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  #91  
Old 03-09-2022, 09:39 PM
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This story's been a rollercoaster from the start. The Pentagon has apparently shot down Poland's plan for a third-party transfer of its MiG-29s to Ukraine.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...29s-to-ukraine

I'm not sure how much good two dozen MiGs would have done the UAF, militarily speaking, but it would have signaled the strength of NATO's support for Ukraine, and likely boosted morale there.

CNN reports that the White House has suggested that Putin might be prepared to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine. It's not clear what evidence this warning is based on, other than some unsupported allegations Putin supposedly made that the US was developing bio-weapons in Ukraine. To be fair, he has a well-established pattern of accusing his opponents, falsely, of things that he's about to do himself. Frankly, I don't see Russian use of chemical or biological weapons at this point in the war as likely, but I certainly wouldn't put it past Putin. He's seen Assad get away with it in Syria, and remain in power, so perhaps he's calculated that he can get away with it too. Considering the intensifying economic sanctions against Russia, he might believe he has nothing more to lose.

Finally, I've been a Sebastian Junger fan since A Perfect Storm. His book, War, which follows a platoon of the 173rd ABCT during its deployment in the Korengal Valley is a powerful portrait of men at war (the companion documentary film, Restrepo, is very good too). He recently penned a brief essay for Vanity Fair in which he asserts that Ukraine can win this war because has the three things that an underdog needs in order to defeat a more powerful foreign aggressor.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022...ssian-military

Slava Ukraini!

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Last edited by Raellus; 03-09-2022 at 09:56 PM.
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  #92  
Old 03-11-2022, 10:53 AM
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Putin directed the Russian military to employ 16000 "volunteers" from the Middle East (Syria). This underscores that the Russian army has poor training/morale/leadership and is unprepared for urban combat operations, not to mention that the national leadership is casualty adverse. Vlad: Go Home.
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  #93  
Old 03-11-2022, 04:26 PM
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Default Reviewing Russias Airwar Failure

Here is a pretty good review by Sandboxx on the Russian Air war...

https://youtu.be/eXFDc-44YeE
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  #94  
Old 03-11-2022, 04:45 PM
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Here is a pretty good review by Sandboxx on the Russian Air war...

https://youtu.be/eXFDc-44YeE
And there's this piece from last week on the capabilities (or lack thereof) displayed by the Russian Air Force.
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  #95  
Old 03-11-2022, 08:23 PM
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Putin claims that Ukraine gave Russia no choice. Invasion had to happen in order to protect the Russian state and citizens.

AFAIK, this is almost true. At least in a very cynical way.

Let me explain.

1. Russia is a petro-state. Its only real money-maker is pulling hydrocarbons out of the ground and selling the stuff to Europe.

2. A major Russian pipeline to Europe goes through Ukraine and the Ukrainians used to charge a large fee to allow this transit. So, the Russians stopped using it and have built new pipelines (and are trying to build even more). However, if Russian troops take control of this pipeline, Putin gets a much simpler/cheaper solution than building a NEW pipeline (Nordstream 2 will be eye-wateringly expensive)

3. MASSIVE oil and gas deposits have recently been discovered off the coast of Ukraine. If these were to be exploited... there would be no need for Europe to buy Russian oil. Russia would soon be bankrupt. However, Russia now has troops on most of the relevant shorelines...

4. Crimea gets 85% of its fresh water from one specific Ukrainian river. Or rather... it used to. Ukraine built a dam in revenge for the Russian takeover of Crimea. Crimea has water rationing - but its economy is being destroyed. However, Russian troops have now reached that dam...

5. Before the invasion, there was only one land-based link between Russia and Crimea. And that's a single bridge that could be easily destroyed. Of course, this is assuming that it doesn't fall down without anyone's help. (seismic activity and shoddy Russian construction are not a good combination). Russian troops have now linked Crimea with Mother Russia.

6. Putin is greedy but he's not stupid. It is quite possible that the Invasion was intended to protect the Russian hydrocarbon industry. So, if we're optimistic, it may be that Putin could be content with:
a) keeping Ukraine out of the oil and gas business,
b) seizing road and rail links to Crimea,
c) re-opening the old pipelines.

