Fighting on your own. How the West helps the Ukrainian army

Воюем на свои. Как Запад помогает украинской армии

Starting in 2014 military assistance to Ukraine provided 20 foreign countries.

Foreign supplies and advice helped to improve the combat capability of the Ukrainian army, but still with the aggressor Ukraine fighting “on their own”. Best allies yet be promises and concerns, says Valery Litvinski in No. 33 of the journal Correspondent.

From first-aid kits, rations, uniforms, body armor and up armored vehicles, drones and counter-battery radars — all of this, Ukraine received three years of Russian aggression in military aid from foreign countries. The Ministry of defence the Correspondent reported that during 2014-2017, the Armed forces of Ukraine received assistance from 20 countries for a total of about $250 million.

A lot or a little? Everything is relative. It is accepted to speak from high tribunes that in 2017 the budget of Ukraine provides for the security and defence 129 billion, or about $5 billion So defense spending is 5% of GDP. But really with on defense can be attributed to the much smaller amount:

– 68,819 billion UAH for the Ministry of defence;

– 10,414 billion for the National guard;

– 1,453 billion UAH for the Main intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of defense of Ukraine;

– 1,102 billion on the foreign intelligence Service.

A total of about 81 billion UAH, or less 3.5% of GDP, equivalent to $3.1 billion.

Our main and, in fact, the only military opponent in 2017 will be spent on the defense of the $47.2 billion of Neighboring Poland, a friendly, non-belligerent country nearly $10 billion.

It is clear that in such circumstances Ukraine will benefit any military aid. In fact, the domestic defense sector normally is funded only for the third year. Previous 23 years of existence of the country, he systematically destroyed, being in a completely disassembled state before the aggression by nuclear-weapon States. Without foreign support the revival of the Ukrainian army would be impossible. Even without such a symbolic, as we can see. Because help is a new technology, new methods of warfare and, more importantly, moral support.

Suggest and teach

Besides obtaining material resources important for Ukraine and an Advisory assistance from partner countries. Foreign governments are helping in the preparation of the Armed forces of Ukraine mechanized, airmobile, and special forces operations. The joint multinational training group (JMTG-U) with the Ukrainian military work of American, British, canadian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and Polish instructors.

British instructors in the operation of the Orbital train Ukrainian soldiers for combat in urban environments — on demining of the territories, intelligence gathering, operational planning and the construction of fortifications. On standing in January 2017 under the programme were trained 3 thousand Ukrainian military. Planned 5 thousand soldiers.

Canada held at the Yavoriv training ground in Lviv region training operation Unifier. 200 canadian instructors in 2015 Ukrainian soldiers taught tactical medicine and neutralization of improvised explosive devices. However, there is training in safety, English language, and upgrading of logistics systems to the Ukrainian army. The curriculum is extended by Canada to 2019, has hosted a number of rotations of instructors.

The experts from Israel trained our physicians work in the field and combat conditions. Learning takes place both in Ukraine and in the hospitals of Israel. The course for each group lasts about a month, and includes the reception of the wounded, emergency care, surgery and trauma. The training program of the Ukrainian paramedics realize also Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden.

Help foreigners with the reform of the Ukrainian defence. Created a multinational joint Commission on defence reform and cooperation in the field of security with Ukraine (MJC), headed by the United States. 2016 advisors of the Minister of defense of Ukraine were the former head of Central command of US forces General John Philip Abizaid former commander of Land forces of the British army, General Nick Parker. For the same purpose — to reform the Ukrainian army.

Воюем на свои. Как Запад помогает украинской армии


NATO is already helping

More recently, NATO membership is legislated as a priority of Ukraine’s foreign policy. President Petro Poroshenko promised to hold a referendum on accession to NATO. Despite the fact that in the North Atlantic Alliance to the Ukrainian talks on accession until a cold, NATO standards are the basis of the reform of the Ukrainian army.

