Blyatskrieg

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu May 26, 2022 1:09 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 12:42 pm
Starving Russian supply lines seems to be the way to go in terms of fewest Ukrainian losses. Assaults to push out Russian held positions is going to be tough going - better to force them to abandon positions due to supply issues whilst political and economic pressure builds on the Kremlin.
Absolutely.

The problem Ukraine face around Popasna is that the ground is open. Around Kyiv, they were able to use the cover of the woods to sneak up on the Russians and raid their supply routes. The other difference is that around Kyiv, the Russians advanced in long, narrow thrusts, which left them with very vulnerable flanks. Around Popasna they are advancing from ground they occupied eight years ago.

There's only two ways they can get at the Russian supply lines around Popasna; airpower and long range firepower.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by dyqik » Thu May 26, 2022 3:15 pm

I guess a steady supply of drones may constitute airpower/long range firepower for certain targets, at least.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Thu May 26, 2022 9:19 pm

On the earlier doomed river crossing:
The Siversky Donets River, which cuts a meandering path through eastern Ukraine, forms a natural barrier to Russia’s advances. Suitable sites for pontoon crossings are few, Colonel Kashchenko said.

He was ordered to one of the crossings on May 8, after the Russians deployed pontoons and moved soldiers into the forest on the near bank. Ukrainian infantry advanced into the area the next day, but were repulsed, suffering losses, he said.

They then set up a defensive line to box in the Russians as they crossed their pontoon bridge, and rained down artillery fire on the area. They also set about destroying the bridge by placing floating mines upstream, allowing the current to carry them to the Russians’ pontoons, which proved an effective tactic. The Ukrainian forces blew up four separate bridges at the crossing site.

The Russians hastily laid new pontoons and sent armored vehicles across, Colonel Kashchenko said, but they were unable to break through the Ukrainian defensive line. Dozens of armored vehicles and infantry soldiers became trapped and were mauled by Ukrainian artillery. The Ukrainians also hit Russian troops involved in the bridge work on the far shore.

The bombardment included some of the first barrages from a newly arrived American artillery gun, the M777, Colonel Kashchenko said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/worl ... onbas.html

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Thu May 26, 2022 9:24 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 9:19 pm
On the earlier doomed river crossing:
The Siversky Donets River, which cuts a meandering path through eastern Ukraine, forms a natural barrier to Russia’s advances. Suitable sites for pontoon crossings are few, Colonel Kashchenko said.

He was ordered to one of the crossings on May 8, after the Russians deployed pontoons and moved soldiers into the forest on the near bank. Ukrainian infantry advanced into the area the next day, but were repulsed, suffering losses, he said.

They then set up a defensive line to box in the Russians as they crossed their pontoon bridge, and rained down artillery fire on the area. They also set about destroying the bridge by placing floating mines upstream, allowing the current to carry them to the Russians’ pontoons, which proved an effective tactic. The Ukrainian forces blew up four separate bridges at the crossing site.

The Russians hastily laid new pontoons and sent armored vehicles across, Colonel Kashchenko said, but they were unable to break through the Ukrainian defensive line. Dozens of armored vehicles and infantry soldiers became trapped and were mauled by Ukrainian artillery. The Ukrainians also hit Russian troops involved in the bridge work on the far shore.

The bombardment included some of the first barrages from a newly arrived American artillery gun, the M777, Colonel Kashchenko said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/worl ... onbas.html
I'm not an expert but would have thought that floating mines would have been an obvious approach to try to counter with nets or something similar
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri May 27, 2022 9:06 am

jimbob wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 9:24 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 9:19 pm
On the earlier doomed river crossing:
The Siversky Donets River, which cuts a meandering path through eastern Ukraine, forms a natural barrier to Russia’s advances. Suitable sites for pontoon crossings are few, Colonel Kashchenko said.

He was ordered to one of the crossings on May 8, after the Russians deployed pontoons and moved soldiers into the forest on the near bank. Ukrainian infantry advanced into the area the next day, but were repulsed, suffering losses, he said.

