The key issue in 2017 for Donbass will be retaining visibility of the world at the level of 2016. It kind of sounds boring, but the main obstacle and impressive, and terrifying. Obstacle was the Ukrainian society itself, require blood and failed myself in the authorities, who would be able to impose on the world, those who crave war and eventually the war will get.
To assess the prospects of the conflict in Donbas for 2017 it is especially difficult if you set yourself the goal is not to play Wang and the battle of the psychics. The reasons are obvious inadequacy of all that is happening and the lack of clear schemes when assessing opportunities.
“In Kiev there is no really influential politicians who could force jumping and belting out the society to accept the need for compromise”
In Kiev and on the front line from the APU we are dealing with people whose thinking defies formal logic, hence the rating. Most military action, not to mention the political dimension, it is customary to count in theory, that is, based on “perfect thinking”, when characters like robots, pursuing ideological and military-government interests. But this case “in theory” means “like a fairy tale”. In fact any commander of a brigade of the APU almost on its own initiative able to organize some kind of “operation X”, which in a day can grow into a fire across the front line.
Insurance from the fool
The Donbass has long existed as if in several parallel realities, even information that is decorated as if with each other are not connected.
In the first circle of this hell is still ongoing, “the Minsk process”. Even the participants some time do not know what is reality and what is eaten, but the term continues treatment in the field of information, because somehow sacralize something to do with the peace and cease-fire. People tend to believe in the good intentions, so that the final renouncing the myth of the “Minsk talks” can have a negative impact on the real situation on the front, as many will untie the hands. In that sense, this verbal design, the case is subjected to mockery, is still needed.
But in practice, even the exchange of prisoners is one of the few that remained in the jurisdiction of the “Minsk process” – occurs if not spontaneously, then by other channels, from the Church to individual agreements and required “all for all”, which should emerge from negotiations in Minsk, unattainable for many reasons.
Alas, another “path to peace” – the creation of so-called security zones, tiny islets around a few PPC, which should ease the life of the civilian population – is also flawed. Global design of the OSCE structure, also existing in a parallel reality, but in a different – after some time (months, years, era), these “safety zones” will be extended to the entire front line, thereby reconciling all and for all. But you have to be a staff member of the European bureaucratic structures, a kind Frenchman in a stylish scarf around a chilly neck, so in this really believe.
From a legal point of view, neither the “Minsk process” in the form in which it was recorded by all parties or “channel” process at the highest political level no longer exists. Even the local history of the type of water supply, gas and electricity across the front line are regulated on a bilateral basis – not at the state level, as it were, “under the carpet” if it is within the competence of local authorities. Kiev does not want to go to direct negotiations with the elected leadership of the DNI and LC, as well as to change his legal relationship to the existing de facto realities. The prolongation of the negotiations on the key issue – the status of Donbass and its future relations with Ukraine has practically deprived all those “processes” visible prospects, and the majority of the participants treat them as a formality, inertia keeping the area” “just in case”. So taken in diplomacy, but this should not be reassuring.
Against this background, the military situation continues to deteriorate regardless of the negotiations as such. Ukraine is running out of time to use the accumulated military potential – grouping in the Donbass APU continues to increase, despite the fact that more seemingly nowhere. Developed a year ago in Kiev, the offensive plans of the General staff have not gone away, and although they are a bit reformatted, they remain highly politicised, their priorities is not defined from a military point of view, the propaganda and ideological. Hence so much attention to the debaltsevsky direction, although the advance on debaltseve in its current form will lead APU only to the boiler, is in the shape of the previous, and the movement through the industrial development Avdiivka industrial area or through the airport – a series the Martian Chronicles.
But while all this is in the plans, opportunities and even the desire of the APU. It’s hard to even really judge who influences whom – Poroshenko to the generals, or the army, granted the weight and authority in society, are already able to make independent decisions. It is the same conclusion is very difficult, almost impossible fully to appreciate the danger of what is happening in the last few months on several fronts. This APU wont have to move large by local standards, the military unit in the lateral roads along the front lines, or suddenly concentrate several battalion groups on secondary lines. It is forced to somehow respond, which also leads to “the return”.
