Noddaz
Noddaz UberDork
6/27/22 7:43 a.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown) said:

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? 

On the surface one would think that Belarus has been and is a now a player in the war.  After all,  the entire premise for this special military operation from Putin's view is that Ukraine was a threat to Russia.  And Belarus has allowed access to Ukraine for Russian troops.

 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/27/22 8:14 a.m.

Think of this from the point of view of Lukashenko. Belarus is completely dependent on Russia. It has been further isolated by the EU because of its association with Russia and the war in Ukraine. When Russia wanted to push troops and munitions through it, Lukashenko has no option but to allow it if he wanted to remain in power. Now missiles being fired by Russia from Bularussian territory. Again, this is out of Lukshenko's hands. The real question is what does Putin hope to gain by doing so. I think he gains two things: 1) he further ties Belarus to Russia in a very one-sided relationship; this is exactly how he would like Russia's relationship with Ukraine to function as well, and 2) he hopes that Ukraine will retaliate against targets inside Belarus, which would have the effect of furthering the Russian narrative, binding Belarus even closer to Russia (now in a war against a common enemy) and hopefully getting Belarus to commit troops into Ukraine, and allowing Lukshenko to crack down further on his substantial domestic opposition as a security measure.

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if the Russians are leaving forces exposed in Belarus to try to tempt Ukraine to strike some nice juicy targets like SRBM TELs.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/27/22 9:33 a.m.

If an analysis published in The Washington Post (edit: not The NY Times as I originally posted) is accurate, it's possible that the escalation seen over the last few days with multiple widespread cruise missile attacks and the use of Belarusian airspace was a desperation move.

Putin needs the Ukrainians to respond to the temptation to attack Belorussia in order to draw the Belorussians into the war.

The Russian military will soon exhaust its combat capabilities and be forced to bring its offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region to a grinding halt, according to Western intelligence predictions and military experts. “There will come a time when the tiny advances Russia is making become unsustainable in light of the costs and they will need a significant pause to regenerate capability,” said a senior Western official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue.

The Washington Post analysis makes the case that Russia is very close to being militarily depleted. It's possible, that the widespread attack is an attempt to look as robust as possible in the face of this prospect.

 

Noddaz
Noddaz UberDork
6/27/22 10:26 a.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

 

The Washington Post analysis makes the case that Russia is very close to being militarily depleted. It's possible, that the widespread attack is an attempt to look as robust as possible in the face of this prospect.

 

 I can't agree.  Russia will just use it's stores of older and obsolete weapons that it never disposed of and continue to pound Ukraine.  If Russia ca field T-62 tanks who knows what else is still in warehouses.

stroker
stroker PowerDork
6/27/22 10:45 a.m.
Noddaz said:
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

 

The Washington Post analysis makes the case that Russia is very close to being militarily depleted. It's possible, that the widespread attack is an attempt to look as robust as possible in the face of this prospect.

 

 I can't agree.  Russia will just use it's stores of older and obsolete weapons that it never disposed of and continue to pound Ukraine.  If Russia ca field T-62 tanks who knows what else is still in warehouses.

Well, there's something to the argument that when the Russians resupply they're getting 50 year old weapons and when Ukraine resupplies it's going to be getting relatively newer Western gear.  I realize that's a slight oversimplification but it appears to be generally true.  What I'm wondering is what non-military leverage can be applied to Moscow to NOT go nuclear in this.  

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/27/22 10:57 a.m.

Missiles  do not tend to store well without regular service.   Anything electronic  guided is the same way. Planes also require rather intense maintenance to remain serviceable.  
 Tanks and other battle equipment  on the other hand   Really only need minimal service to remain functional.  

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltimaDork
6/27/22 10:58 a.m.

