I am very close to rebel sources.
The truth is this. The rebels were on the ropes and on the verge of being defeated all through July to the start of August. Then things began to change. From 8-1 to 8-15, things were stalemated. From 8-15 to present, the rebels have been winning. Why have they turned it around? Not sure, but it does seem to have coincided with a large movement of Russian troops into the zone. Strelkov recently said that the rebels’ number of units had just increased by 3-4X. Overnight? How did that happen?
I am 100% certain that 10,000+ Russian troops are operating in Ukraine and have been for at least 2-4 weeks. They have suffered at least 400 casualties, including at least 100 KIA. They are buried in secret graveyards in Rostov. The families are told that the circumstances of their deaths are classified.
They bring them in in a couple of ways.
One way is active duty volunteers. These men are serving their time in the Russian Army. They are given the option of serving part of their time in the Ukraine the same as if they were serving in Russia. They still get salary, bennies, everything. There are quite a few of these there.
Others are more or less drafted in. The units are simply ordered into Ukraine. Some are told where they are going, others are told that they are on a training mission in Russia. There is a town near the latest southern Cauldron southeast of Donetsk that has been taken over by a unit of Russian military, who even set up checkpoints. The Russians in Ukraine often paint over their vehicles and have unmarked uniforms. Some have white armbands.
Is this an invasion? Well not really. If Russia really invaded Ukraine, you would know. They would be in Kiev in a day or two. It is more of a small calculated incursion. The model is the “little green men” model that was used in Crimea.
The Russians have also been shelling Ukie units near the border from across the border since ~August 1.
As far as the Western story about moving artillery units into Ukraine and firing from inside Ukraine? Well, I do not know. But they have moved whole columns in and no doubt they are using them for shelling.
To some extent, it is hard to tell a Novorussian column entering from Russia from a Russian column entering from Russia. They both fly the Novorussian flag. They both use unmarked uniforms and unmarked vehicles. The Russians tend to be more decked out in full-fledged gear, but the rebels lately are also quite decked out and often look official soldiers of a nation. Sometimes you can tell by accidents. When a whole unit speaks with accents from all over Russia and doesn’t know the name of the town next door, you can be pretty sure it is a Russian unit. The Novorussians speak Russian with an accent particular to the Donbass.
The rebels also bring in very large columns from Russia. The rebels have a rear base in Russia where they train. It even has barracks, and there are supposedly reserve forces back there. A 150 vehicle column along with 1,500 men came across the border two weeks ago. Whether they are Novorussians or Russians is not clear.
OCSE observers on the border said they did not see any Russian vehicles going over the border that was controlled by the rebels. However, they did see a lot of men in military uniforms simply moving across the border into Ukraine. I would assume that these are either the Russian active duty volunteers above or they are civilian volunteers going in. If you are a civilian volunteer, you go to Rostov and there are folks there who will give you a uniform and everything you need. They will ever train you at a base. These men going across the border, often singly, probably meet up with the rebels soon after they are inside and then are perhaps assigned to a unit.
At some point a history of this war must be written and the Russian role must be determined. The Western media is useless in this regard due to all the lying. The Russians are denying everything. It is hard to get good info out of the rebels due to a lot of denials and obfuscation. However, some can be learned from their coded language. Some excellent evidence though has come out of Russia from enterprising journalists and an organization called The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers.
Have the Novorussians been kicking ass? Yes, for some time.
Have they had Russian help? Yes, some, but not a full scale invasion.
What role has the Russian help played in the Ukies’ reversals of the past two weeks? Unknown but possibly substantial.
I am very close to rebel sources.