What makes a new Military Doctrine in Ukraine impossible?

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2014/10/03 • Daily Updates

Article by: Zhanna Bezpyatchuk

Kyiv – Ukraine has to organize the preparation of its own population to rebuke military aggression on Russia’s part, the threat of which will be constant and extend throughout many years. This is one of the man points of the new draft of the Military Doctrine proposed by the Military Council of People’s Front party. This political party includes military expert Dmytro Tymchuk and Minister for Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov. They also emphasize the importance of involving volunteer battalions in future special ops. Meanwhile the bill registered in the Parliament regarding the creation of a defense-capable state by Svoboda member Yury Syrotiuk proposes, amongst other things, to renew Ukraine’s nuclear status. How do politicians and the military see the future Military Doctrine of Ukraine? 

A professional army of 100-150 thousand people and well-prepared and trained reserve troops for the Armed Forces and the National Guard of 500 thousand – these are the numbers that are supposed to be outlined in the new draft of the Ukrainian Military Doctrine, according to the Military Council of People’s Front party. The conception offered by this political part emphasizes the construction of militarized security and defense on Ukraine’s eastern borders, educating people on civil defense during school years, the usage of the Swiss experience in forming the army reserve and the creation of special ops forces under the umbrella of the MIA. The National Guard would be called to not only ensure internal order, but cover Ukraine’s eastern borders together with the border servicemen.

All of these proposals are based on Ukraine not being a NATO member, however, this party sees its middle-term prospect in Ukraine seeking its place in collective security systems, including the alliance.

Information Resistance group head, member of the Military Council of People’s Front and number 13 on its electoral list Dmytro Tymchuk emphasizes that today the defense of Ukraine cannot be governed by a single structure – coordination and effective cooperation on part of the army, special ops and intelligence is important, together with the simultaneous preparation of the entire population of the country to action under conditions of military aggression.

“We have to be prepared for asymmetric responses to the threat of Russian aggression. We include the militarization of Ukraine into this definition first and foremost, which means the preparation of the population to rebuke military aggression,” the military expert emphasized.

Avakov: volunteer battalions will become part of the special ops

Minister of Internal Affairs, member of People’s Front Military Council and number 6 on the ballot Arsen Avakov emphasizes that the new military doctrine will provide a special place for volunteer battalions of the Ukrainian MIA. According to the minister, they may become part of the new single military special ops department, which will be created on the basis of already-existing departments within the framework of the MIA’s reform.

“A big number of volunteer battalions that are involved in the ATO zone today will constitute the basis of this special ops department, thus beginning a reform in the MIA system. These changes will be positioned as the basis for any other changes. A big number of the best-prepared fighters will go to the National Guard of Ukraine. They will improve their professionalism within the special ops forces,” the Minister explained.

‘The Wall’ should not be deadly – Avakov

Arsen Avakov did not forego mentioning ‘The Wall’ project at the border with Russia. The Minister emphasizes that is should only be constructed along the border between Ukraine and Russia, as defined by international conventions. The line of conflict between the Ukrainian military and the illegal ‘DNR’ and ‘LNR’ armed formations will not be viewed at a line for ‘The Wall.’

“We will definitely not view the Ukrainian border as the line of conflict, which is currently surrounded by the peace process. It is important on principle. I am saying this as a Minister, a politician and a citizen. If we agree to the new border, it is unacceptable, then we will have lost everything,” the Minister said.

He admitted that Ukraine does not control 235 kilometers of the Russian-Ukrainian border in the current situation. According to Arsen Avakov, about 1,5 thousand of kilometers of the border with the Russian Federation now demand special attention.

The head of the MIA explained what the ‘Wall’ should be, in his opinion: “Will this ‘Wall’ be deadly, like in the movies, no it will not. It is impossible to build it in such a way. The U.S. and Mexico – that’s an example of cooperation along the wall. They examined various options, very expensive ones, they constructed a concrete wall which was five meters tall. It was 3-5 kilometers long, then they understood it was ineffective. We need to find a balance of efficiency. It has to be a fence, but more so it is a system of control and counteraction.”