They then set up a defensive line to box in the Russians as they crossed their pontoon bridge, and rained down artillery fire on the area. They also set about destroying the bridge by placing floating mines upstream, allowing the current to carry them to the Russians’ pontoons, which proved an effective tactic. The Ukrainian forces blew up four separate bridges at the crossing site.

The Russians hastily laid new pontoons and sent armored vehicles across, Colonel Kashchenko said, but they were unable to break through the Ukrainian defensive line. Dozens of armored vehicles and infantry soldiers became trapped and were mauled by Ukrainian artillery. The Ukrainians also hit Russian troops involved in the bridge work on the far shore.

The bombardment included some of the first barrages from a newly arrived American artillery gun, the M777, Colonel Kashchenko said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/worl ... onbas.html
I'm not an expert but would have thought that floating mines would have been an obvious approach to try to counter with nets or something similar
On the one hand, yes, and torpedo nets were used to protect dams and so on historically, hence the need for the bouncing bomb rather than just using torpedoes.

On the other hand, the Siverskyi Donets is something like eighty metres at its narrowest point in that area. That's a lot of net to be installing while trying to conduct a bridging operation under artillery fire.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri May 27, 2022 9:36 am

So now multiple sources are saying the US is considering M270 and/or HIMARS. They need to get on with it, sooner rather than later.

The reason these systems are so important is range and accuracy. With M30 and M31 rockets, they can accurately hit Russian artillery, logistics centres, command posts and so on while outranging more or less anything the Russians have short of ballistic/cruise missiles.

And if the US were to send the compatible MGM-140, which takes up an entire pod that would otherwise hold half a dozen rockets on its own, it would give Ukraine the chance to strike out to three hundred kilometres with greater accuracy than their existing - and limited - stocks of Tochka-Us. Escalation concerns for MGM-140s are more valid than for most weapons, but they can be sent as a separate tranche of aid, after M270/HIMARS fail to cause WWIII, and they could be supplied subject to conditions, eg not using them against territory internationally recognised as Russian, or they could even be sent on a mission by mission basis.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri May 27, 2022 11:49 am

Johnson's saying to send MLRS too. Well, we've got M270 MLRS in the UK. We can send some. We've done a good job in promising military aid, but quite a lot of promised kit doesn't seem to have shown up yet*. Promising kit is good, because it puts pressure on other countries to keep up, but Britain can deliver some M270s without waiting on other nations.


*With the obvious caveat that Brimstone and Martlet were in theatre before they were announced as being delivered, but the counterpoint that armoured vehicles are obvious things that are easily noticed. It is quite possible that the vehicles needed reconditioning before being sent, of course.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Fri May 27, 2022 12:21 pm

For reasons I don't understand the HIMAR's is about 2x unit cost of MLRS... I figured the tracked MLRS would be the more expensive of the two.

How are Russian air defenses performing? Could / Should the Ukrainian Airforce be doing more? Could some longer range weapon systems be deployed to take our Russian AA such that Ukrainian planes can inflict damage on Russian supplies and positions?
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri May 27, 2022 12:42 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 12:21 pm
For reasons I don't understand the HIMAR's is about 2x unit cost of MLRS... I figured the tracked MLRS would be the more expensive of the two.

How are Russian air defenses performing? Could / Should the Ukrainian Airforce be doing more? Could some longer range weapon systems be deployed to take our Russian AA such that Ukrainian planes can inflict damage on Russian supplies and positions?
HIMARS appears to be a fairly typical example of a western project wanting all the bells and whistles, coupled with a desire to keep things very light for air transport, that can substantially to the cost of heavy weapons, eg the extensive use of titanium on the M777. In HIMARS case, the windows are made from sapphire. That said, is the cost difference definitely the case, or is it just that M270s were procured in the 80s and HIMARS is much more modern, as inflation would be a factor there.

Both Russia and Ukraine make heavier use of SAMs than western nations, that prefer to rely more on fighter jets. Destroying Russian SAMs would I'm sure be very helpful to Ukraine, but the problem is the buggers are mobile. There has been at least one example of a Russian Buk getting schwacked after a drone spotted the smoke trail of its missile launch, and Ukraine's Bayraktars seem to have spent a lot of the early part of the war hunting Buks and Pantsirs.

