Ukraine invasion

Horwath

Hero
And possibly Kyiv as well. They may be rolling back to, "all we really wanted was in the Donbas region, and to make clear that we won't have you joining NATO."
loosely translated, we are getting our #### handed to us outside Donbas so we will regroup there.
This does not mean that Ukrainians aren't suffering heavy losses also.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
loosely translated, we are getting our #### handed to us outside Donbas so we will regroup there.

I think it'll turn out to be more than just regroup. I think they realize that taking the whole country at this time simply isn't going to work. They're likely rolling back to something they might be able to hold onto strongly enough to get in negotiations.

This does not mean that Ukrainians aren't suffering heavy losses also.

Oh, of course not. Beating off the Russians has a heavy, heavy toll.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I said on a different site they may be able to beat some dirt out of Ukraine and force them to sign something. The international community doesn't have to accept that treaty or whatever and they can keep sanctions on.

Even if Russia pulled back to to borders from 6 weeks or so ago sanctions are going be worse now than then. If they take any dirt I imagine sanctions will remain. I suspect to get them removed they'll have to pull back to pre 2014 borders.

Apparently they can't replace any tanks lost as they used western components. They could produce them to 1980's standards I suppose then they're essentially deaf, dumb and blind.
 
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Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
Yes, sanctions against Russia must remain. It's good if an agreement can be reached, because Ukraine is being subject to destruction and massacre. But whatever concessions Kyiv will make, they will have been extorted by thugs.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yes, sanctions against Russia must remain. It's good if an agreement can be reached, because Ukraine is being subject to destruction and massacre. But whatever concessions Kyiv will make, they will have been extorted by thugs.

Well pre war Crimes essentially had the same sanctions that Russia has now.

I suspect if they want sanctions removed going back to 2013 borders and paying reparations would be the way to do it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yes, sanctions against Russia must remain.

I expect that sanctions will lift when a peace agreement is reached. I don't expect that to be a full withdrawal and a return of Crimea - that would constitute an unacceptable loss of face for Russia. I will be unsurprised if Russia gets out of this still holding Crimea, a chunk of the Donbas region, and with an agreement that Ukraine will not seek to become part of NATO or the EU.

Which stinks, but that's my expectation at this point.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I expect that sanctions will lift when a peace agreement is reached. I don't expect that to be a full withdrawal and a return of Crimea - that would constitute an unacceptable loss of face for Russia. I will be unsurprised if Russia gets out of this still holding Crimea, a chunk of the Donbas region, and with an agreement that Ukraine will not seek to become part of NATO or the EU.
I suspect that's about right - and I fully expect that Putin and his media sock puppets will spin it as a successful campaign to force Ukraine to give up ambitions of joining NATO and the EU and a successful show of force to keep NATO from direct interference in Russian security concerns.
The next question will be about pressure on states like Latvia and Estonia - both of which are in NATO and which border core Russian territory. Then Poland and Lithuania, both of which border the Russian enclave that used to be East Prussia and are in NATO. And finally Russian threats against Bosnia and Herzegovina and their potential NATO relationship through their Serbian cronies, who are already causing problems.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I expect that sanctions will lift when a peace agreement is reached. I don't expect that to be a full withdrawal and a return of Crimea - that would constitute an unacceptable loss of face for Russia. I will be unsurprised if Russia gets out of this still holding Crimea, a chunk of the Donbas region, and with an agreement that Ukraine will not seek to become part of NATO or the EU.

Which stinks, but that's my expectation at this point.

I pretty much expect that but with sanctions intact.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The next question will be about pressure on states like Latvia and Estonia - both of which are in NATO and which border core Russian territory. Then Poland and Lithuania, both of which border the Russian enclave that used to be East Prussia and are in NATO.

After getting spanked by Ukraine, I don't expect Russia will have the hunger to take on a NATO member for some years.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
After getting spanked by Ukraine, I don't expect Russia will have the hunger to take on a NATO member for some years.
Spanked, maybe. But they didn’t provoke direct intervention because of the nuclear threat. And may end up with largely what they wanted anyway.
My guess is the next actual test will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbian proxies while Russian colonists will start agitating in the Baltics, all funded with Russian oil money.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Spanked, maybe. But they didn’t provoke direct intervention because of the nuclear threat. And may end up with largely what they wanted anyway.

