Putin conquers and annexes all of Novorossiya in 2014

Sep 2016
749
Georgia
#81
The fact was that Russia could annex only the Crimea and occupy half of the Donbass (about half of Donetsk and Lugansk regions) .
And it was a failure of this plan. At the same time, with Donbass Ukraine lost a key industrial region with the majority of coal mines. The annexation of Donbass by Russia would have caused the end of war with Russian forces in that region. Ukraine would not fight directly with a nuclear power - Russia. Of course, the annexation of Donbass by Russia would also cause a grand international scandal. I think - much more than with the Crimea. Therefore, Putin decided to voice - according to the old Russian habit, that in Ukraine there is a kind of "civil war" to which Russia has nothing to do.

When the initial plan for Ukraine collapsed, Putin was interested in the long-playing hybrid war, which was wasting the Ukrainian economy. And he started it. For that Russia began to create her expeditionary army in the Donbass, recruiting part of the local residents there and sending her volunteers from the former military, as well as officers and soldiers of the regular Russian army.

Economically, the Donbass was of little interest to Russia. Moreover, in a ruined and robbed form, in which it turned by the fall of 2014.
For Russia It was more interesting to create a chronic ulcer with a continuous war on the body of Ukraine in Donbass.
I believed this to be the case as well. What are your views on situation in that region in few years ?
 
Nov 2015
1,529
Kyiv
#82
Gvelion said:

Yes, they helped separatists with weapons, supplies and military specialists. However, they still didn't intervene directly with all the power and might they had. Russian aviation alone would make quick work of Ukrainian army.

- Russian authorities are too dependent on the West through their pockets. Putin is cowardly, and acts sly.
As for the unspoken war of Russia in Ukraine, over the past 100 years Russia has waged a large number of such wars — almost all of them were silent and unspoken. Ukrainians are well aware of this. From the very beginning Russia still calls the intervention of the RSFSR in Ukraine in 1918-1919 a “civil war in Ukraine”. With that, before the advent of the Russian troops, within the whole 1917 we had no shooting here and there was no trace of military conflict in Ukraine until Red Russia came. The same picture we could see in events of 2004. No fighting no victims. We completely peacefully resolved the conflict between "West and East" in 2004 - when Russia did not dare to climb us with arms.

There is such a thing - unacceptable losses. For Russia in Ukraine, their level, as our military told me, is about 15-20 thousand KIA.. After that, the same indignation will begin there as it was due to losses in Afghanistan in 1980s. Therefore, Putin immediately severely classified the loss of his troops in the Ukraine in summer 2014 - and tries to maximally substitute the Ukrainians, which Russia is recruiting from the local ones. They just have nowhere to go. The enterprises and mines where they worked were stopped or even looted. If you want to feed your family, go fight against your country in the ranks of the army created by Russia.

At the same time, you will probably be interested to know that less than 500 thousand residents of Donbass stayed
in Russia for permanent residence since 2014 - although they did not need to cross the line of military operations for this. Many of them returned to Ukraine - it seems that real life in Russia seemed to be worse than they watched on TV.

And in Ukraine — in the part of it that Russia has not occupied (23 out of 25 regions) —3 million of refugees from Donbass live now . Under my big house in Kiev at least a dozen cars with Donetsk numbers are parked regularly. Their owners rent apartments in our house. Moreover, I know well that in the cities of Western Ukraine wealthy Donbass people have bought over the years almost all available real estate. And this is in the most "Banderovtsy" region, as Russian propaganda assured them.

This is the vote by the feet of the residents of Donbass for the choice between Russia and Ukraine. And Ukraine in this vote is clearly not losing

Not only that - those Donetsk IT companies with which we worked in previous years - all moved to Kiev, Kharkov and other Ukrainian
cities. And the most important thing is that the Donetsk elite did not support the Russian intervention in any way. And we see
that none of those who "solved all the issues" there in the past stayed there to live in the Russian world. The key Donetsk oligarch Akhmetov moved from there to Ukraine, too.

Until 2014, the Donetsk elite actively speculated on the pro-Russian sentiment in the region in order to bargain the Kiev authorities with the maximum of preferences for Donbass. But the events of 2014 clearly showed that the entire Donetsk elite and all businesses in the Donbass did not want to see Russia at all in Donbass. And they fled from the Russian world to Ukraine

I know the situation well there and at the front. Two of my nephews are fighting there both as a husband of my elder daughter.
One of the nephews two days ago came to visit us - he is fighting in artillery near Lugansk and returned to the place after brief vacation.