Anti-Radiation missiles would help, as it would at least force them to turn their radars off, but I don't know off the top of my head if there's anything suitable that's ground launched, or that could be fitted to a Ukrainian aircraft.

One of the many reasons to equip Ukraine with western aircraft is that they could then also be equipped with western air to surface missiles and guided bombs. I suspect trying to integrate a weapon like HARM onto a MiG-29 or Su-24/25/27 would be a significant challenge.

This isn't something Britain can really help with, though, as the RAF hasn't had any anti-radiation missiles for the better part of a decade, so f.ck knows what happens if they need to do any SEAD. Yet another capability gap allowed to develop by penny-pinching tories, after it was decided not to integrate ALARM onto Typhoons.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri May 27, 2022 4:16 pm

the experience of Lapko and his group of volunteers offers a rare and more realistic portrait of the conflict and Ukraine’s struggle to halt the Russian advance in parts of Donbas. Ukraine, like Russia, has provided scant information about deaths, injuries or losses of military equipment. But after three months of war, this company of 120 men is down to 54 because of deaths, injuries and desertions.
The volunteers were civilians before Russia invaded on Feb. 24, and they never expected to be dispatched to one of the most dangerous front lines in eastern Ukraine. They quickly found themselves in the crosshairs of war, feeling abandoned by their military superiors and struggling to survive.
“Our command takes no responsibility,” Lapko said. “They only take credit for our achievements. They give us no support.”

When they could take it no longer, Lapko and his top lieutenant, Vitaliy Khrus, retreated with members of their company this week to a hotel away from the front. There, both men spoke to The Washington Post on the record, knowing they could face a court-martial and time in military prison.

[…]

Lapko and Khrus’s concerns were echoed recently by a platoon of the 115th Brigade 3rd Battalion, based nearby in the besieged city of Severodonetsk. In a video uploaded to Telegram on May 24, and confirmed as authentic by an aide to Haidai, volunteers said they will no longer fight because they lacked proper weapons, rear support and military leadership.

“We are being sent to certain death,” said a volunteer, reading from a prepared script, adding that a similar video was filmed by members of the 115th Brigade 1st Battalion. “We are not alone like this, we are many.”

[…]

Lapko, built like a wrestler, was made a company commander in the 5th Separate Rifle Battalion, in charge of 120 men. The similarly burly Khrus became a platoon commander under Lapko. All of their comrades were from western Ukraine. They were handed AK-47 rifles and given training that lasted less than a half-hour.
“We shot 30 bullets and then they said, ‘You can’t get more; too expensive,’ ” Lapko said.
They were given orders to head to the western city of Lviv. When they got there, they were ordered to go south and then east into Luhansk province in Donbas, portions of which were already under the control of Moscow-backed separatists and are now occupied by Russian forces. A couple dozen of his men refused to fight, Lapko said, and they were imprisoned.

[…]

The ones who stayed were based in the town of Lysychansk. From there, they were dispatched to Toshkivka, a front-line village bordering the separatist areas where the Russian forces were trying to advance. They were surprised when they got the orders.

“When we were coming here, we were told that we were going to be in the third line on defense,” Lapko said. “Instead, we came to the zero line, the front line. We didn’t know where we were going.”

The area has become a focal point of the war, as Moscow concentrates its military might on capturing the region. The city of Severodonetsk, near Lysychansk, is surrounded on three sides by Russian forces. Over the weekend, they destroyed one of three bridges into the city, and they are constantly shelling the other two. Ukrainian troops inside Severodonetsk are fighting to prevent the Russians from completely encircling the city.

That’s also the mission of Lapko’s men. If Toshkivka falls, the Russians can advance north toward Lysychansk and completely surround Severodonetsk. That would also allow them to go after larger cities in the region.

When the volunteers first arrived, their rotations in and out of Toshkivka lasted three or four days. As the war intensified, they stayed for a week minimum, sometimes two. “Food gets delivered every day except for when there are shellings or the situation is bad,” Khrus said.
And in recent weeks, he said, the situation has gotten much worse. When their supply chains were cut off for two days by the bombardment, the men were forced to make do with a potato a day.

