Poroshenko's advisor Yuri Birukov on the real reasons of Kiev losses at Donetsk airport

By Yuri Birukov, advisor to Ukrainian president Petr Poroshenko:
I keep getting PMs about some battalion that may or or may
not have ran from Debaltsevo. Calling them cowards, or maybe heroes. My answer:
I don’t know [the situation], so it’s hard to comment.

I know for sure, that there are different people at war. Good and bad. Cowards
and heroes. Different people.

On the night of January 17, the whole country was waiting for news from the [surrounded
troops in] new airport terminal. I was right in the HQ, and saw planning for
the assault unfold before my eyes. The plan was good. First, four tanks move
forward and by actively maneuvering, lure two separatist tanks under the fire
of our ATGM [anti-tank guided missile] men. Then four BMPs close in and fire on
the third and fourth floor of the new terminal [which militia already occupied].
And then four APCs from the paratrooper brigade would deliver soldiers [to the
terminal]. A good, simple plan

However, only three tanks showed up to hear the mission briefing
- one refused (they said they’re really sick). After they were briefed, only
two tanks moved out - one refused (also suddenly got sick). And, having moved
to the positions, they did not actively maneuver, but instead hid in the forest
and tried to shell something. After five shots one tank had an autoloader jam,
and the second did not want to be left all alone. So they retreated.

Then the BMP drivers said that they have four vehicles [on
paper], but only two can actually drive. And because the tanks are have not
lured out the separatist [tanks], it makes no sense to go anyway. The
paratroopers made for the terminal in their APCs... and never made it there. [Vietnam
War-era] BTR-70s are very reliable and stable machines. In the sense that they can
be relied upon to consistently break down every time. And that's how the attack
on the new terminal came to an end.


From the translator: On one hand, anyone familiar with military matters knows that war isn't a patriotic movie and certain degree of confusion and incompetence is to be expected in any army, with such failures happening from time to time.

On the other hand, reports from the frontlines and overall progression of the situation (outnumbered and disorganized rebels, after receiving supplies from Russia, started pushing the government forces back) suggest that the above situation is a rule rather than an exception.

Talking about the airport specifically, another staunch Kiev regime supporter, censor.net.ua editor-in-chief Butusov, has also explained that the large-scale attack on the airport a day earlier has failed for the following reasons:


- Staggering incompetence of the Commander-In-Chief Viktor Muzhenko, who removed all the other commanders and personally tried to run a battalion-level operation

- No units have all their vehicles running and all men willing to fight. Some units have no combat capability at all. All in all, 200,000 - strong UA army managed to assemble a force of 500 men and about 25 armored vehicles to save the airport defenders (BTW Biryukov, the other poster above, also said that the volunteer battalions promised to help with the earlier attack, but ultimately didn't show up)

- No reserves were available to reinforce the original force of 500 and no secure means of communication were available. Therefore, when the government forces actually took two out of three initial objectives (which turned out to be relatively lightly defended by the thinly spread militia forces) the Kiev force radios were jammed, they received no ammunition resupply and were soon forced to retreat

- The third and final attempt to reinforce the airport ended when a small unit trying to move in under cover of fog was not provided even with a civilian-model GPS, veered off-course, drove into militia territory, all ended up KIA or POW