Thoughts and Comments on Current Russian,Ukrainian Conflict/War

heada

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Blinken and Milley have both reiterated that Zelensky should negotiate and not strike deep into Russia. But somehow strategic bomber airbases (that have been attacking Ukranian infrastructure) as much as 800km inside Russia have been repeatedly struck. Moscow is in range. Who is in charge here? Who is kidding whom? Is this all going according to some carefully engineered plan? Or is it out of control chaos leading to unimagined horrors?

The latest thinking according to the New York Times:
There are exactly 2 people in charge, Zelensky and Putin. Not Blinken or Milley. Not Biden. No one outside of the 2 actors in the war. War is indeed chaos and even the most intricate plan doesn't survive contact with the enemy. The only thing anyone outside of Russia or Ukraine can do is apply pressure to Russia or Ukraine to influence their actions and decisions. No one can force or dictate to them what should happen or what they should do. And yes, attacking bomber bases deep inside Russia that have been the source for many, many bombings into Ukraine is a valid military target and many think should have been done long before. Moscow was not struck even though Ukraine had/has the ability to do so. That says that they are very much in control, they're making very calculated plans and carrying them out.

Ukraine is literally fighting for their lives and you're advocating that we should force them to cut off their arm and leg, give those to their bully neighbor and be quiet about it. How can you not see that it is wrong to do so?
 

afadeev

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Most of us here at this forum like to think the war started with Russia attacking Ukraine last spring. The current conflict is indeed the subject and title of this thread.

No kidding.
Russia has initially sent troops into Ukraine in 2014, but the current all-out invasion started in 2022.
Do you have any conspiracy theories you would like to add to muddy the waters?
I've heard Kremlin promotes a few. It would be entertaining to read which one you want to expound for us!

I wash my hands of the consequences going forward. I've always been against war, but I really do believe this war is the stupidest ever.

Really?
Then why work so hard for so long excusing, justifying, and defending Russian aggression?

You can't be "against war" and pro-Russia. That just doesn't work. Either logically or morally.

You can be a Russian national who doesn't like this war (most other Russians still do, see link below), a semi-professional troll, or what Russians themselves call a "useful idiot" (their term, not mine).
 

Dotini

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There are exactly 2 people in charge, Zelensky and Putin. Not Blinken or Milley. Not Biden. No one outside of the 2 actors in the war. War is indeed chaos and even the most intricate plan doesn't survive contact with the enemy. The only thing anyone outside of Russia or Ukraine can do is apply pressure to Russia or Ukraine to influence their actions and decisions. No one can force or dictate to them what should happen or what they should do. And yes, attacking bomber bases deep inside Russia that have been the source for many, many bombings into Ukraine is a valid military target and many think should have been done long before. Moscow was not struck even though Ukraine had/has the ability to do so. That says that they are very much in control, they're making very calculated plans and carrying them out.

Ukraine is literally fighting for their lives and you're advocating that we should force them to cut off their arm and leg, give those to their bully neighbor and be quiet about it. How can you not see that it is wrong to do so?
I easily see this war is wrong, and wars are all usually wrong. After all, I'm antiwar and have been so my whole life. It's fine for the Ukraines to defend themselves, but we should not have become directly involved. We can't right all wrongs and slay every dragon. We are not Crusaders. If this war expands to more countries and brings us closer to ever more direct confrontation with Russia, then that could be an apocalyptic outcome affecting the whole globe. Now, 200k people lay dead, one million are wounded, and something like 10 million are fleeing in panic, without water, heat or electricity. A nation of 44 million is being systematically leveled to the ground. Much of the world is in energy crisis and dire economic straits due to this war and its sanctions.. Famine is spreading. So we have blood on our hands, bear some responsibility for getting Ukraine into war, bear a lot of responsibility for actively preventing escalation beyond crippling the missiles we give them, and bear responsibility for reigning in Zelensky before he makes it far worse than he already has. We have birthed Frankenstein's monster and he has gone rogue, off the playbook, off the reservation of sanity. I think he could do a false flag act like bomb London in order to force the hand of the US and NATO. He already attempted to do that in Poland and got his ass royally chewed out by the US press. Like Diem in Vietnam, he is expendable if he continues to screw up. Col. Macgregor says Putin loves him and will not assassinate him because he makes so many dumb mistakes. At the end of the day, I am morally opposed to all wars of choice. You should be too. They end in tragedy.
 

