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Everything posted by dorlomin

  1. We need to start shipping as much kit to Ukraine as possible as quickly as possible. Our air power means there is nothing that can genuinely threaten us on land. Anything that is not bolted down that they can use. Ship it.
  2. The relevant troops are mobilised. They are either contractors with several years service who have refused to fight in a foreign country, or conscripts who are not allowed to be sent to a foreign country. Suddenly Kherson is no longer a foreign country. Declare the occupied parts of Ukraine as Russia and now he has about 140 000 trained and equipped soldiers he can deploy. More over Russia has been fighting as a kind of weird hybrid of a western professional army, but without the professional infantry and a Russia mass mobilisation army without the mass mobilised infantry. Many of the critiques of the Russian army: it lacks initiative, because its war plans require large numbers of low readiness conscripts it cannot rely on initiative. Its equipment is cheap, because it relies on a mass of conscripts to man that equipment, it has fought tactically poor, because its tactics rely on large amounts of infantry that are absent, are being addressed by this move. If he has only a few months artillery then this is his YOLO zerg rush. His one Hail Mary. On the other hand this is why so much western military equipment is the way it is. The reason the US has 3500 M1s in storage, the reason the M270s were designed to launch utter hell on large concentrations of troops. Why the A-10s were designed to kill a lot of tanks before the pilots died (that slow and that close to the ground the planes have a short life expectancy in a high intensity conflict, but they would take a chunk of T-72s with them before they go). The US gave Ukraine a small number of MRLS systems (multiple rocket launchers) to launch the much rarer and very precise GMRLs munitions (the wheeled HIMARS have been doing that). We did it as they had no other platform for precision munitions. Now we need to give them a boat load of the M270s and open our stocks of dumb rounds. Give them as many of the old M1 as we can, not to use as modern MBTs with all the training that requires but as old school heavy tanks to sit on a hill and kill as many T-72s and BMP-2s before they are over whelmed. The war will be decided when the main rush of Russian conscripts hits, days, weeks or maybe a month or so. Shit is about to get real.
  3. Apparently about 20 000 contractors refused to deploy. Russia currently has about 130 000 conscripts. The Russian army is designed to be a mass mobilisation army. Its equipment is designed not to be the best in the world but to be useable by conscripts, its tactics are not meant to be the smartest but ones you can teach conscripts. Now it looks like all those empty seats in BMP2s are going to have warm bums to fill them. Cooks and radar operators with full time contracts who skipped on the first 6 months look to have won themselves tickets to some of those seats. Putin looks like he might be trying for a zerg rush while the ammo lasts.
  4. Once its signed and sealed, the guys sitting in Russia in conscript battalions will be sent to become the missing infantry from the BTGs currently deployed. Well Id assume that, it seems to most sensible thing to fill the huge gap. The LNR and DNR troops might also start getting proper gear, they will be formally part of Russia. Perhaps all simply folded into the Russian army and again distributed as infantry for existing mechanised formations. The big ticking question mark is artillery stocks. Will Xi give them enough to keep fighting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_equipment_of_the_People's_Liberation_Army_Ground_Force#Gun_artillery They dont have huge amounts of 152mm stuff, most of the longer range is 155mm. They do have a lot of 122mm. So they could sell that. But again they have serious worries about Taiwan going independent and trouble breaking out with India.
  5. Making them part of the Russian Federation will allow the Kremlin force any service personnel to deploy. Prevent those with existing contracts from terminating and allow them to call up reservists.
  6. Next three months this was is going to increasingly be about Russian artillery stocks and if someone can replenish them and the coming winter. No weather event shapes outcomes on a battle field like extreme cold. I know most will think 0C is a bit nippy getting from the house to a bus. But try doing a 12 hour stand in a trench. Ukraine can easily get to -10C regularly. I assume the Ukrainians will be well supplied by US and European surplus kit. LNR\DNR perhaps. Probably not. They are going to take extreme casualties if Russia does not dig deep into stocks of winter clothes. But it will be a humanitarian disaster for the civilians without electricity or gas.
  7. Hour and a half recap of where we are and how we got here. Can be listened to on 1.5 speed in an hour. Relatively high end. My only comment is we have not seen many\any Polish donated PT-91 They are T-72s brought up to late 80s western standards. I think whatever the main Ukrainian thrust will be, they will spear head it short of the US donating Abrams.
  8. I am pretty sure north of Glasgow is not the north west coast. That aside seems to have been quite the site. Most likely not big enough to have reached the ground, but who knows.
  9. So either 5000 recruits brought up to basic infantry standard or 5000 reservists retrained to operate as a modern mech brigade. You'd really want to wish the later, especially with that much time to specialise in night fighting.
