Ukraine War, 13–14 June 2022 by Tom Cooper – TTG

Good morning everybody!

A relatively short summary today — simply because there are not many details coming from either side, and I’m not of the kind to fabricate news for the sake of ‘sizing’ my reports.


Three Kalibr cruise missiles were shot down while approaching from the Black Sea, yesterday (one by a MANPAD), and another one — probably a Kh-22 or Kh-59 — in the Chernihiv area. The Keystone Cops in Moscow reported to have ‘destroyed arsenal of artillery weapons and ammunition’. Some Russians now claim this was the first combat deployment off Kalibr-M:

….and there’s a new video — this time taken by the IR camera of a VKS helicopter — purportedly shown that unguided rockets fired by VKS Su-25 are not dispersing as widely as perceived:

…along related commentary, they are serving as ‘flying multiple rocket launchers’. Think, Ukrainian troops are not going to complain about Russian wishful thinking. BTW, in the Izium area, two Russian air-to-air missiles reportedly missed a pair of Ukrainian Su-25s. Surprisingly enough, the Keystone Cops did not promptly claim both as ‘shot down’: instead, they claimed a MiG-29 over Slovyansk and a Mi-24 over Snegirevka (Mykolaiv region) — both by air defences. Well, perhaps the video is 3–4 days old…


After days of Russian claim to have spent the last two days ‘regrouping and then attacking’ — and that almost along the entire frontline.

Izium…there are no news in sense of advances or reversals, but reports about Ukrainian air strikes (in same fashion like Russian: see, ‘spray and pray’), that Ukrainians claimed a Ka-52 as shot down, and that it is the 93rd Mech that’s leading the counterattack on Izium.

Sviatohirsk-Slovyansk….After four days of bitter assaults, the Russians have captured Bohorodichne. Then it turned out that they’ve lost whatever they have reached in Dolyna, and thus they’re now attacking the same from three directions. A village of about 1,000 attacked by three Russian tactical armies…. enough said.

Severodonetsk… while the Russians are guessing if they have ‘encircled’ 500 or 2,000 Ukrainian troops in the Azot Works’, Ukrainians brought in elements of the 112th Brigade TD and run a local counterattack towards north.

Popasna Bulge…after failing to reach T1302, or at least to capture Zolote and Toshkivka, the Russians have lost Nahirne and Bilohorivka, and seem to be on the best way of losing Vasylivka and Nyrkove. The Rusians claim to have captured Vrubivka, and half of Kmyshuvakha, to have attacked Berestove (where Ukrainians say this assault was promptly repelled), and, few kilometres further south, the Russians to have reached Vershyna, on the M-03 Highway to Bakhmut: indeed, they claim that they have already captured the same. If truth, this would be bad news for Ukrainian troops holding the frontline further south, in the area between Myronivka and Semyhirja, because their main supply link would have been cut off.

Avdiivka…think that the Separatist complains about this place being held by ’15,000 fanatic Ukro-Nazis’ is telling all there needs to be said. BTW, reasons for complaints is that it is ‘from this general direction’ that Ukrainians are shelling railways of Donetsk, the last few days: tragically, that’s causing lots of civilian casualties, too.


Ukrainians keep on pushing in direction of Kherson, still on a wide front — for better dispersion, necessary because of superior Russian artillery — and thus still slowly. Reason for slow speed: nearly everything is done by infantry, and then foremost in form of infiltrations by night — to which the RFA is finding no effective response. The Russians are not trained to fight by night, and do not like this kind of combat. Current Ukrainian targets seem to be Snihurivka, Velyka Oleksandrivka, Starosillya, Kyselivka (is in the process of being mopped up, but RUMINT has it they are actually further south-east), and Mykolivka. They might have liberated Olaksandrivka and Stanislav in the south, and RUMINT has it that an attack on Tomyna Balka is already underway. Furthermore, yesterday, Ukrainians claimed a VKS Ka-52 shot down ‘in the Kherson Oblast’. BTW, a Russian depot in Nova Kakhovka was blown up yesterday. Reason is unclear.

Comment: Just to shake things up a little, this is an update on the war from someone other than ISW. Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. He’s written a lot on air forces in the Mideast including the Russian Aerospace Force operations in Syria.