CalebJ

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I easily see this war is wrong, and wars are all usually wrong. After all, I'm antiwar and have been so my whole life. It's fine for the Ukraines to defend themselves, but we should not have become directly involved. We can't right all wrongs and slay every dragon. We are not Crusaders. If this war expands to more countries and brings us closer to ever more direct confrontation with Russia, then that could be an apocalyptic outcome affecting the whole globe. Now, 200k people lay dead, one million are wounded, and something like 10 million are fleeing in panic, without water, heat or electricity. A nation of 55 million is being systematically leveled to the ground. Much of the world is in energy crisis dire economic straits due to this war and its sanctions.. Famine is spreading. So we have blood on our hands, bear some responsibility for getting Ukraine into war, bear a lot of responsibility for actively preventing escalation beyond crippling the missiles we give them, and bear responsibility for reigning in Zelensky before he makes it far worse than he already has. We have birthed Frankenstein's monster and he has gone rogue, off the playbook, off the reservation of sanity. I think he could do a false flag act like bomb London in order to force the hand of the US and NATO. He already attempted to do that in Poland and got his ass royally chewed out by the US press. Like Diem in Vietnam, he is expendable if he continues to screw up. Col. Macgregor says Putin loves him and will not assassinate him because he makes so many dumb mistakes. At the end of the day, I am morally opposed to all wars of choice. You should be too. They end in tragedy.
This is mind blowing.

Post after post, you blame everyone but the actual aggressor.
 

Antares JS

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I easily see this war is wrong, and wars are all usually wrong. After all, I'm antiwar and have been so my whole life. It's fine for the Ukraines to defend themselves, but we should not have become directly involved. We can't right all wrongs and slay every dragon. We are not Crusaders. If this war expands to more countries and brings us closer to ever more direct confrontation with Russia, then that could be an apocalyptic outcome affecting the whole globe. Now, 200k people lay dead, one million are wounded, and something like 10 million are fleeing in panic, without water, heat or electricity. A nation of 44 million is being systematically leveled to the ground. Much of the world is in energy crisis and dire economic straits due to this war and its sanctions.. Famine is spreading. So we have blood on our hands, bear some responsibility for getting Ukraine into war, bear a lot of responsibility for actively preventing escalation beyond crippling the missiles we give them, and bear responsibility for reigning in Zelensky before he makes it far worse than he already has. We have birthed Frankenstein's monster and he has gone rogue, off the playbook, off the reservation of sanity. I think he could do a false flag act like bomb London in order to force the hand of the US and NATO. He already attempted to do that in Poland and got his ass royally chewed out by the US press. Like Diem in Vietnam, he is expendable if he continues to screw up. Col. Macgregor says Putin loves him and will not assassinate him because he makes so many dumb mistakes. At the end of the day, I am morally opposed to all wars of choice. You should be too. They end in tragedy.
I hereby finger you as a "victim blamer."
 