When I asked - what units are in front of you on the other side of the front? - he answered without hesitation - this is a unit of the regular Russian army. Of course, without national insignia and without Russian ID documents. And he added that we know this very well. Moreover, they met with their officers when they agreed with us to take their dead off. Their soldiers from the Russian DRG killed at Ukrainian side of the front. These officers during short converstaion did not really hide the fact that they served in the army of the Russian Federation. Previously, there was a military unit of the so-called Army of the DPR and Russian Cossacks opposite. Those fought at random, shot at the squares and drank much. These ones are fighting in a completely different way. My nephew told a lot of things about those matters - but this is not for the forum

Gvelion said:
They all believed that Kiev would start genocide of whole Russian population in Ukraine.

- Every day tens of thousands of residents of the occupied territories cross Ukrainian checkpoints. Back in the summer of 2014, we freed from the Russian forces Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, and Mariupol — a city with a population of 500,000. No one was there shot or imprisoned for nothing, and the residents of the occupied territories of Donbass already know this well. Although in 2014 Russian propaganda frightened them until they lost consciousness and printed photos of concentration camps that Ukraine allegedly built for these residents

I can also add that in the occupied territory of the Donbass and in the Ukrainian troops there everyone now says that this year everything will end there. Russia sharply reduced the financing of its forces there and the financing of the DPR. It remains to wait for the Kremlin to say to themselves that their project in Ukraine has failed. I think now they are waiting for the result of our presidential elections, which will be in March
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,851
#83
I can also add that in the occupied territory of the Donbass and in the Ukrainian troops there everyone now says that this year everything will end there. Russia sharply reduced the financing of its forces there and the financing of the DPR. It remains to wait for the Kremlin to say to themselves that their project in Ukraine has failed. I think now they are waiting for the result of our presidential elections, which will be in March
Sounds promising. The recent but protracted Russian silence about all this might make grounds for a bit of optimism?

Otoh if Russia wants to maintain Ukraine in a "frozen conflict" situation, then there is still has Crimea for that. And Russia has committed a lot more heavily there. So it doesn't technically "need" the Donbass.

Not least if Russia will try to leverage winding down the "people's republics" to try to get the EU and US to cut it some (more) slack over Crimea.
 
Nov 2015
1,529
Kyiv
#84
As for the situation as a whole in Donbass, I had the good fortune to track it since 2003, when my colleagues and I were at a big seminar for organization of effective management in Donetsk for its authorities. The seminar was headed by the head of the Donetsk region Bliznyuk. And there were more than a dozen heads of large local enterprises in the room. More than 100 thousand people worked on some of them. They were also co-owners of these enterprises. They were all over 70 years old, and I felt like I was at a production meeting in the cabinet of a director of the plant in the Stalin time. They were all directors in the Soviet era.

And I also saw that even then Donbass was in a complete information blockage. I didn’t find a single central Ukrainian newspaper or magazine on newspaper layouts. Only local and Russian ones. In the local press they cursed the Ukrainian authorities and praised Russia. I realized that the local authorities, to the utmost exploiting their hard workers, put all the problems to Kiev - they say, the Kiev leadership is to blame for all the troubles of Donbass. It was a big game, and Donbass at the same time received a great deal of independence from Kiev as early as the 2000s.

And in 2010 - after the unsuccessful attempt of 2004 with great help from Russia they managed to move their candidate to the president of Ukraine. After that Yanukovych spent for the Donbass almost all Ukrainian money. I mean - all money beyond the ones that Yanukovych and his team did not manage to steal. I can add that the stealing the money from that country was simply fantastic. I know that because we dealt with governmental sector in our business since 2001. And from 2010 to 2014, Donbass had a golden time. Some of its common residents have decided that if Russia comes there, they will live even better. Russia came - and they realized that they were cruelly mistaken

I can also add that I now often write at the Donetsk city forum. It is completely pro-Ukrainian since summer 2014, and they appointed me there as a moderator of the historical section. And this is despite the fact that until 2014 I was strictly banned there. It's funny that in 2014 Putin managed to make many Donbas residents Ukrainian patriots - as good as very many residents of other eastern Ukrainian regions.

And my nephew said that quite a lot of men from the Russian-occupied part of Donbass serve in their Ukrainian unit. And they are fighting there with the Russian forces in their native region. They also have some people from former Berkut. The ones who pressed the protestants of the Maidan. Sometimes they discuss with them the situation of that time
 
Aug 2014
139
New York, USA
#85
Putin’s plans for Ukraine for the 2014. as far as I see, were not the annexation of Donbass. The plans were the annexation - direct or indirect - at least of half of Ukraine to the east of the line from Kharkov to Odessa. With the obligatory seizure of the sources of the Crimean Canal from the Dnieper near Kakhovka. Without this, the annexed Crimea lost 85% of fresh water, which gave it the Crimean Canal. The annexation of Kiev was also desirable. Overboard was definitely intended to leave the "nationalist" western regions of Ukraine.

