Thoughts and Comments on Current Russian,Ukrainian Conflict/War

dhbarr

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But those sorts of subs are capable of going what - maybe 10m below the surface?
Those are actually semi-submersibles, they dont actually go under water. They just run really low in the water so they are harder to see.
Oil platform ROVs are good for hundreds to thousands of meters. Hemmacher lists various subs down to 2,000 ft.

It's true that most narco subs are towed into range and then only mostly submerge, but every couple of years they capture another one with a few tons of battery and proper planes.

The point is, you only need seven figures or so to play in this ballpark.
 

dhbarr

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But oil rig type subs dont have much range. They need some serious surface support and that would be noticed
I feel like I'm repeating myself, so I'll stop. All I'm saying is any reasonably competent company or criminal enterprise could rig up a battery-powered robosploder for $X million. Doesn't have to be nation-states anymore.
 
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Titan II

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But oil rig type subs dont have much range. They need some serious surface support and that would be noticed

I am with dhbarr. You are obviously one who does not admit they may be wrong. It happens a lot on this site. Also, you obviously did not look at what is available....out.
 

cls

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Methane breaks down into CO2 and water in a short time (relative to climate time). Another thing the media doesn't tell you. Its contribution to climate change is negligible compared to the millions tons of CO2 emitted every day by current combustion. The shut off of Russian natural gas is a net reduction greenhouse gas emissions even with the leak. (Until the Germans restart their coal plants).
nope.

first, if you read the right media, they do tell you that, yes, methane breaks down relatively quickly, however methane emissions are a problem because methane traps a lot more heat than CO2. like, 30+ times more. so contribution to warming presently is about 15 perce.

here's the first hit on Google, Newsweek, is that MSM enough for you?

https://www.newsweek.com/methane-vs...change-global-warming-potential-biden-1644977

so, why do you think there's so much concern about trapped methane releases when Siberia melts and the oceans warm enough to melt the methane hydrates at the bottom? Runaway warming, yeah that's a big problem.
 

Funkworks

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One thing that I found interesting in the video is the thought that Gazprom may actually benefit from having the pipelines disabled. If that’s so, Gazprom would have both means and motive.
I haven't watched that video yet, but Putin using subs to increase the price of gas for Gazprom seems to make sense. On the other hand, we have one of Europe's largest O&G providers who doesn't seem to be worried about next winter.

As for this:
... methane emissions are a problem ... there's so much concern about trapped methane releases when Siberia melts and the oceans warm enough to melt the methane hydrates at the bottom? Runaway warming, yeah that's a big problem.
Yes. I can't add much. Nailed it. Minimizing energy use has many advantages, most of them financial. People need to realize there's a limit to global GDP.
 

georgegassaway

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Time Magazine's take, quite a headline. Have not seen such a conclusion elsewhere, had to double check it was from Time and not some crazy site. Of course, this seems to be more the expert's conclusion rather than from definitive evidence. I will say I figured from the start, Russia likely did it.

"Russia Blows Up Gas Pipelines, Declaring an All-Out Energy War It May Already Have Lost"​


BY SURIYA JAYANTI

SEPTEMBER 29, 2022 11:21 AM EDT

Jayanti is an Eastern Europe energy policy expert. She served for ten years as a U.S. diplomat, including as the Energy Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine (2018-2020), and as international energy counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce (2020-2021). She is currently the Managing Director of Eney, a U.S.-Ukrainian decarbonization company.

"There may be no clearer sign of an enemy in retreat than his scuttling his own ships, which is what Putin appears to have done on Monday by blowing up the main pipelines for exporting Russia’s natural gas to Europe. Putin may be in effect declaring an all-out energy war by completely cutting off fossil fuel exports to the West, but by waiting seven months after invading Ukraine to do so he has lost the advantage. Although the energy crisis will rage on, Russia has lost the energy war.

A series of three explosions ruptured parts of both Nord Stream 1 and 2 on September 26 in what seems to have been an act of coordinated sabotage. A possible fourth leak was also just identified. The natural gas pipelines, each running from Russia into Poland with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, were a key part of Russia’s efforts to wield energy leverage over Europe and to hurt Ukraine. Nord Stream 2 in particular was intended only as a way of bypassing Ukraine so that Kyiv would be deprived the roughly $3 billion annual transit fees for moving the gas of Russian state-owned giant Gazprom into the European Union. Meanwhile, Russia earned $120 billion per year from energy exports to Europe in the ten years leading up to the invasion, much of which came from natural gas sales through Nord Stream 1, and which constituted two-thirds of the Russian state budget."


