Analysis of July 5 Slaviansk Developments
Part 1 in our series
A Note to Readers: This is the 1st installment of a series of related reports on the real underlying methods and framework which characterize the Ukrainian civil war. These are thorough in exploring and explaining, in as full a way as possible, the most relevant factors which operate upon this phenomenon. This report is approximately 2200 words. In addition to these reports, there are another dozen or so shorter articles on the subject to be found on our site, as well as about two dozen interviews and podcasts, which can be found either in the multimedia section or embedded in the shorter articles where indicated. Being familiar with our other reports makes this report more flexible.
The sky is not falling
Basic Military Principle: “Do not confuse strategic removal for the loss of a position.” Attention must be given to the 4th generation warfare where real-time information, shared by our own friends and supporters can be used to demoralize our camp.
Briefly we will attempt to bring some needed clarification to the unclear ‘fog of war’ and ‘propaganda of defeat’ oppositional and even 6th column type reporting on last night’s and today’s developments in Slavyansk. We will also be releasing some analysis made in podcast and other media from last week or two that we have not published due to operational difficulties on our end which are related to the general organizing effort of international volunteers being sent to the region.
These will go up very soon, which will also confirm and help to place today’s developments in proper context. Reports from Novorossiyan leadership and commanders should be compared to both conflicting Russian and NATO media/information and should be analyzed in light of known doctrines and past precedents. RT and VoR are running same version of these events as Western media because this follows a pattern where both sides have found desirable outcome of reporting pro-Russian losses. We have already discussed this in prior releases, and this conforms to that pattern.
On the Western, Atlanticist, NATO side it is evidence of ‘winning’, something Poroshenko and NATO needs. And this ‘victory’ should be understood in this way:
Since April 4th, this is the only major maneuver by the tattered Kiev Junta (KJ), whose fighters are primarily not Ukraine army but rather foreign mercenaries combined with Right Sector militia (trained) and untrained supporter-fanatics that have been indoctrinated by Radio Svoboda and Radio Free Europe under Operation Gladio ever since the post WWII period, but increasingly so since the early 90’s collapse of the USSR.
Together they have been put into battalions and platoons called ‘Azov’, ‘Kiev-1’, and also placed into the uniforms of the ‘Natzguardia’ to help improve the appearance of normalcy and credibility. In three months of low to medium intensity fighting, where popular Novorossiya militias (NM) have had to defend known positions, the KJ has gathered all its available might and resources in order to ‘displace’ (more on that in the below) parts of the NM from one small city with a population of about 130,000. It is necessary to reflect on the significance of that fact alone, and what it says about the inability of the KJ to project power.
On the Pro-Russian side, reports of atrocities do several things. They bring attention to the brutality of the KJ and helps to get more people to be more involved and ready to push for deepening of the intervention on the Russian side.
Accurate reporting from Novorossiyan commanders and leaders on the ground which explain and contextualize the same objective data must take precedence over defeatist propaganda from both hostile forces and their 5th and 6th column supporters.
The 6th column, within alternate English language journalism and analysis, whether consciously aware or not are at times even friends like Vladimir Suchan — who rails against Putin’s inactivity thus providing a good propaganda cover for actual Russian involvement, but can border on demoralizing defeatism — and Andrei ”the Saker” — who generally has decent (though at times misinformed) and supportive analysis but yet responds emotionally, journalistically, and cataclysmically to real-time news that may be construed unfavorably.
This ‘chicken little/sky is falling’ type of ‘analysis’ is neither incisive nor descriptive and falls for the common error of having one’s sense of the developments being led around by the nose by the controlled news cycle, which reports reality in a strange ‘immediate cause and effect’ sort of way. The news cycle also places the importance of ‘immediate’ news over the bigger picture, because this garners clicks, ad revenue, and general interest. The negative result is a view of the situation that loses all sense of proportion and the real operating dynamics. It is important (for the West) for Russia to be criticized for not doing enough, especially if this becomes the dominant criticism in western Europe.
The underlying belief that one takes from this line is that Russia is not formally involved. This noble lie allows Russia’s allies in Europe to place more pressure on media, public and on the pro-NATO side of Europe (inner politics) and increase the fissure between the EU Atlanticists and the growing EU crypto-Eurasianists. But when criticism of Russia is directed at pro-Russian population in Ukraine, it can have a demoralizing effect. But of course what is more demoralizing is the shelling of civilian populations.
It can also confuse those on the fence; but at the same time the popular opinion of the majority of people are only significant in their relationship to shifting the mainstream view within a select audience of certain nations. For example: popular opinion in the US and England are much less relevant than that of Germany, Poland, etc. Actual NM commanders and leaders like Gubarev and Strelkov are clear that the movements of militia out of Slavyansk are of tactical significance and not significant of ‘defeat’.
Paul Gubarev said today: ” Igor Strelkov decided to leave Slavyansk. This was done at night. Loss militia was minimal. Organized and united militias went towards Kramatorsk further redeployment continue obviously to Gorlovka and Donetsk. We have won in this instance, while harboring relocated personnel and artillery calculations (harboring “war” basically shelling on peaceful cities). In this time we can use it to effectively complete the process of joining forces militia, their centralization under a more unified command, improve relations and communications troops, to increase the supply of troops, especially heavy weapons (artillery and armored vehicles).”
