Thoughts and Comments on Current Russian,Ukrainian Conflict/War

techrat

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Kazakhstan has a decent-sized shoreline on the Caspian Sea.
Try Mongolia.
Afghanistan seems landlocked as well. As for having a shoreline onto that little lake, bah! That's not much.
That's like Ohio having it's own Navy because it borders on Lake Erie...
 

smstachwick

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If the intelligence community’s assessment that Ukraine likely killed Darya Dugina with a car bomb is correct, that would mark a high mark for Ukraine’s willingness to get nasty inside of Russian territory.

At the same time, I can’t say it’s without strategic value, given her contributions to the Russian state-aligned TV and internet propaganda outlets.


The story doesn’t necessarily end there, however. The purported National Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack and released a manifesto back in August. I was not alone in my sentiment that this smells like Putin.
 

smstachwick

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Antares JS

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PhilC

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I'm sorry I started this diversion.
Meanwhile back on the main theme of the thread: The Independent newspaper in the UK reports that Sweden has found evidence of detonations at the site.
 

SecondRow

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Ah, got it, thanks. Just looked it up, the ID is about four feet. (still gotta be wicked high pressure, right?)

Oh, and as for who did it...


Weird. I could swear that when I wrote my post this one wasn't up there.
 

SDramstad

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I believe that was a wall thickness, possibly including concrete covering. Friction loss on a 5" ID pipe alone would be a deal killer after a couple of thousand feet.

Edit: according to wikipedia Nordtsream 1 has a diameter of 48" and a wall thickness between 26.8mm and 41mm with a working pressure of 22bar (3200psi)
Might check your decimal place
 

Sandy H.

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more like 220 Bar....

Wow! I saw the apparent autocorrect/typo, but didn't mention it. I was assuming it would be the 22bar version (i.e. 320psi) not the 220bar version (3200 psi).

4ft diameter = 1810 in^2. 3200psi* 1810 in^2 = 58000# trying to push the end caps off (2900 tons-ish). Not impractical numbers, but not something to laugh at either. I've dealt with 10,000psi hydraulics and about 1500-2000 psi pneumatics (at actuator, not the pressure in an accumulator) and I was less comfortable with the pneumatics. Oil expands a bit if something goes wrong, nitrogen (and other gasses) expand quite a bit. . . Can't imagine 3200 psi of a flammable gas in a 4ft pipeline running lots of miles. . .

Sandy.
 

georgegassaway

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Interesting article in the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/10/07/putin-inner-circle-dissent/
-----------------------------------------------

Putin confronted by insider over Ukraine war, U.S. intelligence finds

The disagreement by a member of Putin’s inner circle was deemed significant enough that it was included in President Biden’s daily intelligence briefing

By Greg Miller
,
Shane Harris , Paul Sonne, and Catherine Belton

October 7, 2022 at 2:00 a.m. EDT


A member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle has voiced disagreement directly to the Russian president in recent weeks over his handling of the war in Ukraine, according to information obtained by U.S. intelligence

The criticism marks the clearest indication yet of turmoil within Russia’s leadership over the stewardship of a war that has gone disastrously wrong for Moscow, forcing Putin last month to order the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of troops in a desperate bid to reverse recent battlefield losses.

The information was deemed significant enough that it was included in President Biden’s daily intelligence briefing and shared with other U.S. officials, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

The discontent that the member of Putin’s inner circle expressed related to what the insider considered mismanagement of the war effort and mistakes being made by those executing the military campaign, according to one of the people.

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The insider’s identity could not be confirmed, although the name has been included in U.S. intelligence reporting.
Winter nears in Ukraine — and a battle of stamina awaits
The new intelligence, coupled with comments from Russian officials, underscores divisions within Putin’s upper echelon, where officials have long been loath to bring bad news to an autocratic Russian leader who is seen as more isolated that at any time in his 22-year rule.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sept. 30 announced that Moscow would annex four Ukrainian provinces following staged "referendums." (Video: Reuters)
A spokesperson for the National Security Council declined to comment on the intelligence.

The number of people Putin counts as close or trusted aides and advisers is small and composed primarily of colleagues from his days serving as a KGB officer and those he met while a deputy to the mayor of St. Petersburg in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The mobilization has sparked domestic unrest, prompted hundreds of thousands of Russian fighting-age men to flee the country and been beset by bureaucratic incompetence, with individuals being called up who are supposed to be excluded from service.