They spend most days and nights in trenches dug into the forest on the edges of Toshkivka or inside the basements of abandoned houses. “They have no water, nothing there,” Lapko said. “Only water that I bring them every other day.”

It’s a miracle the Russians haven’t pushed through their defensive line in Toshkivka, Khrus said as Lapko nodded. Besides their rifles and hand grenades, the only weapons they were given were a handful of rocket-propelled grenades to counter the well-equipped Russian forces. And no one showed Lapko’s men how to use the RPGs.
“We had no proper training,” Lapko said.
“It’s around four RPGs for 15 men,” Khrus said, shaking his head.

The Russians, he said, are deploying tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, Grad rockets and other forms of artillery — when they try to penetrate the forest with ground troops or infantry vehicles, they can easily get close enough “to kill.”

“The situation is controllable but difficult,” Khrus said. “And when the heavy weapons are against us, we don’t have anything to work with. We are helpless.”

Behind their positions, Ukrainian forces have tanks, artillery and mortars to back Lapko’s men and other units along the front. But when the tanks or mortars are fired, the Russians respond with Grad rockets, often in areas where Lapko’s men are taking cover. In some cases, his troops have found themselves with no artillery support.
This is, in part, because Lapko has not been provided a radio, he said. So there’s no contact with his superiors in Lysychansk, preventing him from calling for help.
The men accuse the Russians of using phosphorous bombs, incendiary weapons that are banned by international law if used against civilians.
“It explodes at 30 to 50 meters high and goes down slowly and burns everything,” Khrus said.
“Do you know what we have against phosphorous?” Lapko asked. “A glass of water, a piece of cloth to cover your mouth with!”
Both Lapko and Khrus expect to die at the front. That is why Lapko carries a pistol.
“It’s just a toy against them, but I have it so that if they take me I will shoot myself,” he said.
Survival
Despite the hardships, his men have fought courageously, Lapko said. Pointing at Khrus, he declared: “This guy here is a legend, a hero.” Khrus and his platoon, his commander said, have killed more than 50 Russian soldiers in close-up battles.
In a recent clash, he said, his men attacked two Russian armored vehicles carrying about 30 soldiers, ambushing them with grenades and guns.
“Their mistake was not to come behind us,” Lapko said. “If they would have done that, I wouldn’t be talking to you here now.”
Lapko has recommended 12 of his men for medals of valor, including two posthumously.
The war has taken a heavy toll on his company — as well as on other Ukrainian forces in the area. Two of his men were killed, among 20 fatalities in the battalion as a whole, and “many are wounded and in recovery now,” he said.
Then there are those who are traumatized and have not returned.
“Many got shell shock. I don’t know how to count them,” Lapko said.
The casualties here are largely kept secret to protect morale among troops and the general public.

[…]

Most deaths, he added, were because injured soldiers were not evacuated quickly enough, often waiting as long as 12 hours for transport to a military hospital in Lysychansk, 15 miles away. Sometimes, the men have to carry an injured soldier on a stretcher as far as two miles on foot to find a vehicle, Lapko said. Two vehicles assigned to his company never arrived, he said, and are being used instead by people at military headquarters.

“If I had a car and was told that my comrade is wounded somewhere, I’d come anytime and get him,” said Lapko, who used his own beat-up car to travel from Lysychansk to the hotel. “But I don’t have the necessary transport to get there.”

Lapko and his men have grown increasingly frustrated and disillusioned with their superiors. His request for the awards has not been approved. His battalion commander demanded that he send 20 of his soldiers to another front line, which meant that he couldn’t rotate his men out from Toshkivka. He refused the order.

The final affront arrived last week when he arrived at military headquarters in Lysychansk after two weeks in Toshkivka. His battalion commander and team had moved to another town without informing him, he said, taking food, water and other supplies.

“They left us with no explanation,” Lapko said. “I think we were sent here to close a gap and no one cares if we live or die.”