See more here:
 

jderimig

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Hey, if a state actor attacked the energy infrastructure of NATO countries, is that an attack on NATO?
 

WoShuGui

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There was no economic value left in the Nord Stream pipelines; they were never going to be used again. So, Putin was able to sabotage them to blame the US and help his domestic narrative that the Russian Federation is in an existential conflict against NATO and the West, not Ukraine, which in his narrative, is part of Russia. He needs to fortify his dictatorship with the message that the failures in Ukraine are a result of the unipolar hegemony of the West that he alone can defeat. Putin wants to escalate in a way that provokes a response from NATO and the West to reinforce his message, but I expect he will get no such satisfaction.
 

afadeev

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Hey, if a state actor attacked the energy infrastructure of NATO countries, is that an attack on NATO?
NATO released a joint statement on Thursday that said any attack on members' critical infrastructure would result in a "united and determined response".

Whatever that means.

 

afadeev

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With the destruction of Nordstream pipelines make the single source (now) for European nat gas the Ukrainian pipeline? That would connect some of the dots wouldn't it?

The insinuation is factually incorrect.
There is a spider web of natural gas pipelines out of Russia into Europe:
1664550036136.png

 
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ThirstyBarbarian

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Putin held a signing ceremony today with the Russian-appointed “leaders” of Russian occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia today, formally annexing the four provinces into the Russian Federation. There are still a few steps to the Russian “legal” process to complete the illegal annexation, but those will be rubber-stamp formalities. There are lots of concerts and parties planned for the celebration.

Meanwhile, in reality-based Ukraine news, the Ukrainians have completely encircled (or depending on the source, nearly encircled) the Russian forces in Lyman and now control the ground lines of communication supporting those Russians. That pocket is going to collapse. It may be as many as 5,000 Russian troops, and there may be few options for them to escape at this point. If they can’t run away they’ll have to surrender or die.

Russia cannot hold these newly annexed territories. After today’s festivities and fun for Kremlin leaders, the Russians are going to suffer one humiliating loss after another until it’s all taken back away.
 

afadeev

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First question: who could have blown the pipelines?

Any navy with a deep sea submarine fleet (US, UK, France, Russia), plus
Any regional navy with any submarine fleet (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Germany)
Every other Baltic nation (Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania)
Any of a dozen of so major subsea construction companies
Any nation with a deep sea navy
Don't forget to add a proficient private scuba diving team to the mix.

Baltic sea is pretty shallow, to begin with.
The-bathymetry-of-the-Baltic-Sea-Red-line-open-boundary-of-the-model-domain-yellow.png

Nord Stream pipeline is laid close to shore, in depths from 50-110m.
The sections of the pipeline that got damaged were all in the shallow parts of the pipeline, in the depth of ~50m (165 ft).
"The leaks are in international waters, but also sit in both Denmark and Sweden’s exclusive economic zones. “It's quite shallow, around 50 meters on average in this region,” says Julian Pawlak, a research associate at the Helmut Schmidt University and the German Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies."​


A casual PADI certified diver will cover 50-100 ft depth with minimal training (BTDT).
Below 130 ft you need “technical” PADI certification, experience, much greater prep, backup air staged on the ascent line, lights, and mandatory 10-minute decompression stops.
Basically, it requires much more prep and training, but any experienced amateur can do it.
No Navy, no state support, nor major corporate backing would be required. Just moderate budget and experience.

From purely delivery perspective.
From "making it go bang" perspective, I am not qualified to comment.

HTH,
a

 

afadeev

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Putin held a signing ceremony today with the Russian-appointed “leaders” of Russian occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia today, formally annexing the four provinces into the Russian Federation.
Kewl for Putin. I trust he gets approval ratings boost he so desperately needs?
This could only get better if he also opened another defective Ferris wheel as well:
  • As Russia was forced to retreat in Ukraine, Putin spoke at the opening of a Ferris wheel, boasting: "There is nothing like that in Europe."
  • One day later, the wheel broke, trapping visitors in the air, and people had to be refunded.
Perfectly apropos!

