Censor.NET editor-in-chief Yurii Butusov writes on his Facebook page:
"We are losing the war!" Ten people wrote to me just this morning. I recalled the events and rewound back a little to make it clear and comprehensive. I have been hearing "We are losing the war!" for a long time. Three months ago, when Sloviansk was captured we were able to raise just two companies and two Special Forces teams for its liberation. No heavy weapons, no communication. These units were in arrears in terms of salary and businessmen bought the fuel for them. There were no reserves. The Airborne Brigade was on strike. The mechanized brigade had unsighted weapons and no ammunition for artillery. There were no capable units deployed in the South-East of Ukraine.
There were relatively combat-ready units, for which leaving their permanent station was an event in itself. The Ministry of Internal Affairs had 3 rapid response units with a total of 500 people - and they were the only troops that were mobile but their mobility was due to a complete lack of heavy weapons. The management system was simply absent - the war "moved on" when a couple of capable generals or Avakov himself came. When acting President Turchynov made new appointments to the power block he telephoned friends of the appointee and even called me, a regular journalist, a couple of times, and asked "Do you know him? Will he not sell out Ukraine?" One of the leaders of the Presidential Administration got out a bag with cash from somewhere and flew to the ATO Headquarters in Izium, and on-site bought some supplies, distributed salary, gave money for weapons to buy in gun stores - because there were simply no funds in the budget. The heroes from the 1st and 2nd battalions of the National Guard secretly ran down to the shops of Sloviansk because they were sometimes left with nothing - no food, no water.
Recently, our government did not just have any control of the situation and did not have the defense and law enforcement agencies - there was not even a full understanding of the situation in the south-eastern regions. The whole system of control, supply, the security agencies were completely destroyed. Even the documentation of some of our key security forces was simply burned down! Shortly before Sloviansk there was an emergency in the most strategically important region of the South-Eastern Arc - a rally of 2,000 aggressive supporters of pro-Russian organizations in the courtyard of the Regional State Administration faced with a mere hundred desperate guys from the local Right Sector. The local riot police Berkut took up positions between the two groups of people … and defiantly put on the St. George's ribbons (pro Russian symbol). The clash between Berkut and the Right Sector was stopped by three deputy governors with several of their guards, who were in shock and ran around stopping fights to prevent a conflict that could completely explode the situation in the region. This handful of people that was running around the area and was the only organized pro-Ukrainian force at the time. When I was called and asked what to do I dropped everything and went to Dnipropetrovsk to try to organize some kind of resistance, even an informational one. When I arrived there they had organized a reliable power structure of 300-400 people from the local security firms, the Right Sector and Self Defense.
Today the Ukrainian troops control most of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Ukraine conducted an unprecedented mobilization of the army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Ukrainian government controls all regions except parts of the two regions. 60 new battalions of the Defense Ministry and Interior Ministry were deployed, and a system, though not a good one, but a working system of management was introduced. The total number of our forces that we can send to the ATO area has reached 70 thousand people. Our tanks, planes, artillery are provided with fuel, spare parts and ammunition. Our intelligence services and the police are actively fighting the Russian special services - yes, badly, but the system is improving every day.
In three months we went from being a helpless territory conditionally controlled by the central government to becoming an actual state with its strength growing every day. Yes, we are still badly organized, yes, our government is still infected with corruption. But we are not victims any more - we are a nation that has its warriors heroically defending our right to freedom and independence.
We are not simply victims - we already know how to attack and destroy the enemy - that's why Putin deployed Russian tanks and artillery with Russian crews into Ukraine - because without Russian troops the terrorists could not stop our advance at the border.
Yes, I see a lot of serious errors in planning of military operations in the Donbas - they must be corrected immediately, we must severely punish commanders, we should firmly and openly criticize the government. We need to change those who cannot do it with those who know and understand how to.
But it is our government, and we're each fighting on our own post and on the same team.
So don't tell me "We are losing the war!" We cannot lose if you do not give up our own selves.
We are suffering defeat. But if we believe and contribute - each and every one - we will create a miracle even more unthinkable three months ago - we will win this war.