Thoughts and Comments on Current Russian,Ukrainian Conflict/War

boatgeek

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The NYT article I read said it has been going on since mid summer and that it isn't likely to change much in the immediate future. What makes you think this city, which is mostly destroyed now, is so important that it could decide anything of importance?
In a sense, I think @Dotini is right that this could be a turning point against Russia. If they are routed from Bakhmut in the ways that they were routed in Kherson and Kupiansk/Izyum, it will signal the end of all Russian offensive operations. At that point, the only question will be how much of Ukraine's territory Russia will lose before making some kind of peace. I hope that the answer to that is all of it.

If Ukraine losing Bakhmut, the strategic situation for them changes not at all.

Also, there's a river going through the middle of Bakhmut, and the Wagner mercenary/prison cannon fodder forces on the Russian side have never shown an ability to force a river crossing.

Meanwhile, General Winter is arriving on the battlefield and the Russians are still "missing" 1.5 million winter uniforms. And they're not providing [some or all of] the newly-mobilized troops with sleeping bags or tents. That's not going to be pleasant when it gets intot he teens at night.
 

PhilC

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Sky News has been following Bakhmut quite well for the last few weeks. Their view is that Wagner Group is trying to take the town for internal political reasons. Its not a particularly strategic town.
 

Dotini

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Sky News has been following Bakhmut quite well for the last few weeks. Their view is that Wagner Group is trying to take the town for internal political reasons. Its not a particularly strategic town.
If I recall correctly, control of Bakhmut and its environs affects the safe passage of major nearby strategic transportation corridors.

But apparently the Pentagon agrees with you, since they are getting concerned about the ammunition being expended on such a town.
 
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boatgeek

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If I recall correctly, control of Bakhmut and its environs affects the safe passage of major nearby strategic transportation corridors.

But apparently the Pentagon agrees with you, since they are getting concerned about the ammunition being expended on such a town.
There's a pretty good summary here. TL;DR is that Bakhmut was strategically important much earlier in the war. Back when the Russians were moving south out of Izyum, it looked like there Bakhmut might be the southern half of a pincer movement where Russia could surround the major cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk. Since that is now off the table due to Russian losses at Izyum, Bakhmut is strategically unimportant. Also worth noting, Russia took Popasna (red dot at the green arrow) on May 7, 205 days ago. Popasna is 32 km from Bakmut, so the average speed of advance along this line is ~150 meters a day. For the last month or so, that's been reduced to single digit meters per day with truly horrifying casualties on both sides. The Russians don't even appear to be advancing in armored vehicles anymore, so it's a turkey shoot like trench warfare from a century ago.

1669663409040.png
 

WoShuGui

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DefMon3 and DeepStateMap have been reporting on some RuAF advances over the last week in the Ozarianivka area that could lead to attacks on Bakhmut from a new southwest axis and GLOC issues for Ukraine AF. Just one village taken, but significant compared to the recapture of a garbage dump east of Bakhmut.
DefMon3 points out a lot of other logistics problems for RuAF that I suspect would have to be solved before any gains in the Bakhmat area would make a difference.

 

PhilC

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If I recall correctly, control of Bakhmut and its environs affects the safe passage of major nearby strategic transportation corridors.

But apparently the Pentagon agrees with you, since they are getting concerned about the ammunition being expended on such a town.
It's not my opinion, I'm just recycling Sky news. This is the video from a couple of days ago.
 

Dotini

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NATO is struggling to meet Ukraine's battlefield needs, according to the New York Times.



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The American arms profiteering has upset some Europeans. According to POLITICO, one European official said, “the fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the US because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons.”

Multiple US and NATO officials have said the alliance is committed to Kiev for the long term, as they are preparing to fight a multi-year proxy war against Moscow. In October, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the US and its allies would “boost Ukraine’s defensive capabilities for pressing urgent needs and for the long term.”


"War is a racket"
- Smedley D. Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-times Medal of Honor
 

smstachwick

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NATO is struggling to meet Ukraine's battlefield needs, according to the New York Times.



