2019/07/20 – 10:46 •
Op-ed, Russian Aggression, Warfare in the Donbas
Article by: Lieutenant General Oleksiy Lavreniuk
Thus started another military-political battle between Russia and Ukraine, which continues to this very day. From 2014-2018, Ukraine misplaced virtually 45,000 sq. km of land with a population of 6 million individuals. This is about the measurement of a European nation like Switzerland.
Sadly, neither the President of Ukraine nor the Presidential Administration has a concrete plan for liberating the occupied territories. Neither does the Prime Minister of Ukraine nor any member of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine…
Personally, I strongly reject scientific “military doctrines” proposed by Ukraine’s new military-political leadership as amateurish and unnecessary. As an alternative, I propose a completely real looking Plan for the Liberation of Donbas. It can be completed. Nevertheless, we must not be afraid, regardless of how strongly some faint-hearted persons – in Ukraine and abroad – attempt to convince us of Russia’s nice power and “invincibility”. No, we are indeed capable of defeating the Russian Federation by ourselves and restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Nevertheless, a quantity of problems need to be addressed.
The most essential drawback is the absence of a great organizational and employees structure of the Floor Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and particular fight forces.
Do we’ve got no less than one full mechanized regiment? I refer to a regiment with 2,300 to 2,500 men. No, we don’t! Do we now have a mechanized brigade with 5,500 to 7,000 males? No, we don’t! There are several army models with up to 2,000 men, that are referred to as “brigades”, for some cause or other. Actually, these “brigades” are poorly manned and outfitted. In addition, the motorized rifle regiments will not be nicely educated and unable to achieve strategic success in offensive operations.
The brigade is a tactical army formation; it is not a unit. It consists of regiments, separate battalions and divisions; it also consists of separate tank battalions. (I can’t write about divisions, although I underline that this formation may be composed of regiments, brigades and separate models). Subsequently, all army models referred to as “brigades” have to be immediately manned and outfitted with reserve soldiers, who’ve undergone totally different specialist training, thus bringing the quantity of every brigade to 5,500-7,000 soldiers.
Right here is a quick description of the construction of a contemporary brigade:
– a mechanized regiment with 2,500 soldiers;
– an artillery regiment consisting of two howitzer and cannon divisions;
– two separate mechanized battalions numbering 500 soldiers each;
– a separate tank battalion, 51 tanks;
– a separate multiple launch rocket division (MLR);
– a separate anti-aircraft missile division;
– a separate engineer sapper battalion;
– a separate communications firm;
– a separate medical firm;
– rear detachment help and logistics help system;
Such shall be the full-fledged Mechanized Brigade of the Floor Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with 7,000 army personnel. No less than five brigades need to be created. There must be seven brigades with 5,500 soldiers. One month must be allocated for coordinating the army operations of every brigade. An artillery brigade must provide help to each combat brigade.
4 military corps ought to be shaped with twelve mechanized brigades. Two will operate in the North, one in the South and one will probably be in reserve. The latter ought to be stationed at an equal distance from Donetsk and Kharkiv.
40,000 National Guards and not more than 50% of the troops presently deployed in the conflict zone – the youngest and the most bodily match – should serve in the 4 military corps.
The current Minister of Defense and Chief of Employees of the Armed Forces don’t want to recruit extra males and rely primarily on enlisted soldiers. This technique won’t assist us to liberate Donbas. A military, dependent only on enlisted males, won’t deliver us victory.
At this time, the enemy deploys reconnaissance missions, looking for weaknesses in our protection system. Subsequently, the army draft ought to be preserved and compulsory for all Ukrainians match for army service. In accordance with the Structure of Ukraine, “…the protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, ensuring its economic and informational security are the most important functions of the State, and are the concern of ALL the Ukrainian nation”.
Army parade devoted to the 27th anniversary of Independence Day of Ukraine, Kyiv, August 24, 2018 (photograph gallery)
Accordingly, every spring at the very least 55,000 individuals want to be referred to as up for normal army service; each autumn – the similar quantity, which suggests yearly – not less than 110,000 recruits, in order to manage and practice 1.5 million men for our nation’s protection over a period of ten years. Because of this, on the one hand, state authorities must intensify info campaigns and propaganda work among the inhabitants, and on the other hand, they should attempt to make life simpler for his or her residents, and scale back taxes, prices for fuel, electricity, and utilities. Recruits should know and really feel that the State is involved about them and their families.
It is also needed to create an actual shock pressure – the First Subject Military, which can be the residence base for the Japanese Army District.
According to my calculations, there is presently a large quantity of Russian army personnel in the occupied territories of Donbas: about 1,000 completely based mostly Russian officers appearing as instructors, and about 1,500 Russian troopers and sergeants – a rotating unit – who’re deployed to Donbas for “live” army training, and study to struggle and shoot at human targets. Moreover, I would like to underline that about 50,000 Russian soldiers and 200-250 Russian tanks are stationed close to our borders. In two years, there shall be more – 300,000 Russian soldiers, about 1,000 tanks and the greatest of the Russian Air Pressure. What is going to we do then? How will we free Donbas? And at what worth?
