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Still battling through this mission for a while now. The crappy part is it's now night and I have no NVGs. I'm driving around in a BMP with the lights on and trying to take towns. I have a large majority of them, but still have to take out the Russian base and do several other things. Will it ever end?!
* Buy a crewman, vote for youself as commander. Then mobilize HQ, order crewman to man the machine gun and get in
* Drive slightly north, then west, to pass Staroye from the north. Then head south directly into Pusta. Avoid roads as much as possible.
* Pusta has no defenses. Drive to west side of town and capture it. Then kick up a base right into town immediately. By this time, AI has capped and lost Msta. Since your HQ is actually in the town you get money and supplies rather quickly
* Buy some AT infantry and set up ambushes north of town, because AI starts sending BTR-90s right away. A bit later, tanks. While dealing with base-leveling party, stay inside bunker and lay low.
Buy a RPG to help a bit -- AT infantry isn't that responsive to orders. Also, it seems that enemy is more focused on retaking the town and doesn't go for your buildings instantly.
* As you get the chance, save & rush to elektrozavodsk to deal with enemy base. A truck full of AT infantry should help. Make sure to approach via coast/docks and snipe the manned AGS-30 outpost before approaching from the west.
By using this strategy, you should have loads of money and supply all the time, all you have to do is repel attacks and mount one of your own. Never vote AI back for commander, or he might remobilize HQ and drive into enemy