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Ukraine #17: Is There Life on HIMARS?


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2 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Apparently it looks like Russia is heavily fortifying Crimea. They've already fortified it since 2014, but it looks like there's even more trenches being dug, defensive positions set up etc. Lots of air traffic as well. Looks quite likely that Russia may be writing off Kherson and maybe even the western land corridor right up to the Crimean border, if it comes to it.

Interesting.  Also extremely frustrating because Ukraine has signaled a willingness to give up Crimea in exchange for ending the war.  In fact, Russia almost assuredly could have in Spring (and perhaps still?) got the concession of return to Feb 2022 territory and status quo in DNR/LPR, official recognition by Ukraine of Crimea being Russian, in exchange for pulling back from other territories and an agreement from NATO to gradually wind down sanctions.  But Russia didn't go for that, and instead a lot more people are dead. 

Ukraine is both winning the war and being utterly ruined.  Tens of thousands of lives lost, even more citizens being kidnapped to Russia, and infrastructure damage that will take a generation to repair. 

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1 minute ago, Maithanet said:

Interesting.  Also extremely frustrating because Ukraine has signaled a willingness to give up Crimea in exchange for ending the war.  In fact, Russia almost assuredly could have in Spring (and perhaps still?) got the concession of return to Feb 2022 territory and status quo in DNR/LPR, official recognition by Ukraine of Crimea being Russian, in exchange for pulling back from other territories and an agreement from NATO to gradually wind down sanctions.  But Russia didn't go for that, and instead a lot more people are dead. 

Ukraine is both winning the war and being utterly ruined.  Tens of thousands of lives lost, even more citizens being kidnapped to Russia, and infrastructure damage that will take a generation to repair. 

Yeah, Ukraine is being hammered. Russia is not having a great time of it either, and in fact even western countries seem to now be estimating 50,000+ casualties, maybe 30,000 of them KIA (which massively changes the calculations on injured-to-killed ratios in modern wars, although that might be more down to Russian incompetence), but Ukraine's combined military+civilian losses must at least match that and might be twice as high.

From a geopolitical and military viewpoint, Ukraine might end up coming out of this stronger than it was going in, but the cost is going to be horrendous.

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

Ukraine might end up coming out of this stronger than it was going in, but the cost is going to be horrendous.

Fixed that.

Will we Others keep up Our Support in meaningful manner?

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8 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Fixed that.

Will we Others keep up Our Support in meaningful manner?

Okay...so Ukraine comes out badly battered but coherent. And if Russia comes out in worse shape? Economic fallout, rising political dissent to the point of half-assed rebellion, then...

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2 hours ago, Wilbur said:

SSRN has a good paper on the economic outcome of sanctions on Russia.

In general, the economic picture in Russia is far, far worse than we can easily see.

Business Retreats and Sanctions Are Crippling the Russian Economy by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Steven Tian, Franek Sokolowski, Michal Wyrebkowski, Mateusz Kasprowicz :: SSRN

If that article is true, then the near to intermediate future breakup of Russia becomes 'probable' instead of merely 'possible.' As in one of the major stories of 2023 or 2024. 

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Ukrainian artillery commanders on the front line are reporting that the Russian advantage in artillery has been cut from 5-10 to one to "near parity," at least in terms of the fire they're directing. The Russians still have a lot more guns, but they can't fire them because of a double shortage, in both ammo and replacement barrels. Another big push of Western supplies could give Ukrainian effective numerical superiority in artillery. The Ukrainians have also pointed out it's not just HIMARS, but Polish Krabs and French Cesars which have made an enormous difference on the front.

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7 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Am I the only one seeing tankies out in force on Twitter today spreading the lie that supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia is bad for Ukraine?

Tankies gonna tank.

 

Did you see the outrage Zelensky and his wife appearing on Vogue?

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What's interesting about the Vogue non-scandal is that people seem to fundamentally misunderstand Zelensky's job.  He isn't a general, and he knows better than to be conducting the war on a day to day basis.  Obviously he still has a role as commander in chief, but that role is things like high level decisionmaking and rallying the troops.  His primary role in winning this war is PR.  Ukraine is totally reliant on western support to win the war, and Zelensky is the face of that effort.  So posing for photographs looking tough and a little mournful is in fact EXACTLY what his job is.  Anything that keeps the Ukrainian struggle in the news in the US/EU is worthwhile. 

IMO, Zelensky is doing a masterful job of this.  His background as an actor is invaluable.  As in many aspects of this war, Ukraine has a middling hand but is playing it very well. 

