Ukrainian security officials and army openly oppose the Kiev command. Smoldering discontent that has been accumulating in the previous months breaks out. Even the volunteers are not willing anymore to pay with their lives for the incompetence and corruption of military leaders.
Mortar volleys, shelling from rocket launchers and howitzers. The Donbass militia is advancing on all positions of the Ukrainian military. Here, this is Marinovka. According to local residents, they got shot from Donetsk, from the suburbs, and from all sides.
Ukrainian forces have lost more soldiers over the past few weeks than in all preceding history of this armed conflict. Kiev military is backing up on several fronts, but for many there is nowhere to retreat. Kiev however insists that no troops got surrounded, the army suffers only minor losses, and in general, the Ukrainian forces are celebrating success after success. “Nobody gave up on our guys, we keep in touch with them, they are fiercely resisting the terrorists while inflicting great damage on them, you may have no doubt. Nobody is going to surrender,” – said Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko.
Military disagree. “Everything said on TV are lies. We did not even had anything to eat. We ate corn from the fields. For two days we ate corn, we did not have any proper food, we did not have water. One liter of water for the battalion of 20 people!” – says a soldier of 28 Mechanized Brigade Mikhail.
The servicemen of the battalion “Donbass” report that their colleagues who find themselves abandoned and surrounded by militia send videos captured on phones with a single phrase: “Good-bye, we die for Ukraine”.
Ukrainian journalist channel that was surrounded in a pocket along with the Ukrainian military, reports: “We are bombarded by mortars daily, bombs go off constantly. Soldiers are all confident that Kiev just betrayed them and hold a very negative view of the Kiev authorities. TV tells us that supposedly help already came here or it is on its way or something, but we are surrounded for five days now and we see no assistance. We have almost no food, the water is a very big problem. ”
Ukrainian military is now deserting the units by the count of hundreds. 400 fighters escaped from the fire under Amvrosievka. They were surrounded fro nearly two months. However, on the way home to Ivano-Frankivsk, they were stopped at a checkpoint, weapons were confiscated and the soldiers were immediately declared deserters.
A resident of Illovaysk Alex Osipenko, who was a prisoner of the Ukrainian National Guard and witnessed their conversations, says: “They say they want to go, they would now go to Kiev. “We are” – they say – “ready.” Nobody would release them now. They say they go and shoot Poroshenko themselves. He threatens their families to force them to go here to the front lines.”
The fact that the losses of the Ukrainian army are understated is admitted even by Oleg Lyashko. “With full responsibility I declare – the situation on the Eastern front is extremely complicated. Part of our troops in the Donetsk and Luhansk region were surrounded and will simply not survive, if immediate steps are not taken,” – he writes.
Finances for war are sorely lacking. Fuel ran out and armored vehicles stalled. Yesterday the battalion commander of “Kherson” Ruslan Storcheus was killed. The wounded commander of battalion “Donbass” Semen Sementchenko begs the command for help from his hospital bed.
The cars filled with bodies of the dead from the war zone now arrive daily. According to local residents, mortuaries in major cities are overcrowded. Every day someone dies. Those who disclose information about the actual losses and the defeats of the Ukrainian army, are declared enemies of the state on the spot. Currently Ukraine has opened a thousand criminal cases because of army defections. But criminal charges do not scare people anymore. The number of those who voluntarily lay down their arms is up in the hundreds. Donbass militia commanders pass the deserters back to their families, not to their commanders.
Poroshenko, in turn, in response to the mothers’ tears sends more soldiers to the Eastern front. When they come back if at all – that is the big question. Mothers can do nothing else but continue to pray.