|Image: South Front|
It is often said that the “northerners” saved militia from defeat. As if reinforcements had arrived, when it was a matter of hours until the victory of Ukraine. This is nonsense! The situation in mid-August was difficult but not critical. At this point, UAF had used virtually all its reserves, bogged down and fought heavy battles in the northern suburbs of Donetsk, near Ilovaisk and on the approaches to Lugansk in the region Novosvetlovka-Lutunino.
UAF did not have enough forces to slice the territory of Novorossiya, but the war was increasingly immersed in bloody chaos – the most densely populated areas of Donbass were now in the combat zone. The number of dead civilians was in the hundreds. It was necessary to stop this carnage and force Ukraine to a cessation of hostilities and peace talks. For this an operation was designed, and we had begun to implement it.
Except for minor faults, everything went like clockwork. The enemy was not able to dissect our advancement and deployment, and found our presence only when we engaged in direct contact. UAF still was not able to assess our numbers and this is why to this day the most fantastic figures are cited in Ukrainian reports. Some Ukrainian leaders have concluded that on the territory of Ukraine there was a whopping one hundred thousand “northerners” – that is complete nonsense!
There was no ultimate task to get to Kiev. To bring it down to a single formula – the goal was to create conditions for defeat and a cessation of hostilities to commence negotiations.
I am pleased with the actions of the ‘northerners’. I can say that they have demonstrated a high level of training and coherence. Excellent recon work, good execution by all levels.
In fact, ‘northerners’ had demonstrated the type of warfare, which in the West is called ‘network warfare’. Constant moving, constant exploration, early detection and timely fire application. Suffice it to say that despite a very limited area of engagement, ‘northerners’ almost never engaged with UAF in direct combat, did not fight ‘eye to eye’, causing losses remotely. Only a few times battles broke out. The only case when a number of ‘northerners ‘were taken captive by UAF, was a result of a violation of military procedures and sloppiness of junior commanders.
The blame for this debacle and huge losses entirely rest with the command of ATO and the Southern Sector. First they literally herded a group into a trap not having covered the flanks. Then, bogged down in urban combat, instead of bypassing the city, started to bring in new generators, apparently really wanted to raise a flag over the city. Well, when they got hit in the flank, and had only hours left, just got confused, decided to wait for instructions ‘from above’, while the mouse trap closed shot.
After that we have not seen any clear command. Inside the cauldron battalions of nazguardia and UAF were running around, taking casualties, and command did not even try to de-block its troops. And that was strange! We, frankly, have been preparing to hold the external front, but they did not even move. We were left with impression that they are trying to pretend that nothing happened in Ilovaisk and everything will dissipate on it own.
And it dissipated ….
We had orders to avoid casualties. So almost immediately commanders of surrounded units were given an ultimatum for all who lay down their arms and leave the equipment – a guarantee of life and an exit from the cauldron.
Today the ‘surrounded’ complain everywhere, that they were deceived, that they were promised a corridor, but instead were destroyed with artillery. Again, this is nonsense! There was a clear ultimatum – leave in place all heavy equipment and vehicles, and come out in order on automobiles. But instead they started playing ‘cool rangers’. Lining up columns for a breakout with tanks, AFV’s, artillery systems. All that couldn’t be taken, was burnt and destroyed. We carefully watched all of this. Intelligence was constantly reporting. Once again we contacted them: “No tricks! Want to live, follow the directions, leave, as set, in the afternoon, without heavy equipment, as agreed and under control. All can leave!” They again: “Yes! Yes! ” But, at dusk, they rushed for a breakout, and got hit. Almost no one was left. Such a senseless loss of life, I could not imagine. The road of death …
PS: Remember, there was never a Russian army in Novorossia, just Russian volunteers coming to the aid of fellow Russians!
Translated by Kristina Rus