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  #541  
Old 03-10-2023, 06:43 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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Yeah those production/refurbishment estimates are likely based on pre-war levels which means before sanctions came into play. While sanctions won't mean Russia can't build any tanks, they're just more likely to be more equivalent to export/older models than top of the line models.

As we've seen even their top of the line kit are vulnerable to ATGMs, drones, poor logistics, and shitty tactics. I haven't seen any evidence the Russian army has learned any lessons along those lines in the past year. Even if they can roll out 900 tanks a year it doesn't amount to much strategically if they're abandoned or destroyed a few miles past the Russian lines of control.
The joke is that the newly raised Russian troops are receiving twice as much training as the last round of troops.

2 days of training instead of 1 day.
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  #542  
Old 03-10-2023, 06:52 PM
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I've seen the figure of 20 new builds per month from one particular plant. A couple of other plants are "refurbishing" older models (like the T-62), and/or repairing battle-damaged tanks.

This recent piece gives some insight into Russian MBT production.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidax...h=27a19f812061

-
The "one particular plant" is Uralvagonzavod's plant in Nizhny Tagil. It also refurbishes around 8 tanks per month. Three other plants refurbish a total of around 17 tanks per month. One is Omsk Transmash, which works on T-72 and T-80 tanks, bringing them up to T-72B3, T-72B3M, or T-80BVM standard. Another is the 103rd Armored Plant near Chita, which upgrades T-62 to T-62M. I don't know what the third plant is.
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  #543  
Old 03-10-2023, 07:45 PM
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The joke is that the newly raised Russian troops are receiving twice as much training as the last round of troops.

2 days of training instead of 1 day.
What a country! /yakov_smirnoff
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  #544  
Old 03-17-2023, 10:29 AM
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The bad news:

Some western analysts believe UAF casualties in the fighting for Bakmhut could hamper plans for a spring counteroffensive. The UAF is reportedly running low on ammunition and trained soldiers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...tion-shortage/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-64955537

The good news:

Ukraine is finally going to receive more MiG-29s! Multiple reports indicate that Poland and Slovakia will soon deliver MiGs to the UAF.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ines-air-force

By now, I think we can predict Putin's reaction to the combat aircraft deliveries. More nuclear saber-rattling and a fresh barrage of missile attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure, resulting in even more civilian casualties, to be sure.

Slava Ukraini!

-
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  #545  
Old 03-17-2023, 02:48 PM
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I was reading a bit on the MiG-29, particularly impressions from NATO pilots when they got to fly East German examples after reunification, and the consensus seems to be "great knife-fighter, but good luck surviving to get there." In any of its Soviet-era configurations, it's a very head-down aircraft due to a lack of automation and the need to manually configure switches and knobs, and it's intended to be guided to a target by ground control. Its radar only has something like a 43 mile range.

Both the Slovakian and Polish Fulcrums should be more pilot-friendly, since they received upgrades with NATO-compliant electronics that more heads-up. Slovakia has 9 upgraded single-seat aircraft and 2 twin-seat (originally they had 10 single-seat, but one crashed during a training exercise). Some are apparently in fairly rough shape, and IIRC only 4 were still active immediately before they were retired last year. I believe Poland upgraded 16 aircraft. Neither received any sort of Western weapons integration as far as I know, so they're still going to need Aphid, Adder, or Archer missiles for air-to-air combat, and Slovakia was out of those by the time they retired their aircraft.

Ukraine does have some upgraded MiG-29, the MiG-29MU1 and MiG-29MU2. The MU1 has electronics upgrades, extending the radar range to ~60 miles, adding GPS to the navigation, and using a NATO-standard radio, while the single MU2 also integrates precision air-to-ground weapons (a bit questionable IMO since the Fulcrum has a pretty pathetic payload of 4 tonnes, slightly more than half an F-16's payload). I don't know how many were upgraded to MU1 standard, and there's just the lone MU2 (which has been serving in an air defense role because they need that more than a bomb truck).

