Blyatskrieg

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Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:01 pm

For military/technical discussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, per mod suggestion they be in a separate thread to the political/humanitarian ones.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Stranger Mouse » Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:08 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:01 pm
For military/technical discussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, per mod suggestion they be in a separate thread to the political/humanitarian ones.
Seems sensible.

It’s not a subject which particularly interests me (although I am interested in every subject in the universe at least a tiny bit) but I think it’s helpful to discuss this stuff. I have seen no evidence that people who discuss it are deranged psychopaths.

One question I have is about those mines that look like toys. Is that intentional or coincidental? Or is “coincidental “ an excuse to cover intention?
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:36 pm

Stranger Mouse wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:08 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:01 pm
For military/technical discussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, per mod suggestion they be in a separate thread to the political/humanitarian ones.
Seems sensible.

It’s not a subject which particularly interests me (although I am interested in every subject in the universe at least a tiny bit) but I think it’s helpful to discuss this stuff. I have seen no evidence that people who discuss it are deranged psychopaths.

One question I have is about those mines that look like toys. Is that intentional or coincidental? Or is “coincidental “ an excuse to cover intention?
Probably coincidental, but air/rocket deployed landmines take everything that's wrong with landmines and worsen it. They look like this.

Image

Training version pictured, but the only difference between it and the live version is the live version doesn't have a letter stamped into it.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:38 pm

One important thing to note about this war, especially when it comes to footage reaching western eyes, is that it is a lot more symmetrical and a lot more conventional than people think. Yes, there are light infantry going to hunt tanks with a plethora of shoulder-launched weapons. There's also things like this, which are much less documented - Ukrainian tanks and mechanised infantry firing and manoeuvring as they advance

(Clip contains footage of a tank firing, but no casualties or anything like that)

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by basementer » Wed Apr 06, 2022 4:15 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:38 pm
One important thing to note about this war, especially when it comes to footage reaching western eyes, is that it is a lot more symmetrical and a lot more conventional than people think. Yes, there are light infantry going to hunt tanks with a plethora of shoulder-launched weapons. There's also things like this, which are much less documented - Ukrainian tanks and mechanised infantry firing and manoeuvring as they advance

(Clip contains footage of a tank firing, but no casualties or anything like that)
Clip has a musical soundtrack. War as entertainment.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Stranger Mouse » Wed Apr 06, 2022 4:31 pm

basementer wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 4:15 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:38 pm
One important thing to note about this war, especially when it comes to footage reaching western eyes, is that it is a lot more symmetrical and a lot more conventional than people think. Yes, there are light infantry going to hunt tanks with a plethora of shoulder-launched weapons. There's also things like this, which are much less documented - Ukrainian tanks and mechanised infantry firing and manoeuvring as they advance

(Clip contains footage of a tank firing, but no casualties or anything like that)
Clip has a musical soundtrack. War as entertainment.
I must admit I’ve found the addition of music to some of these clips very distasteful and have often not shared them on that basis but sometimes it’s unavoidable if you want to point out a particular thing.
I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list if that’s still in the works

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Apr 07, 2022 5:44 am

Stranger Mouse wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 4:31 pm
basementer wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 4:15 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:38 pm
One important thing to note about this war, especially when it comes to footage reaching western eyes, is that it is a lot more symmetrical and a lot more conventional than people think. Yes, there are light infantry going to hunt tanks with a plethora of shoulder-launched weapons. There's also things like this, which are much less documented - Ukrainian tanks and mechanised infantry firing and manoeuvring as they advance

(Clip contains footage of a tank firing, but no casualties or anything like that)
Clip has a musical soundtrack. War as entertainment.
I must admit I’ve found the addition of music to some of these clips very distasteful and have often not shared them on that basis but sometimes it’s unavoidable if you want to point out a particular thing.
Indeed. The other clip I had available to demonstrate the fact that many were getting a skewed impression of the nature of the conflict didn't have music, but it did have Russian vehicles being destroyed when a camouflaged Ukrainian tank ambushed a column retreating out of norther Ukraine, and I reasoned that a clip with music, while perhaps distasteful, was going to bother people less than a clip with casualties occuring.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Apr 07, 2022 5:55 am

dyqik wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 12:39 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 8:36 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 7:59 am


I don't think there was serious opposition in Western governments to supply armored vehicles. Germany announced last week that it would supply them (though not tanks).

