Stasno-Dagelian War

From Atlas
Stasno-Dagelian War
Part of South Zevgorian-Dagelian conflict

Stasnovan troops preparing to cross the border
Date13 October 2015 - 3 November
Location
South Zevgoria/Dagelia
Result

Stasnovan/South Zevgorian victory

  • South Zevgoria secedes from Dagelia and joins the USRS
  • Giorgadze government collapses
Belligerents

 Stasnov
 South Zevgoria

Supported by:
 Gorbatov

 Dagelia

Supported by:
 Vazandia
Granzery Granzery
 Ziridava
Commanders and leaders
Stasnov Nikolai Krasnov
(Premier, Commander-in-Chief)
Stasnov Alexander Lebedev
(Commissar of Defence)
Stasnov Andrey Morozov
(Chief of the General Staff)
Stasnov Nikita Korganov
South Zevgoria Anatoly Lunev
South Zevgoria Ivan Yamadayev
Dagelia Davit Giorgadze
(President, Commander-in-Chief)
Dagelia Nikoloz Janjgava
(Minister of Defence)
Dagelia Lasha Toreli
(Chief of the General Staff)
Strength
Stasnov 70,000+
South Zevgoria 10,000
Gorbatov ~1,500
Dagelia ~30,000
Casualties and losses
Stasnov 2,679
South Zevgoria 1,102
Gorbatov 57
Dagelia 8,825

The Stasno-Dagelian War, also known as the South Zevgorian war, was an armed conflict between the Union of Socialist Republics of Stasnov, supporting the autonomist de jure Dagelian-controlled People's Republic of South Zevgoria, and the Republic of Dagelia. The war officially began on the 14th of October 2015, when Dagelia initiated a military intervention into the autonomist, unrecognised People's Republic of South Zevgoria, to regain control over the area. The South Zevgorian militias actively resisted the Dagelian advance, and the People's Council of the Republic made an official request to the USRS for military aid. The Stasnovan Union responded by sending the 8th Army over the border to aid the militias on October 15th. Heavy fighting ensued between Stasnovan and Dagelian forces, while the Zevgorian militias were mostly relegated to secondary roles. The USRS and Dagelia officially declared war on each other on October 15th.

Though the units of the 8th Army first sent into South Zevgoria were initially outnumbered by Dagelian forces, the easily achieved Stasnovan air superiority meant that Dagelian units were under constant harassment from the air. By October 17th, the majority of the 8th Army had crossed into the combat zone and the Stasnovans outnumbered the Dagelians by a decent margin, though still not 2-to-1. The Dagelians made several localised counter attacks between the 22nd and 27th of October, particularly around the city of Chekhanvali, taking advantage of the fresh reinforcments that had arrived from Dagelia proper. While the counter-attacks failed to achieve any significant objectives, the managed to stem Stasnovan progress. However, as more Stasnovan reinforcements arrived, the Dagelians were forced into a retreat. The Dagelian retreat turned into a rout after their decisive defeat in the Battle of Kokoity on October 30th, and after four more of fighting, the Dagelian government officially capitulated on the 3rd of November

The Giorgadze government was forced to step down in Dagelia, while Giorgadze himself fled into a self-imposed exile in Elesar. A provisional government took power in Dagelia on November 5th, and was forced to denounce any and all claims on South Zevgoria. On November 10th, a referendum was held in South Zevgoria to decide whether to remain independent or join the Stasnovan Union as a Semi-Autonomous Socialist Republic. With a 81% voter turn out, the results showed a 84.7% in favor of joinning the USRS, and South Zevgoria officially became a SR on November 20th after the necessary preparations were made. Meanwhile, the Dagelian provisional government successfully carried out national elections on December 5th, which elected the Left Labour Party, a newlly formed centre-left to left-wing party to power.

