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Ukraine 15 - Si vis pacem, para bellum


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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Hopefully this would be a good place to ask this question: has anyone wandered across some good and unbiased analysis in Ukraine war from military perspective? No heated language, no biases, no wishful thinking, just cold hard analysis written by someone with military expertise. It could be anything - website, blog, video etc.

There is probably no such source as the western intelligence services with the best intel are on the side of Ukraine.

Other sources might be less biased but lack key information I suspect.

Some people say that the videos about the war that the Austrian army makes are pretty good but one has to consider that our army lacks combat experience and other countries stopped sharing intel with us a while ago(our intelligence agencies are leaky as hell).  

 

Only available in German though.

https://youtube.com/c/ÖsterreichsBundesheer

 

 

Edited by Luzifer's right hand
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23 minutes ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Hopefully this would be a good place to ask this question: has anyone wandered across some good and unbiased analysis in Ukraine war from military perspective? No heated language, no biases, no wishful thinking, just cold hard analysis written by someone with military expertise. It could be anything - website, blog, video etc.

Not sure what you mean by ubiased, what level of military expertise do you accept and generally what do you expect? One analysis, like "who will win"? in parts?

I watch several Polish yt channels, in Polish only. One is made by historian who invites experts (mostly high officers) and interviews them on specific topics connected with the conflict, other channels I watch consist of pretty same thing -  moving over tactical map and commenting situation day after day, all decent imo, at least 3 of them made by experts. Not sure you'd be interested because of language but I may drop links to them.

This is decent stuff, in English, not limited to military aspect: https://www.osw.waw.pl/en

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29 minutes ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

There is probably no such source as the western intelligence services with the best intel are on the side of Ukraine.

Other sources might be less biased but lack key information I suspect.

Some people say that the videos about the war that the Austrian army makes are pretty good but one has to consider that our army lacks combat experience and other countries stopped sharing intel with us a while ago(our intelligence agencies are leaky as hell).  

 

Only available in German though.

https://youtube.com/c/ÖsterreichsBundesheer

 

 

I think their analysis is very solid, they don't make any predictions but rather explain tactics, strategies and outcomes, using publicly available evidence in a very neutral manner. 

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1 hour ago, broken one said:

I've read about it this morning ("NATO will not send aircrafts nor tanks") but I do not get what it is supposed to mean.

Poland (NATO member) has already sent 232 T-72 tanks (in two versions), several dozens of 2S1 "Clovers" (old soviet howitzer) and Grad 21 rocket artillery vehicles.

France has sent some Caesar howitzers, USA sent artillery... are these heavy weapons or not? :wacko: May it be just (belated) smoke screen /  misinformation?

I think the idea was that we won't send western aircraft and tanks, only old Soviet hardware. I could understand this line of thinking if we'd secretly smuggled those across the border and then Russian forces face off Leopards and Abrams without knowledge that those are Ukrainians, but if we did that, then we would openly announce the delivery to avoid this exact form of misunderstanding, ignoring Putin screeching bloody murder.

1 hour ago, broken one said:

I think in worst case Ukraine will be unable to mount general counter offensive. I believe without at least partial mobilisation Russians must stop soon. 

Those are my hopes as well, also hoping that the Russian advance is also caused by the troops freed up at Mariupol and not mainly to less suicidal tactics used now. There are signs that they are running out of rocket artillery and tanks, but their artillery still hits hard and seems to be much more effectively deployed than before (have the Ukrainians run out of Bayraktars as well?) and tanks are still tanks, even if they are T-62s. The modern ones blow up just as easily.

1 hour ago, broken one said:

Tides of war are changing, sometimes dramatically. In 1920 Poles reached Kiyev, then were pushed back to Warsaw and almost lost totally, and then won decisive battle and managed to push Bolsheviks far back East, finally winning the war (with help of Western weapons and ammunition). And how about war in Korea? There were some plot twist too. Lets not despond.

The difference in Korea was that all major pushes were caused my new powers intervening and the Polish-Soviet War is an oddity because of Russia being in the middle of a civil war and the Polish Republic being just founded, so every offensive and every push for support did have the ability to catch the opposing side off-guard. Is it possible to apply this to this conflict where weapons deliveries seem to wind down instead of dialing up?

