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Ukraine 14 - Back to the Mud


Maithanet
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Oh dear this is so stupid. Of course undercover neo-nazi killers will have nazi-flag-themed shirts when infiltrating Russia! And they're coke-addict, obviously, because that's how you are a good hitman with an impressive track record. There's been some silly propaganda on both sides but this one looks so fake it's embarrassing.

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yes,  BUT the last thing people will expect of a neo-nazi killers is that they would wear nazi regalia, so anyone wearing nazi clothes won't be suspected of being a neo-nazi killer, so that makes them the perfect neo-nazi killers.

Always do what the enemy doesn't expect.

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1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Always do what the enemy doesn't expect.

Last things I would expect of neo-nazi killer are LSD consumption and long, green hair wig.

Edited by broken one
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Looks like the Russians have switched their helicopter and Su-25 attacks to being stand-off artillery barrages, so they fly into the absolute maximum engagement range and hurl their payloads in the vague direction of the enemy and get out of dodge. This is, obviously, a massively inefficient way of engaging targets. They seem to be in mortal fear of MANPADs. Some shots and photos even suggesting they are dumping their weapons payloads at the first vaguely excusable point and returning to base to report mission accomplished (Russian after-action analysis seems to be nonexistent).

Mind-bogglingly, Ukraine is expected to still produce 80% of its normal harvest this year despite the war. However, that 20% reduction is expected to still cause significant price rises and will fall disproportionately on the poorest countries in the world.

The first captured Russian T-80 tanks are in service with the Ukrainians. The Russians have also deployed their best tank-that-actually-properly-exists, the T-90M, for the first time. They were holding back on them because they only have ~100 in service (their actual best tank, the T-14, has less than a dozen units "operational" and has never seen actual combat, only various parade grounds where it has a habit of breaking down). Some suggestion that the Russian Foreign Ministry might send the Russian Defence Ministry a stern diplomatic letter telling them to stop supplying the enemy with weapons.

Germany is sending heavier AA and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. Germany is also boosting its defence budget this year by greater than the entire Russian defence budget.

ISW analysis. Russia is now believed to have used 70% of its stockpile of precision missiles to date. It may have built new PGMs from surplus parts (where they have not been sold off), but probably not a huge number. There is probably a bottom "floor" of PGMs which Russia will not drop below in case of an unexpected conflict elsewhere against a more capable enemy, so Russia's ability to keep hitting targets especially in western Ukraine will remain limited but not non-existent. "Demonstration" strikes such as on the barracks five miles from the border, the railway stations and the apartment block in Odesa remain possible, but not militarily decisive.

Ukrainian counter-attacks have retaken more territory north of Kherson, east of Kharkiv and west of Izium, including recapturing the town of Zavody and shutting down an attempt by the Russians to bypass the main Donbas defensive line to the NW. Continuing development of a threat to Russian LOCs to the main front in Donbas. Possible Russian maneuvers to counter this threat, but also delaying/dissipating pressure on the north Donbas. It looks like the Ukrainians are delaying a full-scale counter-offensive designed to retake Kherson until they have heavier offensive equipment on the front, but are keeping up the pressure in the meantime. Some signs of dithering on the Russian part, between embarking on a full-blown secondary offensive to take all of Kherson Oblast and threaten Mykolaiv and LOC towards Odesa, or holding where they are now, at the risk of inviting a counter-attack.

Remarkably, Kreminna, which was attacked a week ago and the Ukrainians actually gave up without a concerted fight (still killing a senior Russian commander in the process), is only now being called fully under Russian control. It looks like Ukrainian counter-attacks around the town delayed a proper Russian advance into it by at least eight days.

Apparently there is still scattered fighting in Mariupol outside the steel plant, from isolated Ukrainian units continuing to harass Russian forces.

Some indications that the Russians are now not expecting a major breakthrough in the Donbas by 9 May and may re-focus on storming Mariupol's steelworks to give them something to call a victory. Some signs that they may hold a Victory Day parade in both Mariupol and Melitopol on 9 May anyway, despite the former still being contested and partisan activity becoming a problem around Melitopol.

Ukrainian reinforcements have entered Donbas, with units previously fighting at Chernihiv spotted in the area.

8 hours ago, Wilbur said:

Original video from the Russian TV:

Signature Unclear is on 03:58, Sims 3 are on 05:32.

Also, I feel like Molotov cocktails wouldn't be best suited for plastic bottle containers, unless you like the scent of gasoline.

The best detail is they were obviously told to include 3 SIM-cards, which translated into three copies of The Sims 3.

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is in Moscow to meet first Lavrov and then Putin. He has indicated that the the war must end "as soon as possible" to minimise human suffering. Lavrov said in a pre-meeting briefing that he considers the west to have flaunted the "multilateral principles of the UN."

Not high hopes for the meetings, but they are being seen by some as a way of possibly reopening negotiations that have mostly been stalled this month after the exposure of Russian war crimes in Bucha and elsewhere.

Lavrov gave a confused interview yesterday saying he felt there was an increased risk of WWIII and a nuclear war which Russia wanted to reduce, but not much in the way of how they can do that beyond the obvious (pull out of Ukraine), which presumably Russia does not want to do. Lavrov also said he believed a negotiated peace was possible having just said that the Ukrainian position kept changing so talks with them were not proceeding well at the moment. Even by Russian standards, Lavrov's public comments have been confused over the course of the conflict, mainly because he seems to have been shut out of top briefings (possibly after rumours he requested more time for a diplomatic option before the invasion).

