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  #331  
Old 09-19-2022, 01:23 PM
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Default More Brinksmanship

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Originally Posted by bash View Post
The problem with rattling a nuclear saber is it's only scary once unless you actually use a nuke. After nothing happened after Putin's nuclear talk back in February I think it's apparent he has no intention of ever using nukes.
So if a dictator doesn't immediately follow through on a threat, that threat should no longer be taken seriously?

That seems like a very risky maxim to follow.

The saber rattling continues, with both sides issuing veiled threats.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...in-on-nuke-use

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  1. Putin has a decent enough lock on power within Russia. Even if Russia pulled out of Ukraine tomorrow the internal spin would just say "Mission Accomplishski" and the majority inside Russia would cheer.
  2. People outside of Russia don't care about Russia. Russia only is concerning to some ex-Soviet satellites that are now backed up by NATO. Russia won't invade them. Russia is also ruined economically and militarily for decades now. Putin will be gone before they're able to threaten anyone again.
  3. The US likely has a pretty good handle on Russia's nuclear arsenal and isn't worried about them using it. Like the rest of Russian equipment it's been rotting since the 90s. Hydrogen bombs need constant maintenance (tritium expires) lest they become just low yield fission bombs.
  4. Putin nuking anyone runs a very real risk one of several nuclear armed powers says "screw it" and drops a ground burst on whatever dacha he spends the most time at. The rest of the world would probably give that country a mulligan and a sternly worded letter of thanks.
1. You might be right. Putin's control of information within Russia is pretty tight.

2. Sweden and Finland don't seem to agree with that assessment; Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Moldova definitely don't. Russia's invasion of Ukraine turned what's been a looming threat for the past 20 years or so into a present-day reality for former Soviet republics no longer aligned with the Russian Federation. To say that Putin wouldn't launch a military action against another former SSR flies in the face events since February of this year. That said, can Russia invade another SSR, given it's massive recent losses in Ukraine? Probably not.

3. The US isn't worried about Russia's nuclear arsenal? Where did that conclusion come from? I haven't come across that assessment from any reputable military analyst, so if you have a reliable source that back's that up, I'd be very interested to see it.

4. Would Russia allow a decapitation nuclear strike on its own soil, without, at the very least, retaliating in kind? That's a huge gamble.

-
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  #332  
Old 09-19-2022, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
So if a dictator doesn't immediately follow through on a threat, that threat should no longer be taken seriously?

That seems like a very risky maxim to follow.

The saber rattling continues, with both sides issuing veiled threats.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...in-on-nuke-use
Launching nuclear attacks takes preparation, if for no other reason than to make sure your forces can absorb a retaliation. Russia hasn't changed their posture to one that is preparing for nuclear retaliation. So the threats (to me) ring pretty hollow.


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2. Sweden and Finland don't seem to agree with that assessment; Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Moldova definitely don't. Russia's invasion of Ukraine turned what's been a looming threat for the past 20 years or so into a present-day reality for former Soviet republics no longer aligned with the Russian Federation. To say that Putin wouldn't launch a military action against another former SSR flies in the face events since February of this year. That said, can Russia invade another SSR, given it's massive recent losses in Ukraine? Probably not.
Russia won't attack another former SSR even if they could specifically because they're in NATO. They wouldn't have moved on Ukraine if they were a NATO member, likely not even if they were just an EU member. The EU is as much a defense pact as a trade pact. Sweden and Finland are joining NATO because membership guarantees safety from Russian aggression.


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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
3. The US isn't worried about Russia's nuclear arsenal? Where did that conclusion come from? I haven't come across that assessment from any reputable military analyst, so if you have a reliable source that back's that up, I'd be very interested to see it.
I should clarify my assertion to not suggest the US isn't concerned with Russia's nuclear arsenal to instead say they're not so worried that Russia has the devastating first strike capability they might have had forty years ago. It costs a lot of money to maintain nuclear weapons. We spend just on our nukes about what Russia spends on their entire military. The level of support given to Ukraine, despite nuclear threats from Putin, infers NATO's intelligence says he's not about to use nukes anywhere.


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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
4. Would Russia allow a decapitation nuclear strike on its own soil, without, at the very least, retaliating in kind? That's a huge gamble.