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Toth said:

Is it possible to apply this to this conflict where weapons deliveries seem to wind down instead of dialing up?

But are they winding down? The rumour seems to be just a rumour (pretty ridiculous, btw).

 

Edited by broken one
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3 hours ago, Alarich II said:

I think their analysis is very solid, they don't make any predictions but rather explain tactics, strategies and outcomes, using publicly available evidence in a very neutral manner. 

I'm not disagreeing.

Just saying that they have certainly less intel and experience than the US or UK military.

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7 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Hopefully this would be a good place to ask this question: has anyone wandered across some good and unbiased analysis in Ukraine war from military perspective? No heated language, no biases, no wishful thinking, just cold hard analysis written by someone with military expertise. It could be anything - website, blog, video etc.

I don’t know how much ‘expertise’ he’d claim to have, but of all the information I’ve been getting from news, social media, internet in general, @Werthead ‘s posts here have been way out in front.

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I would also like to thank Werthead for his diligent updates. My elderly parents read two newspapers every morning and love their MSNBC, but have a limited exposure to daily updates of the ongoing war. I have read aloud dozens of Wert's posts to them, and I relay their thanks. 

This forum has a host of superb minds that have discussed all manner of life in non-dragon-related subforums. I really appreciate generally lurking on this corner of the net. Apologies that I have little to contribute regarding the ongoing nightmare in Ukraine other than thanking this community for its ongoing discourse from so many varied people.

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Weapons deliveries are certainly not winding down at the moment. However the publicity for the war has definitely dialled down a notch and that's bad in some sense (the war is becoming background noise rather than something shocking, as happened with the Balkans conflict in the 1990s and then Afghanistan/Iraq in the 2000s) but it's also good in that things are happening that would have been front-page news a few weeks ago are now going unreported, which might be better for opsec. This being a "public access" war with every decision studied in minute detail has massively benefited Ukraine, but it's also hurt it in some areas. Without that scrutiny, the Polish MiG deal might have gone through, which could be decisive for counter-attacks.

It's also clear that a lot of the western weapons shipments are of things like rifles, machine guns, mortars, food, first aid packs and ammo, which is crossing the border multiple times a day in quantities of multiple metric tons. Some estimates put that at way above what the Russians are capable of supplying. Stingers and Javelins do seem to be winding down, but NLAWs are keeping up because the factories making them are churning out hundreds a week, whilst Stinger and Javelin production is only slowly being ramped up and won't reach full production speed until next year or early 2024. However, that should not be a major problem because Ukraine received 17,000 Stinger and Javelin units in one week at the start of the war, and more before and since then (though nothing like that number again, so maybe Ukraine has had 20-25,000 available to them through the conflict, which we need to appreciate is an insane number). That's enough to destroy every tank in the Russian inventory, reserve or active, twice over. I believe the Ukrainians have also told their military to stop using Javelins on things like trucks and fuel tankers, which is massive overkill, and save them for tanks and artillery. The Ukrainians have also been using their homegrown Stugna-P AT weapon with tremendous success as well (some Stugna-P kills dwarf Javelin and NLAWs for their sheer destructive results; one Chinese reporter filmed what appeared to be a Stugna hit that blew a T-80's turret about 200 feet in the air).

The USA and Dutch have also sent fairly significant artillery pieces which outrange the Russian guns (and have not been deployed yet), the UK has sent antiship missiles (albeit ones that seem inferior to the Ukrainian Neptunes, but Ukraine is having trouble producing Neptunes at speed) and the USA has apparently sent underwater drones to help safeguard the port at Odesa. Turkish Bayraktar deliveries have also been constant since the start of the war.

Where there are disagreements is about sending tanks, AA and aircraft, particularly heavy modern tanks. But between AT weapons and the fairly large number of tanks Ukraine can field (helped in no small measure by simply capturing and repurposing Russian tanks), there's been some debate if they're even necessary. Ukraine isn't using tanks in the Donbas because they'd be easy pickings for artillery and aircraft, whilst elsewhere in the country they'd be much more effective. AA is probably Ukraine's biggest weakness at the moment, because their AA coverage over the country as a whole is decent, but not in depth. Moving AA units to the Donbas risks leaving Odesa or Lviv open to heavy bombardment (it sounds like around 50-65% of Russian long-range missiles have been shot down before reaching their targets in the west of the country and as far east as Kyiv, but that drops precipitously once you get much past Dnipro). In the Donbas Russia can also use stand-off munitions fired from Russian airspace, but only up to a point, as their PG munition stock is dwindling. We just don't know how fast.