I suspect the big issue regarding hitting Belarus, (and also why Ukraine hasn't targeted too much inside the borders of Russia), is that Russia is looking for an internal propaganda win that they can use to start conscripting more than the usual number of people.  If Ukraine can keep from giving them that, it'll be harder for Russia to replenish troops without causing more internal strife.  Maybe that's one of the reasons why the Kerch Strait Bridge hasn't been attacked yet.  It could be a morale win for Ukraine, but a propaganda win for Russia, in convincing its people that Ukraine is actually a threat.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/27/22 12:45 p.m.

Some stuff:

Nordstream One pipeline is down to 40% as Germany (still buying) is trying to buy natural gas cheap to store it for the winter and Russia tries to be as big of a D as possible.

Europe may be softening their support of Ukraine as the Russian sanctions seem to be mostly affecting and hurting the Europeans.

Putin has offered Belarus Iskander missiles, with all variations of warheads... including nuclear.

Kyiv gets showered with missiles, in an apparent temper tantrum by the part of Russians because they are not invited to the G7 party.

There appears to be no use of AWACS or Rivet joints in the Ukraine area.  Which says something to the more static nature there now.

Rumors that the new Russian conscripts have had VERY little training, as in maybe a week!  They still have plenty of artillery, and are using it, but you can't hold ground, or take built up areas, with artillery.

Russia defaults on international bond, and could be considered in general default.  The consensus though is that it really doesn't change much since Russia is already so heavily isolated by the Western sanctions.

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/explainer-impact-russian-debt-default-85775697

 

More tidbits:

  • Russian forces conducted a missile strike against Kyiv for the first time since April 29, likely to coincide with the ongoing G7 leadership summit.
  • Russian Colonel-General Gennday Zhidko has likely taken over the role of theatre commander of operations in Ukraine.
  • Russian forces continued attacks against the southern outskirts of Lysychansk and consolidated control of Severodonetsk and surrounding settlements.
  • Russian forces are conducting operations to the east of Bakhmut to maintain control of the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway.
  • Russian forces conducted unsuccessful ground assaults to the northwest of Slovyansk.
  • Russian forces intensified artillery strikes against Ukrainian positions along the Southern Axis.
  • Russian occupation authorities are escalating measures to stem Ukrainian partisan activity in occupied areas through increased filtration measures and the abduction of civilians.
GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
6/27/22 2:53 p.m.

 The issue of defaulting will be long-term and post-war; despite everyone knowing that such a thing was done intentionally by the west, a hit to their credit means investment from outside the nation may effectively be nonexistent for the next several decades.

stroker said:
Noddaz said:
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

 

The Washington Post analysis makes the case that Russia is very close to being militarily depleted. It's possible, that the widespread attack is an attempt to look as robust as possible in the face of this prospect.

 

 I can't agree.  Russia will just use it's stores of older and obsolete weapons that it never disposed of and continue to pound Ukraine.  If Russia ca field T-62 tanks who knows what else is still in warehouses.

Well, there's something to the argument that when the Russians resupply they're getting 50 year old weapons and when Ukraine resupplies it's going to be getting relatively newer Western gear.  I realize that's a slight oversimplification but it appears to be generally true.  What I'm wondering is what non-military leverage can be applied to Moscow to NOT go nuclear in this.  

Russia can't turn out conscripts and armed personel fast enough to fill the holes being pounded open by Ukrainians- captured and intercepted phone calls imply they're abandoning BTGs en masse because they just don't have the people, and morale keeps dropping. This is further made worse, byt the fact that to keep up internal safety Putin can't simply weaken his border around Russia to send to the front.

Per a thread on twitter I can post later, Russia will soon (if not now) have completely exhausted all localized chip production needed for guided missiles and accurate weapons since they never built an industry for it that wasn't reliant on the EU since the 90s- we've seen already, that Russia is relying on very outdated artillery from the 60s, whose biggest problem is that they're inaccurate and short-ranged versus things we've given them like Excalibur. Ukrainians have been playing games of chicken with Russian artillery for months since, goading artillery to fire and expose their positions so Excalibur or other systems can pinpoint them- what Russia does in 10 rounds, Ukraine basically does in 2.