The fact was that Russia could annex only the Crimea and occupy half of the Donbass (about half of Donetsk and Lugansk regions) .
And it was a failure of this plan. At the same time, with Donbass Ukraine lost a key industrial region with the majority of coal mines. The annexation of Donbass by Russia would have caused the end of war with Russian forces in that region. Ukraine would not fight directly with a nuclear power - Russia. Of course, the annexation of Donbass by Russia would also cause a grand international scandal. I think - much more than with the Crimea. Therefore, Putin decided to voice - according to the old Russian habit, that in Ukraine there is a kind of "civil war" to which Russia has nothing to do.
My reading of it is different. Imo Putin got exactly what he planned. Remember that when Russia was annexing Crimea, breakaway Donbass "republics" also asked to be annexed, and Putin categorically refused.
In my opinion Putin's plans were:
1. Completely annex Crimea - needed for strategic naval reasons. Accomplished by regular Russian army and special forces "surge" in the region. #1 accomplished according to plan.
2. Create a frozen conflict in Kharkov/Donetsk/Luhansk, similar to Georgia and Moldova, so that Ukraine never joins NATO. Simply annexing the East and leaving Western Ukraine to join NATO was not the strategy in my opinion. #2 was not easily accomplished. Putin relied on the native Russian population in east Ukraine to accomplish this "on the cheap", but after that failed, he had to trickle in Russian forces to maintain "parity" between Ukrainian army and insurgents. The key to frozen conflicts is to have neither side able to completely take over, and after the Ukrainian army defeat at Debaltseve, you see Putin sharply pulling Russian troops back and all of a sudden starting to abide by Minsk II.
Otoh if Russia wants to maintain Ukraine in a "frozen conflict" situation, then there is still has Crimea for that. And Russia has committed a lot more heavily there. So it doesn't technically "need" the Donbass.
No. Russia doesn't want to have Crimea as a site of frozen conflict. They want a stable Crimea as an integral part of Russia, so they can maintain a full fledged naval base there. They wouldn't have constructed Europe's longest bridge there just for it to become a conflict zone. They consider Crimea as a historic Russian territory. At this point, they will never relinquish it either (short of a war), no matter the sanctions. As one American pundit put it "They will give up Crimea the day after US gives up Texas to Mexico."
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,851
#86
No. Russia doesn't want to have Crimea as a site of frozen conflict. They want a stable Crimea as an integral part of Russia, so they can maintain a full fledged naval base there. They wouldn't have constructed Europe's longest bridge there just for it to become a conflict zone. They consider Crimea as a historic Russian territory. At this point, they will never relinquish it either (short of a war), no matter the sanctions. As one American pundit put it "They will give up Crimea the day after US gives up Texas to Mexico."
It has limited choice in the matter since Russian doesn't have unilateral say in the how the status of Crimea works out.

For practical purposes, since Russia isn't normalising Crimea's state with Ukraine it doesn't need the Donbass to maintain a frozen conflict for Ukraine. Crimea alone does fine for that.
 
Nov 2015
1,529
Kyiv
#87
My reading of it is different. Imo Putin got exactly what he planned. Remember that when Russia was annexing Crimea, breakaway Donbass "republics" also asked to be annexed, and Putin categorically refused.
In my opinion Putin's plans were:
1. Completely annex Crimea - needed for strategic naval reasons. Accomplished by regular Russian army and special forces "surge" in the region. #1 accomplished according to plan.
2. Create a frozen conflict in Kharkov/Donetsk/Luhansk, similar to Georgia and Moldova, so that Ukraine never joins NATO. Simply annexing the East and leaving Western Ukraine to join NATO was not the strategy in my opinion. #2 was not easily accomplished. Putin relied on the native Russian population in east Ukraine to accomplish this "on the cheap", but after that failed, he had to trickle in Russian forces to maintain "parity" between Ukrainian army and insurgents. The key to frozen conflicts is to have neither side able to completely take over, and after the Ukrainian army defeat at Debaltseve, you see Putin sharply pulling Russian troops back and all of a sudden starting to abide by Minsk II.

