The woman I know in the militia posted this pic and I asked her about it
It's an old World War II vintage "limonka" hand grenade, no longer in production since decades. The Novorussian found some in old stocks and are using them, for boobytraps like this.
Unlike the world wars, hand grenades are rarely used, since every rifleman has an automatic assault rifle it is simply suicidal to get within throwing range. Plus the Ukrop infantry lacks the motivation and training to press on infantry assaults into close quarters... unless high on drugs, wich does happen. Thrown grenades have been largely replaced by the underslung 30mm launcher.
Grenades are only used in combat in urban areas, by patrols in night time raids where you can sneak in close enough to use it, and some Novorussians keep at least one to blow themselves up if about to be captured by the enemy, rather than being tortured to death.
From this picture and another assortment of pictures of old junk in use by the militias, and after talking at length with my source, I am now convinced no ammunition is coming from Russia and if shipments arrive, they are top secret and unknown to the average frontline miltia.
They are using local resources, and that perhaps explains why Novorussian artillery fires only sparingly and the apparent passivity of militias under the pretense of adhering to Minsk. It's not just about keeping the conflict from escalating, there are powerful reasons to save ammunition for the decisive battle.
Perhaps the maneuver forces that have the tanks and armored vehicles and the artillery and train incessantly in the rear areas would know about "secret aid", because they would notice if they receive munitions and equipment they know it's not sourced from captures. Perhaps...
All in all, really sad and disappointing that whatever arrives comes from the Russian people, not from the government, the more so compared with the lavish aid to Siria.
An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.
From my blog, reposted here in abbreviated trans, plus additional confirmation from another source
The western Ukraine, depopulated of men by war - 04 May
I just talked to a neighbor who is married to a Ukrainian, very pretty, from the west and a half Polish, and rabid Russian hater.
The gentleman surprised me, he was intelligent and learned. He had a much more balanced view and recognized that it is a civil war, and that everything they tell about the war in the media, if they say anything, is a lie. He does not argue with his wife, but he disagrees.
It is comforting to know that what I post os confirmed by people who have been there and know the reality firsthand.
The funny thing about these patriotic Ukrainian emigres is that they shout "glory to Ukraine!", but they do not want to go to war. He told me that his brother-in-law (his wife's brother), who is forty years old, is hiding so he won't be conscripted.
This man agrees that there are tens of thousands of dead, many more than the ten thousand who have been repeated for years, that the Ukrainian army is a disaster and there is no enthusiasm for war. He travels to Ukraine every year and told me that in his region, in Lvov, all the men, young and not so young, have disappeared in the villages. All have fled the country for fear of being called up. Those that could, of course.
Ukraine calls on reserve officers - 17 May
The war continues, and the gradual and inexorable wear of the Ukrainian army
An organization of Ukrainian volunteers denounces the catastrophic shortage of soldiers and officers, so now they have to call in the retired officers.
On 14 May, the Armed Forces General Staff issued orders to the Ukrainian military recruitment offices to begin preparations for the recruitment of reserve officers under the age of 43.
In March, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak asked the retired military to return to service.
In my opinion, as long as this low-intensity war continues, they have no problem keeping about a hundred thousand men in the front, but at the price of having no reserves or replacements.
Someone that reads my blog passed this onto me, from some Spanish source, it seems the problem is not just Western Ukraine, but the whole country:
No young men left in South Ukraine, draft dodging and desertion rampant- 18 June
I already commented that I had read in several blogs that Ukraine had problems of recruitment, so the other day I asked a Ukrainian acquaintance who has been residing here in [Spain] for almost 20 years and who travels every year to his home city (Nykolayev or something like that), what he thinks about the subject, and besides telling me that he blamed for everything the Russians who he called the children of Satan, he observed a lack of men in the city, especially young people, among other things according to him because they emigrated or hid to avoid being recruited and that the desertions were very numerous, apart from a lack of motivation in large sectors of the population who are aware that it is a civil war.
