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Serbian Colonel: This is the truth about the special operation in Ukraine, here is what follows

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The war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine has been going on for a month and a half. Despite the achievements in the field of electronic communications, there has never been such a lack of reliable information about events in the war-torn area. The lack of military assessments of the situation is particularly noticeable

According to unofficial sources, the Russian Federation intervened in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, preventing the Ukrainian side from carrying out an offensive operation in Donbas, and prevented it in just a few hours. Thus, the Russians practically demonstrated the principle that "looking ahead" and preventive action overtakes the enemy. In other words, they applied a procedure known in Russian military terminology as precaution.

Strategic surprise

The official Russian name of the campaign is the Special Military Operation, with the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine proclaimed as its main goals. It is obvious that the operation was planned for a long time and in detail, as well as the time of its beginning, which was preceded by mass exercise activities in the western part of the Russian Federation and the southern part of Belarus.

The Russian side skillfully used the major omissions of the Ukrainian leadership in the preparations for the war and with bilateral coverage, from the north of Belarus and from the south from the direction of Crimea, achieved a strategic surprise, which it exploited at the operational and tactical level through continuous initiative.

After the coup on the Maidan in 2014, the armed forces of Ukraine, carrying out an anti-terrorist operation in Donbas, suffered defeats from the military forces of the two breakaway republics. In the last few years, they have been reorganized, trained and equipped according to NATO standards, preparing for the final control of parts of the territories under the control of the breakaway republics, which by February 24, 2022 accounted for about 30 percent of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Along the operational routes leading to Donbas, in preparation for the offensive operation, they concentrated their most elite units and determined forces of 13 brigades in reinforced concrete fortifications, with about 60.000-70.000 people assigned to the "Freedom" Operational Group.

Ukraine has not fully made all the necessary preparations for war, and it seems that they have not taken into account the possibility that the Russian Federation will provide direct military support to the two breakaway republics. During the period of imminent danger of war, the Ukrainian side did not carry out displacement, mobilization, concentration development and all other comprehensive preparations of the country for a total war. Most likely, they did not have complete intelligence on the real Russian intentions.

Exploiting the achieved strategic surprise, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, classified into 120 battalion tactical groups of mixed composition, with a high level of logistical autonomy, fast maneuvering actions and mass use of tactical landings, with continuous high-precision missile strikes, the impression that their main goal is to capture the cities of Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa.

Power ratio

In addition, all the time the Special Operation was conducted in the waters in front of Odessa, the Black Sea Fleet hired landing ships, the number of which indicated that the naval landing of the strength of the naval infantry brigade was ready. If the number of engaged members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is added to the number of military forces of the two breakaway republics, the Russian side has started the Special Operation with about 190.000 soldiers.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine, with about 200.000 soldiers in 35 brigades, five of which are in the strategic reserve, as well as about 100.000 members of the territorial defense and 900.000 members in the reserve, decided to defend the Operational Group "Freedom" (defense zone about 250 and a depth of about 100 kilometers), as well as forces in the south, primarily in Mariupol.

Wrong estimate

The main goal of the Ukrainian side was to tie the main Russian forces in the east in order to prevent the capture of the three largest cities in Ukraine.

Most likely, the Russian side had the opposite intention - to tie the strongest Ukrainian forces in defense of the cities of Kiev and Kharkov in order to show focus in the south, primarily by capturing Mariupol, enabling the shortest land connection between Crimea and Donbas, establishing control over the Energodar nuclear power plant and Nikolaev. Krivoy Rog, as well as enabling the supply of Crimea with drinking water through the North Crimean Channel, all in order to create conditions for full coverage and bringing into the environment, and later the destruction of the Operational Group "Freedom" in Donbas.

According to unconfirmed information, the Ukrainian leadership insisted on the decisive defense of this group, in order to prevent the occupation of the remaining parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (about 70 percent) from the military forces of the two breakaway republics and to establish their territorial integrity.

That the forces of the Operational Group "Freedom" in the first three weeks of the war tried to withdraw to the west to occupy the line on the Dnieper River, despite the need to overcome a long distance of about 200 kilometers and possible large losses in the open air from Russian tactical aviation and tactical landings, probably some of them would succeed in their intentions. Such a situation would create problems for the Russian side and make it impossible to achieve the proclaimed goals of the Special Operation, because the essence of the Ukrainian strategy in this war was to tie the defense to big cities. Thus, cities on the east bank of the Dnieper, such as Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye, would appear as a major obstacle to the Russian side. However, the Ukrainian leadership was forced to sacrifice the best operational potential of its armed forces in Donbas for political reasons.

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, although at certain moments they lost pace due to losses, blockade of cities and securing humanitarian situations, all the time they had the already mentioned initiative as their biggest advantage. They did not occupy the territory, they occupied zones and lines, but they managed to stretch the enemy for 3.000 kilometers by deep and fast wedges in directions and objects, avoiding frontal conflicts, with blows to the wings and flanks of Ukrainian forces. In that way, the Ukrainian General Staff was "tied hands" all the time, without the possibility of initiative, especially for intervention to the east.

The collapse of the command system

At the same time, the Russian side has been constantly striking with high-precision missile weapons throughout Ukraine, including detected military targets, military factories, warehouses, airports, command posts, communication centers and centers for receiving and preparing foreign mercenaries, constantly reducing the military power of the Armed Forces. Ukraine.

With the collapse of the command system, more than two thirds of planes, drones, tanks and transporters and more than half of helicopters, artillery systems (barrels and missiles) and short- and medium-range air defense systems were destroyed in the first month of the war.

