Breaking News: Zelensky Drones His Own People

Dear Readers:

I interrupt my Tukhachevsky series (with only ONE episode left, I promise!) to bring you this breaking news from the Ukraine.

This past week, Monday and Tuesday, 25-26 October, the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked a few towns in the “grey zone” between Ukraine-controlled and Separatist-controlled Donetsk Province. In the course of this attack, the Ukrainians employed a forbidden weapon, namely, a Turkish Bayraktar drone. This is the first time in the Donbass war that a drone has been employed against the Seps, hence the lede.

A Turkish Bayraktar drone

Ukrainian soldiers subsequently seized the town of Staromar’evna without a shot being fired. Mainly because this town contains only 180 residents, none of them fighters. It is noteworthy, however, that 37 of those residents are citizens of the Russian Federation. For that reason, I reckon it could be said that Ukrainian President Zelensky droned the Russians as well as “his own people”, as the saying goes. Either way, Zel portrayed the seizure of this tiny town as a glorious victory for the Ukrainian army. Making it all the more bitter, I reckon, when his guys were subsequently forced to retreat. That happened yesterday, and is the second lede. But we’ll get to that…

In the course of this small war, the Ukrainian army shot up a series of Donbass towns, including Novaya Mar’evka, Tel’mankovka, Gorlovka, Yasinovataya, and Yakovlevka. The artillery caused damages to town infrastructures, for example, electricity blackouts, fires, and destruction of several homes.

Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) Military responded by moving their forces and tanks closer to the front line. A T-72 was spotted cruising down the streets of Tel’manovka. At the same time Separatist sources confirmed that the Ukrainians had taken Staromar’evka. Separatist supporter and writer Vladlen Tatarsky complained that the Sep peoples militias “were just fucking around and allowed the Ukry to take Staromar’evka.”

According to Russian blogger Yury Butusov, the Seps had attacked the Ukrainian 93rd Mechanized Brigade near the town of Granitny; which is the point from which the Ukrainians were shelling Tel’manovo and other populated towns. It was at this point in the combat that the Ukrainians decided to employ their Bayraktar drone, which they had purchased from Turkey after the latter’s successful war in Nagorno-Karabakh. The drone carried a bomb which allegedly took out a Russian Howitzer. “This was the very first time a Bayraktar was employed in the Donbass war,” according to Butusov. He added that the order to employ the drone was given by Ukrainian Armed Forces Chief Valery Zaluzhny. The Ukrainian General Staff confirmed this information on their Facebook page. The Ukrainians claimed that the drone did not “cross the line” defined by the Minsk agreements, but were caught out in a lie when their own video showed that the coordinates of the flight ran deep into DPR territory.

This was a clear violation of Minsk. The French and the Germans were upset enough about it to scold Zelensky. Zelensky retorted with a speech full of self-serving pathos about the Ukrainians sacred right to defend themselves. The Germans were not impressed, but the Americans were ecstatic and egged the Ukrainians on to do even more.

“Your game is not worth our lives”

In the end, the Ukrainian soldiers who occupied Staromar’evka, had to retreat from it. (Even though they live in the so-called “grey zone”, the residents of the town consider themselves DPR people and vote in Russian elections.) The soldiers posted a video on youtube addressed to President Zelensky and explaining why they are retreating:

“We’re sitting in a trench near Staromar’evka. We suffered big losses. They promised to send reinforcements last night, but none came. We’re trying to figure out how to get out of this place. Zelensky, don’t think of us as traitors, but your grandstanding (понты) is not worth the price of our lives.”

This entry was posted in Breaking News, Military and War and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Breaking News: Zelensky Drones His Own People

  1. Ben says:

    Ah yes, the Ukrainians sacred right to defend themselves…against other Ukrainians.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      I hope they just have that one drone. I’m not sure how many the Ukes bought from the Turks.
      One more worry for the Seps: now they have to start shooting down drones.

      Like

  2. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    Crying on camera because war is hard. This is one thing you can always count on Ukrainian soldiers to do.

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    • yalensis says:

      And always in perfect Russian too, not Surzhik. I couldn’t help but notice.

      Like

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        The first iteration of this story was in April 2014 when Battalion ‘Donbass’ got ambushed and Konstantin Grishin went on Facebook to whine (in Russian) that the army hadn’t given him any BTRs. This scenario has been recreated with minor variations at varying intervals ever since – sometimes a month or two, other times as much as a year. They’ll all carry on in the same way hitting the same notes until the world comes to an end (so at least another ten years).

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        • yalensis says:

          Well, if I were an army General I certainly wouldn’t permit my troops to post whiny videos on youtube. I mean, where’s the discipline, man?

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          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            If you were a Ukrainian general you would certainly have different priorities than that.

            Assuming the situation on the Ukrainian side hasn’t changed… their army had stopped using draftees at the front because their morale was atrocious, with shirking and desertions commonplace. So the army employed draftees only in rear areas and manned the front entirely with contract personnel… but contract men are more expensive and the government wasn’t prepared to pay for enough of them to sustain a major offensive, so the best they can manage is skirmishing and occasional jaunts into the grey zone. The government is paying them to pretend they’re soldiers, but isn’t paying them enough to actually be soldiers – they might as well branch out into into tik tok dances, if they haven’t already.

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            • yalensis says:

              True. I also can’t help wondering how many of these “contract” soldiers are actually American or NATO advisers? Just sayin’…

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              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                Some, but America and its allies have always been so sluggish and niggardly in their assistance to the Ukrainian army that it’s difficult to imagine that any great number of NATO personnel are ever at the front. Is this because NATO military officials think that the Ukrainians will just lose anything they’re given? Perhaps, but that didn’t stop them lavishing equipment on the treacherous bunglers of the Afghan National Army. One suspects that Ukrainians are seen in the same light as Russians – never to be trusted no matter what.

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  3. yalensis says:

    Aha! I just found a source naming the exact number of Bayraktar drones possessed by the Ukraine.
    That magic number is 12. They purchased them from Turkey last year.

    Like

  4. FatMax says:

    Without a proper combined-arms offensive, those drones are as useful as a pair of tits on a zombie.
    They can pick off civilians, but Ukies have been killing civvies with drones almost as long as this conflict is active.

    https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-ukrainian-army-purposely-killed-a-5-year-old-child-in-donbass/

    Drones are a coward’s weapon. I have more respect for insane, genocidal, Nazi goons from the Azov Battallion than I have for drone operators. Filth.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Yeah, I think it’s pretty cowardly to sit in a comfy armchair and direct flying robots.
      As for military usefulness, it’s my understanding that the drones are effective on the battlefield only when directed in a swarm and, like you say, in conjunction with other battlefield components, like tanks, aviation, etc.
      Also, was reading something intriguing in the Russian press, apparently the Turks maintain a proprietary interest in these 12 drones which the Ukrainian government purchased from them. In other words, the Turks didn’t just cash the check and hand them over, “Here you go, enjoy your toys.” They still have to be involved in some way as operators, trainers, etc. Apparently that’s part of the deal, like when your company purchases a big-ass copier/fax type machine which comes with a contract for service and spare parts.

      Which gives Russia a leverage to put pressure on Turkey not to allow these things on the Donbass battlefield. Although it doesn’t explain how the Ukies came to employ that one drone against a Russian howitzer. Maybe it was a rogue operation, some Uke just went off the reservation (?)

      Like

      • Ben says:

        In the end the basic unit of warfare remains the infantryman with his rifle. And the Ukrainians are seriously deficient in those. Most of their military was battered to pieces in their previous offensives. Most of what they do these days is artillery strikes. The Nazi gangs seem to be about the only reliable troops with decent morale they have.

        What motivation does the average Ukrainian have to risk his life to fight against what are ostensibly still his countrymen on behalf of a ludicrously corrupt government that everyone has to know is broke and ultimately doomed?

        Like

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