(that is, they don't buy the propaganda about a "Russian invasion" and know they are fighting for a corrupt regime against their own countrymen)
An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.
Straight from the horse's mouth, Ukrainian source confirms the absolute mess the Ukrainian army is. Nothing new to me, but confirms what I have been posting for a long time.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 18:48
Ukrainian army is just a gathering of commoners, brought together under unqualified 'higher officers' and suffering from the poor level of equipment, logistics, and living conditions. Yuri Butusov, Ukrainian journalist and Chief Editor of the censor.net edition, arrived at such a conclusion, having visited the 'ATO' frontline and witnessed the true 'enemy' of the Ukrainian people, that is both poor self-management and deadly conditions.
he Ukrainian Defence Ministry evaluates the situation with providing the Ukrainian forces with certain kinds of ammunition as critical. The information appeared in the Ukrainian Media and reportedly was based on the document №220/3650, which the Defence Minister, Stephan Poltorak, transferred to the National Security Service’s secretary, Alexander Turchinov in May 2017.
According to the information covered, ammunition comprised a great part of the Kiev’s international export. Ukraine was selling millions of patrons and shells to Malaysia, India and African countries.
“It should be underlined that presently the Defence Ministry took its head out of the clouds and regards providing the Ukrainian army with ammunition of 7,6 mm calibre for sniper rifle, patrons of 12, 7 calibre for large-calibre automatic gun of Degtyarev-Shpagin and NSVT, the application of large calibres from 23 to 152 mm designed for the artillery systems with the grenade launchers of various calibres as inappropriate and critical ,” underlined the source.
It was also pointed out that Ukraine lost the opportunity of production explosives, gunpowder, collets, shells and detonating fuzes. After the Donbass hostilities begun, the Donetsk state-owned chemical production plant and Chemical state-owned association named after G. Petrovskogo remained in the DPR territory. As a result, Ukraine has no opportunity to product ammunition of medium and large artillery calibres, air bombs warheads, gunpowder for the highly precise missiles and shells for MRLS.
An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.
The intake of volunteers serving for a salary has not been enough to maintain troop levels, so the regime could not do without conscripts, and now, despite promises to keep them out of the fight and only in rear area tasks, is forced to send conscripts to the front again
Massive retirement of contract servicemen rescinding a contract due to dissatisfactory monetary, subsistence and material support is detected in AFU brigades.
Increasing incompleteness of AFU military personnel leads to the fact that conscript servicemen are redeployed to the so-called “ATO” zone in violation of the country's top military and political leadership's orders. Conscript soldiers are actively involved in digging trenches on the front-line and serving at checkpoints. Moreover, these servicemen's presence among units on the front line is not recorded in written form. This will not allow conscript soldiers to form a status of military hostilities participant and receive corresponding monetary reward and benefits.
Despite a relative lull during the last weeks, fighting was constant throughout spring and as hard as during 2016, as a sample, hospitals nearest the front were overflowing and wounded were being ferried as far as Odessa. For that to happen, there must be about a thousand casualties each month, at the very least.
Almost all of the formations and military units of the AFU have a huge lack of personnel. In some units, the shortage reaches 50 to 70 percent. In this regard, representatives of the AFU have been sent to military commissariats of the central and western regions to recruit military personnel for contract service. Even this measure failed to bring positive results due to citizens’ reluctance to participate in the civil war, as well as to risk their lives in favour of the Kiev oligarchs’ interests
It's evident that the so called "harvest truce" is only an alibi as exhaustion is making its mark. Troop movements and deployments in the front suggest this is only a respite while spent units are rotated.
There is also noise about forcing the paramilitary volunteer battalions into regular frontline brigades, to alleviate the troop shortages
There must be a hell of a lot of money pouring in to keep the Ukrainian army fighting. It seems to be going to waste given the corruption and clearly poor morale of most Ukrop forces.
Too bad the tap isn't turned off, the conflict would be over very quickly as it seems except for extremists from the Western Ukraine most are just not into this war (except for obvious reasons the population in the Eastern regions ).