The problem with fighter aircraft was more about how to get them to a Ukrainian air base rather than whether to supply them in principle.

Where I do think there is a line is in the supply of long range missiles that could be used to hit targets deep inside Russia.

The problem with European armed forces is that in general they don't have much to give to give. European armed forces have spent the last three decades focusing upon peacekeeping and counter-insurgency. They don't have much equipment suited for war against Russia.

Russia invaded Ukraine with about 1200 tanks. The UK only has 227 tanks in total, Germany has 245, France has 222. Several NATO members (eg the Netherlands) don't have any as a few years ago people assumed that there wouldn't be any need for them.

So lets say that the UK, Germany and France donate 10% of their tanks to Ukraine. We'd be looking at 60 -70 in total, and that would be three different models so the Ukrainians would need three different types of training, maintenance etc. That's far less than the 176 tanks that Ukraine has captured from Russia (ie ones in working order). What the European armed forces could reasonably give isn't going to make a lot of difference. Give more than 10% and they'd be even more worried about their ability to defend Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (none of which have any tanks).
In terms of transferring jets, there's Uzhhorod International Airport - if the concern is armed flights into Ukraine, then they'd scarcely be in Ukrainian airspace for a moment before they landed, and after that it's an armed flight from Ukrainian territory.
AIUI, the biggest issue with transferring jets (and tanks to a somewhat lesser extent) is maintenance, and training of maintenance personnel. Obviously transfers that replace losses like with like aren't a big issue, but sending a quantity of jets of a particular type out of proportion to Ukraine's prewar usage would cause maintenance issues, and lead to those jets becoming inoperable in fairly short order.

Training pilots on new systems, even new weapons and targeting systems, would probably be a lot quicker than training maintenance personnel and setting up spares and special tool supply lines.
Answering in this thread so as to separate out the two.

These are all valid points, however;

The much-discussed transfer of jets has generally focussed on former-Soviet MiGs and Sukhois, which Ukraine already operates. Though the variants in question aren't necessarily identical, much of the maintenance will be the same. Ukraine already has crews suitable. Tool and part supply lines, where such things are different from those already in use in Ukraine, are not a huge issue - they can be flown to near the Polish border, and Russia has yet to demonstrate the ability to hit moving targets within western Ukraine.

Secondly, jets are moveable items. It might be possible to set up maintenance operations outside Ukraine.

Thirdly, we need to be planning for the long term as well as the short term. Ukraine will need an airforce in the future, and MiG29s are not likely to be a long-term sustainable option for a number of reasons, not least that they are an old design and spare parts being made in Russia, if at all, but also because they are relatively limited except as an air-to-air combatant. The MiG29 comes from an era when fighter jets needed to be fast, agile, and have adequate radars, and ground-attack needs would be met by other aircraft. It meets those requirements well enough, but it is obsolescent as a concept, and unlike comparable era western designs like the F15 and F16, it never did get the upgrades allowing it to become more versatile. In the long run, the Ukrainians will need different aircraft, it makes sense to plan for that now.

And fourthly, and most significantly, the Ukrainian military has more experience fighting a conventional war against Russia than anyone else. They have a capable military and capable high command. They say they want jets, tanks, artillery, MLRS and anti-ship missiles - they probably know what they need.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Apr 07, 2022 6:06 am

The other point to note about weapon systems being unfamiliar and taking training...

Yes, that's true, but training can be provided, and can often be streamlined. The Starstreak missile takes a lot of training, so the UK provided training. They definitely didn't train Ukrainian operators for as long as UK ones are trained, but they clearly got them to a good enough standard to shoot down Russian helicopers (Link, unsurprisingly, links to footage of a Russian helicopter being shot down. Reportedly the crew survived, which is certainly plausible given the footage)

The other issue is that there are thousands of foreign fighters fighting for Ukraine now - many of them are already trained on Western systems. This includes at least one helicopter pilot from Italy. Not only can International Legion members potentially operate equipment, they can also train their Ukrainian comrades to do so as well.

