Dmitry Tymchuk’s Military Blog: Summary – September 10, 2014

 

2014/09/11 • Daily Updates

Brothers and sisters!

Here’s the Summary for September 10, 2014 (for previous summary, please see Summary for September 9, 2014).

The bad news:

1. The border guards claim Russian troops are carrying out constant air surveillance of our troops near Mariupol and on the administrative border of Crimea. Within only the last day, Russian intelligence drones were seen twice: one near a checkpoint by Mariupol and the other on the border of Kherson Oblast [region] near the Chonhar checkpoint.

According to our data, the border guards do not shoot down the Russian drones for one simple reason. While earlier they worked at an altitude of 300-500 meters, they could be downed using sniper weaponry, now the Russians are launching their devices at an altitude of more than 1000 meters. Meanwhile, the border guards have no air-defense weaponry to destroy targets at this altitude.

However, the very fact of active intelligence work on locations where the Russians are currently concentrating their forces, is very bothersome. It’s clear to everyone what this smells of. Although, our security forces do state they will provide defense to the administrative border with both Crimea and Mariupol.

2. The media reported: Cherkasy Battalion, in almost its entirety (over 400 people) refused to carry out a military task and move to the front line. Their argument: the battalion was not given heavy weaponry. They say Cherkasy was sent to the roadblock near Donetsk armed only with machine guns.

I understand that the sympathies of masses of Ukrainians in this situation lie on the side of the refuseniks, but let’s face it: I wonder where in the general military code, in the section on appealing orders, there is a line to the effect that if you don’t like an order, you should immediately call the journalists and cause a nationwide scandal? I wonder who of the high commanders was informed about the situation before this story swept the media’s attention? From this it follows that the fighters, armed solely with machine guns, are being left alone without cooperation with other departments, to fight against ‘enemy Grads and the artillery?’ There is a sea of questions.

We must remember that such stories are a reliable tool to demoralize not only the personnel of other departments but primarily, those who have just been mobilized. They are convinced long before they are sent to the conflict zone that they were betrayed, ‘flushed away,’ and in general one can come up with a thousand and one reasons and refuse to fight at all. In order for it to work, one just needs to invite the press and cause a scandal, while even turning into heroes.

The military command should comment on such instances immediately, in order to make everything clear. Or better yet: solve these problems during work hours.

The good news: 

1. The OSCE notes an increase in the flow of people in military uniform from Ukraine to Russia. They say, since the beginning of the ceasefire, Putin’s warriors are fleeing home.

Earlier, President P. Poroshenko stated that, according to military intelligence data, Russia has withdrawn 70% of its troops from the Donbas.

We are a little less optimistic. The removal of a fixed number of troops is obvious, however it is difficult to argue that the Russians do not use the ceasefire to rotate their units who got it pretty good from our troops in recent battles before the Minsk protocol was signed. And therefore, it is better to wait before celebrating. Especially because, while Russian troops are leaving the northeastern conflict zones, they are accumulating in the south, in the direction of Mariupol.

What we don’t like even more is the flow of Russian fuel tankers coming from Russia to Donbas. God knows, hopefully the Russian occupants need the fuel to leave Ukraine, and not for [further] offensive operations.

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Dmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, and Coordinator of the Information Resistance group
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine