Over the weekend we watched the astounding finish to the liberation of Lisichansk and, with it, the entirety of the Lugansk Oblast. In this piece from KP, war reporter Dmitry Steshin explains one of the reasons why it happened so quickly. Namely, because Russians are the kind of people who learn from past experiences: They watched what happened in Mariupol (AzovSteel) and in Severo-Donetsk (with the Azot Nitrogen plant); this was enough data points to figure out the Ukrainian “tactic”. Which consists of herding civilians as hostages and holing them up in some underground fortress. Which tactic never actually changes the pre-destined course of events, but just adds unnecessary days and weeks of human misery, to the timeline. And the Russians decided they wouldn’t let it happen this time around. Russian military took measures to pre-empt such outcome by seizing all of the industrial plants first. And the civilian population took their cue by refusing to play their assigned role as hostages.
Watch this youtube video made by a French TV company. The most astonishing thing is that this is a Westie outlet, we are expecting to hear only propaganda soundbites of the type, “Damn Russians blew up my house,…” And yet for some reason (Did hell finally freeze over? Are pigs flying overhead?) the editors did not bleep out the part where the residents refuse to go along with these very nice “volunteers” (I am guessing from some wonderful Westie NGO) who are helping the kindly Nazis to round up civilians and put them in, say, the basement of the Glass Factory. For their own safety, of course.
To be sure, as we see in the vid, some go along like sheep. But most of these civilians are too smart to fall for that old trick: “We’re staying here. The Russians are our friends.” These people actually risked quite a lot speaking such heresy right into the faces of the Westie reporters. Who they know are nothing but sheepherders for the Nazis. But the bravery of ordinary people paid off: They only had to wait a few more hours, and then they were free. But they didn’t know that at the time. For all they knew, the Ukrainian soldiers might gun them down for their impertinence.
Fortunately the soldiers were too busy trying to save their own skins. Because this was another Ukrainian tried-and-worn trick: Sending raw cannon-fodder into the cauldron to act as rear-guard (i.e., dead men) sacrificing themselves so that a few more of the experienced soldiers could escape. I am told (by military people) that it is supposed to be the other way around, but that’s another cute trick that the Ukrainians do. They do everything opposite. My previous respect for General Zaluzhny has been dropping recently. No Commander would sacrifice raw troops so callously. Especially when they are so very raw that they don’t even know how to hold off a decent rear-guard. It should have been the crack troops saving them!
Now We Rebuild
In this piece by reporter Mikhail Moshkin, we get some idea of the immense scale of rebuilding that lies ahead. And the main mood among the LPR leadership and people is one of doubt and suspicion. coupled with grim determination. Steshin mentions this in his piece, as well. The biggest worry of the Lugansk people is that Russia will sell them out. Not moving hard enough or far enough to provide them with a decent buffer zone. LPR Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik: “The presence of Ukrainian units along the borders of our Republics does not allow us to feel assured in the safety of our people and the security of our territories. Therefore the troops must move even further inland.”
Security is the Number #1 priority now. Securing the perimeter and securing the people. “Our security was one of the main goals of this Special Military Operation. And this issue has not been solved yet.”
Miroshnik, who arrived in Lisichansk yesterday to survey the scene, goes on to lay out the project plan for the immediate future of this battered city: A management/government team has to be put together very quickly. Their first task is to restore essential services as quickly as possible: Electricity, water, food, internet and phone services.
Next task is a triage-type audit of all the standing structures: What can be repaired, and what has to be demolished. Construction of new homes and other buildings must begin as soon as possible, but this is not going to be a quick, or easy, task. “Let there be no illusions,” Miroshnik says, “This is going to take years. And let’s be frank: The complete restoration of our cities, their economies and infrastructure, we can do this only with the help and support of the Russian Federation. This process has already started in a whole series of towns and regions through the LPR, and will also occur in the newly liberated Lisichansk, Severodonetsk, Rubezhnoe — the places which suffered the most during these military actions.”
In the final part of the interview Miroshnik returns to the theme of security, which is the foundation of everything else, including economic restoration: “We have liberated our Republic, but we have still not resolved the issue of security for our citizens and our territories. We have already lived through that period when only a thin line of demarcation divided us from the Ukrainian regime. And this resulted in the outbreak of aggression when Kiev attacked our Republic on February 17. This toxic Ukrainian regime, existing right next door to us and fulfilling the orders of the West, it will not allow us to live our lives in peace. They are not capable of [leaving us alone]. This regime feeds on its own Russophobia, its urge to poke its nose into our business and it generates constant threats to our security. We are not inclined to endure such a luxury any more.”