[Discussion] Ukraine - Russian Invasion and Discussion

A place for aggregated discussions of a possible conflict, it’s implications and effects, news updates and personal accounts if any. If the expected conflict kicks off, I will change the title but the function will stay the same.

Eeeeeeya ba da ba goooooOV!
Its the Flintstonovs

Its ma ya boyd da gov.

Or maybe I've been watching I've been watching too much twitch.

We need to let them blow up train stations in belgorod with atacms.

Yeah. It would seem like destroying railways would be a way to hamper Russia. Wouldn't even need to blow up the stations, just destroy tracks. Would at least slow them down.

Putin shuffling his checkerboard. Watch out for open windows.

An economist is now the defense minister... Sure...

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia replaced his minister of defense on Sunday as he shook up his national security team for the first time since his invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Putin kept the minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, in his inner circle, tapping him to run the country’s security council.

Andrei R. Belousov, an economist who served as first deputy prime minister in the last government and previously was the economic development minister, was nominated to become the new defense chief.

Shoygu is gone

Hey, it's not like a businessman turned defense secretary has ever lost a war in history.

To be fair, Rummy was in Congress and worked in the Nixon administration (including as Chief of Staff) for years before his first run as SecDef for Gerry before his biz career.

Top_Shelf wrote:

To be fair, Rummy was in Congress and worked in the Nixon administration (including as Chief of Staff) for years before his first run as SecDef for Gerry before his biz career.

Pretty sure he was referring to Bob McNamara

Correct! My bad not going far enough back in the memory banks.

Russians having ‘tactical success’ in advance on Kharkiv, Ukraine says

Russian forces continued their advance on Ukraine’s northern Kharkiv region on Monday, achieving “tactical success”, Kyiv said, as fears grow that Moscow will achieve its biggest breakthrough since the early days of the war.

Some of the fiercest fighting is being conducted on the outskirts of the Ukrainian town of Vovchansk, which before the war had a population of 17,000. Ukrainian and Russian reports have confirmed that Russian troops have advanced into the outskirts of the town, where gunfire has been reported in industrial areas.

“At the moment, the enemy has tactical success” in the fight for Vovchansk, Ukraine’s general staff admitted in a statement on social media in the early hours of Monday.

Ukraine’s general staff said there was also fighting around settlements south of the Pylna settlement. “Our defenders conduct defensive actions [to] inflict damage on the enemy,” it said.

In an effort to shift the tide, Kyiv announced on Monday the replacement of the commander overseeing the north-eastern Kharkiv frontline. Ukraine gave no reason for the decision.

In a later update on Monday, Ukraine’s general staff announced it was moving additional reserves to the Kharkiv region to try to halt Russia’s advances.

Deepstate, a Ukrainian open-source analysis group, earlier said Russia had seized three more villages in the Kharkiv region on Sunday.

On Monday Russian troops were advancing near Lyptsi, another small town that is even closer to Kharkiv than Vovchansk.

Kharkiv’s governor, Oleh Syniehubov, told local TV: “The enemy is trying to deliberately stretch it [the frontline], attacking in small groups, but in new directions, so to speak.”

He said Ukrainian forces were holding Russian troops back but there was a real threat that the fighting could spread to new settlements.

Both sides have so far suggested that Russia has not yet been able to achieve a big breakthrough that would allow Moscow to advance towards Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second biggest city. The villages seized by Moscow since Friday lie in what Ukrainian officials call a “grey zone” between the Russian border and Ukraine’s main defensive line.

The influential Russian military blogger Rybar wrote on Monday that “no large-scale breakthroughs of the enemy’s defences have been recorded”.

Yuriy Butusov, a well-known Ukrainian journalist reporting from the frontlines, said Russian advances had slowed down as their troops took mass casualties. Butusov said the Ukrainian position was improving after the appointment of the new commander.

Russia has been gradually intensifying military operations around Kharkiv over the past month, taking advantage of limited Ukrainian air defences to bomb in and around the city in an attempt to persuade more of its 1.3 million residents to flee.

Last Friday at dawn, Moscow initiated a fresh unannounced offensive, swiftly seizing nearly a dozen villages and settlements, marking the end of a prolonged stalemate in the Kharkiv region.