Detailed analysis of what's wrong with the Ukrainian military , or what passes for one, from Ukrainian sources. It's from 2 years ago, but things remain the same, or worse:
Google trans, but understandable
On the state of the Ukrainian army
March 17th 2015
If the first parts of the article, which are a characteristic of Yu.Butusov of the opposing forces in the Donbass, are not of interest because they contain a mixture of statements typical of Ukrainian propaganda about the mass presence of the Russian Army in half with the chronic underestimation of the enemy for the Ukrainian side, undervalued by the enemy, Editor of "Censor.NET" of the problems of the armed forces of Ukraine (APU) is relatively curious. In particular, the figures cited and the details of the current organizational reform of the APU are mentioned by Yu. Butusov. Of course, one should take into account the propagandistic rage of the author of the text and its extreme tendentiousness.
О состоянии украинской армии
Problems of the Ukrainian command
1. The leadership of the General Staff and the army lost all confidence in its personnel, especially field officers and soldiers. This is the main threat. The army does not want to fight under the command of ignoramuses, liars and traitors. Read the interview of Colonel Pokus - the head of the 20th Motorized Infantry Battalion, the letter from the officers of the 25th, 40th battalions and 128th Brigade - this is not a fake, the letter is real and the facts in it are mostly truthful. Listen to dozens of other critical remarks of our warriors. The leadership of the General Staff should be driven out of the army for full professional incompetence - to prosecute. The right hand of the chief of the General Staff Muzhenko, General Nazarov, threatens the experts - the deserved officers of the Armed Forces, and the Commander-in-Chief Poroshenko does not protect the colonel with 35 years of experience and unique experience that he threw everything in the Crimea for the sake of Ukraine. And Nazarova is not thrown into prison - the person involved in criminal cases continues to command the people. Is this not a disgrace for the army and the military command? Is this not a demonstration that in Ukraine the generals lack any conscience, decency and any respect for subordinates?
2. Control system. The 30,000-strong army grouping was torn between the numerous staffs of sectors and brigades. The fragmentation of the management system into sectors, both during the police operation, is a horrendous archaism completely out of the combat statutes during the war. In the motorized rifle division of the USSR there were 14,700 people, and in many cases such an officer was commanded by an officer in the rank of colonel. The Ukrainian grouping of two Soviet divisions is ruled by a multitude of generals and colonels. This bureaucratic system, with a huge number of levels of government, paralyzes the normal management of troops, and the administrative apparatus does not meet the number of combat personnel. The leadership of the General Staff constantly invades the management of tactical operations, destroys subordination and control system. During the military operations in the Donetsk airport the Chief of the General Staff Muzhenko personally took command of the units of the 95th, 81st, 80th, 79th airmobile and 25th airborne brigades and brought them into battle on the sector responsibility section "B", where Muzhenko himself, two weeks before, completely changed many key officers. Chaos and lack of organization prevented the fulfillment of combat missions.
3. The total number of troops in the ATU remains meager - 30-35 thousand of the 230 thousand troops on the list. The General Staff does not take any measures to increase the number of combat personnel. A lot of flags on the map - and very small percussion capabilities of each flag, each unit. During the deblocking operation, the Debaltsevo General Staff attempted to concentrate the strike group to capture the Logvinovo district. However, again the paratroopers reinforced by the divisions of the 1st Tank, 30th and 14th mechanized brigades, were unable to perform combat missions. The reason is that all Ukrainian units go to the front uncompleted. One or two battalion-tactical groups are fighting from the brigade, companies are singled out from the battalion. Most of the combat missions on the front are performed by units that do not exceed the number of the rota-tactical group. There is no talk of concentration of forces. In the context of combating mercenary strike units and Russian troops, individual companies can no longer fully perform combat missions.
