Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

The Fall of Slaviansk, its meaning and implications

The Fall of Slaviansk, its meaning and implications

The Saker
July 5, 2014

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/the-fall-of-slaviansk-its-meaning-and.html

Military analysis:
So today Slaviansk has finally fallen to the Nazis. Those of us with a military background all understood that this was pretty much inevitable and, obviously, so did the leaders of the Novorussian resistance. The fact that it took so long for the entire Ukie army to take that small town really says a lot about the amazing courage of its defenders and/or about the no less amazing incompetence (or lack of motivation) of the attackers. It appears that what happened is that Strelkov took the (wise) decision to abandon the town and to only leave a very small covering force to protect his retreating units. This plan apparently went well, the defenders broke through the Ukie lines with no losses and they are now heading towards the city of Gorlovka (as defending Kramatorsk and Konstantinovka makes no sense at this point). The military purpose of Slaviansk was to concentrate the Ukie death squads around itself to allow for the preparation of the real line of defense along the Donetsk-Gorlovka-Lugansk axis. The battle for Slaviansk achieved this purpose.

In purely military terms, the above is pretty much all which can be said about this event. But war is not a purely military phenomenon. In reality, wars are always deeply political, and politics is a multi-dimensional realm in which purely military factors are always secondary to much more important ones such as symbolism.

Political dimension
In political terms, the fall of Slaviansk is a disaster for Novorussia and even Russia.

If Slaviank had been taken weeks ago after a couple of days of fighting, it would have been a no big deal loss. But Slaviansk resisted for weeks and in the course of these weeks it became a symbol of resistance. Now that it has fallen, however, Slaviansk has become the symbol of Russian inaction. Purely military arguments simply don't matter here and perceptions become everything. And the perception is clearly that Putin failed to deliver on his promise to protect Novorussia and that the defenders of Slaviansk fought and died in vain. Furthermore, now that Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Konstantinovka have fallen (or are in the process of being overrun by the Ukies), there is no way to avoid the worst kind of combats: Donetsk, Gorlovka and Lugansk are next.

Furthermore, what matters here is not only that Slaviansk has fallen, but why and how it has fallen. Slaviansk has fallen because Russia did absolutely nothing or, at least, nothing adequate, to prevent it from falling. As for how it fell, it fell in a bloodbath of murdered civilians: the Ukies essentially used only artillery to basically flatten the town. In other words, Russia let a mass murder of civilians go not only unpunished, but even unchallenged. One could argue that Russia had no obligation to take any action. This would be true if Putin had not officially promised not to allow such an event to take place. But he did commit himself and, through him, all of Russia, to extend a protection to the people of Novorussia.

Today, this promise appears to have been just words.

Consequences for Putin
The consequences for Putin of this situation are now becoming very serious because not only has the lack of Russian proactive measures terribly disappointed the Novorussian people, but it is now also beginning to alienate more and more people inside Russia including Putin's core base of support. As I have written many times, the rage in Russia about the actions of the Nazi junta is huge and becoming stronger every day. The risk for Putin is that this rage might eventually become directed at him personally.

Does that mean that Putin has to send in the tanks ASAP?

No, but at the very least, Russian officials should stop their never-ending flow of appeasing statements and also express that popular rage. Today, the Russian TV channels have announced that Russia is "suspending" the return of Ukie military hardware from Crimea to the junta. If that is their idea of a sign of rage, then they PR folks in the Kremlin should be immediately fired. Not only is it both lame and crazy to hand back even one old and broken AK to an illegal Nazi regime in Kiev (remember, symbolic actions matter), but the notion that stopping this shameful handover is an adequate reaction to the events in the Donbass is simply delusional.

