers.” It is inconceivable that he would have done so without Washington’s approval.

The Russian-backed forces routed the invaders around the Donetsk airport and have pressed a counterattack, taking control of an additional 500 square kilometers of territory and threatening the town of Debaltseve, which sits on the main road between Luhansk and Donetsk. As many as 3,000 Ukrainian troops are trapped in the town and could be forced to surrender.

Washington, NATO, the European Union and the media have portrayed the fighting in eastern Ukraine as a Russian invasion, although the vast majority of combatants are drawn from the Donbass region, where most people are Russian speakers and the government in Kiev is widely hated.

Obama repeated the claims of “Russian aggression” at the onset of his joint press conference with Merkel, saying that “Russian forces continue to operate” in Ukraine, “training separatists and helping to coordinate attacks.”

Last week’s sudden trip by Hollande and Merkel to Kiev and Moscow, setting the stage for Wednesday’s summit in Minsk, appeared to be driven by concern that a US decision to provide billions in weapons to Ukraine was imminent and could escalate the crisis enormously.

A top official of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe told journalists at the Munich conference that he feared weapons deliveries would turn the crisis into an “existential conflict for Russia against NATO.”

Similar concerns were expressed in the American media, albeit by a small minority in the US national security establishment. The New York Times published an op-ed Monday by Professor John Mearsheimer under the headline “Don’t Arm Ukraine,” which asked rhetorically whether the United States would accept Canada or Mexico joining a hostile military alliance.

Even the rabid anti-Russian publicist Anne Applebaum, a Washington Post columnist, expressed concern about “a new World War” emerging from the Ukraine crisis, although she offered the lesser evil of “a new Cold War” in which NATO would “build a Berlin Wall around Donetsk in the form of a demilitarized zone and treat the rest of Ukraine like West Germany.”

Ukraine SITREP: EXTREMELY dangerous situation in Debaltsevo

An urgent warning about the possibility of a false flag with the evacuation of civilians from Debaltsevo.

Posted on Vineyard of the Saker, February 6, 2015

Ukraine SITREP: *Extremely* dangerous situation in Debaltsevo

The Novorussian and the junta have agreed to a cease-fire to allow the civilian population to leave Debaltsevo.  In theory, each civilian will get to chose whether he/she wants to be evacuated to Novorussia or to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine.  The convoy of refugees will be escorted by senior OSCE officials.  Both sides to the conflict have pledged not to open fire during the time needed for this operation.  Now consider this:

1) The only thing protecting the junta forces are, precisely, these civilians.  If these civilians leave, then Debaltsevo will turn into Saur Mogila.  Until now, the Novorussians have advanced rather slowly precisely because they could not use the full power of their artillery to soften up the well dug-in junta forces.  But thanks to the Voentorg, the Novorussians now have plenty of firepower now and if they decide to really open up upon the junta forces the latter will suffer the same devastating consequences as their (now dead) colleagues in Saur Mogila.  Everybody understands that.

2) Tonight the junta has used white phosphorus again, and in the recent days they have used both ballistic missiles and cluster munitions.  Why this sudden concern with the Debaltsevo civilians (whom the Nazis consider as “bugs” anyway)?  Does anybody really believe that the Nazi freaks in Kiev care for Novorussian civilians?!

3) Kerry, Hollande and Merkel were in Kiev today.  The latter two will be in Moscow tomorrow.   In Germany, the Munich Security Conference is meeting.  NATO is still claiming that “hundreds and hundreds” of Russian Federation soldiers are operating in Novorussia.  While some US officials speak of sending “lethal aid” to the junta, others seem to oppose it.

What does that all tell you?

Me – it tells me that this is the PERFECT opportunity for the kind of false flag massacres NATO and the US are so good at.  That is how the “Empire of Kindness” justified bombing the Bosnian Serbs, that is how the “Empire of Kindness” justified bombing Kosovo and that is how the “Empire of Kindness” justified bombing Libya.

Tomorrow, such an attack will be very easy to organize.  Just send a group of men to post a Claymore mine anywhere along the convoy’s route, plant a 152mm shell with a remote under the road where the bus will collect the refugees, pay some patsy to hide in the ditch with an RPG, or use a regular Grad strike at any time – and, voilà, you will have exactly the kind of atrocity which was used to justify all the previous wars of the “Empire of Kindness”.

Except that this time around, the goal will not be to bomb or invade Novorussia (that is something the US/NATO simply cannot do), but to create the kind if hysteria which might make it possible to save the junta forces in the Debaltsevo cauldron.  That, at least, could be the plan.  Also, if a massacre happens at the evacuation of refugees, then this will “prove” that the Novorussians don’t care about civilians and create a “Sarajavo-like” situation in which the surrounded force gets to shoot as much as it wants while the surrounding force is crucified by the imperial propaganda for every shell fired.

I sure hope that I am wrong, but I won’t breathe normally again until tomorrow evening because if no false flag happens tomorrow this will be a real miracle.

The Saker