Yes, but they seem to have lost more troops in a month than the total the US has lost since the end of the Vietnam War. Those losses are a problem, and indicate many other problems.

My guess is the next actual test will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbian proxies while Russian colonists will start agitating in the Baltics, all funded with Russian oil money.

Years from now, perhaps. But this test has shown they don't have the equipment, training, or logistics for taking on peers. It will take time to develop it.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Years from now, perhaps. But this test has shown they don't have the equipment, training, or logistics for taking on peers. It will take time to develop it.
I kind of suspect that the equipment they had was fine where it was maintained but that most of what was paid for never arrived at front line units or was stripped and sold off after installation.
It is the pervasive and top to bottom corruption that is the root problem and the best hope to counteract it is a fairly transparent society. Which is not compatible with oligarchical rule.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I kind of suspect that the equipment they had was fine where it was maintained but that most of what was paid for never arrived at front line units or was stripped and sold off after installation.
It is the pervasive and top to bottom corruption that is the root problem and the best hope to counteract it is a fairly transparent society. Which is not compatible with oligarchical rule.
It is more than that.

Russia's military is poorly trained/educated. Their economy is barely bigger than Canada's, and they are maintaining a huge number of tanks and other weapons; they simply cannot afford to modernize them, keep that many in service, and maintain them.

It relies on conscription, which you can avoid by getting a degree; this means it relies on the poorest who cannot avoid service.

It has weak off-rail logistics. Their units have something like 1/3 of the off-rail (trucks basically) logistics capabilities of "western" military units.

And then, we have the plausible story that the Tank is dead as a weapon. Modern anti-tank weaponry (both drones and man-portable) are able to kill tanks easier than tanks can kill them for 10x to 100x less cost. That really isn't a price ratio you want to be fighting against.

I mean, battleships died in WW2 with the aircraft carrier for the same reason (air planes are many many times cheaper than battleships, and can sink them). We still have ships with guns, but they aren't the battleships of WW2 and before, queens of the sea which engaged in a technological arms race for larger caliber barrels and thicker armor and faster engines. Instead they are secondary escort craft.

It looks like tanks are now ineffectively armored most-terrain light artillery and poor infantry transport mechanized units.

Not sure what to replace it with. Maybe massively reduce armor (keep enough to beat small arms; force the enemy to have anti-person and anti-mech weapons), add in drone escorts? (Refueling and controlling drones can give you around-corner kill capabilities) Stick anti-tank weaponry on some of the drones and you can beat a tank before it sees you.

Dunno.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
It is more than that.

Russia's military is poorly trained/educated. Their economy is barely bigger than Canada's, and they are maintaining a huge number of tanks and other weapons; they simply cannot afford to modernize them, keep that many in service, and maintain them.
They cannot afford not to either but we would have to get into the weeds of what exactly Russia has been spending on military over the last 20 years but but I do not see how the situation would not be improved by less corruption.
It relies on conscription, which you can avoid by getting a degree; this means it relies on the poorest who cannot avoid service.

It has weak off-rail logistics. Their units have something like 1/3 of the off-rail (trucks basically) logistics capabilities of "western" military units.

And then, we have the plausible story that the Tank is dead as a weapon. Modern anti-tank weaponry (both drones and man-portable) are able to kill tanks easier than tanks can kill them for 10x to 100x less cost. That really isn't a price ratio you want to be fighting against.
This is something about which we simply do not have enough information. We do not really know, if the Russians, at any point performed any of the force protection measures, typically undertaken by the US in similar circumstances or if the tank losses was cause by poor training, lack of combined arms coordination or lack of maintenance. It will be a couple of years before we will have the information to make a real judgements on this.
I mean, battleships died in WW2 with the aircraft carrier for the same reason (air planes are many many times cheaper than battleships, and can sink them). We still have ships with guns, but they aren't the battleships of WW2 and before, queens of the sea which engaged in a technological arms race for larger caliber barrels and thicker armor and faster engines. Instead they are secondary escort craft.