Russian advances have led to rare public criticism among Ukrainian service personnel, signalling cracks in the morale of the troops.

“The first line of fortifications and mines just didn’t exist,” Denys Yaroslavsky, a unit commander fighting in the area, wrote on Facebook in an emotional post condemning Ukraine’s retreat.

“The enemy freely entered the grey area, across the border line, which in principle should not have been grey … We come to the conclusion that this is either insane theft or deliberate sabotage,” he said. “I say this because we can die and no one will hear the truth. Then why is it all for?”

The public outcry prompted a response from the Ukrainian defence ministry. Oleksandr Yakovets, a senior military official, rejected criticism about the alleged lack of Ukrainian fortifications, calling them “absurd disinformation” that “devalues the efforts of the army engineers”.

Yakovets told Ukrainian television that the country’s “best-equipped fortifications” were located further away from the frontlines, along a prepared defensive line.

Ukraine is experiencing chronic shortages of manpower and weapons after delays in western funding. As the war nears its 28th month, Ukrainian troops are exhausted, prompting lawmakers last week to approve a controversial bill that enables Kyiv to mobilise convicts, a tactic previously utilised by Russia.

Military experts generally agree that the number of Russian forces deployed to the Kharkiv offensive was not enough to capture Kharkiv city. Instead, the attacks could force Ukraine to move up reserves into the region away from defensive positions elsewhere on the frontline.

Russian forces are also trying to capture the strategically key eastern city of Chasiv Yar. Its capture would allow Moscow to batter the key remaining Ukrainian-controlled cities in the Donetsk region: Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, Druzhkivka and Kostiantynivka.

Moscow may also be trying to minimise Ukraine’s capacity to strike the Belgorod region that lies just across the border. The city of Belgorod, the capital of the region, is just over half an hour’s drive from the border with Ukraine, making it a vital stop on Russian supply lines. The city has come under extensive shelling and drone attacks for months

On Sunday, Russian authorities claimed at least 13 people had been killed and 20 injured when a section of an apartment block collapsed in Belgorod. Russian officials blamed Ukrainian shelling for the building’s destruction.

Some independent analysts have questioned Russia’s accusations that Ukraine was behind the apartment shelling. Ruslan Leviev, the founder of the Conflict Intelligence Team, an open-source investigation unit, said the incident was probably caused by an errant missile fired by Russia.

Moscow’s offensive in Kharkiv comes as Vladimir Putin removed his longtime ally Sergei Shoigu as defence minister in the most significant reshuffle of the military command since the invasion. In a surprise appointment, the Kremlin announced on Sunday night that Shoigu would be replaced by Andrei Belousov, a former deputy prime minister who specialises in economics.

The move highlighted the Kremlin’s aim to further ramp up its war economy, allowing Moscow to continue to wage a long war.

Ukraine’s troops withdraw from parts of north-east as pressure mounts

Ukraine’s troops have withdrawn from several areas of the country’s north-east amid mounting pressure from a new Russian offensive, as the president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, postponed all foreign trips underscoring the seriousness of the threat.

The moves came as the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said Moscow’s latest operation was “going to plan” and Russian forces were improving their positions daily even as the US rushed to resupply arms and ammunition to Kyiv.

Ukrainian military said late on Tuesday that troops fell back from areas in Lukyantsi and Vovchansk near Kharkiv “to save the lives of our servicemen and avoid losses”.

Moscow launched a surprise major ground assault on the Kharkiv region last week as it sought to advance while Kyiv is struggling for arms and manpower.

Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Tuesday that the army had sent reinforcements to the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions. “It is too early to draw conclusions, but the situation is under control,” he said.

Ukraine’s president had been expected to visit Spain, and perhaps Portugal, later this week but cancelled all foreign visits.

Against the backdrop of renewed Russian pressure, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, sought to reassure the ally of continuing American support, announcing a $2bn arms deal.

The United States is rushing ammunition, armoured vehicles, missiles and air defences to Ukraine to ensure their speedy delivery to the frontline, added Blinken on Wednesday.

I am increasingly convinced that the only way to ensure an end to Putin's imperialistic experiment is to end imperialistic Russia. The sentiment of Russian European hegemony is one so ingrained in Russian identity at this point that the only way for the world to have peace is for the vassal states in the "federation" to achieve liberation. Russia must become decolonized. That must be the unquestioned geopolitical aim of the civilized world.

