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Ukraine War: David And Goliath


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16 hours ago, House Balstroko said:

One thing that’s been on my mind ever since the October 7th attacks, is how the Arab world will perceive this conflict. 

It seems like Russia is trying to distance itself from Israel, with public statements at the UN claiming that the country has no right to defend itself. Is Putin hoping that the West’s near unilateral support of Israel is going to cause Arab nations to take drastic measures against Ukraine? 

I don't think Arab countries give too much of a toss about the conflict as long as it does not spill over. A much bigger problem for Russia is if Russia's negativity towards Israel causes Israel to start sending decent military equipment to Ukraine, which it has in abundance. If this conflict abates over the next few months without a wider war starting, Israel may start feeling it has excess stock it can send to Ukraine (especially equipment which they are phasing out anyway).

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The Invisible War in Ukraine Being Fought Over Radio Waves
Using electromagnetic waves to flummox and follow smarter weapons has become a critical part of the cat-and-mouse game between Ukraine and Russia. The United States, China and others have taken note.




.... The war in Ukraine is the first recent conflict between two large and relatively advanced armies to widely deploy electronic warfare abilities and evolve the techniques in real time. Once the purview of trained experts, the technologies have spread to frontline infantry troops. Ukrainian drone pilots said they constantly fine-tuned their methods to parry the invisible attacks. One day, a new radio frequency might work, some said. The next, a different antenna.

The techniques have turned the war into a proxy laboratory that the United States, Europe and China have followed closely for what may sway a future conflict, experts said.

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, raised the topic of electronic warfare this year in prepared remarks for a Congressional hearing. NATO countries have expanded programs to buy and develop electronic weapons, said Thomas Withington, an electronic warfare expert at the Royal United Services Institute, a British security think tank.

“The war in Ukraine has been the performance enhancing drug for NATO’s electromagnetic thinking,” he said. “It has been the thing that concentrates minds.” ....


.... Antennas and jammers
As Russian tanks rolled toward Kyiv in February 2022, the Russian military initially made good on its reputation as one of the world’s best at electronic warfare. It used powerful jammers and decoy missiles to inundate Ukrainian air defenses, leaving Ukraine reliant on aircraft to fight off Russian planes.

The electronic weapons do not appear dangerous at first glance. They are typically satellite dishes or antennas that can be mounted on trucks or set up in fields or on buildings. But they then beam out electromagnetic waves to track, trick and block sensors and communication links that guide precision weapons and allow for radio communications. Just about every communications technology relies on electromagnetic signals, be it soldiers with radios, drones connecting to pilots or missiles linked to satellites.

One basic but effective tool is a jammer, which disrupts communications by sending out powerful signals at the same frequencies used by walkie-talkies or drones to cause so much disturbance that beaming a signal is impossible. Jamming is akin to blasting heavy metal in the middle of a college lecture.

Another key weapon sends a signal that pretends to be something it is not, like a satellite link. Called spoofing, the fake signal can convince a drone or missile it is miles off course by feeding it false coordinates. In other cases, spoofers ape the signals made by missiles or planes to trick air defense systems into detecting attacks that aren’t happening.

Other tools listen for beams of radiation and seek to locate their origin. These devices are often used to find and attack drone pilots.

After early success using these tools, the Russian military stumbled, analysts said. But as the war has stretched on, Russia has innovated by making smaller, mobile electronic weapons, like anti-drone guns and tiny jammers that form a radio-wave bubble around trenches.

“The Russians have been more nimble at responding than we would have expected from their ground behavior,” said James A. Lewis, a former U.S. official who writes on technology and security for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “That should be worrisome for NATO.”

The Kremlin did not respond to a request for comment. ....



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Looks like the rains and even snow is starting to kick in over southern Ukraine. The roads around Robotyne are turning into a quagmire, which is both good for Ukraine (it complicates Russian counter-attacks) and bad (they can no longer continue attacking themselves).

In a few weeks the ground will freeze over completely, which may allow for some offensive operations to resume.

