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Ukraine 19: In HARMS Way


Werthead
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North Korea has said it will not be supplying weapons or ammunition to Russia.

That's interesting. North Korea does not normally GAF about anybody else's opinions, so I wonder if China has had a word and is now starting to see the benefits of starving Russia of possible supplies to end the war ASAP rather than through a stupid escalation.

Apparently the provisions of the new partial mobilisation allow for 300,000 people to be raised but could enact a second wave to mobilise an additional 700,000. That's doing the rounds of Russian social media now and has not gone down well.

Some local regions in Russia are sending recruits for training, but others are apparently going to send them to the field piecemeal, which is a good way for that 300,000 to get whittled down a small part at a time.

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Putin continues implementation of his diabolical plan - he created modern Ukrainian nation and strenghtened its identity, helped to build its army, pushed Ukraine West, convinced Sweden and Finland to join NATO and Western Europe to give up on buying gas from him, decimated Russia supporters in rebel republics... and now he proceeds to the next stage - extermination of Russian male population at working age. What a strategist.

 

Edited by broken one
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Also, you'll be shocked to know that Putin's order for partial mobilization is a lie, and Russians are reporting being given draft papers despite having no previous military experience. It looks like it's being used as a combination of retaining existing people, punishing protestors and grabbing whoever they can. 

Meanwhile major reports of huge lines at most visa-free countries to Russia (Georgia, Kazahkstan) and all flights to Istanbul from Russia are booked. 

And other reports of people getting on busses and getting to their arrival point and having zero idea of what to do there, who to meet, etc. 

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Why do they think that protestors are going to make good soldiers? Aren’t they just more likely to defect or surrender or in some cases actually sabotage things? Yeah let’s put the people who hate this war and have been publicly dissenting in the military and give them weapons.

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10 minutes ago, KalVsWade said:

Also, you'll be shocked to know that Putin's order for partial mobilization is a lie, and Russians are reporting being given draft papers despite having no previous military experience.

Not to mention some people being drafted despite having previously been refused for service, due to health issues.

 

And now being dead.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Which Tyler said:

Not to mention some people being drafted despite having previously been refused for service, due to health issues.

 

And now being dead.

 

 

Bureaucratic chaos, that's all. Parents of a child who died just after birth get notice to bring the child for vaccination a year after, it happens here. The further East you go the mess intensifies.

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12 minutes ago, Arakasi said:

Why do they think that protestors are going to make good soldiers? Aren’t they just more likely to defect or surrender or in some cases actually sabotage things? Yeah let’s put the people who hate this war and have been publicly dissenting in the military and give them weapons.

You're assuming that there is a goal of getting good soldiers, or even improving the military performance. This is in error. 

The goal as it is with almost every autocracy is to appease the wishes of the ruler. Putin wants a mobilization, so the people under him need to be showing that they're mobilizing people. They have quotas to fill of people to be mobilized and sent to be trained somewhere so that's what they're doing. There is no guidance on what makes a good soldier or that there is anyone training them or that they have any equipment. Their goal is to get people and the only metric that they care about is filling that quota. 

A secondary goal is to punish those who are not well in alignment with Russian orthodoxy. Again, from a military perspective sending protesters to go fight for your country is an incredibly stupid move that will likely get more officers killed or have more defections happen. But it is great for a political goal.

This is entirely consistent with the top-down and whatever he says, goes behavior we've already seen in Putin's Russia, and is also nicely aligning well with the traditions of central planning and hitting goals set by people having no idea what is going on that characterizes a lot of Soviet-style economies. 

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This mobilization feels like the sequel to the 3rd Army Corp.  A few months ago Russia announced the formation of the 3rd Army Corp, with some fanfare that this new unit would prove decisive somewhere.  Then it became clear it was only going to be 15k men (not really a Corps), and then maybe only 10k, then perhaps more like 8k. 

Regardless, it was a real unit that definitely existed and started training in August.  I don't know how long the Russians were planning to train them, but when the Kharkiv offensive started they were thrown into the battle, complete with pictures of trucks and towed artillery on social media.  Astute observers could see that they were missing a lot of equipment you'd expect an army that size to have (like anti-aircraft weapons), and what was shown was mostly 70s era equipment out of storage.  Anyways, they trained for a month and then went into battle to blunt the Ukrainian offensive and did...nothing.  They didn't even win a single skirmish or slow the Ukrainians meaningfully or anything that I can find.  They seemed to melt away, with some guys captured, some equipment left behind, and many successfully fleeing back to Russian lines. 