He makes some interesting points about night fighting on the Kherson front. I’ve read other accounts that much of the fighting there consists of small night patrols and night infantry attacks. I’m familiar with these tactics. They are characterized by stealth and small unit initiative. We only had a few AN/PVS-1 and AN/PVS-2 starlight scopes to aid us. Even in SF, we only used the monocular night vision goggles. I only saw the real good stuff when I was in a SMU. Today’s announcement of the latest tranche of weapons and equipment going to Ukraine includes thousands of night vision devices, thermal sights, and other optics… the good stuff. This could end up being as critical to future Ukrainian counteroffensives as the artillery, MLRS and tanks being sent east.

BTW, this Tom Cooper put out an English translation of a fine little French article on Kropyva (Nettles), a Ukrainian home grown artillery networking application that I mentioned in an earlier post. This network relies on SATCOM to function. When the Russians knocked out the Viasat satellite broadband network on the first day of the war, Kropyva also went down. Elon Musk immediately came to the rescue with Starlink and keeps it working in the face of Russian efforts to disrupt it. Kropyva continues to function over Starlink with deadly efficiency. Small wonder that Elon’s not a favorite in the Kremlin.


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51 Responses to Ukraine War, 13–14 June 2022 by Tom Cooper – TTG

  1. Babeltuap says:

    Russia would be smart to make micro moves from here on out. Turn it into long financial burndown on NATO.

    • Fred says:


      “financial burndown” The EU members and the USA are already doing that to themselves, or haven’t you noticed Bidenflationi yet?

  2. jld says:

    There are dissenting views on this matter. 😀

  3. James says:

    According to Axios a top Ukrainian official is saying that Ukraine is suffering 200 to 500 killed per day – which is significantly higher than previous casualty figures that I have seen.

    • borko says:

      Ukraine has been pretty secretive about their losses so far. Why are they now coming publicly with these figures ?

      • Poul says:

        I can see two possible explanations

        1). It’s a story to help squeeze more weapons out of Western donors


        2) It’s to prepare the Ukrainian public to the fact things are a lot harder on the front lines than has been the official version up till now.

        • TTG says:


          I think there’s a lot to your first possible explanation. Given what the Ukrainian people have endured so far, I doubt they need any convincing that this particular war is indeed hell.

  4. d74 says:

    “BTW, reasons for complaints is that it is ‘from this general direction’ that Ukrainians are shelling railways of Donetsk, the last few days: tragically, that’s causing lots of civilian casualties, too.”

    Indeed, gross error of pointing. Azimuth and range: all wrong. Witnesses on the spot say that neither railroad nor station, nor boarding platform, were reached. Nothing, but non-military collective infrastructure was destroyed. Plus some women, one of them pregnant, and children. Bloody photos and videos to prove it.

    Anyway, the German TeeVee said the Russians are shelling Donesk.
    This German TeeVee and many others have been saying that for 8 years and several thousand deaths, Moskals anyway. At least they talk a little about the deads, don’t ask for more.

    Since the destruction of cities in Germany and Japan, everyone knows that killing civilians does not make them switch allegiance and rebel against the authorities.
    Speer even said that the destruction of tax records did not prevent people from paying their taxes.
    So this is a good indication of Kiev’s determination: they have no hope of recapturing Donbass. By stooping to imitate the barbarity of their aggressors, they show that they have none of the moral qualities necessary for victory. They will lose and Kiev signed its future defeat.

    • borko says:


      I’ve heard some pro-Russian sources say that Ukraine does not really care about the destruction of Donbass since the area is largely pro Russian, it is where the rebellion started in 2014 and the Russians will be responsible for rebuilding it.

    • d74 says:

      Full back. Deutsch see the light.

      An official statement has appeared on the TV channel’s website acknowledging the mistake.
      “Several people were killed and injured as a result of shelling by Ukrainian artillery,” the report says.

      @ borko
      During the whole period of validity of the agreement “Minsk II”, eight years, the region was an integral part of Ukraine.
      Thank God, the Russians, both civilian and military, helped them. Otherwise the anti-terrorist operation would have chopped up the Moskals. But they were legally Ukrainians.
      Where is the reason to call a part of its population terrorists, including women, children and old people?
      So it is not so much that the people of Donbass have seceded, but Ukraine has violently rejected (as terrorists) the population of the two Oblasts.

      Let’s get back to something more practical. An army that says it is running out of ammunition and uses it to kill civilians rather than fight the enemy within range with the same ammunition is on its way out.