The great disconnect
There is something really weird happening in Russia right now. While it is true that most Russians probably would not support an overt and full-scale Russian intervention in the Donbass, the Russia media is constantly barraging the public with reports about Ukrainian atrocities and about the Novorussian resistance. Representatives of the resistance, including top-level political figures like Tsarev, get to speak on the main Russian TV news and talk shows no less than once a week and with the exception of a few confused and isolated "liberals", almost every single guest on these shows advocates some kind of retaliatory measure against the junta. For example, it is my honest impression that a strong majority of Russian intellectuals and analysts favor a massive humanitarian, technical and financial support campaign for Novorussia. I would also say that most of them feel that Russia has to send enough military aid to allow the Novorussians to defend themselves. Again, with the exception of a few completely discredited (and openly ridiculed) pro-US "liberal", everybody shows a total contempt for, and condemnation of, Poroshenko and the Nazi junta in Kiev. The best and kindest thing you hear about Poroshenko is that he does not matter, that he is only a spokesman for the US, that the real ruler of Kiev is the US Ambassador and that Poroshenko has no real power at all. Most think of him as a Nazi war criminal.

So there you have it. The people who for years have formed the power base of Putin openly call the Kiev regime a Nazi junta while the Kremlin makes one appeasing statement after another, interspersed here and there with lame protests which everybody simply ignores.

This cannot continue for much longer.

If the Russian betrayal of Iran and Libya could be legitimately blamed on Medvedev and his "Atlantic Integrationists", a now possible collapse of Novorussia will be blamed directly on Putin, and I would argue fairly so.

Now Russia cannot retreat a single centimeter further
That's it. The conflict has now reached a critical phase. If in purely military terms the fall of Slavianks and Kramatorsk are really no big deal, the fall of Donetsk or Lugansk would mean the end of the entire Novorussian project. In simple terms, that would mean a NATO controlled russophobic Nazi regime right across the Russian border. True, Banderastan is not viable and objective economic and now social factors (tens of thousands of heavily armed Nazis roaming across the country, for one thing) will inevitably result in an explosive collapse, but until that happens Lugansks and Donetsk must be held at all cost, including, if that is what it takes, a full-scale ground operation of the Russian armed forces.

n July 28, 1942 Stalin issued his famous Order 227 which contained the key sentence " " or "not a single step backwards". This order included the following words in which I have just substituted the words "Soviet" and "Red" with "Russian" and "German" with "AngloZionist":

The enemy throws new forces to the front without regard to heavy losses and penetrates deep into Russia, seizing new regions, destroying our cities and villages, and violating, plundering and killing the Russian population. (...) The population of our country, who love and respect the Russian Army, start to be discouraged in her, and lose faith in the Russian Army, and many curse the Russian Army for leaving our people under the yoke of the AngloZionist oppressors, and itself running east. Some stupid people at the front calm themselves with talk that we can retreat further to the east, as we have a lot of territory, a lot of ground, a lot of population and that there will always be much bread for us. They want to justify the infamous behavior at the front. But such talk is falsehood, helpful only to our enemies. Each commander, Russian Army soldier and political commissar should understand that our means are not limitless. The territory of the Russian state is not a desert, but people - workers, peasants, intelligentsia, our fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, children. (...) Therefore it is necessary to eliminate talk that we have the capability endlessly to retreat, that we have a lot of territory, that our country is great and rich, that there is a large population, and that bread always will be abundant. Such talk is false and parasitic, it weakens us and benefits the enemy (...) This leads to the conclusion, it is time to finish retreating. Not one step back! Such should now be our main slogan. It is necessary to defend each position, each meter of our territory, up to the last drop of blood, to cling for each plot of Russian land and to defend it as long as possible. Our Motherland is experiencing hard days. We must stop, and then to throw back and smash the enemy regardless of cost. The AngloZionists are not so strong, as it seems to the panic-mongers. They strain their last forces. To withstand their impact now, means to ensure our victory in some months.

Amazing, no? Prophetic words which I wish we would hear from the Kremlin today. Instead, all I hear from the Kremlin are vapid and lame protests. This cannot continue any further: Russiamust react in a determined and effective way.

What exactly that way must be is for Putin and his Security Council to decide. But what is certain is that action must be taken now to clearly and visibly stop the Ukie assault. And if the only way is to bring in the Russian military, then I say "do it!".

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Voices Of Concern: Aussies For Assange’s Return

With Julian Assange now fighting the next stage of efforts to extradite him to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 of which are based on the brutal, archaic Espionage Act, some Australian politicians have found their voice. It might be said that a few have even found their conscience... More>>



Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>



Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>