Slovakia's also sending half a battery of Kub/Gainful SAM launchers out of the four batteries that they had retained for training purposes, along with 200 missiles for the launchers.
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  #546  
Old 03-20-2023, 02:30 PM
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The bad news:

By now, I think we can predict Putin's reaction to the combat aircraft deliveries. More nuclear saber-rattling and a fresh barrage of missile attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure, resulting in even more civilian casualties, to be sure.

Slava Ukraini!

-
Regarding the nuclear saber-rattling, Russia seemed to back off of that track a while ago as the international community, and particularly China, seemed displeased by the constant threats of nuclear war. Given Putin's need for China's support, especially now, I don't think he can risk pissing off Xi by making empty threats about nukes. I suppose we'll see though. Definitely agreed that we'll see more missile strikes on civvies though.
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  #547  
Old 03-20-2023, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
I was reading a bit on the MiG-29, particularly impressions from NATO pilots when they got to fly East German examples after reunification, and the consensus seems to be "great knife-fighter, but good luck surviving to get there." In any of its Soviet-era configurations, it's a very head-down aircraft due to a lack of automation and the need to manually configure switches and knobs, and it's intended to be guided to a target by ground control. Its radar only has something like a 43 mile range.
Check out this article about Israeli pilots test flying Polish MiG-29s against their own IAF aircraft in the 1990s. The Israelis quoted in the piece were really impressed, at the time.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...m-test-program

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Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
Both the Slovakian and Polish Fulcrums should be more pilot-friendly, since they received upgrades with NATO-compliant electronics that more heads-up. Slovakia has 9 upgraded single-seat aircraft and 2 twin-seat (originally they had 10 single-seat, but one crashed during a training exercise). Some are apparently in fairly rough shape, and IIRC only 4 were still active immediately before they were retired last year. I believe Poland upgraded 16 aircraft. Neither received any sort of Western weapons integration as far as I know, so they're still going to need Aphid, Adder, or Archer missiles for air-to-air combat, and Slovakia was out of those by the time they retired their aircraft.

Ukraine does have some upgraded MiG-29, the MiG-29MU1 and MiG-29MU2. The MU1 has electronics upgrades, extending the radar range to ~60 miles, adding GPS to the navigation, and using a NATO-standard radio, while the single MU2 also integrates precision air-to-ground weapons (a bit questionable IMO since the Fulcrum has a pretty pathetic payload of 4 tonnes, slightly more than half an F-16's payload). I don't know how many were upgraded to MU1 standard, and there's just the lone MU2 (which has been serving in an air defense role because they need that more than a bomb truck).
One of the pieces I read suggested that the Ukrainians might need to pull the more advanced western avionics from the Polish and Slovakian MiGs because their own Fulcrums still use older, less capable Soviet-era avionics.

On the other hand, as the Ukrainians have been able to mount HAARM missiles on their own MiG-29s successfully, how difficult would it be for them to mod their Fulcrums in order to use AIM-9 Sidewinders and/or other Western AAMs? AMRAAM would be a game-changer for the Ukrainians, but the US has stated that it is not in the cards (citing concerns re escalation and advanced Western active radar homing AAMs falling into Russian hands).

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Regarding the nuclear saber-rattling, Russia seemed to back off of that track a while ago as the international community, and particularly China, seemed displeased by the constant threats of nuclear war. Given Putin's need for China's support, especially now, I don't think he can risk pissing off Xi by making empty threats about nukes. I suppose we'll see though. Definitely agreed that we'll see more missile strikes on civvies though.
I hope Xi can talk some sense into Putin, but that's like the Wolf advising the Fox to take it easy on the henhouse.

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  #548  
Old 03-24-2023, 12:09 PM
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I hope Xi can talk some sense into Putin, but that's like the Wolf advising the Fox to take it easy on the henhouse.

-
I think a lot of Putin's nuclear comments were misinterpreted by the West as being directed towards them, when they were actually directed towards China. Remember, he has a giant, exposed, resource rich ass hanging out there right in China's face. There's no way he could keep China out, and there wouldn't be anyone on the planet willing to help him do it.
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  #549  
Old 03-24-2023, 04:15 PM
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One of the pieces I read suggested that the Ukrainians might need to pull the more advanced western avionics from the Polish and Slovakian MiGs because their own Fulcrums still use older, less capable Soviet-era avionics.
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About a third of Ukraine's Fulcrums received avionics upgrades over the last decade, so it's a mix of Soviet-era and modern equipment on Ukraine's MiG-29 fleet.

