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Ukraine: “I don’t need a ride, I need Ammunition”.


Ser Scot A Ellison
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Interesting to see what happens tonight. If Russia renews the attack or uses the talks as an excuse to rest and recuperate, and get supplies and reinforcements to the front.

British analysts on the BBC suggesting that Russia might be moving to a siege mode and is encircling the major cities and no longer making concerted efforts to attack, at lead for a brief window. That could end and they could renew urban assaults overnight, but they might try to starve out the defenders. The very first stories today about Ukrainians rationing food in some areas.

Russia could then renew conventional assaults, use thermobarics or resort to other tactics whilst the negotiations are going on.

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@Mindwalker Yesterday, already, I heard more frequenty Russian on the sidewalk -- all, interestingly, coming from young males, in groups of 3 or more, in their 20's.

Last night I began wondering about the money that goes to Russia's military, recalling how Russia lost so spectacularly in its war with Frederick back in the mid-1770's, when Empress Elizabeth Yelizaveta Petrovna's favorites essentially ran things, which meant putting into their own pockets every bit of the nation's wealth they could get into their grubby corrupt greedy hands. So the military was essentially unfunded, for everything from effective weaponry to uniforms and boots, not to mention food, so they had to turn around and come back home again.  (Yes, I did read Simon Montifiore's massive and magnificent history of the Romanovs some winters back!)

Could that sort of thing have been happening with Putin's military, since he's the head of an oligarchy of thieves?  Nevertheless, there seems ample supply to destroy Ukraine's sovereignty, alas.

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We saw the trolls/fanboyz/bots for days already, not just the last 2 or 3.  They've showed up everywhere, exhibiting what they are, not only because of 'content' but their handles had never ever been seen in any of these places, such as Brett's, and Charlie's, blog-discussion space, etc. Here as well.

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Quote

The Dragon Demands said:
They can push their salients to Kiev and Kharkiv if they concentrate all remaining Russian forces into the spearhead - they can use Belarusian auxiliaries to shore up their flanks. What’s the worst that could happen?

3 hours ago, Werthead said:

Putting poorly-trained, badly-equipped auxiliaries on your flanks is the very lesson every single Russian even remotely familiar with Stalingrad should know is a very bad idea.

...I know...that's the point. I was being sarcastic :) Tempting fate, "what's the worst that could happen?"

Sort of like saying "the Russians can take every major bridge over the Dnieper if they maintain a massive airlift bridge for 3 continuous days - it's not as if the Ukrainian air force will counter attack once the element of surprise is lost" (Market Garden)

Edited by The Dragon Demands
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I don't know if Belarus would be all that interested in helping Putie out with army units crossing into Ukraine.  Could lead to opposition to their puppet dictator taking shape and widesspread civil unrest erupts, in shades of 1991.

And Belarus is already under sanctions from the EU.

 

Edited by SpaceChampion
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One of the most remarkable things to me so far is seeing the teeth of EU and the US acting as a helper for a direction but not the main spokespeople. The EU getting more active and unified and the US facilitating is something I didnt think was going to happen.

And the notion Trump would have handled it better when he wanted to disband nato and pissed off almost everyone in Europe is some real special form of wishful thinking.

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9 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

One of the most remarkable things to me so far is seeing the teeth of EU and the US acting as a helper for a direction but not the main spokespeople. The EU getting more active and unified and the US facilitating is something I didnt think was going to happen.

And the notion Trump would have handled it better when he wanted to disband nato and pissed off almost everyone in Europe is some real special form of wishful thinking.

I think it's fairly safe to assume that Trump would have been sending American troops over to assist Russia at this point.  At least, he'd be trying to...

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The other thing I am shocked about that I got wrong was how unwilling Russia has been to bomb the shit out of the cities. I expect significantly more brutality and mass casualties, and for whatever reason that has not happened yet.

My fear, like @Werthead said above, is that is going to be the next step, especially if it is apparent that the other goals putin had (destruction of military, murdering leaders) cannot be met.

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1 minute ago, Kalibuster said:

The other thing I am shocked about that I got wrong was how unwilling Russia has been to bomb the shit out of the cities. I expect significantly more brutality and mass casualties, and for whatever reason that has not happened yet.

My fear, like @Werthead said above, is that is going to be the next step, especially if it is apparent that the other goals putin had (destruction of military, murdering leaders) cannot be met.

I’m hoping Putin’s field commanders are unwilling to do that to fellow Slavs.  I hope their restraint continues.

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

Could that sort of thing have been happening with Putin's military, since he's the head of an oligarchy of thieves?  Nevertheless, there seems ample supply to destroy Ukraine's sovereignty, alas.

I think there was a suggestion that around 30% of Russia's (massive, relative to the size of its economy) budget disappears due to corruption each year. Which is actually better than the 50% or so it was before the post-Georgia reforms.

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13 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

Encirclement not encircling per mayor of kyiv. Makes sense given kyiv is pretty giant. Leningrad of 1942 it ain't

https://twitter.com/MartijnRasser/status/1498026640898760707?t=gcPUstA_XOK1t6PLY7wupg&s=19

Leningrad had a much larger population, but I'm not sure on size. But Leningrad had geographic constraints that Kiev does not (including the sea port and being wedged against Lake Ladoga), which both allowed the Germans to besiege it more effectively but also allowed Leningrad to hold out and resist the siege more effectively.

One and a half million people still died, mostly through starvation, but the city held.