  5. mcohen says:

    Whenever I think of this latest ruk war the word caribou comes to mind.why that is beats me.

  6. walrus says:

    TTG, can I be forgiven for thinking You are clutching at straws? Tom Cooper has precisely zero credibility as an analyst of anything. He is whats called a “spotter”. an “Aerosexual” or “Cloud Bunny’ to use the words of Michael O Leary, head of Ryanair. he writes for all those would be if they could be types you meet at airshows. I would be extremely surprised if he had any insight into Ukraine whatsoever.

    He writes descriptive junk about models and color schemes of fighter aircraft. His audience is aero modellers. He is your go – to man if you want to know the color scheme of an Angolan Mig -21 during 1993 – 1995. He knows nothing about anything.

    His coy biography: “Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in the worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialisation in Middle Eastern, African and Asian air forces. As well as authoring and co-authoring 560 books and over 1,000 articles, he has co-authored the Arab MiGs book series – a six-volume, in-depth analysis of the Arab air forces at war with Israel, in the 1955–73 period. Cooper has been working as editor of the five @War series since 2017.”

    He is not a pilot or military, if he was, he would say so. He has some good references though;

    “This book is very well researched and in some ways duplicates some of what you might have read in previous books covering the individual air forces…………………………..

    ………………. It all makes for another fascinating historical study by the folks at Helion. Lots of great photos and maps along with some insight that you simply don’t get from other books on the subject. A book that I very much enjoyed reading and I know you will as well. Highly recommended.”

    “You’ll find plenty of material for air-to-air scenarios, including those unconnected with the 1956 war.” The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

    “… this is the most accurate book yet on Russia’s air involvement in Syria.” Air Forces Monthly “This is an interesting, and indeed ongoing, topic.” Military Model Scene

    “Ultimately, given its relatively modest price and high quality illustrations, this book will find a place with both the modeler and hard-core aviation buff.” Air Power History

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Glad you included the review for his book on the Russian Aerospace Force operations in Syria from Military Model Scene.

      I am of the same view re this worth of this gentleman’s ‘analysis’, especially as he refers to the RuAF as “Keystone Cops” and effectively tells us they are afraid of the dark..

      I’ll stick with that other Austrian; Colonel Markus Reisner, here is is latest:

    • TTG says:

      Walrus and Barbara Ann,

      I wouldn’t call Cooper a great authoritative military or academic analyst, either. But he refers to both Ukrainian and Russian sources and writes clearly and plainly. His most egregious offense is that he doesn’t treat Putin, the Russian war machine or their invasion of Ukraine with the respect and reverence demanded by so many Russophiles. I fail to see the errors in his simple chronicling of military events.

      Now those briefings by Colonel Markus Reisner are very helpful. He notes the Ukrainians are bound to lose some of their new heavy weapons to combat because of imperfect A2/AD. Those long promised German Gepards would help in that, especially if teamed with the new MLRS. But it’s worth mentioning that the Russians are also suffering from imperfect A2/AD. They are losing a shit ton of heavy equipment and ammo depots to Ukrainian air and drone activity.

  7. John Anderson says:

    Big day today: Putin to deliver ‘extremely important’ speech – Kremlin (RT)
    and…NATO runs into multipolar world order Indian Punchline – M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

    • joe90 says:

      M. K. BHADRAKUMAR is interesting as he gives a good insight to India´s Foreign Office, he/they are on stage 2 of their discovery that NATO talk and reality are not the same. He still thinks this war may go to the end of the year. Also if you read between the lines there is some bitterness coming out, no one likes to be sold as a fool.

  8. leith says:

    Walrus –

    What about the UK’s chief of defence staff? Does he also have zero credibility with you? Sir Tony Radakin, UK armed forces chief, says regarding the Ukraine war that Russia has “strategically lost”.

    Or do you consider him another model plane amateur?

    • AngusinCanada says:

      Look around. Who do you think has “strategically lost” at this point? My goodness. I mean, the entire ‘West’ is a collective mess with absolutely no coherent strategy (besides shooting itself in the foot repeatedly), and the infighting and recriminations are already flying. And Russia has been pulling its punches. Let’s see if they cut off energy, foodstuffs, metals, etc. entirely to the West.
      They’ve shown incredible restraint in not having done that yet.

