“Russia grossly underestimated the determination and professionalism of the Ukrainian forces and the willingness of the West to arm Kyiv, while simultaneously being caught out by the shortcomings of his own troops.
With the Kremlin increasingly isolated from the international system, supplies are so strained that the Russian president has been reduced to issuing orders to the private sector to fix his broken and battered tanks.
This is an admission that Moscow is critically short of the basic equipment and materials needed to fight a war, which in turn shows that it is unable to fight a war in the way that the West could.
Even Moscow has given up trying to pretend publicly that all is well.
“The burden on the Russian defence-industrial complex has increased significantly”, deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov conceded. The new bills talked about the “short-term increased need to repair weapons and military equipment and ensure supplies”.
Perhaps most crucially, it has admitted for the first time that the impact of sanctions is beginning to be felt. The new laws are “especially” essential because of the West’s attempts to cut-off the Russian regime, officials said.
With Moscow clearly attempting to regroup, Kyiv will hope that it allows enough time for vital Western weaponry to arrive, chiefly another scheduled shipment of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from America that have struck at the heart of Russia’s invasion.
Experts believe the highly accurate Himars launchers, which are able to pinpoint targets up to 300kms away using GPS-guided missiles, could help Ukraine turn the tide – but only if deliveries are massively stepped up. Washington has so far provided four of the weapons, with another four on course to arrive before the end of the month.
Putin has suffered many humiliations in recent months but an attempted takeover of industry must top the lot, including its laughable attempts to revive the Muskovich car, a vehicle so terrible that it made the humble Lada look like a Maserati.
It is an act of desperation that propels Russia back decades to the command economy of its Soviet past.
Most significantly of all, it is further confirmation of Russia’s self-inflicted relegation from global superpower to failed third-rate state and international pariah.”
Unable to even fix its own tanks, Russia’s humiliation is now complete (telegraph.co.uk)
Two articles in the media today claim ‘Moscow hasn’t started’ its actual campaign yet, and, Russia is willing to fight to the last Ukranian left standing. The Telegraph piece tells us that Russian tanks are now junk yard material worthy of a “Sanford & Son” series. Or, if you are a Brit, “Steptoe & Son” episode. Maybe Vlad plans to escalate with aircraft?
In this non expert opinion, Russia should just keep on grinding away at the Ukrainian army, keep doing what they have been doing, artillery and grads, the west doesn’t have the stomach for an army to army conflict. In a few months, it will all be over.
With all this incompetence, lousy gear and poor leadership, don’t you think it’s odd that they’ve taken and held more than 20% of Ukraine (the 20% that generates 50% of GDP) while decimating the front lines of a NATO trained and equipped force of superior numbers?
In the same newspaper yesterday Hew Strachan was urging Ukraine to come to terms while they still have something to negotiate with.
Do you have a credible source for this “20% that generates 50% of GDP” claim ?
Seems to me that the area the Russians took doesn’t generate much at all after all the destruction it sustained.
Is Crimea a part of this 20% ?
“Do you have a credible source for this “20% that generates 50% of GDP” claim ?
Seems to me that the area the Russians took doesn’t generate much at all after all the destruction it sustained.”
That was a damned good video. Thanks for the link. I strongly recommend everyone find the time to watch it. I’m definitely going to look at some of this guy’s other videos.
thanks for this video –
The Austrian Army thinks so.
Hardly. It is an opinion of a particular Austrian colonel.
I like his videos, but he doesn’t really go that much into the economic aspect in the video you linked.
He just mentions a percentage without much data to back it up. Go look at the structure of Ukie economy and exports and you will see that these figures 50% or even 80% are gross exaggerations. Even if the Russians took everything from Kharkov via Dnipro to Odessa it would still not be 80% of the economy, though it would be the end of Ukraine as we know it.
“as we know it …” word trickery.
@Steve – “50% of GDP”
Where did you get that myth? It might perhaps be half of that if the oil and gas fields of the Donets Basin are developed. But it was less than ten percent of GDP prior to the setting up of the LPR/DPR puppet states. And it will be close to zero for years due to Putin’s destruction of infrastructure there.
Not as much opportunity for graft in repairing stuff as there is in building new.
300 km: Is that for ATACMS, which has been nixed so will not be sent to Ukraine? I’ve seen figures of 70 to 85 km on the versions we sent, depending on which model of rocket is used, and how old it is.