And thirdly a lot of Ukrainians are volunteering. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians living abroad - mostly young men - have been gone back to Ukraine to fight, alongside even more Ukrainians in Ukraine. Many are completely untrained - it doesn't necessarily take any longer to train a recruit on Western systems than it does to train them on systems previously used by Ukraine.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Apr 07, 2022 8:18 am

US Senate votes unanimously to revive Lend-Lease to allow much easier shipment of arms and other supplies to Ukraine.

I believe it still needs to pass the house, but that feels relatively likely given how quickly it went through the senate.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Apr 07, 2022 2:30 pm

Amazingly, Mariupol's defenders are still fighting, even still operating vehicles. Apparently recent footage from the outskirts shows a Ukrainian BTR-4 attacking two tanks* from behind with its autocannon and setting both on fire, meaning both were quite badly damaged, potentially destroyed.

Given the current Russian aims - the encirclement of forces around Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, both quite sizeable cities - it's worth remembering that even if they manage that, the fight is far from over. Mariupol's been surrounded for many weeks and can still muster an effective defence, despite the horrific bombardment from artillery and aircraft, which now includes unguided bombs dropped by Russia's strategic bombers.

As the focus shifts to the east, Ukraine is urging civilians in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and parts of Kharkiv oblast to evacuate. Given the Russian warcrimes around Mariupol, it is an essential move, but one which puts yet more strain on Ukraine, part of Russia's deliberate policy of creating humanitarian crises.



*Just about possible they were self-propelled guns, footage isn't great, and I think they are tanks.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:46 am

The Ukrainians have claimed that they have been flying helicopters in and out of Mariupol. If that’s true it’s another major failure by Russia. Though it could be Ukrainian trolling (perhaps designed to get Russia to move air defence units there).

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:51 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:46 am
The Ukrainians have claimed that they have been flying helicopters in and out of Mariupol. If that’s true it’s another major failure by Russia. Though it could be Ukrainian trolling (perhaps designed to get Russia to move air defence units there).
Evidence came out about a week back of a transport helicopter shootdown in that area, so it certainly appears to be the case, and sadly not all such flights got through unscathed.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Apr 08, 2022 8:33 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:33 am

Nato member states have agreed to supply new types of advanced weaponry to Ukraine, alliance representatives said, as Kyiv prepares for an offensive by Russia in the country’s east.

[…]

Liz Truss, UK foreign secretary, told reporters after the meeting that member states had backed giving more weapons.

“There was support for countries to supply new and heavier equipment to Ukraine, so that they can respond to these new threats from Russia,” she said. “And we agreed to help Ukrainian forces move from their Soviet-era equipment to Nato standard equipment, on a bilateral basis.”

Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, said Washington was looking at sending “new systems” to Ukraine.

“We are not going to let anything stand in the way of getting Ukrainians what they need,” he said. “We are looking across the board right now, not only at what we have provided . . . [but] whether there are additional systems that would make a difference.”
https://www.ft.com/content/1c0e6e15-c8f ... b6836bf0f4

Moving Ukraine to NATO standard equipment is a good ambition, though it’ll take years.
For now, this war will be fought with a mix of NATO and Warsaw Pact equipment standards, and though that's awkward, it's by no means as impossible to combine the two in one army as some people seem to think.

Opinion does seem to be finally moving towards supplying proper arms to Ukraine at last - likely because Ukraine have showed they are capable of winning battles - and old Warsaw Pact type equipment is neither advanced enough or available in sufficient supply to get the job done on its own.

Slovakia is apparently mulling the transfer of ZUZANA 155mm self-propelled gun-howitzers. Though not compatible with the existing 152mm equipment in Ukraine, and thus in need of its own ammunition supply, it does have advantages. It outranges the 152mm stuff in use on both sides, with only the 203mm guns and some of the rockets outranging it, and its designed for all standard NATO ammunition - that includes guided rounds. Ukraine had a guided 152mm round in production, but they report the loss of effectively all their defence industry. It's probably easier to supply 155mm guns and ammunition than to adapt 155mm designs to 152mm.