So he, Khrus and several members of their company drove the 60 miles to Druzhkivka to stay in a hotel for a few days. “My guys wanted to wash themselves for the first time in a month,” Lapko said. “You know, hygiene! We don’t have it. We sleep in basements, on mattresses with rats running around.”

He and his men insisted that they want to return to the front.
“We’re ready to fight and we will keep on fighting,” Lapko said. “We will protect every meter of our country — but with adequate commandments and without unrealistic orders. I took an oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people. We’re protecting Ukraine and we won’t let anyone in as long as we’re alive.”

But on Monday, Ukraine’s military security services arrived at the hotel and took Khrus and other members of his platoon to a detention center for two days, accusing them of desertion. Lapko was stripped of his command, according to an order reviewed by The Post. He is being held at the base in Lysychansk, his future uncertain.

Reached by phone Wednesday, he said two more of his men had been wounded on the front line.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... rodonetsk/

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri May 27, 2022 7:37 pm

“The Russians have unlimited ammunition, and so they fire anywhere they please,” Oleh said. “We only strike at confirmed targets, when we obtain precise coordinates, either by drones or through reconnaissance.”

[…]

The soldiers are equipped with Western and Ukrainian-made antitank weapons including Javelin and Stugna missiles. They can also call in long-range artillery and Bayraktar TB2 drones, soldiers said. Unlike in the early days, Russian aircraft—other than the Orlan reconnaissance drones that frequently buzz over the village—rarely fly above Ukrainian positions because several had been shot down in the area, the soldiers said.

“We are not a passive victim hiding in a burrow and just waiting for the enemy to come and get us. We carry out offensive operations and try to destroy the enemy, during the day and during the night,” said the outpost’s commander, Semen. “It’s a very complicated game. As we choose their vulnerable points and hit them, the intensity of their operations has decreased. They don’t have enough men, they don’t have the morale, and they keep losing the armor that they cannot replace. It’s hard for them. They are not idiots and they don’t want to die, either.”

[…]

The Carpathian Sich, a volunteer battalion that emerged after Russian proxies seized parts of Donbas in 2014, came together once again after Russia invaded on Feb. 24, joining the defense of the town of Irpin on the western outskirts of Kyiv. In early April, the unit was quickly moved from Kyiv to stand in the way of Russian troops rolling from Izyum. Most of the battalion’s members aren’t full-time soldiers.

[…]

They have learned and no longer drive in the big columns that can be hit in bulk. They are much more careful than they used to be, and now operate in small groups,' said Rusyn, the deputy battalion commander." The T-80 tanks on this front have sophisticated French optics and thermal-vision systems, unlike the T-72s that make up the backbone of the Russian tank forces, he said.

The battalion suffered significant casualties when it first deployed here, but the situation has improved in recent weeks, Mr. Jurass said.

“At first, it was pretty much tanks against assault rifles. It’s a big deal to overcome your fear when you understand the difference between your and your enemy’s capabilities, and still hold the line,” the Latvian fighter said, his words drowned by the bangs of explosions above the ground. “Now, it’s like day and night. Reinforcements are coming left and right. The Western weapons are doing their job. Morale rises once you realize your own strength.”
https://www.wsj.com/articles/between-th ... 1653396646

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Sat May 28, 2022 10:42 am

Bit of a mixed bag of opinions there... but then front lines are not homogeneous...
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Sat May 28, 2022 10:43 am

TopBadger wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 10:42 am
Bit of a mixed bag of opinions there... but then front lines are not homogeneous...
And Russia has to hold territory with a population that overthrew a Russian puppet less than a decade ago.

Whilst there is a viable conventional force opposing it. And where sanctions are having an impact
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Sat May 28, 2022 2:34 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 10:42 am
Bit of a mixed bag of opinions there... but then front lines are not homogeneous...
The first article is from what is basically a territorial defence unit. Men called up immediately after the invasion who lacked recent training (or any training). We shouldn't be surprised that Ukraine is experiencing logistical and organizational problems as its attempted to massively expand its army in a very short space of time. One issue is that soldiers willingness to accept very difficult conditions may well decrease over the months, especially if they perceive that they're not being fully supported. Ukraine has lost territory in the Donbas over the past weeks, and so we should look for reasons why.