  10. That huge wide flank from Zaporizhzhia to Donetsk looks undefendable. No great insight, everyone sees it and once broken it cuts the Russians in two. I bet that more than anywhere keeps the Russian generals awake at night.
  11. It was on Ukrainian TV Some speculate it was some small units and the Ukrainians are fucking with Russians minds, knowing this will get back to them on Telegram. Others that they are in the shit and some are trying to get out alive. Its got to suck sweaty donkey balls being a Russian squaddie right now. And winter is coming.
  12. There are rumours of refusals to deploy while other rumours are of being held back in case of civil unrest. Fair enough, use Rosgvardia OMON units as soldiers (Russian riot police) and use soldiers are riot police. . Its hard to parse these rumours and Ukraine are sticking their oar in to stir the shit. But it does seem as if the Kharkiv offensive marks a major shift in many Russians views of this war.
  13. Power grids are enormous machines. Arguably the biggest machine in every country. But that are designed by nature to be redundant. A portion of your power stations will be down for maintenance at any one time and there will be "spinning reserves" ready to turn into power generators and take up the slack of a failed generator. You will also have load followers that will exist to turn on and off for a few hours of peak power a day and base load power aimed at running all day and night. Morals aside, if you are going to hit a power grid you have to hit it hard and sustained to have an impact. Ukraine is not the UK, it is very poor so it likely lacks much of the resilience and redundancy of a western grid. But it will still have lots of redundancy in it. Every day we see ammunition stores burning from HIMARS and Excalibur hits, we see downed bridges and sometimes command posts taken out. If Russia had the capacity to take those out they would. They are currently experiencing tactical and operational level reversals of a very serious magnitude. They likely have a ticking clock of months of operational capacity left. Turning the lights off in Kharkiv for a few hours is not going to change that. Its petulant. This is like the V2 attacks on London. It sucks. But its not effective. How much money a week do you think it would take to hire HGVs to replace the rail capacity of Ukraine if it were really taken out? How much would it take to bring in HGVs from all over Europe to do the lifting of the rail network if Berlin, London and Washington opened the cheque book and said: Lets start hiring HGVs? If they could burn HIMARs stocks they would. If they could burn 155mm stocks they would. If they could destroy tanks they would. V2 2.0.
  14. Russia targeting power generation and water supply. Its an escalation. Its also more petulant than effective. Seems they do not have any valuable military targets they can hit right now.
  15. If the stories of Russia being down to 30% of artillery ammunition stocks are correct then they have about 3 months of fighting left in them. The only big question here is that they buy from China. China has some old Soviet guns they keep around, 152mm but whether they are compatible with what Russia uses would be a major question and China has its own paranoias about India and the US. Russia cannot fight without lots of artillery, their units are light on infantry, even before the war, and rely on mass fire to do much of the work. There equipment was designed for a different country and a very different war. It was meant to be used as a huge army of reservists, perhaps up to 7 million being pulled into motor rifle divisions and to be used as a huge steamroller west wards. The idea was the sheer mass of 10 000s of tanks (I think they had more than 100 000 T-55s alone) covered by an enormous air force would crush NATO. But Russia of the 2020s was not the USSR of the 1970s. The equipment parks were full of rusted and un-maintained equipment. Politically they could not do the mass mobilisation of the Soviet era. So instead of having the small but very high tech army of a western power, they had a mid sized low tech army that we have seen fail outside Kyiv. What I think happened, and what experts hint at, is that they realised they could not take all of Ukraine so they would expand the Luhansk Republic and turn Kherson into a third Russian controlled republic. The plan was a summer offensive, take the losses but take the land then dig into defensive lines. The Ukrainians would have to attack where they would lose their much smaller amounts of tanks and IFVs (sort of mini tanks for carrying infantry) at which point Russia would win the attritional war and force Ukraine to negotiate. This seems to have been the April to September plan. Their offensive was much slower and much more costly than they hoped. It took ages for them to take towns like Sievierodonetsk. This cost them valuable infantry. Where we are now is that Eastern Europe really rallied to Ukraine, sending almost all the ex Soviet equipment they did not need on the spot. So Ukraines losses in heavy equipment were kept manageable. And in the spare time they could train up on older western equipment like the M113s (an old school box on wheels APC) and the new artillery systems that were being donated. This allowed them to inflict much heavier casualties that Russia expected and with the GPS guided, super accurate weapons like the Excalibur artillery round and the HIMARs rockets, they were able to pin point supply dumps and bridges in a way Russia had not plan to deal with. Where we are now is that the large donations of MRAPS (wheeled armoured vehicles) and APCs are now hitting the front lines. So Ukraine is in reasonably good shape in terms of heavy metal. (New Polish tanks, the PT 91 have been seen arriving, its a T 72 with modern night fighting equipment), The whole Russian theory of how to win the war has collapsed. Ukraine is getting stronger not weaker. So now Russia has a large force south of the Dnieper where HIMARs have blow the bridges and they are going to struggle to keep supplied. Their thin defenses in Kharkiv were blown away by an attack of 15 tanks some M113s and a chock load of MRAPs This has totally exploded Russias entire "theory of victory". Now they have none. More over Ukraine has lots more promised equipment arriving every day. And 10 000s of volunteers emerging from training into fighting units. Back to the artillery. Russia has the wrong kind of weapons for a static defensive war. They designed to move quickly in huge numbers. They are perhaps (I think likely) running low on the one thing they rely on, artillery. They are now finding that Ukrainians have managed to put US HARM missiles onto ex Soviet planes thus actively contest the skies. I honestly cannot see a Russian plan for victory, or even anything but a steady string of small defeats every couple of weeks forcing them back into their Feb 24 lines. That is provided they do not collapse. I struggle to see how they can be anything but pushed to the brink of defeat by the end of November without buying huge stocks from, well where other than China?
