Will 10 thousand volunteers stop Ukraine in Donbass?
The number of volunteers wishing to defend Donbass has increased in recent days against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the region, including among the State Duma deputies. This was announced on the air of the Soloviev Live channel on YouTube by the heads of the DPR Denis Pushilin .
“There are a lot of appeals, and from the guys, there are even from the deputies of the State Duma, who say that just 'count right away, we will be with you.' This instills positive emotions and the understanding that we are not alone - not within the framework of some states, but within the framework of human relationships, ”he said. “Some are already asking where exactly to sign up,” added Pushilin.
It is doubtful that State Duma deputies will go to the trenches of Donbass. However, there can hardly be any doubt that many ordinary Russians will indeed come to defend the republics, as it was in 2014, when the war had just begun. However, now there will be clearly fewer applicants, since then many believed that it would be possible to defend, at least, Donbass within the borders of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as a maximum - the whole of Novorossia. Today, many are disappointed and do not really believe that they will be allowed to win any significant victories over the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
One way or another, you can be sure that there will be volunteers. But can they somehow influence the course of the war? And how many of them will there be in reality? Earlier, the military correspondent Yuri Kitten announced to the Free Press the figure of 10 thousand people. The same figure was called by the head of the Ural branch of the Union of Donbass Volunteers Maxim Khopin . Where did they get these numbers? And why such confidence in Pushilin's words?
- In this case, we are not talking about volunteers at all, and not even about their number, - the historian, publicist, permanent expert of the Izborsk club believes Alexander Dmitrievsky .
- Ukraine and its western masters once again make it clear that the defeat of the Donbass republics is not at all included in Russia's plans: if you climb up, you will feel the burning gusts of the "northern wind"! For it is not for this that Russia distributes its passports to the residents of the republics so that they become refugees.
"SP": - Will Russia really need to openly intervene?
- Donbass is not Transnistria, cut off from the whole world, where you really have to break through the Ukrainian or Moldovan territory. Four hundred kilometers of the Russian-Donbas border is quite a sufficient window for the "north wind", so it will be easier to pump up "muscles" for the DPR and LPR militias in the shortest possible time and bring the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the next "boiler".
"SP": - It seems that the West is just waiting for this in order to accuse Russia of aggression and are deliberately leading to this ...
- The West, as usual, is in its repertoire, and if they want to accuse Russia of aggression there, then we are not the first. As the story with the same ill-fated Malaysian Boeing shows, they know how to concoct accusations out of nothing, they will assign the functions of investigative bodies to the investigative agencies, and all the arguments presented by us, based on a well-grounded evidence base, will categorically not be taken into account.
- I do not exclude the arrival of a certain number of volunteers in Donbass, although it should be noted that the situation is not as favorable now as in 2014, - says Mikhail Aleksandrov , an expert at the Center for Military-Political Research of MGIMO, Doctor of Political Sciences .
- Then in Russia there was a national upsurge, "Russian Spring". But this impulse, thanks to the thoughtless and irresponsible policy of the Kremlin, evaporated. It is difficult to revive it again. In the Donbas and in Russia, the indistinct and half-hearted actions of the Russian authorities have caused strong disappointment, enthusiasm faded. People reason like this: “Last time we fought, we hoped to liberate Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and possibly a number of other regions of Ukraine.
But our offensive was stopped for the sake of relations with the West, the Minsk agreements were imposed on Donbass, which actually divided the Donetsk and Lugansk regions into two parts. The rest of these areas were given up to be torn apart by the Bandera Nazis. DPR and LPR were not accepted into Russia. What to fight for now? For the endless continuation of all this burden with the Minsk agreements? In a word, if the Russian leadership does not set a clear goal of the complete defeat of the Kiev regime and the liberation of the entire southeast of Ukraine, then one cannot count on a large number of volunteers.
"SP": - Do volunteers influence anything at all? And what does their number matter?
- I believe that even 10,000 volunteers will somehow fundamentally change the balance of power in favor of the DPR and LPR. Ukraine has concentrated a 70,000-strong group against Donbass. Its mobilization reserve is at least 100-150 thousand people. Therefore, no volunteers will save Donbass. They could have played a decisive role in 2014, when the offensive of the Lao PDR militia effectively led to the collapse of the Ukrainian defense. It was then that it was possible to completely resolve the Ukrainian issue, only with the help of volunteers. And the cost of such a decision in human lives would be minimal.
However, now it will not be possible to defend the Donbass without the entry into battle of the regular troops of the Russian army.
By going to the Minsk agreements, the Kremlin made a strategic mistake. He allowed Ukraine to rebuild its army and prepare well for war. Now you will have to pay a much higher price to protect Donbass. This is the price that the Russian people will have to pay for the Kremlin judo and "cunning plans."
"SP": - Will there be "volunteers" on the other side? Or mercenaries? Who, besides the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Battalions, will have to fight?
- The Ukrainian side does not need volunteers. They have a serious advantage in manpower. They, of course, will not refuse the help of Western instructors and PMCs that are already operating in the front-line zone. In the event of a full-scale war, the number of such military specialists will certainly increase. And they will be able to significantly affect the effectiveness of the actions of the Ukrainian army, if the armed forces of Russia do not enter the battle.
Therefore, Moscow is left with a difficult choice, either to surrender Donbass, or to enter the war. But the surrender of Donbass will mean the end of the Putin regime, since then Crimea will follow, for which you will still have to fight, albeit in a less favorable strategic situation.
Therefore, apart from military assistance to Donbass, the Kremlin has no choice. The question is, what kind of assistance will there be: stop the offensive of the Ukrainian troops again and not go further? Then the situation will be constantly reproduced, thousands of Russian people will die without a clear result. Another option is the decisive defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the creation of Novorossiya, access to Transnistria, the capture of Kiev and the punishment of Ukrainian war criminals.
The West, of course, will accuse Russia of aggression if it does so. But this will have little effect on anything. Even a total boycott of Russia by the West cannot do much harm to us. Russia lived in blockade for decades, and until the 18th century had only minimal economic ties with the West. And then, by the way, the Russians lived better than in the West. The only ones to suffer are the oligarchy, which has economic interests in the West. However, when the survival of the Russian nation is on the map, all such interests should be ignored, and the dissatisfied should be punished in the most decisive manner.