1SlowVW HalfDork
6/16/22 6:43 a.m.
frenchyd said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to frenchyd :

That is the sad part.  Russia is strong in resources, has a strong population with some really brilliant minds... they could accomplish SO much, if they were not hamstrung by the kind of corruption that basically has defined the area since recorded history.

May have had a strong population in the past but they are down to only 122 million. So many of them seek gratification elsewhere. Be it drugs or Aides, alcohol,  or diseases.  Their birth rate isn't even big enough to sustain half of their present population.  
   Tech savvy intelligent Russians are leaving Russia in droves.  Finding opportunities in countries eager for them.  
  Look at their athletic programs.  They have to dope up a major portion of their players to compete.  
  Corruption is so Common that few can begin to hope in getting ahead based on hard work and merit. 
   Finally. Service in the military is so onerous and cruel that they use the draft or conscription rather than incentives.   
     Soldiers like that will only fight if threatened with worse treatment for not fighting.  

For comparison sake I don't know how big a problem the population thing really is. Up here in Canada we only have 35B people in a land mass almost as large and we seem to get by alright, although we also have a slowing birth rate and have for years. We also have a big drug problems... 

I think your corruption point is the real meat of the issue. If people can't get ahead they will try and get out. 

RX Reven'
RX Reven' UltraDork
6/16/22 11:42 a.m.

aircooled MegaDork
6/16/22 1:47 p.m.

Bret Stephens from the New York Times had an interesting observation on the situation:

- The Russians are running out of precision guided munitions

- The Ukrainians are running out of Soviet era weapons

- The world is running out of patients for the war

- The US is running out of ideas for how to wage it

- The Chinese are watching


Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/16/22 2:12 p.m.

In reply to aircooled : Good points. The last, best hope for Putin is that the resolve of the herd of cats that is the west will splinter before the Russian economy completely implodes.  

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/17/22 11:13 a.m.

Ukraine now on the fastrack to EU membership.  Does this change Putin's calculus?

aircooled MegaDork
6/17/22 11:23 a.m.

My opinion is no.  I think the EU / NATO thing was never really the true motivation other then a tangible example of how Ukraine will not be controlled by Russia and I think it's pretty clear at this point that that is just not going to happen.

As far as rhetoric?  I am sure Russia will paint it as some sort of attack on Russia... like most everything else... look!,  a wolf!

02Pilot UberDork
6/17/22 11:47 a.m.

In reply to aircooled :

I generally agree, though it's important to distinguish between the EU and NATO from Putin's perspective. NATO is a security concern; the EU is not. I have a feeling that Putin views the EU as Stalin famously did the Vatican - when questioned about how some action would be perceived by the Papacy, he supposedly retorted "The Pope? How many divisions does he have?" That there is considerable crossover in membership between the two organizations is probably seen from Moscow more as an opportunity to divide the West than anything else, especially since the EU and the US have a history of contentious relations over non-security issues.

aircooled MegaDork
6/17/22 12:49 p.m.

One interesting thing I noticed in the past few days is that Russia has not been making strikes (ballistic and cruise missiles mostly I believe) on cities around Ukraine, especially Lviv in the west.  So that comment about running out of cruise missiles might be on point.

This map normally has a lot of air raid warnings being shown.  The bomb icon at the bottom BTW is the Ukrainians putting two anti-ship missiles into a Russian ship trying to transport TOR anti-aircraft systems to Snake island.

The Russians apparently have been playing games a bit with their combat groups.  There normal organizations is into Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs).  They have been creating rather ad-hoc ones for a while (after getting eaten up early in the conflict).  They now apparently have given up on the BTG's in general, at least in some areas.  This does not bode well for flexibility on the battlefield and yet another "step down" for the Russian military in general.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/17/22 3:17 p.m.

It looks like the Crimean canal has a blue line down it. I wonder what that means? Last I heard, the Russians had restored water service to Crimea.

frenchyd MegaDork
6/17/22 3:31 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

The US is sending  our stockpile of surplus howitzers  and  shells. While Russia has just about completely used up their whole  inventory.   
  It's often been said amateurs  talk about tactics while professionals  talk about supplies. 

RX Reven'
RX Reven' UltraDork
6/17/22 3:39 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Yep, you have to finish a war with what you started with...Russia is making huge bank from the high fuel prices but they don't have time to convert their new found money into weapons.

02Pilot UberDork
6/18/22 8:28 a.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:

It looks like the Crimean canal has a blue line down it. I wonder what that means? Last I heard, the Russians had restored water service to Crimea.

