Censor.NET editor-in-chief Yurii Butusov writes on his Facebook page:
"I wrote about the withdrawal of troops from the sector D on July 23, I wrote about the withdrawal of our troops 30 kilometers from the border with Russia on August 18 - and everything that was written 10 days ago, remains completely relevant.
One can only regret that it is still relevant. I have been criticized by the "couch hundred's analysts" (people sitting at home and posting on Facebook without any real knowledge of the situation) from information centers of the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense for "alarmism". I can only say one thing to the colonels and lieutenant-colonels: come to the front at least once. It is easy to put an avatar of yourself in a helmet, but the fact what you have under the helmet must be somehow close to reality. I am writing this text because five days ago I was near Ilovaisk and together with a general and soldiers listened to Russian batteries conducting Grad launches every 5-10 minutes - in full swing, and the shelling covered our positions. Now the place where I was is a lunar landscape. Everything has been destroyed. That's why I retain the freshness of perception.
Will Putin Stop?
Putin will stop where we stop him. No one should think that the war will pass him or her over. After Russian tanks, rude Russian and Caucasian criminal gangs will come. Putin gives Ukraine to feed looters, so they will destroy any business and any life as far as they reach. There should be no illusions - ask those who fled from the Donbas or who lives there. Taking over Mariupol will lead to closure of businesses, as well as most of mines and factories closed in the Donbas, occupied by Russian mercenaries. The Crimean version of occupation for Mariupol means death. First, Russia will destroy metallurgical plants - competitors of their plants, and second, when Mariupol will be deprived of its status of an international port, it would be impossible to exports and import through it. Only resistance of local residents who already understand the difference between Ukraine and Putin's fascism can save the Donbas.
Chronicle of escalation. What's going on?
There is a full-scale invasion of the Russia's Armed Forces into Ukraine. By August, resistance of the terrorist groups DPR and LPR had been broken by Ukrainian troops. Most of the bandits were destroyed and demoralized, they deserted and fled. The enemy had success only in those parts of the front, where units of the Russian special forces and Russian artillery were fighting. However, they could not stop the advance of Ukrainian troops. Therefore, starting from August 10, regular Russian troops joined the war with Ukraine - there were platoons, batteries, battalions. The United States and the European Union had almost no reaction to the Russian invasion, and showed the Kremlin that under no circumstances they could intervene in the war. The escalation of the war has not caused even the notorious "concern." After he received guarantees of non-interference from the countries that guarantee Ukrainian security, on August 24 Putin launched a full-scale military invasion by the entire mechanized units. Enemy's forces are coming in battalion tactical groups, with massive support from artillery and special forces
Russia has attacked Ukraine with at least 7-8 battalion tactical groups of mechanized troops, reinforced by separate units of artillery and special forces, rear units and transport units. The strength of the invasion is not less than 10 thousand soldiers. The Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia says the troop invasion consists of 15 thousand. Given the supply forces and artillery, which supports the actions of the aggressor from the Russian territory, the number of groups can be even larger - up to 20 thousand.
N.B. On a number of operational areas the Russian troops have advantage in numbers.
The Enemy's Plan
The main assault of the enemy was inflicted on the surrounding of Ilovaisk and Shakhtarsk-Torez groups of the Ukrainian troops of sectors B and D. The Ukrainian troops in sector D were not ready to repel a large-scale Russian invasion. They were spread out on a very broad front, with a view to combat small gangs and small formations of the Russian mercenaries. There was no reserve. As a result, Russian armored group almost without resistance, passed through the positions of sector D and struck the rear of the troops of sector B near Ilovaisk.
The enemy blocked the surrounded troops and subjects them to a massive artillery bombardment. The priority targets are military equipment and vehicles of the Ukrainian troops.
The plan of the Russian command and its subsequent actions are obvious. They intend to:
1 Eliminate the assault groups of the Ukrainian troops. At least deprive them of mobility, transport, logistics, heavy military equipment.
2 Capture Mariupol and get access to the sea for the destruction of one of the largest centers of the Ukrainian heavy metallurgy industry.
3 Create the operational capabilities for the offensive on the central regions of Ukraine. Yes, you can be sure - the enemy will not stop.
Development of the situation:
Unfortunately, the enemy continues to advance. His goal is to drive the surrounded units into a deep operational trap, make the unblocking impossible or successful retreat impossible.
Operational objectives of the Ukrainian military command?
1 Restore the connectivity of the front.
2 Reorganize the troops to create assault groups capable of conducting maneuver operations against Russian armored units.
