Depo.ua continues to monitor the situation around the war in the Donbass. In the last days it was impossible not to pay attention to careful, but loud enough news about the possible dramatic changes that we have at the official level called anti-terrorist operation, or ATO.
So literally Thursday during an International security conference in Kiev Deputy Minister of defence of Ukraine Igor Pavlovsky said that in case of escalation of the armed conflict Ukraine is ready to declare martial law. However, he noted that “is likely to escalate conflict.”
“Today, in the case of the conflict in the East of Ukraine, in case of introduction of martial law, Mat, pulling the prepared reserve, fully able to meet the requirements of the state leadership in terms of take-up and deployment to full application. There is no problem” — said Pavlovsky.
On the same day, but earlier, representative of Ukraine in the security subgroup of the Trilateral contact group Yevhen Marchuk said that the decree on introduction of martial law in the Ukraine due to Russian aggression has already been signed by President Petro Poroshenko.
“The imposition of martial law is an extremely acute, critical and complex procedure, but remember that the President Poroshenko, when this criticism is sound, said that the law and the decree he had signed. But we know that it will take effect only when it takes the Supreme Rada,” — said Marchuk.
In this regard, let’s be clear: what is martial law and why it was not administered previously.
Wikipedia writes that martial law is a special legal regime introduced in the country or in its particular areas in case of armed aggression or threat of attack, danger of the state independence, its territorial integrity.
So, declaring martial law, Ukraine officially enters state of war with the aggressor, i.e., Russia in the face of her fosterling, “DNR” and “LNR”. In fact, hotheads urged to do so in 2014, the year during, or immediately after the annexation of Crimea. But was this a rational expediency? The issue is complex.
Accurate data on the size and staffing of the armed forces around the world are trying to keep secret, especially in countries that are at war. However, there is information that can not be hidden — the legislation.
So, if at the beginning of the war in the Donbass in accordance with the law “On the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, the total size of the armed forces amounted to 184 thousand people (of which 139 thousand military personnel directly), now under the same act, it is 250 thousand people (of which 204 thousand military personnel directly).
However, this does not mean that is a fact. That is to say, the official upper limit. The degree of manning the army units military analysts estimated at 60-70%. That is, according to conservative estimates, the Ukrainian army as of today should consist of about 123 thousand directly to soldiers — those with weapons in their hands ready to go into battle and defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, as required by the Constitution of Ukraine.
Of course, not all of them are serving in the Donbas and directly involved in the ATO is just about 70 thousand, but more on that later.
For a start it is worth remembering that the number of Ukrainian army on the outbreak of war was not more than 98 thousand people, which was evenly scattered throughout the country and were in the form, far from the fighting.
Plus the annexation of Crimea, which took place on the eve of the war in the Donbass, also significantly reduced the size of the armed forces — according to chief military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios in the occupied Crimea remained 9.5 thousand soldiers of the Ukrainian army.
According to the staff analysis of the ATO in August-September 2014 year, at the beginning of August 2014, the ATO was involved about 40 thousand personnel of the APU, including 32 thousand soldiers and 5,5 thousand units of heavy weapons and military equipment. That is, about 30% of the existing structure.
Interestingly, in 2013-m to year the experts of the International Institute for strategic studies (IISS) pointed out that because of the failure of military reform, the Ukrainian army is able to protect only a “limited area”, a large amount of Soviet equipment requires replacement. But as it turned out later, this was far from the worst, because for the first year of the war losses of the Ukrainian army weapons and combat equipment, according to estimates of the same IISS accounted for about 50% of the pre-war population.
In addition, the IISS experts argued that even at the beginning of 2016, the combat capabilities of the APU was low due to inadequate training and insufficient number of resources.
Considering all these factors, it becomes clear why neither the acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov, neither the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has not declared martial law, and openly went to war with Russia to fight simply had no one and nothing.
“60-65% of military equipment in the parts standing in the front lines in the conflict zone, was destroyed. There was nothing to defend,” — said Petro Poroshenko after Ilovaisky boiler. As you can see, these numbers almost coincide with the estimates of the IISS.
And only the beginning of 2016, the year the army began to receive new equipment, including armored vehicles, machine guns, Armored vehicles, drones and mortars. In March of 2016 President Petro Poroshenko has tested the new BTR-4, and NSDC Secretary Alexander Turchinov announced the successful test firing guided rockets of the Ukrainian manufacture “Alder”.
Actually, from 2016, the year did not start “patching holes”, but a full restoration of the Ukrainian army.
“Last year we were able to increase the number of Armed forces of Ukraine for one hundred thousand. In addition, formed special operations forces, who in 2016 will get a combat ability,” — said the Minister of defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak during a speech at a forum on defense and security on February 17, 2016. And by the end of 2016 year, as you know, the whole army crossed to the contract form of existence.
In addition, 23 Aug 2016 Poroshenko announced that over the past two years, the state concern “Ukroboronprom” gave the army more than 12 thousand pieces of military equipment.
But the most interesting is the other information. According to the General staff, the number of brigades and regiments in the area ATO increased from 8 at the beginning of the war to 25 now; battalions and battalions — from 50 to 150; the number of personnel, including reserves, from 32 thousand to 73 thousand troops (one and a half times more than the so-called army “L-DNR” for a moment).
Well, it should be noted that in the state budget of Ukraine for 2017 year for the operation of the APU and the training of troops, provided 51 billion 863 million 388 thousand UAH., more than ever before.
Given all this, you begin to understand the confidence of Igor Pavlovsky in the context of discussions on the introduction of martial law. As of today, Ukraine is ready to this is much better than in previous years, the “hybrid” war. And, in fact, it is necessary this war once victorious end, and without a full-scale offensive to do so will fail.
And the introduction of martial law in response to the escalation of the conflict with terrorists “L/DNI” here can serve as a good explanation for Stripping the temporarily occupied Donbas to Western partners.