-
My point is that if Putin decided to use nukes in Ukraine there would be no political fig lead to hide behind. He personally doesn't want to open the can of nuclear works because he knows he's unlikely to personally live to regret it. With Putin gone how much of the leadership wants to follow him in a suicide pact?
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  #333  
Old 09-19-2022, 04:58 PM
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Thanks for clarifying. For what it's worth, I agree with you on most points.

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Launching nuclear attacks takes preparation, if for no other reason than to make sure your forces can absorb a retaliation. Russia hasn't changed their posture to one that is preparing for nuclear retaliation. So the threats (to me) ring pretty hollow.
To clarify my counter-point, I don't think, at this stage, anyone in places of power is overly concerned about a Russian strategic nuclear attack on Ukraine or any NATO member nation. The concern at present seems to be about Russian use of battlefield tactical nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil.

Battlefield tactical nukes require much less preparation than strategic nuclear weapons do. They're reasonably easy to deploy and conceal, and launch-warning is minimal. AFAIK, there's no way to differentiate between the release of a nuclear-armed air-launched missile and a conventional one (of which the Russians have used hundreds so far). The Russians have a sizeable arsenal of tactical weapons, some of them of quite recent vintage, with several means of delivery at their disposal.

If Putin decides to avoid a major operational/strategic defeat in Ukraine by the application of one or more TBNs, would he be particularly concerned about retaliation in kind? Probably not. Ukraine is not a NATO member, so NATO would not be obligated to respond directly, or with nuclear weapons. NATO's not going to nuke Russian forces on de jure ally Ukraine's home soil, and it's probably not going to risk an escalation with Russia by nuking Russian troop concentrations on Russian soil. Putin's a cunning fellow, and we all know he's willing to take big risks to achieve his geo-political goals. Who, in the Russian hierarchy, is likely to stop him? At this point, he's surrounded by yes-men. That's a real worry.

What's the red line for Putin? No one knows, but I think some analysts believe that any threat to Putin's grip on power in Russia, a particularly destructive attack on Russian soil, or the impending loss of Russian territory (read: Crimea), could provoke a [tactical] nuclear response. Desperate people, take desperate measures.

A not un-reasonable fear is that if and when the Pandora's box of tactical nuclear weapon use is reopened, things could quickly spiral out of control. The USA does not have an established post-Cold War nuclear doctrine/strategy, so there's no playbook.

-
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  #334  
Old 09-20-2022, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Thanks for clarifying. For what it's worth, I agree with you on most points.



To clarify my counter-point, I don't think, at this stage, anyone in places of power is overly concerned about a Russian strategic nuclear attack on Ukraine or any NATO member nation. The concern at present seems to be about Russian use of battlefield tactical nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil.

Battlefield tactical nukes require much less preparation than strategic nuclear weapons do. They're reasonably easy to deploy and conceal, and launch-warning is minimal. AFAIK, there's no way to differentiate between the release of a nuclear-armed air-launched missile and a conventional one (of which the Russians have used hundreds so far). The Russians have a sizeable arsenal of tactical weapons, some of them of quite recent vintage, with several means of delivery at their disposal.

If Putin decides to avoid a major operational/strategic defeat in Ukraine by the application of one or more TBNs, would he be particularly concerned about retaliation in kind? Probably not. Ukraine is not a NATO member, so NATO would not be obligated to respond directly, or with nuclear weapons. NATO's not going to nuke Russian forces on de jure ally Ukraine's home soil, and it's probably not going to risk an escalation with Russia by nuking Russian troop concentrations on Russian soil. Putin's a cunning fellow, and we all know he's willing to take big risks to achieve his geo-political goals. Who, in the Russian hierarchy, is likely to stop him? At this point, he's surrounded by yes-men. That's a real worry.

What's the red line for Putin? No one knows, but I think some analysts believe that any threat to Putin's grip on power in Russia, a particularly destructive attack on Russian soil, or the impending loss of Russian territory (read: Crimea), could provoke a [tactical] nuclear response. Desperate people, take desperate measures.

A not un-reasonable fear is that if and when the Pandora's box of tactical nuclear weapon use is reopened, things could quickly spiral out of control. The USA does not have an established post-Cold War nuclear doctrine/strategy, so there's no playbook.

