The Invasion of Ukraine

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EACLucifer
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Dec 29, 2022 8:54 am

jimbob wrote:
Thu Dec 29, 2022 8:21 am
Good op-ed piece on CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/20/opinions ... index.html

The escalation game
Since well before February’s invasion, portentous but vague threats from Russia of unspecified but alarming responses have been sufficient to serve as a massive brake on Western support for Ukraine.

And for almost a year afterward, Western powers were careful not to give the Ukrainian armed forces weapons that could threaten Russia itself.

In doing so, the West has played along with the Kremlin’s pretense that it is not at war, only waging a “special military operation.” In effect, it has protected Russia from the consequences of its own aggression.
And a reminder to all the people falling for this Kremlin b.llsh.t - every single time systems have been provided, Russia's backed down. HIMARS went from a red line to "no better than Smerch and Uragan systems Ukraine already has", Patriot went from a red line to "no better than S-300 systems Ukraine already has". Neither claim is true, of course, with HIMARS vastly more effective than either Warsaw Pact heavy MLRS and Patriot at least on paper substantialky more capable than S-300. One can expect that Leopard 2s will be "no better than T-80s Ukraine already has" and ATACMS "no better than Tochka-Us Ukraine already has", and don't be surprised if A-10s, F-16s and F-15s respectively turn out to be no better than Su-25s, MiG-29s and Su-27s respectively.

There is nothing Russia can do to retaliate that does not make their position radically worse, which is why they have not retaliated when their supposed "Red Lines" have been repeatedly crossed - and it is why they won't when their current claimed "Red Lines" are crossed in the future.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Mon Jan 02, 2023 3:43 pm

Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Mon Jan 02, 2023 9:09 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 22, 2022 7:43 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Dec 22, 2022 4:45 pm

I keep posting this stuff because the longer the war goes on the more the relative importance of production compared to other factors.
The prevailing narrative since the early days of the invasion has been that Russia will run out of equipment imminently. Surely there's little risk of the west running out first?
Current estimates put Russia's artillery usage at a third of it's peak, which likely explains why the tactics that saw them slowly grind through southern Luhansk and capture Severodonetsk and Lysychansk now see them stalled in front of Bakhmut for five months.

Things are never absolute in warfare, but the Russians don't have as much ammunition as they did, and Russian sources reveal quite a lot of discussion of what they term "shell hunger".

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by bjn » Mon Jan 02, 2023 9:31 pm

Perun has a good overview of the supply of artillery ammunition. Millions of rounds are being used and stock piles are getting a bit thin.

https://youtu.be/deK98IeTjfY

Basically there is enough capacity in NATO and friendly countries to feed Ukraine sufficient shells to do the job. Especially South Korea. Doing the appropriate political dance to get the shells will be the problem.

Russia is eating through their stock and having problems with scaling production, their recently produced shells are having major QC issues. They are sourcing them from far afield now, especially North Korea. Unless they can make more and improve QC they are going to have problems feeding the guns at the rates they like to.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 05, 2023 4:24 pm

Just to be clear re: the claims of a 36-hour Russian ceasefire. They've routinely shelled when and where they claim they will not shell. It is either b.llsh.t meant to divide the west, or b.llsh.t meant to buy time for his battered forces, especially as the ground should be starting to freeze over the coming days. Nobody should take it seriously, or judge Ukraine remotely negatively for treating it with the contempt it deserves.

I posted this on the other thread, but tbh, I think it probably belongs here more than it belongs there.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:04 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 4:24 pm
Just to be clear re: the claims of a 36-hour Russian ceasefire. They've routinely shelled when and where they claim they will not shell. It is either b.llsh.t meant to divide the west, or b.llsh.t meant to buy time for his battered forces, especially as the ground should be starting to freeze over the coming days. Nobody should take it seriously, or judge Ukraine remotely negatively for treating it with the contempt it deserves.