 

boatgeek

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I think there's a few things worth clarifying. First of all, yes, scuba divers and relatively inexpensive commercial ROVs could have gotten to the pipeline. I'd be interested to learn how many technical scuba divers could handle 200 lbs of [object] underwater and guide it to a specific destination in >50m of water. The list of people who could have attached 200 lbs of TNT to the pipeline and then blown it up is smaller than that. And any of them would have been easily identified by commercial or military intelligence. Yes, it's theoretically possible that an ROV hobbyist who has a good buddy in the mining industry could have done this. But spent the effort and danger to do it? Seems extremely unlikely.

OK, on to minisubs. The cocaine subs have a relatively easy job for a submarine, and nothing is easy on submarines. They just need to go from point A to point B underwater, surface, and then offload some cargo. If they have a GPS whip above water, they know exactly where they are. A sub blowing up the pipeline has to navigate underwater, find the pipeline, drop off explosives (either held outside the hull or getting them through the hull), and get out of there before they blow. And do that four times. That is two or three orders of magnitude more difficult than a cocaine sub trip. Not to mention that you have to get the sub into the water in Denmark, Sweden, or Germany without anyone raising an alarm or asking inconvenient questions. I'd posit that's a lot harder than in Mexico.

High end hobbyist to low end commercial ROVs or high end scuba divers could also have done this. However, they'd need to be attended by a fairly good sized boat. Also, as mentioned above, the limiting factor is likely to be the explosives part of the equation. More importantly, either the ROV option or the scuba option need to be supported by a boat or ship. While it could theoretically have been a recreational boat, I think that's a pretty tall order in terms of getting the people/equipment and explosives into the water and recovering them. Also the attacks happened squarely in the middle of the Baltic nearl shippping lanes. There are highly monitored waters. Anything of significant size will have an AIS (automatic identification system) unit on board, continuously broadcasting the boats name, unique ID number, location, speed, bearing, etc. You can pick up this info on sites like marinetraffic.com, and see several-day-long tracks of vessel positions. It is relatively trivial to sort AIS data to look for boats that spent time around all four sabotage points. If there's any boats that did in the last couple of weeks, their owners have likely already gotten a knock on the door.

The other upside of the AIS data is that it thins down the herd of interesting boats. There's lots of radar out there, and any decent size radar target that doesn't have an AIS signal is automatically of interest because it's likely a naval ship or up to no good. The relevant coast guards likely have a list of radar targets that spent time in the area of the sabotage. They certainly know if any Russian navy ships did.

Again, I go back to the idea that this is not an easy task, and that there are relatively few people who could have done it. There are far, far fewer people or organizations who could have done it and avoided detection.
 

PhilC

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Kewl for Putin. I trust he gets approval ratings boost he so desperately needs?
This could only get better if he also opened another defective Ferris wheel as well:
  • As Russia was forced to retreat in Ukraine, Putin spoke at the opening of a Ferris wheel, boasting: "There is nothing like that in Europe."
  • One day later, the wheel broke, trapping visitors in the air, and people had to be refunded.
Perfectly apropos!

Nothing like it in Europe? The Ferris wheel in Vienna has been there for over 100 years and survived two world wars. I have a feeling that it was in the Russian sector after WW2 so someone in Russia must have noticed it! The guy's smoking dope.
 

Steve Shannon

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Kewl for Putin. I trust he gets approval ratings boost he so desperately needs?
This could only get better if he also opened another defective Ferris wheel as well:
  • As Russia was forced to retreat in Ukraine, Putin spoke at the opening of a Ferris wheel, boasting: "There is nothing like that in Europe."
  • One day later, the wheel broke, trapping visitors in the air, and people had to be refunded.
Perfectly apropos!

Commentators on CNN were commenting (cuz that’s what they do) that the faces in the audience for Putin’s announcement were blank. Videos of the event seemed to support that. Hopefully that means more and more people in Russia are turning against Putin, but unfortunately nobody yet has enough support to displace him.
 
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smstachwick

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Commentators on CNN were commenting (cuz that’s what they do) that the faces in the audience for Putin’s announcement were blank. Videos of the event seemed to support that. Hopefully that means more and more people in Russia are turn8ng against Putin, but unfortunately nobody yet has enough support to displace him.

There’s always an @afadeev post…

Or, he might be smiling, the funky Russian way, like these guys do in the group photos:

View attachment 516315
 

PhilC

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NATO released a joint statement on Thursday that said any attack on members' critical infrastructure would result in a "united and determined response".

Whatever that means.