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heada

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I easily see this war is wrong, and wars are all usually wrong. After all, I'm antiwar and have been so my whole life. It's fine for the Ukraines to defend themselves, but we should not have become directly involved. We can't right all wrongs and slay every dragon. We are not Crusaders. If this war expands to more countries and brings us closer to ever more direct confrontation with Russia, then that could be an apocalyptic outcome affecting the whole globe. Now, 200k people lay dead, one million are wounded, and something like 10 million are fleeing in panic, without water, heat or electricity. A nation of 44 million is being systematically leveled to the ground. Much of the world is in energy crisis and dire economic straits due to this war and its sanctions.. Famine is spreading. So we have blood on our hands, bear some responsibility for getting Ukraine into war, bear a lot of responsibility for actively preventing escalation beyond crippling the missiles we give them, and bear responsibility for reigning in Zelensky before he makes it far worse than he already has. We have birthed Frankenstein's monster and he has gone rogue, off the playbook, off the reservation of sanity. I think he could do a false flag act like bomb London in order to force the hand of the US and NATO. He already attempted to do that in Poland and got his ass royally chewed out by the US press. Like Diem in Vietnam, he is expendable if he continues to screw up. Col. Macgregor says Putin loves him and will not assassinate him because he makes so many dumb mistakes. At the end of the day, I am morally opposed to all wars of choice. You should be too. They end in tragedy.
We didn't push Ukraine to invade Russia. We didn't start this. Ukraine didn't start this. Russia did it. Russia is 100% to blame for all those wrongs. Yes, this war is wrong but it isn't at the fault of the US, or NATO or even Ukraine. It is at the fault of Russia. Yes, if we didn't assist Ukraine in defending themselves, this would have finished earlier but with all of the same bad outcomes except the financial issues. As has been said many times, helping Ukraine to defend themselves from the aggressive bully next door that is literally trying to kill them is the morally correct thing to do. You don't have to agree with the actions we and the vast majority of the world have taken to help Ukraine but you can't lay blame on this on anyone but Russia and it's leadership. Without their direct actions, none of this would have happened.
 

Steve Shannon

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I easily see this war is wrong, and wars are all usually wrong. After all, I'm antiwar and have been so my whole life. It's fine for the Ukraines to defend themselves, but we should not have become directly involved. We can't right all wrongs and slay every dragon. We are not Crusaders. If this war expands to more countries and brings us closer to ever more direct confrontation with Russia, then that could be an apocalyptic outcome affecting the whole globe. Now, 200k people lay dead, one million are wounded, and something like 10 million are fleeing in panic, without water, heat or electricity. A nation of 44 million is being systematically leveled to the ground. Much of the world is in energy crisis and dire economic straits due to this war and its sanctions.. Famine is spreading. So we have blood on our hands, bear some responsibility for getting Ukraine into war, bear a lot of responsibility for actively preventing escalation beyond crippling the missiles we give them, and bear responsibility for reigning in Zelensky before he makes it far worse than he already has. We have birthed Frankenstein's monster and he has gone rogue, off the playbook, off the reservation of sanity. I think he could do a false flag act like bomb London in order to force the hand of the US and NATO. He already attempted to do that in Poland and got his ass royally chewed out by the US press. Like Diem in Vietnam, he is expendable if he continues to screw up. Col. Macgregor says Putin loves him and will not assassinate him because he makes so many dumb mistakes. At the end of the day, I am morally opposed to all wars of choice. You should be too. They end in tragedy.
We should all be anti-war, until there’s no other choice.
If you want to understand why people attack you, you only have to re-read your missive above. The position you seem to take is completely immoral. You want us to rein (not reign) in Zelensky, whilst ignoring the atrocities perpetrated by Putin and the Russian army.
What if your neighbor suddenly came to your house and starts attacking you. He kills some of your children, beats your wife, rips the wiring out of the walls, and destroys your belongings.
Should your other neighbors hold your hands so you cannot fight back? That’s the equivalent to what you suggest we ought to do to Zelensky.
 
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So we have blood on our hands, bear some responsibility for getting Ukraine into war, bear a lot of responsibility for actively preventing escalation beyond crippling the missiles we give them, and bear responsibility for reigning in Zelensky before he makes it far worse than he already has
So I take it that if this was the Second World War you would NOT have the US send lend/lease munitions to Great Britain and also have us trying to rein in Churchill before "he made it far worse than he already had"?
And after the attack on Pearl Harbor you would NOT have the US declare war in fear of "escalating the situation"?
You have a strange way of viewing things, buddy.
If things had happened your way we'd be speaking German today (or Japanese).
2022-12-07 (3).png
 
