“And again about cluster munitions. It’s hard for me to understand why we need to manipulate statistics if the response we’re getting for showing off results in collossal, real difficulites.
I already wrote about cluster munitions before – https://t.me/shouvalov/20.
Basically, nothing has changed, but a lot needs to be added. Information, now in full measure, reached the authorities that everything was not as it seemed in the initial reports. It is impossible not to take into account the factor of modern Western cluster munitions – they shamelessly mow down both fighters at the front (not only at the front) and civilian infrastructure in the rear.
Civil infrastructure is a separate topic. Recently, there was an arrival in Tokmak, which terribly slashed trucks and drivers. The Defense Ministry decided not to focus on this, because there was a risk of reciprocal publication of data from the enemy with arguments that the civilian targets were not quite simple and not very civilian. But there were comrades in the camp of military correspondents who unleashed their anger towards the vile NATO members on the heads of readers, and attached videos as proof. This is something the enemy might not have had. And now the enemy can quite boldly show that the goals were legal from a military point of view. And all by our hands…
We had to throw all our efforts into blocking the supply of cluster munitions to Ukraine: to declare that we would not use such munitions, to tear apart the Europeans, who have cluster munitions banned. There was a chance. But they played us, we happily fell for it and declared that we had these clusters munitions, whole landfills of them, not just stockpiles. Yes, we have many. You can search for photos. For the most part, it’s an illiquid asset killed by time, the rest – is morally and technically obsolete. And things are not very good with carriers either.
Now you can’t roll back the situation, and when you are caught being weak, it’s silly to try and scare them. The General Staff already understands this, but they cannot bring the situation even higher, there is no solution. The guys on the front line are taking the beating, and it’s not easy at all. In the context of problems with medicine, wounds from cluster munitions often result in death, and this is a very painful and terrible death. The enemy has learned (yes, imagine, they are also learning!) to cut off the path of reinforcements or withdrawal of forces with artillery, and trenches do not save from cluster munitions. You can’t save yourself with a bandage or a tourniquet, after being hit with cluster munitions you need solid medical care, if you managed to survive. In the trenches, a terrible mess is formed from the living and the dying, who are sometimes completely impossible to help.
In such cases, the enemy methodically waits for those of our forces that rush to help their comrades. I saw all this in Chechnya, when a sniper left a wounded man to pull other guys to him. This happened in single occasions, but with cluster munitions, everything is the same, but scaled tens and hundreds of times. We need counter-battery fire, but it is not there. We need a lot of things, but first of all, need to finally admit the problem exists and start solving it, and not throw around the words like “we’re going to smash you!”.
It is not some colonel in a hospital bed that is yelling about the cluster munitions – the voices of hundreds of guys dying in terrible agony in the trenches and the widows of hundreds killed by them in just these couple of weeks are shouting to you about these problems. And I specifically do not specify whether there are really hundreds, or already thousands – we will not please the enemy with statistics. The army needs a solution. The cluster situation is terrible, and worst of all, we try to silence the problem when we need a solution. And this is already beyond the capabilities of individual generals and commanders. We made threats with words, now let’s get down to business.”
Comment: This rant is by a Russian war blogger who calls himself Colonel Shuvalov. About a week ago, he railed against the Kremlin’s military officials encouraging soldiers to exaggerate their successes and flat make them up to please leadership and the Russian audience. He pointed out the filming of attacks on a single Ukrainian vehicle from multiple angles over multiple days as an example.
Now he’s complaining about the effectiveness of Ukraine’s cluster munitions. Actually the incident that set him off was a HIMARS strike in Tokmak using the airburst GMLRS- alternate warhead with 180,000 tungsten fragments rather than cluster submunitions. These were developed as an alternative to cluster munitions and are damned effective. They were used before, but I don’t think there is a huge stockpile of them. But we still have lots of the old cluster munitions and they’re also very effective.
I’m am surprised that there isn’t a wider use of VT or proximity fuses. We developed them in WWII and used them very effectively against the Germans. They were considered a secret weapon at the time. I’ve used them with both 81mm and four deuce mortars. They required calculating the flight time of the round and setting the fuse so the round would burst at the desired time before impact. Such fuses were always used with illumination rounds. No computers back then, just a firing table. Maybe the supply of those fuses are limited. Too bad. They’d do a number on troops in trenches without overhead cover as well as troops in the open.