Ukraine has destroyed a Russian military base at Tarasivka Airfield in occupied Kherson. 

Ukraine has unveiled "Backfire," a new drone which is relatively small, but can carry fairly large explosive payloads. The drone apparently has a powerful antenna which can overcome Russian jamming and allows it to operate 35 km behind enemy lines. Further details are so far classified.

Ukraine has also adapted its "Baba Yaga" large agridrones to serve as "drone carriers." The Baba Yaga flies towards its target and releases a FPV drone at the 50% mark before returning to base. This allows the FPV drone to strike targets considerably further away from the front than its operational range would suggest is possible.

Ukraine is also deploying new drone tactics. A recent new move has been monitoring a Russian vehicle, following it from afar, wait for the people on board to stop or get out, park the drone underneath the vehicle, and then detonate when they return, rather than trying to hit them on the move and engaging in an energy-sapping chase scene like from a movie. Also some success in using Ukrainian drones as mines, flying them onto a road or into a field well ahead of Russian forces and detonating when they get nearby.

Another Russian TOS-1 thermobaric rocket launcher has been destroyed along with a Pantsir aerial defence system, both in occupied Kherson in the vicinity of recent Ukrainian gains.

Another $200 million+ EW complex has been destroyed in occupied Kherson Oblast. Russia doesn't have very many of these and their highly questionable tactic is to wait until one has been destroyed and then send forwards a replacement, which inevitably gets blown up a few days to weeks down the road. Russia has lost at least four of these so far.

Ukraine has transferred fresh reserves to Avdiivka and launched counter-attacks on the advancing Russians. Reportedly, some areas where Russia has had success and advanced in recent weeks have been retaken, but minor successes so far. Russian sources are claiming the Ukrainian counter-attacks are ineffective, but then they always do.

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Ukraine has formally liberated some small villages and hamlets on the left (south) bank of the Dnipro. Some of these were actually freed some weeks ago, but they've only released information today. Very smalls settlements, and precarious gains, but interesting.

Russian forces around Krynky report they are outnumbered 3:1 in drones and artillery. Ukraine is bombing outbuildings Russian soldiers were sleeping in, using quiet-running drones to recon the area beforehand. Some Russian soldiers have reported sleeping in the woods is safer. Russian losses so heavy in some areas that some soldiers went to bed conscripts and woke up officers due to overnight losses. It's unclear if Russia is reinforcing the area or not. It's also unclear if Ukraine has brought over heavier equipment across the Dnipro, which may limit their ability to advance. 

A Russian volunteer deliveryman decided it would be a sensible move to post pictures of his resupply mission to a Russian-held gas station near Kreminna, as well as several other positions. The following day, Ukraine bombed those positions, causing significant loss of manpower and equipment. It looks like Ukraine is also mounting further counter-attacks to reclaim the territory lost in Russia's limited advance on Kreminna a few months ago, with Leopard tanks engaging Russian positions outside Syn'kivka.

Ukrainian forces continuing counter-attacks at Andriivka. The 3rd Assault Brigade undertook a series of close-assault raids on Russian trenches, engaging units of the Russian 72nd Brigade and 10th Spetsnaz Brigade. They advanced under cover from snipers, who kept the Russians pinned down, before using grenades and small arms to clear out several trenches. Seems to be a limited counter-attack so far, but the Russians are clearly taking some losses, at least in the area. Unclear when the impact on the overall Andriivka advance is.

Russia, in an equally intelligent move, congregated a large number of soldiers rather recklessly close to the front to hear a concern by Moscow-based singer Polina Menshnykh. Ukraine targeted the area with an artillery strike that caused significant casualties. Menshnykh was killed as well.

Some claims that a Russian Ka-52 helicopter got confused and destroyed a Russain MT-LB in a friendly fire incident near Novomykhaylyvka. It looks like the helicopter was engaging a Ukrainian vehicle and the Russian units got caught in the crossfire. Seems to be some doubts about the veracity of the story.