      • leith says:

        Angus –

        So the global coalition of 50 nations are all in your “collective mess”? Macron, who used to say negotiate so you don’t humiliate Putin, is now saying peace will only come when Ukraine has all her pre-2014 borders restored including Crimea.

        Mean while Putin has China taking advantage of him getting double deep discounts on Russian oil but too afraid of losing trade to send him weapons. India will seek to take advantage also, Egypt maybe also. But after seeing the failure of Russian weapons in Ukraine neither will be anxious to buy more, so that is another export sector of Putin that is going belly up. CIS countries maybe are still trade partners but some of them are running scared of being his next victim. Syria will stick with him, rightfully so. And the Taliban is still his good buddy.

        • joe90 says:

          “So the global coalition of 50 nations are all in your “collective mess”?”

          Well the correct word is vassal not nation. If Russia turns of the gas millions in Europe will die, my guess 3-8, Spain is ok for now as we get most gas from Algeria, we also get a lot of electricity from France, that will be stopped if France has to save itself. It´s alright you yanks saying we should fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, you wont have to deal with frozen water and no diesel. Estonia already has 20% inflation and it´s only early summer, wait to see what happens when money means nothing because the food can´t be delivered.

          Oh we should get off cheap Russian gas, well that wont save millions this winter. Also a lot of us have noticed, your answer is buying your expensive LNG.

          As for China, well who was it who gave him no option? But you will be warm while a lot of us wont see next spring if this gets worse. So I guess we (Europeans) are the new Iraq, Oh well.

        • joe90 says:

          Can you please give me a reason why if the Russians turn off the gas in August, my 3-8 million is wrong. I would really like to be wrong. Don’t worry I live in the campo, drying trees and for reasons, I have learnt how to live in cold climes.

          Still most can’t, so a reason please!

    • Steve says:


      Those “tiny gains” amount to at least two UK’s.

      But here we are again, with a baseline assumption that Russia wants Ukraine. There is no evidence to support such a plan and for the Russians to have ever thought it was at all viable would have been ridiculous. Does anyone really believe that they ever wanted that Ukrainian economic albatross around their necks needs to do some serious thinking.

      And these days with the Ukrainians drafting grandpa their army gets older by the day, and as we all know anyone over the age of 24 becomes pretty much useless as an infantryman. But maybe the Admiral has never had to think about that….

      We can already see who the winners and losers are: the Russians, the Ukrainians the rest of Europe and, of course the American people who may just be waking up to the lie behind “Putin’s inflation.” The winners? US arms manufacturers and their shareholders.

      But it’s time to begin thinking about the broader geo-strategic consequences of this war, and what the global realignments will look like. I doubt they’ll favor the west.

      • TTG says:


        Russia’s territorial gains occurred in the first two weeks of the invasion. Since then, they’ve lost more than they’ve gained. Those old Ukrainians are almost exclusively in the Territorial Defense Forces are are proving remarkably effective when employed within their capabilities.

        Yes, there will be global realignments as a result of the this war. Russia is becoming isolated. China talks a good game and is taking advantage of Russia in forcing cut rate prices for oil and gas, but are providing no real support to Moscow beyond that. When Lavrov asked for more missiles, Xi refused. Russian military sales will probably dry up. First, they won’t have anything to sell and, second, their reputation is shot. I think the realignment will lead to a greater push for national self-sufficiency which will not favor the international trade crowd. That would be a good development for all.

        • Steve says:


          What were those gains in the first two weeks? Are you speaking to the blockage of Kyiv to keep 50k Ukrainian troops blocked in? At the end of May I posted two French MoD maps showing the gains made in the east between the end of April and 25 May. They had effectively taken the Donbas region with a few areas where the Ukrainian troops were locked in.

          As for the global realignment: only 30 countries are involved in the US’ sanctions regime the rest of the world had just had enough of the “indispensable” and its wars. Among them of course are China and India who just love Russian resources.

          Where did you see that Lavrov asked for missiles from China? Was it from US or Ukrainian state aligned media? 🙂

          • TTG says:


            In addition to having Kyiv surrounded on three sides, Sumy surrounded and Kharviv almost surrounded, most of Luhansk Oblast was taken, Kherson and Melitopol were taken, Mariupol was surrounded and Mykolayiv was threatened in the first few weeks of the war. Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mykolayiv are now Moskal free. The Russians are now making slow and costly progress in the Donbas. Luhansk is taken except for a section of Severodonetsk. In Donetsk, much of the front is still along the original LOC.