Indeed. They seem to be learning from NATO throwing away old stockpiles of junk before twisting the taxpayer’s arm to buy lots of new stuff from those ever so kind arms manufacturers.
What’s amazing is just how much the taxpayer is willing to tolerate this kind of behaviour at the expense of socio-economic investment. Just create a “bad guy” and it seems they’ll put up with anything. Until they won’t, and that seems to be heading Biden’s way this fall and into ’24. Only to be replaced by more of the same:)
With government owned gas and oil companies and the rest of the world willing to pay – tax payers redundant
The optimism of the UK press takes my breath away.
One day, this press will hit the wall of reality and it will hurt. How will they justify their forecast errors. They are already numerous.
The ability of the press to pump us their realities without substance is worrying.
Obviously, in the long run, the Russians should lose. But for now, the current reality is that they are winning. Painfully, and not at Hollywood speed. But they are winning. The future is not written in a pile of junk and the delusions they instigate.
“The optimism of the UK press takes my breath away.
One day, this press will hit the wall of reality and it will hurt. How will they justify their forecast errors. They are already numerous.
The ability of the press to pump us their realities without substance is worrying.”
Basically, Brexit all over again.
At least, one cannot accuse British press of learning from its mistakes.
>>Obviously, in the long run, the Russians should lose.
Against whom Russia should lose in the long run? I hope you don’t mean Ukraine. If against West. Then that is also doubtful as West is approaching the crisis significantly worse one than Great Depression was. No more cheap energy for a decade at least which was the key to EU properity. Russia on the other hand will have cheap energy for an unlimited amount of time.
>>Painfully, and not at Hollywood speed.
Gulf War in 1991 took more time than this operation at the moment. And Iraq was a lot weaker pretty much everywhere than Ukraine with no NATO help with easy geography (plain desert). Russia has to basically conduct anti-terrorist operation since Ukies hide among residential blocks. Don’t forget that population over there is Russian with many relatives on the other side so Russia has to act carefully.
Do you think Ukraine could take back its lost territory in the months ahead?
Based on my understanding of the situation, the month of June was pretty damaging to Ukraine as it lost Kherson and Luhansk regions, plus it’s been bleeding manpower at an alarming rate than the previous months. Putin’s recent ultimatum to the West-in my opinion- could mark the ever more commitment to barbarism and intentional civilian targeting by the Russians to prompt the other side to submit. We saw examples of this this past month.
On another note, General Austin made it very clear to Putin that the strategy is to basically knock Russian out of the ranks of the great powers largely through sanctions and similar measures. The congress (through bipartisanship) is also intent on adding Russia to the state sponsors of terror list that include the likes of Syria, Iran and N.Korea.
On the Russian side, what is concerning is that Russian has been actually making money and selling oil, gas and grain and whatnot largely to the energy-hungry SA Asia. economically, Russian is profiting, technologically it is cut off and thus gradually being turned into its natural state, i.e. a big fat gas-station and nothing else. But the catch is that the gas station’s terrorist owner has nukes and is taking the world hostage through its actions. Some believe that it is now time (i.e. before the cold season) to sit around the table and strike some kind of ceasefire and possibly even a deal, which the French and the Germans would really really like to happen. Boris is out too and the Brits’ Russia strategy may change soon toward reconciliation. How do you see all of this unravelling colonel?
P.S.: I think the west is warming up toward the idea of reconciliation and even some kind of a deal with Russia to ameliorate the energy and food shock and to lessen the chances of the nukes exploding in Europe…
“to lessen the chances of the nukes exploding in Europe…”
Really? What are the “chances” of this in your opinion?
Historically the question of “how close” has only been known after the fact. Sometimes years. Operation Able Archer took about 30 years before it became clear how close we were to a nuclear winter…
Kherson was not lost in June. It was the first city to fall to Russian occupation back in February. The good news for Ukraine is that the have recently liberated large portions of western Kherson province. They are now said to be “in sniper range” of Kherson city suburbs. And there is wide scale partisan activity throughout the province. Russian officials and collaborationist functionaries have to now go around with ten bodyguards.
Possibly Putin’s declared ‘operational pause’ in the Donbas is to reinforce Kherson?