Anything else would be "nice to have" but those 3 things would protect the Russian economy and safeguard the vast wealth of Putin and the other kleptocratic Oligarchs. Oh, and the Russian citizens in Crimea (including sailors in one of the Russian Navy's two warmwater ports) wouldn't inconveniently die of thirst.

Last edited by Matt W; 03-11-2022 at 08:38 PM.
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  #96  
Old 03-11-2022, 09:49 PM
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I'd missed seeing this thread until today, so I'm catching up a bit and commenting on things that I think aren't duplicating anyone else's comments.

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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
Actually, according to people in open source info forums, they apparently used one or both of the armored trains in Grozny too. I heard they are often used to haul Thermobaric missiles as well as larger artillery "stores" like 140mm rocket reloads. I guess they were a much-needed resource there during the siege of Grozny. Of course, Chechnya has rail lines to Russia so they were able to move in by rail. Ukraine severed her rail lines before the invasion started. That might have thrown the Russians off their game a bit too.
The two armored trains were both used in Grozny, and at least one was used in Georgia as well. Amur and Baikal may have been activated because of drone strikes on conventional rail transport; since Russian logistics are more rail-dependent than many other countries, the armored trains might have been called up because of their anti-air artillery and protection against light weaponry. The imagery I've seen is pretty grainy, but it looks like the electronic warfare cars have been removed from the trains, and they have just the locomotives, anti-air cars, and flatbeds for transport. That's a lot simpler and more cargo-oriented than the earlier configurations that included jammer cars and passenger cars for desantniki.

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That Russian ship was sunk off of Crimea. Open Source Intelligence posted a Google satellite photo of it.
And apparently it was sunk by a truck. A BM-21 Grad was pre-ranged on a set of coordinates and a pair of speedboats lured the Vasily Bykov onto those coordinates.


One thing I've noticed with the armor in particular is that Russia's including some seriously old equipment in the invasion. There have been some T-90A, but also T-72A and T-72B, and no signs that I've seen of T-72B3M or T-90M - they're sending tanks with no ERA or with Kontakt-1 or Kontakt-5, but nothing that would be equipped with Relikt. I'm not sure what that means (if anything), but it struck me as odd.
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  #97  
Old 03-12-2022, 05:02 AM
CraigD6er CraigD6er is offline
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Whilst I like armoured trains, I wonder if these may prove vulnerable in a country that has by no means been pacified?

I too wondered at the lack of much modern kit in the Russian front line. We see a lot of light vehicles, Tigr's etc, and slightly older MBT's. I wonder if the better kit is being held back. Let the Ukrainians use up their stocks of ATGW's on the older kit and even on some conscripts 'accidentally' deployed forward, then roll in with the better units once the defenders are worn down. Of course that falls apart when the west, and even neutral nations, keep topping up the defenders stocks with modern and it appears very effective weapons.
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  #98  
Old 03-12-2022, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bestbrian View Post
Putin directed the Russian military to employ 16000 "volunteers" from the Middle East (Syria). This underscores that the Russian army has poor training/morale/leadership and is unprepared for urban combat operations, not to mention that the national leadership is casualty adverse. Vlad: Go Home.
I'm beginning to think that Russia would lose a war against the PA, OH and/or WV National Guard(s)
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  #99  
Old 03-12-2022, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigD6er View Post
Whilst I like armoured trains, I wonder if these may prove vulnerable in a country that has by no means been pacified?

I too wondered at the lack of much modern kit in the Russian front line. We see a lot of light vehicles, Tigr's etc, and slightly older MBT's. I wonder if the better kit is being held back. Let the Ukrainians use up their stocks of ATGW's on the older kit and even on some conscripts 'accidentally' deployed forward, then roll in with the better units once the defenders are worn down. Of course that falls apart when the west, and even neutral nations, keep topping up the defenders stocks with modern and it appears very effective weapons.
They ARE using the modern stuff with veteran troops in the South and West and those guys are doing moderately well. The issue is that even the newest Russian equipment is underperforming. Combine that with Russia's apparent lack of C3, and you have a recipe for disaster. Modern SU fighters are being shot down because Russia appears to be afraid to put their AWACS in the air (they are sitting in Belarus right now) forcing those fighters to fly low in order to acquire targets. Putin may also be holding back his best equipment in case of a NATO intervention but I think what we are seeing is the ACTUAL PERFORMANCE of the Russian army on whole.