I posted this on the other thread, but tbh, I think it probably belongs here more than it belongs there.
Also Russia bombed civilians on 25th December and New Year's Eve
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:55 pm

jimbob wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:04 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 4:24 pm
Just to be clear re: the claims of a 36-hour Russian ceasefire. They've routinely shelled when and where they claim they will not shell. It is either b.llsh.t meant to divide the west, or b.llsh.t meant to buy time for his battered forces, especially as the ground should be starting to freeze over the coming days. Nobody should take it seriously, or judge Ukraine remotely negatively for treating it with the contempt it deserves.

I posted this on the other thread, but tbh, I think it probably belongs here more than it belongs there.
Also Russia bombed civilians on 25th December and New Year's Eve
Indeed, and not just a normal amount for them, but particularly large waves of attacks

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:57 pm


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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:20 am

Without going into the details of the big shift in international military aid - they are in the other thread - I think it's worth noting why it happened. It's quite possibly a response to Putin's attacks on civilians over Christmas* and the new year. Not only did they remind the west of the importance of Russia's defeat, but they also highlighted their impotence. Unable to respond effectively on the battlefield, they targetted hospitals and blocks of flats and ice rinks, and a lot of their missiles were shot down in the process. This is not the sort of thing the west is especially scared of. I think it is finally sinking in that the threat of escalation isn't really there, not in response to the provision of conventional military hardware.

*the one celebrated in the west and by most Ukrainians

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 06, 2023 9:16 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:20 am
Without going into the details of the big shift in international military aid - they are in the other thread - I think it's worth noting why it happened. It's quite possibly a response to Putin's attacks on civilians over Christmas* and the new year. Not only did they remind the west of the importance of Russia's defeat, but they also highlighted their impotence. Unable to respond effectively on the battlefield, they targetted hospitals and blocks of flats and ice rinks, and a lot of their missiles were shot down in the process. This is not the sort of thing the west is especially scared of. I think it is finally sinking in that the threat of escalation isn't really there, not in response to the provision of conventional military hardware.

*the one celebrated in the west and by most Ukrainians
They are still worried about escalation (example from December). Ukraine's supporters have been sending tanks for months, just Soviet pattern models rather than NATO ones. They're not so worried about that causing escalation.

The humanitarian consequences are likely to be important, especially in terms of their effects on electorates. Two other explanations come to mind. First, that this is a response to Russian mobilization and a belief that Ukraine will need more equipment if it is to retake territory. As well as supporting Ukraine leaders in Brussels, Washington etc don't want the war to become an indefinite stalemate.

In addition, its possible that the repair and logistics hubs in Poland and Lithuania etc make it more feasible for Ukraine to operate large numbers of Bradleys etc. Though I haven't looked into this.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 07, 2023 6:19 am

The emerging deal Kevin McCarthy is discussing to make him speaker of the House could make agreements on new defense spending impossible next year, at a time when the US is intent on backing Ukraine against the Russian invasion and growing more wary of China’s stepped up aggression toward Taiwan.

Part of the agreement being discussed would be to cap fiscal year 2024 discretionary spending across government at 2022 levels, according to three people familiar with the discussions. National defense spending, which primarily funds the Pentagon, was about $782 billion in fiscal 2022 and rose $75 billion to $857 billion in fiscal 2023.

Lawmakers would have to contend with a $130 billion cut to discretionary spending, including a potential $75 billion cut to national security, if not more, as defense hawks want to increase the budget above this year’s levels.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... efense-cut

Speculation at the moment and even if they happen cuts could affect other departments than Defense. Even if they do affect Defense, aid to Ukraine may not be affected, and it might have won by then.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Grumble » Wed Jan 11, 2023 2:33 pm

So, are Wagner Group/Russia actually making significant advances?
A bit churlish

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jan 11, 2023 2:57 pm

Grumble wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 2:33 pm
So, are Wagner Group/Russia actually making significant advances?
They are making advances around Bakhmut. They are taking very little territory and the methods used are reminiscent of WW1 - artillery barrages and attacks by infantry taking horrendous losses. But attrition isn't bonkers given that Russia ultimately has much more manpower than does Ukraine.