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"War is a racket"
- Smedley D. Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-times Medal of Honor
The US gets more, broader benefit from peace than war. But it also gets more benefit from stopping Russia than it does from strict pacifism. Any smart person would choose stopping Russia. Why don’t you?
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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NATO is struggling to meet Ukraine's battlefield needs, according to the New York Times.



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"War is a racket"
- Smedley D. Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-times Medal of Honor

If we (US and allies) had wanted to destroy Russia, there’s no way we could have done it this cheaply. Of course, we did NOT set out to do that, and Russia created this whole situation, but as a result, one of our major adversaries is degrading its capacity for causing us more trouble at a bargain price for us.

No doubt we and our allies are expending supplies, and it will be expensive to replenish. But a lot of this stuff was surplus or nearing expiration, so it was going to need to be replaced anyway. Giving it away to Ukraine does not cost us the full price of thing when it was new.

I’m hoping Congress will pass some spending bills during the lame duck session to lock in funding for Ukraine for another year or so. I think helping Ukraine defeat Russia is in our national interest. It’s one of our most important foreign policy objectives.
 
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If the NATO nations are experiencing shortages in their arsenals think what Russia must be experiencing. They are importing attack drones from Iran. They are buying artillery rounds from North Korea. They brought old surplus tanks to the battlefield to replace losses. They are sending poorly trained and equipped conscripts to the front lines.
Depletion in NATO stocks will be made up by the military/industrial complex of 20 nations. Russia, not so much. As of a year or two ago their GDP was roughly the equivalent of Spains'. In a war of attrition the only thing that will stop NATO is not the amount of munitions, but a lack of political will.
 

dhbarr

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If the NATO nations are experiencing shortages in their arsenals think what Russia must be experiencing. They are importing attack drones from Iran. They are buying artillery rounds from North Korea. They brought old surplus tanks to the battlefield to replace losses. They are sending poorly trained and equipped conscripts to the front lines.
Depletion in NATO stocks will be made up by the military/industrial complex of 20 nations. Russia, not so much. As of a year or two ago their GDP was roughly the equivalent of Spains'. In a war of attrition the only thing that will stop NATO is not the amount of munitions, but a lack of political will.
NATO isn't running out of bombs or bullets. NATO is running out of the sorts of bombs and bullets we're willing to give away.
 

jderimig

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I'd like to see the EU collectively match our spending on Ukraine aid. Maybe that is the case already.
 

PhilC

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If we (US and allies) had wanted to destroy Russia, there’s no way we could have done it this cheaply. Of course, we did NOT set out to do that, and Russia created this whole situation, but as a result, one of our major adversaries is degrading its capacity for causing us more trouble at a bargain price for us.

No doubt we and our allies are expending supplies, and it will be expensive to replenish. But a lot of this stuff was surplus or nearing expiration, so it was going to need to be replaced anyway. Giving it away to Ukraine does not cost us the full price of thing when it was new.

I’m hoping Congress will pass some spending bills during the lame duck session to lock in funding for Ukraine for another year or so. I think helping Ukraine defeat Russia is in our national interest. It’s one of our most important foreign policy objectives.
The UK is supplying training and hardware which is a direct cost to our defence budget. We will undoubtedly have shortages while replacement stock is ordered and manufactured. This is nothing compared to the shortages encountered by Russia who seem to be short of arms, ammunition, transport, winter clothing, food, manpower and coffins. Their only surplus seems to be war criminals.
As others have pointed out, supplying Ukraine is the morally right thing to do. It's also a very cost-effective way to hugely degrade the capability of our main European adversary.
 

boatgeek

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I'd like to see the EU collectively match our spending on Ukraine aid. Maybe that is the case already.
It depends on where you are in the EU. The Baltic states have given twice to four times the US contribution as a percentage of GDP, and Poland and Norway have both contributed significantly. US and UK are next. I tried to find a number for the EU as a whole, but what I found didn't really make sense. That said that the total EU contribution was 4.3B euros (2.9B from member states, 1.4B from EU institutions) donated on a GDP of 14.45T euros--0.03% of GDP, which is lower than virtually all EU countries on the chart. I'm guessing there's apples and oranges issues. Full chart in the link below.