In the 80s and 90s, we (the US Army) were tasked with being able to "Shoot, Move, & Communicate simultaneously" on demand. It took us MANY years of training to figure that third ability out. Russia seems to be still operating on a Cold War standard. I guess something had to give in the budget and new tanks and jets can be sold abroad. We now know that Kontakt and Relikt and SHORTA systems are completely WORTHLESS against NATO missiles and that many units are equipped with reactive armor "bags" or panels stuffed with egg crates or foam (indicating a budgetary issue). The cage armor (developed in the 2nd Chechen War) is useless against JAVELIN and Ukrainian fighters have flown explosive-laden drones right under the cage into the commander's hatch cover (which causes the tank to "pop its top").

In addition, Ukraine has not only utilized the intelligence they are getting from open Russian comms, but they are also concentrating their attacks on the Russian convoys, destroying Russian resupply. A Russian tank without fuel is just a target. We may also be seeing a STRATEGIC LOGISTICS issue. Airliners landing at Moscow airport are being denied jet fuel. Cars, trucks, and buses are being requisitioned. This speaks to Russia not having enough logistics left to keep a fully functioning army on the move. BUT... this is just "phase I" of the operation. The coming "counter-insurgency operation" in Ukraine will have to be massive. I wonder what Putin is thinking now? Will we see his "shirt allergy" reemerge as he tries to play tough?

Anyways LASER PIG the YouTuber has a funny video on Ukraine right now. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/ZPBU_MX1fYE

Swag

Last edited by swaghauler; 03-12-2022 at 03:27 PM.
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  #100  
Old 03-12-2022, 03:25 PM
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I'm beginning to think that Russia would lose a war against the PA, OH and/or WV National Guard(s)
I think so too. I ran training ranges with the 99th ARCOM and those boys can shoot. Hell, in PA, the first day of buck season is a school holiday. It is said that there are 2 MILLION hunters in the woods on the opening day of deer season. In addition, most of those Reserve and NG units have worked together for YEARS! They are NOT a bunch of conscripts with a year's experience or training.

Also, many Reserve units have members that do the same jobs in the civilian world (ie Transport units with CDL truckers in them, Medical units populated by nurses and X-ray techs, Construction units with welders, ironworkers, etc... in them). This gives US reserve units a knowledge base that they would never receive from straight military service.
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  #101  
Old 03-12-2022, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
They ARE using the modern stuff with veteran troops in the South and West and those guys are doing moderately well. The issue is that even the newest Russian equipment is underperforming. Combine that with Russia's apparent lack of C3, and you have a recipe for disaster. Modern SU fighters are being shot down because Russia appears to be afraid to put their AWACS in the air (they are sitting in Belarus right now) forcing those fighters to fly low in order to acquire targets. Putin may also be holding back his best equipment in case of a NATO intervention but I think what we are seeing is the ACTUAL PERFORMANCE of the Russian army on whole.
Playing devil's advocate, Russia only has something like 6 AWACS-equivalents, so they're far more valuable than the Sukhoi aircraft; on the other hand, if this isn't when you're going to risk them to make your air forces more effective, then when?

Quote:
In the 80s and 90s, we (the US Army) were tasked with being able to "Shoot, Move, & Communicate simultaneously" on demand. It took us MANY years of training to figure that third ability out. Russia seems to be still operating on a Cold War standard. I guess something had to give in the budget and new tanks and jets can be sold abroad. We now know that Kontakt and Relikt and SHORTA systems are completely WORTHLESS against NATO missiles and that many units are equipped with reactive armor "bags" or panels stuffed with egg crates or foam (indicating a budgetary issue). The cage armor (developed in the 2nd Chechen War) is useless against JAVELIN and Ukrainian fighters have flown explosive-laden drones right under the cage into the commander's hatch cover (which causes the tank to "pop its top").
It looks like Kontakt might still be useful against older/lighter stuff - Kontakt-5 was surviving TOW hits in previous wars, and RPGs and (older) LAWs are probably still mostly ineffective. It's almost useless against top-attack missiles, though, and those are becoming more and more common.