The West would have to do some serious arm-twisting on Ukraine to get them to agree to give up territory for peace. But even then it would just be part of the West. I don’t believe the Poles, the Baltic countries, the Czechs, Slovaks, and Romanians would go along with any such scheme. Plus Ukraine’s parliament and president have said they want all their territory back
I never liked the “Stones”, but once they sang … you can’t always get what you want”. Then something about getting what you need? What, IMHO, the Ukrainians need is peace. The eastern Oblasts and Crimea were gone five years ago. As far as the other Slavs and Balts, they may reject land for peace till the last Ukrainian soldier. Were I Zelinskyy I’d sue for peace, then turn Ukraine into a bristle of thorns no Russian would like to munch. I’d try hard to engage the Turks and Jews for an alliance (which of course would be directed as a counter to the Russians and Persians), and still beg for as many weapons from NATO as possible. As Oliver might say to Hardy, Medvedev might say to Putin “this is a fine kettle of fish you’ve put us in!”
Bill R. –
I concur. But two points:
1] Ukraine will eventually negotiate IMO, but not until they put an even bigger hurt on Putin.
2] Never go into any negotiations saying you will settle for half measures. Demand everything up front. Be pragmatic and perhaps accept a lesser outcome later once negotiations are underway.
You don’t believe the Poles/Baltics/Czechs/Slovaks/Romanians would go along with which scheme?
What scheme? This one:
The West would have to do some serious arm-twisting on Ukraine to get them to agree to give up territory for peace. And no, the Poles/Balts/Czechs/Slovaks/Romanians wouldn’t follow the dictate, if the ‘West’ ever tried. That’s why they won’t even try. 😉
Thanks for correcting me on the Kherson situation. I assume what I meant was that the aforementioned territories fell in the past few weeks, along with Luhansk more recently as a sign of things not going terribly good for the Ukrainians. Indeed it has to be some kind of operational pause with the ultimate goal of creating a land bridge from the east to the west in the Transnistria. I think Putin is hell bent on realizing this land bridge even at such high costs.
The confusing thing is the lack of coherent strategy in the Biden administration toward Ukraine. It’s all messy, reactive and inconsistent. Broadly-speaking there are too many state and non-state actors that essentially render formulation of a proper Ukraine strategy an impossible feat. I don’t think Ukraine at this stage has a lot of ‘authority’ in unilaterally settling for ceasefire, at least the U.S. won’t let it. Sure the nationalists are always gonna oppose any kind of peace talk with Putin, but are they even in a position to throw a wrench into this half-assed western strategy in Ukraine. I think not. I know it is unacceptable, but for the sake of the argument what if Zelensky is persuaded to cede Luhanks, Donestk, and Crimea to Putin in exchange for ceasefire or peace down the line and then the certain Ukrainian special units-with plausible deniability in order not to undermine whatever peace treaty the government has signed with the Russians- start waging ‘irregular warfare’ inside these ceded territories back and forth and never let these parts experience proper stability and economic revival and make the lives of Russia and pro-Russian installed puppets miserable?
“with the ultimate goal of creating a land bridge from the east to the west in the Transnistria” wouldn’t that then be followed, if not preceded, by a land bridge to Kaliningrad. And then how will this Svalbard be sorted out. I suggest a clear and simple strategy, destroy Russia’s offensive military capabilies, globally. Or be saddled forever with a war industry afraid to engage and a forever boogey man over the hill. Let’s clear the field and figure out how to get along, or not, with China.
Why agree to peace and then wage years of irregular warfare, deniability or not? That would be a Putin move. Ukraine would lose international support if she tried that.
Why all of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, which would cut off Ukraine from a huge chunk of the Dnieper/Donets Oil & Gas Basin?
Why not the 2021 borders with adjustments: allow Putin to pay for Crimean water rights; sell Putin non-military rail right of way (subject to inspection) through Ukrainian territory to Crimea and Transnistria; re-adjust EEZ off Crimean coast to return oil/gas rights to Ukraine; all Russian troops both regular and irregular out of DPR/LPR; if not then NATO membership; or if Hungary vetoes that then perhaps a Minsk-III type arrangement guaranteed, observed, and enforced by an international force that unlike the OSCE will respond strenuously to violations; and most importantly – Putin pays for the grain he stole, pays for rebuilding those cities that his artillery and missiles destroyed, returns all those Ukrainians he kidnapped, and pays restitution to the families of the civilians he killed.
