Jump to content

Russian Games: 120,000-140,000 Russian Troops on the Ukrainian border…


Ser Scot A Ellison
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

If the Russians try to push their Baltic amphibious troops into the Black Sea will the Turks allow them to pass the Dardenells and the Bosphorus?

They can't stop them without violating the Montreux Convention. As a Black Sea power, Russia's warships can pass through the straits without asking for Turkish permission, the only limitation is the tonnage.

Edited by Gorn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If NATO ends up at war with Russia, I don't think respecting that Convention will be a top priority. Though I'm puzzled by the need to have amphibious ships in the Black Sea, Russia has a pretty big land connection to attack Ukraine, and I'd be surprised they don't have such stuff already in the neighbourhood; at worst, they should be able to ship them inland through rivers. Sounds (hopefully) like another diversion or provocation from your typical cynical coldly calculating Putin to distract the West or convince them his attack will come soon.

6 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

So for a naval base they are started all this?

Crimea wasn't Ukrainian to begin with, it was a Tatar khanate and then got conquered by Russia. Ukrainian Kruschev gave it to Ukraine in the 1950s as a reward for most of its people siding with USSR instead of the Nazis; besides, there wasn't a land connection with Russia but there's one with Ukraine. Still, most people are Russian there, many are Tatar and few are Ukrainian. Of all possible Russian territorial claims, that's the only one that would have some merit imho - though I wonder why the heck Russia didn't ask for better guarantees back in 1991-1994.

6 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Didn't they get asked to apply? Which is what pissed him off so much in the first place! Why would mighty Russia have to apply for anything!

I'm not sure who proposed and who refused. Based on both sides typical mindset and behaviour, I would guess Russia required to be of equal status with the US, or just slightly below, if it were to join NATO, and I would guess the US would merely offer them a lesser rank like UK or Germany. Still a shame, I've been thinking for more than 20 years that if Nato was to be kept, then it should actually include the bulk of Europe up to and including Russia (and Ukraine obviously), so that previous rivals would then work together and would never be at risk of war against each other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Clueless Northman said:

I'm not sure who proposed and who refused. Based on both sides typical mindset and behaviour, I would guess Russia required to be of equal status with the US, or just slightly below, if it were to join NATO, and I would guess the US would merely offer them a lesser rank like UK or Germany.

Putin reportedly suggested joining NATO when he first became president - but didn't want to go through the same process as "countries that don't matter:"

Quote

George Robertson, a former Labour defence secretary who led Nato between 1999 and 2003, said Putin made it clear at their first meeting that he wanted Russia to be part of western Europe. “They wanted to be part of that secure, stable prosperous west that Russia was out of at the time,” he said.

The Labour peer recalled an early meeting with Putin, who became Russian president in 2000. “Putin said: ‘When are you going to invite us to join Nato?’ And [Robertson] said: ‘Well, we don’t invite people to join Nato, they apply to join Nato.’ And he said: ‘Well, we’re not standing in line with a lot of countries that don’t matter.’”

Putin also told Oliver Stone he floated joining NATO to Bill Clinton when he visited Moscow in 2000.

Of course, Putin's early interest doesn't really matter now as his stance has long since changed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Clueless Northman said:

If NATO ends up at war with Russia, I don't think respecting that Convention will be a top priority. Though I'm puzzled by the need to have amphibious ships in the Black Sea, Russia has a pretty big land connection to attack Ukraine, and I'd be surprised they don't have such stuff already in the neighbourhood; at worst, they should be able to ship them inland through rivers. Sounds (hopefully) like another diversion or provocation from your typical cynical coldly calculating Putin to distract the West or convince them his attack will come soon.

I've seen somewhere that maybe Russia would want to make Ukraine a landlocked nation, so they could attempt to take the entire strip of land from Romania & Moldova to Crimea (and in that process maybe gobble up Transnistria)  and then from Crimea to Donbass. Which means they could ponder a sea assault to take the main Ukrainian ports and secure some points before the main land troops can push through. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Odessa is a major sea port and hub for the South. It has a large container terminal, and would be critical to any sea supply to Ukraine. 