No. Russia doesn't want to have Crimea as a site of frozen conflict. They want a stable Crimea as an integral part of Russia, so they can maintain a full fledged naval base there. They wouldn't have constructed Europe's longest bridge there just for it to become a conflict zone. They consider Crimea as a historic Russian territory. At this point, they will never relinquish it either (short of a war), no matter the sanctions. As one American pundit put it "They will give up Crimea the day after US gives up Texas to Mexico."
Russian annexation of Donbass would put an end to Russian expansion in Ukraine and would have caused a much stronger reaction in the world than the annexation of the Crimea. Let's not forget that even the direct use of the Russian regular army to strike to the rear of the Ilovaiskaya grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (August 2014) caused a very tough reaction from the United States - the collapse of world oil prices. Obama, I think, agreed on such actions in advance at the end of April 2014 during a short visit to the Sauds. These actions of the States were not declared as a new sanction against Russia - but in Moscow they should have taken it as well. It caused an economic shock in Russia. Its GDP eventually fell by $ 1 trillion per year, that is, by 40% (2013 - 2.3 trillion, 2015 - 1.3 trillion).

The ruble exchange rate to the dollar fell by half. The revenues of the Russian budget collapsed, and it was covered with big holes. It must be said that so far Russian GDP has not even come close to the level before the annexation of the Crimea. In 2018, it amounted to 1.6 trillion dollars - against 2.3 in 2013

Therefore, the Kremlin was forced to make radical adjustments to its "Ukrainian project", as the initial project collapsed in Feb 2014 as good as modified one collapsed in Autumn 2014 when the oil price fell down from 115US$ per barrel to 38-40US$.

And it seems to me that you forget about another motive for Putin, which is extremely important for understanding the situation. Putin's rating after the annexation of the Crimea among the Russians soared to the limit - to 83%, though it fell down sufficiently before that.

And if you remember that the relationship between Russians and their government can be called in one word - paternalism - it makes it clear how important this rating is for that Russian authorities and for maintaining Russia in unstable equilibrium

Annexing Donbass by Russia meant that Ukraine’s Ukrainian project would have to be curtailed. To begin with, Russia occupied only half of Donbass in 2014 - that is, half of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Moreover, in the summer of 2014, the Ukrainian army returned Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol (with half a million inhabitants in the city). In addition, Ukraine would have to wage after annexign of the Donbas by Russia already with the regular Russian army. And to fight directly with an aggressive nuclear power is absurd for Ukraine and very risky for Russia itself.

Let me remind you that over the past 100 years the Russians practically did not wage legal wars, except for the Second World War - and even there they are counting their participation in it not from September 17, 1939 (Russia's entry into the Polish campaign), but from June 22, 1941.

Instead, Russia's non-recognition of the annexation of the occupied part of the Donbass allowed Russia to wage an exhausting hybrid war for Ukraine. Along the way, exterminating a significant part of Ukrainians in it, whom she recruited in the Donbas. That is, knocking out the labor there that Ukraine will need when the war ends.

Donbass - the most important Ukrainian industrial region - suffered great damage during the war. Equipment of a number of enterprises was exported to Russia, most of the rest were looted, many mines were flooded with water.

In all the eastern regions of Ukraine including Donbass the Russians are an ethnic minority, second in numbers to the Ukrainians. Only in Donetsk itself the Russians are slightly more than half. I talked to people from the Donbass - there are a lot of them now in Kiev. And all of the refugees from the Donbass in Ukraine are now more than 3 million. Approximately 6-7 times more than the refugees from the Donbass who remained to live in Russia.

So, they told me that many of those from Donbass who had fled to Russia, then returned. Russia turned out to be sufficiently different from what they were shown on TV, and disappointment in it is, perhaps, their main impression. I have to say that before the war the standard of living in the Donbas was quite good.

Russian military theorists even before the start of the big fighting in the Donbass in summer 2014 described in detail the tactics of hybrid warfare. They call it a terrorist war. And indicate its main goal - the economic destruction of the enemy state. Putin now pursues such a goal during his war in the east of Ukraine.

As for the Crimea, as I said, the main purpose of its annexation was to raise Putin's rating. Rating, which before it began to fall noticeably. The second goal is to push the Russian military bases closer to the NATO countries. Let me remind you that from the Crimean airfields Russian aviation tried to bomb oil fields in Romania in 1941. Crimean project is very expensive for Russia. Not only by the huge losses due to reaction of the West and especially for the story with the price for oil. For Ukraine, Crimea was subsidized - about half of its expenses were paid from the Ukrainian budget.