So as to liberate our occupied territories, Ukraine should develop a robust propaganda marketing campaign and disseminate extra info amongst the local inhabitants. My fight experience has taught me that we should also shield these individuals. We should supply Donbas miners, tractor drivers and farmers each peace and jobs, salaries and pensions, and we must restore their houses, bridges, roads, faculties and hospitals. We must befriend the native administrators of mines, factories, small businesses, and above all, unusual Ukrainian residents.
After restoring the Russian-Ukrainian border, the mechanized brigade in charge should deploy four battalions for protection functions to areas not additional than 5 to seven kilometres from the precise border. After the finish of hostilities in Donbas, this mechanized brigade must be garrisoned in the metropolis of Sloviansk.
In the context of Russia’s struggle with Ukraine, military generals, and not regulation enforcement officers, must be in charge of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are at present not suited to handle operations for the liberation of occupied Donbas. The military commander ought to appoint his personal employees, which must not embrace members of regulation enforcement businesses.
The commander should create an Army Army Council, which also needs to embrace the leaders of the army administration of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Army civilian administrations have to be liquidated as a result of they’re conflictual. The army command should adhere to one single coverage – making certain work in a wartime army district.
All efforts ought to be directed at liberating Donbas and bringing lasting peace to the area.
Selections to perform army missions must be taken by the commander, without the intervention of the Minister of Defense or the Chief of the General Employees. Such selections are personally accepted by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, with out consultation with advisers or different persons. In the course of army operations, nobody can intrude with the selections or orders of the commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
So, what recommendation do our overseas associates supply Ukraine?
- At one time, U.S. Vice President Jo Biden stated: “You know very well that nobody can do your job for you.” He was speaking about the liberation of Donbas.
- U.S. National Safety Advisor, John Bolton, stated: “The deployment of peacekeepers in Donbas is not in the interest of Ukraine, but more in the interest of Russia, which seeks to freeze the conflict. Does Ukraine need this?”
- During one of her visits to Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated: “Take the situation into your own hands and resolve the challenges facing you.” This was also a press release about the liberation of Donbas.
Only our soldiers and officers, and not peacekeepers, will resolve the concern of establishing peace in Donbas. And, the only path to peace is through the reinstatement of the state border of Ukraine. As soon as the boots of our soldiers step on the line of the state border, which is at present managed by the enemy – only then will all the so-called Minsk agreements be fulfilled. To this finish, there must be no extra prohibitions on how or when to use our troops or army gear.
Fight laws and instructions have to be carried out for fight operations permitting the use of all kinds of weapons. The commanders of regiments, divisions, models, as well as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, are equally obliged to comply with the requirements of the Armed Forces Army Laws relating to the use of weapons in case of enemy assaults, and nobody can ignore these requirements. The regulation is for all. Subsequently, laws prohibiting the use of weapons ought to be rejected, as a result of it is a matter of life and dying for hundreds of Ukrainians preventing in the entrance strains. As army theorist Giulio Douhet once said:
“… It is useless to delude ourselves. All the restrictions, all the international agreements made during peacetime are fated to be swept away like dried leaves on the wind of the war. A man who is fighting a life-and-death fight – as all wars are nowadays – has the right to use any means to keep his life.”
In conclusion, I would really like to emphasize that no peacekeepers, inexperienced berets or blue helmets, OSCE representatives might help us; only we will take back our territories. It is futile to anticipate that at some point Vladimir Putin will order his troops in Donbas to return residence quietly and peacefully. That won’t happen. They won’t go anyplace. It is up to the Ukrainian Military to bury them wherever they could be on our territories!
We must battle to find our place in world historical past. But, world history is written by the Army and Navy. They are the primary instruments for resolving overseas coverage issues. It is not in vain that the Structure of Ukraine states: “The defense of Ukraine, protection of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability shall be entrusted to the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. It is up to them to implement the Plan for the Liberation of the Donbas from the Russian invaders. And they’ll do it!
Lieutenant General Oleksiy Lavreniuk
Born December 29, 1940 in the village of Lidykhivka, Teofipolsky Raion, Khmelnytsky Oblast. Began career as platoon commander and went on to grow to be deputy commander of Kyiv army district. Graduated from Leningrad Larger Secondary Faculty (1960-1964), M.V. Frunze Army Academy (1969-1972), Academy of the General Employees of the Armed Forces of the USSR (1978-1980). Participated in the conflict in Afghanistan. Led main operations of the Soviet-Afghan forces. Returned from Afghanistan to Ukraine in Might 1985. Took part in the Chornobyl clean-up in 1986. In 1992-1994, Head of the Coaching and Inspection Administration of the Armed Forces General Employees of Ukraine. From April 1994 to December 1998, Head of the Strategy Department of the Academy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Tags: reforms, Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukrainian border, warfare in Donbas