At the 2014 Wales summit the member States of NATO decided to establish five new trust funds to help Ukraine: modernization of the system of command, control, communication and computers; reforming systems of logistics and standardization of the APU; cyber security; retraining and social adaptation, medical rehabilitation. Their total budget is over EUR 10 million. In addition, at the request of Ukraine in June 2015, the Alliance agreed to establish a sixth trust Fund to combat improvised explosive devices and disposing of explosive devices.

At the Warsaw summit in 2016, NATO has approved a comprehensive package of assistance to Ukraine that contains more than 40 targeted support measures in key areas. In the same year with the support of NATO was approved a roadmap for defense reform in Ukraine’s Strategic defense Bulletin. At the moment the declared goal of Ukraine to reform the Armed forces in accordance with NATO standards and achieve full compatibility with NATO forces 2020. That is in less than 2.5 years, the APU should switch to NATO standards. This is an incredibly ambitious goal. And expensive — the aid of allies in this case are critically important.

NATO helps Ukraine and with the improvement of military education. With the support of the Alliance until 2022 in the country should be formed a new professional non-commissioned officers of the armed forces. Every year 600-800 of the Ukrainian military are learning English. In the framework of Science for peace in the years 2014-2019 NATO plans to allocate 15 million euros for projects in Ukraine.

The means of NATO in the years 2014-2017 more than 5 thousand veterans of the ATO have received assistance in psychological rehabilitation. Starting in 2016, the 159 Ukrainian servicemen have undergone physical rehabilitation abroad, a waiting list of 50. Funded nine sports camps and purchase of rehabilitation equipment for the Ukrainian medical institutions.

Воюем на свои. Как Запад помогает украинской армии


The main partner in the United States

The lion’s share of foreign military assistance to Ukraine comes from the United States. The Americans have already provided APU some types of non-lethal weapons, which was critical to increasing the combat capability of the Ukrainian army. Military experts agree that is imperative now for the Ukrainian military — communications and intelligence. The United States has put Ukraine radar artillery reconnaissance, intended for search and detection of enemy artillery. APU have a short-range action type Firefinder AN/TPQ-48 and AN/TPQ-49 with detection range up to 10 km and at least six mobile systems medium range, type AN/TPQ-36 with a detection range of up to 24 km.

Its similar radars from Ukraine. Manufacture of radar-type Zoo in NPK sparkle in Zaporozhye is still recovering. “Counterbattery radars is extremely important from the point of view of increase of efficiency of fight against enemy artillery, the detection of heavy artillery deep combat formations of the enemy” — explains to the Correspondent the Director of information and consulting company Defense Express Serhiy Zgurets. According to the military, the enemy in the Donbass is a real hunt on the American radar at the front, with the radiation repeatedly and systematically opened fire. Just lost, while only one radar AN/TPQ-36 (short range).

Also of great importance are the delivery of modern military radio type Harris. Domestic analogues of such equipment does not exist. American shortwave radio stations that provide interference-free communication, to hack the encryption system which can suppress the Russians don’t. Unlike ordinary civil Motorola that actively buys the Department of defense. Domestic analogues of such equipment does not exist. “The American radio company of the Harris Falcon II and Falcon III especially are the most advanced in the world. Work well in conditions of Russian radar struggle. Falcon III — digital, reserved. The question is their high cost: the Ukrainian side has not even provided the funds for repair stations and maintenance. Are accustomed to, they get on the ball,” says Zgurets.

Within one of the target programs of NATO, Ukraine has received the equipment for satellite communications Iridium to ensure radio communication between key divisions of the Ukrainian Armed forces. Also 1.700 tactical high frequency radio stations were transferred to Ukraine to provide protected tactical communications.

Ukraine has received from the United States and complexes of unmanned short-range reconnaissance RQ-11 Raven with a range of up to 10 km These drones are actively used in the army of the States, but with digital system control and communication. APU got those drones with analog system, not digital communications. Because of this, us drones have become easy prey for Russian electronic warfare systems. And experts note that the Ukrainian volunteer design Bureau already produces drones more reliable and efficient than with analog connection Raven.