According to him, this Wall should be located on the line of maximum danger and aggression, where Ukraine has its key problems: the borders of Sumy, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Kikhtenko: the military doctrine should be developed by an expert NSDC committee, not parties or the Defense Ministry 

Army General, former command of the Internal Army Olexandr Kikhtenko emphasizes that the new military doctrine of Ukraine should have an exclusively defensive nature and it should be developed not by political parties or the Defense Ministry, but by specially-trained scientific and analytic expert committees under the Ukrainian NSDC. The key aspect, according to the serviceman, is the development of professional reserve troops, as the state itself cannot guarantee security and defense with the help of the army.

“The army is nothing. Military organization is everything. Not a single army can exist without reserve troops. They should include state and human resources,” Olexandr Kikhtenko thinks.

Syrotiuk: Ukraine needs lustration in the Armed Forces, full rearmament and NATO membership

Member of CU Svoboda, member of the parliamentary committee for national security and defense Yury Syrotiuk authored 10 laws that deal with the defense sphere of the country. He recently proposed to the verkhovna rada a bill ‘on the conception of the creation of a defense-capable Ukrainian state and society.’

The member of the Parliament proposes to organize Ukraine’s defense on territorial principles: all men between 20 and 30 years of age, besides serving in the army, have to undergo training in the territorial defense unit in their oblast on an annual basis and belong to the ‘official reserve.’ After reaching the age of 30, they will belong to the ‘national reserve.’ Svoboda also stands for a full rearmament of the army, Ukrainian membership in the NATO in the middle-term perspective and raising the issue of renewing Ukraine’s nuclear status on a diplomatic level. Yury Syrotiuk considers ‘The Wall’ to be a promotional move.

“As to the protection of the state border, not a single ‘Wall’ will help. It is a PR project. There should be system of fortification constructions, a mining system and the creation of military localities akin to those Russia has in front of the Caucasus. The financing of the Armed Forces should in the short-term perspective constitute no less than 5% of the GDP before full rearmament and 3% in times of peace. The key to the army is lustration in the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Yury Syrotiuk explains.

The Cabinet of Ministers ordered the Defense Ministry to develop the new Military Doctrine before December 2015.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Source: Radio Liberty

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  • Kruton

    Building the armed forces will increase the GDP an added bonus.

    • rifak

      Building up the the armed forces is actually a net drain on the economy as that time, energy, money, and spent manpower is diverted from other productive capacities. That is the opportunity cost. However, if in the end it creates an environment where the talent and skills of the Ukrainian people can be expressed maximally, then I am all for it.

      • Kruton

        GDP will rise if you build stuff. U.S. GDP rose up to 9% because we built war planes and ships that’s a fact. Granted it’s temporary but it’s needed.Petro should be like Reagan,build.

      • Murf

        Defence spending can be an engine of growth if it is done right. First it should be done internally with existing industry or reasonably priced R&D or licensing.
        Corruption must with in a reasonable limit. If the government places an order for 1000 BRT4s for 100 million then it should get 100m worth of BTRs and not 50million and the rest in a cyprus bank account.
        Also it should enhance domestic industries. Even if this mess ends right now, Ukraine is going to have to; refurbish or replace every single vehicle and aircraft involved, replace every soldier’s uniform x3 plus boots and other kit, not to mention the expanded army, The navy needs to be rebuilt from the water line up.
        And the end is no where near in sight.
        That will be a lot of money pumped into the economy. New ships keep the shipyards going. Overhauling helos keeps Motor Sich hopping. New cargo planes keeps the lights on at Antonov.

        What they do not want to do is try to do to much at once. Such as the Soviets spending on the military to the exclusion of all else.
        Lastly and eye for the civilian market is a good idea to offset costs. The US military needed away find out where people are on the earths surface. Now we have GPS.

