Exactly three years ago, April 12 2014, started the war in Donbas: on the day the Russian troops with Pro-Russian separatists seized the Ukrainian town of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Druzhkivka. The next day, April 13, announced the beginning of the antiterrorist operation in the East of the country.
What military failures and military victories on both sides was marked by these three years? What is the current state of the APU and how you can strengthen the Ukrainian army? What are the prospects of this war? On these issues, “the observer” said the former Deputy chief of the General staff of the APU, the General-Lieutenant Igor Romanenko.
The war in the Donbas began with the date of the Crimea
“I guess to sum up failures and victories will be after the end of the war, but three years is enough time to make preliminary conclusions. With the purpose of the occupation of Crimea by the Russians under the guise of exercises and snap inspections has created a 100-strong offensive striking force, and proceeded with the annexation. But it wasn’t ready not so much the military leadership and the armed forces as a political leadership of Ukraine. This was confirmed by the published minutes of the meeting of the national security Council, then — the memories Muzhenko, who at that time was Deputy chief of staff.
I recall that when the planes took to the air, commander of the air force has not made a decision on whether to shoot down military transport planes of Russia and helicopters. The chief of staff also did not accept the decision. That is, military and political leaders at first did not accept the decision to stop the aggression, and then gave the command to protect its territory — this was the next step that aggravated the situation.
Then, the operation has been prepared to retain the steppe Crimea, in the air has been raised planes, but again, at the meeting of the Council it was decided not to implement this operation. Of course, these data need confirmation, but if this is so, thus, in fact, was handed over Crimea and hold out the prospect of what later happened in the East of the country.”
Most importantly, the defeat of Russia: the failure of the “Russian world” and “new Russia”
“The beginning of military aggression on Donbass, we remember. It was an offensive of the Russian troops and militants armed by the Russian Federation. When actively joined the Armed forces of Ukraine, they drove them back, freed Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkovka and other settlements, the Russians brought their armored forces. This resulted in Ilovaysk and other effects. Then the situation stabilized somewhat due to the Minsk agreements.
During this time, was not only unsuccessful actions of the political and military leadership of Ukraine, but also quite successful, including an offensive of the Armed forces. This rule of war: if the enemy is retreating on his shoulders to come and build. The Russians understand that if they do not enter the force in which they had the advantage of missiles, aircraft, breezily — they will not be able to stop the advance of the APU. And they introduced breezily — otherwise the issue would be resolved within a month.
It was then debaltseve — from a strategic point of view it was a knife in the body of the so-called “republics”. Russia was defeated on policy issues — was defeated “Russian world”, had failed “Novorossiya”. This is a definite achievement of Ukraine and its law enforcement agencies, primarily the armed forces. Then was lost debaltseve which is under the Minsk agreement was supposed to be Ukrainian.
But the fact that the grey area was to go to Ukraine — the height, position, etc. — the Ukrainian Armed forces was partly repulsed at the tactical level. It is known for fighting in the industrial zone of the Town, fighting in the arc Svetlodarsk, in the area of Shirokino and other settlements”.
In Ukraine there is a new army, but 2.5% of GDP on its content — not enough
“For three years of war, we managed to create new Armed forces. Of course, they are far from NATO standards — tasked to make the necessary changes until 2020. This year Supreme commander, he is the President, signed the document to which results should allow cooperation with NATO during the year. And it’s not only about the changes purely military but also political, military and even the state.
Today we have the opportunity to begin the process of reform, where possible, to implement some changes, but still not as fast and not as deep as we would like.
At the moment we have provided your APU. But, unfortunately, the budget is insufficient. The last three years in the army in the budget allocated only 2.5% of GDP, while in Russia in 2016 was allocated 4.7 percent in 2015 and 5.2%. In Georgia during the war the army received 7% of GDP.
During the war of 2.5% is clearly not enough. It is not possible to seriously increase the capabilities of our APU on modern weapons. But there are laws of war: where the questions to provide the Armed forces with modern means can not be solved, it is necessary to compensate for the possible merely the number of the personnel — soldiers.”
The prospect of a war: waiting for the election results to the EU and preparing for the liberation of Donbass
“In terms of the prospects of the war in the Donbass very important for us now is the outside factor. I think the situation should become clearer by August. And we, and Russia, and the international community are preparing for this. First of all, the pause is associated with elections in France and Germany, as well as the consequences of the presidential elections in the United States.
Risk factor are new exercises that are going to hold Russia. Unlike the exercises, which involved about a quarter of a million troops, as it was last year “Caucasus-2016” future exercises “West-2017” will be attended by about half a million soldiers. In addition, the reserve they hold a surprise inspection, which will significantly increase the number of active military.
But if in 2014, we just threw the wheels just mobilized troops, now a qualitatively different situation — we actually switched over to a contract army, and military service actually was the preparation of the strategic reserve. Today, our reserve is more than 85 thousand troops, this year can be increased to 90-100 thousand. It’s the people who’ve been through a war. In addition, we have established operational-level reserves are formed and build up the reserves to the strategic level. And the reserves is a stable warfare.
Changed supply, significantly increased the level of training we received in the army for a motivated people — all positive, which, of course, can be used. But go to the moment in large-scale direct clash with the Russians, in my opinion, inappropriate. Just as they are in 2014, we need to choose a time when they will be maximally weakened, to use all international opportunities, and use all our experience accumulated during the war years — until the warfare.
The military should always be ready to its application. At the military-political necessity that must be implemented.”