The second article was about a recon unit which is fulfilling a role that would be played by special forces in a western armed force. The unit operates alone and autonomously, and unsurprisingly is much better equipped. I assume that they probably had much better training before the war started.

We should be aware that most of what we see on social media was shot by the second type of unit. But the great majority of Ukrainian soldiers will be playing roles like the first - hastily called up, and defending a portion of the front line.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sat May 28, 2022 4:06 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 2:34 pm
TopBadger wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 10:42 am
Bit of a mixed bag of opinions there... but then front lines are not homogeneous...
The first article is from what is basically a territorial defence unit. Men called up immediately after the invasion who lacked recent training (or any training). We shouldn't be surprised that Ukraine is experiencing logistical and organizational problems as its attempted to massively expand its army in a very short space of time. One issue is that soldiers willingness to accept very difficult conditions may well decrease over the months, especially if they perceive that they're not being fully supported. Ukraine has lost territory in the Donbas over the past weeks, and so we should look for reasons why.
There are several reasons that immediately spring to mind for why things are different in the Donbas to how they were around Kyiv, Sumy and Chernihiv. The first is length of supply lines - the same quantity of trucks can move twice as much from the railhead if the journey is half as long - and security of supply lines. Russia is fighting very close to areas they first occupied eight years ago, it is much, much easier for them logistically than fighting on the outskirts of Kyiv. Notably, in the first phase of this current campaign, when the Russians advanced down the western side of the Oskil river to attack through Izium, their attack quickly stalled, and Ukraine was able to shell their supply lines north of Izium, but this isn't so possible with the attack from Popasna.

Secondly, the terrain is quite different. The Russians hold Popasna, which is on high ground overlooking the valleys of rivers that flow to join the Siverskyi Donets, and the ground is much less forested. That means the Russians have the ability to more easily observe the Ukrainian positions in the valleys, and there is much less cover for infantry to use to get into the range to use the weapons they used north of Kyiv - NLAWs, Javelins, Stugna-Ps, small drones and anti-materiel rifles.

Put together, these factors mean the Russians are much better able to concentrate their artillery. They are advancing because they are able to concentrate enough firepower to render Ukrainian positions untenable, at which point the Ukrainians are forced to retreat to save their troops. It is a slow and logistically demanding way to advance, more reminiscent of late WWI than anything else, but when the logistics are there to support it and there is insufficient counter-battery fire to prevent it, it works. There's footage doing the rounds of the impact of a TOS-1 bombardment. The rockets that things fires are exceptionally powerful, but short ranged. If Ukraine had sufficient artillery or airpower, the TOS-1 wouldn't be able to operate.

This is not to discount the factors of morale and exhaustion. If at all possible, Ukraine should be trying to rotate which units are on the line as much as possible. It is also worth noting the Ukrainian military is not free of the top-down, bureaucratic type of organisation it inherited from the Soviet Union, though it has improved.
The second article was about a recon unit which is fulfilling a role that would be played by special forces in a western armed force. The unit operates alone and autonomously, and unsurprisingly is much better equipped. I assume that they probably had much better training before the war started.

We should be aware that most of what we see on social media was shot by the second type of unit. But the great majority of Ukrainian soldiers will be playing roles like the first - hastily called up, and defending a portion of the front line.
Yes, one contrast between the two units is how well equipped they are. Ukraine has a lot of willing volunteers, but they need the arms to equip them with, and rifles and a few RPGs are not sufficient. Infantry need support from artillery, and to retake ground they need tanks and IFVs, and ideally, aircraft. This is why it is important western aid is delivered as quickly and in as great a quantity as possible, and why dithering and trying to slow aid down, as Scholz appears to be doing, is so dangerous. This is a full scale war, and the only morally acceptable outcome is a Russian defeat. It is far more dangerous to send too little than too much aid, if there even is such a thing as too much right now.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sun May 29, 2022 12:45 pm

The Polish "Krab" SPG is one of the more advanced ones in the world, combining the hull of the K9 Thunder with the turret of the AS-90, and a 52-Calibre 155mm Gun*. It outranges all Russian gun artillery except the rare 203mm pieces, and has the sort of fire control systems expected of a system introduced less than a decade ago.