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Dotini

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We didn't push Ukraine to invade Russia. We didn't start this. Ukraine didn't start this. Russia did it. Russia is 100% to blame for all those wrongs. Yes, this war is wrong but it isn't at the fault of the US, or NATO or even Ukraine. It is at the fault of Russia. Yes, if we didn't assist Ukraine in defending themselves, this would have finished earlier but with all of the same bad outcomes except the financial issues. As has been said many times, helping Ukraine to defend themselves from the aggressive bully next door that is literally trying to kill them is the morally correct thing to do. You don't have to agree with the actions we and the vast majority of the world have taken to help Ukraine but you can't lay blame on this on anyone but Russia and it's leadership. Without their direct actions, none of this would have happened.
Do we implicitly assume the entire Universe was created the day Russia attacked Ukraine? Actually, there is a lot of history, politics and money that got us to where we are. Conveniently forgotten or dismissed, but very alive and active.

@Steve Shannon
Just because I am antiwar does not mean I am a total pacifist. I am formally trained in knife, sword, pistol, rifle, shotgun and submachine gun. Although I'm nearly 75, I train weekly with the Italian foil. I placed well in a recent tournament at Las Vegas.
 

Steve Shannon

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Do we implicitly assume the entire Universe was created the day Russia attacked Ukraine? Actually, there is a lot of history, politics and money that got us to where we are. Conveniently forgotten or dismissed, but very alive and active.

@Steve Shannon
Just because I am antiwar does not mean I am a total pacifist. I am formally trained in knife, sword, pistol, rifle, shotgun and submachine gun. Although I'm nearly 75, I train weekly with the Italian foil. I placed well in a recent tournament at Las Vegas.
Sounds like your neighbors need to rein you in. 😉
 

heada

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Do we implicitly assume the entire Universe was created the day Russia attacked Ukraine? Actually, there is a lot of history, politics and money that got us to where we are. Conveniently forgotten or dismissed, but very alive and active.

@Steve Shannon
Just because I am antiwar does not mean I am a total pacifist. I am formally trained in knife, sword, pistol, rifle, shotgun and submachine gun. Although I'm nearly 75, I train weekly with the Italian foil. I placed well in a recent tournament at Las Vegas.
I'm not 75 years old, I'm nearly 30 years younger than that. I don't have all the nuances of history that I wasn't old enough to understand. Explain to me what we have done in the past that justifies Russia's actions. Since the fall of the USSR in 1991, I'm unaware of any actions by the US, NATO or "the west" that could justify Russia's invasion of Ukraine. I don't believe anything prior to the fall of USSR would justify it either but I'm willing to learn if you're willing to explain.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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I easily see this war is wrong, and wars are all usually wrong. After all, I'm antiwar and have been so my whole life. It's fine for the Ukraines to defend themselves, but we should not have become directly involved. We can't right all wrongs and slay every dragon. We are not Crusaders. If this war expands to more countries and brings us closer to ever more direct confrontation with Russia, then that could be an apocalyptic outcome affecting the whole globe. Now, 200k people lay dead, one million are wounded, and something like 10 million are fleeing in panic, without water, heat or electricity. A nation of 44 million is being systematically leveled to the ground. Much of the world is in energy crisis and dire economic straits due to this war and its sanctions.. Famine is spreading. So we have blood on our hands, bear some responsibility for getting Ukraine into war, bear a lot of responsibility for actively preventing escalation beyond crippling the missiles we give them, and bear responsibility for reigning in Zelensky before he makes it far worse than he already has. We have birthed Frankenstein's monster and he has gone rogue, off the playbook, off the reservation of sanity. I think he could do a false flag act like bomb London in order to force the hand of the US and NATO. He already attempted to do that in Poland and got his ass royally chewed out by the US press. Like Diem in Vietnam, he is expendable if he continues to screw up. Col. Macgregor says Putin loves him and will not assassinate him because he makes so many dumb mistakes. At the end of the day, I am morally opposed to all wars of choice. You should be too. They end in tragedy.

Despite your weapons training, you seem like someone easy to beat in a fight. It seems like if someone attacked you and started kicking your ass, your instinct would be to apologize to them while they beat you to a pulp. What’s your advice to rape victims? Lay back and enjoy it?

