Subversion and Recon Groups instructed to wreak havoc in Donetsk
While Ukrainian authorities give their secret services an SS revamp, the leadership of the Donetsk People’s Republic released a document suggesting that Kiev-controlled terror units are about to carry out a series of deadly attacks in separatist areas.
Vzglyad reports that DPR’s intelligence had seized a Ukrainian army document containing a plan to destabilize the situation in the areas near the contact line and discredit Novorussia before international observers, .
The document provides for sending a large number of subversive groups across the frontline. According to DPR’s government speaker Basurin, Kiev had sent 35 sabotage and reconnaissance groups (SRGs) of three to eight people each. At a news briefing he read Kiev’s “Plan for a special operation in sector B,” which, according to him, was produced through agents.
The text states that, “the groups shall be armed as per regulation, with added PM-120 mortar, two ammunition sets for each weapon; the groups shall return when they are given orders to do so.”
The overall goal of all of these groups is to commit provocation acts in the territory of the DNR in the form of indiscriminate small arms and mortars fire against various civil and military administration sites, as well as positions of the Ukrainian Army. The aim is to then accuse the militia of Donetsk in violation of the Minsk ceasefire agreements. A secondary objective would be to destroy the infrastructure of Donetsk, assassinate leaders of the DNR and the militia, spread rumors and panic through “trusted persons”.w
“If a couple of months ago, a man simply disappeared, and only much later it would become known that he is fighting on the other side, such “missing persons” are no more now.”
SRG previously felt quite comfortable in the near-front area and the city of Donetsk. Shelling internal areas of the city with mortars mounted on vans and pickup trucks were routine until very recently. Some of these groups were caught, always with the help of local residents who responded to the strange cars. But the detained or destroyed SRG are just a fraction of those that managed to escape. DNR didn’t have a regular military counterintelligence, this work was neglected, and organize it in a region with a mixed population (even more so – in a city with a million residents, given the general insufficiency of forces and means) was very difficult.
Vzglyad’s view is, that in addition, only now the leadership of the DNR has ordered to complete the surrender of weapons by the population. Beginning Monday, anyone with a weapon, but without a military identification card, where the number of his gun should be inscribed, shall be considered an outlaw.
This is primarily done to organize and structure all armed groups formed spontaneously during the year of war.
Generally the mess in Novorussia is like a plague. On the Ukrainian side the problems in this regard are even worse; it seems like this is a common trauma of both formerly fraternal peoples. But, psychologically, the incredible confusion and bureaucracy that arose in DNR’s army literally within a matter of weeks, and out of nowhere, is very irritating.
Setting up operative countermeasures against Ukrainian SRGs is a complex and time-consuming task. And catching them all in such numbers is unlikely. This is the most likely reason for the disclosure of the document captured through intelligence agents. Making public anything obtained through human intelligence is always an extreme and ruthless measure, a very dangerous step that can theoretically lead to the death of the agent. If the command of the militia decided on such a move, it means that the risk from SRGs for the overall situation in the region is really serious.
But on the Ukrainian side it is not all rosy. Coordination of the activities of such a number of SRGs in real time is almost impossible. In practice, a set of random, unexpected events and the quirks of the “human factor” may be so varied that any consistency in the actions of the numerous SRGs will be too much. In addition, according to the document released by Basurin, these groups are not assigned specific objectives (exact targets, coordinates, schedules, routes), but only some general parameters of ideological rather than military nature. This means that each SRG will act on their own risk, without any support, without coordination and with little or no instructions from the center, if one exists at all.
Again, according to the document, SRGs will act only in the sector “B”, that is, around Donetsk, near the village of Peski, the airport and Avdeevka. It is not too large an area (except, of course, the city itself), and from an organizational point of view for the Ukrainian troops this is one sector of operational management. Therefore, it would be logical to organize some single point of control of all SRGs with its communication system, which is critical. It can be located in Kramatorsk, which is now the focus of concentrated rear logistical services of the Ukrainian army.
If this is not done, then all these people will be sent across the frontline on the principle of “go there – I do not know where.” Moreover, it will be also “bring that – I do not know what,” since the SRG and its commander is unable to determine “by eye”, whether they have fulfilled their task of destabilization or forcing international observers to make the needed conclusions. It is impossible to estimate this in real time. What the OSCE will think, after logging some shelling during the truce, no one really knows. It is just so much tea leaves guessing. And the effect will really manifest itself not earlier than a month after such “work.”
Holding out for so long behind enemy lines with just a few hundred rounds per rifle, without supplies of food and water and in bad weather – is impossible. Only theoretically and using local people’s help. And the local are no longer willing to help Kiev’s soldiers in any form, especially the subversive groups.
It is much easier for SRGs to camouflage themselves under some well-known DNR or LNR battalions and Cossack units prone to self-rule and defying the republics’ command.
Now most of the settlements in rebel-held areas have returned to normal governance, and “unauthorized” armed groups are almost gone. However, the general atmosphere of chaos is not conducive to monitoring and control. And psychologically it has a pretty negative effect on the state of combat units. Such a psychological destabilization is perhaps the only real effect which Ukrainian SRGs may hope to achieve. Hunting down the leaders of Novorussia is not a promising option because after the string of recent high-profile murders their security was upgraded and battalion commanders are under much better protection than politicians.
In general, to the prospects of Kiev’s plan to destabilize the war zone can be graded a solid C. On the other hand, countering SRG action in the near-front zone may be achieved not so much through a large-scale counter-intelligence operation, as by establishing order, elimination of logistical chaos and bureaucracy. And this is not a job for counterintelligence, but for the civil administration. They hold the cards.
P.S. Kiev’s Anti-Terrorist Operation Press Office responded right on cue.