-
TBNs are definitely easier to deploy than strategic weapons but the posture of the Russian forces would still need to change. They would need to distribute MOPP gear to their forces and prep border cities (on the Russian side) for the inevitable literal fallout. As we've seen Russian OpSec is terrible so any such preparations would be broadcast on Telegram immediately.

But in terms of danger to Russia, them using even a single TBN would likely see "the west" taking the gloves off for assistance to Ukraine. I would imagine a naval blockade and no-fly zone would be the minimum response. There would also be little reason not to give Ukraine long range weapons.

If Russia pulled out of Ukraine tomorrow there's a number of countries that would drop sanctions against them by the end of the week. While the lower classes in Russia are screwed for the next few decades the oligarchs would be back on their yachts by October.

Even these Russia agnostic (if not friendly) countries would not be so forgiving if Russia used nukes in Ukraine. This would mean the post-war economic pain would affect Putin and the oligarchs.

The threat of being in range of Ukrainian weapons and a total destruction of their wealth might finally be enough to turn the Russian ruling class against Putin. I think he's well aware as long as he only inflicts pain on poor Russians and minorities he doesn't need to worry about falling out of a window onto some bullets.
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  #335  
Old 09-20-2022, 05:19 PM
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Lot of rumors today about Putin preparing for a mobilization of some kind. We'll see how much the Russian people tolerate, but this seems like a serious gambit for him if true.
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  #336  
Old 09-20-2022, 05:45 PM
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In the "that belongs in a museum" category and the "hey Paul, I found something obscure that's not on your site" category, Slovenia is transferring the remaining 28 of its M-55S tanks to Ukraine. What's the M-55S? It's a T-55. A heavily, heavily upgraded T-55.

First, replace the D-10T with a British L7 105mm gun with 36 rounds of ammunition. Then add Super Blazer ERA to the tank. Give the gunner a two-axis stabilized sight with a laser rangefinder, and give the commander a similar sight with hunter-killer capability. Give the driver a combined day/night periscope. Add a laser detector that's linked to the smoke launchers so they can be set to automatically obscure the tank if it's lased. While you're at it, modernize the radio and the running gear, and increase the engine's horsepower from 520 to 600. And for all of that, it gains only two tonnes in weight.
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  #337  
Old 09-20-2022, 05:58 PM
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It's an exciting time for Ukraine, with Russia commencing deliveries of T-90M MBTs to Ukrainian forces.
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  #338  
Old 09-20-2022, 06:55 PM
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It's an exciting time for Ukraine, with Russia commencing deliveries of T-90M MBTs to Ukrainian forces.
Russia has been Ukraine's #1 arms supplier in the war. Discount tanks, never fired, only dropped once.
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  #339  
Old 09-24-2022, 07:54 AM
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Default Updates from Perun

Here is Perun's update from last week

www.youtube.com/watch?v=B93tLs39pQo&featui
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  #340  
Old 09-24-2022, 07:58 AM
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Default Salvage In Ukraine By Perun featuring The Chieftain

This one is DEFINATELY worth watching guys. The Chieftain and Perun are teaming up for this presentation.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNLTE75B0Os&feature
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  #341  
Old 09-24-2022, 08:07 AM
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Default Kings & Generals Update

Here's an update from the kings & Generals channel. I like the movement of the units to give us a clearer idea of just how the battles are progressing so I'm posting this here. Keep in mind, these guys give monthly updates so you can go back and watch the entire war as a series of maneuvers from this channel's perspective.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hZoQ4xebGw&feature

Swag

Last edited by swaghauler; 09-24-2022 at 08:09 AM. Reason: fix link
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  #342  
Old 09-24-2022, 01:39 PM
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Default Ukraine's Improvied Marine Suicide UAV

Here is a "suicide UAV" for the Ukrainian Navy using a Starlink receiver, a commercial marine thermal imager, and a kayak or canoe.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8CeJ3QUeHs&feature

Swag
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  #343  
Old Today, 01:17 PM
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Default Escalate to De-escalate

A brief piece on the growing possibility of Russia using a battlefield tactical nuke in Ukraine.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ons-in-ukraine

The gist of it is, Russia probably won't use nuclear weapons to try to win the war (i.e. defeat the UAF)- although that's still a possible Russian goal. Instead, Putin might employ tac-nukes in an effort to quickly "freeze the conflict", and secure a stronger position at the bargaining table.

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