Particularly given that most of the Slovakian MiGs are allegedly in terrible mechanical shape, the upgraded avionics are practically the only reason to take them. I think it's more likely they'll cannibalize some of their un-upgraded MiGs to get the Slovakian ones back into flying condition, since that would probably be slightly easier than pulling the electronics to install in the Ukrainian jets, which would be the other way to get good systems into the air.
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  #550  
Old 03-25-2023, 04:03 PM
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Default Russian Tac Nukes in Belarus

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I think a lot of Putin's nuclear comments were misinterpreted by the West as being directed towards them, when they were actually directed towards China. Remember, he has a giant, exposed, resource rich ass hanging out there right in China's face. There's no way he could keep China out, and there wouldn't be anyone on the planet willing to help him do it.

That's an interesting take. Your point about Russia's vulnerable east is well taken, but why would Putin want to risk antagonizing one of his very few allies, and by far the most powerful?

This latest threat was prompted by the UK's announcement that it would provide Ukraine with DI ammunition for donated Challenger II MBTs.

https://www.npr.org/2023/03/25/11660...eapons-belarus

There seems to be a clear-cut cause and effect relationship between Putin's nuclear threats over the past year or so and actions taken by NATO nations to provide military assistance to Ukraine.

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  #551  
Old 03-27-2023, 12:49 PM
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That's an interesting take. Your point about Russia's vulnerable east is well taken, but why would Putin want to risk antagonizing one of his very few allies, and by far the most powerful?

This latest threat was prompted by the UK's announcement that it would provide Ukraine with DI ammunition for donated Challenger II MBTs.

https://www.npr.org/2023/03/25/11660...eapons-belarus

There seems to be a clear-cut cause and effect relationship between Putin's nuclear threats over the past year or so and actions taken by NATO nations to provide military assistance to Ukraine.

-
I'm not so sure about that. It appears as though Russia may have been pushing to move nukes into Belarus for quite some time, as a measure of strengthening control over the puppet-state.

https://understandingwar.org/backgro...anuary-11-2022

Plus, accusing the west of providing nuclear arms to Ukraine, despite those arms actually being entirely free of fissionable material as we all know, seems like the thinnest of possible justifications.
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  #552  
Old 03-27-2023, 01:04 PM
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I'm not so sure about that. It appears as though Russia may have been pushing to move nukes into Belarus for quite some time, as a measure of strengthening control over the puppet-state.

https://understandingwar.org/backgro...anuary-11-2022
Granted, but my point still stands. Although the stationing of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus may have been planned for some time prior to the announcement, the timing of Putin's public statements re same are not coincidental. Even if the "warnings" are a fait accompli, the public pronouncements are calculated, purposeful, and directed at NATO (not China).

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Plus, accusing the west of providing nuclear arms to Ukraine, despite those arms actually being entirely free of fissionable material as we all know, seems like the thinnest of possible justifications.
100%

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  #553  
Old 03-30-2023, 06:58 PM
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Ukraine is apparently about to receive 15 Viktor self-propelled anti-aircraft guns manufactured by Excalibur Army in Czech Republic. These are...well, are they still technicals if they're made in a factory?

See, the Viktor is a Toyota truck with modifications. They put a ZU-2 in the bed of the truck, which is a twin 14.5mm anti-aircraft mount. It has a day and night anti-aircraft sight and a daytime anti-ground sight. It's rigged for remote operation from the cab of the truck, so the gun doesn't need a crew member physically operating it. Each gun has a box of 300 rounds, another 300 rounds on the gun mount, and more ammo in the bed of the truck.