The Russians inching forwards looks threatening, but it's also somewhat fragile. There are only ~22 Russian BTGs engaged in offensive action, maybe 12,000-15,000 troops. They're enjoying the success they have because of effectively creeping barrages, but they don't have much in reserve. When the Ukrainians hit other lines with this kind of force (NE of Kharkiv and W of Izium) with a well-supported offensive thrust, they collapsed. They don't have the capacity to reach the eastern Donbas with those kind of reinforcements, though, and the envelopment in the eastern Donbas means that Russian AA coverage over the area is impressive (and it's nuts that Ukrainian Su-25s and helicopter assaults have been as effective as they have been), just as Ukrainian AA coverage further west is making it difficult for Russian offensives in that area.

There's also a huge problem in that western AWACS coverage over the western half of Ukraine is total, and Russian movements in that area have been monitored in realtime, greatly contributing to the victory in the defence of Kyiv and defeat of Russian forces NW of the capital. That coverage fades out east of the Dnieper and is totally gone over the Donbas, with only satellite imagery available which isn't much good because the Russians have gotten better at repositioning artillery after every strike.

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Addendum to the above: Ukraine has received 14 Su-25 ground attack aircraft from Eastern European partners. Apparently they were sent in "disassembled form."

An interesting development today: the Ukrainians have apparently committed a major wave of reinforcements to the Donbas. They seem to be acknowledging that they will lose Luhansk, but Donetsk they think they can prop up and make it far more difficult for the Russians to break, possibly outlasting the current offensive momentum. The Ukrainians believe they can do this whilst simultaneously building up their reserves and mobilised troops.

It's also important to note that Ukrainian "conscripts" in the first mobilised cohorts are almost entirely made up of veterans of fighting in the Donbas since 2014. Ukraine has about 400,000 veterans of the Donbas fighting to draw upon. They're not totally green troops who've never held a rifle before. In fact, of the 1 million (!!!) Ukrainians mobilised since 24 February, almost 50% have combat experience, some of it at the sharp end. This dwarfs the number of Russians with actual recent-ish combat experience.

For getting a good view of the overall picture, there's bunch of Twitter accounts worth following. Rob Lee (@RALee85) has found some reliable Russian sources so his coverage has moved from featuring exclusively Ukrainian content to more of a mix, showing good and bad things happening to both sides. Michael Kofman (@KofmanMichael) has a fairly sober, ongoing analysis. Oryx (@oryxspioenkop) has a fantastic, very heavily vetted list of visually-confirmed vehicle losses on both sides which paints a dire picture for the Russians in some areas (they counted an additional 7 T-72s today, alone, for example, and Oryx is certainly not capturing every lost Russian tank).

Bizarre story today of "looted Ukrainian equipment" being sent back home to family members in Russia, in some cases consisting of brand-new Russian equipment that Ukraine does not have access to (including Orlan recon drones still in factory-sealed boxes). The Russian self-looting cycle continues.

Also in equipment news, Russia has fired more missiles in this conflict than any nation has fired in any conflict since WWII, making the relative ineffectiveness of them all the more bewildering. There's a great example of the Russians trying to take out a single bridge and ending up firing 11 cruise missiles to destroy it, which either failed to launch, missed or only caused minor damage. Russian air strike effectiveness is at something like 40%, well below what the US or allied nations are capable of achieving, with more than 10% of Russian air strikes intercepted by Ukrainian AA. Only 3,000 out of 20,000 sorties have actually entered Ukrainian airspace.

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33 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Weapons deliveries are certainly not winding down at the moment. However the publicity for the war has definitely dialled down a notch and that's bad in some sense (the war is becoming background noise rather than something shocking, as happened with the Balkans conflict in the 1990s and then Afghanistan/Iraq in the 2000s) but it's also good in that things are happening that would have been front-page news a few weeks ago are now going unreported, which might be better for opsec. This being a "public access" war with every decision studied in minute detail has massively benefited Ukraine, but it's also hurt it in some areas. Without that scrutiny, the Polish MiG deal might have gone through, which could be decisive for counter-attacks.

