|Will a 100,000 step up?|
|Russia Insider | Feb 3, 2015|
Any widescale offensive the rebels launched now would probably stall, but the recently announced 100,000-strong rebel force could change that
Novorussia (finally) announces a full mobilization:
Zakharchenko has announced that Novorussia is declaring a full mobilization. The neat thing is that this mobilization will be *voluntary* but that Zakharchenko expects 100'000 men to show up.
Here we can only "thank" the junta for its systematic terror campaign against the towns and cities of Novorussia which has acted better than any recruitment center ever could.
If the Novorussians really succeed in getting these kinds of numbers, and my guess is that they will, by next summer the junta will be in real danger of really losing all of historical Novorussia and of having Crimea linked to Russia by land.
Summary and conclusion:
Ever since the junta resumed its offensive against Novorussia the Novorussians have acted very carefully, slowly and effectively. True, these counter-attacks were limited to tactical level engagements.
However, this is the correct response as a full scale operational level counter-offensive would be very dangerous and considering how much time the junta forces had to dig in and prepare its defensive positions, such a counter-attack would probably have been stalled, if not defeated.
Zakharchenko and his General Staff clearly have protected their most precious resource - their men - and have limited their response to relieving the pressure on Donetsky and Gorlovka.
However, I am beginning to detect the signs of a much bigger operation to come. For example, the combats around Mariupol were also a good way of probing the junta defenses.
Combine that with the rumors that the Novorussians have one, possibly two, SU-25s (how much will they have by this summer?), that their air defenses are shooting down ballistic missiles, that the Russian Voentorg is almost an officially admitted reality, that the Novorussians will only negotiate on the basis of an existing line of contact (rather then the one agreed upon in Minsk) and you get the imagine.
Then look at the other side: the 4th mobilization failed. The junta's "winter offensive" was a complete disaster. The economy has tanked and not even the combined "moral" (so to speak) pressure of Soros and Levi has succeeded in getting the money to bail out the junta.
Add to this protest and even riots in junta-controlled Banderastan, the EU cracking along all its seams (SYRIZA in Greece, Podemos Spain, the Charlie Hebdo psyops in France, the Swiss Franc earthquake, the use of "quantitative easing" (i.e. the printing press) by the ECB and ask yourself what the anti-Russian camp will look like in, say, 4-6 months.
I am starting to get the feeling that the Russians (Novo and others) have decided that they will solve the "Novorussian part" of the "Ukrainian problem" this summer (the Ukrainian one will probably take many years to solve).
Can you imagine what a 100'000 strong Novorussian army armed to the teeth with the latest Russian military hardware will look like by June? Especially from a riot-filled, economically devastated Kiev?
A version of this article also appeared at The Vineyard of the Saker