This article originally appeared at The Vineyard of the Saker
Novorussian officials have called a press conference today to warn about the high risks of an Ukraine government assault on Novorussia in the very near future. I have asked our translation team and friends to subtitle the video of this press conference and I hope to get it in the next 24 hours or less.
The press conference was unique in that Edward Basurin, the Deputy Defense Minister and spokesman for the Novorussian armed forces showed a map with what he described as the Ukrainian attack plans:
While I don’t doubt for one second that the Novorussians have pretty much near perfect intelligence about the situation in the government-controlled Ukraine and the plans of the junta (all that provided courtesy of the Russian GRU), I have to say that what this maps shows is extremely predictable too and not fundamentally different from what the Kiev forces tried last year: surrounding and cutting off Donetsk from Lugansk and taking control of key parts (or even all) of the Ukrainian-Russian border. Basurin also quoted the figures for the junta forces and those are in line with what others, including Cassad, have reported. The Kiev force is most definitely numerically large.
Basurin also warned that the attack would be preceded by a false flag attack organized by the junta and blamed on the Novorussians. Again, nothing new here.
To be honest, we are all getting used to ‘cry wolf’ about an impending Kiev regime attack. And this is hardly our fault. Such an attack has, indeed, been impending for a long while already and the junta’s bellicose rhetoric has only reinforced this sense of imminent danger. Furthermore, the recent visit of the British Defense Minister in Kiev only made things worse as the junta always does something ugly when western dignitaries visit Kiev. Add to this that Poroshenko is scheduled to meet with his German and French counterparts next week and the sense of crisis will be total. And logically so.
So while the tensions are real and definitely based in reality, they are also nothing new here, really. You could also legitimately that all this panic is nothing else but business as usual and that it will remain so until the regime of Nazi supporters in Kiev is finally replaced by something more or less civilized. This will inevitably happen but, alas, not in the near future.
So we are left with this exhausting and frustrating situation where yet another Kiev attack might happen anytime but where it also might not. That is the inevitable consequence of having evil, weak and insecure psychopaths in charge of an entire country.
Yesterday a rumor was started indicating that the Novorussians were planning to organize a referendum to join Russia. I still don’t know if that rumor is based in reality or not, but I will note that this kind of rumor could also serve as a perfect pretext for a Kiev attack.
It is clear to me that something has to give, probably soon. The Ukrainian economy is dead, the stocks of basic goods and energy for next winter are empty, the country is in ruins and social tensions are on the raise everywhere. I personally cannot image that regime change could happen in Kiev before at least one more attack on Novorussia. The junta really has nothing left to lose and by massing a large attack force, regardless of how ill prepared this force is, and at least the theoretical such an attack could possibility draw Russia in and, thereby, save the Nazi-friendly junta in Kiev.
Nobody in Kiev is seriously thinking that they can occupy Donetsk or Lugansk or pacify the Donbass. Everybody is pretending otherwise, but that ain’t happening. Everybody in Kiev is fully aware of the fact that the Donbass is lost forever. So I will repeat this again: the real purpose of an attack will not be to ‘reconquer’ Novorussia, it will be to draw Russia into the Donbass. How?
Well, in theory, if the junta can launch enough men and armor to overwhelm the Novorussian defenses and if these forces succeed in surrounding Donetsk and Lugansk, Russia will really have no other option than to intervene. Of course, the Russians will easily defeat the Kiev forces, in 24 hours or less, but at that point the Nazi-friendly regime in Kiev will be saved: it will be able to declare full mobilization, blame every difficulty in Russia, crush any resistance with even more brutality than before and politically force all the US allies to provide aid to the regime in Kiev. The regime itself, by the way, would be safe as, contrary to the hopes of many, the Russians will not push much beyond the current line of contact. At most they will liberate Mariupol and or Slaviansk/Kramatrosk as a “penalty” for the attack. The junta in Kiev will remain safe, at least from the Russians.
The real danger for the junta does not come from the Russian military, but from the disillusioned and impoverished Ukrainian people with whom the regime will remain “one on one” unless the Russians intervene. And as long as this situation remains, a Kiev attack is possible at any moment. Starting right now.