First step is Putin dying, since he clearly isn't going to retire and the power vacuum created when he dies is going to be interesting (and terrifying given their nuclear stockpile).

The Stephen Kotkin article I linked a page ago goes pretty deep into where Russia can go from here ranging from:

Eurasian Cul de Sac: dominating their space (and neighbors) standing up for traditionalism and driving the effete, weak countries into the dirt

CHN Vassal State: basically be DPRK, which Russian elites can't stomach and China definitely doesn't want.

Weak, Sad Town: Realistic about their ability to "take on" the West they retreat to just surviving with the knowledge they cannot prevail and just try not to antagonize the West.

From France With Love: With a strong monarchical tradition/institutions and a revolutionary history and a threat to neighbors, they finally reject that and build on both of the first two to become something like modern France.

You can pick which ones you think are more likely than others.

Maybe this is old news, but I haven't been following this closely and I hadn't heard about the Russians' success at thwarting Western weapon systems, using jamming:
Ukraine War rips veil off of US weapons superiority

Strikingly, many of the failures of U.S. weapons, including the HIMARS, in Ukraine have been due to their reliance on a highly vulnerable guidance system: GPS. The Russians, who have long devoted intense care and attention to electronic warfare, have proven increasingly adept at jamming GPS. This has been most witheringly expressed by Maria Berlinskaya, a pioneer in Ukraine’s use of drones and head of the country’s aerial reconnaissance support center, who recently stated that “most Western systems have proven to be [worthless]” thanks to Russian jamming. Her gloomy assessment was confirmed in April by none other than William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, who told a CSIS conference how a company (Boeing, though he did not name it) had proposed adapting their small diameter GPS guided bomb as a warhead for the HIMARS. It had been accordingly rushed through development and into production, with little or no testing, and shipped off to Ukraine. “It just didn’t work,” admitted LaPlante, thanks to Russian GPS jammers that threw it off course and caused it to miss.
Podunk wrote:

Maybe this is old news, but I haven't been following this closely and I hadn't heard about the Russians' success at thwarting Western weapon systems, using jamming:
Ukraine War rips veil off of US weapons superiority

Strikingly, many of the failures of U.S. weapons, including the HIMARS, in Ukraine have been due to their reliance on a highly vulnerable guidance system: GPS. The Russians, who have long devoted intense care and attention to electronic warfare, have proven increasingly adept at jamming GPS. This has been most witheringly expressed by Maria Berlinskaya, a pioneer in Ukraine’s use of drones and head of the country’s aerial reconnaissance support center, who recently stated that “most Western systems have proven to be [worthless]” thanks to Russian jamming. Her gloomy assessment was confirmed in April by none other than William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, who told a CSIS conference how a company (Boeing, though he did not name it) had proposed adapting their small diameter GPS guided bomb as a warhead for the HIMARS. It had been accordingly rushed through development and into production, with little or no testing, and shipped off to Ukraine. “It just didn’t work,” admitted LaPlante, thanks to Russian GPS jammers that threw it off course and caused it to miss.

This has been both known and overblown. GPS definitely helps, but jamming it is mostly a very localized phenomenon and most Western weapons systems have overlapping capabilities including inertial and terminal guidance. It may mean that your 155mm warhead drops within a 4m radius instead of a 1.2m radius, but it's not going to make the game changing impact folks think it will.

Moreover, Russian EW was pretty well understood going into this conflict and is even better understood now that they have been very... generous... sharing completely intact examples of them for us to analyze with meticulous detail at our state of the art facility in Aberdeen, Maryland. Should it come down to a shooting war between the Putinites and an actual NATO equipped and trained military, EW assets would have life expectancies measured in minutes of deployment. The only reason they are of any significance in this present conflict is because of shortages of ammunition, lack of training, and our failure to provision the Ukrainians with the proper countermeasures.

US tactics are designed to overcome this stuff, in a way that Ukraine is simply not equipped and trained to pull off. The fact that they are the "B" team and still able to do so well is a great sign that Russia is no longer a peer enemy. NATO, operating according to doctrine with the full scope of systems and tactics, would absolutely crush this Russian army.