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Right, agreed. Mostly I think encircling a modern metro area like kyiv is pretty tough, especially after only 4 days, and especially especially without air superiority or the kind of general success that Russia so far appears to lack.

I bet this is what Russia wants, but I doubt that it is a true encirclement. 

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3 hours ago, Zorral said:

This morning we received a very long email from a friend in Varsovia (Warsaw) describing everything that he knows -- he's a journalist, so he is tuned in and observant. (...) 

As another journalist living in Warsaw I can mostly confirm what your friend said. Ukrainian flags are everywhere in the city, all Warsaw city transport buses and trams oficially have small yellow-blue flags, there has been a petition to Warsaw president to quit partnership agreements Warsaw has with Russian cities Moscow, St. Petersburg, Grozny and Smolensk, in order to show support to other partner cities: Kiyev, Kharkiv and Odessa. There are fund-raisers and collections of stuff needed by refugees on literally every corner, at every supermarket. Biggest carsharing company deployed 1000 cars to try to transport refugees from the border into the country, as well as several bus companies, biggest logistics company offered its trucks to transport collected goods to to border or where it's needed. Biggest railway company declared Ukrainians can travel free of charge, as well as Warsaw city transport. 

Not to mention almost universal trend to add Ukrainian flag to your profile on social media and thousand of people offering to welcome refugees under their roofs. 

It's really heartwarming to see it all, us united again above huge political differences, and doing what's right and what has to be done. 

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In the South

Melitopol has fallen, according to multiple reports, though it's unclear if the Russians can hold it against a determined counter-attack. Other, contradictory reports say that Melitopol has been surrounded but bypassed - similarly, other reports that Kherson to the west has fallen, contradicted by other reports saying it was surrounded but bypassed.

The forces pushing out of Crimea seem to have been halted at Berdiansk - for now - in their push towards Mariupol on the coast to the east (which is under assault from Donbas pushing westward, but holding for now).

Instead it seems that the Crimea forces have stopped pushing east to Mariupol...and switched into an easy advance north across the open plains towards the major city Zaporizhzhia (the next of the five big cities on the Dnieper - of which Kiev is the northernmost and Kherson is the southernmost. It's the next one north of Kherson). Advanced as far north as Tokmak. Kherson still contested.

If true, this makes no sense - why divide their forces from the Mariupol offensive to attack Zaporizhzhia?  But then, maybe they're just swinging north to outflank the Ukrainian forces to the east which are trying to block their advance on Mariupol, it's hard to say.

The southern front is the only one showing even limited success for the Russians because it's in range of their naval assets and attack helicopter bases in Crimea - but what happens once they advance beyond that long range support fire?

UPDATE: CNN's main TV news channel now officially reporting that Berdiansk has fallen, mayor confirms fall of the city. Small city of 100,000 with limited naval facilities. In and of itself this isn't that big of a problem, but it may mean the Russians are now free to advance east from Berdiansk to catch Mariupol in a pincer movement.

To the southwest, due to heavy fighting, CNN has pulled reporters out of Kherson and Mykolaiv and they're now reporting from Odessa to the west.

In the North

As said before, Russians trying to flank Kiev by pushing southwest, but Ukrainians say they've slowed this effort in heavy fighting. Situation unclear.

In the East

What was supposed to be a major Russian advance from Kharkiv to the Dnieper has of course been a complete debacle halted in the city outskirts. Mayor of the city now claims a successful counter attack has outright pushed the Russians away from the outskirts. 

Edited by The Dragon Demands
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Regards proposed talks-

Zelensky: We are fully prepared to accept your surrender!

rasPutin: Chokes on his Smirnof.

 

9 hours ago, Toth said:

What the fuck, Scholz just had a surprisingly inspiring speech in which he announced to put 100 Billion Euro into an overhaul of the German military. That's indeed a surprise... and I seriously hope that this isn't just burning the money into more 'advisor fees', but actually allows us to have something that isn't just low hanging fruit for jokes.

I also hope that parallel to that we are seriously starting talks about a European army. I am sure we can cut a lot of costs on logistics if not every country has to implement their parallel system. Heck, we could even just specialize each military into supplying an arm they might be especially good at. It is horrifically necessary with the prospect of the US electing another Putin stooge, even if not the same one, who then dismantles NATO and takes away the only shield we have.

It's a great source of embarrassment for a lot of us Americans to know that we have failed to elect reliable enough leaders to be counted on to fulfill a responsible partnership in NATO.

It's the same idiots worshipping rasPutin that push the notion that we should turn our backs on our NATO allies.

They are nothing short of "enemies from within" imo.

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58 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

The other thing I am shocked about that I got wrong was how unwilling Russia has been to bomb the shit out of the cities. I expect significantly more brutality and mass casualties, and for whatever reason that has not happened yet.

My fear, like @Werthead said above, is that is going to be the next step, especially if it is apparent that the other goals putin had (destruction of military, murdering leaders) cannot be met.

The campaign so far has been weird as I pointed out in another post. Russia has made almost no attempt at war propaganda as far as I can see. No footage of shooting down ukranian planes, missile launches, drone strikes, soldiers surrounding, etc all of which have certainly occurred and they were more than willing to show during their Syrian intervention.

If they expected that a fraction of the Ukr military would desert or turn their cloaks as well part of the political class, it might make sense to show restrain.

I'm getting the nagging feeling that they might have been goaded into a botched invasion by counter intelligence. Egypt pulled a similar trick in Yom Kippur and they almost succeed, feeding wrong intelligence to Israel about the capabilities of their military.

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