On that map, I believe it's just showing its location. The Russians are now using it to supply Crimea with fresh water.

aircooled MegaDork
6/20/22 8:04 p.m.

Some stuff

- Ukraine apparently has not be terribly transparent with it's troop loses.  The Russians will be rotating out soldiers every 6 months.  The Ukrainians likely do not have that option.

- Russian steps up it's anti-drone defense and has been more successful at shooting down Ukrainians drones

- Zelenski make a comment about Ukraine being in a similar situation to Taiwan, which of course caused steam to shoot out of the ears of the Chinese (sorry about the link source, they seem to be the only one reporting about it).   https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2022/06/13/volodymyr-zelensky-asks-world-defend-taiwan-china-now-not-after-war-started/

- Lithuania starts stopping trains delivering restricted goods to Kaliningrad (agian, interesting source)   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/6/20/russia-demands-lifting-of-lithuanias-kaliningrad-restrictions

Kaliningrad is an interesting place (maybe 02 has a good way to explain it), but it's basically (essentially artificially created) Russian territory completely surrounded by (now) NATO nations relying on trains Running through Lithuania for goods.  It's also the home of the Russian Baltic fleet!

The Russians of course are less than pleased and are warning horrible things.  There is a potential here for Russia to want to open that corridor, but that will involve entering a NATO country, which has obvious results.  Some could say this is a avenue for getting NATO into the war.

More info:

  • Ukrainian sources stated that the coming week will be decisive for Russian forces to complete the capture of Severodonetsk and that Russian forces will focus troops and equipment on the area.
  • Ukrainian sources confirmed that Russian forces control all of Severodonetsk with the exception of the Azot industrial zone, where fights are ongoing.
  • Russian sources are likely setting information conditions to justify slow and unsuccessful advances towards Slovyansk from the southeast of Izyum and west of Lyman.
  • Russian forces are likely intensifying operations to interdict Ukrainian lines of communication along the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway in order to support escalating operations in Severodonetsk-Lysychansk.
  • Russian forces continued to focus on resisting further Ukrainian advances north of Kharkiv City towards the international border.
  • Russian forces are continuing defensive operations along the Southern Axis.
  • Ukrainian partisan activity is continuing to complicate efforts by Russian occupation authorities to consolidate control of occupied areas.
aircooled MegaDork
6/22/22 12:19 p.m.

Related to the above:

State Department warns Russia: Attack on Lithuania is attack on US

A new Russian threat to target “the residents of Lithuania” has drawn a sharp reminder of the American pledge to fight alongside any NATO allies that might come under attack.

“Lithuania is a member of the NATO alliance,” State Department spokesman Ned Price emphasized. ”We stand by the commitments that we have made to the NATO alliance. That includes, of course, a commitment to Article 5: That is the bedrock of the NATO alliance.”...



I believe Russia stated at one point they would supply Kaliningrad by sea.  As noted in the article, supplying by air is an issue since a lot of Russia's civilian aircraft are of western origin and they no longer have access to parts (although I suspect there are some shell companies in various countries buying some of them)

Noddaz UberDork
6/22/22 9:33 p.m.

I believe Russia stated at one point they would supply Kaliningrad by sea.  As noted in the article, supplying by air is an issue since a lot of Russia's civilian aircraft are of western origin and they no longer have access to parts (although I suspect there are some shell companies in various countries buying some of them)

Let alone the fact that they would have to fly over NATO territory to supply the Kaliningrad area.

BTW, does anyone have any idea if or how many Soviet era weapons are flowing from the former Soviet bloc to Ukraine?  I know Migs from Poland were not sent...  But one Soviet artillery shell or RPG looks much like the any other Soviet shell or RPG.  


stroker PowerDork
6/24/22 1:35 p.m.
wae PowerDork
6/24/22 1:39 p.m.

In reply to stroker :

That is either the most epic of all design flaws or Ukraine has come up with some sort of fantastic cyber warfare program.

aircooled MegaDork
6/24/22 2:32 p.m.

Regarding the Soviet Bloc equipment:

I would suspect most former Soviet Block equipment a current NATO country would have would almost gladly be given over.  As a NATO country, one of the primary advantages and purposes is the sharing of common equipment and standards.  Makes logistics MUCH easier.  Some of the expensive stuff (planes, air defense) will likely stick around a bit, but eventually will be replaced.


