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Ukraine 19: In HARMS Way


Werthead
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My concern here is that all of what @Werthead said is obviously true. There is no reasonable way at this point that the USA and the EU and even other allies (like Turkey) change their behavior based on this, on Russia mobilization, or anything else any time soon. The absolute best you can hope for here is that energy woes are so huge in Europe that they acquiesce to Russian demands, but that's not going to be an issue for at least another couple of months. 

That said, I don't think this signals the 'end' of the war. Not even remotely. I think this signals Putin escalating things more, and setting Russia's mindset towards a longer, more painful war. 

So here's the thing: if Putin is willing to do this and take this absurd risk for virtually no reasonable gain any time soon, what else will he be willing to do? 

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1 hour ago, KalVsWade said:

My concern here is that all of what @Werthead said is obviously true. There is no reasonable way at this point that the USA and the EU and even other allies (like Turkey) change their behavior based on this, on Russia mobilization, or anything else any time soon. The absolute best you can hope for here is that energy woes are so huge in Europe that they acquiesce to Russian demands, but that's not going to be an issue for at least another couple of months. 

That said, I don't think this signals the 'end' of the war. Not even remotely. I think this signals Putin escalating things more, and setting Russia's mindset towards a longer, more painful war. 

So here's the thing: if Putin is willing to do this and take this absurd risk for virtually no reasonable gain any time soon, what else will he be willing to do? 

The general consensus right now is that there won't be a significant energy crisis. Germany and other European countries were able to top their reserves reasonably well, the UK isn't really impacted and the new price caps reduce the risk of a price spiral. So that option is out.

The double-down risk is real, but it also depends on the objective. If Russia wants to freeze the war at the current borders, they first need to get a move on (Kherson is possibly one or two breakthroughs from a total collapse) and they also need to convincingly show they have enough in reserve to continue the fight if necessary. The problem with tactical nukes is that they don't really allow you to take or hold territory (not without killing your own men) and using them on a city would likely push your remaining allies, or at least friendly neutrals, like China and India away. North Korea might stick with you, but they're not exactly decisive in this matter. Ukraine has also made it clear they will continue fighting on even if tactical nukes are used, so Russia would have to escalate to the point of an existential threat for its own existence.

There is also an interesting situation here where Russia is pushing ahead with the referendums whilst also stepping up mobilisation and shadow mobilisation efforts, which is not really compatible with Russia going full WMD. It's clear they envisage the conventional war continuing, which they would not if they planned an annexation and then threatening (real or bluffing) their way past it.

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Apparently Governor of the Russian Central Bank Nabiullina has tried to resign again. The Russian stock market has also taken an absolute pounding. Announcing mobilisation could tank the Russian economy overnight, if thousands of young men are yanked out of their jobs.
 
Apparent strong arguments in the Kremlin over what to do next, and those arguments are still ongoing: Putin's speech has been delayed because it sounds like he wanted to talk with other people (possibly Nabiullina).

 

 

 

 

Edited by Werthead
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12 minutes ago, Werthead said:
Apparently Governor of the Russian Central Bank Nabiullina has tried to resign again. The Russian stock market has also taken an absolute pounding. Announcing mobilisation could tank the Russian economy overnight, if thousands of young men are yanked out of their jobs.
 
Apparent strong arguments in the Kremlin over what to do next, and those arguments are still ongoing: Putin's speech has been delayed because it sounds like he wanted to talk with other people (possibly Nabiullina).

 

 

 

 

Hope the governer’s staying away from open windows.

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6 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Hope the governer’s staying away from open windows.

She has a degree of influence and respect because absolutely nobody else can make sense of Russia's batshit insane economy. She has even more influence today than in March because of the narrative that she saved Russia's economy from sanctions (which isn't strictly true, but she's been selling that idea). Dropping her out a window is a bad idea and even Putin realises that. Exerting pressure to make her stay on against her will is much more likely.

 

ETA: Some reports that the Vostok battalion on the Kherson front is wavering. Its CO went on Telegram and complained at length about no fire support, no counter artillery and no air support whilst his position is being pounded by HIMARS, GRADS and mortars every single day.

Edited by Werthead
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A whole slew of Russian Telegram channels have started screaming about a renewed Ukrainian assault along the Kharkiv front. Masterful timing, if so.

Lukashenko appears to be trying to split himself in half. In the last day or so he's spoken of sending Belarus's ambassador back to Kyiv and Belarus standing ready to fulfil terms of its treaty obligations with Russia (i.e. sending troops into Ukraine).