I want you to memorize these lines and chant them a thousand times like a mantra until they sink in:

Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.

There ya go… Just like that... Keep going… You're doing great…

Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself.
Russia is attacking Ukraine.
Ukraine is defending itself…
 

Zeta

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An interesting video, more wars over oil and gas.... I guess it would be safe to say that Putin thinks that electric cars are B.S.
The thing about wars today is that much of it is not about the tactics of land based troops..... Cyber is the ultimate front line :

 

CalebJ

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Do we implicitly assume the entire Universe was created the day Russia attacked Ukraine? Actually, there is a lot of history, politics and money that got us to where we are. Conveniently forgotten or dismissed, but very alive and active.

@Steve Shannon
Just because I am antiwar does not mean I am a total pacifist. I am formally trained in knife, sword, pistol, rifle, shotgun and submachine gun. Although I'm nearly 75, I train weekly with the Italian foil. I placed well in a recent tournament at Las Vegas.
Your own position throughout this thread leaves none of the room for nuance that you demand of us.

Whatever history has occurred, Russia built up the tools of war on the borders of Ukraine (while denying their purpose). Then they crossed the border to apply those tools to innocent civilians.
 

georgegassaway

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MEANWHILE, outside of "Dotini world"...... this just in.....

TIM221226.POY-Final-Cover.jpg



More info:
https://time.com/person-of-the-year-2022-volodymyr-zelensky/
 
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Steve Shannon

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Your own position throughout this thread leaves none of the room for nuance that you demand of us.

Whatever history has occurred, Russia built up the tools of war on the borders of Ukraine (while denying their purpose). Then they crossed the border to apply those tools to innocent civilians.
The morality is truly this frigging simple.
 

smstachwick

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I easily see this war is wrong, and wars are all usually wrong. After all, I'm antiwar and have been so my whole life. It's fine for the Ukraines to defend themselves, but we should not have become directly involved.

Directly involved? Do you see American boots on the ground, ships in the Black Sea, or planes in the air?

We can't right all wrongs and slay every dragon. We are not Crusaders. If this war expands to more countries and brings us closer to ever more direct confrontation with Russia, then that could be an apocalyptic outcome affecting the whole globe.

That’s exactly the point of the American support for the Ukrainian defense effort. Do you truly believe Putin will stop at Ukraine when he has frozen conflicts and border disputes in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Far East? You can look at history and see that no dictator just wants union with Austria (or whatever their closest neighbor happens to be)

Now, 200k people lay dead, one million are wounded, and something like 10 million are fleeing in panic, without water, heat or electricity. A nation of 44 million is being systematically leveled to the ground. Much of the world is in energy crisis and dire economic straits due to this war and its sanctions.. Famine is spreading. So we have blood on our hands,

Not really. It wasn’t the US army that invaded Ukraine, it was the…which army? Come on, I know you know this.

bear some responsibility for getting Ukraine into war,

No

bear a lot of responsibility for actively preventing escalation beyond crippling the missiles we give them,

Oh no! We didn’t hold our friend back from punching a deserving aggressor in the nose! How terrible!

and bear responsibility for reigning in Zelensky before he makes it far worse than he already has.

No.

We have birthed Frankenstein's monster

No

and he has gone rogue, off the playbook, off the reservation of sanity.

I don’t recall seeing speculation about Zelenskyy’s rationality. Putin’s, on the other hand, is questioned all over.

I think he could do a false flag act like bomb London in order to force the hand of the US and NATO.

He could, but I don’t think this is likely. I believe that despite some disagreements on the nature of what kind of foreign aid would best suit Ukraine, he’s smart enough to not bite the hand that feeds, unlike his neighbor to the east and north.

He already attempted to do that in Poland and got his ass royally chewed out by the US press.

Two missile strikes of unknown origin aren’t generally considered worth starting a war over. I’m struggling to recall all the details but I believe that the overall conclusion reached was that despite the missiles being Ukrainian, there likely won’t be too many repercussions for Kyiv because they were being overwhelmed by a swarm of Russian missile and drone strikes, and a few accidents will inevitably happen. To simplify further, that was most directly Russia’s fault.

