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Ukraine War Part 7: Delete your army


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42 minutes ago, broken one said:

Various sanctions are imposed, but wares from western Europe are still transported to Belarus and Russia. Border pass in Koroszczyn (polish-belarusian border) is now blocked by a group of Ukrainians and Poles. Queue of trucks is 10 kilometers long.

yes, people seem to be surprised that sanctions is not the same thing as stopping trade.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Allowing them to speak if they want to is another matter. Of course, the line is deliberately blurred at times, but with these Russian officers speaking, they appear to be genuine.

There’s honestly no way to really know what level of coercion or incentives was utilized by the government to get them to talk. If at all of course.

 let’s be honest; people who are opposed to Russia’s imperialism are inclined to see these Russian officers  as being genuine.

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20 minutes ago, DMC said:

Well, all the more reason!

One of the first things that crossed my mind was - so they want to find a neutral ground where everybody's security is ensured and everybody feels safe, and they choose..Jerusalem?!?

Shouldn't discount the symbolism (for both parties) inherent in making peace in Jerusalem though. Might make any treaty negotiated there a bit more difficult to break. And the name itself supposedly means 'abode of peace', after all.

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26 minutes ago, Red Tiger said:

I agree with Putin here.

More remarkable when you realise those are the apartment buildings that were destroyed on his order to create a casus belli for the Second Chechen War.

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3 hours ago, Gorn said:

Another thing they confirmed - following the old tradition of Red Army, there are "shooting squads" behind the main lines who kill soldiers who try to flee.

Ukrainians claim that today in Borodzianka village near Kiyev Chechens shot twelve wounded Russian soldiers who awaited evacuation to Belarus.

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2 minutes ago, Werthead said:

More remarkable when you realise those are the apartment buildings that were destroyed on his order to create a casus belli for the Second Chechen War.

Which makes it's position in that subreddit even more fitting.

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This is a long thread about why the Russian military is performing so poorly.  I add the caveat that I agree with a lot of this, so it may not be reliable.  But it makes some interesting points:

Russia acts like it is a military state with Putin at the top, but it is not.  Russia values state security above all, including above the military.  The military is seen as a threat to Putin and must be kept in line.This is done in several ways:

 - Removing talented career officers and replacing them with state security guys (basically Putin loyalists). 

 - Using state security thugs and the russian mafia to extort career soldiers at military bases.  Soldiers have little recourse but to pay off these thugs, and this keeps the military subservient and undesirable.

 - There are reports of Russian conscripts being forced into male prostitution (?!)

 - The military is a dead end career for an ambitious Russian.  There is no status to be gained there. 

State security is great for putting down internal opposition, but they cannot fight another military.  The VDV paratroopers somewhat straddle the line between state security and the military, because they are more a propaganda force than real fighters. This was demonstrated multiple times in this war when the VDV have been cut to ribbons because they lack heavy equipment and effective tactics. 

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15 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

This is a long thread about why the Russian military is performing so poorly.  I add the caveat that I agree with a lot of this, so it may not be reliable.  But it makes some interesting points:

Russia acts like it is a military state with Putin at the top, but it is not.  Russia values state security above all, including above the military.  The military is seen as a threat to Putin and must be kept in line.This is done in several ways:

 - Removing talented career officers and replacing them with state security guys (basically Putin loyalists). 

 

And you think they would have learned from Stalin’s purges of the Soviet military and what happened in the Winter War. 

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2 minutes ago, Maithanet said:
 

This is a long thread about why the Russian military is performing so poorly.  I add the caveat that I agree with a lot of this, so it may not be reliable.  But it makes some interesting points:

Russia acts like it is a military state with Putin at the top, but it is not.  Russia values state security above all, including above the military.  The military is seen as a threat to Putin and must be kept in line.This is done in several ways:

 - Removing talented career officers and replacing them with state security guys (basically Putin loyalists). 

 - Using state security thugs and the russian mafia to extort career soldiers at military bases.  Soldiers have little recourse but to pay off these thugs, and this keeps the military subservient and undesirable.

 - There are reports of Russian conscripts being forced into male prostitution (?!)

 - The military is a dead end career for an ambitious Russian.  There is no status to be gained there. 

State security is great for putting down internal opposition, but they cannot fight another military.  The VDV paratroopers somewhat straddle the line between state security and the military, because they are more a propaganda force than real fighters. This was demonstrated multiple times in this war when the VDV have been cut to ribbons because they lack heavy equipment and effective tactics. 