It doesn't seem likely, but if they are actually intent on an invasion of some kind, crippling Odesa would be huge.

Edited by Lord of Oop North
Link to comment
Share on other sites

US embassy in Ukraine to start evacuating nonessential personnel:

Quote

The US embassy in Ukraine has requested the evacuation of all non-essential staff amid increasing fears of an imminent Russian invasion and the arrival overnight of arms deliveries promised by President Joe Biden, according to a CNN report.

US evacuations are likely to start “as early as next week”, the US cable news network said, citing a source close to the Ukrainian government. It marks the embassy’s shift in focus towards “helping Ukraine bolster its defences in the face of growing Russian aggression”.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Iskander short-range missiles have been deployed to Belarus. It looks like six, rather than three, amphibious assault ships are now on their way to the Black Sea. Although that's not a massive naval invasion force - it can put around 60-80 tanks or assault vehicles ashore - it could act as an outflanking maneuver supporting a land invasion. If they head towards Mariupol, which is very close to the existing war front and has already changed hands several times, that might support the idea of a limited strike into the rebel-held areas, possibly with the forces in Belarus acting as a threat to Kiev to stop the government from responding in full force.

However, the BBC are reporting a Kremlin plan to install a pro-Russian Ukrainian ally, which would only really be possible in the event of a full-scale invasion and the Russians taking the capital, or forcing the government to surrender.

Interesting analysis there that Putin's very stable and reliable character may have made him feel predictable and that people did not take him seriously, so by going for this sudden escalation he's thrown the international community off-balance and forcing them to recalculate that maybe Russia is crazy enough to invade Ukraine after all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which again is why the West needs to hit Russia hard with sanctions right now. Waiting is dumb at this point. I know there are legal hurdles and not everyone is fully on board, but it's time to force their hands too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of the talk I've been hearing the last couple of days suggests this is all a big game of bluff. Putin might want to appear crazy but he isn't crazy. He will know that even if he invaded Ukraine, he could never keep it. Ukraine's pro Russian populace in Crimea now doesn't count and every step he takes will simply push people away from him. 

It all sounds a bit like the N. Korean strategy of looking like a loose cannon, doing something stupid and using that to leverage concessions in future talks. It's not like NATO would ever give into any of Russia's demands, which seem completely unrealistic from what I've heard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was seeing some satellite analysis suggesting that might be the case: the large Russian military outposts and camps along the Russian-Ukrainian and Belarus-Ukrainian borders were not seeing the type of activity you'd associate with a full-scale invasion being imminent. However, the amphibious assault ships have only just transited the Channel, so are still several days away from reaching the Black Sea, which puts any invasion off by another week or two.

However, the US analysis is that with modern transport infrastructure, Russia could double the number of troops on the border incredibly quickly, negating the need for staging posts right on the border and they could also be using lack of activity in their big, obvious camps to district from more clandestine activities elsewhere.

There's also the fact that Russia may have passed or be approaching the point when any backing down would look extremely weak internally. If Russia cannot get at least one major concession (at least an agreement that Ukraine will not join NATO in a given timeframe, say 10-20 years), it not proceeding with a invasion, or at least an incursion, risks it looking toothless.

Quote

 

Which again is why the West needs to hit Russia hard with sanctions right now. Waiting is dumb at this point. I know there are legal hurdles and not everyone is fully on board, but it's time to force their hands too. 

 

The main stumbling block is Germany, which is really reluctant to cancel Nordstream and is unwilling to provide military aid to Ukraine or allow others to do so. Germany might refuse to implement any sanctions agreed upon by others, and can veto EU sanctions altogether. There's a huge row both internally within Germany and between Germany and her allies.

