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Russian invasion of Ukraine


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I would say there is zero chance of the Armed Forces overthrowing Putin. They aren’t exactly over-encumbered with powerful generals who command the respect of the troops. None of them seem to have a power base, although appearances can be deceptive and we can’t really know.

The state security apparatus remains intact and they are the real power. Again it seems Putin is firmly in control of them, with the same caveats as above.

The only senior political figure in Russia that has a power base is Kadyrov. He has thousands of troops, he hoovers up Russian money and doesn’t contribute much. He does what he wants - he basically said they wouldn’t do a mobilisation in Chechnya and no-one did anything. However, he isn’t a threat as his fate is tied to Putin. He could never be a leader of Russia due to his background.

Edited by ICTChris
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2 hours ago, Bairnardo said:

I wonder how many of these guys it will take to sow enough discord in the army though that the military turning on Vlad becomes the most likely downfall for him.

I mean, I'm no historian, but strongmen need the military onside to stay strong, and when they lose it, they are fucked.

Injecting into his army a huge number of non soldiers who do not want to be there and who might just know a little bit more about the nature of the conflict than the guys they go into Ukraine to support.... Seems like a powderkeg tbh.

The people who make the decisions about army loyalty are the generals not the conscripts. The army isn't even currently required to maintain public order within Russia - which is where ordinary soldiers could play some role. But even under those conditions, unless a significant chunk of the army generals also switch sides to an as yet non-existent alternative then any mutiny of ordinary soldiers is bound to fail. 

Syria should be an instructive lesson in how a far weaker regime can still pull through despite a significant army defection. It is all utterly wishful thinking to expect the Russian state to collapse through army mutiny. 

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Since WW1 has been rubbished as an analogy, how about WW2? Russia was initially smashed by Germany, rebuilt with the help of Western supplies and threw millions of conscripts at the Germans, eventually succeeding at a huge cost. Who's going to supply the parts they need now? Putin's put all the energy and raw materials revenue into making his ex KBG pals rich beyond avarice, no micro electronics industry, none of the essentials for a modern military apart from raw steel, like back in WW2. Shopping in the West has been closed off, and for some reason China has decided not to fill the void. Apparently his guided missile manufacturers have been reduced to importing fridges and washing machines to cannibalise the circuit boards and chips.  

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20 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

Since WW1 has been rubbished as an analogy, how about WW2? Russia was initially smashed by Germany, rebuilt with the help of Western supplies and threw millions of conscripts at the Germans, eventually succeeding at a huge cost. Who's going to supply the parts they need now? Putin's put all the energy and raw materials revenue into making his ex KBG pals rich beyond avarice, no micro electronics industry, none of the essentials for a modern military apart from raw steel, like back in WW2. Shopping in the West has been closed off, and for some reason China has decided not to fill the void. Apparently his guided missile manufacturers have been reduced to importing fridges and washing machines to cannibalise the circuit boards and chips.  

I suppose the two most successful wars Russia has fought that spring to mind are WW2 and against Napoleon - in both cases it was a case of absorbing incredible amounts of punishment, conceding territory .- something they're obviously not short of - while allowing the enemy to over-extend their lines of supply and eventually letting winter finish the job.

Eventually their opponents exhausted themselves much in the manner of a boxer punching himself out against an opponent who won't go down.

Purely in terms of equipment, the Russian genius in WW2 was to mass-produce low tech but incredibly reliable weapons that minimised potential points of failure...I'm thinking of things like the Sturmovik, the T-34 and the PPSh-41. The German tanks the T-34s faced were much higher tech, but at a cost of requiring much more maintenance at the end of a much longer logistic train. I'm not sure if they possess the Soviet style monolithic industries nowadays that could begin production on that scale, or even if it would be much help to them, as the modern battlefield is so different from 80 years ago.

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3 minutes ago, Hillonearth said:

I suppose the two most successful wars Russia has fought that spring to mind are WW2 and against Napoleon - in both cases it was a case of absorbing incredible amounts of punishment, conceding territory .- something they're obviously not short of - while allowing the enemy to over-extend their lines of supply and eventually letting winter finish the job.

Eventually their opponents exhausted themselves much in the manner of a boxer punching himself out against an opponent who won't go down.

