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Ukraine 14 - Back to the Mud


Maithanet
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they see no evidence the Russians are mobilizing their battlefield nuclear forces

Which unit is trained to use those?  Can't be the average conscript/contractor.  Spetnaz?

 

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Russia has hit Kyiv with two cruise missiles at the same moment the UN Secretary General was talking to Zelensky. The attack was nowhere near the site of the meeting (although the site's location is kept secret).

Either a message that Russia doesn't care about the UN being involved or possibly a kneejerk response to Biden's earlier comments.

Between this and Russia's increased sabre-rattling towards Kazakhstan, I'm wondering if China is starting to become more concerned about their erstwhile ally becoming a liability.

Edited by Werthead
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In a very weird moment, Russia staged the shoot down of a Bayraktar TB-2 drone near Kherson using the wreckage of a drone that had been shot down previously. The drone had fairly distinctive damage, so it was recognised pretty quickly.

I get the TB-2 had a big morale-boosting effect earlier in the conflict but it's not been so decisive recently, and Russia has shot down a few of them by now. Unclear why they faked the destruction of something that is being destroyed for real every few days (mind you, they have shot down the entire Ukrainian airforce about one and a half times over by now).

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11 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Unclear why they faked the destruction of something that is being destroyed for real every few days (mind you, they have shot down the entire Ukrainian airforce about one and a half times over by now).

A lot of wars are thought in the Russian heads, namely along the lines of "how are we appearing to be", instead of "how are we, really?".

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@Werthead

If the Russians attempt an amphibious assault on Moldova or the southern portion of Ukraine that abuts southern Moldova do the Ukrainians have sufficient anti-ship capabilities to make such a move a costly proposition?  Would Romania act directly against such a move as that would put Romania directly in Russian sights?

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11 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

@Werthead

If the Russians attempt an amphibious assault on Moldova or the southern portion of Ukraine that abuts southern Moldova do the Ukrainians have sufficient anti-ship capabilities to make such a move a costly proposition?  Would Romania act directly against such a move as that would put Romania directly in Russian sights?

Difficult to say. If Transnistrian forces invade Moldova, that's a serious escalation because Moldova and Romania have close ties. In fact, Moldova has several times mulled a referendum to join Moldova to Romania. Romania may intervene, it may not. Russian forces taking part via the far SW of Ukraine would be dangerous, as they might get cut off and unable to retreat or reinforce. It's unclear what Ukrainian forces are in the area to cut off such an invasion; most Ukrainian antiship defences in the region have been centred in Odesa itself.

It makes far more sense for the Transnistrian and Russian forces to attack Odesa to attempt a capture of the city, but that would be prone to fail unless supported by a landward push from Kherson via Mykolaiv. But it looks like Russia wants to carry out the referendum there first, which is being hampered by Ukrainian counter-attacks.

Otherwise, the situation might just literally be Russia showing it can stir up shit in Moldova-Transnistria for the sake of it, and a warning that next time it will be in Serbia or somewhere more serious.

Edited by Werthead
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2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

That said, it is possible that Ukraine would rather get peace rather than fight to the bitter end for every last kilometer of ground.  Their country is enduring so much suffering and every week increases the rebuilding challenge.  Kharkiv is virtually ruined and that's the second largest city in the country (or was anyway). 

Well, there's sorta problem with Ukraine ceding too much territory.

If they too much, the country/state won't be sustainable. The Donbaz is the industrial heart of Ukraine. A lot of their farming areas are located in the North East (Sumska (Sumy) Oblast and Poltava Oblast). If those were to fall, things would get very difficult for Ukraine down the road.

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1 minute ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Well, there's sorta problem with Ukraine ceding too much territory.

If they too much, the country/state won't be sustainable. The Donbaz is the industrial heart of Ukraine. A lot of their farming areas are located in the North East (Sumska (Sumy) Oblast and Poltava Oblast). If those were to fall, things would get very difficult for Ukraine down the road.

Right, Ukraine is definitely not going to agree to the current lines of control unless their military options are fully exhausted.  But if Russia were to hand back all the ground they've conquered except a narrow land bridge between Crimea and the Donbas/Luhansk republics, that would leave Ukraine with most of their country, and still plenty of access to the Black Sea (although not the Sea of Azov).  That still leaves them vulnerable to death in detail to a potential Russian invasion sometime in the future, which is why such a concession is so unappealing.  But that said, it would hardly leave Ukraine as a rump state. 

22 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

@Werthead

If the Russians attempt an amphibious assault on Moldova or the southern portion of Ukraine that abuts southern Moldova do the Ukrainians have sufficient anti-ship capabilities to make such a move a costly proposition?  Would Romania act directly against such a move as that would put Romania directly in Russian sights?

I'm not a military expert, but I can't see any Russian military option against Moldova that ends in anything but disaster.  It would be hard to get the troops in, it would be almost impossible to supply them and any troops they send would have a high likelihood of being cut off and captured. 

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Translated account of a Russian who volunteered to be an LPR soldier.  According to the twitter comments (so no guarantee) this guy is known for having a right wing blog and that's why he chose to volunteer.

FYI, a 200 = KIA, 300 = WIA

The picture he paints is pretty grim for Russia, so much so that I wonder if this is just all fake.

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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Is Lukashenko surrendering Belarussian sovereignty… to Moscow (in concrete terms rather than secretly)?

 

If the Twitter thread by Grozev that was linked in the other page is to be believed (and there's no reason not to), it's about the 1000th time Lukashenko dangled that carrot in front of Putin's eyes. If Belarussian troops were actually being deployed, there.might be reason to believe, but it's not the case.

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