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Ukraine 13: Pavlov's Bellum


Lykos
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3 minutes ago, Loge said:

Not true. The Russian navy blocks the port of Odesa and fires cruise missiles on targets all over Ukraine. And the Moskva provided valuable air defense. After all, Russia still hasn't won air superiority. 

The cruise missile carriers are sitting off Crimea near Sevastopol, well behind where the Moskva was hit. They are not in range of Ukrainian missiles (yet, if they retake Kherson and drive south they might come into range) and can simply pull back eastwards if threatened whilst still being able to hit most of the country. So Russia can retain its naval forces for what they need them to do. They will lose the ability to convincing threaten and pin down Odesa though.

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6 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The cruise missile carriers are sitting off Crimea near Sevastopol, well behind where the Moskva was hit. They are not in range of Ukrainian missiles (yet, if they retake Kherson and drive south they might come into range) and can simply pull back eastwards if threatened whilst still being able to hit most of the country. So Russia can retain its naval forces for what they need them to do. They will lose the ability to convincing threaten and pin down Odesa though.

If we can open Odesa to shipping that’s a huge win.  

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1 minute ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

If we can open Odesa to shipping that’s a huge win.  

Russia could still interdict shipping from Crimea, and the sea lanes leading to Odesa are reportedly heavily mined at present.

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3 hours ago, kiko said:

 This includes as far as I understand:

-calling their bluff regarding Finland and Sweden 

-degrading their military capabilities with sanctions and pressuring their allies 

-stop funding them as much as possible

-most importantly stay unwaveringly supportive to Ukrainian fight for survival

Bravo, perfectly put.

Putin must be resisted and denying him the ability to dictate terms like a schoolyard bully should be the goal.

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2 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Granting the Russian dictator what he wants in Ukraine is as much an existential threat to the world as is a nuclear exchange.

This is exactly where I beg to differ.
TBH, I even see this kind of discourse as foolish hyperbole. "Existential threat" ? Please. You don't even live on the same continent. If nuclear weapons were not in the picture Russia wouldn't be much of a threat ; Ukraine might even have joined NATO already.

Look, my position isn't rocket science. Putin's Russia invaded Ukraine. The Russians got their asses kicked, their military humiliated.
It won't get any better than this. Or, if we want to be accurate, the chances of the Ukrainians achieving much more if the conflict continues are very small, while the chances of Russia cranking up the atrocities to the max, including use of WMDs, are growing by the day.
Way I see it, it's best to negotiate from a position of relative strength rather than fight to the death. And since the West has been so generously providing tons of weapons to the Ukrainians, it's also up to the West to step in before Putin decides to wipe them out. Donbas and high horses are not worth an entire people. That seems like common sense to me, but it seems YMMV...

Long-term, you deal with an expansionist autocrat just like the world always has. You reinforce and expand alliances, you build-up military capabilities (to some extent... we know where arms races lead), and you maintain economic pressure as long as it takes.
BTW, if the West was serious about getting rid of Putin, the economic pressure would have kept growing after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. But we needed all those sweet fossile fuels to keep flowing from Russia so we can keep burning the planet, didn't we? So sanctions were lax, and Ukrainians paid the price for it. But we sent them javelins so I guess it's all good.

@polishgenius Apologies. You wrote "nation" and I believe a nation to be a people. Maybe I read it wrong, but anyway, I'm glad you meant "state."

@Gorn I appreciate the time you took for your message.
I've been recently reading some Bakunin and Kropotkin, so that should tell you where I stand as regards "Tankism."
In all honesty, I'm just pissed that the West didn't do better at preventing this, and I darkly suspect that there were some that knowingly allowed it to happen to wage a war by proxy against Russia. That doesn't mean the Ukrainians were/are puppets: obviously many of them accepted that they would only get out of Moscow's orbit through war. Nonetheless, it's a huge waste of life, and for lots of wrong reasons.
 

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28 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

This is exactly where I beg to differ.
TBH, I even see this kind of discourse as foolish hyperbole. "Existential threat" ? Please. You don't even live on the same continent. If nuclear weapons were not in the picture Russia wouldn't be much of a threat ; Ukraine might even have joined NATO already.

Look, my position isn't rocket science. Putin's Russia invaded Ukraine. The Russians got their asses kicked, their military humiliated.
It won't get any better than this. Or, if we want to be accurate, the chances of the Ukrainians achieving much more if the conflict continues are very small, while the chances of Russia cranking up the atrocities to the max, including use of WMDs, are growing by the day.
Way I see it, it's best to negotiate from a position of relative strength rather than fight to the death. And since the West has been so generously providing tons of weapons to the Ukrainians, it's also up to the West to step in before Putin decides to wipe them out. Donbas and high horses are not worth an entire people. That seems like common sense to me, but it seems YMMV...

