Mass mobilisation and rotationMay 25, 2014
Tomorrow sees the 1st round of the Ukrainian presidential elections take place.
About 90% of the nation will vote unimpeded.
In “The People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk it will be a very different story with less than 50% of the polling stations able to function at the time of writing – and a lot of hours to go before polls open. Thus that 50% may well become 60% or more over the next 24 hours as “The People’s Republics” have both ordered mass mobilisation of men aged 19 – 40 years in Donetsk and 18 to 45 years in Luhansk.
Considering both have struggled to attract “men of fighting age” locally over the past month and more, just how effective these mass mobilisations will be remains to be seen.
Clearly external “irregular” support is arriving from across the border today in order to assist in the expansion of disruption of tomorrow’s election – something expected of course.
The questions relating to these “irregular forces” are how much arrives, how effective will it be, and how long will it stay?
The Kremlin states it will take 20 days to remove its regular conventional troops from the Ukrainian border.
Enough time to raise several thousand “irregular” and deniable replacements and insert them within the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk – whilst retaining a significant military force long enough to insure that in the unlikely event of a 1st round presidential winner, that winner will not order a full on counterinsurgency sweep as their first act. Also enough to cause serious concerns for the functioning of any 2nd round of voting in these Oblasts too.
A rotation of regular forces with deniable irregular ones in reasonably notable numbers.
Meanwhile the internal struggle for command and control within the “People’s Republics” appears to be on-going, and until that is resolved internal matters will remain messy and somewhat uncoordinated.
The big question over the next 36 hours is just how many additional polling stations the “People’s Republics” can prevent from functioning in both respective Oblasts – and just how hard are the current interim authorities prepared to overtly fight for them, quite literally, on the eve of the presidential elections in order to keep the polling stations open?
With 90% of the nation able to vote, is significant bloodshed justified in the minds of decision makers for the sake of enabling an additional 2 – 3% in an election that The Kremlin or the anti-government populous will not find legitimate anyway?