The State Duma proposed to start supplying weapons to the republics of Donbass. Such an initiative was made by the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Kalashnikov. According to the politician, Russia has every right to make such a decision in response to the increase in US military assistance to Ukraine. MK asked the expert what weapons Russia could use to help the Donbass militias to counter the Ukrainian armed forces.
In the United States, a group of senators proposed for consideration a bill providing for the allocation of $ 300 million in military assistance to Ukraine annually, including for lethal weapons. President Joe Biden announced the massive supply of lethal weapons to Kiev. According to him, more than 40 aircraft will deliver it to Ukraine.
Under these conditions, Leonid Kalashnikov believes, Russia should think about protecting Russian citizens living in Donbas, against whom weapons from the United States and NATO countries can be used. The supply of weapons to the DPR and DPR would be a preventive measure to stop the outbreak of a major war in the region.
“I believe that this is a preventive measure, which, on the contrary, will not allow a war to be unleashed. Those who would like this in Ukraine will know that there are people not with Berdans, but armed, ready to defend themselves,” Kalashnikov expressed his opinion.
Military expert, combat veteran Yevgeny Linin told what weapons, in his opinion, could significantly help the servicemen of the People’s Militia of the LPR and DPR.
– Everything, of course, depends on the number and on the ability to use the weapons that the militias currently have in service. For example, T-72 tanks. To say about their effectiveness, you need to understand the quantity and how they are used. After all, when tanks are located at stationary outposts, as a fortified firing position, this is one thing. If they are part of battalion tactical groups, this is already completely different. In fact, it is always easier to counterattack and organize defense than to attack.
Objectively, the attacking side forms subunits, which should be at least twice as large as the number of defenders. And they, of course, suffer many times more losses. If the enemy is really determined to break through the forward positions, then first the minefields must be opened, after that the tanks go, after them the infantry. Why tanks and infantry? Because Ukraine has weak aviation, or rather, in principle, it does not exist.
In modern warfare, the main thing is air supremacy. Aviation is everything. The number of planes in the “square” is limited, perhaps no more than thirty cars, they can now put up for the implementation of aggression. They will not succeed in dominating the air.
There is no need for any large-scale deliveries here, just a few S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, which do not even have to be very far from the border with Russia, in order to hit enemy aircraft. Of course, they will not be effective against small, low-speed and low-flying targets, such as drones, but they will neutralize Ukrainian aviation.
In my opinion, the means of defense available to Donbass are quite effective against the weapons that are in service with Ukraine.
– And how to deal with drones? After all, thanks to Turkey, Bayraktars appeared in Ukraine’s arsenal.
– In the fight against them, the Pantsir anti-aircraft missile and gun system showed itself effectively. His missiles really shoot down drones. The problem is that modern radar stations (RLS) of “long-range” anti-aircraft systems do not capture such low-flying and small-sized targets. Therefore, the same “Bayraktar” has an advantage over large complexes, like the S-300. We saw this in the example of the conflict in Karabakh, when drones destroyed air defense systems, while remaining intact.
– Are electronic warfare (EW) complexes, such as Krasukha, effective against drones?
– Yes. Drones that fall within Krasukha’s range lose control. But here it is also important to understand that electronic warfare means do not work only against one side. They also overlap their communication systems, so it is better to use them locally and in doses. And they also need to be protected. They are very vulnerable as they are easily detected.
– What weapons do Donbass still need?
– Aggression is always tanks. Modern anti-tank systems are needed, located in the tank-shock directions. All these directions are known and taken into account, there cannot be an unlimited number of them. Tanks will not go through the fields in winter, they need roads that can withstand heavy equipment and allow them to pass. Speaking of modern anti-tank systems, I don’t mean some “nano-technologies” that are just being tested.
Everything that was produced at the end of the Soviet Union and is now in service in the Russian Federation, the same Kornet and Fagot complexes, will be effective. Ukraine has the same tanks that were in service with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact since the 60s. It is not possible to secretly push a tank grouping to the border, which means that they will go from some fairly large distance,
How are they neutralized? First, tanks are destroyed from the air by attack aircraft, fire support helicopters with anti-tank missile systems, as well as drones. Secondly, a tank without infantry support is not effective, there are multiple launch rocket systems, no one has canceled them. They cover large areas. In terms of their effect, they are equated to weapons of mass destruction. I am now talking about such as the Smerch multiple launch rocket system of 300 mm caliber, which, I think, are in service with the LPR and DPR. If not, then they should be put there.
The number of tanks in the Donbas, as a defending side, may well be many times less than that of the enemy. In passive mode, the tank is less vulnerable to anti-tank systems.
– What about the American Javelins that everyone is talking about?
– It’s still more of a defensive weapon designed to destroy tanks on the march. A tank standing on the defensive, covered with parapets, covered from above with camouflage, and even better with some kind of metal structures that can reduce the effectiveness of the Javelin, is not very vulnerable
Also, in my opinion, the People’s Militia needs to be supplied with means of detecting and destroying self-propelled artillery installations “Msta” and “Acacia” and combat vehicles of multiple launch artillery – “Grad”, “Smerch”. These systems must be identified and destroyed by pinpoint fire.
– What are these funds?
– Drones. Today we can only talk about the Russian Orion attack drones. The Zoopark counter-battery radar stations are also effective. They allow you to detect a volley of enemy artillery and direct your strike weapons at it.
– Is there a need to supply small arms to the Donbass?
– The main problem here is that it makes no sense to simply put the same Dragunov sniper rifles in the Donbass. There must be people who know how to use them. The rifle itself, without a person, does not shoot, of course. And the fighters on the front lines fight best with the weapons they are used to. Giving something new now, it makes no sense. War is practically in the air, and there is no time to retrain.
– Are you talking about Kalashnikov assault rifles of the new series?
– Yes. You can, for example, use them with body kits, but you also need to get used to them. Therefore, the most effective, in my opinion, is the Picatinny rail, which is on any AKM, AK-74, which allows you to effectively hit targets and does not require any special skills.
Once again, I want to note that it makes no sense to supply weapons that require special and lengthy training. The weapon should be such that it can be used right now. Just as it makes no sense to change the Igla complexes, which can be handled by almost anyone who has served in the Soviet or Russian army, for the Verba portable anti-aircraft missile system. Because they already have an automated control system. And you need an operator who knows how to use it. There is time for preparation – it is necessary to deliver, there is no time – it is necessary to supply what they already know how to use. The mass character and reliability of weapons are the main factors in any conflict.
– If the People’s Militia of the LPR and DPR receive all the weapons listed, what are their chances to resist the armed forces of Ukraine?
– If Russia strengthens the defense of the republics of Donbass with the necessary means, Ukraine has no chance. They do not have a large number of motivated troops who are ready to go to the pillboxes and defense lines, and die the death of the brave there. And militarily, “javelins” and other weapons supplied by foreigners do not give advantages to Ukrainians.