4. The reform of the Armed Forces, which the president approved, is simply a profanation on the part of the General Staff and a gross error by the military leadership of Ukraine. Results: the establishment of two new headquarters of operational commands, a new air command headquarters, an increase in the number of generals and general posts from 121 to 151, the creation of new military units in the face of the terrible incompleteness of the active army. The increase in the total number of servicemen to 250,000, while it is necessary to increase not the total number, but the number of combat mechanized units-all these are huge resource costs, which are absolutely unjustified in the conditions of war, which our army and economy can not afford at all. Continuing to give the old technique to poorly trained and unprofessional, unmotivated people, we do not strengthen the army. Conversely, we increase the number of aimless non-combat losses. In the new state, the General Staff sharply reduced the firepower and combat capabilities of motorized infantry battalions. The staff of batteries in artillery is reduced from 6 to 4 guns, but the number of artillery brigades is increased from 3 to 6. While artillery reconnaissance is still insufficient even in the existing brigades, and there are no fully equipped and equipped units, new art brigades are being created. Also new infantry brigades are being created, despite the fact that the personnel units are not provided with technology and motivated and trained personnel.
5. The General Staff is completely mediocre and wasteful in regard to military equipment, which for Ukraine is an irreplaceable resource. 65% of the losses of armored vehicles, 70% of artillery, according to ZN.UA from sources in the General Staff, were lost in the course of encirclements near Izvarino, Ilovaisk, Debaltsevo. In the battle for Debaltsevo, according to our information, the losses of Ukrainian troops during the battle amounted to 127 units of armored vehicles of all types. Since the General Staff did not take into account the degree of technical serviceability of the equipment and did not provide repairs and spare parts. In the course of the "organized retreat," 70% of the equipment losses fell on simply abandoned armored vehicles, which our own troops were forced to destroy and disable, and, alas, leave usable for use by the enemy.
6. There is no systematic personnel work. There is no analysis of the effectiveness of military operations, successful commanders do not advance, they are not replaced by incompetent ones. As a result, there is no coherence and interaction in the units. The commanders are absolutely irresponsible, and the chief of the General Staff, Muzhenko, simply manipulates people based on his personal interests.
7. Combat training at the training grounds does not ensure combat coordination and cooperation at the battalion-brigade level. The reason is the lack of full-fledged battalion-tactical groups and full-service brigades at the front. The level of training of crews of combat vehicles and artillery batteries is completely inadequate. In modern warfare, combat training must presuppose training within the unit and part. To do this, we must take the entire team to the testing ground and train intensively. According to the testimony of Russian servicemen, they send contract soldiers to the war, who have at least 9 months of service behind their backs and three months of intensive training in the field camps near Rostov. We have staffs of brigades and battalions for months on the front line, and the brigade fights with unit squads. Many units do not intersect at all and do not fight together. The brigades are dispersed in small parts along the front line.
8. There is no center for analyzing intelligence information and transferring it to the troops to the cutting edge. The forward units have practically no information about the enemy from other sources, except for their own visual observation.
There must be a hell of a lot of money pouring in to keep the Ukrainian army fighting.
Not that much. Planned expenditures for defense and security in the 2017 state budget are 130 billion hryvnias or about 5 billion USD by a current exchange rate. Of them 65 billion hryvnias/2.5 billion USD are going to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. It's not a secret that many items of equipment beginning from underwear and ending with motor vehicles for the Ukrainian forces were procured using fundraising.
The fighting during the first half of 2017 was, by all accounts, as intense as during the past year, despite the total news blackout, and the relative lull during the past weeks, there are leaks that show how costly this war is. Every day dozens of people get killed, wounded and maimed, but it all happens off screen.
One month ago, the hospitals near the front were so crammed with wounded that they had to ferry them as far back as Odessa, from previous analysis of observed patterns, for this overflow to happen there must be scores of casualties every day, week after week. Perhaps as much as a hundred daily casualties.
The war is invisible, but not only the hospitals are full, but at the cemeteries keep digging new graves.
