Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Are the rebels in Slovyansk preparing a retreat?

Several reported today (20-5) that the rebels may be preparing a retreat.

The Ukrainian army already seems to take some preparations for this upcoming event:

This makes the possible route of retreat look like this:

According to this article in Russian language the morgue in Kramatorsk holds 50 to 100 dead bodies of rebels. In Slovyansk there would also be more. They suspect the rebels to take those with them on the retreat.

Also look at The Ukrainian army is NOT in control of Slovyansk.
Earlier, Russian commander Strelkov complained about the lack of support too.
Also look at why Putin cannot afford to continue in East Ukraine.


  1. If they do retreat though, they're separated from their "Power base" and IF the border is reasonably sealed off they'll be nder-supplied. After all, this is a better solution for the civilians than fighting it out in the streets, so even if this means a few of them getting away it's a significant victory.

    As always, you need to think a few steps ahead of the enemy so here's a few thoughts:
    1. Is there a plan of how to bring back order and civilian institutions to Slavyansk and other cities?
    2. Is there a plan of how to pursue or hinder the escaping separatists? This would be some kind of large-surface operation though which is manpower heavy. However, a lot of the manpower currently surrounding Slavyansk could probably be freed up.
    3. Is there a plan to ensure separatists don't cross the border and then re-enter to restart the incursion?
    4. Most importantly, there should be a long-term plan of how to return order, including strengthening och civil institutions, rule of law, searching for arms caches etc. Without a plan like this, they might as well hand over the cities now because then unrest will return sooner or later.

    All in all, being on the run separatists have lost the initiative and cannot achieve much. Ukr must hold and keep the initiative for the long term, with a combined civilian/military operation to restore order etc.

  2. I should add:

    Even the first dude who ever wrote about guerilla warfare, Santa Cruz de Marcenado, mentionéd that armed uprisings are bascially the fault of the governor. I am sure the people of Donetsk have some REAL grievances with the government from the 23 years of mismanagement of the economy, etc.

    To some extent though, this uprising is transplanted&aided by Russians.

    Usually, armed uprisings are hard to defeat because by defeating the incursion, you bring back the same weak&mismanaged state that caused the uprising to begin with (see: Vietnam, Somalia etc). In this case though, the influence of the Russian government is an additional "factor x" and it might enough to remove that to kill the uprising.

    So, all in all, long-term success depends on taking those aforementioned grievances seriously&correcting them. Usually it's about ending corruption, introducing real rule of law, improving living standards etc. Hopefully a joint effort of Kyiv&the international community.

    And, of course, Russia knows this and that is why they want federalization - to institute corruption even more, thereby conservating a status quo of instability so to speak.


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