From Patriots to Drunks to Mercenaries: What happened to the UAF?

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June 6, 2016 

Yurasumy, PolitRussia – 

Translated by J. Arnoldski

On June 24th, 2016 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed Decree No. 271 on demobilization. This military discharge affects 17,000 military servicemen mobilized into the UAF in the framework of the 5th mobilization wave of 2015. Poroshenko stated that those demobilized will be replaced with contract soldiers, and that there is no longer any need for mobilizations. Meanwhile, in Donbass, the war is not over and there is every reason to believe that the end is still far off. 

So why has Ukraine abandoned the idea of a “people’s” army and is replacing it with contract soldiers, i.e., mercenaries?

Any army of the mobilized type, if it is not at war, decomposes. This rule has no exceptions. It was the idle sailors of the Baltic fleet and reserves who became the driving force of the February coup in Petrograd in 1917, as a result of which the 300 year Romanov dynasty was overthrown once and for all. Sitting in the trenches was the cause of unrest among the German and French armies. And if the second was cured by mass shootings, then the first followed the example of their Russian colleagues and forced Kaiser Wilhlem to abdicate, thus plunging Germany into revolutionary chaos. 

Recently, one of the coordinators of the group “Information Resistance” (Tymchuk’s group), Konstantin Mashovets, almost word for word repeated this well-known truth: “A mobilized army, if it is not fighting, begins to decompose. If you carry out a mobilizaiton, then you either have to fight or disband such an army. There is no medium here. Otherwise, the army will decompose and organize a revolution in the country with a Pinochet or something worse.”

How is it that the junta’s army has come to this?

In the spring and summer of 2014, the Kiev regime, using the revolutionary enthusiasm of crowds, called dozens of thousands of people for military service who, just after purely conventional training drills, were thrown into the inferno of war. They died by the hundreds in cauldrons, cursed the government, commanders, and the residents of Donbass, but new and newer contingents came ready to fulfill criminal orders against their own people. Then there was no time to think about it. The commissioners of the former “boys scouts,” the gangs and ideological “patriots” explained to soldiers during the short breaks between battles that they were protecting their Homeland and that they could always cite their glory by citing the example of Russian citizens being the prominent commanders of the militia. 

Of course, the soldiers didn’t need to know about CIA agents in the central office of the SBU in Kiev or about the Polish, Blatic, Swedish, Georgian, Chechen, American, and Russian volunteers fighting for them. Why? A soldier shouldn’t be overloaded with unneeded information, especially because he has to go into battle tomorrow and die knowing that he died for the freedom of his Homeland. 

Two years pass

The last major battles died down in February of 2015 when the junta’s army got its last cauldron. Soldiers have already been sitting in trenches for a year and are starting to think.

The majority of them didn’t catch the big skirmishes of the war and have never seen a “separatist” in their scope. For them, the war has become a chore during which one has to busy themselves with something and try not to get hit by a stray projectile, not go on the attack over the next drunken bout of moonshine, and not step on a mine or trip a wire.

All of those who are now mobilized have served for no more than year (plus a few months, which is common). Such a war kills the spirit much faster than any cauldron. When you are being hit, you can hit back and your brain is busy with this task. But if you’re sitting in a trench and all the while you’re called a “sucker” and “loser” and in the rear your more intelligent compatriots are stealing your brides and wives, you just want to drink, or “accidentally” throw a grenade taken from the ATO at them, or settle scores with life.

And so they throw grenades and go insane. This has already become such a common phenomenon, that it doesn’t always make it into reports in national media. And the drunkenness at the front has already acquired such proportions that along the line of contact have opened semi-industrial moonshine factories producing products of very high quality at the most affordable prices. In no way did Putin personally deliver the equipment or subsidize the production.

You can already hear the half-forgotten phrase from officials: “We didn’t send you there.” It has already become clear that no one will take care of your family after you are injured or killed. After two years, everyone has already figured this out and understood. And they’ve made their choice. 