Igor Strelkov is clear about the developments earlier today in Slaviansk. His statements have a high degree of credibility as they corroborate other statements from those on the ground, and our own contacts in the area. Strelkov continues: “Kutuzov also departed, and this was the plan. A Russian general departure just before the decisive victorious battle ”
The flag of ‘Ukraine’ does not fly over Slavyansk, despite a publicity oriented order by Poroshenko. Reports that the NM was ‘surrounded and defeated’ contradict the large and orderly movement of militia vehicles and personnel into Kramatorsk. This caravan was not assaulted, and movement to Kramatorsk was announced prior to the increase of shelling the prior day. The obvious implications of this should be understood in their full and complete meaning.
NM moved out for a number of tactical reasons and among them was because they refuse to use women, children, and elderly as human shields. Also the NM could not attack the sources of the shelling from their position, which are from longer range heavy artillery from the Ukrainian side south of Kharkov.
Shorter range artillery barrage and KJ troop deployment were along highway M03 north of Slaviansk and between the bodies of water and the smaller road north or the town of Myrne. This defensible position made it difficult for NM forces to push the KJ troops just north of Slaviansk, who were also being covered by longer range artillery deployed south of Kharkov, actually in and around Izium and Kamyanka: the highway M03 corridor generally.
This combination of artillery cover for KJ and the geographic specificities will also prove it difficult for KJ forces to push any farther south than Slaviansk. The NM movement last night is also intended to eliminate KJ and NATO justification for shelling the population. Civilians directly involved in aid to Novorossiya militia have also been given safe exit and temporary relocation. Stay behind small platoons of Novorossiya militia are still in Slaviansk, capable of Guerrilla style ‘hit and run’ attacks which will make ‘permanent occupation’ by Kiev junta of Slaviansk improbable or very costly. Also this effort by the KJ is by itself not sustainable.
If they attempt to remain in Slaviansk, they have committed to a position which is open to attack from within, as mentioned above, and also from the surrounding areas south, west, and east. Everyone benefits from this false announcement ‘retreat’ on the face of it. But overall this development favors the innocent ethnic Russian civilians and the Novorossiyan side.
Tactically it is unwise for the Kiev Junta to declare this a victory; this disables them to continue the shelling of Slaviansk, and now whatever groupments they have in the area are subject to be hit from more mobile Novorossiya groupments whose positions are no longer known, no longer obvious. The Kiev junta knows that it cannot defeat a popular, well armed and Russian aided ‘insurgency’.
Their aim is to ethnically cleanse the Russian populations (majority population) in a way similar to the NATO war on Yugoslavia and the Serbians. Kiev-NATO declaration of ‘victory’ in the battle for Slaviansk disables them from being able to do so in the face of media reporting and the overall pro-Russian slant that regional and much European reporting on this issue has taken. This is due to a series of Russian victories on the European side, the growing fissure between Pro-Eurasian elements within the EU, like in Germany, and the Pro-Atlanticist (NATO) side who has significant (but waning) control over Brussels policy and the EU generally.
The pro-Kiev reporting by CNN and BBC which primarily influences Americans and the Anglophonic sphere are irrelevant, because the fissures in European discourse lay with the Germans, Poles, Italians, Austrians, Hungarians, and so on. Thus the triumphalist reporting on the Kiev side will not significantly influence the important ears. Again, the Kiev junta groupments are now also subject to be hit from behind, or from all sides, as the Novorossiya militia has moved its heavy pieces, APC’s etc. out of Slaviansk. Again, Novorossiya militia moved this in an orderly fashion, which means they were not encircled or retreating in any kind of haphazard way.
Conclusively by ‘switching roles’, the entrenched KJ groupments are now the obvious targets instead of NM groupments. Strelkov is playing this well – continuing to insist that ‘without Russian assistance’, the situation only worsens. Improvement or worsening of the situation is not even secondary or tertiary to his statements, as Russian support has been prevalent: these statements are propaganda war effort meant to reinforce the view that Russia is not involved.
It is true, of course, that the Russian ‘government’ is not directly involved in the supplying of armaments, troops, etc. to Novorossiya. This is being done by NGO’s and private philanthropic work of the ‘nationalized oligarchy’ – those elements of the Russian ruling class with ties to grass roots organizations, non profits, religious and charity groups, cultural organizations connected to Cossacks and Nationalist groups, Monarchist and irredentist groups etc. etc. and so on.
It is also being done in a parallel way by similar orgs connected to the Communist Party of the Russian federation and its connections to the CP of Ukraine This is the same way that the US and Israel work through Saudi Arabia and Qatar in middle east conflict.
As we have explained since the Turkish Spring uprising one year ago, the Russians have mastered these 4th generation warfare type techniques generally called ‘color revolution’ or ‘arab spring’, and incorporated these tactics into their position and strategy. We predict that events will continue to unfold and further reinforce the narrative to these events as we have explained them since November of 2013.