They're moderately sophisticated systems to use simple weapons against drones and other low-end aircraft. They're also something that would be pretty useful in a Twilight War scenario, with a base vehicle that's pretty common and easy to find parts for and a useful gun system that's rugged and reliable and usable from inside the vehicle. Armor's going to be non-existent, but that's true of pretty much anything that can be kept fueled and maintained by a small group.
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  #554  
Old 04-04-2023, 03:11 PM
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Default Finland Joins NATO

Finland is now a NATO member. And on the 74th anniversary of the alliance's founding, no less! Who'd have thunk it?

Could anyone have predicted this turn of events during the waning of the [1st] Cold War? Or 30 years ago? Or 20? Or even 10?

https://apnews.com/article/nato-finl...d5b752d69d76eb

Putin goes to war in large part to prevent Ukraine from increasing its ties to the EU and NATO and the result is... NATO expands, and Russia's border with NATO nations doubles.

Way to go, Vlad.

Slava Ukraini!

-
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  #555  
Old 04-07-2023, 04:58 PM
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This is a very T2k article about the attrition of troops and vehicles in one Guards parachute regiment:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-65179074

- C.
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  #556  
Old 04-13-2023, 03:25 PM
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Apparently a former 27th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade T-90A that was captured at Kharkiv in September by Ukraine's 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade was left at a truck stop in Louisiana when its hauler broke down. So far, nobody's claiming ownership of it. I'm waiting for shenanigans to ensue.
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Old 04-13-2023, 03:28 PM
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Apparently a former 27th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade T-90A that was captured at Kharkiv in September by Ukraine's 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade was left at a truck stop in Louisiana when its hauler broke down. So far, nobody's claiming ownership of it. I'm waiting for shenanigans to ensue.
I wonder why the UAF didn't keep it and put it to use. If it were given to the US gov't for intel purposes, that would make sense but, apparently, that is not the case. The War Zone writer believes it may now belong to a private owner.

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  #558  
Old 04-13-2023, 03:49 PM
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That's gonna be an awkward conversation with BATFE if those ERA blocks are still live. To say nothing of the main gun.

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  #559  
Old 04-13-2023, 05:29 PM
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That's gonna be an awkward conversation with BATFE if those ERA blocks are still live. To say nothing of the main gun.

- C.
This was my very first thought as well. I can't imagine the ATF is going to be thrilled to have a working MBT in the hands of a civvie roaming somewhere in the US.
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  #560  
Old 04-15-2023, 04:59 AM
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Update: looks like it was/is headed to Aberdeen, so it's unlikely to show up on eBay Motors any time soon.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...mes-into-focus

- C.
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  #561  
Old 04-15-2023, 09:36 PM
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Update: looks like it was/is headed to Aberdeen, so it's unlikely to show up on eBay Motors any time soon.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...mes-into-focus

- C.
Hmph, guess I'll retract those bids!
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  #562  
Old 04-17-2023, 12:19 PM
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There's something incredibly funny to me about the fact that no one had any idea where this thing was going until they decided to check a shipping label on the barrel.
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Old 04-18-2023, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Finland is now a NATO member. And on the 74th anniversary of the alliance's founding, no less! Who'd have thunk it?

Could anyone have predicted this turn of events during the waning of the [1st] Cold War? Or 30 years ago? Or 20? Or even 10?

https://apnews.com/article/nato-finl...d5b752d69d76eb

Putin goes to war in large part to prevent Ukraine from increasing its ties to the EU and NATO and the result is... NATO expands, and Russia's border with NATO nations doubles.

Way to go, Vlad.

Slava Ukraini!

-
I agree. Finnish public opinion following the Continuation War was to look West while balancing being wary of the USSR/Russian Federation. We know that as early as the 1950's there were quiet contacts between Finnish military officials and NATO. Then, Bad Vlad did what eighty years of the former Soviet Union and Russian policy could not do.
Even better the Finnish Defense Forces were not drawn down the way Sweden or even Norway's militaries were following the end of the Cold War. NATO has gained a very effective partner with a robust total defense concept. Can't think of a better dictator for it to happen to.
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Old 04-18-2023, 09:05 PM
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NATO has gained a very effective partner with a robust total defense concept. Can't think of a better dictator for it to happen to.
There's also the new plan to have a new allied command for the Scandinavian air forces. This includes Sweden even if Turkey and Hungary keep blocking their NATO application. So now all of Russia's arctic routes to open ocean are covered by powerful air forces. You're doing great guys, keep up the fantastic work.
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  #565  
Old 04-20-2023, 12:02 PM
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Default Ukrainian Hornets?