Some wrangling in the US at the moment. It has emerged that 1200 ATACMS have "expired" and are no longer wanted for use by the US military. These can be released to Ukraine immediately, but there is still wrangling in the White House over this, despite, so far, Ukrainian compliance with the limitations placed on the use of their existing ATACMS.

Finland is closing all but one border crossings with Russia, citing an increase in attempted illegal migration crossing from Russia into Finland with the support of the Russian government.

The Czech government has proposed an amendment to EU rules so that Russian diplomats will not be able travel visa-free from EU country to EU country. Instead, they will have to stay within their host country only.

No idea if this is true or another Ghost of Kyiv, but Jesus Christ:


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Looks like the Ukrainian counter-attack on the northern flank of the Russians at Avdiivka has achieved some success, pushing the Russians clear of the main road and back into Krasnohorivka.

Ukraine has hacked Rosaviation and found interesting information about the current state of Russian civil aviation. It is not looking great.




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On 11/22/2023 at 2:53 PM, Werthead said:

...Some wrangling in the US at the moment. It has emerged that 1200 ATACMS have "expired" and are no longer wanted for use by the US military. These can be released to Ukraine immediately, but there is still wrangling in the White House over this, despite, so far, Ukrainian compliance with the limitations placed on the use of their existing ATACMS...

If this is Sullivan dragging his heels again, he has to go.  Surely Biden sees this.

There is literally no good reason to delay sending stuff like this to Ukraine.  It is the definition of a win-win-win scenario for the US to do so, with zero downside.

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Apparently Russian naval command has ordered its missile carriers to reload at Novorossiysk rather than Sevastopol, which they now regard as too exposed and vulnerable. The facilities at Novorossiysk are not as large and sophisticated, slowing the rate at which Russian warships and submarines can be restocked. They are working to improve logistics, but this may switch Russian responsibility for missile strikes primarily to their aircraft.

Kyiv has bee hit by the largest drone attack of the war so far. At least forty drones were destroyed in the air.

Russia has established a ferry service work alongside the Kerch Bridge, in case the bridge is destroyed.

Edited by Werthead
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I've seen this in Bild:

Ukraine-Krieg: Neuer Geheimplan von Scholz und Biden | Politik | BILD.de

It seems it says that Biden and Scholz want to strong-arm Zelenski to yield. Since I'm not a German speaker and usually have no access to German sources, could our German members provide some more info what is this about? Is Bild full of crap in search of sensationalism or is there something to it?

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In short yes. Doesn't mean they don't have sources, but there's a substantial chance they sensationalized things or straight out made something up.

You wouldn't ask any Brit to comment on some Daily Fail or Sun reporting either.

Better/reliable German print media

Der Spiegel (or Spiegel Online (SPON)), Die Zeit, Süddeutsche (Zeitung) (SZ), Frankfurter Allgemeine (Zeitung) (FAZ), Frankfurter Rundschau (FR), or the leftwing Tageszeitung (TAZ) are reputable news papers/magazines. If they were to report something is happening, it is very likely happening.

For TV stations public broadcasters (ARD (and the regionals NDR, WDR, SWR, RBB) and ZDF) and their news programs like Tagesschau (tagesschau.de) and investigative/political magazines (likesay Monitor or Panorama) are also worth listening to. 

Deutsche Welle (DW) as an ARD offspring for the English speakers also has a fairly good rep.

Sorry for the interruption, now back to Ukraine.

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In 1675 the Sultan of the Ottomans wrote a letter to the Zaporozhian Cossacks, in modern Ukraine, and demanded their surrender. For some reason he decided to do this after his army invaded their territory and suffered a heavy defeat, which kind of took the sting out of his demand.

The Cossacks responded at length and with impressive invective, as here portrayed by Peter Capaldi.

The defiance of the Cossacks is a key inspirational moment for the national identity and character of Ukraine, and also inspired some notable paintings (one of which was recently re-enacted by Ukrainian troops).


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5 minutes ago, Werthead said:

In 1675 the Sultan of the Ottomans wrote a letter to the Zaporozhian Cossacks, in modern Ukraine, and demanded their surrender. For some reason he decided to do this after his army invaded their territory and suffered a heavy defeat, which kind of took the sting out of his demand.

