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  #31  
Old 03-02-2022, 01:34 PM
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One thing that I've found really curious about the video clips of shot-up Russian vehicle columns circulating widely is the lack of bodies on the scene. I'll post the link when I have a chance to find it, but there's one where a guy walks through a column of at least a dozen gutted Russian APCs and trucks and there's not a body visible in any frame. There's another clip showing Ukrainian troops rummaging through four or five shot-up Tigr LAV 4x4s and, again, there are no bodies, blood pools, or anything suggesting human casualties in sight.

This is very different than the "Highway of Death" images broadcast from Kuwait, 1991, where images of carbonized corpses abounded (a bit of a PR issue for the military back then, IIRC).

Either the Ukrainians are really good at sanitizing the scene, or the majority of the Russian crews abandoned their vehicles before the "ambush", or at the first sign of trouble.

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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
In the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Russians had 1300 MBTs staged and may have less than 500 left after just 1 WEEK of fighting. The Ukrainian Army had 1500 MBTs and are down around the same strength. That a loss of over 100 tanks a day. This rate of loss would literally WIPE OUT the armored forces of 9 out of 10 Armed Forces on the planet. The losses in Aircraft are even more significant. Ukraine is down to about a dozen operational jets in a week.
Source, please?

Assuming the above figures are accurate, I wonder how many of those losses are hard kills and how many are attrition due to mechanical break-down (i.e. how many of those losses are not recoverable v how many are).

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  #32  
Old 03-02-2022, 01:53 PM
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I'm assuming that low morale within the Russian ranks, and possibly even a hesitancy at command levels, is playing a major factor.

Unlike in, say, Iraq, it doesn't seem like there was any major effort to psych up the troops to go do their illegal war. The result seems to be that, far from feeling urraaaaaah about it, they are more than happy to find any excuse not to fight.

(It is however increasingly a myth that all/most Russian troops are conscripts. They've had a hybrid conscript/contract structure for years now, and it's been revised significantly again within the last decade)

I'm not calling any victors at this point, though. It took the US three weeks to take Baghdad, after all. Some people have been eager to say that the failure to take Kyiv in five days means the war is lost, and I just don't think that's remotely true. Or that taking Kyiv means the situation necessarily changes dramatically, anyway.

On the operational level, though, some stuff just doesn't make sense from my Western eyes. The real lack of attempt to secure air superiority, for instance. I know Russia probably has a shortage of precision weapons and might be concerned about their ability to replace them. But this aspect still puzzles me. My best guess is either they were concerned they'd take excessive losses, or they just simply absolutely lack the thinking/capability. Integration between the forces certainly isn't up to US levels, but this seems like barely even trying.

It also seems likely that even if/when the conventional phase of this war is over, many Ukrainians are now fully invested in defending their country, and a long insurgency could most definitely follow. It's a big country, it's well armed (and only getting more so), and you need morale to police an insurgency as well.
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  #33  
Old 03-02-2022, 02:52 PM
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I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility that he could be removed by the Russian security services or the military. Personal loyalty only goes so far, particularly if the mood of the Russian populace continues to turn against the current course of action.
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Old 03-02-2022, 03:55 PM
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It also seems likely that even if/when the conventional phase of this war is over, many Ukrainians are now fully invested in defending their country, and a long insurgency could most definitely follow. It's a big country, it's well armed (and only getting more so), and you need morale to police an insurgency as well.
This. Anyway you slice it, this looks like the most enduring outcome. The Russians have bought themselves a long term occupation in a radicalized and hostile country the size of France with an aggrieved neighbor in Poland that is more than willing to throw gas on the fire. The only strategic outcome that makes sense (keep in mind, btw, that none of this makes sense) is that the two client states are enlarged at Ukraine's expense, and a puppet regime is emplaced to govern a rump Ukraine according to orders from Moscow; there's no way to achieve those goals that doesn't entail suppressing an insurgency/civil war. Good luck, Ivan.
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Old 03-02-2022, 05:51 PM
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Just to throw some thoughts out there for discussion:

1. I'm really curious to see what the analysis will look like on Ukraine's stellar propaganda looks like. So far they've been crushing it with almost all discussion online heavily favoring them, even despite Russia's best efforts to stop it.