It's also clear that a lot of the western weapons shipments are of things like rifles, machine guns, mortars, food, first aid packs and ammo, which is crossing the border multiple times a day in quantities of multiple metric tons. Some estimates put that at way above what the Russians are capable of supplying. Stingers and Javelins do seem to be winding down, but NLAWs are keeping up because the factories making them are churning out hundreds a week, whilst Stinger and Javelin production is only slowly being ramped up and won't reach full production speed until next year or early 2024. However, that should not be a major problem because Ukraine received 17,000 Stinger and Javelin units in one week at the start of the war, and more before and since then (though nothing like that number again, so maybe Ukraine has had 20-25,000 available to them through the conflict, which we need to appreciate is an insane number). That's enough to destroy every tank in the Russian inventory, reserve or active, twice over. I believe the Ukrainians have also told their military to stop using Javelins on things like trucks and fuel tankers, which is massive overkill, and save them for tanks and artillery. The Ukrainians have also been using their homegrown Stugna-P AT weapon with tremendous success as well (some Stugna-P kills dwarf Javelin and NLAWs for their sheer destructive results; one Chinese reporter filmed what appeared to be a Stugna hit that blew a T-80's turret about 200 feet in the air).

The USA and Dutch have also sent fairly significant artillery pieces which outrange the Russian guns (and have not been deployed yet), the UK has sent antiship missiles (albeit ones that seem inferior to the Ukrainian Neptunes, but Ukraine is having trouble producing Neptunes at speed) and the USA has apparently sent underwater drones to help safeguard the port at Odesa. Turkish Bayraktar deliveries have also been constant since the start of the war.

Where there are disagreements is about sending tanks, AA and aircraft, particularly heavy modern tanks. But between AT weapons and the fairly large number of tanks Ukraine can field (helped in no small measure by simply capturing and repurposing Russian tanks), there's been some debate if they're even necessary. Ukraine isn't using tanks in the Donbas because they'd be easy pickings for artillery and aircraft, whilst elsewhere in the country they'd be much more effective. AA is probably Ukraine's biggest weakness at the moment, because their AA coverage over the country as a whole is decent, but not in depth. Moving AA units to the Donbas risks leaving Odesa or Lviv open to heavy bombardment (it sounds like around 50-65% of Russian long-range missiles have been shot down before reaching their targets in the west of the country and as far east as Kyiv, but that drops precipitously once you get much past Dnipro). In the Donbas Russia can also use stand-off munitions fired from Russian airspace, but only up to a point, as their PG munition stock is dwindling. We just don't know how fast.

The Russians inching forwards looks threatening, but it's also somewhat fragile. There are only ~22 Russian BTGs engaged in offensive action, maybe 12,000-15,000 troops. They're enjoying the success they have because of effectively creeping barrages, but they don't have much in reserve. When the Ukrainians hit other lines with this kind of force (NE of Kharkiv and W of Izium) with a well-supported offensive thrust, they collapsed. They don't have the capacity to reach the eastern Donbas with those kind of reinforcements, though, and the envelopment in the eastern Donbas means that Russian AA coverage over the area is impressive (and it's nuts that Ukrainian Su-25s and helicopter assaults have been as effective as they have been), just as Ukrainian AA coverage further west is making it difficult for Russian offensives in that area.

There's also a huge problem in that western AWACS coverage over the western half of Ukraine is total, and Russian movements in that area have been monitored in realtime, greatly contributing to the victory in the defence of Kyiv and defeat of Russian forces NW of the capital. That coverage fades out east of the Dnieper and is totally gone over the Donbas, with only satellite imagery available which isn't much good because the Russians have gotten better at repositioning artillery after every strike.

Can’t we put AWACS over the Black Sea and cover the Donbas from there?