That was for training and equipping ~10k troops, something Russia should ABSOLUTELY be capable of doing.  Now the Russians are going to try and train+equip+supply 300k or more?  The experience of the 3AC does not instill confidence in this.  At best these new troops will be given bad kit, and sent in as replacements to existing veteran units, where they will be have terrible morale and brutal casualties.  A small fraction of them might survive long enough to learn to be decent soldiers in a few months time.  But if the existing Russian units are already losing (and they are), this holds little potential to change the dynamic. 

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19 minutes ago, KalVsWade said:

You're assuming that there is a goal of getting good soldiers, or even improving the military performance. This is in error. 

The goal as it is with almost every autocracy is to appease the wishes of the ruler...But it is great for a political goal.

So true.  In the West, executives will grouse and complain about whistleblowers and troublemakers within an organization.  But the truth is, a majority of the time the "problem child" has the same ostensible goal as the executive, and the whistleblower acts as a means to better achieve the common goal more efficiently or more ethically.  The perceptual division between executive and maverick in the West is one of means rather than ends.

This is entirely different from the procedural obedience KalVsWade describes in Russia, or similar face-saving compliance an institution will see in Asia.  In those cases, the underlings usually know that they are wasting their time achieving their individual assigned goal, but they do it anyway.  Even though they know full well that achieving that goal will harm the overall collective effort.

So when Russian media complains about "the West", we also have to understand that a lot of Russian society do not share our Western worldview, and they don't value individuality or independent thinking or freedom of action.  At all.

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7 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

This is entirely different from the procedural obedience KalVsWade describes in Russia, or similar face-saving compliance an institution will see in Asia.  In those cases, the underlings usually know that they are wasting their time achieving their individual assigned goal, but they do it anyway.  Even though they know full well that achieving that goal will harm the overall collective effort.

So when Russian media complains about "the West", we also have to understand that a lot of Russian society do not share our Western worldview, and they don't value individuality or independent thinking or freedom of action.  At all.

I would phrase it a different way. They may not know that they're wasting their time because as far as they're concerned their goal is whatever they were told. The people who question those orders or grouse about it or even do things differently are often drummed out quite quickly out of the system because compliance with orders is the most efficient thing, period. This is especially true in countries like Russia, where Putin has massively encouraged sycophancy and loyalty as the absolute most important goals in underlings. China, by comparison, still has a long history of meritocracy and competence that has not been obliterated. 

Now from what I know of Russian society the folks under all of this are resourceful and creative, and will do a lot to figure out how to get things done (or at least get the illusion of things done). But those higher up officers and government officials? They're there because they lick boots the best. 

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Surely, border countries and Europe more widely should be un-cancelling visas and allowing any Russian male into the country to seek assylum from conscription, subject to security checks to make sure they are not state sponsored terrorists being sent to infiltrate. Though even then they should be let in, but surveilled heavily and then put into preventative detention.

Starve Russia of troops and workers is a legit way of shortening the war.

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Ultimately doing it via visas isn't the right way; the right way is for those people to ask for asylum, which is an international process specifically for doing exactly this. You probably want to keep some border traffic to make it easier but you don't actually need to provide tourist visas for this.

And it is largely irrelevant as Russia is denying most visas to men aged 18-65 anyway. 

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I’ve just read the most outlandish assessment of the war, from Colonel Douglas McGregor, in American Conservative.  Apparently, Russia is winning this war with ease, the rout at Izyum is simply a tactical withdrawal, Ukrainian forces are being bled to death, and the occupied areas produce 95% of Ukraine’s GDP.

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4 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I’ve just read the most outlandish assessment of the war, from Colonel Douglas McGregor, in American Conservative.  Apparently, Russia is winning this war with ease, the rout at Izyum is simply a tactical withdrawal, Ukrainian forces are being bled to death, and the occupied areas produce 95% of Ukraine’s GDP.

Obviously all bullshit, but isn’t the southern territory that Russia holds a lot harder to take back and holds a lot of value?

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The 95 percent figure is almost certainly inflated, but pre 2014 a large chunk of Ukraine's GDP came from the Donbas. Lots of industry there. That's why it has a large population from other parts of the former Soviet Union. 

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30 minutes ago, Loge said:

The 95 percent figure is almost certainly inflated, but pre 2014 a large chunk of Ukraine's GDP came from the Donbas. Lots of industry there. That's why it has a large population from other parts of the former Soviet Union. 

Like all capital cities, Kyiv and its suburbs would produce far more than 5% of GDP, let alone the rest of the country.

On checking, Kyiv produces 18% of Ukraine’s GDP.

Edited by SeanF
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