Background[edit]

Dagelia had always been a part of the Stasnovan Empire, and though several unsuccessful uprusings to achieve independence were attempted (1701, 1814, 1905), they all ended in brutal suppression. The first time the people of Dagelia broke free from Stasnovan rule was during the Stasnovan Revolution, with the independent People's Republic of Dagelia being proclaimed in 1915. The new nation was led by the local Socialist Worker's Party, and chose not to join the equally young Union of Socialist Republics of Stasnov, but to remain an independent socialist state. The small People's Republic endured throughout the 20th Century, but was deeply shaken by the 1970s Stasno-Gorbatovic split and the ensuing reactionary uprisings in Lavikona, Elesar and Granzery. The extreme Rykovist faction of the SWP managed to secure power and enforce hardliner policies during the 80s and early 90s. Paranoid of a Stasnovan intervention, the SWP refused to back down even after the reconciliation of the USRS and the UPRG.

The SWP's totalitarian policies proved to bring about their downfall. The extreme political survailance on the military by the Party's agents alienated a number of high-ranking officers, some of which, took action. In 1994, the People's Republic of Dagelia was dissolved by a military coup d’etat commanded by General Gujar Kurashvili, who established the Republic of Dagelia under a military junta. In 1996, the military handed political power to the National Party led by Davit Giorgadze, a newlly formed, right-wing, economically neo-liberal and socially conservative political party. The change was viewed positively by a large portion of the population at first, but the hard neo-liberal reforms of the Giorgadze government destroyed the country's public services and privatized much of its infrastucture and most of the economy in general. The result was that influential military men and politicians among Giorgadze's associates formed an economic oligarchy, hoarding the nation's wealth. Much of the general populace was left in extremely poor condition, and starvation was common.

Massive protests took place, but Giorgadze's government employed the tactics of the SWP and the Junta and cracked down brutally on the protestors, while the State Security Service (SUS in Dagelian), the new secret police, was omnipresent in every day life. Giorgadze took special care to suppress Stasnovan minorities in the country's north, who he suspected of harbouring separatist and Communist elements. In 2003, an armed, pro-Stasnov far-left group, called the Zevgorian Liberation Front, emerged in the Stasnovan-majority provice of South Zevgoria (North Zevgoria is part of Stasnov). The ZLF denounced both the old SWP and Giorgadze, and aimed for South Zevgoria to secede from Dagelia and join the USRS. The ZLF quickly gathered popular support, especially by Stasnovan nationals. In late August of 2003, the ZLF launched an uprising in the region, and drove away much of the unmotivated, underpaid and underarmed Dagelian Army garrison, establishing an de facto autonomous state. The unrecognized People's Republic of South Zevgoria has since then been engaged in a standoff with the central Dagelian government, that seeks to retake the province from rebel hands. The last armed clashes ended in 2005, after a ceasfire was signed. The conflict between Dagelia and the Stasnovan-backed Zevgorian Front has been the reason of a serious decrease of Stasno-Dagelian relations in the years following the 2003 separatist uprising.

Stasnovan interests and involvement[edit]

The Stasnovan Union was always vigilant on the Dagelian border ever since the Stasno-Gorbatovic Split. It has been rumoured that the WSP's extreme totalitarian policies and refusal to backtrack on them during the 80s had brought the USRS close to invading the small country, only to be talked out of it by Gorbatovic diplomats. Said rumours have been dismissed by the Stasnovan government and state news networks as fearmongering and propaganda. Stasnovan minorities in the country had been a target of harassment since the Split, and the situation didn't improve with Giorgadze's government. If anything, it had become even worse, with SUS-led pogroms in areas like South Zevgoria that led to dozens and at times hundreds of deaths. Many Communist Party of the Stasnovan Union officials have been quite outspoken regarding the need of Stasnovan intervention in Dagelia to ensure the safety of the Stasnovan minorities in South Zevgoria, as well as their properties.

KGB and GRU activity in the Stasnovan-populated parts of Dagelia had always been suspected. A Stasnovan national was caught by SUS agents in South Zevgoria in 2001, and was accused of being a spy, but died of unknown reasons while in holding. A more prominent example was when during the 2003 Uprising, a group of heavily armed individuals who, dressed in a mixture of civillian and military clothing and heavily armed, secured government offices and key areas such as the Chekhavali City Council Building. The Dagelian authorities and some independent news outlets have claimed that these men were Stasnovan Spetsnaz GRU operators, based on their equipment and apparent professionalism, that starkly contrasted the gear and skill of the Zevgorian Liberation Front Militias. Despite the accusations, however, hard proof of active Stasnovan involvement has yet to be discovered.