The Cossacks responded at length and with impressive invective, as here portrayed by Peter Capaldi.

The defiance of the Cossacks is a key inspirational moment for the national identity and character of Ukraine, and also inspired some notable paintings (one of which was recently re-enacted by Ukrainian troops).


The fighting between Russians, Cossacks, Swedes, Austrians, Hungarians, Poles, Ottomans, and Tartars, from 1650-1700, saw atrocities that were off the scale.  It was probably more bloody than even The Thirty Years War.  

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Ukraine responded to the attempted attack on Kyiv's power grid by firing HIMARS at power infrastructure in occupied Donetsk Oblast. They destroyed a substation, plunging half the oblast into darkness for most of the day. Ukraine has also made it clear it will target Russian power infrastructure on Russian and occupied Ukrainian soil if Russia tries to pull the same trick it did last year.

Ukrainian drones were also spotted over Bryansk, Tula and Kaluga. There were also several drone strikes on Moscow, apparently most intercepted in the air but one hit an underpass and started a huge fire, probably after being downed. Russia's airports throughout the region were put on emergency groundstops.

Ukrainian M1A1 tanks have been seen in action for the first time, carrying out offensive actions in the east of the country, where the weather is better than the south.

Ukraine has unveiled fast, mobile "anti-drone" units. These consist of modified pickup trucks - a variation on "technicals" seen in the Middle East - with radar-guided anti-air guns mounted on the back. These are designed to shoot down drones at extremely low cost. Apparently they played a key role in stopping the attack on Kyiv, instead of wasting mega-expensive Patriot ammunition.

Russian servicemen in and around Bakhmut complaining that nobody has come for weeks to collect the bodies of killed Russian soldiers. They've been left where they fell or in some cases fellow soldiers have managed to retrieve them, but with no storage facilities they've had to leave them collected somewhere or buried where they've been able to. Damaging effect on morale.

The faltering Avdiivka offensive is being blamed by Russian personnel on a failure to coordinate artillery fire with infantry advances. The artillery is often firing at pre-determined coordinates, but those areas are already clear of the enemy, so achieve nothing but alert the enemy that an attack is coming. When artillery moves forward to try to target Ukrainian defensive positions, they expose themselves to counter-batteries and drones, so are incredibly reluctant to advance in step with the infantry. Increasing Ukrainian drone numbers have also rendered older tactics, like hugging lips of bomb craters to use as cover, ineffective.

Servicemen from the 26th Regiment near Krynky, occupied Kherson oblast, were expecting to be rotated off the front line. Instead they were told to take part in a river assault to reclaim the islands in the Dnipro from Ukrainian forces. They refused, instead sending a video letter to Shoigu to demand assistance and their promised leave.

The families of some Russian servicemen have complained publicly about conscripts and regular service soldiers on the front line now being told they will be there until the end of the war, even if that takes years, whilst prisoner-recruits are being allowed to return home after 6 months (often to commit more of the crimes that got them into prison in the first place).

Crimea has been hit by a horrendous storm, with 130kph winds. Russian fortifications on the beaches have been swept away, with significant infrastructure damage. The Ukrainian coast isn't having a good time of it either, with roads around Odesa being shut in blizzard conditions.

The new Moskvich Russian car is apparently being manufactured with 100% Chinese parts. Some local Russian petrolheads dismantled one and angrily posted about its lack of Russian parts on Telegram.


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Ukraine 2022-23: We don't deliberately target civilian infrastructure in Russia or the occupied territories (trying to establish itself on the moral high ground).

Russia: Oh yeah? I be we can make you, and knock you off your moral high horse.

Ukraine 2024: if you don't stop targeting our civilian infrastructure we're going to attack yours (taking a backward step away from the moral high ground).

Russia: See I told you we could make you. Now [we can claim] you're just as bad as us. We don't care if Russians suffer, besides it makes our internal anti-Ukraine propaganda more effective.

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