Long-term, you deal with an expansionist autocrat just like the world always has. You reinforce and expand alliances, you build-up military capabilities (to some extent... we know where arms races lead), and you maintain economic pressure as long as it takes.
BTW, if the West was serious about getting rid of Putin, the economic pressure would have kept growing after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. But we needed all those sweet fossile fuels to keep flowing from Russia so we can keep burning the planet, didn't we? So sanctions were lax, and Ukrainians paid the price for it. But we sent them javelins so I guess it's all good.
 

The problem with the negotiated route is that it's been tried and it hasn't worked. Most, if not all, of Putin's stated aims when the conflict began were put on the table in those negotiations: Ukraine would stay out of NATO, would agree to be neutral, would accede to a process to recognise Crimea as Russian and in the meantime would de facto accept it as Russia, and seems to have been willing to talk about "denazification" (of certain military units already known to be far right sympathisers) and some kind of limit on the size of their military (albeit a nominal one, probably around the same size as the size of their army on 23 February).

Russia attacked anyway. During the conflict Ukraine has continued to talk to Russia and continued to push for a negotiated settlement on reasonable grounds. Hell, Russia hasn't even demanded regime change or the total surrender of the entire country in the talks. Every time Ukraine puts forward reasonable proposals, Russia has turned them down or turned up roadblocks.

So either a negotiation is not possible, or Russia will negotiate when they deem the time is correct to do so and in the meantime the conflict continues.

Yes, there is absolutely a risk of Russia escalating and a lot more people dying. But that was the case on 23 February. Russia could have led with threats of WMDs or even using them, and did not. It is reluctant to go to those extremes because going there is extremely dangerous for Russia as well as anyone else. It may yet decide to go in that direction. Or it might accept a negotiated settlement if its Donbas attack fails, or is a success.

The only thing anyone can offer Russia right now which will make them stop the killing is unconditional surrender. And as we saw in Bucha and elsewhere, that might simply be delaying the killing, not stopping it altogether. For Ukraine this is absolutely an existential threat.

Edited by Werthead
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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

...Another big article on logistics and maintenance, including notes that even the tyres on very expensive artillery and missile platforms seem to be showing signs of extreme problems...

When I read things like this, I wonder if the operators of the Russian nuclear weapons are at all nervous when they think about having to turn the keys.

Have the nuclear components been as badly managed as the conventional stuff?  Would all of the individual weapons fire if called upon, or just fall over and leak?

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Very strange. Russian Qanon channels have taken a strong anti-war tenor since the start of the conflict and have switched to promoting peace between Russia and Ukraine and asking Russian soldiers not to follow orders to attack Ukrainians.

It is worth noting that Putin has been very pro-vaccine and pro-booster shot, which is unpopular in some of those circles.

9 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

When I read things like this, I wonder if the operators of the Russian nuclear weapons are at all nervous when they think about having to turn the keys.

Have the nuclear components been as badly managed as the conventional stuff?  Would all of the individual weapons fire if called upon, or just fall over and leak?

Russia's nuclear forces have undergone "modernisation" over the last decade, but then again so was the entire Russian military. So I think that concern is there and is real. I believe Galeev's Twitter on how the Russian army operates even reported claims that fuel from some of the nuclear silos may have been stolen and sold on the black market. However, the bulk of the problems seem to be happening in the area of vehicle maintenance: most of Russia's conventional ballistic missiles have fired successfully.

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33 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

When I read things like this, I wonder if the operators of the Russian nuclear weapons are at all nervous when they think about having to turn the keys.

Have the nuclear components been as badly managed as the conventional stuff?  Would all of the individual weapons fire if called upon, or just fall over and leak?

My understanding, which isn't comprehensive, is that the warheads need to be serviced every five to seven years, and, in that aspect of operability Ukraine was relatively important in facilitating. It's hard to imagine that intelligence analysts can easily read the pulse there, yet given Russian taxes perhaps even they don't entirely know the full extent of their nuclear capability. Still though, it remains the old Targaryen coin flip. Bad State, Good state, they still have dragons. 

 

   

 

Edited by JGP
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The Mayor of Odesa has said the sinking of the Moskva has reduced the threat to the city but not removed it: Russian missile ships and land-based missiles in Crimea can still reach the city.

American defence officials now believe it is likely that the Moskva was indeed hit by two Neptune missiles. Their intercepts suggest that there were Russian casualties, in contradiction to earlier reports of the crew being successfully evacuated.