I haven't seen any examples of Relikt in the conflict, but it's probably going to have similar issues with top-attack. Maybe they're being used in the south and I just haven't seen pictures of them, but so far the armor I've seen has either had Kontakt or no ERA.

I also haven't seen Arena (probably because it's incompatible with ERA), but Arena can't engage Javelin anyway because of its maximum elevation angle.

Shtora has been mostly useless for a while, and the cage armor does very little against tandem-charge warheads.

The bags and foam were explained to me as the holding system for an ERA application, which seems like an odd system to me, but I don't have direct experience with them. The number that are empty makes me agree that it looks like a budgetary issue (which really shouldn't be surprising - Russia's GDP is often somewhat less than that of the State of New York).

Quote:
In addition, Ukraine has not only utilized the intelligence they are getting from open Russian comms, but they are also concentrating their attacks on the Russian convoys, destroying Russian resupply. A Russian tank without fuel is just a target. We may also be seeing a STRATEGIC LOGISTICS issue. Airliners landing at Moscow airport are being denied jet fuel. Cars, trucks, and buses are being requisitioned. This speaks to Russia not having enough logistics left to keep a fully functioning army on the move. BUT... this is just "phase I" of the operation. The coming "counter-insurgency operation" in Ukraine will have to be massive. I wonder what Putin is thinking now? Will we see his "shirt allergy" reemerge as he tries to play tough?

Anyways LASER PIG the YouTuber has a funny video on Ukraine right now. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/ZPBU_MX1fYE

Swag
Road logistics has always been a shortcoming of the Russian system. One estimate I saw was that their road resupply range was only around 90 miles from their supply depot, and they were heavily reliant on rail.

As far as COIN goes, Russia just flat doesn't have the number of soldiers needed. To hold all of Ukraine, following the rule of thumb that you need approximately 1 counter-insurgent per 20 inhabitants, they'd need over 2.2 million soldiers to occupy Ukraine. Their entire active army is just over 1 million on paper, and only around 3 million including all their reserve forces. Even if they got assistance from secessionist forces in Donbas and whatever Syrian troops Assad wants somewhere far away from him, I don't think they can get anywhere near the needed numbers. They might be able to split the country and hold part of it, but even that would be difficult.
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  #102  
Old 03-13-2022, 11:49 AM
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I think so too. I ran training ranges with the 99th ARCOM and those boys can shoot. Hell, in PA, the first day of buck season is a school holiday. It is said that there are 2 MILLION hunters in the woods on the opening day of deer season. In addition, most of those Reserve and NG units have worked together for YEARS! They are NOT a bunch of conscripts with a year's experience or training.

Also, many Reserve units have members that do the same jobs in the civilian world (ie Transport units with CDL truckers in them, Medical units populated by nurses and X-ray techs, Construction units with welders, ironworkers, etc... in them). This gives US reserve units a knowledge base that they would never receive from straight military service.
99th ARCOM, you must be near Pittsburgh. I'm from there and still live somewhat close, 50 miles WSW of Pittsburgh in Ohio on the river in between Steubenville and Wheeling, WV. I remember one time I was behind a Deuce and a Half where a couple of folding tables fell out. I went on the street, picked them up and Mom and I drove to the command center. I went to the front door and got a Colonial, Captain and Sergeant help me take them into the building. They thanked me for returning the tables.
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  #103  
Old 03-13-2022, 02:31 PM
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It looks like Kontakt might still be useful against older/lighter stuff - Kontakt-5 was surviving TOW hits in previous wars, and RPGs and (older) LAWs are probably still mostly ineffective. It's almost useless against top-attack missiles, though, and those are becoming more and more common.
Even if NATO is just dumping old LAWs on Ukraine, their tactics of going after relatively soft trucks and APCs seem to be having great effect. Save the Javelins for tanks but target everything else with LAWs and guns. The front lines are burning supplies every minute so even just slowing resupply convoys is helpful for Ukraine.