A non-starter I know, but fair and perhaps a better starting point in negotiations than the 2012 borders. The other road to peace would be Cobo’s more harsh strategy above.
As I pointed out, it was me merely a scenario for the purposes of creating instability on the Russian-Ukrainian borderlands that would bleed Russian manpower and resources, plus the psychological drain effect, and possibly even transmission of instability to areas bordering the Baltics and other ‘possibilities’ that may develop over time under the right circumstances.
Again I reiterate that it would be very difficult to sell (or impose) your demands to the Russians since they are are more meat and potato sort of issues that I think take back seat compared to the stated goal of annexation and regime change in Kiev that carries with itself more essential and essential concerns, e.g. the changing of the Ukrainian constitution that suits Putin’s deranged security issues. I don’t think at this stage the Russians are open to discussing these proposals in exchange for the return to pre Feb. 24 situation. I think we need to remember that Russians- and their puppet strongmen- can’t administer the captured Ukrainian territories properly. Sure they captured them paying a heavy price, but are they even capable of running things sustainably in Luhansk and Donestk? The Russians are only good at blowing things up, on the opposite America used to be pretty adept at administrating and buildings from scratch up until the end of the Cold War. I have not seen Russia actually being any good at administrating anywhere they have sent boots in. Different doctrine I suppose. Syria, Libya, Crimea, Donetsk, Central African Republic, confirm this. If they can’t administer, it means they need local puppets merely to maintain a ‘sense of stability’ which can be seen in the cases of Luhansk and Donestk for example. But then again these puppets can’t even do this without Russian assistance. It’s a self-defeating situation that either way bleeds Russian resources and manpower.
“…are they even capable of running things sustainably in Luhansk and Donestk?”
No. They have been running it as a mini Mafia state and will continue to do so.
Putin does not own Russia and the only people he is holding hostage with this SMO are the Russian people. Also, labeling the Russian head of state a “terrorist” is the sort of name-calling indulged in by the Manichean narrative pushers in the press. Meaningless.
Russia’s “operational pause” Leith mentions is surely not a sign of strength. If they had to ability to keep up the offensive momentum they would surely have done so. Russia is being forced to fight for every inch of Ukrainian territory by a determined enemy. I am sure the Telegraph is quite correct that this was not at all the expectation at the outset. Also, where is the footage of the thousands of Ukrainian POW’s captured in the famous cauldron? The Ukies seem to have pulled off an orderly withdrawal and the pause will give them more time to prepare the next defensive line and then the one after that – all the way to the Dnieper and beyond, if necessary.
We will see what happens over the summer, but I am inclined to think that Ukraine still has a good chance of fighting Russia to a standstill. Yes Ukrainian casualties are heavy, but their ability to replace them through their early & full mobilization contrasts completely with the reportedly desperate efforts Russia is stooping to to replace losses.
Our host was largely responsible for the strategy that led to Iran suing for peace in the Iran-Iraq war – the same strategy the DIA & DoD are now employing via its proxy against Russia. If he says Russia is past the culmination point I believe him.
If Putin acts as a terrorist, talks like a terrorist then he is indeed a terrorist by the definition of the term. I don’t think I am judging him based on the dichotomy of good vs evil and offering a value judgment (Manichean as you stated) to Putin by labeling him a terrorist. I’m merely stating the facts, which I’d assume few could dispute at this point, i.e. his actions not constituting as acts of terrorism.
The way I see the situation is that despite the huge losses, the setbacks, the pariah status, the global shunning, etc. the West’s strategy is not working when Russia is making $$$ selling its resources to the developing world plus China. Putin could care less if droves of 18 years old conscripts are butchered, civilians killed, sovereignty of neighbors violated and the domestic population is suppressed. He will do whatever to remain in power. I think Putin and co. will keep playing this game for as long as they are able to sell their ‘wares’ to whoever is willing to buy them, which not coincidentally has been a lot of countries in the developing world. India is buying, Brazil is buying, Iran and Turkey and the Middle-East are buying, China is buying, etc. So I think at this point the policymakers in EU and D.C. need to start thinking beyond mere financial, economic, technological, cultural and diplomatic decupling of Russia from the ‘West’ and come up with new ideas to fix the situation more effectively without triggering nuke threats.