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4 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The Mayor of Odesa has said the sinking of the Moskva has reduced the threat to the city but not removed it: Russian missile ships and land-based missiles in Crimea can still reach the city.

American defence officials now believe it is likely that the Moskva was indeed hit by two Neptune missiles. Their intercepts suggest that there were Russian casualties, in contradiction to earlier reports of the crew being successfully evacuated.

The idea that a ship could get hit by two missiles and not suffer a single casualty was never particularly plausible. 

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52 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

An example of the fickleness of the US population with respect to Ukraine.

@Rippounet's viewpoint is widely held by fox news and republican voters, and with a primary coming up those republican politicians are going to notice.

....And yet polls continue to show about three quarters of Americans think the US should keep sanctions on Russia and keep sending Ukraine weapons.  Even among the 25% that think "Biden should take less of a leadership role," 46% of them still think the US should send weapons/supplies to Ukraine. 

Here's a slightly more recent poll with crosstabs so we can look at just Trump voters.  Among Trump voters, 74% think imposing sanctions on Russia is a good idea, 16% think it's a bad idea (pg. 104).  69% of Trump voters think sending weapons to Ukraine is a good idea, 17% think it's a bad idea (108).  Even when asked if they would still approve of additional sanctions if prices increase, 58% of Trump voters said yes they would still approve while 21% said they would not approve (100).  63% of Trump voters think it's a good idea to ban Russian imports compared to 17% that think it's a bad idea (124).

Another thing often mentioned, Putin's favorability, has also evaporated.  76% of Trump voters do still think Putin is at least a somewhat strong leader (as do 48% of Biden voters, btw).  But only 9% of Trump voters have a favorable opinion of Putin (compared to 6% for Biden voters) - and 85% of Trump voters have an unfavorable opinion (142-3).  Meanwhile, 69% of Trump voters have a favorable view of Zelenskyy, with 16% having an unfavorable view (150).

Not only is there absolutely no indication of "fickleness" among the American public when it comes Ukraine, but the efforts of FNC pro-Putin propagandists continues to fall on deaf ears when it comes to most Trumpists.

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The Pentagon says it has satellite imagery of the Moskva burning and lifeboats leaving the ship, so some reports it went down with all hands are definitely incorrect.

Biden is considering adding Russia to the list of state sponsors of terror. The only countries on that list are North Korea, Cuba, Syria and Iran.

Doing this would impose economic penalties on the nations continuing to do business with Russia, freeze Moscow's remaining US assets and impose a total prohibition of dual-use exports.

Edited by Werthead
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30 minutes ago, DMC said:

....And yet polls continue to show about three quarters of Americans think the US should keep sanctions on Russia and keep sending Ukraine weapons.  Even among the 25% that think "Biden should take less of a leadership role," 46% of them still think the US should send weapons/supplies to Ukraine. 

Here's a slightly more recent poll with crosstabs so we can look at just Trump voters.  Among Trump voters, 74% think imposing sanctions on Russia is a good idea, 16% think it's a bad idea (pg. 104).  69% of Trump voters think sending weapons to Ukraine is a good idea, 17% think it's a bad idea (108).  Even when asked if they would still approve of additional sanctions if prices increase, 58% of Trump voters said yes they would still approve while 21% said they would not approve (100).  63% of Trump voters think it's a good idea to ban Russian imports compared to 17% that think it's a bad idea (124).

Another thing often mentioned, Putin's favorability, has also evaporated.  76% of Trump voters do still think Putin is at least a somewhat strong leader (as do 48% of Biden voters, btw).  But only 9% of Trump voters have a favorable opinion of Putin (compared to 6% for Biden voters) - and 85% of Trump voters have an unfavorable opinion (142-3).  Meanwhile, 69% of Trump voters have a favorable view of Zelenskyy, with 16% having an unfavorable view (150).

Not only is there absolutely no indication of "fickleness" among the American public when it comes Ukraine, but the efforts of FNC pro-Putin propagandists continues to fall on deaf ears when it comes to most Trumpists.

I think that a lot of people who had some degree of regard for Putin, in the West, were appalled by this invasion;  rather as kristallnacht and the annexation of Bohemia/Moravia, alienated a lot of non-Germans who up till then had given Hitler the benefit of the doubt.

Putin is down to the true believers, like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

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8 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I think that a lot of people who had some degree of regard for Putin, in the West, were appalled by this invasion;  rather as kristallnacht and the annexation of Bohemia/Moravia, alienated a lot of non-Germans who up till then had given Hitler the benefit of the doubt.

Putin is down to the true believers, like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The whole “QAnon caucus” loves the Russian dictator.

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