This piece makes a strong case for Australia and other operators to send F/A-18 Hornets to Ukraine.

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

I'm especially interested in our Aussie members' thoughts on this proposal.

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  #566  
Old 04-20-2023, 01:45 PM
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According to the Ukrainian MOD, it sounds as though some of the early work in preparation for the counteroffensive is already underway:

https://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-com...nister-1795402

I'd take this next piece with a huge grain of salt, but there's also some rumors starting to float around that Ukraine has been starting some probing attacks all along the lines in the Zaporizhia direction.
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  #567  
Old 04-20-2023, 02:00 PM
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I have a feeling that recent UAF talk about Crimea and Zaporizhia is Maskirovka to focus Russian defensive preparations and reserves in that region, while the main counter-offensive takes place elsewhere. That said, I'm not sure where the UAF's new maneuver brigades, armed with superior Western AFVs is best suited to operate, but I'd hate to see them smash themselves to pieces against Russian fixed defenses. Maybe the salient around Bakhmut. If the UAF could punch through the front lines there, they'd have room for operational maneuvers and could precipitate a route than might result in Russian withdrawals from other regions as well. On the other hand, UAF statements re Crimea and Zaporizhia could be a double-bluff. The suspense is getting to me.

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  #568  
Old 04-20-2023, 02:43 PM
Heffe Heffe is offline
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I have a feeling that recent UAF talk about Crimea and Zaporizhia is Maskirovka to focus Russian defensive preparations and reserves in that region, while the main counter-offensive takes place elsewhere. That said, I'm not sure where the UAF's new maneuver brigades, armed with superior Western AFVs is best suited to operate, but I'd hate to see them smash themselves to pieces against Russian fixed defenses. Maybe the salient around Bakhmut. If the UAF could punch through the front lines there, they'd have room for operational maneuvers and could precipitate a route than might result in Russian withdrawals from other regions as well. On the other hand, UAF statements re Crimea and Zaporizhia could be a double-bluff. The suspense is getting to me.

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I've had that same thought! Looking at the strategic map, pushing toward Mariupol or Melitopol makes the most sense. If they can isolate Crimea it would be an enormous strategic win. They could also do so without widening their own lines too much. But that's also so clearly the obvious move that Russia has to be anticipating it.

From a political standpoint, cutting off and retaking Bakhmut would be a crippling move to make against the Russians for morale and domestic propaganda purposes. Imagine Russia spends six months and tens of thousands of troops slowly trying to take over this non-important town in eastern Ukraine, only to have Ukraine go in over a matter of days and retake all of that lost ground? There's no way Russian milbloggers or the Russian MOD could spin that as a positive development, and it could seriously hurt Putin's ability to generate future support for the war effort.

Or as a third option, perhaps Ukraine is waiting to see how Russia reacts to their probes before deciding on which direction to send the counteroffensive. I'm really curious to see how this all plays out.
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Old 04-21-2023, 05:20 AM
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Targan Targan is offline
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
This piece makes a strong case for Australia and other operators to send F/A-18 Hornets to Ukraine.

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

I'm especially interested in our Aussie members' thoughts on this proposal.

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I'd welcome it. To be frank, I'm not in favour of any limits on what (legal) vehicles and weapons are sent to Ukraine.
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Old 04-23-2023, 07:49 PM
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Default Counterattack?

Probing attacks across the Dnieper near Kherson were not the first thing I suspected to happen. (Contested river crossing, with too much artillery in the area)

Probably a feint to pull troops away from Melitopol, but if the Russians collapse and a bridgehead is formed, who knows.


edit added link
https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2023/04/23/7399048/

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Last edited by kato13; 04-23-2023 at 08:58 PM.
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