As the war enters its eighth month, and Russian victory remains elusive and ill-defined, the unquestioning loyalty Putin has enjoyed may be slipping, intelligence officials said, but they cautioned there was no indication the Russian leader was on the brink of being swept aside.

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“Since the start of the occupation we have witnessed growing alarm from a number of Putin’s inner circle,” a Western intelligence official said. “Our assessments suggest they are particularly exercised by recent Russian losses, misguided direction and extensive military shortcomings.”
A second senior Western official said the internal tensions are “consistent with the way in which the campaign has gone for the Russians, and the atmospherics in the Kremlin. There are a lot of people who are convinced this isn’t going well or the right course of action.”
Putin faces limits of his military power as Ukraine recaptures land
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged there have been disagreements and debates among Russian leaders as Putin has faced crucial decisions such as the mobilization.

“There is disagreement over such moments. Some think we should act differently,” Peskov told The Washington Post. “But this is all part of the usual working process.”

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Asked about disagreements within Putin’s inner circle, Peskov said, “There are working arguments: about the economy, about the conduct of the military operation. There are arguments about the education system. This is part of the normal working process, and it is not a sign of any split.”
But Peskov said U.S. intelligence reporting about an individual in Putin’s inner circle directly challenging the Russian leader was “absolutely not true.”
Armed with American and European weapons, Ukrainian forces have recaptured thousands of square miles of territory in recent weeks from a Russian military reeling from personnel shortages.

The losses prompted a scramble by the Kremlin to organize hasty staged referendums and announce formal annexations of occupied land, widely condemned as illegal, all while beginning to draft hundreds of thousands of military reservists despite the risk of domestic opposition and protest.

Putin has also threatened to take extreme measures to protect Russia’s territory, including the use of nuclear weapons, hoping the threat will make Ukraine’s backers think twice about how far Kyiv should be enabled to advance.

The situation has led to public criticism of Putin’s defense minister and top generals in a rare outpouring of discontent.

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, who has sent Chechen militias to fight against Ukraine, lashed out at a top general in recent days and said he should be demoted to private. After the comments, Kadyrov announced that Putin had promoted the Chechen to the rank of colonel general.

------------------

Ran into 10,000 character limit. Posting more below.
 

georgegassaway

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More from the above story:

---------------

Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a longtime Putin ally whose Wagner mercenaries have also been fighting for Moscow in Ukraine, agreed with Kadyrov, describing Russian military leaders as “pieces of garbage” in a statement.

One Moscow-installed official in occupied Kherson described a retreat in recent days by Russian forces northeast of the city as a “regrouping” and claimed the region was “locked down,” but also called top Russian military leaders traitors and incompetents.
“Indeed, many people say that if they were the minister of defense, who brought things to this state of affairs, they would shoot themselves, if they were real officers,” Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russia-installed Kherson administration, said Thursday in a video on Telegram.

Putin’s problems on the battlefield are compounded by a haphazard mobilization at home.

“It seems to me his position is fragile,” one Russian official said of Putin in an interview on the day the mobilization was announced.

“In all these months we have heard that half the world is on our side. But neither Modi nor Xi are now supporting this,” the Russian official said, referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who were seen to be distancing themselves from Putin’s war effort during a summit last month in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

In another conversation this week, the official said he had not heard about any direct challenges to Putin from within the inner circle. But “there are protests” by the heads of parliamentary committees about how the president and the military are conducting the war — “about why the army is not being supplied properly, about why the campaign is not going as it should,” the official said.
Senior security officials in Europe said they were not aware that anyone had dared to challenge Putin directly over the course of events in Ukraine and added that they hadn’t seen the U.S. intelligence reporting on the criticism directed at Putin.

Even so, some of those officials said that cracks were increasingly evident across multiple layers of the Russian system, citing outbreaks of criticism and finger-pointing across the Russian military, security services and regional governments now forcing military-age men into service.

One senior European security official described growing “criticism of Putin — behind his back,” including from within the Kremlin ranks. “They think he’s stubborn,” the official said, and “obsessed with Ukraine” — an “obsession they do not necessarily share.”
A second security official in Europe said: “There is scapegoating. Finger-pointing. All of this is happening.”
Two Russian business executives who maintain contacts with political officials echoed those sentiments and said the coming weeks could be crucial for determining Putin’s future and what decisions he makes about the war.
If the Russian military doesn’t stem its losses, then infighting will break out, said one of these people, a member of the Russian business elite. “This is a breaking point.”
The mobilization of forces has proved widely unpopular in Russia and may signal that Putin feels pressured to take desperate measures.