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As for the flying turrets in T tanks - it happens because ammo shelf is placed inside the turret, not isolated from the crew space. There is automatic loading device called the carrousel, it transports ammunition from the shelf to the cannon along the turrets curve. Thanks to this the tank needs one crewman less... but if something (no matter what) penetrates armour near the carrousel the ammo explodes, crew dies and turret flies high.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2022 at 5:05 PM, Rippounet said:

 It doesn't exactly matter that the Ukrainians are willing participants, or that the Russians started it: the West is now waging a full-blown proxy war with Russia, that's now fact for the history books.

...here in France.
 

Totally agree, and to appease Russia we should give them France! I mean, it is even better than Ukraine, so Russia would be even more deterred from further conflicts.

What do you think?

The maps with people speaking Russian are insane. It does not make them Russians or willing to go down under Russian rule. How much of France belongs to Portugal, Spain or Turkey by that logics? It's beyond help to suggest these things.

Edited by a free shadow
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On 5/24/2022 at 6:47 PM, Rippounet said:

I personally wouldn't know for certain, but I did see several commentators say or write that the war had achieved the same level of unity in the Eastern regions of Ukraine as it has in its West. So... as far as I know, close enough.

Why don't you consider it important to know far more?

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49 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Can’t we put AWACS over the Black Sea and cover the Donbas from there?

No. We have some flights over international waters in the Black Sea but Russia has set up a massive exclusion zone around Crimea and its own coast in the east, threatening to fire on anything that enters it. That effectively stops AWACS getting close enough to eastern Ukraine to monitor what's going on there, and is rather a dangerous move, especially with Russian ships operating in international, Russian and territorial waters. Without better AA on the ground or ways of directly countering Russian artillery or aircraft, having more AWACS coverage isn't necessary a help (you can see the enemy but can't do much about it).

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Since we were talking about whether there was significant support for Russia amongst Russian speaking Ukrainians, the answer is no.  Incredibly, 80-90% of Ukrainians had a positive view of Russian in 2008-2013.  After the 2014 invasion that dropped, and it has now collapsed completely.  (Note this survey is all Ukrainians, not just Russian speakers). 

 

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Cheers, everyone.

This is interesting: the 105th and 107th regiments of the Donetsk People's Republic have refused orders to deploy to Luhansk. Both regiments were mauled in Mariupol and upon being told they had to go now to fight in Luhansk, they told their superiors to fuck off. "Why? That's a completely different republic."

 

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

 ...Stingers and Javelins do seem to be winding down, but NLAWs are keeping up because the factories making them are churning out hundreds a week, whilst Stinger and Javelin production is only slowly being ramped up and won't reach full production speed until next year or early 2024. However, that should not be a major problem because Ukraine received 17,000 Stinger and Javelin units in one week at the start of the war, and more before and since then (though nothing like that number again, so maybe Ukraine has had 20-25,000 available to them through the conflict, which we need to appreciate is an insane number). That's enough to destroy every tank in the Russian inventory, reserve or active, twice over...

We also need to keep in mind that ramping up Stinger production has a very low priority in the States.

Why?  Well, the Stinger is 70s/80s technology that was suitable to supply to the Afghans when they were occupied by the Soviets, but as a part of the overall layers of the US military arsenal today, it is a small and fading element.

The US military has a lot of newer and better means of fighting, so palming off a bunch of Stingers that were nearing (or perhaps past) their end-of-life on the Ukrainians is a best-case scenario for their use.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Wilbur said:

We also need to keep in mind that ramping up Stinger production has a very low priority in the States.

Why?  Well, the Stinger is 70s/80s technology that was suitable to supply to the Afghans when they were occupied by the Soviets, but as a part of the overall layers of the US military arsenal today, it is a small and fading element.

The US military has a lot of newer and better means of fighting, so palming off a bunch of Stingers that were nearing (or perhaps past) their end-of-life on the Ukrainians is a best-case scenario for their use.

Afaik the US military lacks newest manpads of shortest range, so it has ordered several hundreds of this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piorun_(missile) , what fills me with an absurdal pride, because after the Dromader (agricultural airplane) it is the second time USA wants to purchase from us anything more complicated than a potato :P

https://twitter.com/Hromadske/status/1530282791916736512?s=20&t=nbpQCg4Fsrrb_gVkPHIjsA cannot see much, but its is official ;)

Edited by broken one
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