        • joe90 says:


          Russia is not interested in territory, they already have enough. Their military doctrine is based on the concept of annihilating the enemy in detail. Do that and then work out what´s left. That is why the Soviets won in Afghanistan and we lost, same with Iraq. We took both capitals but didn´t defeat the opposing force, so we became sitting targets. We did patrols in Bagdad but no one could explain why, so we got hit by IED´s. Go do a patrol, for what purpose, to show we are here! BOOM!

          ” Territorial Defense Forces are are proving remarkably effective when employed within their capabilities.”

          Maybe but since they are not, they are just being slaughtered as artillery fodder.

  9. walrus says:

    Leith, why yes, Russia may have “strategically lost”. That is a value judgement that will only become clear long after the end of hostilities. However tactically, on the battlefield, is another matter. I don’t know if Russia is losing nor does anyone except perhaps the Russians and the Ikrainians and they aren’t telling. The Biden Administration has already criticised Zelensky for being less than frank.

    To put that another way, Pearl Harbor was a great Japanese tactical victory. Strategically? You know the answer to that.

    • leith says:

      Walrus –

      Unfortunately for Putin, he has not scored any great tactical victories. A few minor ones perhaps and those will be overturned. So your comparison is a bit inapt. Unless you consider the torture and murder of hundreds of Ukrainians by his neo-NKVD ‘Special Purpose Police Units’ a victory. Or the massive bombardments on civilian targets by artillery, rockets, ballistic & cruise missiles, and air strikes. Or the kidnapping of thousands of Ukrainian children – maybe he considers that a triumph for his country’s declining birth rate.

      I think Radakin’s primary point was that NATO will now be stronger than ever. Putin turns out to be NATO’s best recruiter.

      • joe90 says:


        You are correct taking 20% of Ukraine is not a tactical victory, it´s called a strategic victory. Get a few of those and it´s called “winning the war”.

        In any event I´m sticking with July as the over/under for the end of this war.

  10. Fred says:

    Another great tactical victory for the Ukrainians, they sank the Russian seagoing tugboat Vasiliy Bekh, which had been running supplies to Snake Island.

    • leith says:

      She was armed with Pantsir SAMs.

      • Fred says:

        That’s not exactly a point defense system for taking out sea skimming missles.

        • joe90 says:

          Well, I don´t wont to toot her horn but it is supposed to be able to take them out. However the Pantsir is usually the land based version so if it was armed with that then it was probably jury rigged which could explain things.

          Also, not even the Soviets had dedicated AD on tugs. It would be jury rigged but if you were that worried about missiles you wouldn´t send a tug without escort in the first place. Hmmm.

          • joe90 says:

            They probably had SA-18 etc MANPADS, not Pantsir, good for helicopters, even drones (depending) but against missiles, pure luck.

      • leith says:

        Fred –

        You are right about a Pantsir not being a point defense system, jury rigged or not. Goes to show Putin’s desperation.

        What she was carrying to Snake Island in addition to ‘supplies’ was a Tor SAM system and its crew. It was a valid military target. Definitely not a ‘great tactical victory’ as your ironic comment mentioned. More of a minor setback. But it is another straw or so on his back, with enough more of those his spine might crack?

        I note that now Putin has sent two of his Black Sea Frigates of the coast of Romania. So he is still trying to stop Ukraine from exporting her grain via Moldova to the Danube? It seems to be part of his game plan to blackmail the world with mass starvation in order to get his sanctions lifted.

        • joe90 says:



          That is a TOR. The Russian´s don´t have a ship based version and to be honest it should be retired. The only reason I can think they keep it is because it works, but it is quiet clear they will get rid of it ASAP based on maintenance costs. NATO (not China, their best is a licenced copy and that is their standard SR AD) has nothing like that and apart from missiles it´s 80-90s tech.

          The Pantsir is not a PD system it is a PD/SR system with a range of at least 30km and height of 25km with a min of 5 meters, so able to hit sea skimming. That is with missiles, guns have a min of 0 meters.

          Also, it was the Ukraine that mined it´s own the ports in fear of Russian navel infantry.