For Ukraine.  Still not much changing.   There is video of a HIMARS being used, so those are in play now.  One possibility is that Ukrainian troops trained in NATO standards, using more NATO weapons should be getting online soon.  If there is to be any change, that might be it.

Also of note, the Ukrainians have been attacking Snake island to soften it, and to resist any reinforcement, perhaps for an attack?  They have also attacked an oil rig the Russians took over near by.  There is also evidence that the Russian attack a grain supply depot in the southern areas.  So, stealing the Ukrainian grain, preventing them from shipping what they have, and now destroying their stores... nice.

I guess that kind of answers the question of if the Ukrainians loaded up a bulk grain carrier and tried to transit the Black Sea, what would happen.  I think it would be likely the Russians would sink it.  Which of course is effectively a crime against the world, but they clearly don't care.

Other updates:

  • Belarusian forces are conducting mobilization exercises along the Ukrainian border but are unlikely to enter the war in Ukraine due to their low capabilities and the adverse domestic implications of military involvement on behalf of Russia.
  • Russian forces have likely reached the southern outskirts of Lysychansk and are reinforcing their grouping around Severodonetsk to complete the capture of both Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. These gains remain unlikely to provide Russian forces with a decisive edge in further operations in Ukraine and have further degraded Russian capabilities.
  • Russian forces are continuing efforts to encircle the Ukrainian grouping in Hirske and Zolote and are likely moving to take control of these settlements.
  • Russian forces have likely successfully interdicted Ukrainian lines of communication along the T1302 highway and are using recent gains along the highway to reinforce assaults on Lysychansk.
  • Russian forces amassed equipment and continued building defensive capabilities along the Southern Axis.
eastsideTim UltimaDork
6/24/22 2:51 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

I don't think the Ukrainians will attempt to retake Snake Island anytime in the near future.  Much better to let the Russians pour manpower and equipment into trying to defend it.

stroker PowerDork
6/24/22 5:04 p.m.

I've heard the Russian need for possession of Snake Island increased dramatically with the loss of the Moskva cruiser.  Snake Island serves as an unsinkable platform from which to launch SAMs and use long range radar.  That would make it a very good target for Ukrainian forces.  

aircooled MegaDork
6/24/22 5:12 p.m.

Yeah, that sounds right. The Ukrainians have knocked out a SAM system based there and destroyed a ship trying to get a SAM system there (from what I have seen).

I am not sure the Ukrainians having it helps them too much anyway.  The Russians still have subs that could easily sink any grain carrier trying to get into and out of Odessa.  With the arrival of Harpoons, there supply of the island will only get more difficult.

If the UN had any balls (it does not), it would demand free passage of wheat out of Ukraine under penalty of the sinking of any interfering ships or subs.

02Pilot UberDork
6/24/22 9:20 p.m.

Ukraine doesn't really need to hold Snake Island, but they do need to deny it to the Russians for the reasons mentioned. The Russian focus on controlling it seems to suggest that they have given up on the idea of capturing the remainder of the Ukrainian coastline (if they did so, possession of Snake Island would be irrelevant). I don't see any reason other than propaganda value for the Ukrainians to try to capture the island; forcing the Russians to continue to commit resources there, and pounding them whenever the opportunity permits, seems to make a lot more sense from a tactical and operational point of view.

red_stapler SuperDork
6/25/22 9:22 a.m.
aircooled said:

I guess that kind of answers the question of if the Ukrainians loaded up a bulk grain carrier and tried to transit the Black Sea, what would happen.  I think it would be likely the Russians would sink it. 

It seems far more likely that they would hit a mine.  I understand that they've mined the E36 M3 out of the various ports.

This is a sketchy source and a month old, but it would suggest that the Russians are willing to set up corridors for grain shipments (mines are mentioned as well):


I doubt it would happen since their conditions are lifting some of the sanctions.

Noddaz UberDork
6/25/22 10:04 a.m.

From the AP

In the north, about 20 rockets were fired from Belarus into the Chernihiv region, the Ukrainian military said.

Ukraine’s air command said Russian long-range Tu-22 bombers were deployed from Belarus for the first time. The neighboring country hosts Russian military units and was used as a staging ground before Russia invaded Ukraine, but its own troops have not crossed the border.


AP News


QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) MegaDork
6/27/22 6:53 a.m.

In reply to Noddaz :

Does that mean Belarus is or is not in play as a target? I mean if a Ukranian neighbor allowed Ukrainian war machines to be positioned and be used as a base of operations the Russians would certainly take issue with it, correct? 

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