Like Diem in Vietnam, he is expendable if he continues to screw up.

I’d agree with the principle that wartime leaders should be replaced if they prove themselves incapable, but I don’t think any reasonable observer would conclude that Zelenskyy has done that. As it stands, the ground war has been comparatively low-intensity since the autumn season really got going, but before that the Ukrainians had just taken a sizeable bite out of Russian occupied territory.

I’d draw my line at clear blunders from high command yielding the initiative to the Russians and placing Ukrainian forces on the defensive, but I just don’t see that happening.

Col. Macgregor says Putin loves him and will not assassinate him because he makes so many dumb mistakes.

There is a Wikipedia article titled “Assassination attempts on Volodymyr Zelenskyy”. One source claims that a dozen attempts took place overall, with another source saying that at least three had taken place in the space of one week.

While it is true that the article doesn’t list any since March, there are any number of possible reasons for this. Any further attempts may have simply been kept quiet, Putin may have stopped to avoid retaliation, or perhaps he decided that further attempts ending in failure wouldn’t be a good use of resources he needs elsewhere. Or perhaps other would-be assassins saw how many others had been killed in the attempts and successfully avoided that assignment. The reality could reflect none, any, or all of these scenarios, or perhaps ones that I haven’t thought of.

At the end of the day, I am morally opposed to all wars of choice.

OK, let’s look at the choices here. Ukraine had the choice to fight the invasion or be dominated by an authoritarian-turning-totalitarian pariah state, and possibly be subjected to another Holodomor at some undetermined point in the future. Russia had the choice to invade with the predictable consequence of being effectively ejected from the international community and world economy, or to not invade at literally no cost. Who is fighting a war of choice?

The choice facing NATO is simple, too: Give the Ukrainians second- and third-tier equipment and allow them to effectively end the Russian aggressive capability now, all while having it cost the alliance mere pennies on the dollar, or fight Russia itself on its own members’ territory in 5, 10, 15 years with Article 5 and the American/British/French nuclear arsenals in play, not to mention the Ukrainian GDP going to Russia’s war effort.

Clearly the best choices to everyone are as follows:

Russia: The best time to end the war was before starting it, by way of withdrawing from the Ukrainian border and continuing on in peace. The next best time is now, by suing for peace and delivering justice to its war criminals (including Putin). Clearly that did not and will not happen, so now the initiative is in the hands of the West.

Ukraine: Fight the invasion and reach out to diplomatic contacts for material assistance. Pursue victory and force the Russians to do what they should have done in February or earlier.

US/NATO: Cripple Russia with sanctions and offload surplus weaponry to Ukraine to avoid a war farther West in Europe. Plug up the fossil fuel hole as best they can and police the energy industry to prevent war profiteering/price gouging. Covertly assist Ukraine in conducting sabotage strikes on strategically valuable targets inside Russia, or allow them to do so independently without making a fuss.

You should be too. They end in tragedy.

I am. The only one conducting a war of choice is Russia. Ukraine is conducting a war of survival, and if they lose we’ll be next.
 
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ThirstyBarbarian

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The thing about wars today is that much of it is not about the tactics of land based troops..... Cyber is the ultimate front line :


Every war brings new innovations, types of weapons, and war fighting domains. Cyber is definitely a big part of this war. But to me, this is the first major Drone War. Drones have been important in other recent wars, but this is a whole different level.
 

smstachwick

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So if you have a semi autonomous drone wingman (already in the works) and it logs 5 confirmed enemy kills, would it become the first drone ace?
Boggles my mind.
Drone gets upgraded with a conversational AI and answers questions for museum visitors for the next 200 years
 

Lee

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I am confused over the importance of Bakhmut. One article reads:

“The most intense fighting has been taking place in eastern Ukraine, where Russian forces have been pushing to take the city of Bakhmut, a key strategic hub, for months.”

