Ukraine is in a state of war with Russia – and Kyiv needs to say so, Sungurovsky says

A modernized version of the T72B Russian tank, used against the Ukrainian forces in the Donbas, was never supplied to Ukraine and could only come from Russia (Image: snapshot from Informnapalm video)

A modernized version of the T72B Russian tank, used against the Ukrainian forces in the Donbas, was never supplied to Ukraine and could only come from Russia (Image: snapshot from Informnapalm video) 

Analysis & Opinion, Military analysis, Ukraine

The Ukrainian government continues to call its fight against the Russian invasion of the country “an anti-terrorist operation,” instead of declaring it to be a real war. According to Mykola Sungurovsky, this failure reflects the fact that Kyiv elites still “think in the categories of economic profit and electoral advantage.”

Calling Russian actions a war, the Ukrainian military analyst says, is a matter of principle for “both the domestic and foreign understanding of this conflict,” and failure to use the right term gives Vladimir Putin and his much-hyped notion of “hybrid” war an undeserved advantage.


75 Russian military units that fight in Donbas [with EN, UA, DE, RU subs] (Video investigation by InformNapalm)

That is because, Sungurovsky continues, the words officials use determine “not only attitudes” toward what is going on “but also the behavior of both those who are directly participating in it and also third parties.” Indeed, “it is wrong to speak about the absence of war and yet demand from society mobilization.”

“From the very beginning of this conflict,” he says, “the Ukrainian authorities have violated national law” which requires “the introduction of martial law” if Ukraine is invaded. But so far, the government has been unwilling or unable to take that legally required step, one entirely justified by what Russia has done.

Repeated statements by senior officials that Ukraine would move in that direction “in the case of the intensification of the conflict” have not been followed by action. And “in many cases,” Sungurovsky says, “the role of the state was compensated by the role of civil society and its volunteer movements.”


Video Overview of the Russian Weaponry in the Donbas (Video investigation by InformNapalm)

But Ukrainian society cannot be mobilized unless the government declares the existence of a state of war. Indeed, without such a declaration, “the powers that be do not have the right to demand from society either trust or respect or even more that very much needed mobilization needed for victory over the enemy.”

The Ukrainian government says it can’t take this step lest the IMF refuse to extend it credits, but the Kyiv analyst points out that the IMF has not made such demands – and would be unlikely to if Ukraine declared martial law in one or another parts of the country or even for the country as a whole, given that Putin’s “hybrid” invasion touches the entire country.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Terry Washington

    One good thing formally declaring a state of war between Ukraine and Russia would that it would be much easier to ask the ICC(International Criminal Court) to formally investigate allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity purportedly committed by the “little green men” against Ukrainian citizens!

  • veth

    Official tells when Ukraine will have Javelins
    Yehor Bozhko, the head of Ukraine’s mission in NATO, says the United States is not planning to supply Javelin anti-tank and low-flying aircraft missiles to Ukraine. The good news is that an agreement has been reached to jointly manufacture Javelins in Ukraine, Dialog reports May 27.

    Following the talks with NATO, it was decided to manufacture Javelins in Ukraine. Ukraine’s defense industry can well cope with their production, Bozhko says.

    Javelins is not the only project to be implemented jointly with NATO. A naval patrol plane is another one. Besides, Ukraine’s state-run weapons maker Ukroboronprom experts are currently studying NATO weapons standards, the Ukrainian official says. Читайте більше тут: http://zik.ua/en/news/2017/05/27/official_tells_when_ukraine_will_have_javelins_1103981

  • zorbatheturk

    Time to call a spade a spade.

  • Jack Hamilton

    Ukraine is NOT at war with Russia! If it was, the war would have been over in a week! It’s all propaganda to get more money from the IMF to line the pockets of the criminals in Kiev and for the West to use Ukraine’s resources and place NATO missles pointing at Moscow! The IMF bought ALL of Ukraine and when the Eastern regions rejected the illegal Kiev junta, the IMF told Kiev it needed the resource rich Donbass area or else!!! The people of Donbass are entitled to self determination as are all people!