As for going nuclear- noooooooo. Going nuclear means retaliation from Europe, not simply as a NATO doctrine (debatably, fallout affecting EU nations is an article 5 violation) but an open sign that he will glass the earth if he doesn't get his way. Besides, he's been threatening nuclear retaliation since be began the war.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) MegaDork
6/27/22 5:35 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

Very well stated. 

I do however believe that he is back dooring a China deal that may result in a giant influx of economic and weapons in trade for desperately marked down oil futures.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/27/22 6:51 p.m.

It's really hard to know what's really going on over there, but this bit of info would seem to indicate that the advantage that Ukraine has in the precision-guided  sector is really starting to make itself known. 

https://twitter.com/COUPSURE/status/1541470213710962694

 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/27/22 8:29 p.m.

At this point, I suspect Putin is looking for something he can use to declare victory and start cease-fire negotiations. Donbas would be the obvious choice, given the role it played in the initial motivation for the conflict (at least in terms of the Russian narrative). It's about the minimum in terms of what could be considered a win, but all the logistical issues Russia is facing, plus the continued material support for Ukraine, are likely to create a tricky situation for all parties. Ukraine is likely to be the least inclined to end hostilities whenever Russia proposes reopening negotiations, which is going to be very awkward for Western leaders, who want the conflict ended in order to stabilize markets and take pressure off of their policy agendas, and could push Putin into a very unpleasant situation if Russia starts losing ground while trying to end the conflict. If Ukraine is given everything it wants and more, the West should not be shocked if it uses it to continue hammering the Russians even after a cease-fire proposal is on the table.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/27/22 10:57 p.m.

Russia should just surrender to Ukraine. Then Ukraine will REALLY have a mess on its hands.

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/28/22 3:16 p.m.

Turkey drops it's opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.  

EDIT: https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-europe-61960122

stroker
stroker PowerDork
6/28/22 3:31 p.m.

In reply to 06HHR (Forum Supporter) :

and in other news, Erdogan now has a new-to-him superyacht...  cheeky

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
6/28/22 3:42 p.m.

It's also important to note that Russia has still NOT declared war.

Because it is not officially a "war", Russia is incredibly limited on the number and types of forces it can bring to bare. They can't activate a lot of their reserve units.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/28/22 5:17 p.m.
Beer Baron said:

It's also important to note that Russia has still NOT declared war.

Because it is not officially a "war", Russia is incredibly limited on the number and types of forces it can bring to bare. They can't activate a lot of their reserve units.

Really? Do you think that a country that's routinely blowing up a variety of civilian targets in direct violation of the rules of war is going to give a flying sexual act about whether they are supposed to call up reserves or not?

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/28/22 5:29 p.m.

It's more of an internal issue than an international law issue.  By declaring war, Russia would have to justify that internally.  Why war for just this little special operation?  Declaring war would allow them to mobilize FAR more troops, but also subject far more troops to involuntary service which could greatly amplify internal resistance.  I suspect O2 might have some useful perspective on this.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/28/22 5:39 p.m.

I was watching an analysis of the Severodonetsk region of the conflict, that brings up an interesting question:  Why is Ukraine trying so hard to defend it?  Seemingly at the detriment of other areas.

It doesn't seem to be that strategically important, and is giving the Russians an excellent opportunity to create a good number of Ukrainian casualties.  Apparently the Russians are just pounding the hell out of the area with artillery (which they still have a lot of, and a lot of ammo).  They blast the area until the Ukrainians retreat, then march in.  The Ukrainians are essentially semi-surrounded, so lots of attack angles, and hard to counter.

Apparently the Ukrainians are also running low on artillery shells (old Russian stuff) and not a lot of western stuff.  So why would they not just retreat to straighten out the line a bit and make it much easier on them?  Perhaps it's because they really just don't want to give the Russians a win.  But is that worth the high cost in troops?  Maybe to keep the Russians distracted, for something else?