For Russia, Crimea is subsidized by approximately 85%. Russia spends a lot of money on the Crimea in order to show the whole world that it lives under the Crimea better than it does under Ukraine.

I am not sure that many of Crymeans are happy at the moment. I looked through live cameras on the Crimean coast in 2015-2018. And compared the number of tourists there in the summer season with what I saw there until 2014. We went from 1990 to 2013 1-2 times a year to rest on the Crimean coast. So - the number of holidaymakers there has decreased 3-4 times since 2014, and some resorts even during the peak season looked deserted on webcams.
 
Nov 2015
1,529
Kyiv
#88
Russia publishes optimistic figures of holidaymakers in the Crimea. But they do not correlate with what is visible on webcams. No. And this is despite the fact that in the times of Ukraine 2 million Russians rested there. And more than 4 million Ukrainians. And the construction of a bridge in Kerch has little changed the situation with the collapse of tourism in the Crimea. Russia itself after Krymnash (Crymea is ours) has got noticeably poorer. My mother-in-law live in Russia, and I know the situation there quite well. Only 10% of Russians at least once traveled outside Russia in recent years.

The funny thing is that a number of reports of the influx of Russian tourists in the Crimea, the Russian media provide photos of the beaches of the "Ukrainian" Crimea, made before 2014

In the summer of 2018, 6% of Russians rested abroad

https://www.kp.ru/online/news/3247588/

And this is taking into account those Russians who went to Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine for vacation.

I must say that the Kremlin successfully predicted the first reaction of the West to Russia's aggression in the Crimea and the annexation of the peninsula. The reaction was very sluggish, and in the West even at the moment they use the term - the civil war in Ukraine or the military conflict in Ukraine instead of the war of Russia in Ukraine and its intervention in a foreign country that are quite adequate - as far as I see

After all, this is the first annexation of the territory of a European country since the Third Reich. And this is a vivid indicator of how Europe is not ready to face the facts and react adequately to them. Ukrainians are talking about this, and I think it is. There is no need to add that the Russians are now writing on our websites - we are being held back by the transit of our gas through Ukraine. As soon as we finish building the North Stream-2, we will talk to you differently. And in Germany, Putin found complete mutual understanding on the issue of the Nord Stream.

The parallels between the annexation of the Crimea in 2014 and the Sudeten 1938 for some reason poorly visible for residents of the EU countries

The Russians conducted a trial of forces in Georgia and in Moldova. These attempts have been successful. The West practically did not react to them - and therefore Russia decided to take a new step already in Ukraine. And started with the annexation of its territory in March 2014

As I have already said, my two nephews and the husband of my eldest daughter are fighting now in the Donbas in the Ukrainian army. Whether you like it or not, but the Ukrainians do not allow Russian tanks now to move in the direction of the EU and NATO countries. Let me remind you that Ukraine borders with four such countries - Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.And we pay with blood for European lethargy and amorphism in relation to the resurgent Russian imperialism.

Perhaps my words sound too harsh for a historical forum. But we have already lost more than 10 thousand Ukrainian citizens in the war with Russia, and economic losses due to the Russian aggression caused a drop in 50% of our GDP.
 
Sep 2012
3,553
Bulgaria
#89
Learning something new every day. A Welshman founded today's capital of Donetsk People's Republic and the town was named Yuzovka after John Hughes until the commies renamed it to Stalino. After the end of cult of personality then city was renamed again to Donetsk. The centre of Donetsk is known as English Colony, why not Welsh i have no idea.

John Hughes (businessman) - Wikipedia

Calls for Ukrainian city 'to join' UK

 
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Nov 2015
1,529
Kyiv
#90
The capitalist boom and great economic growth in the Russian Empire began in the last quarter of the 19th century. Western investment played a major role in it. I have already mentioned the French “Billion Russian loan”. In Kiev were built several large factories owned by Europeans, including the largest factory of Grether and Krivanek, Czech entrepreneurs. A number of factories were built on the territory of Ukraine until 1917 by Germans, Czechs, Belgians, and also citizens of the Russian Empire - Russians, Ukrainians, and Jews.

Donetsk
before 1924 and 1941–1943 - Yuzovka
in 1924–1941 and 1943–1961 - Stalin, Staline, Stalino
The city de facto was founded by the English entrepreneur Hughes, who in 1869 built a metallurgical plant and a village near it in that place. Yuzovka was named after his surname. The status of the city Yuzovka with a population of 70 thousand received only in 1917, almost 20 years after the death of Hughes.

In Yuzovka was the area of this settlement which was called the English colony. The English people lived in it
 
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