A hard choice

The Kiev regime’s task is in fact not simple at all. On the one hand, it is clear that telling stories for so long about a “patriotic” war with the aggressor who constantly saves Ukraine with electricity, coal, gas, and whom the Ukrainian government constantly asks not to impose sanctions isn’t working out. Following the failures of the military campaign of 2014-2015, the number of those wishing to join the army diminished to such an extent that even the regular round ups of “volunteers” couldn’t help mobilization plans be fulfilled…even with taking the lame, epileptics, and people with impaired vision. 

On the other hand, a mercenary army is expensive and the regime can’t afford it. How can this problem be solved? Only by creating conditions in which a demobilized ATO soldier can return to the front again. 

Ukrainians’ lives are changing rapidly. The soldier called to service at the end of 2014 or in the beginning of 2015 (now demobilized) no longer recognizes his country. He feels like an unwanted outcast. But in the army, everything is so familiar, understandable, and routinely that he doesn’t want to go back home to those who “don’t understand anything about the current war and life.”….

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Hence why so many demobilized soldiers who have passed through the ATO return already several months later and sign a contract. Some don’t even leave, but just take care of it all in their positions. 

In order for “cannon fodder” to have no doubts, soldiers have to be ensured good financial conditions. And they don’t seem to be bad at all now. A soldier earns 300-500 USD, which in the civilian world is like infinity. But then again, in 2013, this was still the average wage of a Ukrainian worker.

Mobilization and demobilization

The nationalist “commissars” still constantly tell soldiers of the UAF that for being in the ATO zone once, if the regime falls they would not only lose all of their benefits, but would also become criminals in the new Ukraine. The “patriots” don’t tire of reminding everyone of this in their “internet journals” and media. 

I wonder why they do this and what point they’re trying to prove. 

In hybrid war, it is very simply to determine on which side you’re fighting (as usual). If thanks to your actions, a mobilization of the enemy happens and his forces grow, then you are on his side, but if they weaken, then you are really fighting with them. It’s as simple as not needing to invent any explanations or excused. In war, he who achieves the defeat of the enemy wins, not he who says nice words to society while multiplying enemies….

But let’s return to mobilization. Sometimes, the authorities declare it. Other times, people themselves are ready to drop everything and go defend what is dear to them and what they are afraid to lose. For Ukraine, the “Crimean Spring” was precisely such an event, but for the new Kiev regime’s enemies, May 2nd in Odessa and June 2nd in Luhansk were such events. These events mobilized more people than the urges of Kiev authorities or the leadership of the newfound republics in Donbass.

Words can mobilize. Remember this phrase of Boris Filatov: “The bastards need to be made any kind of promises, guarantees, and any kind of concessions. But hanging…they need to be hanged later.” 

Who has counted how many thousands of people were mobilized by this phrase to fight against fascism in Ukraine?

What’s more, it is all the more obvious that the war in Ukraine is acquiring a non-conventional form (an indirect one). Work in the field of psychology is becoming all the more effective and real of a weapon than guns.

Summary and conclusions

The junta’s army has disintegrated and is no longer capable of fighting. Mobilizing new contingents for military service is pointless. The patriotic frenzy has long since been gone, and the state is fully reaping the yields of “sitting in the trenches.” Such an army is incapable of fulfilling orders and is very dangerous for the government. Only a mercenary, who serves for money and is tied to the regime by blood and common interests is capable of prolonging its existence and becoming a base of support.

Then soldiers will be afraid of losing their status and their income.

The poverty of its citizens has made the option of a contract army not so burdensome for Kiev, and the flow of “volunteers” is sufficient for the establishment of its major parts.

Not everything is as Kiev wants and the number of contract soldiers does not fully compensate for the demobilization of the last 2015 waves, but in general the problem has been solved.

However, there is still one thing which will determine the logic of the conflict’s development. A mercenary army is incapable of fighting against an equal opponent and most importantly it is incapable of bearing losses. Mercenaries come to make money, not die for a homeland.

Even in the US and Great Britain, when war started for real, such as in WWII or Vietnam, the country answered the call, i.e., they created an army of the mobilization type. Hence why one should not expect the Kiev regime to unleash a full-scale war. Its army is incapable of doing this, and the one which it is creating will not do this. Attempts to reclaim Donbass by force have finally failed.

Moreover, the regime is incapable of conducting another active campaign for purely technical reasons, but we will talk about this some other time. 

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