The Russian side had supremacy in the airspace throughout the war (though not complete, as claimed). Due to the failure of the Ukrainian side during the preparations for the war, and in connection with the strategic development, as well as due to other, already mentioned problems, one of the solutions was an attempt to (late) organize a guerrilla war. This was the reason for the mass distribution of weapons to civilians, the engagement of foreign mercenaries and the import of weapons from the West, primarily transmission systems for POB and PVO. The Russian side destroyed three groups of 100 mercenaries with high-precision missile strikes on at least three occasions, which had a demoralizing effect on this category. Russia has failed to respond adequately to the massive import of weapons, or that is not its priority at the moment.

A new concept of warfare

The military power of any legal armed force consists of three components: moral, physical and conceptual. The essence of Russia's success is in the conceptual component, and only then in the moral and partly in the physical component (only in the technical part, although according to some sources the Russians used only 12 percent of the weapons and military equipment at their disposal). If the necessary balance of power in humanity were theoretically taken into account, the Russian side would not even dare to start an operation.

After the end of the war, the theory of war skills and its branches (defense science), strategies, tactics and tactics will gain numerous new insights, both due to the manner in which the Special Operation was conducted by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and its results.

In the offensive actions, the "school" ratio of forces on the maneuvering land (and the Ukrainian one is exactly like that) should be 3: 1 in favor of the attackers, while a similar ratio is expected when it comes to losses. In the course of the war so far, the ratio of the conflicting forces was about 1: 1, while the losses in humanity on the Ukrainian side, apparently, are much higher than in Russia, which overcame the crisis of suffering increased losses, and from now until the end war can be expected to increase the number of outcasts on the Ukrainian side.

Certain mistakes can also be noticed with the Russian side during the Special Operation. It seems that the intelligence assessment of the reaction of members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the pro-Russian population was not adequate, in terms of gaining favor. For that reason, in the initial part of the operation, Russian forces avoided excessive use of manpower and civilian casualties, which resulted in their increased losses. It is most likely that the eight-year period of aggressive Russophobia and systematic intimidation and persecution of the Russian-speaking population left fear of retaliation and complete passivity as a consequence.

Russian losses also followed as a consequence of the described manner of combat operations with deep penetrations into the depths of enemy territory and during marches. This is the reason for the subsequent introduction of second-class units such as Rosguardia (former Internal Army), Chechen and Ossetian volunteers, with the basic purpose of engaging them in combat and marching security, blockade and control of the territory, in order to reduce losses of main offensive forces and enable their further actions.

Donbas boiler

After a month and a half, numerous doubts about the strength of Russian forces and reserves, the phases of the operation and the way to achieve the proclaimed goals are resolved by gradually shifting the focus of Russian action to the southeast and east, and especially by Russian officials. and the Chernihiv direction.

After the fall of Mariupol, Russian forces will have 100.000 soldiers for the final creation of the Donbas boiler. This means simultaneous closure from the south and the north, with the already existing pushing and cutting from the east, northeast and southeast. It is also the moment of the introduction of fresh Russian forces.

It is estimated that these are not reserves but forces of the second operational echelon (reserves and echelons are not the same), whose task will most likely be to occupy the eastern bank of the Dnieper and create an outer ring around the ring that will be closed in the coming days. , in order to prevent Ukrainian intervention from the west. Given the degree of fortification of the Svoboda Task Force, as well as the fact that their original task was an offensive operation, they were most likely filled with at least five to six combat ammunition sets and two to three tank fillings. Considering that they have been continuously carrying out combat operations for the past month and a half, that they continue to participate in artillery counter-battles and shelling populated areas, it can be concluded that they have not run out of ammunition and fuel and that they had supplies from the west. In the conditions of intensive battles and isolation of the zone of operation from the Russian side, which is just starting these days and implies the interruption of supplies, this group will most likely run out of ammunition and fuel in the next 15 to 20 days.

USE OF DAGGERS Having in mind the pronounced agglomeration of the defense zone of the Operational Group "Freedom", with an endless series of successive resistance points, the occupation of which would require great losses of attackers, it can be expected that the Russian side will refrain from infantry use. create new smaller boilers, carry out massive and powerful missile strikes on Ukrainian forces until it surrenders, which will probably include the use of hypersonic Dagger missiles, and possibly thermobaric missiles TOS-1 Solncepjok.

On two occasions, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation used the Dagger rocket during the Special Operation, which is a kind of geopolitical message. Geopoliticians believe that the unipolar moment in the world ended with an unexpected Russian intervention in the five-day war in Georgia in 2008, and that the era of multipolarity is entering the big door with the war in Ukraine. If the unsinkability of American aircraft carriers was one of the symbols of unipolarity, then Russian hypersonic weapons are one of the symbols of the new multipolarity of the world.

Further developments

It can be expected that, on the one hand, in a very short time, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army will try to transfer all available forces from the strategic reserve from the west and Kiev to the east in order to strengthen and save the Operational Group "Freedom" and create conditions for counter-offensive. , on the other hand, the Russian side try to thwart.

It is most likely that in the next month, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will surround and neutralize the Operational Group "Freedom" with part of the forces, and visit the eastern bank of the Dnieper with part of the forces. It is not excluded that in that period, the Russian side will realize a naval landing west of Odessa due to its blockade and occupation, additional stretching of Ukrainian forces and merging with Russian forces in Transnistria.

With the destruction of Ukrainian extreme right-wing forces in Mariupol already possible, a political solution imposed by Russia can be expected soon, and that by May 9 this year, it will announce the victory and announce that the proclaimed goals of demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine have been achieved. .

The author is a retired colonel of the Serbian Army

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