Igor Strelkov (Girkin) is the dethroned leader of the Donetsk resistance, who, thanks to his political views and uncompromising nature of a true revolutionary (and this isn’t a compliment), was quietly put aside from any position of power or influence by the Kremlin. His views are very critical of Russian Federation government, but he seems to have a good grasp of the situation on the ground in Donbass, thanks to his prior experience and some friend who are still there.
I found his analysis of the war in Ukraine and his criticism of the Russian policies regarding Ukraine limited to the military scope only. He, like any ideolog, sees a world in a very narrow aspect, of military tactics and strategies in his case. I feel that geopolitics and international diplomacy is far beyond his area of interests or expertise. A government should also operate on all levels, military, diplomatic, economic, social etc. That being said, I’m sure his information is genuine, and not skewed or spined for some reason or other. That is why I pay attention to his words, when it concerns specific facts on the ground.
He posted a summary of the latest Russian military debacle in Kharkov front (Here is Part I and Part II). I will put aside his usual critique of the Putin’s government and the calls for the full-scale war with Ukraine, general mobilization etc. But I will translate a small portion of his post in his telegram channel, there he explains the reason for this debacle. It caught my attention since it seems to me identical to my first-reaction analysis. Naturally, I don’t have one percent of the knowledge or experience Strelkov has in this matter, nor one tenth of a thousand. But coming to the same conclusions as he did, and (as far as I know) even before him, strokes my ego.
Here is a selected quote of what he said in his post:
Ведь, на самом деле, столь стремительного разгрома можно было легко избежать, если-бы – выявив сосредоточение крупных сил противника в районе Балаклеи (а оно было выявлено!) – командование вовремя сократило-бы плацдарм под Изюмом ,перекинув несколько вполне боеспособных (такие там были) армейских БТГр на север вместе с необходимой артиллерией. Полностью остановить удар 5 свежих бригад противника они, конечно, вряд ли смогли-бы, но (уж точно) – дали-бы время командованию оперативно отреагировать на возникший кризис без полного поражения и заставили врага дорого заплатить за достигнутые успехи.
But, in the matter of fact, such a swift defeat was easily avoidable, if only — after exposing the large enemy forces concentration in the vicinity of Balakleya (and it was exposed!) — the command would contract the bridgehead around Izyum in a timely manner and move a few combat-ready (such units were present there) battalion tactical groups (BTG’s) to the north, together with all the necessary artillery. To fully stop the advance of the 5 fresh enemy brigades they, naturally, could hardly do, but (for sure) they would have bought time to the command to react quickly to this crisis avoiding the total defeat and would have forced the enemy to pay dearly for the successes they have achieved.