For their firepower Russian forces seem to have a very steep loss of strength gradient. Their lack of air superiority means their power looks like it drops off pretty significantly from behind their front lines and well traveled corridors. They do not have a secure rear area inside Ukraine anywhere but the south.

So long as the Ukrainians can keep resupplied around and behind the Russian lines, Russian advances will be very expensive. Full occupation will be even more expensive.
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  #104  
Old 03-13-2022, 02:36 PM
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Default Economic Warefare: The Oligarchs Begin To Turn On Putin

It seems that the Russian Oligarchs are beginning to target Putin

https://youtu.be/QTQ4O4_a_Mo

Swag
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  #105  
Old 03-13-2022, 02:39 PM
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99th ARCOM, you must be near Pittsburgh. I'm from there and still live somewhat close, 50 miles WSW of Pittsburgh in Ohio on the river in between Steubenville and Wheeling, WV. I remember one time I was behind a Deuce and a Half where a couple of folding tables fell out. I went on the street, picked them up and Mom and I drove to the command center. I went to the front door and got a Colonial, Captain and Sergeant help me take them into the building. They thanked me for returning the tables.
I live 100 miles north of Pittsburgh and 40 miles south of the North Shore (Lake Erie). The 99th ARCOM stretches from southern New York down to northern West Virginia and was attached to the First Army.
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  #106  
Old 03-13-2022, 03:54 PM
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A panel discussion on the Operations In Ukraine by the Modern War Institute:

https://youtu.be/zXEvbVoDiU0

Swag
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  #107  
Old 03-13-2022, 06:06 PM
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The sad thing is, regardless of what happens, from a decades-long insurgency to a NATO intervention (I think a no-fly zone is going to happen, regardless of Biden's words to the contrary) -- the sad thing is that Ukraine is going to be a mass of rubble for decades, dependent on outside help.
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  #108  
Old 03-13-2022, 07:12 PM
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The sad thing is, regardless of what happens, from a decades-long insurgency to a NATO intervention (I think a no-fly zone is going to happen, regardless of Biden's words to the contrary) -- the sad thing is that Ukraine is going to be a mass of rubble for decades, dependent on outside help.
If Ukraine is admitted to the EU there will be a flood of recovery funds pouring in. It'll be a reconstruction bonanza. Nothing will bring back those killed and Russia's reputation will be in ruins for a decade or more, but if there's an intervention and the Russians are kicked out, there might be some good fortune in Ukraine's future.
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Old 03-13-2022, 08:31 PM
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Ukraine is already suggesting they get at least get a portion of the $400 billion in frozen Russian assets to rebuild.
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Old 03-14-2022, 10:13 AM
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Ukraine is already suggesting they get at least get a portion of the $400 billion in frozen Russian assets to rebuild.
That would be justice.
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Old 03-14-2022, 10:45 AM
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Russia denies it, but multiple outlets are reporting that Russia has approached China for spare aircraft parts. The U.S. has warned that any country trying to evade Russian sanctions will pay a price.

China is paying lip service to Russia, but notably is NOT propping up the Rubble in relation to the Yuan, and several Chinese companies have stopped doing business in Russia. There are whispers of Russia trying to get China to move on Taiwan to take pressure off the Ukrainian war.