There seems to be something of a consensus that a full-blown Russian invasion would likely get Germany on board, but a limited incursion into the disputed border area might not.

Edited by Werthead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The main stumbling block is Germany, which is really reluctant to cancel Nordstream and is unwilling to provide military aid to Ukraine or allow others to do so. Germany might refuse to implement any sanctions agreed upon by others, and can veto EU sanctions altogether. There's a huge row both internally within Germany and between Germany and her allies.

There seems to be something of a consensus that a full-blown Russian invasion would likely get Germany on board, but a limited incursion into the disputed border area might not.

Hence why it's time to force their hand. They can stand with the rest of the West or with their business interests in Russia. Make them choose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what the actual Russian strategy is here.

- If they invade, it will be the least surprising surprise invasion in the history of warfare. Giving your opponent months to prepare, organize, arm themselves and dig in is incredibly stupid from a military point of view.

- If they back down, they just wasted an incredible of money for no gain, ruined their international reputation even further, made any future threats or ultimatums appear toothless, and helped Ukraine arm themselves with weapons they only dreamed about a year ago. Also, I doubt Putin would survive this internally.

- So far, their diplomatic gains have been zero, unless something major is being discussed behind the scenes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Hence why it's time to force their hand. They can stand with the rest of the West or with their business interests in Russia. Make them choose.

How about the US start with the sanctions now and when Russia is really invading Ukraine the other countries get on board. This looks like a good way around all the legal stumbling blocks and keeps the heat on in the European countries. At the same time it's sending the message to Russia to back down.

Edit: wouldn't Ukraine be hurt most if we start the boycott now and they don't get any more transit fees for the Russian gas?

Edited by kiko
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, kiko said:

How about the US start with the sanctions now and when Russia is really invading Ukraine the other countries get on board. This looks like a good way around all the legal stumbling blocks and keeps the heat on in the European countries. At the same time it's sending the message to Russia to back down.

Edit: wouldn't Ukraine be hurt most if we start the boycott now and they don't get any more transit fees for the Russian gas?

I'm fine with the U.S. taking the lead, hopefully with some EU backing. And no, I think Russia will be hurt a lot more than Ukraine, especially if China is not inclined to help them out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Hence why it's time to force their hand. They can stand with the rest of the West or with their business interests in Russia. Make them choose.

Easier said than done.  Plus a large chance of backfiring - it'd be very unwise to risk alienating Germany just to try to institute sanctions a little earlier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I'm fine with the U.S. taking the lead, hopefully with some EU backing. And no, I think Russia will be hurt a lot more than Ukraine, especially if China is not inclined to help them out. 

Why wouldn’t the Chinese help out the Russians?  Entangling us with Ukraine gives the Chinese room to manuvere on Taiwan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

How do we force the German’s hands?

By acting, and ideally, getting the support of other EU states, namely England and France. I get the sense that everyone is just sitting around hoping someone else deals with this, so why not step up and take charge?

3 minutes ago, DMC said:

Easier said than done.  Plus a large chance of backfiring - it'd be very unwise to risk alienating Germany just to try to institute sanctions a little earlier.

I know, but at the same time they were the ones who made this shortsighted deal to begin with. And I don't think waiting will be a net benefit. The time to act is now and the West cannot afford to show weakness. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Why wouldn’t the Chinese help out the Russians?  Entangling us with Ukraine gives the Chinese room to manuvere on Taiwan.

They don't want their games to get fucked up. And the West finally stepping up might deter China from moving on Taiwan. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

China is not ready to invade Taiwan now. That's a project for 5-20 years further down the line. The only reason it might happen sooner is because Xi Jinping wants it as part of his legacy, and he is stymied by China's military not quite being there, not to mention three US carrier battle groups in close proximity to Taiwan at the moment (as opposed to one in the Mediterranean, but the US has a lot of ground airbases in Europe, of course).

China could invade Taiwan tomorrow, but it'd be chancy as hell and not the kind of risk China might want to take at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...