Russian-Ukrainian wars behind the contact lines as well

Russian-Ukrainian wars behind the contact lines as well
Russian-Ukrainian wars behind the contact lines as well
-

In conjunction with the rapid field developments in the Donbass region, and Moscow’s approach to tightening its grip on Donetsk and expanding the battle front around Zaporizhia, what can be described as the most important military achievement since the outbreak of the war 11 months ago, it seemed that the Russian and Ukrainian sides were fighting other wars behind the lines of contact, aiming to Avoid the many gaps that have emerged during the past months, and strengthen the internal fronts in the face of the potential for escalation expected in the next stage.

And with Moscow launching a process of wide reforms in the army, which appeared flabby and faltering in more than one location during the fierce confrontations, as well as the emergence of the need to rebuild its units on the structural and armament levels in the framework of the expansion of the confrontation with the West, Kyiv also seemed to be facing serious benefits. Especially in terms of fighting corruption and the exploitation of war conditions by political and military elites, which constitutes a necessary condition for the continued flow of Western weapons and equipment to Ukraine.

The two sides are engaged in their internal wars, with expectations aggravating that the situation will slide towards a broader confrontation in the absence of a political solution and the collapse of hopes for launching serious negotiations.

Putin launched the course of major reforms (Reuters)

Inside Russia, competition has intensified between the power apparatus and the regular and irregular military formations, as demonstrated by the exchange of accusations and sharp criticism between the regular military establishment and the “Wagner” armed group, which played a decisive role in the Battle of Solidar recently, and this situation led to extensive changes. In the leadership of the military operation more than once during the past three months, but the result that has emerged stronger before the country’s leadership, is the need to launch a comprehensive and strong military reform so that the army can keep up with the “new threats”, according to the description of Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov.

President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of the course of major reforms about a week ago, and many questions arose about the timing and size of the expected reforms. On Tuesday, Gerasimov clarified part of Russia’s goals when he asserted that the new military reforms take into account the possible expansion of NATO and the use of Kyiv by the “collective West” to wage a “proxy war” on Russia.

It appears from the commentary that, nearly a year after the battle, Moscow has realized that there are important gaps in its current confrontation with the West, which prompts it to reconsider restructuring the army in proportion to the new dangers. In his first public comment since being appointed commander of Russian forces in Ukraine on Jan. 11, Gerasimov acknowledged problems with mobilizing Russian forces after public criticism forced President Vladimir Putin to rebuke the military. Gerasimov said the military reforms, announced in mid-January, were approved by Putin and could be modified to respond to threats to Russia’s security. “Today, these threats include NATO’s aspirations to expand into Finland and Sweden as well as the use of Ukraine as a tool to wage a proxy war against our country,” he added.

The reforms also include the re-establishment of two additional military districts, Moscow and St. Petersburg, that existed before their merging in 2010 as part of the Western Military District.

In Ukraine, Russia will add three motorized rifle divisions as part of the combined arms formations in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, which Moscow announced its annexation to the Russian Federation last fall.

“The main goal of this work is to ensure the protection of our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Gerasimov said. He added that modern Russia had not witnessed “fighting with such ferocity,” which forced it to carry out offensive operations in order to stabilize the situation. “Our country and its armed forces are working today against the West as a whole,” he said.

-

The Russian general did not address the repercussions of the expected military reform on the state of competition that has emerged between several parties, and how the Kremlin will face this problem later, especially since the emergence of the role of “Wagner” forces in this way and their transition to public action after years of fighting “secret wars” prompted them recently to There has been speculation that these forces may have a future role in Russian agencies, such as the Revolutionary Guards in Iran.

--

However, the Russian focus now seems focused on confronting the West and confirming the assumption that the ongoing reforms are directed in this direction only. The well-known military expert, Alexei Leonkov, told the state news agency “Novosti” that among the expected reforms is the increase in the size of the Russian army and the formation of new military regions in the framework of dealing with the military requirements for the emergence of new regions in Russia. He explained that the new reform is also linked to the desire of Finland and Sweden to join NATO. In the event of a positive decision, the alliance area will become wider and closer to the Russian borders.

“In the neighboring countries that are members of NATO, there is a sharp increase in military budgets, and in some of them mobilization activities are being carried out,” Leonkov said. It would be dangerous to simply ignore such news.” With regard to Finland and Sweden, the expert pointed out that these two countries have strong military capabilities. If earlier Russia treated them as neutral countries, now the situation can change at any moment. “The situation is changing and we must actually implement preventive solutions,” the expert added.

On the internal Ukrainian front, the situation does not appear to be calmer. There are also rapid changes taking place, and the extent of their subsequent impact on the course of the battles cannot be predicted. Resignations continued in the Ukrainian leadership. In less than 24 hours, three officials in the government and administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky resigned. The resignation of Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov came after a food corruption scandal.

The man was responsible for the logistics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and his resignation appeared to be linked to the scandal of inflating food prices for Ukrainian military units. Yesterday, Zelensky dismissed Kyrilo Tymoshenko from the position of deputy head of the Government Office, without explaining the reasons. However, Ukrainian media mentioned in reports that Tymoshenko uses an SUV on business trips donated by the American company General Motors for humanitarian needs, and also mentioned that he lives in an elite village near Kyiv, which he called in the publication “the main area of ​​​​Ukrainian millionaires.” .

Within hours, Oleksiy Simonenko resigned from the post of Deputy Prosecutor General, and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine confirmed the information about Simonenko’s dismissal from his post at his request, the third resignation within a day.

It is noteworthy that the advisor to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Alexey Aristovich, submitted his resignation a few days ago after he was subjected to a campaign of criticism for his statement that the Ukrainian air defenses caused the explosion of a residential building in Dnepropetrovsk. The Ukrainian authorities do not hide that the series of dismissals may be linked to corruption files, especially after Zelensky pledged a few days ago to strengthen the grip of the fight against corruption, in response to Western hints that European aid may not go in the right place.

The ongoing changes in the Ukrainian leadership appear to be a response to a Western condition to improve the internal situation in preparation for increasing the volume and quality of military and financial aid provided to Kyiv.

It is noteworthy that in the cases of Moscow and Kiev, the current internal effort seems to be directed towards enhancing the capabilities of the two countries to complete and perhaps expand the scope of the current confrontation. Against the background of the currently active Western debate about supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons, Moscow saw that if it actually reached Ukraine, it would result in moving the conflict to a “new level,” according to the assertion of Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov. It is remarkable that the Russian tone has escalated in recent days in A warning frame of the possibility of a slide towards a direct clash with the West. After Peskov’s indication that Russia’s relations with Western countries have reached their lowest levels, the new fiery statement of the Vice-President of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, carried important connotations. He said that “the military operation in Ukraine has become a forced measure and a response to the preparation for aggression by the United States and its followers.” On Russia». And he added that by warning that “the world is approaching the threat of a third world war.”

Almost the same tone was repeated by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, when he said during an African tour that “what is happening in Ukraine is no longer a hybrid war between Russia and the West, but rather the war has become almost real.” He added that the West “had been preparing for this war against Russia for a long time, in an attempt to destroy it.” The Russian foreign minister referred to the statements of the leaders of Western countries, through which they “confirm their rejection of negotiations, their insistence on a military solution, and their desire to destroy Russia.”

-

--

NEXT Days before Blinken’s visit.. Beijing calls for “common ground” with Washington