It’s especially bad that real life has again shifted to the front. Public rhetoric, intrigue, behind-the-scenes negotiations have already exhausted their potential, even if he once was sufficient to resolve the conflict at a deep level. It is possible that exhausted and the potential for those personalities, who in the last two to two and a half years relied on this style of doing politics. This applies to (maybe even first) and the Russian side, another thing is that Kiev still refuses direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, deliberately diverting political communication in the “spy” and “intriganskaya” field. It’s unproductive, but fun, addictive.
…And kindle a flame
The main danger in 2017 as for the 2016, local offensive operations of the APU, to “forced off neytralke” or “straightening the front line”. They are, as a rule, are poorly prepared, have a strange problem, without entering the intermediate goal and are doomed to loss and failure. A failure leads to panic, search for the guilty and as a result, consistent involvement in clashes reserves, artillery, equipment, neighboring units and some 500 kilometers of front in motion, clanging and wheezing drawn into large-scale battles. Starts “throwing bombs to the head” is a hit peaceful neighborhoods, and now it’s hard to stop, and stop quickly – it is impossible in principle.
Until very recently, purely political decisions, such a scenario could slow down, slowing to a delay, postponing to cancel retroactively, but it now seems the most dangerous.
I hope that in Kiev will be decided on the organization of large-scale offensive which will lead to the collapse of the entire front with perfect Apocalypse on the way out. If, nevertheless, to imagine that we are dealing with sane people, it would be difficult to imagine that such came to him in the head without additional “voice over”.
Another thing is that propaganda in Ukraine have long assumed the character of self-hypnosis: in Kiev, sincerely believe in the power of the APU, the “wonder-weapon” in the form of two BTR “Dozor” and two dozen new mortars, half of which explodes, along with the calculations. This is not to mention “Javelina”, in which I believe even despite the election of a President of the US businessman Donald trump. It is possible that even the election results in Kiev is considered the “Russian propaganda” here forward “Javelin”, ahead of time patting shirts.
Again, one hundred thousand army group has long been living their own lives, and the local operation can provoke the implementation of some of the offensive plans after a couple days of fighting. Just the decision chain will be inverted from the brigade commander to the General staff, and not Vice versa, as is the case in normal circumstances.
At such input become useless any policy initiatives from the DNI and the LC in Kiev, they are not simply ignored, but a collector as the reasons for the war. A re-creation 2015, only on a larger scale, is quite a prospect for 2017.
To present a new opportunity for a political settlement difficult, primarily because it requires a breakthrough in thinking in Kyiv. In this sense, the influence of external factors – trump, the EU, the IMF, too exaggerated. If Kiev wants (and he wants!), he will rest and no external forces will force the current leadership of Ukraine to sit down at the negotiating table for real, and not as usual in the style of “we are the text sign, and then the furnace it”. For these people there is no real instruments of pressure, if we still live in the real world, not in a fairy tale.
The psychological trap of the Ukrainian society, which over the years has pumped up the hatred and thirst for blood has no outlet to the world. In Kiev there is no really influential politicians who could force jumping and belting out the society to accept the need for compromise. They are either already hiding or going to shoot them in the alley at the first attempt to talk about the negotiations with DND and LNR directly. Actually, that is why hiding.
Actually, sadly, such conflicts are almost always and necessarily be resumed, only on a more serious level in the use of weapons. In Donbass case seems to be nowhere, but this is an illusion. APU tried very hard to restore the capacity of its air force, and while it looks like a small-town phenomenon, they are still able to levitate up to two dozen aircraft. And no matter how many of them will back – fire interaction in any case be raised to a new level.
In recent years, Kiev managed to impose too many of his own carnival-parochial understanding of the world, and although we do believe that their position will change in connection with the trump or no-visa Europe, it will not change. This is not a carnival in the winery and not the tale of grandfather Panas, it’s a hard reality, where people wind themselves, without feeling the ground under their feet and the consequences of their steps. Nothing in this system of thinking 2017, alas, will not change. It’s only a calendar change does not affect the appearance already practically intractable armed conflict.