The UK is also now talking about sending Mastiffs and Jackals, armoured patrol and recon vehicles rushed into service to replace the Snatch Land Rovers due to the latter's vulnerability to mines. This ought to have been done a while ago - the Mastiffs and Jackals are surplus to requirements here.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:00 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:51 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:46 am
The Ukrainians have claimed that they have been flying helicopters in and out of Mariupol. If that’s true it’s another major failure by Russia. Though it could be Ukrainian trolling (perhaps designed to get Russia to move air defence units there).
Evidence came out about a week back of a transport helicopter shootdown in that area, so it certainly appears to be the case, and sadly not all such flights got through unscathed.
From what I'd heard the Ukrainians had been running nightly supply/rescue flights at night for weeks without the Russians cottoning on.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:35 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 8:33 am

Opinion does seem to be finally moving towards supplying proper arms to Ukraine at last - likely because Ukraine have showed they are capable of winning battles - and old Warsaw Pact type equipment is neither advanced enough or available in sufficient supply to get the job done on its own.
I suspect that its also due to time horizons having shifted. Back in late February and March the emphasis was on sending material that could be used within days to defend Kyiv. Now there is time to consider Ukraine's long term needs.
EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 8:33 am
The UK is also now talking about sending Mastiffs and Jackals, armoured patrol and recon vehicles rushed into service to replace the Snatch Land Rovers due to the latter's vulnerability to mines. This ought to have been done a while ago - the Mastiffs and Jackals are surplus to requirements here.
Yes, they'll be useful.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Apr 08, 2022 11:18 am

Slovakia apparently has now sent at least one S300 SAM system. Ukraine's air defence has been amazing so far; Russian planes currently daren't fly over western Ukraine, and that means they are forced to rely on ballistic and cruise missiles to attack those area, which in turn means things like shipments of military aid are basically impossible for them to hit, as they have no capabilities against moving targets in the west of the country. Hopefully, between the numerous MANPADS and much more capable systems like the S300, that can be extended eastwards to limit Russia's ability to target frontline units and bomb cities like Mariupol.

ETA: This was something where Lavrov was very upset about the potential for it happening and claimed Russia wouldn't allow it...and yet.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Fri Apr 08, 2022 2:01 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 11:18 am
Slovakia apparently has now sent at least one S300 SAM system. Ukraine's air defence has been amazing so far; Russian planes currently daren't fly over western Ukraine, and that means they are forced to rely on ballistic and cruise missiles to attack those area, which in turn means things like shipments of military aid are basically impossible for them to hit, as they have no capabilities against moving targets in the west of the country. Hopefully, between the numerous MANPADS and much more capable systems like the S300, that can be extended eastwards to limit Russia's ability to target frontline units and bomb cities like Mariupol.

ETA: This was something where Lavrov was very upset about the potential for it happening and claimed Russia wouldn't allow it...and yet.
More than "apparently" - both Slovakia and Ukraine have confirmed it.

it looks that the US is sending the 40km-range (90km with the drones also supplied) Switchblade-600
as well as the shorter ones


https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambl ... raine-war/
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Grumble » Fri Apr 08, 2022 2:22 pm

jimbob wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 2:01 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 11:18 am
Slovakia apparently has now sent at least one S300 SAM system. Ukraine's air defence has been amazing so far; Russian planes currently daren't fly over western Ukraine, and that means they are forced to rely on ballistic and cruise missiles to attack those area, which in turn means things like shipments of military aid are basically impossible for them to hit, as they have no capabilities against moving targets in the west of the country. Hopefully, between the numerous MANPADS and much more capable systems like the S300, that can be extended eastwards to limit Russia's ability to target frontline units and bomb cities like Mariupol.

ETA: This was something where Lavrov was very upset about the potential for it happening and claimed Russia wouldn't allow it...and yet.
More than "apparently" - both Slovakia and Ukraine have confirmed it.

it looks that the US is sending the 40km-range (90km with the drones also supplied) Switchblade-600
as well as the shorter ones


https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambl ... raine-war/
I’m sure we’ll be hearing about more Russian generals getting knocked off soon.
A bit churlish

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:13 pm

Wowzers... I expect the US military is highly interested in seeing how effective they are. Proxy wars are a great testing ground.

