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Ukraine 19: In HARMS Way


Werthead
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3 hours ago, Mithras said:

Flight ticket prices from Moscow to Istanbul are hiking real quick.

At least that's an avenue out left to them.

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Yeah, they didn't close the borders. I suspect the original proposals might have been more strident but the threat from the bank chairwoman and the threat of a run on the banks and mass flight of people might have gotten them to tone down their ambitions.

Also, they limited the mobilisation to people already in the reservists, and they have confirmed college students will be exempt.

The mobilisation order also sets quotas for each region. So my guess is that provinces will be bled dry of whatever manpower they have left and Moscow and the other big cities will again get off lightly.

Ha, I saw a comment that this is "not mobilisation but a special mobilising operation."

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I was assuming the mobilisation was limited largely because there's no way Russia could in fact actually mobilise larger numbers. They don't have the equipment, the training facilities, the barracks, the food, even the transport infrastructure to round them up and get them to Ukraine.

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Just now, mormont said:

I was assuming the mobilisation was limited largely because there's no way Russia could in fact actually mobilise larger numbers. They don't have the equipment, the training facilities, the barracks, the food, even the transport infrastructure to round them up and get them to Ukraine.

Indeed. There was a good thread yesterday about how the Soviet Union was prepared for "mass mobilisation" at the drop of a hat, so it had stocks of equipment kept in (relatively) good order and it had a massive load of barracks and training personnel who spent 90% of their time sitting around not doing much, but just waiting for reservists to show up.

Modern Russia does not have that capacity and it looks like they've never built up that capacity, and it's unclear who is going to be training the new personnel.

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Interesting detail in Putins speech: Putin announced the partial mobilization "as proposed by the minister for defence".

Basically he is reinforcing the "good Tzar, bad boyars"-narrative. In case things do not go as planned, it was a proposal by his incompetent underling, not his fault. The fact that he's foreshadowing the culprit for future failure already at the beginning of his partial mobilization is quite telling.

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Apparently Vietnam and Kazakhstan have stopped accepting Russian payment cards as well as Turkey.

That's pretty significant already, but former Soviet republic and CSTO member Kazakhstan effectively imposing some of the international sanctions on Russia (if in a very limited way so far) would be huge.

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30 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Apparently Vietnam and Kazakhstan have stopped accepting Russian payment cards as well as Turkey.

That's pretty significant already, but former Soviet republic and CSTO member Kazakhstan effectively imposing some of the international sanctions on Russia (if in a very limited way so far) would be huge.

Well, Kazakhstan plans to drop the Cyrillic alphabet for the Latin one by 2025. They have to be high up on the list of countries to be brought back into the fold. And didn't Putin tell the members of the Samarkand summit that all former Soviet republics are historically part of Russia or something similar? 

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3 minutes ago, Loge said:

Well, Kazakhstan plans to drop the Cyrillic alphabet for the Latin one by 2025. They have to be high up on the list of countries to be brought back into the fold. And didn't Putin tell the members of the Samarkand summit that all former Soviet republics are historically part of Russia or something similar? 

I don't think so, but Duma members did. The President of Kazakhstan rebuked them and Putin seemed to be contrite over that, and then China confirmed it would work more closely with Kazakhstan and ensure Kazakhstan's territorial integrity, which I think ends any possible threat to Kazakhstan for the foreseeable future.

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The Kazak military isn't as strong as Ukraine's, but it also isn't getting all chewed up in a war.  Russia will not have the combat power to attack Kazakhstan for many years, and by then their military will probably be stronger, and their ties to China even closer.

On every front, this war has been a political disaster for Russia.  Even more so than the military disaster that has unfolded in the past 7 months. 

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55 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Apparently Vietnam and Kazakhstan have stopped accepting Russian payment cards as well as Turkey.

That's pretty significant already, but former Soviet republic and CSTO member Kazakhstan effectively imposing some of the international sanctions on Russia (if in a very limited way so far) would be huge.

And we now know Russia lacks the power to do anything about its former allies taking actions like this… don’t we?

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Kazakhstan is also four-and-a-half times the size of Ukraine. Fighting a war in that landmass is insane, it'd risk being Afghanistan all over again.

Armenia has also joined the blockade on Russian credit cards. They also seem to be strongly considering withdrawing from the CSTO.

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11 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

On every front, this war has been a political disaster for Russia.  Even more so than the military disaster that has unfolded in the past 7 months. 

Before Kazakhstan would have been considered one of Russia's strongest allies. Now us and likely the Kazakh government are considering how well they could repel a Russian invasion. Crazy.

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Michael Kofman had a interesting thread here about mobilization.  In the immediate term, the mobilization order will only matter insofar as preventing Russian contract soldiers from refusing to fight, tearing up their contracts, or timing out and not resigning.  It does not prevent desertion, which is already a problem and will almost assuredly get worse. 

But in the longer time period, mobilized reservists could help fill in the gaps in understrength units.  Yes, they will be older, less trained and unmotivated, but they will be there, and those units desperately need men.  So it can help with the quantity problem in the Russian army.  But it will not help with the quality problem in the Russian army, where the best men and equipment have suffered the most casualties.  These reservists will be using even worse equipment and will only exacerbate overall morale problems. 

Thus, his conclusion is that all these changes will likely have some limited positive effect on the fighting power of the Russian army, but it's unlikely to solve the really fundamental shortcomings of the Russian military. 

Edited by Maithanet
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11 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Michael Kofman had a interesting thread here about mobilization.  In the immediate term, the mobilization order will only matter insofar as preventing Russian contract soldiers from refusing to fight, tearing up their contracts, or timing out and not resigning.  It does not prevent desertion, which is already a problem and will almost assuredly get worse. 

But in the longer time period, mobilized reservists could help fill in the gaps in understrength units.  Yes, they will be older, less trained and unmotivated, but they will be there, and those units desperately need men.  So it can help with the quantity problem in the Russian army.  But it will not help with the quality problem in the Russian army, where the best men and equipment have suffered the most casualties.  These reservists will be using even worse equipment and will only exacerbate overall morale problems. 

Thus, his conclusion is that all these changes will likely have some limited positive effect on the fighting power of the Russian army, but it's unlikely to solve the really fundamental shortcomings of the Russian military. 

When will the Russian Military start seeing that they may be better off surrendering to the Ukrainians?

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7 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

When will the Russian Military start seeing that they may be better off surrendering to the Ukrainians?

Individual units have already come to that conclusion, and I hope we see a lot more around Kherson in the next couple of weeks. 

But make no mistake, Putin's speech is an escalation because he can see that Russia is losing.  The changes he's implementing are more likely to slow the decline of Russian forces rather than actually strengthen them. 

We can only hope that at some point Putin stops escalating, because he is running out of options short of nuclear war. 

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4 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Will calling up 300,000 reservists and stop lossing existing conscripts create unrest in Russia?  Using these guys as meat shields seems like a recipe for a revolt against the existing Government…

It's already leading to increased and more public criticism, and the government isn't clamping down on it as hard it was, so I think they likely answer is yes. If it leads to enough unrest in Russia to lead to sanity or a reversal of the conflict in the short term, I think that's unlikely.

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