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Ukraine War Part 7: Delete your army


Kalnestk Oblast
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42 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I would note that Belarusian troops are unlikely to be any more motivated than their Russian counterparts, perhaps considerably less so. There are reports that a Belarusian general resigned rather than take part in any incursion into Ukraine. 

There's also enough Belarus members (supposedly 500+) of Ukraine's international legion that they have their own battalion:

I think Belarus joining the war would be deeply unpopular, and the more troops that get sent to the front the less secure Minsk is from revolution.

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10 minutes ago, Fez said:

There's also enough Belarus members (supposedly 500+) of Ukraine's international legion that they have their own battalion:

I think Belarus joining the war would be deeply unpopular, and the more troops that get sent to the front the less secure Minsk is from revolution.

I wonder whether there is a non-zero chance that Belarussian troops in Ukraine would seek for opportunities to switch sides. Doubly so if there's a revolution at home and they can expect this to be a great way to avoid shooting at their own people and later come home as heroes.

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Putin setting out to reunify Ukraine with the Russosphere only to fail and then lose Belarus on top of that (and Kazakhstan is looking increasingly shaky) would be unbelievably stupid, and I think really would risk him earning a bullet through the head.

Some analysis that it looks like the Russians are securing Voznesensk. They've had to go on this huge tangent to bypass Mykolaiv, but if they can secure Voznesensk, they can resume the advance on Odesa from the far north. It does mean leaving the most ridiculously convoluted (and highly vulnerable) supply trail known to humanity though, but they might be getting desperate enough to try it.

Plane-watching websites noting that two TU-154s took off from Moscow to fly to Damascus several hours ago. Speculation they are being sent to collect the first Syrian mercenaries. Each aircraft can hold up to 180 people.

YouTube just banned RT and Sputnik.

Edited by Werthead
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I don't know how credible this summary is, but if it's an acccurrately parsed play-by-play of an actual discussion on Russian state tv, a few things:

 

i. wow

ii. how could Russia possibly think there might be an old normal

iii. WOW

 

 

Edited by JEORDHl
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4 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Putin setting out to reunify Ukraine with the Russosphere only to fail and then lose Belarus on top of that (and Kazakhstan is looking increasingly shaky) would be unbelievably stupid, and I think really would risk him earning a bullet through the head.

Some analysis that it looks like the Russians are securing Voznesensk. They've had to go on this huge tangent to bypass Mykolaiv, but if they can secure Voznesensk, they can resume the advance on Odesa from the far north. It does mean leaving the most ridiculously convoluted (and highly vulnerable) supply trail known to humanity though, but they might be getting desperate enough to try it.

Plane-watching websites noting that two TU-154s took off from Moscow to fly to Damascus several hours ago. Speculation they are being sent to collect the first Syrian mercenaries. Each aircraft can hold up to 180 people.

What are 360 mercenaries going to accomplish that the tens of thousands of Russian army soldiers cannot?

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12 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

What are 360 mercenaries going to accomplish that the tens of thousands of Russian army soldiers cannot?

I see their plan is to march through Ukraine, drawing the entire Ukrainian army after them, then head south to Greece and force the Ukrainian army into the narrow pass at...wait, this sounds familiar.

@JEORDHl I saw reports of one interview where a guy was saying that the Russians should be proud of their fellow Slavs for becoming the "second-best" army in Europe and the Russians should ally with them by whatever means to conquer...something. Total lunacy.

Edited by Werthead
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Well it appears Putain now has at least one accomplishment to tout - the invasion has effectively killed the talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal:

Quote

Talks on the revival of the Iran nuclear deal have become a casualty of the war in Ukraine after an indefinite pause was announced over last-minute Russian demands. [...]

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has called for guarantees that if the nuclear deal is restored, western sanctions on Russia over Ukraine will “not in any way damage our right to free and full trade, economic and investment cooperation and military-technical cooperation” with Iran.

Moscow, keen to keep oil prices high and maintain Europe’s dependency on Russian energy, is also not eager to see additional oil supplies flood the market. Iran exported nearly 2m barrels a day in 2016, the year after the original deal was made, and in practice has been exporting illicitly to China for months. US oil sanctions were reimposed on Iran in 2018 when Donald Trump pulled out of the deal.

 

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1 minute ago, DMC said:

Well it appears Putain now has at least one accomplishment to tout - the invasion has effectively killed the talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal:

What exactly is stopping them from ignoring Russia and cutting a deal directly with the Iranians? The Iranians sound ten times more furious about this than everyone else.

I'm guessing there is a fear of losing Israel's allegiance to Russia, but that seems very far-fetched, for all the Israelis cozied up a bit to Russia when Obama wasn't playing ball with them.

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16 minutes ago, JEORDHl said:

I don't know how credible this summary is, but if it's a parsed play-by-play of a discussion on state tv, a few things:

 

i. wow

ii. how could Russian possibly think there might be an old normal

iii. WOW

 

 

If that is credible… that is a big deal.

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Oh hang on, there could be a plan at work there. Hire Syrian mercenaries. Syrians use chemical weapons (I guess smuggled on the plane somehow), Russia has deniability, even lets the US bomb the Syrians like Trump did in Syria. Otherwise, why bother? Syrian mercenaries are going to be shit fighting in an unfamiliar city in subzero temperatures against a better-equipped enemy.

Maybe these are Syrian mercenaries the Russians want to get rid of? IDK, it's weird.

China is getting grumpy at the UN. They've offered to mediate again and they've even offered to set up talks so all governments globally can destroy their stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons. They've reiterated they want to see diplomacy work, and they're far less supportive of Russia's claims of there being a conspiracy than before. I get the impression they feel they have gone out on a limb as far as possible for Russia, or almost so.

Edited by Werthead
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10 minutes ago, Werthead said:

What exactly is stopping them from ignoring Russia and cutting a deal directly with the Iranians? The Iranians sound ten times more furious about this than everyone else.

Well, I think if they dropped Russia that'd probably mean losing China as well (who have also raised concerns about how the Ukrainian sanctions would impact a new deal).  And you want both of them, obviously China even more so, on board as a stick to ensure Iran complies.

Edited by DMC
impact not accept
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Per the Guardian:

Quote

One of the unanswered questions in Russia’s war against Ukraine is the level of attrition being experienced by the Ukrainian military. Now it appears a US defence official may have given some idea.

According to the unnamed official, the Ukraine air force has around 56 fighters left after almost three weeks of combat.

They started with a 100, but unclear how many were out of commission due to maintenance. With this in mind, 29 MiGs would make a pretty big difference IMO

Edited by IheartIheartTesla
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1 minute ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

Per the Guardian:

They started with a 100, but unclear how many were out of commission due to maintenance. With this in mind, 29 MiGs would make a pretty big difference IMO

I think they've said that the Ukrainian Air Force is 80% combat-capable compared to the start of the war. Their fixed-wings are operating away from Russian AA fire. Also, Ukraine just had one of its main maintenance depots to service the MiG-29 destroyed, or at least disabled. So getting the MiGs might be useless if they can only fly a few missions and then not do anything.

Possibly a sign that the Russians would tolerate Ukraine getting the MiGs, even if they bitch about it.

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2 hours ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

From some tweets (not my favorite source of info) I gather the Ukrainian MoD is offering Russian pilots $1M for defecting with a plane and $500k for a helicopter (USD). Not sure if this money would come from the aid they have been receiving so far or where, but one thing this conflict has taught me is that all kinds of offers are on the table that we havent traditionally seen in warfare.

I am sure a lot of money changed hands in Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover that just happened.

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