"] As you all know, a week ago we announced our plan to attack. We started it yesterday.
Until yesterday we have been preparing for the attack, examining trophy equipment, arming the crews, and testing communication between different military formations. I can now proudly announce that we formed 2 tank battalions, 2 full artillery brigades, 2 Grad divisons, 1 mechanized infantry battalion, 3 infantry brigades and a special purpose assault airborne brigade.
All these units have now received Army numbers. The communication system have been regularized and 2 field hospitals and 1 maintenance brigade have been formed. We have begun testing all these units in battle.
Yesterday we began an attack on Amvrosiyivka enemy group...."
If Zakharchenko is to be believed, I think we are now witnessing the birth, in blood and pain, of a new state in the Eastern Ukraine.
The Novorussian militia is now reorganising into larger units with some form of administrative and logistical structure that are apparently capable of manouvre at least at battalion level. The stated objective is to push the Ukranian Army out of what is believed to be Donetsk territory. A civil administrative structure is allegedly also emerging.
As far as I can tell Rebel morale is reasonably good compared to the Ukranian Army, after all, the former are defending their homes and have the advantage of interior lines of communication and local knowledge, the Ukranian conscript army? Not so much.
The option of a Federal system within Ukraine is also off the table as far as the East is concerned, too much blood has been spilled for that, however it is not impossible that Russia and the West may try to impose such an arrangement.
The rhetoric of the press conference is of ordinary people defending their homeland against unprovoked external aggression - an appeal that must resonate with Americans if it is not surpressed by the mainstream media.
My own opinion is that America ultimately is not in a position to disavow self determination by a self identifying group of this size. What should happen now is a discussion of the borders of a new state and measures to end the fighting.
There is always the possibility however that the Washington foreign policy establishment will try to double down rather than admit to triggering partition of Ukraine, and compound the problem with instructions to Kiev for one more "big push" - resulting in failure, more dead conscripts and the possibility of Russian intervention. I would like to think that Gen. Dempsey might have enough influence to prevent this. Tell them it's over.