American counterbattery radars, the Ukrainian army can’t use the full capacity. They give the exact coordinates of targets, however, do not adjust your own counter-battery fire, although these functions are incorporated in the device. Ukrainian military complain about the lack of access codes to run this functionality. “A software issue for many foreign products, because this weapon is fully effective when it has access to a particular information network, which is present in the NATO countries. Since geographic information system and to meteorological data. This information is only available to NATO countries in full, and we are still unable to access these components, because they are not members of NATO,” Zgurets.

For the same us army Humvee SUVs, delivered to Ukraine, lack of spare parts. Why use them in the ATO is not as active as I could. Instead, they often escape driven by volunteers from Europe heavy civil utility vehicles, bought and upgraded not on budget money.

Over the past six months continually receive information about a possible increased military support to Ukraine from the United States. In March he published information on the allocation from the budget of $150 million for military assistance to our country. In may 2017, the U.S. Senate approved a budget that includes funding for military assistance and security sector of Ukraine $238 million For 2018 have already referred to the figures to more than $400 million At the same $150 million, could buy 100 radar AN/TPQ-36. However, even $150 million a year from the United States Ukraine, according to the defense Ministry, have not seen.

In any case, the extent of American aid and its importance for the Ukrainian army is critical. That’s just her character yet to give a definite answer to the question of what the partners see in it a mission of the Ukrainian army — to deter Russia from a full-scale invasion, the end of the war, conducting local operations in the Donbass? Military expert Oleg Zhdanov considers that the goal of the West to prepare Ukraine to repel aggression of any power on the part of the Russian Federation. “To the extent that they focus all of their armed forces in the direction of the main attack on Ukraine, we need to be able to reflect this impact. To them, calmly drinking tea and brought us ammunition. And we were doing combat missions for the protection of the peaceful sleep of the countries — members of NATO,” — said Zhdanov.

But for such problems, the Ukrainian armed forces will certainly need much more powerful weapons. And a fundamentally different scale of assistance. About “a different scale” — it’s real. There are precedents: in 2016 the United States accepted a 10-year program of military aid to Israel is $3.8 billion per year. That exceeds the entire defense budget of Ukraine.

In anticipation of lethal weapons

The issue of provision has already managed to fill nauseam. A lethal weapon from the USA, Ukraine expects more in 2014. If the Ukrainian army had heavy losses under Debaltsevo, nor in the Donetsk airport would not be.

And now, it seems, the closest thing close to a positive resolution of this issue. The Minister of defence of the USA James Mattis during a visit to Kiev on the independence Day of Ukraine stated that it will recommend to the White house “very specific things” in this issue. According to the special representative of the US state Department on Affairs, Kurt Volker, the administration of Donald trump is considering a decision to grant Ukraine a lethal weapon, so she had the opportunity to protect themselves in case of expansion of aggression by Russia. In the Kremlin to such an idea are extremely nervous. Vladimir Putin said that U.S. arms deliveries to Ukraine will aggravate the situation in the Donbass, and hinted that he controlled fighters “to send their arms to other conflict zone.”

Experts believe that sooner or later Ukraine will receive lethal weapons from the United States, but until this issue is used by Washington for diplomatic pressure on Russia. “The question is not in doubt trump or his love for Putin is, most likely, attempt to maximize the opportunity between the decision and actual delivery, in order to affect the position of Russia, to make Russian leadership change its aggressive military policy and not only on the territory of Ukraine”, — noted in conversation with the Correspondent program co-Director of foreign policy and international security Razumkov center Alexei Miller.

According to Miller, everything goes to the fact that these systems will be delivered. I agree with this and Zhdanov: “It is a matter of time. If Russia is lagging behind, will give more quickly if to make concessions to the USA, you will give later. But still will give — they want a capable Ukrainian army”.

