Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Colonel Cassad's Predictions

I still follow the war between Novorossiya and the Ukraine daily. I figured out early on that the best source of public info on this subject is a guy named Boris Rozhin who blogs as Colonel Cassad. Not all of his predictions have come true, just a larger share than other commenters'. He runs an organization that supplies humanitarian aid to Novorossiya, so he visits the war zone and talks to the military and civilian authorities there. This gives him inside info. On the big-picture level he whole-heartedly supports Novorossiya, but he seems unbiased about the day-to-day happenings of the war. If both sides are claiming that they're holding some town or hill and you want to know who is BSing, Cassad is the guy to read. He calls the Novorossiyan officers on the ground and interprets their statements in a way that's usually confirmed after the fog of war blows away.

Cassad regularly makes medium-term predictions. In the summer of last year many pro-Russian observers thought that the Kremlin had betrayed Novorossiya and that the junta would soon win. Cassad always argued against this. He was the first pro-Russian commenter I'm aware of who hinted at the participation of the Russian military in the war - this was when the junta's troops were trapped along the Russian border last summer. He confidently predicted that the first Misnk ceasefire agreement would be broken. It was, but quite a bit later than he first thought. When the second Minsk agreement was signed Cassad said that it would be broken by early April. He was again wrong about the date, but only time will show if he was right about the bigger issue of whether or not that settlement is permanent.

He had a question and answer session with his readers yesterday. Here are his current predictions:

The frontline will move again in 2015. It hasn't since February, when Novorossiya captured Debaltsevo and the second Minsk agreement was signed.

New people's republics will appear in the Ukraine. The most likely ones will be in Kharkov and Odessa.

The Donbass will not return to the Ukraine, at least not while Putin is in power in Moscow.

Cassad does not know when the war will end, just that it won't be in 2015.

He also stated that the war killed between 300 and 350 people in June alone - much more than I would have thought.