Poland's sent a dozen and a half of them to Ukraine.

Along with the CAESARs and PzH2000s that have been promised, and reports of M109s, Ukraine is getting access to modern and effective self-propelled artillery, which will address the current imbalance in long range firepower that enable the Russians to blow a hole through the line at Popasna (but not, as of writing, substantially exploit that hole).

It's not clear how quickly all these systems are arriving. The CAESARs are already in service, though. One issue causing delays is training, and another is integration. The CAESARs have apparently been modified to suit Ukraine's battle management system, and the reports of M109s talk about modifications, too.



*Artillery barrel length is usually measured in calibres - ie multiples of the bore diameter. The longer the barrel, relative to the bore diameter, the higher the velocity that can be achieved and the longer the range.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Mon May 30, 2022 2:27 am

Suggestion that some of the T-62s are to be used as stationary dug in firing positions. If so they’d be vulnerable to drones (and artillery): https://twitter.com/chriso_wiki/status/ ... 1AYZHiLKag

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Mon May 30, 2022 6:28 am

From one of the comments on Perun's video on the impact of corruption on militaries (nothing really surprising but well presented (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9i47sgi-V4)

A Finnish intelligence colonel (rtd) giving a lecture in 2018 (in Finnish but with English subtitles) on his take why Russia goes about things differently to the West, discussing "strategic culture"

https://youtu.be/kF9KretXqJw
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Mon May 30, 2022 7:52 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon May 30, 2022 2:27 am
Suggestion that some of the T-62s are to be used as stationary dug in firing positions. If so they’d be vulnerable to drones (and artillery): https://twitter.com/chriso_wiki/status/ ... 1AYZHiLKag
Related to that and part of a thread explaining why he thinks Russia might be running out of vehicles and tanks

https://twitter.com/PhillipsPOBrien/sta ... aaHnaZZrKw
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That you would assault a city before surrounding it, starving its defenders of supplies and even bombarding it more is a sign that they believe that they cant do this. My guess is that they cant do this as they dont have the vehicles to encircle the town soon.
9:29 AM · May 29, 2022·Twitter Web App
If you don't envision resistance, then a direct assault on a city might be part of the plan. But that's definitely not the case
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Mon May 30, 2022 7:52 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 4:06 pm

There are several reasons that immediately spring to mind for why things are different in the Donbas to how they were around Kyiv, Sumy and Chernihiv. The first is length of supply lines - the same quantity of trucks can move twice as much from the railhead if the journey is half as long - and security of supply lines. Russia is fighting very close to areas they first occupied eight years ago, it is much, much easier for them logistically than fighting on the outskirts of Kyiv. Notably, in the first phase of this current campaign, when the Russians advanced down the western side of the Oskil river to attack through Izium, their attack quickly stalled, and Ukraine was able to shell their supply lines north of Izium, but this isn't so possible with the attack from Popasna.

Secondly, the terrain is quite different. The Russians hold Popasna, which is on high ground overlooking the valleys of rivers that flow to join the Siverskyi Donets, and the ground is much less forested. That means the Russians have the ability to more easily observe the Ukrainian positions in the valleys, and there is much less cover for infantry to use to get into the range to use the weapons they used north of Kyiv - NLAWs, Javelins, Stugna-Ps, small drones and anti-materiel rifles.

Put together, these factors mean the Russians are much better able to concentrate their artillery. They are advancing because they are able to concentrate enough firepower to render Ukrainian positions untenable, at which point the Ukrainians are forced to retreat to save their troops. It is a slow and logistically demanding way to advance, more reminiscent of late WWI than anything else, but when the logistics are there to support it and there is insufficient counter-battery fire to prevent it, it works. There's footage doing the rounds of the impact of a TOS-1 bombardment. The rockets that things fires are exceptionally powerful, but short ranged. If Ukraine had sufficient artillery or airpower, the TOS-1 wouldn't be able to operate.

