Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Vineyard of the Saker: Ukraine SITREP May 31st: why can't the junta take Slaviansk?

Combats SITREP from "Juan"

Igla-S man protable anti aircraft missiles were found 'abandoned' beside a country road' by Donbas Army, confirmed. Quantity unknown.

A video of a Ukrainian Sukhoi ground attack plane being shot down 30 May is extant. No verification of the incident by witness account from a crash sight. The pilot ejecting is visible on the video.

Ternopol: Some government buildings have been taken by the people, one admin building burned 30 May.

Several ZU-23 anti aircraft systems (which can be used with devastating effects as heavy rapid-fire machine guns on ground targets) were "found" by Donbas Army. Source and number of as new condition weapons unknown. The weapon systems are now in use of the Donbas Army.

Casualties from the bombardments of Slavyansk and Donetsk are estimated in excess of 50 civilians but this number is not verified. It is verified that one 5 year old girl child has lost a foot.

Children were being evacuated from Slavyansk to Russian Federation and sent to Sevastopol yesterday and today. That evacuation has been suspended due to the situation in Slavyansk as of early this afternoon local time.

Heavy fighting is continuing in parts of Slavyansk and outlying areas all day and intensifying as of 17:55 31.05.2014.

Donetsk Airport is still the scene of sporadic fighting since afternoon 29 May. Fighting still occurring 31 May.

Casualties of junta Army as of 28 May are reported to be 627. Casualties of the junta Army since that date are reported by the same source as 250. Both figures are KIA (killed in action). WIA (wounded in action) are not known accurately but the source estimates in excess of 700 WIA up to 28 May. WIA after there is no estimate.

Desertions from Ukrainian Army are confirmed at a minimum of 1428 as of 28 May. No numbers reported after that date. It is unknown if these figures include national guard/right sector casualties.

18:21 local time unconfirmed reports from Donetsk Airport that a junta Army unit has turned at least some of their weapons on national guard/right sector fighters in airport terminal, reason unknown.


My own sources confirm that Slaviansk has seen the heaviest artillery strikes ever with shells landing more or less randomly in the city. Still, the huge artillery barrage which "Juan" and, by the way, one of the leaders of the Resistance, Viacheslav Ponomarev had feared would occur last night did not happen. In other words, the means to flatten Slaviansk have been deployed, but the political decision seems to be the only thing waiting to happen and, as Crossvader and others had suggested, this decision would entail major risks for the regime in Kiev. My personal guess is that the local commanders of the Ukie death-squands around Slaviansk would love to open up with everything they have against those they call "terrorists", "bugs" or "Moskals" but that folks like Poroshenko in Kiev see, if not the big picture, then at least a bigger picture. For one thing, the Russians could simply walk out from the negotiations on gas deliveries. What is certain is that the fight for the control of rump-Ukraine is now on, with on one hand the Poroshenko-Klichko duo trying to get Kiev under control and on the other the Iarosh-Timoshenko-Tiagnibok-Liashko freak show trying to put pressure on him with maximalist demands. The compromise in Novorossia seems to be "we will shell enough to create a panic, but not enough to trigger a real bloodbath". This is most definitely not an effective tactics.

Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: Ukraine SITREP May 31st, 21:13 UTC/Zulu: why can't the junta take Slaviansk?

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