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31 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

When did the Russians change from sinister and cunning to stupid and obvious… and why?

Presumably Putin, to cull the competition, ensured that the ‘cunning and sinister’ fell out of windows, had heart attacks, or accidently ingested radioactive substances.

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Yup. The USSR was very much a collaborative exercise, with people united by their belief in the ideology (however cynical and variable that became, and nominal towards the end), which allowed a degree of wide-ranging competence in various fields (mostly during WWII and then post-Stalin, less before that time). Post-Soviet Russia has basically set about eliminating anyone with initiative, cunning and intelligence as a potential threat to the regime, meaning that the brightest sparks either keep their head down or have been eliminated.

Edited by Werthead
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Not much from the UN-Russia talks, except that Lavrov has said there are no Ukrainian forces in Russia, in an apparent admittance that Russia is the aggressor. He then changed tack to say that the conflict was still provoked by Ukraine and the west.

He also said, fairly baldly, that Russia considers Ukraine to be part of Russia's "geopolitical space" and that gives Russia a say in what happens there. Guterres pushed back on that, saying that the sovereignty of all UN members has to be respected.

Apparently no possibility of a short-term ceasefire, but Russia has seemingly agreed to work more closely with the UN in arranging humanitarian corridors out of the contested areas and has apparently accepted that such corridors must take civilians where they want to go, not just into Russia. Either a sop (or lie) to appease the UN, or possibly a Russian acknowledgement that the brutality in Bucha and other areas has been counter-productive to Russian war aims.

Meanwhile, the UN Atomic Energy Commission is "alarmed" at radiation levels at Chernobyl. It appears the weeks-long occupation degraded the systems needed to keep the power plant safe and they are trying to get those systems restored and back online. Russian trenches and movement of heavy equipment have also disturbed the soil. They are urging that the Russian soldiers on the site go for medical treatment immediately, if that has not already been done.

Edited by Werthead
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18 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Yup. The USSR was very much a collaborative exercise, with people united by their belief in the ideology (however cynical and variable that became, and nominal towards the end), which allowed a degree of wide-ranging competence in various fields (mostly during WWII and then post-Stalin, less before that time). Post-Soviet Russia has basically set about eliminating anyone with initiative, cunning and intelligence as a potential threat to the regime, meaning that the brightest sparks either keep their head down or have been eliminated.

Loyal morons were gradually weeded out during WWII, but they did a lot of harm before they left.

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

Germany is sending heavier AA and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. Germany is also boosting its defence budget this year by greater than the entire Russian defence budget.

Keep in mind the AA tanks are the Gepards that were offered to be sent to Ukraine by their constructor at the very beginning of the war. That they only now, 60 days later, get the go to be delivered is quite telling about German bureaucracy. The IFVs have yet to get the signature of our chancellor as well and that will probably only happen next month because a Girl's Day speech and a trip to Japan are blocking his schedule. Also for whatever reason we get our Gepard ammunition from Switzerland and they are vetoing shipping the bullets to Ukraine.

Edited by Toth
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2 hours ago, Toth said:

Keep in mind the AA tanks are the Gepards that were offered to be sent to Ukraine by their constructor at the very beginning of the war. That they only now, 60 days later, get the go to be delivered is quite telling about German bureaucracy. The IFVs have yet to get the signature of our chancellor as well and that will probably only happen next month because a Girl's Day speech and a trip to Japan are blocking his schedule. Also for whatever reason we get our Gepard ammunition from Switzerland and they are vetoing shipping the bullets to Ukraine.

As someone who had the bad fortune to have served in a Gepard unit I can reveal that the probably most combat ready equipment was the Ballonabwehrkanone (Google it :D ) at the gates.

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So Blinken and Austin's visit turned out to be much more interesting than I expected.  First, not sure if this has been mentioned yet, there was the announcement of the gradual return of American diplomats to Ukraine.  Second, there was the announcement of US financing military aid, notably different than simply giving weapons:

Quote

Of more than $700 million in newly announced aid for Ukraine, $391 million in Foreign Military Financing is for 15 allies in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, while another $322 million is for Ukraine forces to “transition to more advanced weapons and air defense systems,” State Department Ned Price said in a statement.

Such financing is different from previous U.S. military assistance for Ukraine. It is not a donation of drawn-down U.S. Defense Department stockpiles, but rather cash countries can use to purchase supplies from the U.S.

Most importantly, and I think Wert touched on this yesterday, is the emboldened rhetoric by Blinken and especially Austin.  Blinken proclaiming Russia has "already failed," and particularly Austin saying "We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine. So it has already lost a lot of military capability. And a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability."  Austin kept up the hawkish talk during his meetings with defense officials today in Germany.

Anyway, while I'm not wild about Austin's language in the above quote, it does seem like the administration at least really does think a Ukrainian "victory" is within their grasp.

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Oh, also, just saw this and thought I'd pass it along - Raytheon chief warns of delays in replenishing Stinger missile stocks:

Quote

The CEO of Raytheon Technologies told investors Tuesday that the company won’t be able to ramp up production of Stinger missiles until 2023, due to a lack of parts and materials for the weapons that Western allies have rushed to Ukraine.

Thousands of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles have been pulled from stocks across Europe and the United States and sent to Ukraine, but as yet there is no solid plan to replenish the stocks for the countries that donated them.

 

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