And then I’ve seen several articles similar to this:

"The Russian assault on Bakhmut is reminiscent of earlier and ultimately successful campaigns to capture the port city of Mariupol and the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk — with some notable differences.
All of those cities were recognized as strategic military objectives and major population centres, whereas Bakhmut is neither."

Seems like both Ukraine and Russia are putting a lot of resources into Bakhmut, so they must think it’s important.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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I am confused over the importance of Bakhmut. One article reads:

“The most intense fighting has been taking place in eastern Ukraine, where Russian forces have been pushing to take the city of Bakhmut, a key strategic hub, for months.”

And then I’ve seen several articles similar to this:

"The Russian assault on Bakhmut is reminiscent of earlier and ultimately successful campaigns to capture the port city of Mariupol and the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk — with some notable differences.
All of those cities were recognized as strategic military objectives and major population centres, whereas Bakhmut is neither."

Seems like both Ukraine and Russia are putting a lot of resources into Bakhmut, so they must think it’s important.

I think the city is not strategically that important, and Ukraine is using Bakhmut to attrit Russian forces and supplies, while Russia wants to capture it for symbolic and political purposes.

Mariupol and Lysychansk were strategic, but it was almost a forgone conclusion that Ukraine would lose them and Russia would win. So Ukraine made a stand not because they could hold those strategic positions, but in order to make Russia pay in blood and to pin them there and stall them while Ukraine prepared elsewhere.

Bahkmut is important politically to Putin, and it’s a prize that the Wagner Group wants to prove they can win. So they are going to throw as many bodies into the grinder as it will take to get it, even if it has little military value. And from Ukraine’s point of view, they are going to do the same thing they did with the other cities — pin Russia there, make them pay, and stall them while Ukraine prepares its counteroffensive elsewhere.

That’s my theory.
 

boatgeek

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I think the city is not strategically that important, and Ukraine is using Bakhmut to attrit Russian forces and supplies, while Russia wants to capture it for symbolic and political purposes.

Mariupol and Lysychansk were strategic, but it was almost a forgone conclusion that Ukraine would lose them and Russia would win. So Ukraine made a stand not because they could hold those strategic positions, but in order to make Russia pay in blood and to pin them there and stall them while Ukraine prepared elsewhere.

Bahkmut is important politically to Putin, and it’s a prize that the Wagner Group wants to prove they can win. So they are going to throw as many bodies into the grinder as it will take to get it, even if it has little military value. And from Ukraine’s point of view, they are going to do the same thing they did with the other cities — pin Russia there, make them pay, and stall them while Ukraine prepares its counteroffensive elsewhere.

That’s my theory.
Adding on to this, I think that Bakhmut is important to the Russians only in the sense that (extremely slow) progress is being made. As long as that's true, Wagner can claim that they are the only Russian forces moving forward. They literally don't care at all about their own casualties--at this point the people on the pointy end of their spear are all (or nearly all) recruited out of prison. At one point,t hat was voluntary, with the promise of being pardoned if they made it back alive. I'm not sure if they're getting volunteers anymore or if they're all voluntold. The people behind the front lines have orders to shoot anyone who retreats or tries to surrender. It saves the state money because they don't have to imprison the men anymore. It saves Wagner money because they don't have to train anyone to be a sack of meat absorbing bullets. Wagner gets bonuses for moving forward and capturing territory. Everyone wins but the poor bastards on the front line.
 

rocket_troy

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OK, let’s look at the choices here. Ukraine had the choice to fight the invasion or be dominated by an authoritarian-turning-totalitarian pariah state, and possibly be subjected to another Holodomor at some undetermined point in the future.
The gravitas in that statement can't be overstated, Yes there's an awful lot of history and nuance to be appreciated behind certain tensions and entitlements as there often are between the lines, but it should never be forgotten that what Shane says above, trumps all that, and by some margin.

TP

ps: Keep making statements like like Shane and we might start assuming you're an "anti-war libertarian"... but, like, a *real* one :)
 
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afadeev

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I am confused over the importance of Bakhmut. One article reads:

“The most intense fighting has been taking place in eastern Ukraine, where Russian forces have been pushing to take the city of Bakhmut, a key strategic hub, for months.”