    • gmab

      Resource rich- haha. That region was being subsidized heavily. The nazzi-goons in LNR/DNR have it now & we can see how prosperous it is. 10s of 1,000s unemployed & leaving steadily. The Ruski Mafia owns the Donbas now & they rob & kill ethnic ruskis every day. Self determination made it a he// hole. Lastly, I like your paranoid comment “place NATO missiles pointing at Moscow! Looks like that might happen one day soon but not from Ukraine territory.

      • Jack Hamilton

        Not paranoid, just realistic. The US has missles in most Eastern European countries and they are intended to intimidate Russia. It’s not Russia that has more than 800 military installations outside its borders, it’s the US and yes, Ukraine is rich in natural resources! It was always considered the bread basket for the USSR and it has much anthracite coal in Donbass as well as natural gas reserves! That’s why US exploration companies are there, idiot! The people if Donbass rejected the illegal Kiev Government as they should and which coup was the result of US interference. I live in Ukraine and unless you do, shut the “F” up!

        • Murf

          1) “US has missiles in most Eastern European countries and they are intended to intimidate Russia.
          No we didn’t prior to the Crimean invasion. there was a a single launcher being built in Romania that can only shoot down ballistic missiles(NOT ICBMs) they were only going to have ten interceptors. Nore did we have any combat units east of the old east west German boarder. In fact we were pulling our troops out as fast as practical and only had a light Infantry Brigade (the 173rd) and a light armor brigade( 2nd Cav armed with Strykers)
          2) “It’s not Russia that has more than 800 military installations outside its borders, it’s the US”
          of those 800 only 10% are at all close to Russia. most are hemispheres away. 100% are there by the consent of the host nation. 100% are not a threat to Russia if the Russians honor their international agreements and not attack a sovereign nation. Absent Putin’s imperial dreams that’s not an issue.
          3) “That’s why US exploration companies are there, idiot! The people if Donbass rejected the illegal Kiev Government as they should and which coup was the result of US interference.” The US has more oil and natural gas than it knows what to do with. Ukraine was small potatoes. If oil was the most important issue then we would not have had a conflict with Russia which has far more investment by western companies. Whats more Shell and Chevron already had a deal with Yanukovitch to the tune of 50 billion dollars. For which the people of Donbas were going to benifit from directly.
          4) The people of Donbas are at best apathetic sheeple, at worst murdering traitors.
          Ukraine is well ride of them.

        • Brent

          You really are an idiot, aren’t you?

          The reason for those missiles, much like the existence of NATO, is to deter Russia from further aggression against its neighbors.

          The reason the U.S. has military installations across the globe is that it protects other countries like terrorist countries like Russia. The U.S. is invited into countries, UNLIKE RUSSIA.

          Sure you live in Ukraine…..let me guess, you’re another of these useful idiots who married a Russian stripper in Donetsk…..but it’s good to see you’ve already proven you’re a rabid Russo Nazzi anti-semitic scumbag…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a5d11f5c7e3927cc6e55fd260f4e05bb7ca23984f9982551b99f2248af48ad3f.jpg

        • gmab

          US & Shell companies cancelled the contracts because of the war retarde- a good part of the Gov’t controlled area was part of the exploration deal. Russia’a Nazzi kleptocracy wants it all – including the gas in Crimea & Black Sea. While you’re “visiting” Ukraine, learn the history of Donbas rather than spew ruski propaganda- not good for what little brain you have.

        • Dale Davies

          Schmit for brains; Ukraine was known as the “bread basket of Europe”. That is until Soviets got their ego in there and screwed it up. Now you Pootlerstanis work overtime to rewrite world history to suit your needs or vision.
          You may live in Ukraine, but you are NOT Ukrainian! You are a trairorous heap of dung! Now follow your own words.