Timeline of the conflict[edit]

Invasion of South Zevgoria[edit]

At 6 AM on October 13th, Dagelian tube and rocket artillery units of the 2nd Mechanised Infantry Brigade, the 1st Armoured Brigade, and the 351st and 352nd Separate Artillery Battalions, opened fire on South Zevgorian territory. Targets included military installations in the three major cities of Kokoity, Mienta and Chekhanvali (the South Zevgorian capital), as well as militia checkpoints near the internal border between Dagelian and ZLF territories. Notably, the Chekhavali Intenrational Airport was spared of bombardment, as it was to be used to ferry in the soldiers of the Dagelian 6th Airborne Battalion. The bombardment lasted for an hour in total, and, despite the focus on military targets, caused a large number of casualties among both the local civilian populace and the ZLF militias. Over 60 civilians and 80 militiamen killed, and many more wounded. In addition, the militias suffered a large number of vehicle and material casualties. Among others, the Uran Battalion lost its entire artillery contingent near the village of Alkayevo, while 16 of the 31 T-74Bs controlled by the Cherep Battalion were disabled or destroyed when the artillery caught them parked in a field near Kokoity.

15 minutes before the artillery ceased fire, 10 H-98A Toad helicopters of the Dagelian Air Force took off from Terjoli Military Air Base loaded with 240 airborne troopers of the 6th Airborne Battalion. Their destination was the Chekhavali International Airport, and they only received small arms fire on their way there. Hofmann DK-9 fighters provided top cover for the operation, that went relatively smoothly, with the Dagelian airborne disembarking in a clear LZ and proceeding to assault the airfield, which was defended by an under-strength company of Arbat Battalion. After the end of the barrage, the Dagelian 1st, 2nd and 3rd Mechanised Brigades, alongside the 1st and 2nd Armoured, crossed into South Zevgorian territory. The 1st Mechanised and 2nd Armoured advanced on the east and west sides of Chekhavali - respectively - in order capture Highway A-45, the only major motorway leading into the city, and were engaged by ZLF defenders who were later forced to retreat. The 1st Armoured followed them but bypassed the city, in order to reinforce the airborne troops assaulting the International Airport The 2nd Mechanised was the only brigade to face organised ZLF resistance, as its advance towards Mienta was halted by a coordinated armoured attack from the Molot and Arkhan Brigades. The 3rd Mechanised stormed the relatively remote but heavily defended city of Kokoity, and heavy fighting ensued. All Dagelian ground operations were supported by airstrikes carried out by DAF DK-9s as well as Su-25 ground attacks and Mi-24 gunships.

Dagelian BM-21 Grad fires at ZLF positions

The first two days of the invasion, the only part of the conflict were Dagelian forces faced purely local troops, were marked by fierce and brutal resistance by the militias. The various battalions that were scattered around the People's Republic were eager to defend their country, but were hastily thrown into combat against much better equipped and trained troops. Regardless, the managed to slow down the Dagelian advance, but at a massive cost. In the early morning of October 14th Molot and Arkhan battalions, strengthened with reinforcements from Volkov Battalion, threw their old T-74Bs against the more modern T-74S1M3s of the 2nd Mechanised Brigade, losing 14 tanks while disabling 4 enemy tanks and 3 IFVs, and then forced to retreat back to Mienta. In the afternoon, an infantry force from Serp Battalion attempted to assault dug-in troops from the Dagelian 1st Mechanised guarding Highway A-45, but were repelled after three hours of fighting. By the first morning hours of October 15th, Chekhavali International Airport was secured and the rest of the 6th Airborne Battalion was brought in and started taking defensive positions alongside the tanks of the 1st Armoured Brigade. By 10 AM, the 2nd Mechanised had entered Mienta and engaged the depleted militiamen that had retreated there. In Kokoity, the 3rd Mechanised was reinforced by three Dagelian National Guard Battalions by 6 PM, and managed to take several blocks from the militias. The actions of National Guard troops - who were renowned for their fanaticism - earned them a fearsome reputation among ZLF troops. With the 1st Mechanised having secured A-45, the 2nd Armoured raced onward to secure the Tarkan mountain pass at 7 PM. The pass was the only immediate crossing into South Zevgoria Stasnovan troops could take to reinforce the ZLF. However, late in the afternoon, they were slowed down by surprisingly accurate ATGM fire from dug in positions of the Ratnik Battalion on the sides of the highway, that took out several vehicles.

