By Parmen Posokhov
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
The militia offensive has been halted almost everywhere
except for the Debaltsevo pocket. The resources of the militia first-line have
been nearly exhausted. However, the main forces, which comprise the 2nd
echelon, have not been sent into action, in contrast to the Ukrainian army
which had thrown into battle nearly everything it had, and now is desperately
begging the world for military and financial assistance, and to squeeze Russia
with sanctions. That the junta is in a state of panic was made obvious enough
by the hysterical vote in the Rada which labeled Russia an aggressor. It is
possible to finish off the Kiev regime in this situation, but Moscow is
waiting. We are in an operational pause. The question is: what are we waiting
for? Perhaps tomorrow’s EU decision concerning new sanctions against Russia.
There will definitely be sanctions. It’s not clear how many and whom they’ll
affect. Maybe they’ll cut us off from SWIFT, maybe not. Maybe two more rating
agencies degrade Russia, maybe not. And so on.
I don’t know whether it’s worth waiting, for tactical
reasons, the results of the EU sit-down, but it’s clear that they’ll cut us off
from SWIFT, and degrade our rating, and do many other things, if not tomorrow
then the day after tomorrow or next month. So what are we waiting for? For the
Right Sector to bring up their “Hitler Youth” to the front line? Or when NATO
instructors start appearing in large numbers to replace the killed off officer
corps of the Ukrainian army? That they’ll start appearing there is no doubt.
They already started. And not a few. There will be a war. Until victory, or
until the last Ukrainian.
Washington has given its go-ahead. Donbass is to be wiped
off the face of the Earth. Ukraine must win. And Russia must stop helping DPR
and LPR, and turn its back in shame as the Donbass is drowning in blood. UN and
OSCE already turned their backs, noticing only the bloody Ukrainian
provocations attributed to the militia. From now on they will work hand in
glove. There will be no compromise. They demand Russia’s capitulation.
Unconditional, without saving face. Will we accept that?
We will not, and there is no other choice. Irrespective of
tomorrow’s EU decision concerning sanctions, it’s time to attack. Any pause
only helps the Ukrainians. The first phase of January battles has served its
purpose. It forced them to reveal its military deployment scheme and introduce
both tactical and operational reserves into battle. Any further delay will
negatively affect our forces’ morale and on the future combat operations. Not
to mention the Russian society which is already in astonishment at how the
Ukrainian army is continuing to annihilate the Donbass with impunity.
Half-measures are stupid. We already saw last spring, when
we recognized the Kiev regime, and during the Fall, when we signed the Minsk
agreements. Half-measures, spread over time, do not become any less dumb. How
many times can we step on the same rake?
Translator’s Note: The author makes a perfectly valid point, namely that Russia has been pulling its punches over the last year. Clearly the survival of the Ukrainian economy and therefore the Ukrainian state is in Kremlin’s hands. One is left with the impression that the Russian government does not want to see Poroshenko fall and be replaced by a Right Sector regime or some other variation on that theme. Ultimately Russia does not want to see Ukraine suffer, in stark contrast to its “western partners” who are entirely indifferent to the suffering on the ground. The calculation may be that Poroshenko, a thoroughgoing opportunist rather than an ideologue, needs more time to rein in, or rid himself of, the extremists, then start rebuilding Ukraine’s relations with Russia. However, should the Kremlin decide Poroshenko and Ukraine are lost causes, it will write both of them off. And Ukraine cannot survive that as a state.