  16. This week Ukraine has shifted from showing courage in defence to skill in attack. They have shown the capacity to engage in multi unit combined arms offensive operations and succeed. They have been able to grind out assaults before. But this week they have shown the ability to line up echelons, smash a defensive crust and exploit the rear areas. Russia has also show its maxed out on in theatre capacity. I guess, they will be flying in the troops from Vostok 2022 shortly. (a big military exercise they are holding with China and India) I think the past few days has been very significant. It signals a change in the direction and tempo of operations.
  17. Many countries are military dictatorships. Russia is an intelligence service dictatorship. The former KGB and elements of the mafia run the country. Shoigu for example (Minster for Defence) is not great at his job, but he is not a Christian and not a Russian so is not seen as a threat to Putin and the others, it needs an Orthodox Russian to command the loyalty of the country. Who rules Russia is layers of smoke and mirrors that it is likely none of the actors, including even Putin really fully understand. In the west until the invasion it was assumed Putin was the oligarchs placeman. But since then it seems more that the Yeltsin era oligarchs were left in charge as sort of managers for their sectors, allowed to get filthy rich but prone to window cleaning accidents if they got into politics. Those oligarchs are the ex USSR factory managers, economics etc who made out like bandits in the Yeltsin years, though many to most have strong connections to elements of the mafia. Some of the mafia also got into the get filthy rich action and get lumped in with being oligarchs but they are a different type. But it seems a cadre of former KGB people who had connections with USSR era street mafia were able to get themselves into politics and effect a coup at the end of the 90s. These also got filthy rich and get called oligrachs, but again are a different political class with very different access to power compared to the others. These tend to be hyper patriotic, hyper orthodox Christian and incredibly suspicious. They seem to have strongly neutered the army.. They promoted people for loyalty to the regime and who would not pose a threat. Its very likely the army is near zero threat. The threat to Putin comes from the other ex KGB types around him. Edited, Id like to emphasise, this is a very opaque system and I am skimming over what little I understand of it.
  18. Russia is a major land power. But its troops are nowhere near as well trained as western troops, they have what we consider a huge problem with very weak NCOs and no culture of initiative in junior officers. They also have a very outdated logistics system. Ukraine got its arses handed to them in 2014, so they began to really retrain their army and restructure it to be more western in style. But they lacked equipment. So in early 2022 they got pushed back hard in the initial days of the war, but Russia over ran its supply system and local Ukrainian initiative was able to blunt the advances. After a month they pulled back from Kyiv and refocussed on the Donbas region. Meanwhile Ukraine called up 10 000s of very willing volunteers and strated enlarging its army. They also started to get western artillery systems. Russia relies on old school mass artillery. The west's artillery is much more accurate and much more able to use things like drones to hit valuable targets, so they began to fight a war of attrition, that is with the small number of western rockets and guns burn through Russia's artillery and troops. Russia launched and offensive to try to recapture the Donbas but Ukraine was now able to slow it and make it bloody, all the while getting more modern equipment and turning a bunch of xbox playing 20somethings into fit and trained soldiers. They then launched a very heavy assault in Kherson. This is to the south of the Dnieper river, one of the largest in Europe. Russia pulled all its available troops to stop this attack. This may be where more troops are dying than in Kharkiv Oblast (oblast means something like province or county). After that was all kicking off they used very accurate American rockets to blow the bridges on the Dniper. Then the launched an attack in Khakiv. This was able to smash through the Russian lines in a narrow spot on Wednesday. But all the reserves are in Kherson, so the Ukrainians were able to capture a railway hub 70kms behind the lines while thousands to tens of thousands or Russians were sill in trenches and positions along the front but not able to pull out and respond. Now without that railway logistics line, huge swathes of Russians lines are falling apart and being pulled back. Russia is still a very large powerful army. But poor leadership, poor junior leadership culture, 1950s era logistics and yacht loads of corruption has weakened what it should be on paper. Six month of hard fighting has left Ukraine is a reasonable position vis a vis the invaders. (large file but it shows the thrust into the railway system. ) Edited, others have answered but there might still be something of worth in this post.