This is not to discount the factors of morale and exhaustion. If at all possible, Ukraine should be trying to rotate which units are on the line as much as possible. It is also worth noting the Ukrainian military is not free of the top-down, bureaucratic type of organisation it inherited from the Soviet Union, though it has improved.
I agree, and I think that concentration of forces may be the most important aspect. The bad news for Russia is that they are able to make pretty slow incremental progress in one area as a result of removing all or much of their best forces from the rest of the theater. The bad news for Ukraine appears to be that after defeating Russian attempts to advance from Izium they weren't able to adequately defend Popasna.

Suggests that both may be nearing temporary exhaustion in which they'll need to pause before making more attacks. That will probably benefit Ukraine in the long run so long as it keeps on receiving aid from abroad.
EACLucifer wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 4:06 pm

Yes, one contrast between the two units is how well equipped they are. Ukraine has a lot of willing volunteers, but they need the arms to equip them with, and rifles and a few RPGs are not sufficient. Infantry need support from artillery, and to retake ground they need tanks and IFVs, and ideally, aircraft. This is why it is important western aid is delivered as quickly and in as great a quantity as possible, and why dithering and trying to slow aid down, as Scholz appears to be doing, is so dangerous. This is a full scale war, and the only morally acceptable outcome is a Russian defeat. It is far more dangerous to send too little than too much aid, if there even is such a thing as too much right now.
There's other reports of Ukranian units lacking basic things like secure radios.

Hitherto, the aid has been designed to prevent Ukraine losing. Pretty soon there needs to be a shift toward helping it to recapture its territory from Russia. A historical analogy may be Operation Storm launched by Croatia in 1995. Though obviously Russia is a far different adversary and Ukraine isn't under embargo. But if we are looking at that as an example we'd be looking at a large static front line in the Donbas for a few years while Ukriane built up its capacity.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jun 01, 2022 5:11 am

Ukraine will not rush to de-occupy temporarily occupied territories if it requires tens of thousands of victims, but will wait for the necessary weapons, - President Zelenskyy
https://twitter.com/tpyxanews/status/15 ... lWI6vYXPKw

Looks like Ukraine will spend time to build up its capacity.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by dyqik » Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:38 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2022 5:11 am
Ukraine will not rush to de-occupy temporarily occupied territories if it requires tens of thousands of victims, but will wait for the necessary weapons, - President Zelenskyy
https://twitter.com/tpyxanews/status/15 ... lWI6vYXPKw

Looks like Ukraine will spend time to build up its capacity.
That's also probably pressure on Western countries - saying that if you want the war to be over soon so you can soften relations with Russia, you need to get heavy equipment to us sooner.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Wed Jun 01, 2022 7:34 pm

HiMARS are going to be delivered. https://twitter.com/W7VOA/status/153204 ... yS2BnABl8A

Apparently a 3 week training period. They are going to get the forward deployed ones already in Europe, possibly pre-positioned to give to Ukraine.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:04 pm

Would We Do Better? Hubris and Validation in Ukraine
https://warontherocks.com/2022/05/would ... n-ukraine/

Don't agree with it all, but an interesting essay.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:12 pm

A somewhat odd essay with a bunch of points I disagree with (but I was only ever a part time private, never made it to colonel, so what do I know).

The Ukrainians changed training and command under NATO guidance to be more like “us”. They managed to defeat the Russians in the north and north east using mobile tactics with a command structure that delegated downwards, even if they couldn’t fully use combined arms and it was still a bit soviet at the top of the command. So in a sense “we” did beat the Russians. As for his picking on the river crossing that went wrong, in all likely hood “we” wouldn’t have tried it as we’d have better intelligence and seen it was strongly opposed.

re: the Nazis having their arses handed to them by the Russians, yes the Germans were tactically much more able, but Barbarossa was ultimately a massive logistical failure and was doomed from the start, before you even factor in Hitler’s operational and strategic stupidities. If it’s one things the Americans can do really bl..dy well, it’s logistics.

The section of force protection was interesting and I thought along those lines before. If force protection is your primary goal, why bother sending your forces into theatre in the first place.

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