Barbara Ann –
Lady G (R -SC) and Blumenthal (D- Conn) are co-authors of the Senate Bill to declare Putin a sponsor of terrorism. Both are chickenhawks IMO.
You are definitely right about Putin’s ‘operational pause’.
which the French and the Germans would really really like to happen.
you are seriously misguided. Those voices are under heavy attack. Of course
Americans and Brits always knew they were either being naive or corrupt. Or anti-American, like not building terminals for American LNG in time. 😉
I cannot speak for the French. But would assume its similar.
“….technologically it is cut off and thus gradually being turned into its natural state”
Could you put some meat on those bones for me because it doesn’t look that way when one looks east to west. Russia is no longer looking westward and has decided that its future is in broader global alliances and partnerships; aka the east and south, virtually none of which are at all aligned with the US/NATO. Keep in mind that only about 30 countries out of 195 are dancing to Washington’s tune, including of course the world’s tech manufacturing powerhouse and their shared realignment of the global financial system.
It seems to me that we’ve stumbled into a geo-strategic black hole of our own making and our hubristic approach to the “others” of the world makes it virtually impossible to turn back the clock. Those “others” may not be cheering on Russia from the sidelines in the way we’re cynically doing with Ukraine but they’re certainly feeling some satisfaction in seeing the west and its sense of superiority belittled by the day.
How the west responds to this humiliation is the part we should all be concerned about each day that passes.
Thank you Steve for correctly analysing the situation in Ukraine. It is amazing to read that Russia is loosing and on its last leg, while at the same time reporting how the Ukranian dominoes are falling for example Maripol and now Lisishank. To an untrained eye it just doesn’t make sense, how one can keep taking over the enemy cities and at the same time loosing the war. Thanks anyway.
In the Donbas Ukraine was trading land for enough time to re-arm and start their own offensive. That is the same strategy that Russia used successfully against Napoleon in 1812 and Hitler in 1941. It is also somewhat similar to the winning strategy used in the Mughal-Maratha Wars some 300 plus years ago.
it is not just land they are trading. It is also a lot of experienced men and material.
Without those they will have a tough time mounting any meaningful offensive.
So are the Russians. This is a two-sided deal.
borko, modern societies have an enormous capacity to sacrifice men in war. Look at WWI. Russia will have to fight for a long time to bleed out Ukraine. I’ve looked at this – Ukraine loss rates will need to be 5-10 times greater than they are today for this to become a decisive Russian pressure point.
indeed, the Russians are foraging for fresh blood all over the place. However, unlike Ukraine they still have a few cards they haven’t played. Mobilization being one of them. Also, their military/production infrastructure inside Russia is intact while Ukrainian facilities are under constant attack.
Not necessarily. Serbia withdrew from Kosovo after only an air campaign.
Every week I see more and more cars with Ukrainian plates on the streets, driven by military aged men. I suspect it is like that all over Europe.
After banning men from leaving the country, Ukraine is now considering banning military aged men from leaving their towns of residence.
They might have serious manpower issues.
Meanwhile, here is ex Ukrainian president Poroshenko with his 21 year old son sitting pretty in London.
How’s that for morale boost.
And, in fact Serbia knew that a ground campaign would follow if the did not withdraw.
Yes, they wanted none of that.
They did a pretty good job of preserving their units despite the air campaign, however, when faced with the eventuality of a ground campaign they threw in the towel.
The Wehrmacht took many Soviet cities during Barbarossa. To the untrained eye they appeared unstoppable – until they stopped. The Grande Armée did one better and took Moscow itself and a lot of good it did them.
As TTG has explained, the Ukrainian strategy is to trade ground both for time and enemy casualties. Ukraine is a big country and has lots more cities – and plenty of large rivers to cross too. Heck, the Russians haven’t even advanced to take the town of Siversk yet.
Yes, the Russians and their allies have indeed moved on Seversk. It has been reported today that the strongly fortified area which would have a center at the town of Grigorovka lying a few kilometers to the north of Seversk has been overrun and captured. This would be a necessary prelude to a successful attack on Seversk. There is a considerable movement of artillery and troops into the high ground above Seversk by Russia, suggesting that an assault on the town could come very soon. It looks to me as if Seversk has become a pocket. Frankly, I expect a disaster for the Ukrainians in this particular zone of the war–though I can see all kinds of very serious trouble for Russia lying ahead. A collapse of Seversk will lead all the way back twenty-five miles down to Bakhmut, and soon. Bakhmut will be invested. I give Seversk a week to ten days.