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20 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

What's interesting about the Vogue non-scandal is that people seem to fundamentally misunderstand Zelensky's job.  He isn't a general, and he knows better than to be conducting the war on a day to day basis.  Obviously he still has a role as commander in chief, but that role is things like high level decisionmaking and rallying the troops.  His primary role in winning this war is PR.  Ukraine is totally reliant on western support to win the war, and Zelensky is the face of that effort.  So posing for photographs looking tough and a little mournful is in fact EXACTLY what his job is.  Anything that keeps the Ukrainian struggle in the news in the US/EU is worthwhile. 

IMO, Zelensky is doing a masterful job of this.  His background as an actor is invaluable.  As in many aspects of this war, Ukraine has a middling hand but is playing it very well. 

Indeed. I've seen a few articles giving the spotlight to General Valeriy Zaluzhnyy, the commander in chief of the UAF. This one is from April. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/08/ukraines-iron-general-zaluzhnyy-00023901 

Quote

Unlike, say, “Stormin’” Norman Schwarzkopf, who led U.S. troops in the first Persian Gulf War, or David Petraeus, who presided over the Iraq war and was nicknamed “King David,” Zaluzhnyy has largely avoided the spectacle of a celebrity commander — deferring that role to Zelenskyy,

 

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There's some pretty ugly stuff going on in Kherson. Partisan execution squads are targeting both Russian occupiers and collaborators and executing them without much remorse. Hopefully no cases of mistaken identity or bystanders getting hit.

The Russians have apparently given up on trying to float a pontoon across the Dnipro in Kherson because, well, it's just too wide. They've instead set up a ferry, which I suppose has the advantage that it's a moving target.

Western intelligence now judges that the offensive in Kherson is starting to move out of the probing and recon phase into an actual offensive. They judge that Ukrainian forces are across the Inhulets in several bridgehead positions and Kherson is now effectively cut off, as is most of the Russian 49th Army.

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75k killed or wounded is in line with other estimates.  It's actually kinda on the low end for wounded.  The range of kia, including Dpr/lpr and Wagner is somewhere between 20 and 40k.  Then wounded on top of that is anywhere from 1.5x that number to 4x.  

It is a huge amount of casualties given the relatively small number of forces (estimated at 400k troops have rotated into Ukraine on the Russian side in the past 5 months).  That's almost one in five troops as casualties.  Decimated twice over.

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9 hours ago, Maithanet said:

75k killed or wounded is in line with other estimates.  It's actually kinda on the low end for wounded.  The range of kia, including Dpr/lpr and Wagner is somewhere between 20 and 40k.  Then wounded on top of that is anywhere from 1.5x that number to 4x.  

It is a huge amount of casualties given the relatively small number of forces (estimated at 400k troops have rotated into Ukraine on the Russian side in the past 5 months).  That's almost one in five troops as casualties.  Decimated twice over.

Slow/poor battlefield first aid, especially away from the lines, probably meant a lot of Russian soldiers died who might otherwise have survived

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10 hours ago, Werthead said:

There's some pretty ugly stuff going on in Kherson. Partisan execution squads are targeting both Russian occupiers and collaborators and executing them without much remorse. Hopefully no cases of mistaken identity or bystanders getting hit.

The Russians have apparently given up on trying to float a pontoon across the Dnipro in Kherson because, well, it's just too wide. They've instead set up a ferry, which I suppose has the advantage that it's a moving target.

Western intelligence now judges that the offensive in Kherson is starting to move out of the probing and recon phase into an actual offensive. They judge that Ukrainian forces are across the Inhulets in several bridgehead positions and Kherson is now effectively cut off, as is most of the Russian 49th Army.

It’s in the nature of things that some people who are killed as collaborators will just be victims of personal scores.

I don’t think the Russians have much choice but to evacuate Kherson.

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1 hour ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Slow/poor battlefield first aid, especially away from the lines, probably meant a lot of Russian soldiers died who might otherwise have survived

Yeah, it is said that treatment of the wounded in Russian army is primitive, lack of equipment and skills (and care?) so the death rate is probably very high. Ukrainians managed to improve their military also in this sphere. Ive encountered estimations and comparison, cannot find it now, but the Russian rate was much higher.

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1 hour ago, broken one said:

Yeah, it is said that treatment of the wounded in Russian army is primitive, lack of equipment and skills (and care?) so the death rate is probably very high. Ukrainians managed to improve their military also in this sphere. Ive encountered estimations and comparison, cannot find it now, but the Russian rate was much higher.

They did improve battlefield medical care a few weeks into the conflict, but reportedly a lot of troops are asked to return to combat duties immediately after getting mobile again, even with injuries that would normally see them sent home for a year of convalescence. The usual reports of Russian soldiers injuring themselves to get off the front line, but if they want to 100% be sent home, they have to really go to town.

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