Imagine, for example, what would happen in a prep campaign of stealth aircraft that would take down every operating radar and comms transmitter near the front in a few days. Just that alone would eliminate a huge number of Ukraine's problems. Then the follow-on strikes into supply junctions and depots, command and control facilities, creating complete air dominance and allowing a ground push with air support. That's the difference. And Russia, who would have expected *huge* losses against NATO and operated under that assumption, has been badly bled against what turned out to be a smaller but more capable force, well-trained and well-equipped and damn well motivated; they don't have that "manpower for ground" tradeoff against NATO capability anymore.

What we need to do is to escalate in support of Ukraine. Let NATO planes conduct air defense against missiles in Ukraine, as Zelensky suggests. Open the ammo and equipment spigot. Let Ukraine strike the strategic and logistical assets in Russia with cruise missiles. Do everything to turn the Russians into a poorly supplied infantry army. This toleration of a war based on ethnic cleansing and civilian terror should not be tolerated (nor should it be in Palestine). We need to get off our asses and end this.

Robear wrote:

US tactics are designed to overcome this stuff, in a way that Ukraine is simply not equipped and trained to pull off. The fact that they are the "B" team and still able to do so well is a great sign that Russia is no longer a peer enemy. NATO, operating according to doctrine with the full scope of systems and tactics, would absolutely crush this Russian army.

Imagine, for example, what would happen in a prep campaign of stealth aircraft that would take down every operating radar and comms transmitter near the front in a few days. Just that alone would eliminate a huge number of Ukraine's problems. Then the follow-on strikes into supply junctions and depots, command and control facilities, creating complete air dominance and allowing a ground push with air support. That's the difference. And Russia, who would have expected *huge* losses against NATO and operated under that assumption, has been badly bled against what turned out to be a smaller but more capable force, well-trained and well-equipped and damn well motivated; they don't have that "manpower for ground" tradeoff against NATO capability anymore.

What we need to do is to escalate in support of Ukraine. Let NATO planes conduct air defense against missiles in Ukraine, as Zelensky suggests. Open the ammo and equipment spigot. Let Ukraine strike the strategic and logistical assets in Russia with cruise missiles. Do everything to turn the Russians into a poorly supplied infantry army. This toleration of a war based on ethnic cleansing and civilian terror should not be tolerated (nor should it be in Palestine). We need to get off our asses and end this.

exactly.

Probably the best explanation for why the vaunted S-400 systems are performing so poorly in Ukraine is that the Russians are literally sh*tting their pants at the idea of turning their radars on because of the threat of anti-radiation missiles. The Ukrainians have maybe a dozen planes capable of firing HARMs and the threat of them is effectively crippling Russian IADS coverage. And those are older Mig-29's they got from Poland which are incapable of utilizing the missiles to their full potential. Imagine the diaper-soiling terror they would be experiencing at the possibility of, say, 60 F-35 stealth aircraft patrolling with racks of HARMs and networked through a fabric of ISR assets. Turning the switch on would be a literal death sentence which would be delivered with certainty and a dizzying quickness. All NATO would have to do is fire a couple dozen MALD Decoys to make the Russians light up the sky, hit whoever bothered to show up to work with HARMs, shoot down any plane that scrambled with Meteors, and dump a Rapid Dragon pallet full of LRASM to unalive anything that popped up to see what was going on.

It would literally be a four hour war.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has given Ukraine the go-ahead to use American weaponry to strike inside Russia for the limited purpose of defending Kharkiv, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, underscored that the U.S. policy calling on Ukraine not to use American-provide long-range missiles and other munitions to strike inside Russia offensively has not changed.

The move comes as Ukrainian officials have stepped up calls on the U.S. administration to allow its forces to defend itself against attacks originating from Russian territory.

"Oh whoops. Totally accidentally cratered three Russian airbases. Our bad."

yeah. Fat fingered those GPS coordinates. sorry bout that.

Maybe if you didn't jam GPS.....

Germany joining as well

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The German government said Friday that Ukraine can use German-supplied weapons against Russian attacks from positions just over their joint border, in a significant policy change that came a day after U.S. President Joe Biden gave Kyiv a green light to strike back with American weapons at Russian military assets targeting the country’s second-largest city.

What the hell is the definition of "offensive" here? UKR didn't invade.

no bombing Moscow