          Also we know that most Ukraine grain goes to Europe by rail, only 4-8 million is shipped outside of Europe on an average year. We know that Russia has had a bumper year so the Grain shortage has been caused by the NATO countries. stopping Russia from exporting

          We also know that the grain shortage is BS since Ukraine is sitting on 20+ million tons that it refuses to export. The Ukrainian president has said he will not export grain unless he gets weapons, If there is a shortage (let put aside NATOS banning of Russian grain exports) then it is caused by Ukrainian policy.

          As for price increases, well Brandon increased the money supply by 20% (hmm, what level is inflation). Also Brandon has done everything he could to make sure the USA went within 3 years from “we can export because we have more oil than we need to $5 a gallon” ?

          Finally, Moldova is land locked. Use a map to help yourself. Frigates do not travel on land and the black sea is a sea, it is not land.

          • leith says:

            joe90 –

            Those Russian ships were photographed from Romania’s Black Sea gas platforms Ana and Uranus about 25km off from the Danube River delta. They were Project 22160 large patrol ships. One of them had a modularized Tor-M2KM SAM chained to the helo deck. No frigates so I stand corrected, the frigates were reported docked in port, except for one patrolling just outside Sevastopol.

            Moldova does have the small port of Giurgiulești on the Danube, which gives it access to the Black Sea. Check a map. But it has limited port facilities. That is the probable bottleneck that Fred mentions below. I would expect that if Ukraine is sending grain via Moldova they might send it further south or west by rail, or barge it thru Romanian waterways.

          • leith says:

            joe90 –

            PS – Putin has been exporting stolen Ukrainian grain to Syria and looking for other buyers. Ukraine wants to demine her ports and ship grain, but are prevented by Putin’s Black Sea Fleet.

            And NATO has not banned Russian grain exports.

        • Fred says:


          It was a 150′ tug capable of 14 knots. When they start using barges like the Japanese navy in the Solomons they’ll be targets too. As to Romania, probably not. It looks more like a bottleneck caused by canal and pier operational limits as reported in RFE:

          To further play devil’s advocate: Is part of Biden’s plan to ” blackmail the world with mass starvation in order to get…” Putin to do as told? I ask this in regards to the sanctions on Russian exports, which includes grain and fertilizer and surprise(!) urea. The latter not being only a fertilzer but a key ingredient in DEF, which your modern deisel engines won’t run without. (Thanks EPA and Climate Change(!) regulators world wide). Expect more transportation cost increases as that shortage hits around late summer.

          I’m sure the Gay Transportation Secretary, who ensure he got his 60 day stay at home out of the way first months on the job, will do a bang up job solving that. Unless that give it to Energy ‘look at my stock portfolio now’ Secretary Granholm. Hopefully one or both of them will call Union Pacific and ask them why the hell they are extorting Pilot/Flying J corporation on rail shipments of DEF. Pilot/Flying J accounts for upwards of 30% of total DEF sales in the US. All those long haul trucks might just come to a grinding halt if that happens. Kind of like Joe’s bike ride in Delware today.

          As a footnote, what are the grain exports out of Belarus and why are they blocked?

  11. Poul says:

    The logistic side of Western weapons. An interview with Brig. Gen. Volodymyr Karpenko, Ukraine’s land forces command logistics commander

    “Gen. Karpenko: You have to understand why maintenance is very important today. Most of the heavy equipment that we use is operated in such grave conditions due to heavy artillery shelling and heavy fires. The equipment doesn’t stop being operational because it’s used up. It stops being operational because of constant artillery shelling.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have an opportunity today to have foreign supplied equipment sent back to a restoration facility simply because of time constraints. That is why we are discussing spare parts here so that we can maintain and repair that equipment right in the field.

    For example, the M777 artillery systems are really prone to being damaged by enemy artillery. For every battery of M777, there are six pieces.

    After every artillery contact, we have to take two artillery pieces and take them back to the rear to maintain them because some of the subsystems are damaged by shrapnel. This happens every day.”

  12. jld says:

    A plausible explanation why the Ukrops prefer bombing civilians in the Donbass with their brand new French artillery rather than the Russian military.

    • leith says:

      You can tell Putin is really getting desperate about Macron’s 155mm’s when he puts out propaganda that they are targeting civilians. Shelling civilian infrastructure is what Putin does so he figures the world will believe the lie that the Ukrainian cannoneers do the same.