I also think the fall of Seversk could mean the end of Zelensky and his bucket of stupid. He put his troops into a trap. Time for the generals to take over.
Barbara Ann what you and TTG say could be true reflection of the battlefield. However battle field realities show that Ukranians are loosing men and materials at a very high rate. Even their defense minister said that the Western supply of weapons only represent 10 to 15% of their losses. Even if these weapons are much more efficient and effective that may cut down their losses to say 50% from 90%. Also we need to remember the populations of Donbass are say roughly 50% ethnic Russian/Russian supporting, that comes no where near the problem that Hitler and his Barbarosa offensive faced with 100% hostile population. It would have been nice if the Zelensky implemented the minsk agreements (actually he got elected because he promissed to bring peace). It seems to me that horse has left the barn. I really feel sorry for the Ukranian people and particularly the young people fighting and loosing their life and limb in this unwinnable war. Thanks
Ukraine *is not* conducting an economy-of-force or mobile-defense mission to attrit Russia in Donbass. They are just saying that for propaganda.
A mobile defense mission would see Russians making advances then swiftly getting encircled and killed. You would see Russians getting surrounded or cut off. You absolutely will not see Ukrainians retreating right before their escape route got cut off.
That Bilorhovka river crossing ambush, is more of a mobile-defense attrition than whatever Ukraine did in Lysychansk.
Ukraine is conducting positional defense to protect every square inch they can. Zolote looked like the first time they tried retreating before getting cut off.
Jimmy W –
I never claimed Ukraine was conducting mobile defense or economy of force ops. Although in the Donbas they did retrograde ops while buying time in the manner of a defense in depth. Falling back when needed while attacking RU logistics and CPs with artillery. And causing RU forces to lose momentum.
Meanwhile they are and were attacking far from the Donbas in Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces.
So call it what you will. I call it trading-land-for-time.
As for Zolote, Ukraine called for a retreat from there three to four days before its capture on 23 June. Some Ukrainian troops covering the retreat were captured, but nowhere near the 2000 claimed by the Chechens. A good tip on following events on the ground in Ukraine is to never ever believe anything spouted by Khadhyrov.
“The optimism of the UK press takes my breath away.”
I assume they operate like the American press. This story was written by the British government to bolster support for the war. And to undermine Russias image.
“Obviously, in the long run, the Russians should lose. But for now, the current reality is that they are winning.”
The Russians will win. They have an overwhelming advantage in firepower. And they have deep reserves of everything from tanks to self propelled guns. Worse, for NATO, they can also out produce the West. The Russians didn’t de industrialize their country, and so while they can replace their losses, the West can’t do the same for Ukraine.
The problem with tanks is just a plumber shortage.once that is sorted the wars on again.Itzik says that a new multiple missile launcher that responds to tank fire and is gps guided that fits on the back of a civilian truck is going to be the go to choice of plumbers
NATO’s role of deterring aggression is obsolete. NATO needs to make war on its enemies. Russia is for Russians, but an aggressive military with ambitions beyond its borders is cause for war. Russian as well as other nations’ nuclear forces are not more lethal than ours. Their aggression cannot be allowed to continue based on pleas for weakness and submission from those enchanted by the psychological operations of the aggressors, which have long been insinuated into our societies
Cobo, I see are advocating nuclear suicide. Where do you live?
Down the road from a large DOE weapons lab – “no one here gets out alive”
Long before the Russians face a defeat, the Chinese, standing back to back with the Russians, will open up a second front by moving to take back Taiwan. There is no way Putin would have taken such a gambit, if this had not been the case.
The chairs on the deck of the dying Japanese nation are being rearranged, old guard are being taken off the board… Japan has enough plutonium in country for a nuclear force 10x the size of China’s… they just need the proper incentive to weaponize it. A hot war nearby where the Chinese are set to absorb more territory is the perfect trigger.
Buying ammo to blow up your own stuff is not a formula for winning. It’s not any harder than that but we will find out together what happens when you inflict trillions of damage on your own house. At some point you will need to not only repair it but tell everyone who ran away to return who have already established lives for themselves in other places. Anyone saying this is not a lost cause will eventually face reality. You won’t be happy either but that sometimes happens facing cold hard facts.