2. On that same note, this is the first major war where everyone and their mother had cell phones with video capability. I'm curious to know how all of the abundance of footage has helped shape perception around the world. Will people be more adverse to getting into wars in the future based on this? Or even just the near future?

3. I'm still concerned that the worst may yet be to come. While we all sound aligned on Russia's performance so far, it definitely seems like they've avoided using their strategic assets and have been attempting to catch Ukraine intact (probably in order to set up a client state). As the Russians become mired down, will Putin escalate further than he already has in order to continue making forward progress?
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  #36  
Old 03-02-2022, 06:34 PM
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When he starts vocalizing those thoughts is when you have to hope someone else nearby is willing to take action.

I will agree that Ukraine's propaganda has been outstanding. I assume they're getting the full support of... well, basically the entire world.

Russian propaganda seems very suppressed, to the point that if they're even claiming tactical victories, I'm not hearing about it. And other than a small number of people (of questionable critical thinking capacity) repeating the "but... Ukrainian Nazis!" line, I don't see signs of anyone really buying any of it.
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  #37  
Old 03-02-2022, 06:53 PM
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The Russians have bought themselves a long term occupation in a radicalized and hostile country the size of France with an aggrieved neighbor in Poland that is more than willing to throw gas on the fire. The only strategic outcome that makes sense (keep in mind, btw, that none of this makes sense) is that the two client states are enlarged at Ukraine's expense, and a puppet regime is emplaced to govern a rump Ukraine according to orders from Moscow; there's no way to achieve those goals that doesn't entail suppressing an insurgency/civil war. Good luck, Ivan.
Agreed. Russia will most likely defeat Ukraine's conventional forces, seize the capital, and install a puppet government. It's probably only a matter of time. As you pointed out, however, after that, Putin will almost certainly be saddled with an anti-Russian insurgency that could drag on for months, if not years.

What then? This could play out in a number of ways. Here are a few.

A. Putin declares victory before Ukraine is decisively defeated, and withdraws Russian troops from all but the disputed eastern regions. "Mission accomplished!" Putin crows, "That was the plan all along." He saves some face, and staunches the bleeding. Ukraine is weakened; NATO is put on notice. Russia has a small buffer (the Donbass) and a greatly weakened neighbor that has been intimidated to the point where it will no longer seek NATO membership.

B. The war drags on and on, from a largely conventional conflict, to a low intensity insurgency. Russia continues to bleed, militarily and economically. These losses become unsustainable.

C. Fed up with B, the Russian military ousts Putin in a coup.

D. Fed up with B, ordinary Russians launch a popular uprising (a la Maidan, 2014) and oust Putin.

E. Putin sees the writing on the wall. Before either C or D can transpire, he escalates the war (perhaps by attacking the Baltics), and draws NATO into a wider conflict which he frames as an existential struggle for Russia's very survival.

---

I don't think this will play out the way Putin hoped (a quick victory, regime change, and a puppet, buffer state Ukraine). Given Ukraine's courage and tenacity- which I think came as quite a surprise to Putin- and materiel support to Ukraine from the West- the best that he can hope for now is probably Option A (in part- I don't think Ukraine will ever be cowed, after the heart they've shown). I'm kind of surprised that Putin hasn't already declared victory and begun the withdrawal. If he hasn't already, very soon he'll pass the point of no return and become locked in to a potentially much longer, much more costly struggle for control of Ukraine. After that, Option B is inevitable, and Options C, D, and E all become more likely endgames.