3 Ensure the accession of military units to restore their combat capability.
4 Reorganize the management system to make it flexible and capable of rapid action.
I will write a very unpopular thing, but someone has to. I propose to immediately withdraw the surrounded groups of sectors B and D. Immediately. Yes, they hold down the enemy by their heroic resistance. Yes, they are holding strategically important positions. But the war is won only by holding the position a certain time - we need a victory in the war not in one battle. We are not at war with the terrorists but with a huge army of the Russian Federation. There is nothing to stop Putin from throwing in additional forces for the break through. Let's be realistic - we have forces in the area that can be sent to unblock sectors B and D and to restore a stable communication with them. But there is a danger that the enemy deeply wedged in our rear, will encircle this group, too. At the same time there is no guarantee of unblocking, as we all understand.
You cannot effectively fight without the rear, without artillery. At the front there are only the heroes, the most persistent and courageous guys left. They are more valuable than iron. They must be preserved as the core of resistance on new positions. Hard for me to say this, but I insist on the retreat. I was driving on the road to Ilovaisk through Starobeshevo. It is extremely great position for the defense. The road is narrow, there are slagheaps, dense foliage. In the presence of heavy artillery, which supports the Russian group, the breakthrough of this defense will entail heavy losses.
There were attempts to organize a breakthrough. And not one.
I propose to use to reserves to stabilize the defense on the new line.
Give the order to the troops to break out of the entrapment, with air and artillery support. We need to form a "movable curtain" west of Donetsk. On the southern front it is necessary to cover the key areas of Artemivsk, Krasnoarmiisk, Volnovakha and Mariupol.
In view of the numerical superiority of the enemy we need to change the strategy and tactics.
Russian advance can only be stopped by significant losses.
Our most important value - experienced troops and commanders. They need to be saved, because they are our most fearsome weapon.
On the north front I would also conduct a reduction of the front line and strengthening of the maneuverable mechanized units of the Ukrainian army. Without waiting for the assault of the Russian troops on the rear.
Management restructuring at the front:
1 Reorganize the command and control system - reduce unnecessary dispersion of forces by sector. There are only two operational areas - why scatter the strength onto five sectors? This has long been an absurdity.
2 Stop planning the fighting strategy based on the conditions of the police operation. The Ukrainian army should conduct military operations based on the fact that Russia is the main enemy, and the war is at full-scale.
3 Change tactics of the combat employment. We need to refrain from stretching the forces in platoons on a big front. Form independent self-contained tactical groups for maneuvering search and destriy actions on a wide front, which shall consist of a core of mobile artillery and mortars, at least 100-150 infantry soldiers and scouts, 5-6 tanks, light armored vehicles. These task force units should be formed only of motivated fighters, soldiers of the volunteer battalions. In collaboration with the armored groups there must be action of special forces and military intelligence. The weakest point in the organization of the military actions is the interaction and coordination of various types of troops and units.
4 All objectors, military discipline violators should be immediately removed from combat units. Separate building and training units should be formed for them to work in the rear and not violate military discipline and take time away from the commanders of combat units.
5 Defensive positions must be equipped including in the towns and villages. The towns shall be prepared for all-round defense. The deployment of the engineering and sapper units to set up minefields and engineering obstacles, build fortifications is necessary.
6 Large-scale mining to limit the maneuver of the enemy is one of the top combat tasks.
7 It is necessary to begin the deployment of new training battalions in each combat brigade. Create a training program at least a month long.
8 It is necessary to create a system of mass mobilization of reservists. That is literally all capable male population and female volunteers to be sent for week-end combat training programs. It will not disrupt their jobs, but it will provide some basics military training.
9 About the guerrilla war. Modern guerrilla warfare in treeless areas is most effective with the use of mining. Guerrilla warfare is conducted in villages and towns and around them. Because in the areas odf little forest cover a house is the best shelter.
All for Victory
Ukraine has every opportunity to deflect Putin's aggression. The Ukrainian troops inflict heavy casualties to Russian aggressors. The enemy can be beaten. Putin will not bear heavy losses and resistance. First of all it is necessary to clearly and quickly assess the threat and plan the actions. We need organized resistance of even small forces, whose purpose is the destruction of Russian aggressors and criminals demoralizing the enemy. Putin's professional army is very small. So he has to send conscripts to Ukraine.
We will win if as before, on the Maidan, we realize that the war for independence from Putin, from Russian aggression - is a matter of each and every citizen. Because the war will either heal us and make us a free nation or will destroy everything that surrounds us and that we hold dear.