Col Lang, you have decided that critical thinking must take a back seat to patriotism.
I respect that but Russia is winning.
(BTW Russia you need more drones. Drones that use cameras and image processing to pick out targets. This makes them invulnerable to electronic warfare)
I never let patriotism or any other sentiment cloud my analysis. Russia is past the “culminating point” of its offensive and is subject to a sudden reversal of fortune.
PL: “Russia is past the “culminating point” of its offensive and is subject to a sudden reversal of fortune.”
You also said that back in March 15th, so excuse me for pointing out that your use of the word “sudden” seems more than a little hyperbolic.
They became subject to a sudden reversal once they crossed into the world of the “past the culminating point. Ever read “On War?” You are just a Russian IO troll, but it is an interesting point. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culminating_point
I am not a Russian IO troll, I read the Wiki link on the Culminating point and I would like to know exactly which serious information makes you think the culminating point has been crossed and when.
(I mean, NOT The Telegraph or other UK “information” 😀 )
You can only judge that once the thing either falls on it ass from over-extension or the offensive force is lucky enough to have achieved its objective BEFORE it reaches the culminating point. My judgment is that the Rusians and their allies have either reached that point or are close to it. See my article “JACKSON’S V CKSON’S VALLEY CAMP ALLEY CAMPAIGN AND THE OPERA AIGN AND THE OPERATIONAL LEVEL LEVEL
OF WAR” This is in Parameters. I was required to take partners in this project at the AWC
Pat “past the culminating point” is the question.
Is Russia out of mat’l, men, or money? Are they out of purposeful objectives they can reach w/what they have? To a civilian, past the “culminating point” means you have gotten too far ahead of yourself and are now exposed. The “snake needs to recoil in order to strike again”.
Would Gen’l Langov recommend “pause and consolidation”? How might Gen’l Langchuk, best use the dwell time.
I admit it, I’m rooting for Ukraine, but this fight seems impossible if Russia is determined, culminating points or not.
Russia cares little about culmination points.
This snake is not the recoil/strike type. Russia is acting as a constrictor snake, slowly and patiently sqeeezing the life out of its prey while conserving its own energy.
Except at Kharkiv, Zaporizhizhia and Kherson. To further your analogy, the Ukrainian mongoose is chewing on the Russian snake.
Pat, my point is that this isn’t the first time you have said that the Russians are now “past the culminating point”.
You were wrong then, and I suspect very much you are wrong now.
As for your question, I believe that the Russian General Staff has read “On War”, and understand perfectly well the dangers of over-extending themselves. And that’s why they are operating at the tempo that they are.
As in: they are pacing themselves, and it is a pace that they have calculated they can continue indefinitely.
That isn’t a pace that is dictated by Ukrainian opposition, nor is it a pace that is dictated by conditions on the ground.
No. It is a pace that is dictated by their understanding of how battlefield reverses occur, and therefore they are operating at a pace that prevents that from happening.
that was phase 1, when the Russians tried to pull of some kind of blitz, underestimating their opponent and overestimating their capabilities. They lost a lot of men doing so.
They have switched tactics since, and now they are squeezing and attriting the Ukrainians while taking some land bit by bit. Both sides are learning as they go, but it seems to me that Ukraine would need a massive infusion of hardware and funds to
survive this ordeal. Assuming they have enough men left willing to fight.
I have absolutely no subject matter expertise in this, but my experience with idiotic bosses in the corporate world leads me to suspect a real possibility that the Russians will eventually get themselves into a spot where they no longer can advance, they don’t have the resources to retreat, and they can’t defend in place. That suggests that they will then need to face a few very unattractive options.
Look at the picture in the Telegraph article, it gives the lie to so much.
Two ladies taking a selfie in front of a Russian trophy tank.
– in their Sunday best.
– using cell phones.
– in the background some public building, a clean, well tended square and happy well dressed people enjoying life.
1. War has not touched this place or these people.
2. The reason is because Russia is indeed executing a special military operation and has considerable reserves.
How do we know this? Because if Russia was practicing total war. AKA “Shock and Awe ™” that building would be in ruins.
What was not in ruins would be covered in sandbag blast walls
There would be no electricity, drinking water or sewerage in any Ukraine city assuming Russia followed American practice in Iraq.
There would be no public buildings left standing, no public transport and the population would be starving and in rags.
