segunda-feira, 9 de junho de 2014

War in Ukraine

It's 1000 km and only 1 border change from here to where war is ragging in eastern Ukraine, so I've never been closer to war in my life and I am therefore interested in knowing what is going on there. The Syrian Civil War has been ragging for 3 years and degraded into a WW2 level of destruction, with months long sieges of cities and residential areas being leveled. Compared to that the Ukrainian conflict is many orders of magnitude less severe, but still, since it already includes mortar fire, cannon fire and even bombing from airplanes, it cannot be described in any way else then a war.

Now a timeline of battles of the war:

40+ rebel militants burned to death in Odessa - 2/may/2014 - Decisive Ukrainian victory - 40+ rebel militants killed

This shows how ugly things get when militants get involved in the conflict, as opposed to trained soldiers. Militants are merely local people, so they have no training and will do stupid things and get killed. A group of pro-russian militants attacked a march of pro-ukranian soccer hooligans in Odessa. The group of hooligans was much larger and repelled the attack. The pro-russians fled then to a trade union building, but the hooligans threw molotov cocktails and burned them to death. The police did nothing during the conflict.


Checkpoint attack - 22/may/2014 - Decisive Rebel victory, 11+ ukrainian army soldiers killed

Rebels utilized a dirty tactic: Approached a checkpoint with an ukrainian vehicle pretending to be part of the army and then shot.


Donetsk Airport Battle - 26/may/2014 - Decisive Ukrainian victory - Large numbers of separatists killed

The information that 50+ (sometimes even 100+) separatists appeared in the media, but I wanted to know how the ukrainians achieved this feat, while not loosing even a single soldier in this battle. And just like the checkpoint surprise attack, this one was also very dirty, showing that really playing dirty in wars pays off. The separatists rushed during the night to the Donetsk Airport and took it over. They had a mixed force of russian-ukrainians and chechens, and then they established a defence perimeter there, in the terminal but also in the trees around it. Well, an Airport terminal with huge glass windows and many open spaces around it is a terrible building to defend against heavy weapons, and its take over was a huge error of planning by the rebels, not to mention that it is far enough (800m) from the nearest residential area so that it can be bombed from the air at will. I suppose that the rebels didn't think that the Ukrainians would actually bomb the airport. The Ukrainian forces responded very quickly, within hours. First a Sukhoi 25 fired warning shots, and the rebels started panicking. Then a Mig-29 bombed the airport terminal, leaving it ruined. At this point the rebels panicked again and many ran.

So now here is how the body count got so high: Rebels wounded in the first bombing got into their trucks and tryed to flee to the city. Then an Ukrainian helicopter appeared and launched rockets against it. Well, that's a pretty low and honourless tactic, to fire are those fleeing the battle. It really shows that the Ukrainian government wants nothing less then to kill the rebels.

"Many of the killed Russian-backed fighters were riding together in a truck when they were struck from above by artillery or rocket-propelled grenades fired from a Ukrainian army helicopter. The truck was destroyed and flipped on its side. The truck bed contained pools of blood and bloody bandages were strewn about the area surrounding the truck, indicating that rebel fighters aboard had been previously wounded"

Best sources:

Helicopter with general shot down - 29/may/2014 - Decisive rebel - 14 army members dead

Using a Russian man-portable air defence system the rebels took down an army chopter carrying a general. At this point in time wikipedia showed the following loses for each side:

Ukrainian armed forces:

Killed: 78 servicemen; 8 activists;1–2 militants
Lost: 3 Mil Mi-24; 2 Mil Mi-8 helicopters; 1 An-30; 1 An-2 transport plane
Destroyed: 7 APCs (armored truck)
Captured:40-65 soldiers, over 1,000 police officers, 9 APCs; 12 ships


Killed: 108–179 militants; 44 activists
Captured: 63 militants and 25 alleged Russian spies
Destroyed: 1 captured APC (armored truck)


Luhansk bombing - 2/june/2014 - 5 dead, mostly woman

Many Sukhoi-25 from Ukraine fired more then 150 rockets and bombed targets in Luhansk. The importance is that one of the buildings hit is right in the center of the city, which shows that the Ukrainian power will not stop due to the danger of air attacks hitting civilians, it will really bomb all buildings where rebels are.