Russian commanders and soldiers are in for an especially dangerous time... with advanced weaponry coming their way their choices are being narrowed to defect, desert or die.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Apr 09, 2022 3:54 am

TopBadger wrote:
Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:13 pm
Wowzers... I expect the US military is highly interested in seeing how effective they are.
I expect arms manufacturers are vigorously lobbying to get their products supplied to Ukraine. They know that demonstrating usefulness in Ukraine will generate sales for decades to come. I suspect that this, rather than statesmanship, is behind Boris Johnson's enthusiasm for Britain providing weapons to Ukraine. Considering his record, it would be surprising if he was getting this right for the right reasons.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:57 pm

UK to send 120 armoured vehicles and "new anti-ship missiles". I suspect those 120 armoured vehicles are probably the armoured patrol/reconnaissance vehicles already announced, surplus to requirements Jackals and Mastiffs, which ought to be useful.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Grumble » Sat Apr 09, 2022 7:04 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:57 pm
UK to send 120 armoured vehicles and "new anti-ship missiles". I suspect those 120 armoured vehicles are probably the armoured patrol/reconnaissance vehicles already announced, surplus to requirements Jackals and Mastiffs, which ought to be useful.
Are these anti-ship missiles launched from land or air?
A bit churlish

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Apr 09, 2022 7:12 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sat Apr 09, 2022 7:04 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:57 pm
UK to send 120 armoured vehicles and "new anti-ship missiles". I suspect those 120 armoured vehicles are probably the armoured patrol/reconnaissance vehicles already announced, surplus to requirements Jackals and Mastiffs, which ought to be useful.
Are these anti-ship missiles launched from land or air?
I don't know. The UK isn't terribly well off for anti-ship missiles. British Harpoons are basically past their expiry date, and the government decided to can an interim replacement, meaning the capability won't be replaced for a decade or so - presumably we can politely ask people not to hassle us with ships in the meantime.

There's also Sea Spear, which is as Brimstone derivative, but that's more of an anti-boat missile than an anti-ship missile. Sea Spear would be extremely offensive against a Russian style amphibious landing with amphibious APCs, but it's not going to do much about ships like Moskva bombarding Ukraine from the Black Sea in the way that Harpoons or Exocets would.

ETA: Some people are saying it is Harpoon, but that will take quite a lot of jerry rigging to come up with a functional land-based launcher.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Apr 10, 2022 8:08 am

Thread from the Institute for the Study of War suggesting that the US is inadvertently overestimating Russian combat strength when they say they have 80-85% of their force available to them.

The short version is basically that units that have been mauled and forced out of Ukraine are not going to be able to fight at anything like their potential. While mashing together the ruins of several Battalion Tactical Groups together might give you the paper-strength of a Battalion Tactical Group, it does not give a cohesive formation that can fight effectively, or has the will to fight.

Russia entered this war without an adequate plan to mobilise sufficient troops, almost certainly because they underestimate the strength and determination of Ukraine's resistance. That's locked in for now - they cannot fix it in the short term. Calling up reservists and new conscripts won't yield fighting troops for months.

I've done some of the maths myself - Russia built up a force of twelve hundred tanks for the invasion. Verified losses are past four hundred and fifty. Allowing for the backlog in the verification process and the inevitable undercount of visually-verified confirmation, Russia's lost at least 40% of its initial tank force, which equates to =>17% of their overall tank fleet, with their IFV losses commensurate to their tank losses. Russian casualties are also very high. They invaded with fewer than two hundred thousand troops, with the use of conscripts from the occupied territories/militias bringing it up to about two hundred thousand. It would be very surprising at this point if they had fewer than ten thousand killed, and Ukraine's claims being nearly twice that. All the evidence I've seen suggests that Ukraine's claims are accurate in terms of Russian deaths. For every death, one expects several wounded. Even if Russian first aid and treatment of its wounded is as dreadful as evidence suggests, there would still be two or three men wounded for every man killed. That puts Russia's losses in troop strength at somewhere between fifteen thousand and over fifty thousand, with desertion and capture also an issue.

I hope I'm not being too optimistic here, but Russia's ability to win in the east is questionable.

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