The significance of the advances lies in the soldiers and equipment Ukraine needs to deploy there to counter Russian attacks. If they are committed there, or are casualties, then they can't be used elsewhere. I don't know whether this is a serious problem. Ukraine mobilized a lot of soldiers, but I don't know how many are actually available to be deployed to the front line.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Jan 11, 2023 4:34 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 2:57 pm
Grumble wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 2:33 pm
So, are Wagner Group/Russia actually making significant advances?
They are making advances around Bakhmut. They are taking very little territory and the methods used are reminiscent of WW1 - artillery barrages and attacks by infantry taking horrendous losses. But attrition isn't bonkers given that Russia ultimately has much more manpower than does Ukraine.

The significance of the advances lies in the soldiers and equipment Ukraine needs to deploy there to counter Russian attacks. If they are committed there, or are casualties, then they can't be used elsewhere. I don't know whether this is a serious problem. Ukraine mobilized a lot of soldiers, but I don't know how many are actually available to be deployed to the front line.
They are advancing into Soledar at the moment. I'm not sure exactly what's going on. There's reports of VDV being added in significant numbers. Ukraine can afford to retreat from Soledar, the position itself is not critical. Sadly, there's very little of the town left intact, and it doesn't appear as if anyone lives there right now. Retreating from Soledar wouldn't particularly imperil the defence of Bakhmut, and frankly most of what can be said about Soledar is true of Bakhmut. Retreating across the river, or up onto the bluffs would still leave a strong defensive line, indeed we saw just how badly the Russians struggled trying to cross a valley through a ruined town in no man's land to get to the Ukrainian positions on a hill at Bohorodychne - they just did not get anywhere, and eventually it all became moot when the Kharkiv offensive drove the Russians from Izium.

Russia is taking extremely heavy casualties to assault Soledar, though. It may be the attritional advantage is such that it is worth staying a while, and making the Russians pay for every metre. It's hard to get a picture of Ukrainian losses, but the factors in play all point towards Russian losses being substantially higher. It is possible that this attack has achieved something for Russia by tying down Ukrainian forces, but if so, it is likely at a disproportionate cost to Russia, but then it is hard to be sure of anything right now. There's politics in play too - Prigozhin claiming that they've taken Soledar after two weeks when the Russian regulars couldn't for four months, a claim that is b.llsh.t as Wagner group have been attacking Soledar since August, and Russian regulars look like they may have given the impetus to enter the town over the last few days. As of this morning, it appears there were Ukrainian troops still in the town.

A final couple of points here, though, is that pinning down the truth of what's going on in Soledar is very difficult, as there are various different lies in play, including intra-Russian propaganda as well as both sides engaging in propaganda. The other point is that Soledar is not strategically significant in itself, indeed it is a salient in front of a strong natural defence line. The key issue is attrition, and how it affects each side.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jaap » Wed Jan 11, 2023 5:34 pm

According to this short video on a dutch news site today, Soledar has salt mines with large and long tunnels, and supposedly the tunnels have other entrances and might allow troops to move undetected to other locations behind the defensive line. I would imagine that all the other entrances are known and could be guarded or blocked, but that will cost manpower. It also claims the group might just want to confiscate any still working mines for money.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Jan 11, 2023 5:51 pm

jaap wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 5:34 pm
According to this short video on a dutch news site today, Soledar has salt mines with large and long tunnels, and supposedly the tunnels have other entrances and might allow troops to move undetected to other locations behind the defensive line. I would imagine that all the other entrances are known and could be guarded or blocked, but that will cost manpower. It also claims the group might just want to confiscate any still working mines for money.
The mine tunnels are huge and machine dug. The chances of an entrance not being known are remote. As for defending them, it's unlikely to take much - the US has supplied Claymore mines, Ukraine has access to various other anti-personnel mines, and a few well placed machine guns could secure any mine entrance.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TopBadger » Wed Jan 11, 2023 8:52 pm

Surovikin demoted and a new commander appointed...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-64235713
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by bjn » Wed Jan 11, 2023 9:52 pm

Given that Surovikin looked to be somewhat competent, him being demoted is a good thing.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:17 am

bjn wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 9:52 pm
Given that Surovikin looked to be somewhat competent, him being demoted is a good thing.
Lapin, who was removed after the Russian debacle at Lyman, reinstated. Looks like this could be about Prigozhin's influence as much as events on the ground. Prigozhin seemed to have a good relationship with Surovikin, rather less so with Gerasimov, who is now in overall charge of the invasion. Also quite possible it's Putin just getting frustrated that Surovikin wasn't able to do the impossible, though.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by bjn » Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:29 am