Within the US there are concerns that the supply of weapons can provoke Russia into aggression. But Walker gave a clear answer to all concerns: “Russia is already here, to provoke it anymore”. To open war because of the prospects of tougher sanctions, Putin won’t either. Although the threat from Russia cannot be ignored, says Miller. “It would not necessarily be a direct response to the lines of the Ukrainian front. Can Russia as a retaliatory move to inflict a painful blow to the American position in another region. For example, to increase the supply of arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan”, — the expert believes.

According to Miller, the supply of American weapons to the APU can step up military action in the ATO zone, but in the end the fact of delivery will have a deterrent effect and contribute to the fulfillment of the obligations of the parties to respect the truce.

When talking about what can bring the US to Ukraine as lethal defensive weapons, often recall of a portable antitank missile system Javelin. In Ukraine, the Javelin has already turned into a meme, and not the subject of a cargo cult. Although its effectiveness is not in doubt.

Miller is sure that the effect of the appearance of the Javelin at the Donbass will be strong enough. “With regard to tactical and technical characteristics of the Javelin system, I think this is a pattern that does not need much advertising. Had the opportunity to chat with the American military, which used it. It’s basically one shot and 100% hit. If we talk about the military aspect of this delivery, a few dozen of these Javelin is almost equal to the number of tanks destroyed or Castles of the enemy. Any commander on the other side will be aware of the risk. It’s not like this: shoot, shoot and left,” — emphasizes the expert. By the way, according to the Ukrainian intelligence, Russian-terrorist groups in the East of Ukraine is now 675 tanks, 478 of which are still active. Fighters also have about 1,300 armored personnel carriers, artillery 81, 95 rocket launchers of varying degrees of power.

Work for Javelin precisely there. “There are more Russian tanks than in the whole of Western Europe put together,” — said Walker after a visit to the Donbass.

The experts urge not to exaggerate the possible values of American supplies. “Javelin became a populist slogan in conversations about American aid. Questions about the Javelin and other wonderful examples of weapons can have value only if they apply in the armed forces massively. Point of delivery any most modern weapons, the situation on the battlefield does not change, it is necessary to understand,” said Zgurets. In his opinion, need to rely on the weapons that can be used massively. So do not forget domestic developments like anti-tank complex Stugna-P and RC-3 Corsair, small-scale production which has already been established. Of course, Javelin is more perfect, but at the cost of the domestic samples is less than the American weapons, and more simple operation — they are quite sufficient to control the situation on the battlefield, says Zgurets.

“Our fighter on the battlefield, with all due respect to staff, are often unable to master the difficult technological weapons”, — says Zgurets. However, of soldiers on this occasion a somewhat different opinion. Considering how much and what types of equipment and weapons had been crafted in the army semi-handicraft methods, right-in this case it was the army. And talking about “sophisticated technique, which will not be able to master” are strongly reminiscent of the stories about the pool into which poured the water if swimmers will learn to swim.

Lethal weapons from the United States — is important, but the last 2.5 years indicate that the main problem of Ukrainian army — the imperfection of management systems.

“Ahead of the Russian army, we can only through the use of asymmetric approaches. To those, I just include the improvement of the management system to reduce command and control and ensuring the advance of Russian troops through the introduction of automated and secure communication systems. While our communication systems, with the exception of U.S. radio stations, amenable to suppression by Russian funds” — emphasizes Zgurets.

But Javelin is still needed, the Russian warehouses are crammed with outdated and newly produced tanks and armored vehicles, “Voentorg” is active in supplying them to the Donbass. And, of course, the Ukrainian army needs high-tech systems for air and missile defense, antitank defense, sniper complexes, anti-mine systems, and armored cars to evacuate the wounded. It’s hard to say what it needs, if certain types of ammunition for the infantry the country is forced to buy the former members of the Warsaw Pact almost a piece — the same shots for the automatic easel grenade launchers.

And if we talk about the ammunition domestic production, that are critical to the delivery of equipment for production plant. Delivery of equipment within the framework of assistance was a good idea, the Ukrainian budget, alas, for purely economic reasons can not compete with the Russian scale military spending.