Oleg Tsarev on Why Kiev Understates Military Losses

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard




Command of the DPR reported about the intercepted report of the Ukrainian side for Petro Poroshenko. The document contained detailed data on real UAF losses. Perhaps, it is exactly this fact that forced the president of Ukraine to return urgently from his trip to Germany. What is Poroshenko afraid of? The correspondent of the Federal News Agency addressed for comment the ex-deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Oleg Tsarev.

In brief, about what became known to the command of the Republic from the report of the chief of the General Staff of the UAF Viktor Muzhenko. Only for the last two days the real losses of the Ukrainian army in Donbass total at least 78 soldiers (killed). About 76 more were wounded. As was reported by the deputy commander of the DPR Eduard Basurin, for these two days 29 bodies arrived at the morgue in Selidovo, 41 to Krasnoarmeysk, and 8 in Novy Trud. Wounded were sent to hospitals both in Novy Trud and in the town Chasov Yar.

As Basurin added, the Ukrainian command intentionally hides and underestimates losses to avoid panic in the divisions of the UAF and not to raise negative emotions among the civilians of Ukraine. He also promised to make real information public over time to give Poroshenko the possibility to personally explain to relatives of the crippled and killed military personnel.

“He will have to give explanations for the sake of what and what ambitions he ruined so many people, what victory was brought to him by sending over 70 fighters into the sky,” stressed the representative of command of the DPR.

The expert of FAN didn’t hurry to come to the conclusion that only the intercepted report was the reason for the sharp change of mood and actions of Poroshenko.

“I have doubts that it is precisely this reason that caused Poroshenko’s return. Ukraine always hid military losses. When I was in Donbass the words of prisoners stuck in my mind – that on average the coefficient of losses was one to four: I.e. UAF reported about one dead when it was actually four real. And official statistics were formed from this. This was commonplace during military operations. Kiev understated losses in order not to reduce moral and combat spirit and the patriotic spirit of the population. One day the number of real losses will be published, but in the meantime they can be counted indirectly. At the time we counted – and it appeared more than 50,000 Ukrainian military personnel died,” describes Tsarev.

It is clear that any real information can cause a resonance in Ukrainian society. There are a lot of examples. Another matter is whether residents of Ukraine will believe the information from Donetsk.

“Even the publication of the list of prisoners done not so long ago by Nadiya Savchenko caused an angry reaction in Ukraine. And this wasn’t the dead, but prisoners. But, nevertheless Poroshenko did not return only for this reason. Perhaps his visit in Germany did not go too well. Maybe he wanted to draw the attention of the EU and Germany to himself, as well as to events in Donbass. And at the same time to lift his status and rating in Ukraine — to show himself as serious and active, with a hard line.

When there are problems, he immediately drops everything and flies,” added the speaker of parliament of Novorossiya.

In recent days the situation along the contact line seriously become aggravated, and the number of shellings sharply increased. According to reports of the operative command of the DPR, the number of destructions has grown, there are fatalities and wounded among civilians.

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A number of experts pay attention to how Kiev became sharply active after the interception of the report of Muzhenko. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has immediately expressed serious concern about the activation of fighting in Donbass. And, the accused was… Russia.

“Over the last two days the Russian occupational troops massively shelled along all the contact line from all available weapons. Eight Ukrainian servicemen died from these weapon, and 26 were wounded,” it is said in the report.

So far the very modest losses are exposed. It is obvious that this is done in order to later accuse Moscow of all other deaths of Ukrainian military if information about the losses becomes public. It is habitual tactics in Ukraine: to take away attention from itself, having exposed in front of Ukrainians a portrait of their enemy. And it doesn’t matter that this enemy is invented.

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