        • Dale Davies

          Intimidating Pootlerstan would be a nonissue IF little goat Bad Vlad and the Kriminalin would behave. Weapons were being withdrawn and troop mobilization overseas was being reduced. Stand in front of a mirror and welcome the new Pootlerstan Mir.

      • Jack Hamilton

        If the illegal Kiev junta would go home, unemployment would rise and Donbass is self-sufficient, unlike Ukraine without it!

        • Murf

          Putin recognized the elections.
          You are not questioning a Putin decision are you?

        • Brent

          Sh*t for brains, Ukraine IS AT HOME. Donbass is still part of Ukraine and it’s your Kremlin masters that SHOULD GO HOME.

          Seriously, just how stooopid are you? Take a look at your “unemployment will rise and Donbass is self sufficient” comment. That in itself confirms you are a moronic sheeple https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/485c1ffe9e4d5913990b033311b91250c5102d1e2ed3946818b67c2ed2624f9b.jpg

        • gmab

          Russian roubles, Russian funded pensions, humanitarian aid & weaponry, Russian born soldiers & tanks- yeah, I’d say Donbas is self-sufficient, you retarded troll.

        • Dale Davies

          You schmit wits do not recognise a legal election if it punched you in the nose. Junta?! You are dreaming. As for Kiev; they are home. It is the illegal forces of Tzar Pootin of Mordor that need to turn their map over and find their way home!

    • Murf

      God How many times do I have to explain this to you trolls.
      In the March of 2014
      With the exception of two Brigades, the 94th and the 25th. The only reason they were even remotely combat ready was because were assigned to NATO training and peacekeeping operations. the Ukraine Army couldn’t even get their vehicles out of the front gate. They had to by batteries from civilian parts stores just to start them up. There was almost no training and the only real combat experience the officer Corp had was with the Red army in Afghanistan.
      30% of the Army deserted. the number is probably higher.
      The only fighters that could raise their landing gears was the national demonstration team. They had to arm them just to say they had an air force.
      Putin had 50k combat troops lined up on the boarder with Ukraine. On or about March 13th they were up loaded with ammo and in assault columns. Putin had four days to give the GO code or they would have to be stood down.
      He never gave it.
      On or about March 18th the troops were stood down.
      This is verifiable in IHS Jane’s.
      Aside from some scattered resistance Ukraine had no way of stopping a Russian invasion.
      And still Putin didn’t have the guts to commit to the invasion.
      Through out the first part of the war Ukraine only had about 45k troops in the ATO. The Rebels had about 35k. Conventional military thinks says you need a 3 to 1 advantage in the attack.
      And still Ukraine almost defeated the rebels if not for direct Russian intervention.
      Now Ukraine has 250k troops. 69k are professional contract soldiers. They can callon another 100k paramilitaries such as Boarder Guards and Interior Ministry troops. Plus 120k battle hardened veterans.
      The Air Force is growing stronger each year with updated planes and more of them.
      Even the Navy has restarted building their Corvette the “Prince Voldomyer”

      Putin didn’t have the intestinal fortitude (the bals) to attack in 14.
      He sure as sh*t doesn’t have it now

    • Brent

      Hi “Comrade Jack”, I see you’re still dumber than a “bagohammers”….

      P.S. You forgot to shout “Bandera!!! Bandera!!! Bandera!!!” so no extra cabbage for you today https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7aaba1d3f9659c6f6c306a193744b1ab803559e24012f613f783e7e12b1189cb.jpg

    • Dale Davies

      So tell me jackhammer; which foot stepped in the fresh buffalo chip this time. A small number of Donbas residents cozied up to Fuhrer Shorty the Shirtless band of lost vacationers. Until Pootlerstan troops invaded Crimea and Donbas there was minimal discord. These roving vacationers are armed by the Kriminalin. Military personnel taking a vacation are not allowed to take the tank or grad they are assigned on holiday with them. Ukrainian peoples have the right to self determination. The Pootlerstan United Russia politicians and Kriminalin personnel read that to mean “as long as it falls into line with their wishes for Ukraine.” That involves falling under Soviet control again!