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  #38  
Old 03-02-2022, 07:34 PM
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Where does Ukraine's application for EU membership fit in?
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  #39  
Old 03-02-2022, 07:40 PM
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Where does Ukraine's application for EU membership fit in?
From what I've read, it could take years to be accepted, if at all. Apparently, Ukraine's high level of corruption is a sticking point for numerous EU nations. The Russian invasion considerably complicates matters further.

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  #40  
Old 03-02-2022, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
One thing that I've found really curious about the video clips of shot-up Russian vehicle columns circulating widely is the lack of bodies on the scene. I'll post the link when I have a chance to find it, but there's one where a guy walks through a column of at least a dozen gutted Russian APCs and trucks and there's not a body visible in any frame. There's another clip showing Ukrainian troops rummaging through four or five shot-up Tigr LAV 4x4s and, again, there are no bodies, blood pools, or anything suggesting human casualties in sight.

This is very different than the "Highway of Death" images broadcast from Kuwait, 1991, where images of carbonized corpses abounded (a bit of a PR issue for the military back then, IIRC).

Either the Ukrainians are really good at sanitizing the scene, or the majority of the Russian crews abandoned their vehicles before the "ambush", or at the first sign of trouble.



Source, please?

Assuming the above figures are accurate, I wonder how many of those losses are hard kills and how many are attrition due to mechanical break-down (i.e. how many of those losses are not recoverable v how many are).

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Sources...

DW News

Funker Tactical = who actually uploaded the pictures of that Ukrainian convoy which was smoked by Russian helos. That Kah-52 Alligator that got shot down was hit by a dual barreled 23mm mounted on a 5-Ton truck. I guess it came in too low. The pilot put it down and just walked away like a boss.

Radio Free America = The looting video came from them.

Some pictures from VOX News

The statement from Ukraine's security minister at the EU or UN emergency meeting where HE CLAIMED 600+ tanks destroyed. Most of the good video shots are being reused by every major network. How accurate these reports are is still in question.

My guess is that Ukraine's losses are "hard losses" mostly inflicted by bombing, helos, and the destruction of munitions depots.

The posted thermobaric explosion of the ammo depot outside Kyiv/Kiev reportedly claimed 100 AFVs that were rearming. I would guess that's accurate. It was a huge explosion and afterward, you can hear the "crackle" of munitions lighting off.

The Russian losses appear to be mostly mechanical issues OR running out of fuel. These are occurring mainly in the North where the conscript units are massed. As you already stated, the troops just up and abandon their equipment when the fuel and ammo are gone. The Ukrainian troops there are attacking the convoys from Belarus and the tanks are older T72s. Those troops have very poor discipline and some funny incidents have occurred... like a farmer stealing an unattended AFV with his tractor as the driver runs up and tries to stop him. And I thought the kids in Somalia were bad!

https://youtu.be/FHkST5SdS98

Sadly this is also where that young Ukrainian Engineer sacrificed himself to blow up that bridge to Kyiv. That probably slowed up the Russians too.

As far as I can tell, the Donetsk region seems to be suffering hard losses. That is where the Ukrainians are using those Turkish drones to designate for laser-guided munitions to the front and rear of a convoy where they stop it by destroying those vehicles. The Artillery then opens up on the remaining trapped vehicles, destroying them. I have seen a video of one column destroyed this way with the bodies under brown tarps. The other video is off a bunch of Hinds strafing a Russian column with rockets and missiles. Sadly, there are videos of the Ukrainians getting pasted here as badly as the Russians are. I think the difference here is that the Russian troops are blooded veterans working with the rebels from the area. They seem to have T80s and T90s... And of course, Kah-52 helo gunships.

The Crimea where the Russian Amphibs landed has those upgraded T55s that the Russian Marines use rolling across the country. Ukraine met them with T64s but the Russians seemed to have prevailed. The Russians are in pretty complete control in the South.
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  #41  
Old 03-02-2022, 10:11 PM
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I'm assuming that low morale within the Russian ranks, and possibly even a hesitancy at command levels, is playing a major factor.

