Author Topic: Russia/Ukraine Crisis 2022  (Read 3207 times)

Jubal

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Re: Russia/Ukraine Crisis 2022
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2022, 05:45:12 PM »
The war rattles on - pretty hard to tell exactly what's happening in the east, except that it's not happening very fast.

There are some rumours that Russia may soon formally declare war: technically and bizarrely, Russia hasn't done this because it wanted to keep its "special operation" nonsense front up. Declaring war would in legal terms mean the Kremlin can start conscripting to replenish its manpower.

Also, Russia is now in a spat with Israel, a country it nominally didn't have awful relations with, after the Russian foreign minister repeated the libel that Hitler was part-Jewish, and then when Israel's prime and foreign ministers reacted angrily the Russian foreign ministry released a staggeringly anti-Semitic historical-revisionist statement. How To Make Friends And Influence People: Lavrov Edition seems to continue to go badly...
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dubsartur

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Re: Russia/Ukraine Crisis 2022
« Reply #61 on: May 04, 2022, 03:21:22 AM »
There are people compiling daily maps of territorial control in proper resolution (eg. https://nitter.net/Nrg8000) and continually updated lists of lost and captured vehicles from open-source intelligence (eg. https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html.  Its pretty clear that the Ukrainians are pushing back the Russians from Kharkiv, the Russians are making small advances east of Kharkiv but losing equipment fast.  There are still no signs that they have dramatically increased the size of their forces in Ukraine, while Ukraine is training several hundred thousand volunteers and reservists and arms are flooding in from the west and south.

After the first week this has been Stellungskrieg not Bewegungskrieg, so its governed by the relative ability of the two sides to reinforce their own troops and destroy the enemy.  As I explained in a recent essay, its been hard to see how Russia could win a war like that since it became clear in March that the Russian military is not better than its opponents.  For all the hot air about drones and precision munitions and the design of Soviet armoured fighting vehicles, you can understand this war just fine with Xenophon, Maurice, an atlas, and a good economic history of either World War (plus one A4 sheet of paper with statistics on the countries and armed forces).

A historian of the Eastern Roman Empire is literally going through Emperor Leo's book on generalship from the 10th century and pointing out that the Russians are doing things which Leo says will bring defeat https://nitter.eu/chrysoboullon/status/1513182013825634306#m
« Last Edit: May 04, 2022, 03:48:06 AM by dubsartur »

psyanojim

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Re: Russia/Ukraine Crisis 2022
« Reply #62 on: May 05, 2022, 12:52:23 AM »
very interesting Hoover Institute discussion video on Ukraine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ09BqDkfWI

a couple of former US 3-star generals on the panel giving interesting commentary

dubsartur

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Re: Russia/Ukraine Crisis 2022
« Reply #63 on: May 07, 2022, 04:42:24 AM »
I am seeing contradictory claims from Ukrainian officials about when Ukraine will counterattack east of Kharkiv: one source says now, another says in June.  A lot probably depends on what weapons and vehicles they get and how fast they can train people to use them.  And of course Ukraine has already counter-attacked around Kharkiv to push the Russians out of artillery range of the city centre.

I'm not sure what is happening around Kherson in the south-west, I think the Ukrainians have pushed forward a bit but the rest of the southern front is quiet. 

My understanding is that unless Moscow declares war, the current crop of conscripts will be able to return to civil life soon. And the closer that deadline comes, the harder it is to force conscripts to sign on as contractors by promising to make the rest of their time in service hell.

dubsartur

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Re: Russia/Ukraine Crisis 2022
« Reply #64 on: May 27, 2022, 01:43:55 AM »
The canadian political magazine Maclean's has an interview with a Canadian-Ukrainian who went from the Canadian Army Reserve, to signing on to play professional soccer in Ukraine, to the International Legion, to the Territorial Defense

He had the impression that the Ukrainian government saw the International Legion more as something to use in propaganda ("we have x volunteers from y countries helping us against the Russian fascists") than in combat.  He felt that the training was very basic and seemed designed not to weed anyone out.

Quote
I hadn’t been at the Yavoriv base long, though, when I realized the International Legion wasn’t all it was hyped up to be. A lot of people had taken up President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for help, but that didn’t translate into a capable fighting force. Some of the guys lacked the mental discipline to be soldiers. There would be a drill, for instance, and they would take their time putting on their shoes and getting dressed. At a boot camp for Canadian reserves, they would have been punished for that.

They weren’t receiving the kind of training—the yelling and breaking people down—that scares away people who lack the mental toughness to operate in a war zone. This training seemed designed to give them just enough basic skill that commanders could throw them into the fight. We did some physical training and some offensive and defensive tactical manoeuvres, and that was about it. Most of the volunteers seemed to think they were there on some kind of adventure vacation. I was skeptical they would ever be ready.

Gwynne Dyer is past his prime, but he does have the interesting observation that post-Soviet Russia is still run by former Communist officials.  So its hard to tell which parts of their troubles are inherent in the Russian state, and which parts are specific Communist dysfunctions.  The oligarchs are not exactly savoury, and Kamil Galeev is suspicious of Russian 'opposition leaders' and emigrants with lots of money.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2022, 03:14:25 AM by dubsartur »