Breaking report that the 217th Airborne Regiment has been withdrawn from Syria and will be transferred to Ukraine.

Several Duma members have said that there will be no general mobilisation, but martial law in "some areas" (probably Belgorod and maybe Rostov border regions) may be declared.

ETA: Apparently Putin's address to the nation tonight has been cancelled, but it wasn't formally announced in the first place, the press pool showed up because they were told to. Weird.

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9 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Any explanation as to why the Russian Dictator’s speech has been delayed?

Unconfirmed reports that Ukraine has taken Lyman, smashing the defence plans for Luhansk Oblast and opening Severodonetsk to attack. That would make holding any kind of referendum in Luhansk even more farcical.

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Looks like Ukrainian forces have entered north-western Lyman and are fighting Russians street-to-street. Other Ukrainian forces have pulled up to the southern front of the town and other forces may be bypassing it to the east to cut off supply avenues. Telegram messages are becoming increasingly panicked.

 

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4 hours ago, KalVsWade said:

So here's the thing: if Putin is willing to do this and take this absurd risk for virtually no reasonable gain any time soon, what else will he be willing to do? 

Except that this isn't a risk. It's an irrelevance. It won't make any difference one way or the other to Ukraine, the West or even to Russia itself, any more than Putin recognising the same areas as 'independent' did, or the referenda held in 2014 did. These are just Putin giving himself an excuse to do the thing he was always going to do anyway.

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

Except that this isn't a risk. It's an irrelevance. It won't make any difference one way or the other to Ukraine, the West or even to Russia itself, any more than Putin recognising the same areas as 'independent' did, or the referenda held in 2014 did. These are just Putin giving himself an excuse to do the thing he was always going to do anyway.

I agree, I think the referendums are for internal consumption in Russia.  If the army is fighting on "Russian" soil, then they can deploy conscripts to fight. Yes, Russia has been bending and partially breaking this rule a lot already, but this will just make things easier for them.

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7 hours ago, KalVsWade said:

Remember the thesis: Putin is not acting in a way that should be considered rational and is instead working on his own idea of what is reality. The notion that Ukraine - or NATO - will balk at taking back Ukrainian territory that was illegally taken is obviously and ridiculously untrue, especially now that Ukraine has had success doing so and we have evidence of major atrocities committed against civilians. 

But that's not the world that Putin is operating under. The better you understand that, the better you understand what Putin may be willing to do as he escalates.

 

 

So what I'm hearing "Mr. President, we must not allow a madness gap!"

It seems clear to me that the only way to counter an irrational despot is to get one of our own. 

That's right, I'm now Trump Supporter Jace.

It's a mad world out there. We gotta catch up before we're left behind.

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2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

I agree, I think the referendums are for internal consumption in Russia.  If the army is fighting on "Russian" soil, then they can deploy conscripts to fight. Yes, Russia has been bending and partially breaking this rule a lot already, but this will just make things easier for them.

Problems are a) Whatever excuse he gives, doesn't people more like to comply with a call for mass mobilisation, or the soldiers less likely to revolt and b) Russia doesn't have the logistical capacity for it

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Problems are a) Whatever excuse he gives, doesn't people more like to comply with a call for mass mobilisation, or the soldiers less likely to revolt and b) Russia doesn't have the logistical capacity for it

I think you're missing my point.  Russia already has conscripts, they have a draft every year. They just aren't allowed to deploy conscripts outside Russia unless a war is declared.  Russia has at times ignored this rule, but not to the extent that you might expect - it actually does provide some protection for conscripts.  So by claiming that Kherson and the Donbas are actually Russia, it would indeed free up some soldiers to be deployed at the front.  Those soldiers are already trained and equipped (at least to shitty Russian standards).  

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So it's a partial mobilisation which means, the reservists will be called in. I.e. the poor buggers who couldn't evade military service. I don't think it will have a great impact on the battlefield, but will further degrade Russias economic and political position.  

It looks like Russia has first used up and degraded the bulk of it's professional military and is now trying to plug the holes with conscripts who have already proven not to be fit enough against the UAF. This is a recipe for more military desasters.

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6 minutes ago, mormont said:

Well, it appears that Putin has confirmed it: partial mobilisation under way. 300,000 reservists called up.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/putin-signs-decree-mobilisation-says-west-wants-destroy-russia-2022-09-21/

"Guy who has spent millions over the past decades in trying to destroy Euro-American democracies says that the West wants to destroy Russia." 

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