Unlike in, say, Iraq, it doesn't seem like there was any major effort to psych up the troops to go do their illegal war. The result seems to be that, far from feeling urraaaaaah about it, they are more than happy to find any excuse not to fight.

(It is however increasingly a myth that all/most Russian troops are conscripts. They've had a hybrid conscript/contract structure for years now, and it's been revised significantly again within the last decade)

I'm not calling any victors at this point, though. It took the US three weeks to take Baghdad, after all. Some people have been eager to say that the failure to take Kyiv in five days means the war is lost, and I just don't think that's remotely true. Or that taking Kyiv means the situation necessarily changes dramatically, anyway.

On the operational level, though, some stuff just doesn't make sense from my Western eyes. The real lack of attempt to secure air superiority, for instance. I know Russia probably has a shortage of precision weapons and might be concerned about their ability to replace them. But this aspect still puzzles me. My best guess is either they were concerned they'd take excessive losses, or they just simply absolutely lack the thinking/capability. Integration between the forces certainly isn't up to US levels, but this seems like barely even trying.

It also seems likely that even if/when the conventional phase of this war is over, many Ukrainians are now fully invested in defending their country, and a long insurgency could most definitely follow. It's a big country, it's well armed (and only getting more so), and you need morale to police an insurgency as well.
Combat Air CONTROL (CAC) is problematic for the Russians. Without the equivalent of an AWACS over the battlefield, directing the fighters where to go is very difficult. You cannot have an effective CAP (Combat Air Patrol) without the CAC directing things. The Russians have ONE AWACS per THEATER (6 planes total) and are probably afraid of losing the only one they have in the Black sea area. Their ships CAN direct aircraft but the range of ground-based radar makes CAC problematic. In addition, they failed to suppress the Ukraine's SAM defenses in the North and West, making overflights there dangerous. Add to that the sheer number of MANPADS the West gave Ukraine, and we can see why the skies are still contested.

Another thing I have noticed about some of the footage is just how "inaccurate" some of the cruise and ballistic missiles are. In some instances, missing their target by half a block. I wonder IF we might be screwing with their GLASNOSK/GPS system...
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  #42  
Old 03-02-2022, 11:40 PM
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Cappy's take!

https://youtu.be/K5BAZ2bBUzM
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  #43  
Old 03-03-2022, 06:54 AM
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Norway is sending 2,000 anti-tank missles to Ukraine, while the U.S. is sending "hundreds" of stinger missles, and Ukraine is taking possesion of more Turkish drones capable of making airstrikes.
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  #44  
Old 03-03-2022, 08:38 AM
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Again, I wish it were otherwise, but it looks like all that talk about rearming the Ukrainian air force was just that- talk.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-for-some-time



-
The Polish government denied that these planes will be delivered or flown out of Poland. But their wording was very sketchy, leaving room for interpretation that these planes might be re-routed or taken via trailer to Ukraine.

Not sure, what will come of this.
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  #45  
Old 03-03-2022, 11:32 AM
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Is there a GoFundMe or something like that for the troops in the Ukraine?

See, I feel a little guilty. I ordered three T-Shirts from an outfit in Kyiv (ClothingMonster.com -- their shirts are great) about two weeks ago. Given what's going on there, I didn't think I'd ever get them, and I was fine with that.

But last night I got a package with the three shirts in the mail. And I'm thinking -- three quality shirts and international shipping -- that could have paid for a box of ammo. Any the Ukrainians are critically short on everything.

So I wonder, is there somewhere reputable where I can give to the cause?
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  #46  
Old 03-03-2022, 12:33 PM
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https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world...cid=uxbndlbing

Sweden and Finland are seriously considering NATO membership, and NATO seems to be receptive.

Putin has already warned Finland about joining NATO.