And then I’ve seen several articles similar to this:

"The Russian assault on Bakhmut is reminiscent of earlier and ultimately successful campaigns to capture the port city of Mariupol and the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk — with some notable differences.
All of those cities were recognized as strategic military objectives and major population centres, whereas Bakhmut is neither."

Seems like both Ukraine and Russia are putting a lot of resources into Bakhmut, so they must think it’s important.

The key distinction is what types of resources is Russia putting into attacking Bakhmut?
Russia has a weird bifurcation of forces within different parts of Russian military (conscripts, semi-professional soldiers, special forces/VDV) and then there is the Wagner private military contractor (PMC) / neo-Nazi force, run by a Putin's buddy (whatever his name is).

Wagner forces happen to have grabbed an area of the front near that God forsaken town called Bakhmut, and are trying to make a name for themselves by trying to take it. At any cost. If you haven't heard about Wagner yet, this article will give you a taste (warning: they are into executing their own by means of a sledgehammer, and taping the process for some weird sick purposes):

Given that Wagner is largely staffed by criminals recruited to go on parole to the frontline, they REALLY don't give two ***** about the casualties. So they keep attacking, and taking horrendous losses. Just to make Wagner's owner look good in front of Putin.

Seams insane, but it's a thing with the Russians. They really don't put much value into human life.

Net-net - Bakhmut is of marginal strategic interest.
But Wagner group's owner have decided to make a name for himself by taking that town, at any cost.
So it became a meat grinder, and is in the news.


a

P.S.: Our resident Russia propagandist has recently declared Bakhmut a "strategic" goal of Russian advances. So that tells you all you need to know about how Russians are talking to Russians about Bakhmut.
 

Steve Shannon

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@Steve Shannon
Just because I am antiwar does not mean I am a total pacifist. I am formally trained in knife, sword, pistol, rifle, shotgun and submachine gun. Although I'm nearly 75, I train weekly with the Italian foil. I placed well in a recent tournament at Las Vegas.
Pacifism I could understand. Acknowledging the need for self-defense by your own preparedness, yet arguing that a nation under invasion had no such right is hypocrisy.
Presumably you would meet a home invasion with a violent defense. Russia perpetrated and continues to prosecute an invasion against the Ukrainian homeland for completely self-serving reasons. You feel that the rest of the western negations are somehow culpable for helping Ukraine defend itself.
If we sat by and allowed the Russians to overrun Ukraine and “annex” whatever they want, we’d be no better than those who knew, but chose to look away wherever atrocities take place, such as Nazi Germany 80 years ago. Our inaction would only encourage and embolden Russian aggression and quite likely Chinese aggression against Taiwan. Right now, Russia is discovering that they pay dearly for their imperialism, and that’s truly important.
Sometimes war is necessary to prevent more war. Russia chose to invade. No circumstance outside of Putin’s paranoias forced that upon them. The choice Russia made by invading has resulted in a very high cost for them, reinforcing the lesson that such imperialism will not be tolerated by the rest of the world. Anything less would only result in more and bigger wars later.
 
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Greg Furtman

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boatgeek

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This is an interesting thought piece on Russian empire.



The author sees Russia as the last remaining colonial empire. The wars in Ukraine (and Chechnya) are intended to show that you can't leave. If that is shown to be false, then big chunks of Russia might decide to secede. One particular risk is Siberia, which apparently bankrolls the rest of the nation with their natural resources.
 

Antares JS

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The author sees Russia as the last remaining colonial empire.
Admittedly my knowledge of this comes from playing Muscovy (the country that became Russia) in Europa Universalis 4, but assuming that game depicts the situation accurately, that's not an unfair comparison. After the peoples living in what is now European Russia were consolidated under Moscow, the country pushed eastward and forcibly established their rule over the natives already living in those regions. Not terribly different from what other European powers were doing in the Americas in principle, except that all the lands under the rule of Russia were contiguous until they crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska.
 
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