 

stroker
stroker PowerDork
6/28/22 5:50 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Somebody referenced some time back that there were reports of oil having been found in eastern Ukraine....  That would be my guess.

I've not seen any reports of this, but I don't understand why Ukraine hasn't got sniper teams waging a guerrilla war in occupied territory.  I'd think there'd be some poetic justice in the Ukrainians going all VC on Putin's ass...  

 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/28/22 5:58 p.m.

Yeah, that was me, but I think we are still talking about a pretty isolated area compared to the size of the oil deposits.  Not sure it would be worth it, unless there is some super special deposit area there.

As for as guerrilla actions.  The Russians have definitely been having issues in the southern coastal regions.  There seems to be a good amount of resistance there.  Unlikely to have much in the previously occupied areas though, and perhaps this is good way to decide "who gets' what".  No one really wants to occupy an area that doesn't want them, though the Russians are pretty good at "solving" that eventually (rather brutally, or by simply moving the offending population).

(addition)

This recently happened:

Explosions at military bases in Yasinuvata, Nova Kakhovka, and earlier today at Kadiivka and Perevalne

These are all bases in the occupied Russian regions.  Seems very likely to be some sort of partisan action.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/28/22 9:50 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

If Russia agreed to leave everywhere but Crimea and Donbas tomorrow, I don't think that Ukraine would accept it. My sense (worth what you paid for it) is that Ukraine is so pissed off, and of the mind that the war will shift their way soon, that at the very least they'll want Donbas, and probably Crimea as well. Russia kicked the hornets nest, and just promising to leave the nest alone ain't going to make the hornets stop stinging.

 

As for Severodonetsk, I believe that Ukraine still holds Lysyschansk, and that's a real defensible spot, as it sits across the river from and higher than Severodenetsk, although unless the cavalry comes pretty soon, they probably will have to pull out as Russia threatens a pincer move that will leave Ukraine forces surrounded.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/28/22 9:55 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Maybe it is ultimately to Ukraine's benefit that they are wasting all that time, materiel, and manpower on "useless" territory so that they don't shift focus to more important areas?  AKA "Never interrupt the enemy when they are making a mistake"

 

To a degree they are playing a waiting game.  The longer it drags on the more it is in Ukraine's favor as Russian stockpiles disappear.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/28/22 10:15 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to aircooled :

Maybe it is ultimately to Ukraine's benefit that they are wasting all that time, materiel, and manpower on "useless" territory so that they don't shift focus to more important areas?  AKA "Never interrupt the enemy when they are making a mistake"

 

To a degree they are playing a waiting game.  The longer it drags on the more it is in Ukraine's favor as Russian stockpiles disappear.

Good points.  If Russia keeps wasting materials and manpower  fighting in the Ukraine, how will they ever defend against China?    
  That is a mighty tempting target just North of China.  Gold, oil, and all that timber? And water. Something China is running short of.   Plus who knows what else is up there in the form of minerals? 
     Russia is down to 122 million people against 1.3 billion?   OK China is stretched a little thin with a pretty massive debt. And a whole bunch of money invested in ghost towns.  
     China has a whole lot of virtually unused railroad infrastructure  in its Northern territories!!!  
    Russia on the other hand is using up what little depth they have in manpower and materials.   
   What is that part of the world called?  Northern resource territory? 
    

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/28/22 10:18 p.m.
stroker said:

In reply to aircooled :

Somebody referenced some time back that there were reports of oil having been found in eastern Ukraine....  That would be my guess.

I've not seen any reports of this, but I don't understand why Ukraine hasn't got sniper teams waging a guerrilla war in occupied territory.  I'd think there'd be some poetic justice in the Ukrainians going all VC on Putin's ass...  

 

I suspect they already have such teams.  How many Russian Generals and other top ranking officers are dead now?   

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