Is Finland Putin's next target? I don't think he has the troops or equipment to keep Ukraine nailed down and attack Finland, but I wouldn't put it past Putin to call for mass conscription and start pulling crappy old equipment out of storage.
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Last edited by pmulcahy11b; 03-03-2022 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Left out an important word
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  #47  
Old 03-03-2022, 01:11 PM
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It sure hasn't gone well for them in the past, and I don't see the advanced technology and high morale that Finland has now making that any easier.

Worth noting that there have been huge overhauls to the structure and doctrine of the Russian military over the past 10-15 years. It's quite possible we're seeing a lot of friction from that, of an army or just its officers who maybe haven't quite grasped the changes.

In particular, there was a disastrous attempt to privatize many of the Army's logistics services, which was aborted only a few years ago. I would not be surprised if lingering fallout from that, or organizational self-sabotage from within by invested parties, was behind a lot of the problems the Russians have had with fuel and maintenance particularly.
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Old 03-03-2022, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
Combat Air CONTROL (CAC) is problematic for the Russians. Without the equivalent of an AWACS over the battlefield, directing the fighters where to go is very difficult. You cannot have an effective CAP (Combat Air Patrol) without the CAC directing things. The Russians have ONE AWACS per THEATER (6 planes total) and are probably afraid of losing the only one they have in the Black sea area. Their ships CAN direct aircraft but the range of ground-based radar makes CAC problematic. In addition, they failed to suppress the Ukraine's SAM defenses in the North and West, making overflights there dangerous. Add to that the sheer number of MANPADS the West gave Ukraine, and we can see why the skies are still contested.

Another thing I have noticed about some of the footage is just how "inaccurate" some of the cruise and ballistic missiles are. In some instances, missing their target by half a block. I wonder IF we might be screwing with their GLASNOSK/GPS system...
All of these things are exactly the things that don't make sense to me. Sure, you don't want to risk your AWACS planes. But is there some better time to use them than during a war? Is there some better time for DEAD operations than before you try to do airborne landings over enemy territory?

And maybe they're just experimenting with how effective some of these weapons can be under circumstances, but it's documented that the Russians don't believe GPS/GLONASS will be available in the event of a war anyway, so much of their approach has been designed around simply not relying on it at all. A ballistic missile doesn't need it, anyway.
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Old 03-03-2022, 09:44 PM
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All of these things are exactly the things that don't make sense to me. Sure, you don't want to risk your AWACS planes. But is there some better time to use them than during a war? Is there some better time for DEAD operations than before you try to do airborne landings over enemy territory?

And maybe they're just experimenting with how effective some of these weapons can be under circumstances, but it's documented that the Russians don't believe GPS/GLONASS will be available in the event of a war anyway, so much of their approach has been designed around simply not relying on it at all. A ballistic missile doesn't need it, anyway.
Russia's perspective is different from ours (the West's). She is not "casualty adverse" like we are. Putin WILL sacrifice thousands of conscripts and Cold War equipment to exhaust an enemy's newest tech. However, when it comes to hard to replace tech like Russia's AWACS, he will hoard it until the point where he simply cannot do without it anymore.
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Old 03-03-2022, 09:56 PM
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Default Putin's Intentions Revealed [Accidentally by Belarus]

Well, I wonder if the President of Belarus who showed that Top Secret map with all the planned Russian moves... INCLUDING THE INVASION OF MOLDOVA, is still on Putin's Christmas list?
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Old 03-03-2022, 10:08 PM
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Default Putin's Going "Old School" Again...

All of the news outlets are wondering what Putin is going to do with Kiyv. He is going to do EXACTLY what he did to Grozny in the Second Chechen War and Aleppo in Syria! Surround the city and shell it into oblivion with artillery. You can see the movements occurring right now on the conflict map. The media are claiming that "Putin suddenly went crazy," but this is a cold, calculated move. Not an act of passion. As Jen Psaki pointed out, the last time Putin invaded Ukraine (the Crimea) Biden was Vice President and oil was over $100 a barrel. Is it a coincidence that Russia gets aggressive when oil prices soar? I don't think that's a coincidence.