  • Milton Devonair

    “We have to be prepared for asymmetric responses to the threat of Russian aggression.”
    Yup. I’m taking my wife deer hunting tomorrow. She will be using an AR-15 to kill her deer. She will dream about it tonight, about shooting deer tomorrow.

    Brave Ukrainians, night is over for you. You woke up to intruders in your home, raping, looting, kidnapping and murdering your children, stealing your homes, your factories, your future.

    Now is the time to go and kill russian and chechen invaders in your house because, as we all know, they do not stop.

    • Murf

      Good hunting Milt.

      • Milton Devonair

        Thanks. She got her deer, one shot, blew apart the heart and settled into the shoulder, breaking it. Went about 20 feet, then dropped over dead.

        Ukrainians need to become hunters and free their sacred land from the ape invasion.

        • Murf

          Nice shooting Ann Oakley!

          I agree the since ancient Athens the Citizen Soldier was foundation of freedom in a democracy.

          • Milton Devonair

            Yup, that’s why a country cannot be truly a free country unless its citizens are ‘allowed’ to be armed.

  • Murf

    One thing I am leary of is the division of the troops between the Defence Ministry and the MIA.
    In the US we have the the National Guard and the Reserves. The Guard is controlled by the State Governor but is financed and equipped by the Defence Department. For a state crisis or disaster the Governor “Calls up the Guard.” and pays them. However the Federal government can “Federalize” (Nationalize would be a more Ukrainian term.) them and they come completely under the Defence Department. This is use to augment the Regular military for war or peace keeping.
    The Reserves on the other hand belong to the Defence Department and are not subject to the State governor. They can be mobilized at any time. currently they are used to provide logistical augmentation for the Regulares. An example is the fact that the 1st CAV Division at Ft Hood Texas needs a reserve unit to be called up and run a port before the division can be loaded on to ships.
    50% of the troops in Iraq after 05 were Guard/Reserve.
    Ukraine doesn’t need a large reserve it needs one that is well trained and organized.
    What I am concerned about is the lack of “Unity of Command” I have observed in the war were in essence two separate armies are fighting intermixed with each other. Only history will tell but I think the debacle at Ilovansk came about because of this “division of labor.” Clear lines of command and responsibility are essential.
    Lustration on the Army is going to be a key to Ukraine’s future security. There are way to many clowns in the General Staff who have never really fought a war and still see the Russians as their “Brothers”
    After that, even more than new weapons, Ukraine needs to improve training and doctrine. The US Army invested in the National Training Center at Ft Erwin after Vietnam. We spent ten years relearning how to fight Soviet style tactics and that is the principal reason we won during Desert Storm. Croatia applied the same tactics to their operation Storm and curb stomped the Serbs.
    Good tactics and training can overcome inferior weapons.
    The Viet Cong taught us that.
    Lastly Nuclear weapons; That has to be approached carefully.
    At a minimum I would say Ukraine should develop the capability to process their own nuclear fuel rods for their reactors. This wild only require enriching the uranium to 20%. (Weapons grade is 90%)
    In addition to domestic use the fuel can be exported. This is a high value commodity supporting high value jobs. not low paying obsolete rust belt jobs.
    However if the situation warranted it they would have the ability to rapidly enrich to 90%.
    That capability combined with UA’s missile technology will not be lost on any future aggressors.
    Best regards from the US.

  • Jacob Schønberg

    Information and discussion with the population is equally important. Many people in East Ukraine have very strange ideas about what EU is . All this misinformation is undermining the future economics of the area. Russia had a lot of influence in Ukraine for very many years during which economic development was partly in reverse. Economic development must come from Ukraine with help from EU (and many other countries). This is more difficult but equally important! Focus must be on improving the economy !

    • Novorrossiya

      No help from the EU. With batallions of nazis in the armed forces your hopes of entering the Eu are nil. A single country can block the entry of other and neither Greece or Spain will allow that. Turkey started the process 20 years ago, Ukranie didn’t started theirs yet.