For months, Putin had resisted calling up additional forces, even as battlefield losses suggested he had not deployed sufficient forces at the outset of the war. As early as the spring of this year, when Putin’s plan for a quick invasion and occupation of Ukraine had clearly fizzled, U.S. intelligence analysts assessed that he would have to announce a broad mobilization — amounting to hundreds of thousands of additional troops — if he hoped to achieve his objectives, which at the time Putin believed he still could, according to a senior U.S. official familiar with the matter.
Putin’s decision to call up what Russian officials say will be 300,000 additional troops ranks as among the most destabilizing and politically risky moves of his career and “may lead to regime instability,” a third European security official said.
Others, however, said that despite a mass exodus of military-age men from Russia, Putin has crossed an important threshold without triggering any meaningful internal challenge to his rule. Even regional officials angered by the mobilization are overwhelmingly complying, supplying tens of thousands of recruits.
“Everybody is keen on searching for signs of Russia folding, and you do see internal tensions,” a senior Baltic official said. “But Russia is now on a war footing, and they are still going. We haven’t seen anything to suggest otherwise.”

Belton reported from London.
 

afadeev

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Well, it looks like Crimea / Kerch bridge has just experienced a significant "smoking" accident, and the oil train on the rail-line is actively burning.
What hasn't collapsed already (rail spans), will disintegrate due to the fire.

1665204857677.png 1665204835678.png

At least one direction of the road spans is leading straight to Moskva:
1665205863363.png

 
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Steve Shannon

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teepot

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What caused that section of road to fall into the water? I don't see any blast damage. More interesting to me is that the train caught fire on the bridge at the same place.
 

PhilC

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Whom is hurt the worst by this?
The current damage seems to be repairable so it will disrupt Russian logistics for a while. I've always thought that the bridge should be left intact.
In the medium term I can see Ukraine cutting the water supply to Crimea and possibly cutting the land bridge from the Donbas. The bridge is useful to the Russians for supplying the Crimea, but Russian forces will need an escape route when the Ukrainian military eventually attacks. This will help to avoid seiges and street fighting.
In the long term there will be some degree of normalisation and trade will start to occur between Ukraine and Russia. The bridge would be useful to both sides.
 

PhilC

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What caused that section of road to fall into the water? I don't see any blast damage. More interesting to me is that the train caught fire on the bridge at the same place.
The whole thing looks coordinated. Two explosions, one on each bridge withing a short distance of each other is more than a coincidence. I suspect a couple of remote controlled bombs, one on the train the other on a truck.
The 12 mile bridge was built over 4 years by a regime which is ripe with corruption. I can't help thinking that corners were cut and the cheapest materials used. I'm not surpised if it's more fragile than the architect intended.
 

modeltrains

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For some strange reason the German outfit's broadcast credentials within Russia had been withdrawn by the Russian government ...




This from The Guardian contains what is purported to be CCTV footage of the blast,

 

Greg Furtman

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What is interesting to me is that it seems that that truck came from the Russian side. The video shows the train on the left side. I Google mapped the bridge and for the train to be on the left side the truck must have come from the east.

1665237097916.png
 

boatgeek

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it wasn't a truck bomb. The main reason is that the truck doesn't appear to be in the right spot when the explosion hits in the Guardian video above. This frame is taken at 0:07 in the Guardian video:
1665242033123.png
The truck and car at the green arrow show up in post-explosion photos, so they're not the source. The truck at the red arrow could in theory be the source, but notice that they're already going up the high-rise. Then you look at this picture (source):
1665242219933.png
The damage seems to mostly be on the flat. If I had to guess, I'd say that the left span in the image above had the lower flanges of its girders blown out near its left-hand support. That would cause the humped back shape you see, and would have pulled the right-hand collapsed span to the left and off of its right hand support. You can see that the right-hand span is largely intact. Again, speculation, but the easiest way to do this is from a small boat.

Until I saw these pictures, I was pretty sure that someone in a small boat had taken out a support column, but that clearly isn't the case. There's still something holding up the joint between the two collapsed spans.

[edit] One last thing: the fire running down the side of the rail bridge girders does not bode well for it staying in service.
1665242759585.png
 

boatgeek

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False flag op?
Maybe? Ukraine was really on top of the social media game if it was, since they were posting a bunch of different things about the attack in fairly short order. My favorite was the side-by-side of burning bridge footage and Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy birthday Mr. President.”
 
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