  13. borko says:

    Interview with two Americans captured while fighting in Ukraine

    • TTG says:


      Excellent article. We hear plenty about the Ukrainians running low on ammo, especially for their Soviet era equipment. The Russians are almost out of their 122 shells. Another problem is the tubes wearing out. I’ve only seen one photo of a blown out tube of a LNR/DNR D-30. I bet there’s more. Russian maintenance has been shit. Canada is already sending replacement tubes for the M777s.

      This is from the Daily Kos written by Kos himself who served in an MLRS unit.

      “I got a question for anyone here with an artillery MOS that sort of bothers me. I remember how finicky you guys were maintaining our guns — literally tracked every shell fired and were constantly tinkering with those guns. My understanding was that those tubes, mainly the throats, had a life of about 2,000 full charge rounds- if you maintained them that is and the more hot those tubes were — firing constantly — the worse it is on erosion and wear. That micro cracks can appear and if you don’t maintain them they can blow at the breech -right? They break.  It is a pretty good guess RU is not maintaining them properly, too. Fuck — they don’t do anything right.”

      “Even if they were — if you are kicking out 50,000 rounds a day then every day, on average, they use up 25 tubes lives. Every day on average — or is my thinking too simplistic?  I cannot even imagine how difficult it would be to change out those tubes in the middle of a fight. They are fucking really big and heavy. Just getting them to the lines where they are located/needed would be a nightmare. I guess anything is possible — but Jesus could they really pull that off on hot fields? I fully understand they  may last a little longer then 2000 rounds, life expectancy to some extent— but they get more and more off  as they deform until they are completely not useable at all. And that is if you maintain them. DO I understand this about right? — it has been a long time. Seems to me this question is going to come up soon — since they have been constantly firing those guns for almost four months — 50,000 rounds a day — right? I mean really — they have to dump a whole lot of ordinance to get a target that Ukraine can do in just a few rounds in the new stuff. Right?”

      I led a weapons platoon for a year with a section of 81mm mortars. In that time we replaced one tube with micro cracks and only burnt out one tube. That was during a 30 minute night FPF with one tube firing illumination. We fired far beyond the acceptable rate of fire and cooled the glowing tubes with water. We left a watching 105mm gun battery commander in awe. That one tube was noticeably burnt. Our S4 wanted me to pay for it through a report of survey. Our CG, who witnessed that FPF tore up the report of survey and congratulated me and my mortar section for a magnificent demonstration. He told all that’s how we should be training. That was Willard Scott, an old cannon cocker who was an absolute fan of mortars. I met him again when he was Superintendent of West Point.

    • Fred says:


      An interesting article. It misses a lot of key things our politicians refuse to discuss, but praising the military-industrial complex, that’s great.

      “The second crucial assumption is that industry can be turned on and off at will. This mode of thinking was imported from the business sector and has spread through US government culture.”

      That proved a key weakness in the West that is being exploitd especially well in the economic warfare against it that the East is engaging in right now.

      “Luckily for the US, its gun culture ensured that small arms ammunition industry has a civilian component in the US.”

      Unfortunately for our MIC that’s under attack by the Biden administration right now and missing from the analysis is the announcement that the administration is ordering Winchester, which operates the US Government’s Lake City ammunition plant, to stop selling .223 and 5.56 calibur ammunition to the civilian market. (Of course this has nothing to due with curtailing civilian use in the US(!)) I suspect the Ukrainians need to be less trigger happy.

      Lake City accounts for the 30% of the domestic ammunition use in the US according to some sources. So the author(s) at the Royal United Service Institute are a bit off on their understanding of the market dynamics. (maybe a few of us should apply for one of their openings just to give a different perspective to their funders)

      When they get around to the logistics of getting the ammo to the front they might want to talk about shipping, deisel fuel, refining, and DEF – because ‘ClimAte ChAngE’ is more important than victory in war. Then they might ask why the Ukraininan’s don’t have their own munitions industry becuase did they really believe they would never have to defend their own borders with military force?

      • TTG says:


        Ukraine didn’t emphasize the manufacture of artillery ammo until 2018 with the opening of the Artem production plant in Kyiv. It produces 152mm and 30mm ammo and also began producing 155mm for her, at the time, leisurely transition to NATO standard. I don’t know what was produced in the Soviet days. This Artem plant does produce some laser guided shells that proved quite successful.

        • Fred says:


          You mean that under the prior governments from the post USSR years the threat of war was so low it wasn’t needed, but after the great Nuland-Neocon revolution and the Minsk agreement abrogations they’ve had to arm up? What a coincidence.

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