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Ukraine: Holding


Ser Scot A Ellison
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Serious question:   China seems hesitant to offer full support to Ukraine invasion as Russia faces heavy difficulties, abstaining instead of vetoing condemnation at UN (letting Russia do it on their own), and publicly urging (politely) that now is the time for diplomacy.

If Putin drastically escalates the war, up to and including cluster bombing major cities, thermobaric weapons, or even a tactical nuclear strikes, will China:
 

  • Pressure Russia to recall the invasion and return to diplomacy
  • Seize on the opportunity of a distracted NATO to launch an invasion of Taiwan

I don't think they have the naval capabilities to invade Taiwan - not yet, not immediately this year. And the war is heavily disrupting global trade that China relies on.

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6 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:


If Putin drastically escalates the war, up to and including cluster bombing major cities, thermobaric weapons, or even a tactical nuclear strikes, will China:
 

  • Pressure Russia to recall the invasion and return to diplomacy
  • Seize on the opportunity of a distracted NATO to launch an invasion of Taiwan

I don't think they have the naval capabilities to invade Taiwan - not yet, not immediately this year. And the war is heavily disrupting global trade that China relies on.

My guess is that they will not want to rock the boat and escalate things even further. My personal take is that China has seen NATO, the US and EU significantly stronger than they've been in a while, and this kind of coordination against a country - including Japan, South Korea, neutral countries, etc - is not something China wants to deal with. China can afford to wait, and China is likely going to want to wait until the US is significantly more distracted and less inclined to want to participate in things.

I also think that China does not want people entirely pissed off at it like they are Russia. If the world kind of shrugged, if NATO hadn't been so united, if the EU hadn't gone as far as they have, if the US also shrugged or looked pretty shitty - that might be different, but I don't think China needs to act so quickly. I don't think Xi has the same idea of preserving his legacy by requiring Taiwan be under his control, and I suspect getting Hong Kong fulfills that need for the immediate future. 

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47 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

My Mom’s in emergency surgery.  My sister is on her way up now.  My brother is there.  We’re talking about shifts to take care of her when she’s out of the hospital.

I hope your mom is going to be all right whatever the reason for her surgery. Best wishes for her and lots of strength to you and your siblings. 

Edited by RhaenysBee
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57 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

My Mom’s in emergency surgery.  My sister is on her way up now.  My brother is there.  We’re talking about shifts to take care of her when she’s out of the hospital.

You and your family will be in thoughts and prayers. 

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22 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Serious question:   China seems hesitant to offer full support to Ukraine invasion as Russia faces heavy difficulties, abstaining instead of vetoing condemnation at UN (letting Russia do it on their own), and publicly urging (politely) that now is the time for diplomacy.

If Putin drastically escalates the war, up to and including cluster bombing major cities, thermobaric weapons, or even a tactical nuclear strikes, will China:
 

  • Pressure Russia to recall the invasion and return to diplomacy
  • Seize on the opportunity of a distracted NATO to launch an invasion of Taiwan

I don't think they have the naval capabilities to invade Taiwan - not yet, not immediately this year. And the war is heavily disrupting global trade that China relies on.

They'll pressure Russia. At least that's by far the most likely outcome.

 

China has spend the past decade (or more) to not just bulk up its economy, but also to increase it's political influence (soft power) around the globe, particularly in Africa. The African nations do not like what Russia's doing one bit. So you can imagine how happy they are, that Putin is throwing a tantrum. 

 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1100708/russia-leading-foreign-trade-partners-by-volume/

Just look over Russia's trading partners. China's their biggest trading partner. Now that Germany and the Netherlands and the other EU nations have pulled the plug for most parts, the dependency on China as a trading partner just got so much bigger.

So China can pretty much strong arm Russia, if they get really upset.

 

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39 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

I don't think Xi has the same idea of preserving his legacy by requiring Taiwan be under his control, and I suspect getting Hong Kong fulfills that need for the immediate future. 

When they took Hong Kong all the hardcore anti-communists there fled to Taiwan, making a "union" with Taiwan much harder. There was a whole news article I read pointing this out. Maybe they'll be content to grind down Hong Kong and shepherd their resources for the long term game.

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1 hour ago, Kalibuster said:

Nice infographic on how sanctions-proof Russia went from being in a mostly good state to being largely hosed
 

 

But Biden and the West were being too soft, and Russia was sanction-proof…

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End of Day 5:

In the North:

  • New Russian armored columns are massing for a strike on Kyiv.
  • Along the eastern border there was a Russian breakthrough north of Sumy which took Konotop, two pincers are heading west to Kyiv, one advancing on Nizhyn and the other on Pryluky. Unlcear if they will get there.

In the East:

  • Ukrainian counter-attacks have pushed the Russians completely out of Kharkiv.
  • Front lines in Donbas region of the southeast remain largely static, but a few Russian breakthroughs particularly at Starobilsk, Sieverodonetsk, and Volhovakha. We'll see if they turn into encirclements.

In the South:

  • Mariupol may have fallen, due to Russian push from Berdiansk to the west hitting them in the rear while pinned down by new offensive in the east from Donbas. Other reports contradict, insisting that the city is still contested or at least not fully secured. If true this would be the first of Ukraine's ten largest cities to fall.
  • Farther west in the south, serious efforts to push past Khersen at the mouth of the Dnieper seem to have stalled for now.
  • The largest news of the day is that the previously reported push north from Crimeia which took Melitopol has made significant progress towards Zaporizhzhia, the next of the five large cities on the Dnieper (Khersen is the southernmost, then this one). Unclear if they will reach the city. 
     

There are five major cities on the Dnieper, all of them among the top ten cities in Ukraine, which from north to south are Kiev, Kremenchuk, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, and Khersen

A large bulk of the Ukrainian army is concentrated in Donbas, in the southeast corner of the country, holding the front line against the separatist enclaves now backed by Russians. The fear now is that the Russians are going to concentrate on encircling them, or at least, cutting them off from supply lines extending from western Ukraine.

They've already cut off the land corridor from Khersen, and Kiev will soon be surrounded (regardless of whether they can take the city).  

If the Russians knock out Zazporizhzhia and nearby Dnipro, they'll cut off the main crossing of the Dnieper that supply lines are running through for the front line in Donbas. They plausibly could shift supply lines north through Kremenchuk. But it might no longer be about trying to secure crossings over the Dniper, simply blocking them so they can cut off the bulk of Ukraine's army from supplies and catch them in a pocket.  Thus it serves no purpose for the Ukrainians to blow all the bridges themselves, they need them more than the Russians do.

Edited by The Dragon Demands
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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

My Mom’s in emergency surgery.  My sister is on her way up now.  My brother is there.  We’re talking about shifts to take care of her when she’s out of the hospital.

I hope all goes well and she recovers quickly.

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