  19. The 100 Days Offensive was the final phase of WW1. Its what happens when one side can no longer generate operational reserves to stem breakthroughs. The Germans had spent their manpower advantage over the allies in the Spring Offensive that while successful, was costly and never achieved the results needed (not unlike Russia's summer offensives). In August 1918, the British were conducted operations to clear up the front for a big offensive in 1919, but the Germans kept breaking hard. Ludendorf called one such day "the black day of the German Army". So the British, French and Americans began a series of bloody attacks that kept breaking through and pushing the Germans back. This steady beat of retreats led to the collapse of their army and the suing for peace. I do not know what will happen and have a very very unclear picture of what is happening. But I thought I would raise it for people following this to read up on how attritional wars break into wars of movement. Certainly better than the 15th time someone says "This is like Stalingrad".
  20. Kharkiv Oblast has turned into a complete rout. There are stories of OMON and SOBR trying to hold towns, literally police units. Clearly the Russians have not fallen back in good order to the next prepared line of resistance. For the next day or two, Ukraines gains are going to be constrained by what they can logistically support until someone pulls the Russians shit together and starts fighting like an army again. Oh the irony of Russia needing a Walter Model.
  21. Liberating territory from Russian occupation also tends to lead to discoveries of mass rape, mass murder and mass deportations.
  22. "Shaping operations" may have simply hit such a thin crust they have pushed through rather than this all being some big planned multifront assault. That is to say smaller operations designed to push back the front to begin the process of making it easier for a major operation to jump off (a shaping operation) simple over ran lines of resistance.
  23. With the bridges down across the Dnieper Id suggest Kherson Oblast is very likely to still be the main thrust. It will be very hard to maintain that force with supplies, their morale will be very fragile. If you have the numbers, hitting multiple places simultaneously can soak up all the operational reserves and allow multiple axes of advance. Doesnt work, its costs. Works, it can be pretty effective. Operational reserves would be the reserves available to the theatre commander in Ukraine. Russia probably still has strategic reserves, forces held back under the direct control of the Kremlin. Their operational reserves look like they were mostly militia from the Donbas. The strategic reserve will be among the elite units of the Russian army. (I am making an educated guess in this paragraph based on a few things).
  24. Does seem to be a bad day for Russia, even if half the rumours are true.
  25. Take away the CGI and its awful. The CGI is phenomenal. It is the best thing visually ever on TV. But every other part is dire. Now if you are a fan of the show and of this type of show, you will disagree strongly. But for me its "all fur coat and nae knickers". I will show an example, first two minutes. These are supposed to be two of the noblest elves in Middle Earth (only Galadriel, Gil Galad and Cirdan would be higher status) on a diplomatic mission from an highly developed elven kingdom to the most important dwarven realm. They walked alone across half a continent, their clothes look like they have just come off the costume department rack Their chat is like they are loaning a lawnmower of off an old college buddy, "yeah hank has a lawn mower, hell he will have the chilled brewskies out and the baseball game on as soon as I knock". Compare with game of thrones, towards the end series it got as ridiculous as this. But here is Robert Baratheon visiting his old friend. Clothes look worn (except with part of the royal entourage where there is an actual entourage to keep them in good nick or have new ones available for the meetings), there is a clear formal planning to the visit, both parties have their full power on display etc etc. And they are not walking. Making good fantasy for adults on tv or cinema is hard (I am not talking about dodgy cable channels called Fantasy). Other than GOT and the Jackson Lord of the Rings films, how many have really had big successes with the medieval fantasy type stuff on the big screen? Both are famous for the effort they took in things like costume, set design, weapons etc to make a world that looked and felt real. They also closely followed two great authors who had done most of the heavy lifting in world building. Which is why when you get shows and films that do not have that attention to detail and closely follow the few people who can write this stuff for a mass audience like Tolkien and Martin, you quickly end up looking like a super expensive episode of Dr Who. If you enjoy it fine. But I am really talking to those who feel its "a bit off". Too many corners cut on the things you do not notice and a few hundred million spent on poor buggers in CGI sweat shops.
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