A third Russian general in reported to have been KIA in Ukraine.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:37 PM
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Some Americans, including at least one former member of Congress are busy selling the Russian-led narrative that the U.S. has numerous secret bio-weapons labs in Ukraine. It is suspected by our intel community that Russia is using this narrative to cover their own planned use of bio-weapons, which they can then blame on 'breached' U.S. bio-labs.
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Old 03-16-2022, 12:07 PM
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Default Polish Connection

A video of Ukrainian soldiers being trained on how to operate Polish-donated RPG-76 Komar LAWs.

https://twitter.com/UAWeapons/status...16426783416320

Of all the LAWs, this one looks the sketchiest, but one would no doubt encounter it in a Poland-based T2k campaign.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG-76_Komar

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  #114  
Old 03-16-2022, 12:23 PM
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Some Americans, including at least one former member of Congress are busy selling the Russian-led narrative that the U.S. has numerous secret bio-weapons labs in Ukraine. It is suspected by our intel community that Russia is using this narrative to cover their own planned use of bio-weapons, which they can then blame on 'breached' U.S. bio-labs.
Putin needs to fabricate reasons for a larger war that he can sell at home. Remember, he denied that he was doing anything other than "exercises", and then invaded to "assist and protect" the two client states in the Donbas. That's not a good enough reason to explain a ruinously expensive and expansive invasion. Manufacturing fake WMD threats might be one way to try to sell this entirely unnecessary and ridiculous enterprise, and maybe gives him an accomplishment that allows him to declare victory and go home.
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Old 03-16-2022, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bestbrian View Post
Putin needs to fabricate reasons for a larger war that he can sell at home. Remember, he denied that he was doing anything other than "exercises", and then invaded to "assist and protect" the two client states in the Donbas. That's not a good enough reason to explain a ruinously expensive and expansive invasion. Manufacturing fake WMD threats might be one way to try to sell this entirely unnecessary and ridiculous enterprise, and maybe gives him an accomplishment that allows him to declare victory and go home.
Precisely. I hope that's his motive, rather than pre-justifying future use of Russian chemical or bio weapons against Ukrainian forces.

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  #116  
Old 03-16-2022, 07:55 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
A video of Ukrainian soldiers being trained on how to operate Polish-donated RPG-76 Komar LAWs.

https://twitter.com/UAWeapons/status...16426783416320

Of all the LAWs, this one looks the sketchiest, but one would no doubt encounter it in a Poland-based T2k campaign.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG-76_Komar

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It's not going to be do much of anything against a tank unless it gets really lucky and hits a vision block or something, but for APCs and minimally armored or unarmored vehicles (like all those logistics convoys), a light disposable single-shot rocket launcher that can be fired from enclosed areas isn't the worst thing to have.
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  #117  
Old 03-16-2022, 09:38 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
It's not going to be do much of anything against a tank unless it gets really lucky and hits a vision block or something, but for APCs and minimally armored or unarmored vehicles (like all those logistics convoys), a light disposable single-shot rocket launcher that can be fired from enclosed areas isn't the worst thing to have.
I agree. They serve a very valuable role as a "bunker buster" or light AFV killer.
That's why the 66mm LAW made a return to the battlefield in Afghanistan. It was a COMPACT (fits across a soldier's shoulders on top of a patrol or assault pack), LIGHTWEIGHT, and effective bunker buster.
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  #118  
Old 03-16-2022, 09:40 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Default The Russian Perspective

Cappy at Task & Purpose tries to get a look at the Russian perspective.

https://youtu.be/Igq2fqa7RY4

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  #119  
Old 03-17-2022, 05:17 PM
Bestbrian Bestbrian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
It's not going to be do much of anything against a tank unless it gets really lucky and hits a vision block or something, but for APCs and minimally armored or unarmored vehicles (like all those logistics convoys), a light disposable single-shot rocket launcher that can be fired from enclosed areas isn't the worst thing to have.
Looks like the Ukrainians are going after the Russian where they're weakest: soft-skinned vehicles (they never did have enough jeeps/trucks/tankers). Theses would be perfect against those targets.
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  #120  
Old 03-17-2022, 06:55 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Default Looks Like The US Switchblade Is Headed To Ukraine

The US-made "loitering munition" known as the switchblade, which was introduced to much controversy during the Arab Spring era is going to be headed to Ukraine. America's "slaughterbots" are autonomous and can be programmed with a type of facial recognition software that allows them to discriminate friendly vehicles from the enemy by flags, markings, and camo. They can also be manually flown to a target. These are designed as a "swarming munition."

https://youtu.be/h5TTaNpQuWI


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