1669740115057.png
 

PhilC

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I'd like to see the EU collectively match our spending on Ukraine aid. Maybe that is the case already.
As I've said before in this thread, the EU is an inhomogenous bloc of 27 independent nations and its misleading to treat it as a single entity.
Most EU nations are aligned against Russia and one (Hungary) is actually pro-Russian. Some are large while others are small. Some are wealthy, others are not. Its possible to get a clearer picture by looking at the response of individual nations.
 

jderimig

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As I've said before in this thread, the EU is an inhomogenous bloc of 27 independent nations and its misleading to treat it as a single entity.
Most EU nations are aligned against Russia and one (Hungary) is actually pro-Russian. Some are large while others are small. Some are wealthy, others are not. Its possible to get a clearer picture by looking at the response of individual nations.
Understood. Some people in Brussels treat it as an entity...

 

PhilC

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Understood. Some people in Brussels treat it as an entity...

The EU is a trading bloc but elements in the EU see it as the European government. European politics is a bit like American politics but we’ve had a couple of millennia of screwing things up while you’ve only had a few hundred years.
 

teepot

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As I brought up before. I'm worried that Ukraine is using up men and ammo killing conscripts while Russian front line troops rest and resupply. I believe that a Russian offensive is likely to happen. And Bakhmut is a key transportation hub and capturing it would give the Russians a starting place to go after some other villages. At least that is what a YouTube channel called Crux had to say today. I find their reporting good. Another channel I like is TVP. It's a Polish public broadcasting channel in English. I think they do a good job at reporting the War. One show is called The Military Mind. I like it .
 

WoShuGui

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As I brought up before. I'm worried that Ukraine is using up men and ammo killing conscripts while Russian front line troops rest and resupply. I believe that a Russian offensive is likely to happen. And Bakhmut is a key transportation hub and capturing it would give the Russians a starting place to go after some other villages. At least that is what a YouTube channel called Crux had to say today. I find their reporting good. Another channel I like is TVP. It's a Polish public broadcasting channel in English. I think they do a good job at reporting the War. One show is called The Military Mind. I like it .
MobiIk cannon fodder to offset inferior logistics seems to be the Russian strategy.

As for Bakhmut, this is the latest assessment by ISW:

Russian forces made marginal gains around Bakhmut on November 29, but Russian forces remain unlikely to have EC advanced at the tempo that Russian sources claimed. Geolocated footage shows that Russian forces made marginal advances southeast of Bakhmut but ISW remains unable to confirm most other claimed gains around Bakhmut made since November 27.[1] Some Russian milbloggers made unsubstantiated claims that Russian forces broke through the Ukrainian defensive line south of Bakhmut along the T0513 highway to advance towards Chasiv Yar, which would cut one of two remaining main Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Bakhmut, but such claims are likely part of a continuing Russian information operation and are premature, as ISW has previously assessed.[2] ISW continues to assess that the degraded Russian forces around Bakhmut are unlikely to place Bakhmut under threat of imminent encirclement rapidly.[3]

 

ThirstyBarbarian

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As I brought up before. I'm worried that Ukraine is using up men and ammo killing conscripts while Russian front line troops rest and resupply. I believe that a Russian offensive is likely to happen. And Bakhmut is a key transportation hub and capturing it would give the Russians a starting place to go after some other villages. At least that is what a YouTube channel called Crux had to say today. I find their reporting good. Another channel I like is TVP. It's a Polish public broadcasting channel in English. I think they do a good job at reporting the War. One show is called The Military Mind. I like it .

I think Russia does do what you say, and they hold back their best troops and send the cannon fodder conscripts forward to die. I don’t know if that will give them an advantage later or what. It doesn’t really seem like they are using the time to regroup or reconstitute an organized offensive force. I read recently that it seems like Russia is no longer trying to assemble full battalion tactical groups. They don’t have the right mix of men and equipment or command structures to organize full BTGs that can coordinate and work together in organized combined arms operations, so instead they have these ad hoc groups of different kinds. It sounds like a total mess.