Purely in terms of equipment, the Russian genius in WW2 was to mass-produce low tech but incredibly reliable weapons that minimised potential points of failure...I'm thinking of things like the Sturmovik, the T-34 and the PPSh-41. The German tanks the T-34s faced were much higher tech, but at a cost of requiring much more maintenance at the end of a much longer logistic train. I'm not sure if they possess the Soviet style monolithic industries nowadays that could begin production on that scale, or even if it would be much help to them, as the modern battlefield is so different from 80 years ago.

America claims they also helped out with $180 billion worth of kit, in todays money, including:

400,000 jeeps & trucks
14,000 airplanes
8,000 tractors
13,000 tanks
1.5 million blankets
15 million pairs of army boots
107,000 tons of cotton
2.7 million tons of petrol products
4.5 million tons of food

Which isn't to diminish the incredible achievements of WW2 Soviet industry, just some doubt about their ability to resupply their armed forces today with seemingly only Iran helping out.

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1 hour ago, welshbairn said:

Since WW1 has been rubbished as an analogy, how about WW2? Russia was initially smashed by Germany, rebuilt with the help of Western supplies 

Lol wut

It's no wonder that your analogies keep getting rubbished, when your grasp of what *actually* happened in both wars is a tepid 1950s-era Cold Warrior take.

No serious historian grades the Soviet Union as being smashed by Germany. The latter's battlefield victories were never anywhere near enough to destroy a much more resilient state-industrial-military complex than the morons in Berlin believed that they were facing. The Germans themselves knew that they had to win the war in the summer of 1941 or their campaign was toast. They didn't even come close to doing so. 

But aye you keep dreaming that the Arctic convoys and American jeeps were wot won the war, when the Soviets were busy turning out T-34s like sausages and inflicting 90% of all German casualties. 

Edited by vikingTON
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7 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

America claims they also helped out with $180 billion worth of kit, in todays money, including:

400,000 jeeps & trucks
14,000 airplanes
8,000 tractors
13,000 tanks
1.5 million blankets
15 million pairs of army boots
107,000 tons of cotton
2.7 million tons of petrol products
4.5 million tons of food

Which isn't to diminish the incredible achievements of WW2 Soviet industry, just some doubt about their ability to resupply their armed forces today with seemingly only Iran helping out.

Britain too - a lot of the aircraft the RAF found to be obsolete in the more high-tech Western European theatre ended up in Russia...early marks of the Hurricane, Hampden bombers and so on. As far as the Americans went, if they decided they didn't fancy an aircraft themselves, chances are it would get papped off to the Russians...they produced 8000-odd units of the Bell Airacobra, 5000ish of which ended up in Russian hands, and the majority of the rest given to various co-belligerents like the Free French.

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Tbf, Germany didn't exactly smash the Russians in the early part of Barbarossa, they simply conceded a lot of lightly defended territory which the Wehrmacht blitzkrieged their way across to within shelling distance of Moscow. The might of Russia's manpower and manufacturing ability, allied to some fucking wild decision-making by Hitler saw the invasion falter to it's inevitable conclusion. 

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This time round it's the Russians who are playing the role of the Nazis.

If it comes to it then removing a single head of state would be less difficult than going after multiple opponents who have sworn to back-up each other through Nato.

 

Edited by Dev
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2 hours ago, Sergeant Wilson said:

Are they though?

Pretty much yes, as it happens.

Soviets vastly preferred their own indigenous SPG's to anything that could be supplied to them by the Allies, so repeatedly requested nothing but tanks in the way of armour. There wasn't anything like the multitude of different tracked vehicle types you see in modern armed forces back then anyway, so chances were if you saw something with tracks it actually was a tank. 

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Soviet WWII armour, some of it no doubt due to Soviet propaganda, but also due to the fact that things written in books authored in the 50's and 60's, when the reality wasn't fully understood and more difficult to research due to ongoing Soviet scepticism, are still 'accepted wisdom' today. In 1941 the Soviets did have a vast numerical advantage over the Axis, and in many ways they'd grasped the technical and doctrinal demands of mechanized, combined-arms warfare way ahead of the Axis also, but the well documented early-war Soviet issues with command structure and command paralysis rendered that advantage useless, and it's also true that a huge portion of the Soviet inventory was outdated, more or less useless crap in any case. Their best armour, the KV and T-34, both had huge issues of their own. The KV was well armoured and could stand up to most German AT weapons in 1941, but it was slow, underpowered, unreliable, and couldn't be deployed in significant numbers. Early T-34's were just a terrible vehicle all around. Unreliable, terrible ergonomics, riddled with design flaws that made them as likely to kill and injure their own crews as as the enemy, and again they just weren't available in the sort of numbers that could have been a real issue for the Axis to contend with.