This is a major problem for Russia, that the way it operates does not really allow for effective military officers to rise to the top. Shoigu is an old-skool political ally of Putin's from way back in the day, he is not career military, and, as far as we can tell, the few career military experts left in the Kremlin (most of them not in the military, for that reason that it's not a place to make a career) all described the war as a very bad idea. To what degree that was articulated, or if people kept their mouths shut about it, is unclear.

Oddly, I've seen some people suggesting the low quality of Russian military and overseas intelligence might give them a way out of the conflict when things reach a point they dislike: declare victory, extract some vaguely positive-sounding deal with Ukraine (either very harsh or very lenient for Ukraine based on how well Ukraine fights on the ground) and then, like with Georgia, say the implacable might of the Russian military has been demonstrated, it's all great but they also identified some reforms that need to be made and some areas were not developed as well as might be hoped which led to some unexpected losses.

The problem is that the reforms needed probably are incompatible with keeping Russia as an authoritarian state (the same with the economic reforms which could turn Russia in a genuine economic superpower).

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11 minutes ago, Werthead said:

This is a major problem for Russia, that the way it operates does not really allow for effective military officers to rise to the top. Shoigu is an old-skool political ally of Putin's from way back in the day, he is not career military, and, as far as we can tell, the few career military experts left in the Kremlin (most of them not in the military, for that reason that it's not a place to make a career) all described the war as a very bad idea. To what degree that was articulated, or if people kept their mouths shut about it, is unclear.

Oddly, I've seen some people suggesting the low quality of Russian military and overseas intelligence might give them a way out of the conflict when things reach a point they dislike: declare victory, extract some vaguely positive-sounding deal with Ukraine (either very harsh or very lenient for Ukraine based on how well Ukraine fights on the ground) and then, like with Georgia, say the implacable might of the Russian military has been demonstrated, it's all great but they also identified some reforms that need to be made and some areas were not developed as well as might be hoped which led to some unexpected losses.

The problem is that the reforms needed probably are incompatible with keeping Russia as an authoritarian state (the same with the economic reforms which could turn Russia in a genuine economic superpower).

Wait… so this isn’t a revanchist Soviet Union.  This is the Western World at war with a gigantic mafia style organization that values loyalty over quality?

Isn’t it?

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1 minute ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Wait… so this isn’t a revanchist Soviet Union.  This is the Western World at war with a gigantic mafia style organization that values loyalty over quality?

Isn’t it?

Pretty much.

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4 minutes ago, Filippa Eilhart said:

one point I’ve seen made in articles is that the Russian army hardly saw any action, but 400 000 Ukrainian reservists have fought in Donbas so far.

Yes, I've seen that. Russia's military operations since WWII have mostly been limited to major policing actions, quick overwhelming strikes with special forces and airpower, or using proxies to fight for it. It hasn't actually gotten involved in a major, full-on war for generations. The two major exceptions, Afghanistan and Chechnya, were clusterfucks.

For all their problems, the US has recent military experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The USA has also shown remarkable resilience in learning from its mistakes, and keeping the military separated from civilian administration in a way that allows military officers to excel and rise to the top.

Ukrainian military experience in Donbas is invaluable, helped by US and NATO-style training and reorganisation of its military over the last seven years.

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30 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Wait… so this isn’t a revanchist Soviet Union.  This is the Western World at war with a gigantic mafia style organization that values loyalty over quality?

Isn’t it?

That's been glaringly obvious for several years now.

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At first this report tells a rather bleak story. How Mcdonalds, after a 30 year investment building an entire local supply chain and expanding to 850 stores is completely shuttering its Russian operations. 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mcdonalds-didnt-just-close-850-200542820.html

While reading the history of building this network of suppliers and stores one is tabulating the profound ripple effect Putin has caused his own people within just one of the many corporations that must now suspend Russian operations.

But alas, in the final paragraph the reader is told the piece of decent news, McDonald's is going to continue paying its Russian hourly workers during this crisis. I like this, I'm sure the vast majority of those workers have no influence over the war, Putin created this tragedy himself. These working class Russians are innocent just as their suffering neighbors, now having to seek refuge are.

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In addition to the foreign legions, about 60000 Ukrainians have returned to the country to fight. Most of them probably dont have much combat experience, but in terms of being a nuisance or simply acting as support staff for combat soldiers, they could prove quite useful.

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