I suspect it means that they will work out a response which is proportionate to any hostile action. Keeping their options open is a good policy as it keeps Putin guessing.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Nobody can say for sure who blew up the pipeline at this point.

But, yeah… it was Russia.

They have the right combination of motive and opportunity.
 

SDramstad

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I think there's a few things worth clarifying. First of all, yes, scuba divers and relatively inexpensive commercial ROVs could have gotten to the pipeline. I'd be interested to learn how many technical scuba divers could handle 200 lbs of [object] underwater and guide it to a specific destination in >50m of water. The list of people who could have attached 200 lbs of TNT to the pipeline and then blown it up is smaller than that. And any of them would have been easily identified by commercial or military intelligence. Yes, it's theoretically possible that an ROV hobbyist who has a good buddy in the mining industry could have done this. But spent the effort and danger to do it? Seems extremely unlikely.

OK, on to minisubs. The cocaine subs have a relatively easy job for a submarine, and nothing is easy on submarines. They just need to go from point A to point B underwater, surface, and then offload some cargo. If they have a GPS whip above water, they know exactly where they are. A sub blowing up the pipeline has to navigate underwater, find the pipeline, drop off explosives (either held outside the hull or getting them through the hull), and get out of there before they blow. And do that four times. That is two or three orders of magnitude more difficult than a cocaine sub trip. Not to mention that you have to get the sub into the water in Denmark, Sweden, or Germany without anyone raising an alarm or asking inconvenient questions. I'd posit that's a lot harder than in Mexico.

High end hobbyist to low end commercial ROVs or high end scuba divers could also have done this. However, they'd need to be attended by a fairly good sized boat. Also, as mentioned above, the limiting factor is likely to be the explosives part of the equation. More importantly, either the ROV option or the scuba option need to be supported by a boat or ship. While it could theoretically have been a recreational boat, I think that's a pretty tall order in terms of getting the people/equipment and explosives into the water and recovering them. Also the attacks happened squarely in the middle of the Baltic nearl shippping lanes. There are highly monitored waters. Anything of significant size will have an AIS (automatic identification system) unit on board, continuously broadcasting the boats name, unique ID number, location, speed, bearing, etc. You can pick up this info on sites like marinetraffic.com, and see several-day-long tracks of vessel positions. It is relatively trivial to sort AIS data to look for boats that spent time around all four sabotage points. If there's any boats that did in the last couple of weeks, their owners have likely already gotten a knock on the door.

The other upside of the AIS data is that it thins down the herd of interesting boats. There's lots of radar out there, and any decent size radar target that doesn't have an AIS signal is automatically of interest because it's likely a naval ship or up to no good. The relevant coast guards likely have a list of radar targets that spent time in the area of the sabotage. They certainly know if any Russian navy ships did.

Again, I go back to the idea that this is not an easy task, and that there are relatively few people who could have done it. There are far, far fewer people or organizations who could have done it and avoided detection.
Exactly. Back in the late 90's early 2000's I was a technical dive instructor down in Mexico. We routinely dove to the 200 to 300 foot depths. Handling 200 lbs of anything down there would require a large group of extremely experienced tech divers. And easy is not a term I would use to describe it. You would need some serious surface support. And the Baltic aint the Caribbean. High levels of shipping traffic, cold water and low visibility.
 

cls

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There's lots of radar out there, and any decent size radar target that doesn't have an AIS signal is automatically of interest because it's likely a naval ship or up to no good.

that is probably the best tool to use against AIS spoofing. AIS is trivial to spoof. this is a huge problem with Chinese and Japanese illegal fishing boats, and oil tankers running through sanctioned places (North Korea, Venezuela, etc.)
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Kewl for Putin. I trust he gets approval ratings boost he so desperately needs?

If it’s mostly about approval ratings, this short-term thinking is so hard for me to fathom. By declaring these territories Russian, but having no military capability to actually hold them, he’s setting himself up to lose Russian territory. I wonder how that’s going to affect his approval ratings. This is so stupid.
 

Steve Shannon

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I have a question. I hope it's not a stupid one. Why not just turn the gas off at the source?
It was turned off. It hadn’t begun to flow yet. There was some residual “test gas” in the system, which I understand contains some methane.
One story I heard (which I linked above) is that by destroying the functionality of the pipeline, Gazprom is released from a contractual obligation, which could include financial penalties. I have no idea if that’s true, but having a working pipeline but nobody shipping gas might be seen as a risk.
 
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