Palace politics then. However, from what I understand, Surokivin was the author of the “cruise missile the sh.t out of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and they will collapse” strategy cum war crime. That has consumed a huge chunk of Russia’s stockpile and not worked as planned, even if it has incurred a horrific cost on Ukrainians. That won’t have counted in his favour.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:55 am

bjn wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:29 am
Palace politics then. However, from what I understand, Surokivin was the author of the “cruise missile the sh.t out of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and they will collapse” strategy cum war crime. That has consumed a huge chunk of Russia’s stockpile and not worked as planned, even if it has incurred a horrific cost on Ukrainians. That won’t have counted in his favour.
It's arguably what lead to NASAMS/SAMP-T/IRIS-T/Patriot* provision as well as things like RIM-7 missiles for the Ukrainian Buk TELARs**, and certainly concentrated minds on expediting their provision.

On the other hand, it appears the Black Sea Fleet, including a lot of submarines, has just sortied from Novorossiysk, so it may be that vile strategy - counterproductive though it is on the strategic level - may be continuing.


*I wrote this, then realised it might not mean much to many people. These are a variety of modern, frontline Western anti-aircraft complexes, with radars to detect aircraft and missiles and interceptor missiles to shoot them down, and are what NATO countries use for this purpose.

**The USA is providing the anti-aircraft/anti-missile interceptor missiles it uses aboard the US Navy's ships to operate from mobile launcher/radar units that Ukraine inherited from the Soviet ERA.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TopBadger » Thu Jan 12, 2023 9:36 am

bjn wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:29 am
Palace politics then.
Perhaps Putin realizes that he's going to need the support of the "not crazy nationalists" wing of his military to have a chance of surviving any upcoming coup... or at least being put out to retirement rather than put in the ground.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:06 am

TopBadger wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 9:36 am
bjn wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:29 am
Palace politics then.
Perhaps Putin realizes that he's going to need the support of the "not crazy nationalists" wing of his military to have a chance of surviving any upcoming coup... or at least being put out to retirement rather than put in the ground.
This could well be the MOD reasserting their position after Surovikin bypassed them, allegedly reporting directly to Putin. Restoring Lapin and moving Gerasimov in directly both strengthen MOD control of operations. Could be Putin's realised Prigozhin's ambitions are dangerous.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:43 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:06 am
TopBadger wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 9:36 am
bjn wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:29 am
Palace politics then.
Perhaps Putin realizes that he's going to need the support of the "not crazy nationalists" wing of his military to have a chance of surviving any upcoming coup... or at least being put out to retirement rather than put in the ground.
This could well be the MOD reasserting their position after Surovikin bypassed them, allegedly reporting directly to Putin. Restoring Lapin and moving Gerasimov in directly both strengthen MOD control of operations. Could be Putin's realised Prigozhin's ambitions are dangerous.
Putin is in a difficult position. Dictators often thrive using divide and rule strategies and creating rivalry between Prigozhin and the regular army will suit Putin's ends. But its important that one or other rival courtier doesn't get too powerful.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:46 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:06 am
TopBadger wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 9:36 am
bjn wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:29 am
Palace politics then.
Perhaps Putin realizes that he's going to need the support of the "not crazy nationalists" wing of his military to have a chance of surviving any upcoming coup... or at least being put out to retirement rather than put in the ground.
This could well be the MOD reasserting their position after Surovikin bypassed them, allegedly reporting directly to Putin. Restoring Lapin and moving Gerasimov in directly both strengthen MOD control of operations. Could be Putin's realised Prigozhin's ambitions are dangerous.
I don't really understand Shoigu. Presumably he's good at convincing Putin that he's loyal and doesn't have an independent power base.


But he doesn't even seem to be trying to deal with manouvering to discredit him and which would be likely to end up with him as a scapegoat in a show trial if Putin's patronage is removed.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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