Stasnovan intervention[edit]

(15-16th)

Prime Minister Anatoly Lunev of the People's Republic of South Zevgoria had been on the phone with Vastava since the first minutes of the Dagelian artillery barrage, trying to convince USRS leadership to intervene. Premier Krasnov's government was reluctant to get directly involved in the conflict, worried about the international backlash. The Politburo debated the matter for more than 10 hours on October 13th, with not decisive conclusion. The 8th Army had been put on high alert since the start of the Dagelian buildup, but was ordered to remain at their bases. The matter was brought to the Supreme Soviet on October 14th, with most members voicing their support for an intervention. The Politburo against discussed the matter behind closed doors, believing that the ZLF militias could buy enough time for a course of action to be decided. At 7:15 PM on the 15th of October, news reached the Politburo - which was still in session - that Dagelian tanks were racing for Tarkan pass. The window of opportunity for a rapid Stasnovan intervention was rapidly closing. It has been rumored that at that moment Krasnov stood up, and told the Politburo members "Unless you want the GESA banner flying over the Dagelian capital in a matter of weeks, we need to act.". At 7:34, an official declaration of war was sent to the Dagelian government and the 8th Army received march orders.

Destroyed Dagelian T-74S1M3 near Chekhanvali

The 46th Motor Rifle Division was the first formation to rush through the Tarkan Pass, as it based only a few kilometres from the entrance. Most of the Division's forward elements were through the pass by 9 PM. Led by its divisional Tank Regiment's T-94As, the 46th Motor Rifle caught the Dagelian 2nd Armoured Brigade by surprise, while the latter was still being engaged by militia anti-tank teams. The superior Stasnovan tanks made short work of their Dagelian counterparts, who were caught in a hammer and anvil situation. With over 15 of their tanks and 10 other armoured vehicles destroyed, the 2nd Armoured retreated back to Chekhavali. Meanwhile, Su-30SMs of the 52nd Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division took off from Yanov-2 Air Force Base in the USRS and started performing airstrikes against Dagelian targets outside Mienta and Chekhavali. In their combat debut, VeK-44Ms from the same unit carried out SEAD missions against Dagelian SAM sites, taking advantage of the aircraft's stealth capabilities. By 3 AM, Stasnovan air strikes had destroyed over 20 Dagelian vehicles and a dozen emplacements. The SEAD aircraft came under fire by surface-to-air missiles once - allegedly by old Buk systems - but managed to dodge them.

The 46th Motor Rifle, reinforced by forward elements of the 47th Motor Rifle, proceeded to assault the Dagelian 1st Mechanised Brigade that was dug in on the A-45 approach to Chekhavali at 1 AM. The attack was supported by Army-level artillery as well as Divisional units. Mi-28Ns of the 91st Guards Assault Helicopter Regiment provided close air support for the assault. The Stasnovans possessed superior night vision capabilities, but the Dagelians were dug in. A regiment-size attack on the Dagelian left flank near St. Basil Hill (Hill 341) was repelled by the Dagelian defenders at around 2 AM, but an armoured assault by the entirety of the 47th MRD's divisional Tank Regiment around the far right side forced the Dagelians to buckle by 3 AM. South Zevgorian militiamen joined the battle, sallying out of the suburbs to catch the retreating Dagelians by surpise. However, they lacked armoured support and were forced to retreat, letting the Dagelians escape. By 7 AM, the approaches to Chekhanvali were cleared, and A-45 was under Stasnovan controll. Despite the Stasno-South Zevgorian efforts, he 1st Mechanised and 2nd Armoured Brigades of the Dagelian army managed to safely pull most of their force back into Dagelian controlled parts of the capital.