It also appears that casualties on both sides are actually lighter than was earlier claimed. I STILL remember Ukraine's representative at the UN saying "HUNDREDS of our tanks have been destroyed..." when it appears that the total is around 200. A far cry from nearly a thousand claimed earlier. Although I do wonder how many of those were replaced by abandoned or stolen Russian equipment?
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Old 03-04-2022, 02:38 AM
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I mostly don't think it's a coincidence that Putin took a break from aggressive moves during Trump's term... the getting was too good at too low a price, don't rock the boat.
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Old 03-04-2022, 10:16 AM
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I mostly don't think it's a coincidence that Putin took a break from aggressive moves during Trump's term... the getting was too good at too low a price, don't rock the boat.
Unlikely. Under Trump, oil prices fell to $50 a barrel. 52% of Russia's economy is oil and natural gas. Putin did not have the financial resources to invade Ukraine. Under Biden, US gas and oil production was slashed. I watched oil climb to $100 a barrel and gas in PA go from $2.30 per gallon under Trump to $4 a gallon under Biden.

In addition, Biden just projects weakness. Trump did not. In fact, Putin would have tip-toed around Trump knowing that pushing Trump's ego could result in a war.

Just look at Kim in NK for an example of this. The rhetoric began to spiral UNTIL... Beijing summoned Kim to China and most likely threatened to withdraw their support IF he started a war with the US... since that would have sabotaged China's 10 to 15 year plan to match the US military in the Pacific.
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Old 03-04-2022, 12:29 PM
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Unlikely. Under Trump, oil prices fell to $50 a barrel. 52% of Russia's economy is oil and natural gas. Putin did not have the financial resources to invade Ukraine. Under Biden, US gas and oil production was slashed. I watched oil climb to $100 a barrel and gas in PA go from $2.30 per gallon under Trump to $4 a gallon under Biden.

In addition, Biden just projects weakness. Trump did not. In fact, Putin would have tip-toed around Trump knowing that pushing Trump's ego could result in a war.

Just look at Kim in NK for an example of this. The rhetoric began to spiral UNTIL... Beijing summoned Kim to China and most likely threatened to withdraw their support IF he started a war with the US... since that would have sabotaged China's 10 to 15 year plan to match the US military in the Pacific.
Trump withheld $400 milliom in military aid to Ukraine, and weskened NATO by threatening to withdraw.

By my reckoning, Biden has increased our national security by strengthening ties with NATO.
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Old 03-04-2022, 12:54 PM
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Default Keep it APolitical

It can be hard not to weigh in here re US politics vis-a-vis recent developments in Ukraine but, in keeping with our forum guidelines, let's all try to keep this discussion apolitical.

Discussion of military matters pertaining to Ukraine, and/or Putin's villainy are totally in bounds, but arguments about which former and/or current US president is more to blame for this state of affairs is a can of worms we really don't need to open.

Thanks for being cool, everyone.

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Last edited by Raellus; 03-04-2022 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 03-04-2022, 02:57 PM
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Roger that. I'll just say I don't think it's coincidental in terms of timing, but also in how it mostly seems to be going, especially with regards to how unified the West now is in response. Putin may have expected differently in terms of comparison with, say, Obama and Merkel, but if that's what he was counting on then it seems like a significant miscalculation at best.

Meanwhile, the situation for your typical Russian citizen is getting very bad, though. Reports from the ground there about the repressive measures sound like they're getting pretty terrible. I have some friends there as well as some who are currently abroad and can't access their money, don't really want to go home but aren't sure if they might be expelled, and soon may not even be able to fly (at least within/over/to-from the US, presumably other countries as well).

