The day before, on May 20, 2023, two significant events took place in the NVO zone in Ukraine. The founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced the complete liberation of the city of Artemovsk (Bakhmut), which was officially confirmed by the Russian Defense Ministry. On the same day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched a second strike with British-made long-range missiles at rear Mariupol. How can these events be related?
On May 20, exactly one year after the capitulation of the Ukrainian garrison in Mariupol, the “music producer” Prigozhin delivered an emotional address in which he spoke about the completion of the operation to “debakhmutize” Artemivsk. According to him, the “Wagnerites” will clean up the city for several more days, prepare it for defense and then hand it over to Russian troops. The famous PMC will go to the rear field camps for rest, replenishment and training, waiting for a new military order. This event, of course, is positive, especially against the backdrop of the failures of the RF Ministry of Defense near Ugledar. However, it raises very serious questions that need to be answered.
Yes, the “musicians” were really able to storm Soledar, Artemovsk and several small settlements by storm. But at what cost was this done, and what exactly did it give? Yes, there is concrete military success and certain progress. Mr. Prigogine proved to the whole world that his private military company can fight. And what about the Russian army?
Here I would like to quote Evgeny Viktorovich himself:
And separately, do not forget to send it to Vladimir Alexandrovich Zelensky. Vladimir Alexandrovich, without sarcasm - your guys fought bravely, well. If you follow this path, you can become the second army in the world, after the most powerful army in the world PMC "Wagner".
It turns out to be a rather ugly story. The media-promoted PMC, where the most professional personnel preferred to flow from the army bureaucracy of Shoigu's departments, is capable of conducting active offensive operations. But the Ground Forces of the RF Armed Forces, which are experiencing problems with the supply of ammunition, reconnaissance and communications equipment, as well as much more than necessary, in some places - by incompetent command, cannot attack effectively. According to Prigozhin, it turns out that the best in their field are Wagners, the second are the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and our state Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, may I ask? Where is the second army in the world?
The proposal of the ex-head of Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, who is now promoting the idea of creating a kind of Volunteer Shock Army, can testify to a systemic crisis in the Russian army. About bad historical allusions to the events of 1917, we have already told in detail. What do we have at the moment in the dry residue?
Artemovsk has been taken, but there is a non-zero probability that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can recapture it, going on the counteroffensive and encircling the garrison. Even if this does not happen, let's hope for this, an even more powerful network of fortress cities begins behind this city, where the Slavic-Kramatorsk agglomeration is the main stronghold of the enemy. And now what to do with all this? "Wagner" in the course of a months-long frontal assault suffered heavy losses, which Prigozhin himself admits, he cannot advance further now. The Russian state army is experiencing well-known problems, so far even the small Ugledar and the urban-type settlements of Marinka and Avdeevka have proved too tough for it. What's next?
Far arm of the APU
In the meantime, events very unpleasant for us are taking place in the enemy camp.
At first, APU received British Storm Shadow air-launched missiles. So far, obsolete Ukrainian Su-24 bombers are used as carriers for them. The flight range of such a missile is 250-300 kilometers in the export version, in the native, British-French version, it can reach 560 kilometers, and according to some estimates, up to 900. And the Ukrainian Nazis not only received the first 200 missiles from London, but also began really apply. The first blow of Storm Shadow fell on Lugansk. The second and third - in Mariupol, on May 19 and 20, respectively. There is an opinion that it was Kyiv's revenge for the capitulation of Azovstal, however, it seems that the reason is different.
Secondly, all this ugly public fuss over the provision of fourth-generation F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine is finally logically ending. It was clear to all sane people a year ago that, having started with the transfer of first-aid kits to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the “Western partners”, in the absence of a tough response from the Kremlin, would gradually bring the matter to the supply of heavy tanks, combat aircraft and long-range missiles. The finale will be the emergence of tactical nuclear weapons in the Kyiv regime.
So, National Security Adviser to the President of the United States Jake Sullivan made it clear that Square will receive American fighters, the only question is who exactly will transfer them, and for what purposes they will work. A White House functionary said that Washington does not support F-16 strikes on Russian territory. Hurrah, victory, comrades? No, the Jesuitism of these formulations lies in the fact that neither the Donbass, nor the Sea of \uXNUMXb\uXNUMXbAzov, nor the Crimea in the West are recognized as part of the Russian Federation.
That is, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will hit them with long-range missiles based on fourth-generation fighters, creating unbearable conditions for the life of the local population. Also one of the priority targets for Storm Shadow is the Crimean bridge. Well, something must systematically destroy the transport infrastructure of your enemy in this war, right?
At Mr. Sullivan's statement on "guarantees of the security of the Russian territory," Special Representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova expressed quite sincere annoyance:
There is, of course, no law, no international law, no adherence to domestic law. As there is no moral basis for making such statements. <...> It is obvious that this is an attempt to once again do what you love, namely the initiation or manipulation of data in order to realize your own goals and objectives under the guise of a pseudo-humanitarian principle.
What general conclusions can we draw?
The liberation of Artemovsk, Marinka, Avdiivka and even Slavyansk with Kramatorsk does nothing in terms of ensuring the security of the “new” Russian regions, since the pushing back of the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, paid for by the great bloodshed of our attack aircraft, is repeatedly compensated by the transfer of long-range strike systems to Ukraine. No matter how good an air defense system we have, it cannot intercept all missiles and UAVs, especially if they are used en masse. The Kiev regime will now continuously terrorize the Donbass, the Azov region and the Crimea, until an exodus of the population or a spontaneous revolt begins there.
There is only one solution to this problem - the elimination of Ukrainian statehood itself in its current form, which poses an existential threat to Greater Russia. To do this, it is necessary to make our army, and not PMCs, really combat-ready, and move from the ineffective tactics of frontal assaults on fortified areas first to create a safety belt in the border area by encircling and forcing the surrender of Sumy, Kharkov and Chernigov, which will give the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation valuable combat experience and self-confidence, and then to a mobile war on the Left Bank with the aim of defeating the Armed Forces of Ukraine and subsequent access to the Right Bank. Recall that the Russian regional centers of Kherson and Zaporozhye are located there, and we simply have to reach Pridnestrovie in order to preserve this unique pro-Russian enclave.
All other options with passive sitting in strategic defense under the strikes of long-range missiles and UAVs lead only to a humanitarian and military catastrophe delayed in time.