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#16 Ukraine the brave, the whole World is watching!


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2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

T62s spotted around Popasna.  So they are pretty clearly being used by front line troops.

I doubt they'll be in operable condition for very long, after multiple decades of zero maintenance eating away at their innards - and that assumes they don't eat a rocket propelled grenade or something similar.  (there is a distinction between 'fixing something well enough to ruin' and 'fully repairing something)

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Russia voting to revoke its recognition of the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is likely a stunt, but somewhat concerning. Russia could argue that because they were not independent states, they had no ability to join the EU and NATO and so they do not recognise them as part of those organisations.

That is practically irrelevant - NATO will defend them regardless - but it is a sign of where Russia's ambitions lie.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Russia voting to revoke its recognition of the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is likely a stunt, but somewhat concerning. Russia could argue that because they were not independent states, they had no ability to join the EU and NATO and so they do not recognise them as part of those organisations.

That is practically irrelevant - NATO will defend them regardless - but it is a sign of where Russia's ambitions lie.

If those countries are still part of the USSR, and Russia is its own federation, doesn’t that mean one of those countries gets the security council seat?

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The DPR's 1st Army Corps HQ in Donetsk City was destroyed by Ukrainian shells, according to Russian sources.

Some Russian sources are claiming a Ukrainian command and control centre was hit by Kalibr cruise missiles with the loss of 50 senior officers, but nobody else seems to be backing that up.

Ukraine has apparently given "staggering" numbers for their equipment losses in the Donbas but OSINT sources have noted that, given recent Russian and allied (especially Chechen) relaxations in allowing them to film losses, it appears that these numbers might be exaggerated to garner additional western sympathy and support. Ukraine has lost a ton of equipment in the east, some of it major (one of its few MiG-29s was shot down this week), but extrapolating the numbers from the Ukrainian figures would suggest that Ukraine would be running into massive negative numbers for equipment we're seeing in service five minutes later. The Ukrainian government has noted it has "estimated" the figures rather than fully confirmed them, noting communications into the areas of heaviest fighting can be unreliable.

Some OSINT sources now believe Russia is down to its last "wave" of troops it can muster from its originally-deployed forces, Wagner, the more recent "shadow mobilisation" and allied militia forces. Russia may have to choose to go big (additional mobilisation) or go home. However, they may be able to drag out the current situation until the autumn in the hope of Ukrainian resolve wavering, western equipment supplies drying up or achieving a major strategic breakthrough somewhere along the line.

Following the rise in tensions between Russia and Lithuania, NATO has reinforced its CAPs and AWACS support over the Baltic States from today, having relaxed them for the last few weeks to focus on the Black Sea.

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10 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

What the hell do the Russians think they gain from their “withdrawl” of the acceptance of Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence?  

It's political point-scoring because Lithuania has closed the transport routes from Russia to Kaliningrad. It's not critical - air and sea links via St. Petersburg and the Baltic remain open - but it does complicate things. It's also a good concession to set up to make later on (as part of a broader peace deal).

Russia withdrawing its recognition of anything is just a counterstroke to that which is meant to unnerve people but doesn't really do anything. Russia is not in a material position to go to war with NATO, unless it has really lost all touch with reality.

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7 hours ago, Werthead said:

but extrapolating the numbers from the Ukrainian figures would suggest that Ukraine would be running into massive negative numbers for equipment we're seeing in service five minutes later.

Same has been going on for Russia for the last 2 months at the very least.
One has to admit that either we're being fed BS from both sides about both sides, or that, just like the Germans back in 1941 with the size of the Red Army, Western intelligence about Ukrainian and Russian military has been severely lacking and badly informed.

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A USA TODAY article is reporting that Germany has said it will now be forced to increase its burning of coal to make up the shortfall from Russian natural gas cuts and decreased delivery from the Nord Stream pipeline.

Thanks a lot Putin.

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9 hours ago, Clueless Northman said:

Same has been going on for Russia for the last 2 months at the very least.
One has to admit that either we're being fed BS from both sides about both sides, or that, just like the Germans back in 1941 with the size of the Red Army, Western intelligence about Ukrainian and Russian military has been severely lacking and badly informed.

That's not really accurate.

Based on the OSINT information which is all geolocated and verified, Russian equipment losses are high but they have more available from the numbers we know of, and we've seen events on the ground backing up those losses. Russia should have so many upgraded T-72s, 80s and 90s that there's no logical reason whatsoever to deploy T-62s in large numbers to an active warzone unless they've lost an absolute fuckton of the decent stuff, which has clearly taken place.

Also, in the days of satellites carefully picking over every square metre of the battlefield, it's impossible to hide large amounts of large equipment. Western countries know very well how bad Russia's equipment losses have been. They also probably know how bad Ukraine's have been, but because it's in their interests to ensure Russia either fails or gains the bare minimum advantage from the conflict, they're happy to let the Ukrainians claim losses either far worse or better than the truth for political and diplomatic purposes.

Russia is doing an impressive job of dredging up more troops from wherever they can to fight on the front line, but in terms of vehicles, what is being reported and what is being seen on the ground are broadly in line with one another.

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The early estimates of how long Russia could stay in the field were probably based on them maintaining the initial fronts before they pulled back from Kyiv.

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44 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

The early estimates of how long Russia could stay in the field were probably based on them maintaining the initial fronts before they pulled back from Kyiv.

The initial estimates were that Russia would struggle to maintain 190,000 troops (only ~100,000 of which were frontline combat personnel) across a theatre the size of Ukraine much past the end of the summer without reinforcements. They have gotten reinforcements - 20,000 DPR/LPR troops, around 5,000 Wagner troops, unknown numbers of Chechens and other mercenaries, a "shadow mobilisation" which only seems to have picked up a few thousand eager new recruits and so on - but not a vast number, so we're still three months away from seeing if those estimates were right or not. Some sources are saying the manpower problem might be coming to a head already, with the recent total stagnation along the front not being down to artillery losses but Russia simply not having the troops to push forward and take territory even when the Ukrainians have withdrawn.

The reports from the front are saying there's areas where the Russians are spread so thin they could be brushed aside by Brian Blessed armed with a wooden spoon, and other areas where they are clustered so thick they outnumber the Ukrainians five to one (and ten to one in artillery), but are suffering disproportionate losses there. However, there are also reports that they have brought in some heavy reinforcements to the border north of Kharkiv and to shore up Kherson.

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More reports in the last week or so of Russian ammo dumps and headquarters being destroyed by Ukrainian artillery.  Wert mentioned the 1st Army Crops HQ being destroyed, but there was also a big ammo dump for the 2nd Army Corps around Lyman and another ammo dump outside Kherson a week ago.  Likely the result of NATO artillery coming online with greater accuracy + range than what the Ukrainians had available.  That kind of thing slows down Russian attempts to reinforce and continue its offensives.

Speaking of which, the Ukrainian MoD said that this week will be especially difficult for Ukraine, which some people are speculating to mean that the Seiverodonetsk pocket may need to be evacuated.  Looking at a map, the Ukrainians made their big counterattack within Seiverodonetsk on June 4-5 and in the two and a half weeks since then Russian progress has been minimal.  They've captured almost all of the city and expanded the front around Popasna a tiny bit, but these are WW1 type gains.  So we'll see if anything significant changes this week or if Ukraine can continue their dogged resistance. 

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