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Everything posted by Maithanet

  1. Political pressure will mount once it is clear that mobilization has not changed the fact that Russia is losing the war. Then we will have to see if Putin is ready and able to escalate further.
  2. Yes. It probably will fail and quite possibly in spectacular fashion. But they have a decent supporting cast and if Leonard, George and Wall are all healthy in the playoffs, they will be an extremely tough out. Yes, they haven't been healthy in playoff time yet, but it could happen.
  3. All of the reasons why mass mobilization does not make sense for Putin look to be coming true. This is a huge political risk with questionable, if any, military benefit. If the military continues to crumble of the next 3 months (which I fully expect) then the situation will be much worse for Russia than it would have been without mobilization.
  4. Is it obvious? A lot needs to go right, but if George and Leonard are healthy, that team is pretty talented. They match up reasonably well with GSW and they might be the only team in the west I'd say that about.
  5. A bit of background on Russian callups. Supposedly they are calling up reservists, who have previous military experience. This sounds like more of an advantage than it is, because in most cases these men have never seen combat, many were barely trained the last time they were in the military, and often that was decades ago. Russia does not do any maintenance training to make sure that reservists maintain the skills they learned as soldiers. A man in his 40s who did a year as a conscript in the 90s is going to need extensive training to be even close to useful in Ukraine. But some videos on twitter indicate many of these troops are going to be given a 2 week "refresher" and then sent to the front. With crappy equipment and no training, they are likely to accomplish very little other than die in large numbers.
  6. That is a good piece. I've always been a fan of Wall, he didn't work out in DC, but he did everything you can expect a professional athlete to do. I hope he wins a ring someday.
  7. Ukrainians advancing in an attempt to encircle Lyman.
  8. This mobilization feels like the sequel to the 3rd Army Corp. A few months ago Russia announced the formation of the 3rd Army Corp, with some fanfare that this new unit would prove decisive somewhere. Then it became clear it was only going to be 15k men (not really a Corps), and then maybe only 10k, then perhaps more like 8k. Regardless, it was a real unit that definitely existed and started training in August. I don't know how long the Russians were planning to train them, but when the Kharkiv offensive started they were thrown into the battle, complete with pictures of trucks and towed artillery on social media. Astute observers could see that they were missing a lot of equipment you'd expect an army that size to have (like anti-aircraft weapons), and what was shown was mostly 70s era equipment out of storage. Anyways, they trained for a month and then went into battle to blunt the Ukrainian offensive and did...nothing. They didn't even win a single skirmish or slow the Ukrainians meaningfully or anything that I can find. They seemed to melt away, with some guys captured, some equipment left behind, and many successfully fleeing back to Russian lines. That was for training and equipping ~10k troops, something Russia should ABSOLUTELY be capable of doing. Now the Russians are going to try and train+equip+supply 300k or more? The experience of the 3AC does not instill confidence in this. At best these new troops will be given bad kit, and sent in as replacements to existing veteran units, where they will be have terrible morale and brutal casualties. A small fraction of them might survive long enough to learn to be decent soldiers in a few months time. But if the existing Russian units are already losing (and they are), this holds little potential to change the dynamic.
  9. The point of using protesters as cannon fodder is not to get good soldiers, it's to punish and discourage protesting. There's a reason why the anti-war protests are almost entirely women.
  10. NY AG suing Trump, his family and the Trump organization for fraud.
  11. It was a bafflingly stupid decision to only rush 2 against Murray on that 2 point conversion. One of the guys is a DT and clearly not fast enough to catch him anyway. Murray + 5 linemen against 2 pass rushers could probably hold the ball for a full minute without being tackled. You can definitely see that both the guys chasing him are completely gassed by the end of the play. I guess they rushed 3 initially, but I think the third guy must have dropped into coverage because he drops out of the screen after a couple seconds.
  12. Individual units have already come to that conclusion, and I hope we see a lot more around Kherson in the next couple of weeks. But make no mistake, Putin's speech is an escalation because he can see that Russia is losing. The changes he's implementing are more likely to slow the decline of Russian forces rather than actually strengthen them. We can only hope that at some point Putin stops escalating, because he is running out of options short of nuclear war.
  13. Michael Kofman had a interesting thread here about mobilization. In the immediate term, the mobilization order will only matter insofar as preventing Russian contract soldiers from refusing to fight, tearing up their contracts, or timing out and not resigning. It does not prevent desertion, which is already a problem and will almost assuredly get worse. But in the longer time period, mobilized reservists could help fill in the gaps in understrength units. Yes, they will be older, less trained and unmotivated, but they will be there, and those units desperately need men. So it can help with the quantity problem in the Russian army. But it will not help with the quality problem in the Russian army, where the best men and equipment have suffered the most casualties. These reservists will be using even worse equipment and will only exacerbate overall morale problems. Thus, his conclusion is that all these changes will likely have some limited positive effect on the fighting power of the Russian army, but it's unlikely to solve the really fundamental shortcomings of the Russian military.
