On Independence Day Russia decided to “congratulate” Ukraine in its own way and almost openly invaded its territory with its regular army troops. Most media outlets only show the negative side of the events. But, let us try to figure out: is everything indeed going so well for Russia?
Russian mercenaries, local marginals and those who sincerely believe in the “Russian World” were enough only to destabilize the situation in the region, but there are clearly not enough of them to take away Donbas from Ukraine and turn it into Transnistria. All these volunteers and mercenaries are powerless against the Ukrainian army and volunteer battalions. This is depute the fact that the advantage in terms of weaponry is definitely not on the side of the latter.
Having invaded from the side of Novoazovsk, Russia beat itself at its own game, as the invasion happened where there is no opportunity to even talk about any sort of “rebels.” Instead we can clearly speak about open aggression of Russian regular troops, who illegally crossed the border and invaded the territory of a sovereign state. Such blatant audacity can testify both to the fact that Putin is no longer interests in the opinion the civilized world has of his actions and his desperation because of the Ukrainian army’s victories. The Kremlin needed to open a new front in order to spread out the forces of the ATO and stop them before they completely eliminated the LNR (Luhansk Peoples’ Republic) and DNR (Donetsk Peoples’ Republic) terrorist organizations.
Girkin, Boroday and other leaders of the mercenaries with Russian passports have been partially replaced with local “field” commanders not in order to betray them later and clean up the former, but because the situation did not go according to their anticipated scenario. Putin is covering himself up with the locals in order for the war not to look so overtly Russian. When the leadership of the fake republics comes from Moscow, the army is from Russia, the weapons as well, it does not seem proper, for even such a lying government, to claim that a Ukrainian civil war is underway in Donbas. Putin’s statements about the “Novorossiya army” seem strange in this light. He is getting tangled up in everything: when the Boeing falls, Donbas is Ukrainian territory, when there is war in Ukraine it is civil, and illegal terrorist forces on its territory are considered “Novorossiyan” by him.
Since, according to available information, not just regular Russian troops but elite departments have been entering Ukraine, this could mean not only that Putin is planning a blitzkrieg to return the positions he lost, but also understands that the non-elite servicemen will be unable to deal with the Ukrainian soldiers who are protecting their land. The Ukrainian army is really well-prepared for battle and is ready to undertake a strong resistance, which is evidenced not only by the funerals in Pskov and the hostages from Kostroma, but also by how much time the regular Russian troops spent preparing for this invasion. They were at our borders the entire time, undergoing training while a major part of the Ukrainian battalions went to battle without sufficient skills.
The reports about new hostages and killed Russian servicemen in the war in Ukraine will spread light panic in their society and lead to the growth of anti-Putin sentiments. Kremlin special services understand this very well, therefore they already started trying to reign in the unions of soldiers’ mothers and journalists who are trying to report on the events surrounding the death of the Pskov paratroopers. Every new death of Russian soldiers on foreign territory will lead to protests, which will be much more real than those the FSB tried to incite in Ukraine. Of course, antiwar meetings will be unable to influence Putin’s position, however they will weaken the regime. Soldiers themselves who do not want to go to war and die for God knows what will also undermine his image.
Despite major losses in some areas, Ukrainian troops are not only refusing to retreat but continue to advance in several directions.
The conflict is growing, therefore, at the beginning of the new stage the daily number of victims on both sides will increase as well. This will last until the rivals get used to each others’ manner of combat. The situation will then have to stabilize a little and the number of casualties will decrease. Though the Kremlin government pays no mind to losses on their part, for Ukrainians, the life of each and every one one of those who went to war for the Motherland is important. They are heroes, and the entire country is proud of them, as opposed to the hastily buried corpses whose families do not even get a proper explanation about what happened. This is another instance that clearly shows how different the two neighboring nations are.
Force won’t help
The invasion of the regular troops was not a walk in the park for Putin’s army. They will get resistance and will continue to get it.
It seems Putin doesn’t understand that he won’t be able to retain Ukraine using force. Just as his plan on the Maidan failed, this one will fail as well. He might not fully comprehend that he is forcing the Ukrainian people and government to move no so much to Europe but as far as possible from Russia. Every day there are more supporters for the Euro-Atlantic choice among those that until recently believed Putin. He is giving the Ukrainians an anti-Russian world vaccine and from the naive and stupid myth about “brotherly nations.” He is himself rejecting the very myths he had so carefully nurtured.
Written by Nazariy Zanoz Zanoz. a writer and political commentator; Source: Radio Liberty
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina