Today, DNR Deputy Defence Minister E А Basurin pointed up at a media briefing in Donetsk that the junta continues to build up assault forces near the demilitarised zone. He said, “According to our intel, the Ukrainian side massed 36 battalion tactical groups, 20 separate infantry battalions, two spetsnaz battalions, and 3 reconnaissance battalions against us. In the frontline, the enemy concentrated 45,000 troops, 380 tanks, 1,800 MICV/APC, 980 artillery and MLRS systems, and up to 75 combat aircraft and helicopters. In addition, they continue a buildup of their strike group around Volnovakha, where they secretly relocated a significant amount of military equipment and personnel. This intel clearly demonstrates Kiev’s unwillingness to comply with its obligations under the Minsk agreements and its intensification of preparation for military action. Our troops continue to strictly fulfil its commitments and is ready to take decisive action to protect the republic”.
23 May 2015
DAN Donetsk News Agency
This situation shows the utter C3I chaos in the junta armed forces. Normally, 45,000 troops would be three divisions and support troops (using a Russian-style organisation), that is, one mechanised corps. That would be 27 mechanised infantry battalions and 9 tank battalions (tank battalions in mechanised units have 40 tanks, not 31). There would be 729 MICV/APC and 360 tanks. That is exactly the 36 battalion tactical groups spoken of above. In addition, 20 separate infantry battalions would have 540 APC/MICV, making for 1,269 APC/MICV for 56 mechanised battalions at full TO&E*. We already see the first lacunae… the forces indicated need 360 tanks, but have 380, that’s about even… but there’s an excess of APCs though. Three artillery regiments (at present junta TO&E of four guns per battery) give 162 artillery pieces, with 54 Grad MRLs in three MLRS battalions… that’s 216 artillery systems in total. Each mechanised battalion has 8 mortars and 6 AGS*, so that would add 784 heavy weapons. That would require 1,000 heavy weapons and 980 is almost that, but if the figure includes AT guns and anti-aircraft guns, it indicates a serious shortage in artillery. It looks like the junta has concentrated all its remaining tanks and AFVs for this offensive. It’s a “do or die” affair. If they lose what they have, that’s all, folks.
- TO&E: Table of Organisation and Equipment
- AGS: Automatic Grenade Launcher
However, 45,000 troops aren’t enough troops for 56 manoeuvre formations at full top with the proper quota of support units. That would require 24,675 troops for the mechanised battalions and 1,215 troops for the tank battalions, making 25,890 troops in manoeuvre units. To properly man the artillery, that would require 40 men per gun (according to late-Sov organisation), so to operate 216 artillery systems would require 8,640 personnel, making for a total of 34,530 personnel in frontline units only. There aren’t enough troops to man these units and to operate frontline support units as well. That is, the junta forces are top-heavy… almost all the personnel are in manoeuvre units, with very few in fire support and logistical support units, meaning that if anything goes wrong, it’ll be almost impossible to supply or support that sector.
Besides that, the junta forces have corps-level HQs and brigade-level HQs, but lack division-level HQs, not to mention all those unattached battalions roaming over the battlefield. To compound the situation, it’s clear from the figures given that unattached battalions make up a full 40 percent of the junta forces, with no organic fire support or logistics support units. Due to purges in the officer corps, there aren’t enough trained officers to coördinate the movement and supply of junta units. Let’s put the cherry on the sundae… most of the junta officers are politically reliable incompetents acceptable to Galician Uniate nationalists. This is an utter clusterfuck from Cloud Cuckoo Land. The Samogonshchiki from the famous Sov movie would do better!
This looks like a “Super-Debaltsevo” in the making. The morale in the junta forces is in the shitter. The junta can’t recruit troops to replace its losses… it refuses to sort out the organisational chaos in its forces. I don’t think that the junta is long for this world.