  14. The Kazak military isn't as strong as Ukraine's, but it also isn't getting all chewed up in a war. Russia will not have the combat power to attack Kazakhstan for many years, and by then their military will probably be stronger, and their ties to China even closer. On every front, this war has been a political disaster for Russia. Even more so than the military disaster that has unfolded in the past 7 months.
  15. Might be the most important change from the new policies.
  16. I think you're missing my point. Russia already has conscripts, they have a draft every year. They just aren't allowed to deploy conscripts outside Russia unless a war is declared. Russia has at times ignored this rule, but not to the extent that you might expect - it actually does provide some protection for conscripts. So by claiming that Kherson and the Donbas are actually Russia, it would indeed free up some soldiers to be deployed at the front. Those soldiers are already trained and equipped (at least to shitty Russian standards).
  17. I agree, I think the referendums are for internal consumption in Russia. If the army is fighting on "Russian" soil, then they can deploy conscripts to fight. Yes, Russia has been bending and partially breaking this rule a lot already, but this will just make things easier for them.
  18. Apparently LNR and DNR are having their referendums this weekend (Sept 23-27). There's some speculation that this might be so that Russia has a bit more power to coerce soldiers to fight. If they are fighting on "Russian" soil, then it is harder to refuse and insist you be sent home.
  19. The Ukrainians are across the Oskil in force. They will push further into Luhansk when they have sufficient supplies brought up, and when they do so there will be ample opportunities to once again outflank and outmanuever the Russians. I very much doubt the Ukrainians will mount a direct assault on Lyman, and they may well bypass Svatove as well.
  20. More gut wrenching loss, Raiders, Ravens or Browns? Browns had a 13 point lead at the 2 minute warning. Raiders had at least five defensive plays where a stop wins the game. Ravens had a 21 point lead ending the 4th. All three looked like the clearly better team for much of the game.
  21. Great thread about the Ukrainian offensive and Russian shortcomings. Couple things stuck out to me. The Wagner mercenaries are the best combat units in the Russian side, better than ru army or Marines. They also answer only to Putin, not to Russian generals. This obviously makes coordinated action almost impossible. The Russian allocation of forces made no sense, but there isn't a unified commander to straighten things out. Lnr/Dpr/Wagner/rosgvardia/army forces don't have good communication. When the Ukrainians got behind there lines, the commanders of each unit didn't really know where the other units are, and this leads to a desire to flee, from the top down.
  22. Yes, the Ukrainians have crossed the Oskil river around Kupyansk, and further north as well. They aren't pushing much beyond that at the moment, likely because they need to bring up more supplies. That is giving the Russians time to regroup, which is unfortunate. People who know more about military matters than me are insisting that the Russian defensive "line" isn't anchored by anything and the Ukrainians should have little difficulty bypassing strongpoints and outflanking the Russians in northern Luhansk. If this is turning into a war of maneuver and outflanking (even with pauses in between thrusts) that definitely favors the Ukrainians with better trained troops and more flexible leadership. And in the meantime, the Russian troops north of the Dnipro are still slowly disintegrating. Just a matter of time before we get more good news on that front as well.
  23. According to 538's model (dangerous words I know), it is now more likely that the Democrats hold the House (29%) than the Republicans take the Senate (28%). That feels too optimistic to me, I think that right now Democrats have a fairly clear path to 49 seats (winning PA and AZ), but getting to 50 means holding one of GA/NV and both of them feel shaky. I'm still pretty gunshy about assuming that the polling will hold up for Democrats. The last 4 cycles have been 3 losses and 1 draw on that regard, and that certainly makes me uncomfortable. But I'm glad that the fundamentals and polling continue to improve for Democrats on the House. It does seem like the Republicans have nominated a lot of bad candidates and are struggling with messaging generally this cycle. IF the Democrats hold the House (even with a slim margin) then the Senate is likely to look pretty decent (52+) in which case real action might be genuinely possible. We might even get big things like DC statehood, voting reform, etc. Is this hope? I dare not.
  24. I would be surprised if Netflix were basing it's renewal decision of Sandman on how much it moves the needle on subscribers. That is just a very big lift for any new show. Viewership and general buzz seems like the thing to look at about whether people are interested in the show. And viewership for Sandman has been great. It was #1 on Netflix for 3 weeks in a row. That's a hit, by any normal metric. I don't really understand what more Netflix could have expected for this show than what it's gotten.
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