Antimaydan Ukraine , Antimaydan Kiev , News of Novorossia , Antimaydan in Kharkov , Antimaydan Dnepropetrovsk
Despite the fact that the war in the Donbas has passed into the stage of positional battles, the Ukrainian occupants do not lose less.
This is evidenced by the hysterical appeals of "volunteers" from Dnepropetrovsk or Kharkov hospitals periodically appearing on the Internet, Russian Spring writes.
And yesterday the Kiev citizen posted on his page in the social network pictures that clearly demonstrate that "there is no loss."
Yuri Chopenko showed fresh graves of Ukrainian servicemen at the Forest Cemetery in Kiev. You can imagine what is happening in the cemeteries of Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Zaporozhye regions closest to the Donbass.
Forest cemetery - the largest on the Left Bank of Kiev, is located behind the Forest residential area.
The losses of Ukrainian security forces are measured in thousands. The authorities of Ukraine specifically keep silent about the losses, so as not to create panic in Ukrainian society, and most importantly not to pay "combat" to the families of the victims in the so-called. "ATO". Because of the mass drunkenness in the Donbass among the APU - almost daily die "Ukrainian heroes", but they are written off as "deserters".
An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.
Selected blog entries for the past 2 weeks, in Spanish, with links to the original Russian sources.
Translation help hints:
Firefox users: Copy the link, search in google, and in the seach results select the option "translate this page"
Google Chrone: if you go to language options, there is the option to translate pages from source language to desired one. A window will pop up on opening the page asking if you want to translate. It takes a while to load the page, but since the process is automated, it is less cumbersome
If everything else fails, just open google translator in a window and copy paste chunks of text into the form. I recommend adding a bookmark to the toolbar
impressing retired officers to fill gaps, executions hidden as suicides, removing corpses from mass graves to hide own casualties and war crimes, cleanup of projectiles and explosive devices proves the intensity of the artillery bombardments and the partisan activity
How about an update on the Russian Army forces - just to balance Von Junzt Russian "news" and to help the discussion on Ukrainian Forces by discussing what they are up against? I'm sure even the most staunch anti-Ukrainian must realize armored units using similar equipment in batallion tactical groups with drone coordinated artillery fire from Russia and electronic warfare tactics aren't organic to the Donbas.
Here's a paper talking about the tactics the Russian Army has employed in Ukraine and ways units like the Ukrainian Airmobile Brigades were able to inflict casualties. Yes, NATO is taking notes.
A report that discusses the rocket attack against Ukraine's 79th Airmobile and 30th mechanized brigades in Zelenopillya from Russia that wiped out much of the Ukrainian unit's vehicles that were moving to guard the border against Russian armor coming into Ukraine, relieve encircled units and blockade rebel-held Donetsk:
Soldiers from Ukraine's 25th Airborne and 72nd mechanized brigades put in some solid training time with US soldiers from the 3rd battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Great to get some interoperability training with NATO units, these Ukraine troops have seen combat with the a Russian Army and training is a 2-way street.
Anyone have any TO&E updates for Ukraine, most of what I found resembles Soviet unit structures that are probably long gone. Particularly looking for the 80th and 95th Airmobile the 1st and 13th battalions that have deployed with NATO and to Iraq.
__________________ Few men are killed by bayonets, but many are scared by them. Having the bayonet fixed makes our men want to close. Only the threat to close will defeat a determined enemy.
They say in 2008 Ukraine had more than 2 million tons of ammunition in various depots. About 200 000 tons were scrapped since then, so still 2 million must be remaining. Which is a huge pile (for comparison Soviet expenditure in 1941-45 was about 10 million tons).
No, no, completely overblown and wrong figures. See my various postings about the "Ukrainian forces up to date" thread.
I will quote the relevant excerpt, these were my first very low estimates , wich I had to revise upwards
In the first year of war that the rocket launchers were used massively, ammunition consumption should have been 30,000 tons. Then every year of war of positions, 2015-2016, consumption should be 10,000 tons per year: at the very minimum
Based on accounting by the official briefings
is that the projectile data from the official reports must surely be double or triple actually, so that by one concept or another, the figure of 10,000 tons of ammunition per year during war of positions seems correct and fairly approximate.
