Are separatists preparing to escape?

The occupational forces of the Russian Federation, which controls Donetsk, work out an evacuation from the city, said Andriy Lysenko, Speaker of the Defense Ministry on ATO issues.

It was mentioned, that if Russian troops leave Donbas, the rest of the separatists would just escape from there. If the Russian Federation ceases to support the separatists, there is no need to carry out a clearing operation among them. The assumption that separatists are preparing to escape is based on the fact, that there were exercises on party activists evacuation. But so far, I do not see any symptoms of the situation change. Putin still does not refuse from his goals: there is an escalation in Donbas, shootings continue, and there are talks that Russia is not taking part in the conflict, trying to make the West to accept the reality that Russia wants. I do not see any proves that Putin is ready to withdraw from Donbas.

He can turn back when the pain barrier is overcome: when Putin and his allies will feel that the end is approaching – end not of Russia, but namely of the regime, because I would not put a sign of equality between Russia and the regime. At the same time, the regime has its successors. Even if Putin is not re-elected for a new term, his successor is unlikely to be better.

It’s worth noting that by providing Ukraine with the US lethal weapons it can stabilize the situation, but it will not resolve the conflict. This can stabilize the situation on the contact line, because this weaponry contributes to the suppression of the enemy’s fire points that strike us, which lead to our human losses. We need lethal weapons for defence purposes, not for the offensive operations.

That is, to release Donbas in a violent way does not mean defeating the first or second army corps, which was deployed there. The second echelon – it’s already Russian troops, but these troops are much more better equipped than ours. A complex of measures is needed, ranging from political, economic, diplomatic, social, humanitarian and so on, but they have to be interrelated.

Mykola Sunhurovskyi

Director, Military Programmes

Born in 1951 in Moscow.


Orenburg Higher Military Air Defence Forces School (1972);

Kyiv Air Defence Forces Academy (1982);

Higher School of Entrepreneurship, Kyiv Institute of National Economy (1991).

Ph. D. in Technical Sciences, Senior Research Fellow, the author of more than 90 publications.

Colonel (Ret.) with 31 years of military service, half of that term — at research institutions. Research profile — systems analysis, strategic planning, analysis methods, national security.


Most recent position in state bodies — Department Chief at the Analytical Service of Ukraine's NSDC Staff;

Since December 1999 — Razumkov Centre Programme Co-ordinator;

Since February 2000 — Freelance Consultant to the National Security and Defence Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

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