There is always collateral damage in war but this economic aspect is much more far-reaching than at any time in the past. I can only hope that (a) the economic pressure keeps working but (b) we don't end up in a new red scare.
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Old 03-04-2022, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unipus View Post
All of these things are exactly the things that don't make sense to me. Sure, you don't want to risk your AWACS planes. But is there some better time to use them than during a war? Is there some better time for DEAD operations than before you try to do airborne landings over enemy territory?

And maybe they're just experimenting with how effective some of these weapons can be under circumstances, but it's documented that the Russians don't believe GPS/GLONASS will be available in the event of a war anyway, so much of their approach has been designed around simply not relying on it at all. A ballistic missile doesn't need it, anyway.
The Russians might be trying out cheaper (in terms of sustainable aircraft losses) alternatives.

I posted the article in the Out of Mothballs thread, but Warzone (the Drive) reported that Russia might plan to use its fleet of AN-2 biplane transports as unmanned drones to trick the Ukrainians into revealing their air defense positions*. I suppose this gambit could also include provoking the Ukrainians into scrambling some of their last available fighter aircraft. Perhaps this tactic will obviate the need for AWACS.

*On a historical note, the Israelis Pioneered (pun intended) this tactic quite successfully against Syrian SAM sites in the Beqaa Valley during their 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

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Last edited by Raellus; 03-04-2022 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 03-04-2022, 09:45 PM
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With regards to the apparent performance of Russia's military in this invasion I think some points get glossed over too readily.
  1. Russia's annual military expenditures come to $50-60b per year for an active duty force of a little over a million. That's only about $61k spent per active duty service member.
  2. Combined arms operations are difficult in general. Jets move faster than APCs and don't get stuck in mud. AFVs can easily outrun their supply trains.
  3. Maintaining equipment is expensive and time consuming. It's also something that needs to be ingrained in a military's culture. It's not a bolt-on after the fact feature.
  4. Likewise logistics is hard. Like maintenance it's expensive and cultural. It's also not a bolt-on feature after the fact.
  5. Russia, back through the late USSR, has famous amounts of graft throughout the ranks.

So an army that doesn't have a strong cultural of logistics, equipment maintenance, or even accurate accounting is going to be clown shoes against a peer force. It really looks like they've only made the progress they have through superior numbers and even then that's been limited by logistics and maintenance.

I don't think there's some grand strategy of throwing conscripts out as the top of the spear or something. I think it's more their army inherited the worst of the Soviet system. Everyone from the NCOs up through the general staff have been fudging readiness numbers for decades. Blowing up irregular forces in Syria and war criming through Chechnya and Georgia has given the general staff a serious overestimate of their abilities.
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Old 03-05-2022, 10:07 AM
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There are reports of senior Russian military commanders being KIA in Ukraine as they moved closer to the frontlines in order break the logjam and get their ground troops moving.
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Old 03-05-2022, 10:43 AM
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I was listening to GEN (Ret) Wesley Clark, a former commander of NATO, on CNN the other day. (Yes, I know what some of you think of CNN; let's not go into that right now.) He said that while the troops and equipment are enough to make a wreck of Ukraine right now, to properly subjugate Ukraine, Russia would need on the order of 800,000 troops with attendant armor and vehicle to move the supply chain, and enough aircraft to gain air superiority over Ukraine.

The Russians don't have this right now. Mass conscription would be necessary, and the first task of the new troops would be to get currently POS vehicles running. While training for combat.

However, the invasion of Ukraine is going badly for the Russians. Even Russian commanders (secretly) acknowledge that they are overwhelmed at how badly the campaign is going. The war is also very unpopular in Russia herself, and conscription is going to go over like a lead balloon. You'll need loyal troops to provide armed guards over the conscripts to make sure they don't desert, and in general start a reign of terror over the conscripts.

You're also going to have a situation like in the 1960s-70s in the US, where conscripts "burn their draft cards" and generally don't show up when they are conscripted. They'll join the antiwar effort instead. Where they will be arrested, and then conscripted. There will be press gangs roaming Russia.

It's going to be a mess.
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