InfoResist: The roadblock we lost

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2014/06/28 • Military analysis

Kyiv’s silence the destroyed roadblock evokes, let’s say, some confusion. The main news on the Ukrainian Yandex today is “a 3-meter wave washed away a beach near Odesa.” And only under the tag “Situation in the east,” in third place, there is a shy piece of news about how “ATO forces destroyed a separatist tank.” They don’t say how this tank destroyed the same roadblock earlier.

It seems Ukraine doesn’t give a damn about this roadblock. So they destroyed it. What to do? It happens. It is war.

My friends. A completely destroyed roadblock is a catastrophe.

A roadblock which stood on the same spot for two months and was destroyed completely is a double catastrophe.

A roadblock destroyed in a tank assault by the enemy is a triple catastrophe.

This is evidence to the fact that Ukrainian army never learned to fight, that it has no idea what and how to do with their roadblocks, that it has not idea what the roadblocks are intended for, what are their weak and strong sides, what are their tasks and that at least the tactics of establishing the roadblocks has to be re-examined.

It a reason for the journalist community to explode and ask one question: how did it happen?

The roadblock at the fishery is a very bad one. Probably the worst. With the worst location of all. I have been there a couple of time. A very unfortunate location. On one side there is water, on the other – a hill, and a road between them. The roadblock was standing on these fifty metres of the side of the road. As if inside a pipe.

And in the lowlands, too. Because on the hill there were some cattle barns, out of which they constantly started shooting.

And a bit further down the road is the village of Myrniy, district of Slovyansk, which is under enemy control. Less than a kilometre until the living blocks. Essentially, the roadblock was almost inside the town itself.

Because of the lack of space equipment there was all concentrated in one spot, on the side of the road, and was unable to take advantage of its long-distance ability and caliber, what is more, it was able to fire only in one direction: along the road. Meanwhile it was located within the range of a single direct shot from a grenade launcher from the “green men.”

When the enemy was not numerous, only armed with handheld weapons and mine launchers, the lowlands possibly lent more advantages than disadvantages – it shielded form direct fire, the road was open for shooting.

But if the enemy decided to pressure for real, there is nowhere to run.

And everyone understood this. And the soldiers at the roadblock understood it best of all.

But for some reason nobody did anything about it.

This is what it resulted in.

I wrote two months ago that the roadblocks are set up by the Ukrainian army completely stupidly and it would definitely lead to losses. Back in my first report.

Badly-equipped and badly-shielded spots should not be set up in horrible locations so far away from each other. And wish so few people too. To wit, there should be two roadblocks here that would mutually cover each other – on one bank and the other. There is a wonderful water barrier – why was the roadblock set up at the rear, and the front was left wide open? Why did they not dig any trenches, at least? One of the most important technologies at war is the excavators.

It is obvious that first the Ukrainian army had no power or time and it threw what it could gather together.

At first, there had been some sense in such a roadblock – to check the hoods of the cars in order to discover lone enemies with guns. But now? When the enemy now has tanks?

How could they have missed the tank?

It can be heard within ten kilometres at night.

In general, the roadblock’s main task in the changed situation, to control the space, was not carried out here and could not have been carried out here to begin with. It is completely impossible to control the area. And within two months there have been no changes in the tactics of roadblock usage according to the changed situation.

In terms of development and planning of operations, the PRD army looks quite a bit more convincing in this partisan war. The operation in destroying the roadblock was developed and carried out to a T – taking into account all of the enemy’s disadvantages. Which the latter ignored.

Within two months, if the Ukrainian army was unable to find people to reinforce its weakest roadblock and troop commanders able to see that there was something wrong here, they could have at least found cement. With such a horrible location and such a small garrison, an armoured fortress should have stood there.

Instead, there were about 100-150 people there. In tents.

The armoured personnel carrier burnt on the asphalt – there was no way to dig a trench there.

The breastwork was built out of tyres, barricades – out of wooden logs.

The result is known.

According to Tymchuk, there are four dead, according to Girkin – twenty to thirty.

And a completely destroyed post.

And while they are squabbling over the fishery, the enemy will take down another roadblock, where there are another troop and a half in tents, and which nobody is so far paying attention to.

The tactic of using roadblocks has been so thoroughly studied by Chechnya that there is no way to study more. Tons of books have been written about this.

But Ukraine wants to stubbornly repeat its old mistakes.

Arkadiy Babchenko

Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

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  • Bill Roy

    Makes me mad and makes me weep.
    Where are Ukraine’s ‘professional soldiers’?
    Poroshenko, as C-in-C you must:
    1) Find good officers (not ‘yes men’ or ‘relatives/friends of so-and-so’) and give them field promotions NOW.
    2) Get rid of the deadwood in the forces, send them out to recruiting offices or something.
    3) Promote good NCO’s as at least junior officers.
    4) Give your army EVERYTHING it needs, no questions asked by stupid desk-wallers.
    5) ANY and I mean ‘ANY’ official found to restrict or divert equipment from the armed forces whether they are civilians or military, to face immediate legal proceedings and the minimum of prison sentences.
    6) Get a new unified command in place immediately.
    7) Should ANY soldier or official be incompetent then do not be afraid to immediately dismiss them.
    8) Bring in martial law to all areas controlled by Terrorists or Russian forces.
    9) Announce that the unilateral ceasefire will without warning or notice be abandoned with one more attack from the terrorists. Then resume the ATO immediately should one more attack occur.
    and finally;
    10) Announce to the world that Ukraine can take no more provocation and terrorism sponsored by Russia and that the Ukrainian borders and all people in it will be governed and protected by the Government and institutions of Ukraine, including Crimea, and that any armed forces resisting will be treated as terrorists.

  • sandy miller

    excellent suggestions…if Poroschenko can’t get this done than Ukraine is lost. I’ve been asking all kinds of questions also. Why isn’t the army better trained and better equipted. I read some service men had to buy their own rifles or share. What the hell is the Ukrainian government doing? Men dying needlessly because the government isn’t doing what it should be doing? Is this intentional or are they that incompetent?