by Karl Pomeroy
August 29, 2015
This time, the enemy misinformation campaign has exceeded itself in imaginative fantasy. The creative detail is staggering. Not only have the lunatic fabricators hallucinated “Russian troops in Donbass”, they have materialized out of a pure fairy dust a tale of a parallel world, a world in which an entire Russian army, complete with a complex command structure, comprises 60% of the fighting forces in Donbass.
Observers have pointed out many times that if the Russian army were in Donbass, they would march to Kiev in a day. Now Kiev script writers have turned this fact on its head, saying, “Needless to add, the ‘DNR’ and ‘LNR’ militaries would not last twenty-four hours without constant command and logistical support from Putin’s military.” Well, the militias have lasted a year and a half, so that puts an end to that story. Moreover, were the Russian army in Donbass, there would be obvious overwhelming evidence. There is not a shred of evidence, because the Russian army isn’t there. Fabrication does not constitute evidence.
Petro Poroshenko’s ego cannot tolerate that his own army has been defeated by the local but highly motivated Novorossiya Armed Forces, consisting of DPR and LPR militias and a small contingent of foreign volunteers.
It was not good enough for Poroshenko to say 50,000 Russian official troops were in Donbass. He has escalated this absurdity to the level of specifics that is the stuff of psychedelic dreams. It does not change reality. But it may boost the level of military support from NATO and other European countries.
That is the danger of misinformation.
This article would not have caught my attention, and might have been dismissed as a bizarre novelty, were it not for the fact that it was posted on Twitter by none other than Carl Bildt. According to Wikipedia, Bildt, together with Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, is one of the main architects of the Eastern policy of the EU.[ Stefan Hedlund, professor at Uppsala University, stated that “Carl Bildt’s threatening rhetoric should in this context be regarded as extremely destructive”, in an article about the Ukrainian crisis. Hedlund also suggested that Bildt should take a “time-out”, and that progress can only be made through dialogue with Russia.
Perhaps no one takes this fool seriously.
The following article of fiction, posted by Bildt, has been appearing all over Twitter. Let’s hope nobody with any clout falls for it.
Russia’s “Secret” Army in Ukraine
Today the office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko released via Twitter important details about the organization and structure of Russia’s occupying army in Southeastern Ukraine. The order of battle (ORBAT) information is clearly derived from a lot of intelligence, especially SIGINT (I say this as someone who used to do ORBAT intelligence for a living: this is well done).
Since most of my readers know neither Russian or Ukrainian, I’m passing on what Kyiv has released today in English. The translation isn’t great but it works. I’m providing comments below since most normals are not well acquainted with the nuances of Russian military organization.
Russian Military Command, South-East Ukraine (Novocherkask):
Commanding Officer (CO): GenCol A N. Serdyukov 
1st Army Corps (“Donetsk People’s Republic” Military), HQ: Donetsk
CO: GenMaj A.V. Zavizyon 
2nd Army Corps (“Luhansk People’s Republic” Military), HQ: Luhansk
CO: GenMaj Y. V. Nikiforov 
The organization of the 1st and 2nd Corps, no surprise, corresponds exactly to the standard tables of organization and equipment (TO&E) of Russian Ground Forces. There are several maneuver brigades (“motor rifle” is the Russian term for mechanized in NATO parlance) supported by independent regiments and battalions. As Kyiv has announced, the 35,000 troops belonging to “DNR” and “LNR” forces are bolstered by 9,000 reservists. While some forty percent of the troops are locals, the rest are Russians plus a few mercenaries and foreign volunteers.
The senior command staff are exclusively Russian officers assigned to the 1st and 2nd Corps — officially they are “not there” of course — while the operation is run, logistically and command-wise, from neighboring Russia.
To anybody with a decent memory, this closely resembles the relationship during the 1992-95 Bosnian War, when the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), while consisting largely of local rank-and-file troops, had most of its command, and nearly all of its financing and logistics, coming from neighboring Serbia and its military — which, in practice treated the VRS as merely as an extension of itself, as in fact it was.
Needless to add, the “DNR” and “LNR” militaries would not last twenty-four hours without constant command and logistical support from Putin’s military. They are an extension of Russian Ground Forces and should be treated as such by the West. It’s time to end, once and for all, any fiction about “rebels” — these are Russian-controlled forces, led by Russian officers, supplied with Russian guns and ammunition, that are waging war inside Ukraine.
Kudos to Kyiv for putting this important information out there as an aid to understanding what’s really going on in their country.
1. AKA Sedov; GenCol is a Russian “three-star” rank.
2. AKA Pilen; GenMaj is a Russian “one-star” rank.
3. AKA Morgun; GenMaj is a Russian “one-star” rank.