I think Russia will continue to grind away at Bakhmut. They’ve been going at it there for months, and it seems like it’s been a goal for so long, they can’t give up on it now. But I don’t know if it’s all that important strategically anymore. It made more sense before Russia lost all that territory in Kharkiv. Now I think it’s just something they feel they need for internal political and propaganda purposes.
 

Greg Furtman

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I think Russia does do what you say, and they hold back their best troops and send the cannon fodder conscripts forward to die. I don’t know if that will give them an advantage later or what.
Hopefully the cannon fodder and their families will hasten the fall of Putin in Russia.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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This is generally how wars are lost.

I’m sure that’s where Russia’s war is going eventually. They don’t make sound military decisions based on operational realities and strategic or tactical goals. They make decisions based on political concerns. I think Putin is going to lose militarily AND lose politically.

Hopefully the cannon fodder and their families will hasten the fall of Putin in Russia.

I think there may be a kind of race going on between two ways the war might collapse for Russia. Will it collapse militarily first, or politically? In other words, will Russia run out of men, equipment, ammo, and supplies before or after they run out of will and get rid of Putin?
 

mach7

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While I do like how the war has been going, Russia seems to be losing and their military has been shown to be kind of a paper tiger.

I caution everyone that wars can change and change fast.

It seems, that while brutal, the Russian military "seems" to be figuring out what reality is and
how they need to/can fight.
The drone attacks don't cost Russia much, but do deplete Ukraine resources and can reduce
the Ukraine civilian will to fight ( I don't think this is happening). More AA capability will be needed in the future. It is available if the political will exists, and not just from the US.

The sanctions should reduce the Russian capacity to repair/re-equip/re-arm but it will not stop it.

As said a political solution (Putin assumes room temperature along with more reasonable leadership) is much better for the world.
 

cwbullet

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While I do like how the war has been going, Russia seems to be losing and their military has been shown to be kind of a paper tiger.

I caution everyone that wars can change and change fast.

It seems, that while brutal, the Russian military "seems" to be figuring out what reality is and
how they need to/can fight.
The drone attacks don't cost Russia much, but do deplete Ukraine resources and can reduce
the Ukraine civilian will to fight ( I don't think this is happening). More AA capability will be needed in the future. It is available if the political will exists, and not just from the US.

The sanctions should reduce the Russian capacity to repair/re-equip/re-arm but it will not stop it.

As said a political solution (Putin assumes room temperature along with more reasonable leadership) is much better for the world.

In two wars, I have seen firsthand the "paper tiger" that Russian weapons present. They appear terrific on paper but are not reliable on the battlefield. That being said, the AK-47 is a fantastic weapon, but it fails against a modern Army with a full armada of supporting weapons.
 

smstachwick

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In two wars, I have seen firsthand the "paper tiger" that Russian weapons present. They appear terrific on paper but are not reliable on the battlefield. That being said, the AK-47 is a fantastic weapon, but it fails against a modern Army with a full armada of supporting weapons.
Basically, you can leave it a rice paddy for two weeks with no ill effects, but it still won’t win a war unless it can be part of a combined arms force.
 

cwbullet

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Basically, you can leave it a rice paddy for two weeks with no ill effects, but it still won’t win a war unless it can be part of a combined arms force.
Not exactly; sometimes, you can win a war by attrition and time. We won nearly every battle in Vietnam but lost the war. We beat the hell out of Afgan, but gave up and retreated.
 

teepot

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I saw today that Raytheon received a $1.2B contract for 6 NASAMS for Ukraine and that two systems were there already. Also L3Harris received a contract for their VAMPIRE system. It can engage ground or air targets. It is a palletized system that can be added to vehicles. It is part of a $3B security assistance package for Ukraine. The system will use the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rocket. The rocket was specifically chosen for Ukraine.
 
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