The figure you quote "expenditure in 3 years of Donbass war (24 thousand)" 8,000 tons per year is a more accurate estimation than my conservative estimate based on daily reports, (I estimated 6,000 tons)
Problem is that oficial reports hide the intensity of shelling and combats, to keep the fiction of a "ceasefire"
артиллерийских снарядов и мин по 26 населенным пунктам ДНР и ЛНР.
during the last day more than 1,500 artillery grenades and bombs (of mortar) were fired against 26 populations of the RPD and RPL
More or less it coincides with the official parts in which 30 towns and cities were bombed, or their surroundings.
The difference is that the unofficial part, collected on the basis of civil reports published on the internet, and which is necessarily incomplete by not being able to report what happens in the front line, in positions away from the population centers ... or simply for the obvious reason in which areas under bombardment people are sheltered in the basements and do not have the presence of mind to count the gunshots in their account of social networks.
And yet, people count more than twice what the official briefings say. And people are not foolish and can distinguish the "arrivals" from the "exits". Probably the real number of impacts is triple the official.
That is, the official parties lie and do not count half of what actually happens.
And if the intensity of combat and bombing is threefold, then the consumption of ammunition also triples. So the Ukros spend 30,000 tons of ammunition a year in this low-intensity war of attrition. Or about a hundred tons a day, including light weapons. Very far from the 10 to 20 tons that are counted adding the data of the novorusos parts.
Indirect data confirmation from the statistics provided by Ukrainian side of defusng and disposal of ordnance confirms the intensity of the fighting.
So in the best of cases of the 2 million tons Ukraine inherited, at best there was 10% remaining usable ammunition, a quarter million tons or artillery shells, mortar bombs and rockets.
So consumption was 30.000 tons per year of static fighting 2015, 2017, 207, and roughly three times as much during 2014. So that makes nearly 200.000 tons having been shot, and this is consistent with the reported scarcity of rockets and high caliber shells, and deliveries of NATO mortar bombs wich can be fired from Soviet tubes. It wouldn't make sense to supply ammunition if the Ukrops had plenty of it.
A lot of tonnage of ordnance and small arms and their ammunition was also sold and sent via Bulgaria to feed the war in Syria.
So the explosions in ammo dumps this year in spring in Kharkov and now in Vinnitsa must have diminished greatly the last reserves the Ukros had. I only took a glimpse of the footage but I saw heavy caliber rockets flying around, so they probably are running out of them. I had estimated that they had for one more year at the current "slow" rate of a hundred daily tons. A few months if they restarted full scale war.
It's impossible to tell exactly how significant this last catastrophe is and how long the war will go on. They have lost one year's worth of ammunition but we can't tell how much is remaining. Fifty thousand tons perhaps. There was report that the Ukrainian defense minister resigned or attempted to resign saying that there was no ammo left for a major offensive.
The latest intel summary from the Novorussian side confirmed that despite the total news blackout the shelling and intensity of the combats is even worse than last year though with ups and downs.
See attached graphic about "ceasefire violations", the euphemism for recorded and reported combats and artillery shellings, note that these are not individual shots, but represent infantry firefights and artillery strikes, coming from the Ukrainian side. And, repeat, this is only a fraction of what's happening at the front. It seems that under instructions from the Kremlin, there's an order to apply a correction factor and report only 1/3 of what's really happening. Even so, it became so scandalous that by beginnig of this year they moved the goalposts again and used another system of reporting that obfuscated further the reality at the front.
The real meaning of these figures is that they mean several if not dozens of thousands casualties a year, one third of them dead. I expect based on this graphic that by 2017 end the Ukranian army will have suffered 20,000 casualties between killed, injured and missing, or about a quarter of its actual frontline strength. The army has dropped from a quarter million troops, mostly conscripts, to less than 100,000 mostly hired soldiers.
An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.