Lend-lease supplied US M3 Lee, various M4 Sherman, M5 Stuart, British made Valentines, Matildas, Churchills, and no doubt a few other types I've forgotten about. Just as with the LL supply of aircraft, Soviet views of Allied equipment were often in complete contrast to how their original producers viewed them. Soviet airmen were far less enthusiastic about the Spitfire than UK airmen were, largely because they were supplied initially with early model Spits that were genuinely inferior to the 109's and 190's they were encountering over the Soviet Union, but also because the air combat was of a distinctly different type to that being fought over England and France at the time and it exposed the Spits' weaknesses rather than playing to its strengths. Conversely, they appreciated the P-39 for it's rugged airframe and heavy armament, yet it was almost universally loathed by US airmen and the LL supply was pretty much an inventory dump. Soviet tankers reported a lot of the same shortcomings in Allied armour that Allied crews did, but they appreciated most of the same strengths as well. They liked the Stuart for its reliability and ease of maintenance, and despite being ridiculously slow by comparison to their peers, they also appreciated the Matilda II's ability to shrug off hits from the lower calibre German AT guns, and the superior protection the Churchill offered crews compared to most Soviet tanks. On the whole though they preferred their own indigenous tanks, but it's difficult to know how much of that is down to how the various vehicles compared to each other in a fight, and how much is down to propaganda 'buy in', patriotism, ergonomics, familiarity, logistics, and ease of maintenance and resupply.

Edited by Boo Khaki
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For most of WWII, the Soviets had little or no aluminium production. Between 1941-43 they had absolutely none until they managed to get one plant running (their 3 main sites were dismantled and moved East of the Urals to stop the Germans getting them).  Aluminium is essential for aircraft production hence the huge number of planes sent to them by the West. The US also supplied over 300,000 tons of aluminium directly. Without Western support, the Soviets would have had virtually no air force at all.

 

Western support was key to the Soviet victory. In essence, the West supplied the kit, the Soviets supplied the manpower.

 

This time around, the Ukrainians are supplying the manpower and the West are supplying the kit. 

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6 hours ago, Boo Khaki said:

Pretty much yes, as it happens.

Soviets vastly preferred their own indigenous SPG's to anything that could be supplied to them by the Allies, so repeatedly requested nothing but tanks in the way of armour. There wasn't anything like the multitude of different tracked vehicle types you see in modern armed forces back then anyway, so chances were if you saw something with tracks it actually was a tank. 

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Soviet WWII armour, some of it no doubt due to Soviet propaganda, but also due to the fact that things written in books authored in the 50's and 60's, when the reality wasn't fully understood and more difficult to research due to ongoing Soviet scepticism, are still 'accepted wisdom' today. In 1941 the Soviets did have a vast numerical advantage over the Axis, and in many ways they'd grasped the technical and doctrinal demands of mechanized, combined-arms warfare way ahead of the Axis also, but the well documented early-war Soviet issues with command structure and command paralysis rendered that advantage useless, and it's also true that a huge portion of the Soviet inventory was outdated, more or less useless crap in any case. Their best armour, the KV and T-34, both had huge issues of their own. The KV was well armoured and could stand up to most German AT weapons in 1941, but it was slow, underpowered, unreliable, and couldn't be deployed in significant numbers. Early T-34's were just a terrible vehicle all around. Unreliable, terrible ergonomics, riddled with design flaws that made them as likely to kill and injure their own crews as as the enemy, and again they just weren't available in the sort of numbers that could have been a real issue for the Axis to contend with.

Lend-lease supplied US M3 Lee, various M4 Sherman, M5 Stuart, British made Valentines, Matildas, Churchills, and no doubt a few other types I've forgotten about. Just as with the LL supply of aircraft, Soviet views of Allied equipment were often in complete contrast to how their original producers viewed them. Soviet airmen were far less enthusiastic about the Spitfire than UK airmen were, largely because they were supplied initially with early model Spits that were genuinely inferior to the 109's and 190's they were encountering over the Soviet Union, but also because the air combat was of a distinctly different type to that being fought over England and France at the time and it exposed the Spits' weaknesses rather than playing to its strengths. Conversely, they appreciated the P-39 for it's rugged airframe and heavy armament, yet it was almost universally loathed by US airmen and the LL supply was pretty much an inventory dump. Soviet tankers reported a lot of the same shortcomings in Allied armour that Allied crews did, but they appreciated most of the same strengths as well. They liked the Stuart for its reliability and ease of maintenance, and despite being ridiculously slow by comparison to their peers, they also appreciated the Matilda II's ability to shrug off hits from the lower calibre German AT guns, and the superior protection the Churchill offered crews compared to most Soviet tanks. On the whole though they preferred their own indigenous tanks, but it's difficult to know how much of that is down to how the various vehicles compared to each other in a fight, and how much is down to propaganda 'buy in', patriotism, ergonomics, familiarity, logistics, and ease of maintenance and resupply.

