The dangers of the Shyrokyne withdrawal



Article by: Levko Stek

For the first time since February this year, when the village of Shyrokyne came under the control of Ukrainian forces after an advance by the Azov regiment, the main forces defending the village will no longer be the volunteer forces but troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In particular, this will be the Ochakiv Marine Battalion. Up till now the defensive positions have been held by the Donbas battalion and the Azov regiment, which rotated every 5 days.

The last current rotation of the Donbas battalion ended on July 28. The Azov regiment no longer received orders to move to the front position and (the Azov fighters) do not know if they will be able to return to Shyrokyne. According to Azov press secretary Stepan Baida, the leadership of the sector has provided no explanations regarding the changes.

“All the units that are under the Ministry of the Interior have been withdrawn from the front lines. Azov has received the orders when it was not even there. Even though we do not support this decision, we have to obey the orders. The responsibility will rest with the Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko and the president,” Baida said.

Lightly-armed troops to remain in Shyrokyno


Andriy Lysenko

The volunteer soldiers believe the new orders are connected to agreements regarding the demilitarization of Shyrokyne. As has been reported, the tripartite Contact Group to resolve the Donbas conflict will soon sign an agreement to establish a 30-kilometer buffer zone from which the parties to the conflict need to withdraw under 100 mm caliber heavy weapons.

According to ATO headquarters, the military will not leave Shyrokyne. The defense will be maintained with small arms.

Andriy Tsapliyenko

Andriy Tsapliyenko

Andriy Lysenko, ATO spokesman for the presidential administration, stated that meanwhile preparations are being made for possible violations of the agreement by the Russian-separatist forces.

“Given the threat that exists now based on the monitoring of the situation as well as information on the presence of heavy equipment and artillery on the part of the (Russian-separatist) forces, the Ukrainian command has decided to create an immediate response reserve force that will be used in the case of active offensive actions by the enemy,” Lysenko said.

Marines lack equipment — journalist

Meanwhile, soldiers of the Mykolayiv Marine Battalion have already experienced their first battle in Shyrokyno. Military journalist Andriy Tsapliyenko, who visited the marine frontlines, described the situation to Radio Svoboda. Small arms were used by both sides, he says, and there were no casualties.

However, the marines have certain problems in the new location. According to Tsapliyenko, they lack certain weapons and knowledge of the area. He believes that for the first few days in Shyrokyne it would be more appropriate to rely on compatible military rotations with the volunteer forces so that the marines have a chance to adapt to the new location.

“However, this was not done and, as I understand it, the marines need to learn the topography and hazardous areas of Shyrokyne by themselves and to settle in the existing fortified districts,” he said.

Demilitarization and the surrender of territory

Over all, the volunteer troops view the idea of demilitarizing Shyrokyne with some skepticism. The commander of the Donbas battalion Anatoliy Vynohrodskyi believes that the withdrawal of weapons from the frontline positions could lead to the loss of control over Shyrokyne.

“To talk about demilitarization now is to talk about the surrender of our territories. We have already demilitarized Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk instead of taking measures to free them. This year there hasn’t been a single instance where agreements with the Russians and their allies have been kept,” Vynohrodskyi said.

Meanwhile, the Donbas commander pointed out that if the separatists take over the elevated areas near Shyrokyne, then Mariupol, which is located twenty kilometers from the village, would be exposed to artillery attacks by the Russian-separatist forces.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych

Source: Radio Svoboda

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  1. Avatar puttypants says:


  2. Avatar Lev Havryliv says:

    Pro-Russia forces are shelling Ukrainian positions up to a hundred times per day with weapons outlawed by the Minsk agreement. Ukrainian soldiers are dying almost everyday defending their country.

    Under these circumstances it is incomprehensible that Ukraine would withdraw its most experienced, battle-hardened volunteer forces from Shyrokyne.

    When the Russian forces abide by the Minsk agreements, Ukraine could consider doing the same. Not before.

    Not one more inch of Ukrainian soil should be conceded to the Russian imperialists.

  3. Avatar Murf says:

    Right now that is THE most valuable piece of real estate in Ukraine.
    If anyone thinks for one nasty second the Russians won’t seize it at their first trumped up provocation then you need to have your head examined.
    The Russians are base and without honor.
    There is no promise so small they won’t break just to show they can when ever they chose.
    When there is in fact a cease fire then demilitarizing Shyrokyne should go forward.

    What idiot sent the Marines in there without a hand over briefing?
    Come on guys this is basic shite!
    The General Staff is going to have to learn to fight smarter not harder. It’s like they are proud of their disregard for soldiers lives.
    Must be a Soviet thing.

  4. Avatar Jimma says:

    Ukraine’s old USSR General Staff has no idea how to fight a war in modern times. I am a retired U.S. Army combat commander. The tactics of the Ukraine forces (and Russia’s too) is based on WW2 tactic of mobilizing large troop forces to over run the enemy. One U.S. Division would have taken Donbass in 5 days or less. I see the U.S. Army is training Ukraine soldiers in Urban Combat. That is a good thing. But the Ukrainian General Staff needs to be replaced. Those marine forces will not withstand a frontal assault. And it is going to happen. I hate to say it, but the Azov soldiers I saw in Ukraine had the heart to win. I don’t see that in the regular Ukraine Army now. The only way to stop Russian aggression is sending large number of body bags back to Russia and turn the eyes of the Russian populous. If not, Putin will defeat Ukraine one region at a time.

  5. Avatar TheBlogFodder says:

    Need to check someone’s bank accounts. This just moved the Russians to and through Mariupol.

  6. Avatar Being says:

    Oh so This is THE meaning of 1994 guarantee of USA+UK Sovereignity and Territorial intergrity for Ukraine. So Russia leaders can happyly do anything and the whole world will stare and “hope” and force Ukraine to serve how Russia wants. Amazing yet lovely there is nice deal with Iran about more nukes. And UN will hope again and send OSCE to observe. Good, good deal. Poor destroyed Ukraine with 9000dead patriots. Yet how funny that nobody counts dead Rus terrorists that are not even there.

  7. Avatar Being says:

    Yet What a Brilliant idea to withdraw Ukraine’s most experienced, battle-hardened volunteer forces from Shyrokyne, why not to withdraw Ukraine front line just over Kiev than??? Maybe Russians need bit more space..or tiny bit withdraw NATO over Berlin or Paris. Russia leaders will be keen that others can be tamed and jump as they want too.

  8. Avatar Dagwood Bumstead says:

    Poroshenko is too soft to be a wartime president. He needs to sack everybody above the rank of colonel and replace them with competent officers- but he won’t. Yulia would have been a far better wartime president- she is a tigress, abrasive and won’t compromise. Anybody who got in her way would seriously have to consider hara-kiri, incompetents would be out on their ear in no time. No wonder Proffessor Viktor was so terrified of her.