It looks like tanks are now ineffectively armored most-terrain light artillery and poor infantry transport mechanized units.

Not sure what to replace it with. Maybe massively reduce armor (keep enough to beat small arms; force the enemy to have anti-person and anti-mech weapons), add in drone escorts? (Refueling and controlling drones can give you around-corner kill capabilities) Stick anti-tank weaponry on some of the drones and you can beat a tank before it sees you.

Dunno.
Too early to make judgements. Too much of the information is coming from Ukraine sources, we are not getting the Russian side and Ukraine is playing a blinder on the information war.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
I expect that sanctions will lift when a peace agreement is reached. I don't expect that to be a full withdrawal and a return of Crimea - that would constitute an unacceptable loss of face for Russia. I will be unsurprised if Russia gets out of this still holding Crimea, a chunk of the Donbas region, and with an agreement that Ukraine will not seek to become part of NATO or the EU.

Which stinks, but that's my expectation at this point.
We'll see. Germany might be wavering, but I reckon that the US and the UK see things differently. Putin has crossed a red line and I don't envisage things going back to "normal" any time soon. IMHO, of course.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
While not yet solidly established, we now have reasons to doubt that Russia is implementing a coherent strategy, or acting on the basis of reality, because Putin may not be informed of the reality:

"A U.S. official provided NBC News with declassified intelligence claiming that there is "persistent tension" between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD), allegedly because Putin's senior advisors are "too afraid to tell him the truth" about Russia's battlefield failures.

“We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions because his senior advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth," the official said.

The official did not provide evidence for these claims, citing a need to protect sources and methods.

They said that Putin was unaware that the Russian military had used and lost conscript soldiers in Ukraine, saying that this lack of information showed "a clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information to the Russian President.""


(From NBC News: Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Russian units 'forced' to turn back to reorganize)
 


South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
While not yet solidly established, we now have reasons to doubt that Russia is implementing a coherent strategy, or acting on the basis of reality, because Putin may not be informed of the reality:

"A U.S. official provided NBC News with declassified intelligence claiming that there is "persistent tension" between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD), allegedly because Putin's senior advisors are "too afraid to tell him the truth" about Russia's battlefield failures.

“We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions because his senior advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth," the official said.


[...]
Okay, wow. I mean, ^^ this is almost exactly how the U.S.'s second invasion of Iraq started. We had bad intel and believed it because Saddam had bad intel and believed it.

Wow.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Reasons for Russian underperformance.

Basically their military is to big for the budget. Their artillery and missiles work fine and they have a large amount of nukes.

But they announce all these Miracle weapons (T-14 Armata, SU-57) and barely build any.

Consider on paper they have 12000 tanks. Most of these however are USSR leftovers around 2500-2800 in service. Something like 800 odd are "modernized".

The modern tanks are upgraded T-72 and T-90's and T-80. All off them suffer from small tank big gun which means weak armor and that autoloader.

All those pictures we're seeing of T-72's with the turrets blown off? That's an ammunition detonation. Pretty much all Soviet/Russian tanks since the T-34 have terrible crew conditions and safety.

So even without corruption how does a country with an economy similar in size to Texas, Canada, Australia and Italy maintain an army that size?

Well the proof is in the pudding. Poorly trained and equipped it seems.
The majority if their tanks are T-72B barely upgraded maybe with ERA strapped on. That design is Soviet dating from 1985 with 1985 electronics. The upgraded T-72's have things like computers in them.

T-90 isn't very good and they're using a few A models from the 90's. It's just a glorified T-72 with a T-80 turret.

So Ukraine has probably taken out a large % of their upgraded models. As an added bonus they can't replace or upgrade replacements. Apparently the tank factory has closed down due to a lack of parts due to sanctions.

Most if those 12000 tanks on paper are in storage and haven't been maintained in decades mostly T-72A models and older (T-55's maybe T-64).

I don't think Russia has T64 in active service Ukraine does. T-64 was the best Soviet tank 50 years ago. T-72 was cheap replacement for T-55 and T-80 was a cheaper T-64.
 

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