Here is continuation of an article written by two unian journalists – Konstantin Goncharov and Tatyana Urbanska about what Ukraine has passed through in course of this year.
Read about 365 of undeclared war.
On April 14, 2014 Speaker of the Parliament and Acting President Alexander Turchynov signed a decree on carrying out anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine with involvement of regular units of Ukrainian Armed Forces. Then the corresponding decision of National Security and Defense Council came into effect. Despite numerous attempts to solve the conflict in peaceful way, Ukraine and International community haven’t succeeded yet. Both first and second Minsk agreements haven’t been implemented.
Ukrainians hardly believe it will ever happen.
Unian correspondents asked experts what lessons has Ukraine learned from 365 days of undeclared war.
Advisor to head of Ministry of Internal Affairs, MP from ‘People’s Front’ Anton Gerashchenko believes that introduction of martial law instead of ATO wouldn’t save situation in Ukraine.
‘This wouldn’t increase number of our soldiers, new military equipment and money in the budget, – he said. According to Gerashchenko, martial law wasn’t introduced in Ukraine because it would have negative impact on diplomacy and international relations. However, if it was introduced it wouldn’t change real balance of forces.
Roughly speaking, renaming National Security and Defense Council and General Staff into the General Headquarters and ATO into war wouldn’t solve problems and wouldn’t do anything to increase effectiveness of combat operations.
‘Being under pressure of Russian Special Service, Ukraine still managed to resist Russian aggression. I believe that on this stage, one year ago, we did everything we could in the given circumstances’, – Gerashchenko says.
As for the wins and losses, the deputy believes that the major victory of ATO is unification of Ukrainian, while total distrust to the government is the major loss.
‘The main victory of ATO is that Ukrainian people managed to unite in the fight against serious opponent and beat Putin and his terrorists. The major loss is that Ukrainian people continue to distrust government, military commandment and don’t feel that generals who have taken illegal decisions leading to unjustified human losses bear responsibility for that’, – Gerashchenko explained.
However, the politician drew analogy to losses of USA in Pearl Harbor and losses of USSR in Stalingrad, which can also be considered defeats.
‘It all was part of war. One can lose battle but win a war. So far we lost battles in Eastern Ukraine, but in general we will win the war’, – the politician believes.
In his turn politician, head of Center of Applied Political Studies ‘Penta’ Volodymyr Fesenko calls events near Ilovaisk major loss of ATO.
He doesn’t consider retreat from Debaltseve as clear defeat but rather relative defeat which gave possibility to save loves of servicemen and most part of military equipment. Fesenko doesn’t call events in Donetsk airport defeat as well. ‘The main question is whether it was necessary to defend it for so long. The last month of airport defense was of more symbolic significance than military one’, – Fesenko says.
In opinion of the political scientist, today between ATO forces and the so-called DNR and LNR there has established the so-called ‘battle draw’ and only because there is Russia on the side of separatists and servicemen of DNR and LNR are Russians who dispose of the newest military equipment.
Fesenko underlines that Russia and separatists have resource advantage over Ukrainian military. Situation would be different if separatists didn’t have military support in the east. ‘And now the situation actually hang, it passed into trench war and correspondingly there is some stagnation of the conflict’, – Fesenko says.
Despite this fact, the political scientist says that effectiveness of ATO is moderate. ’We have quite effective defense, however, it is rather passive sometimes. We still have problems with coordination and management of fighting. However, we manage to fulfill strategic tasks within resources we have’, – he believes.