But when is a tank not a tank?

Moral: don't try to be a smartarse without reading the post!

Edited by The DA
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There seems to have been very little reaction to the content of Putin's speech other than libs saying it was demented rantings. As ever the opposite is true and it was a very effectively targeted piece of propaganda. The main conflict/contradiction at the moment is US Dollar hegemony and what replaces that, that will have had a big impact in the Global South.

https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/5/6/rich-countries-drained-152tn-from-the-global-south-since-1960

The stuff about leaders being spied on was a reference to the CIA bugging Merkel's phone and all of the EU offices. Again a comment targeted at EU citizens that aren't happy at the freeze for Ukraine line coming from the other side of the Atlantic and being enforced by domestic politicians.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Sergeant Wilson said:

Are they though?

 

7 hours ago, Boo Khaki said:

Pretty much yes, as it happens.

Soviets vastly preferred their own indigenous SPG's to anything that could be supplied to them by the Allies, so repeatedly requested nothing but tanks in the way of armour. There wasn't anything like the multitude of different tracked vehicle types you see in modern armed forces back then anyway, so chances were if you saw something with tracks it actually was a tank. 

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Soviet WWII armour, some of it no doubt due to Soviet propaganda, but also due to the fact that things written in books authored in the 50's and 60's, when the reality wasn't fully understood and more difficult to research due to ongoing Soviet scepticism, are still 'accepted wisdom' today. In 1941 the Soviets did have a vast numerical advantage over the Axis, and in many ways they'd grasped the technical and doctrinal demands of mechanized, combined-arms warfare way ahead of the Axis also, but the well documented early-war Soviet issues with command structure and command paralysis rendered that advantage useless, and it's also true that a huge portion of the Soviet inventory was outdated, more or less useless crap in any case. Their best armour, the KV and T-34, both had huge issues of their own. The KV was well armoured and could stand up to most German AT weapons in 1941, but it was slow, underpowered, unreliable, and couldn't be deployed in significant numbers. Early T-34's were just a terrible vehicle all around. Unreliable, terrible ergonomics, riddled with design flaws that made them as likely to kill and injure their own crews as as the enemy, and again they just weren't available in the sort of numbers that could have been a real issue for the Axis to contend with.

Lend-lease supplied US M3 Lee, various M4 Sherman, M5 Stuart, British made Valentines, Matildas, Churchills, and no doubt a few other types I've forgotten about. Just as with the LL supply of aircraft, Soviet views of Allied equipment were often in complete contrast to how their original producers viewed them. Soviet airmen were far less enthusiastic about the Spitfire than UK airmen were, largely because they were supplied initially with early model Spits that were genuinely inferior to the 109's and 190's they were encountering over the Soviet Union, but also because the air combat was of a distinctly different type to that being fought over England and France at the time and it exposed the Spits' weaknesses rather than playing to its strengths. Conversely, they appreciated the P-39 for it's rugged airframe and heavy armament, yet it was almost universally loathed by US airmen and the LL supply was pretty much an inventory dump. Soviet tankers reported a lot of the same shortcomings in Allied armour that Allied crews did, but they appreciated most of the same strengths as well. They liked the Stuart for its reliability and ease of maintenance, and despite being ridiculously slow by comparison to their peers, they also appreciated the Matilda II's ability to shrug off hits from the lower calibre German AT guns, and the superior protection the Churchill offered crews compared to most Soviet tanks. On the whole though they preferred their own indigenous tanks, but it's difficult to know how much of that is down to how the various vehicles compared to each other in a fight, and how much is down to propaganda 'buy in', patriotism, ergonomics, familiarity, logistics, and ease of maintenance and resupply.

I preferred the Sarge's answer, tbh...

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