Meanwhile, the the remaining elements of the 47th Motor Rifle, alongside a Tank Regiment from the 89th Tank Division (267th) had started advancing to Mienta at 11 PM. They reached the city by 2 AM, and one of the 47th's Regiments dismounted and entered the city alongside elements of the Divisional Tank Regiment, while the 267th Tank advanced around the city's right flank. The Stasnovan armoured push went surprisingly unnoticed by the Dagelians, and a logistics convoy made up of more than 30 trucks was caught halted, lined up on the main road outside the city. The Stasnovan tanks fired their MGs and charged at the trucks, avoiding the use of their main guns to conserve ammunition. Once the tanks had cleared the Dagelian infantry, they proceeded to ram the logistical trucks, smashing the convoy. The Dagelian response came at 6 AM in the form of the 3rd Armoured Brigade, held in operational reserve until that point. Outnumbered, the Stasnovan tanks were forced to withdraw with some air support around the northern side of the city by 9 AM, digging to secure the flanks of the Motor Riflemen engaged in heavy combat alongside the militias inside the suburbs.

Battle of Chekhanvali[edit]

(16th-18th)

The Stasnovan advance on Chekhanvali was halted to allow the troops to rest and refit. Units of th 46th Motor Rifle began entering Cekhanvali by 5 PM, and were enthusiastically greeted by South Zevgorian militiamen who were until then low on ammunition and supplies. Divisional HQ proceeded to deploy two Motor Rifle Regiments in the Nagayev and Voroshilov districts at around 7 PM, with the third regiment and the divisional tank regiment were held as reserves, the former within the northern suburbs and the latter around the city's eastern side. The two Stasnovan regiments alongside milita support engaged the heavily dug in Dagelians in close quarters combat, with both sides making heavy use of thermobaric weapons to clear out buildings.

Defence of the Alkayevo-Mienta Line[edit]

Battle of Kokoity[edit]

Aftermath[edit]

Dagelian capitulation[edit]

Dagelian Proisional Government[edit]

South Zevgorian referendum[edit]

Humanitarian concerns[edit]

International Reactions[edit]

  • Brytene - The Witenagmot released a statement condemning the Dagelian invasion of South Zevgoria as a 'travesty of modern principles', and pledged to support the South Zevgorian war effort both financially and militarily, alongside Stasnov.
  • Elesar - Emperor Dimitri II denounced Stasnov's actions as "a blatant attack on the sovereignty of Dagelia...and a clear statement from the Stasnovan government that they are willing to use military force to fulfill a longstanding goal in the annexation of South Zevgoria." Prime Minister Leonid Usenko also stated that the "Bolshevik actions in Dagelia reek of hypocritical imperialism." Military forces on the Elesar-Stasnov border were placed on high alert for the duration of the conflict.
  • Gorbatov - Premier Konstantin Voroshilov released a statement commending the intervention of Stasnovan forces against the Dagelian offensive on South Zevgoria, with the Premier describing it as a "lawful act in the protection of the South Zevgorian people"; as per with Vastava Pact obligations, Gorbatov provided a small contingent of troops and material support to South Zevgorian forces.
  • Template:Country data Volgaria - Chancellor Eric Schreiner had already expressed that Volgaria would not support, nor recognize the independence of South Zevgoria. The Chancellor later condemned Stasnov for intervening and partaking in an "illegal invasion against the Dagelian state" and offered support in the forms of military and financial aid to Dagelia. The Volgarian government continues to recognize South Zevgoria as part of Dagelia.
  • Chazicaria - Official Chazicarian reactions to the invasion were subdued- a speech by the head of the Foreign Affairs Council casually mentioned imperialistic left-wing adventurism as a threat to world peace only days after the war began, and there was never any form of recognition granted for the South Zevgorian state. Documents leaked in 2018 revealed that IRIS agents had actively, though anonymously provided the Dagelian military with intelligence of moderate value.
  • Granzery - The Granzerian government offered a solemn denunciation of the Stasnovan government at the outbreak of war, and provided extensive materiel aid and military advisors to the Dagelian military, as well as diplomatic support. Declassified documents following the 2018 coup indicated the secretive KG-KM Tier One SOF engaged in secretive operations during the war, although the precise nature of their involvement is unknown.
  • Ziridava - Ziridavan (former) president Nikolic Woronoff denounced the invasion, claiming it to be more evidence of Stasnov "becoming the very fascists they claim to fight against". Soon afterwards, Ziridava offered to increase military cooperation with friendly states which border both Stasnov and Gorbatov, in an effort to deter future military actions.