Instead what do we see?
The telegraph can write all it wants. I would be surprised if Russia didn’t have a problem servicing its tanks going from a peace to war footing. It seems we did too.
That photo show the resiliency of the Ukrainians. It was taken months after the Russians withdrew from the entire north of Ukraine. There are videos and photos of those areas being cleaned up and flowers being planted. Bridges were repaired within weeks to the north of Kyiv and train service restored. The Russians didn’t take Kyiv or totally destroy it because they couldn’t. They did manage to leave behind a path of destruction and murder in Bucha, Irpin and other areas near Kyiv. They also managed to destroy Mariupol.
Thank you and Borko for explaining serpentology. We are not dealing with a rattlesnake but a python. I understand things better now. Anaconda; the North’s strategy to beating the South in the War of Northern Aggression is not entirely restored. Unlike the American South, Ukraine has friends to its west and an overseas arms supplier as well. How long can the Ukrainian Mongoose chew on the Russian Python’s b/f it lets go and slithers away? Or can the Python crush the Mongoose? If that is the nature of the battle I return to the questions I posed to “Col. Langovv”. Is the Python too big for the Mongoose or has it run out of men, mat’l, and will to keep squeezing. Putin’s recent statement “we have not yet begun to fight” has a familiar ring. Is it bravado? If Putin controls Russia my opinion is he will squeeze away. A “loss” of Ukraine is not just a loss for Putin. It means the Russian Empire is finally over. That’s the overarching issue b/h this war, not Nuland, Neocons, Nato, or the western Europeans. They are not the causus belli. A sovereign Ukraine means a non imperial Russia and THAT is the issue.
Interesting article claims the Russian military is too heavy on tank drivers etc. and not infantry.
Back in the Cold War days, the Soviets went all in on mechanizing their entire army, including their airborne forces. Everybody rode. The thinking was that there was a good chance of having to operate on a nuclear and/or chemical battlefield. The nuclear/chemical thinking may have gone by the wayside, but the mechanization stayed.
Our Army was looking to go the same way except for the 82nd Airborne. When I went through IOBC in 1976 we were divided into light infantry track and mech infantry tracks for the last 3 or 4 weeks of the course. We in the light track were told we were an anachronism, soon to be obsolete. Everyone would be mech before long we were told. It didn’t work out that way and we’re a better Army for it.
My younger brother went infantry, Ft Hood. He was there when the first Bradleys were delivered. For the 8-10 months prior his CO, former SF, had them humping everything, everywhere, all the time… That’s the training that counted.
In the 25th Infantry in the late 70s, we were lighter than the light divisions that followed years later. At one point, I got several new young 11Cs in my mortar section. It was just before we deployed to the Philippines for amphibious training. Upon our return, we did several weeks of airmobile and jungle ops. Then the platoon sergeant told them we were going to the motor pool. They were shocked. After all that training, they figured we didn’t have organic vehicles. That was the first time they saw our Gamma Goats.
What was the name of that 82nd officer who held up his boots while under the wing of a C130 and famously said “This is our tactical mobility”? Back in the 60s or 70s I think. I’ve forgotten the specific words, could have been different but the ultimate meaning was the same? He got a great deal of kudos at the time in various military journals, and also some derogatory comments. The letters to the editor in the Marine Corps Gazette were 100% complimentary I recall.
We referred to our combat boots as LPCs, leather personnel carriers, and we, as infantrymen, were prime movers for the M-16.
LPC. That’s the word I was reaching for. Thanks.
I have had an unanswered question for quite some time about this whole Russia/Ukraine conflict and that is about the appearance that Russia has ‘stalled out’ or is near to stalling out…
If it is true that Russia is stalling out, OK; If Russia is only giving the appearance of stalling then Vlad must be waiting for something?
I found a discussion from the New Federation of China (opponents to the CCP).. the analysis was (in short) that Xi Jinping is waiting for Russia to trip the NATO countries into this and then Xi will move on Taiwan.
It makes sense to me, the discussion of what Xi might be waiting for –
Why would Vlad wait? To what end?
He wouldn’t. Holding back makes absolutely no military or political sense.
thanks TTG – I am leaning a little this way also – Vlad waiting kind of plays well for other interests – the benefit to Russia of waiting is much more obscure to me
TTG: “He wouldn’t. Holding back makes absolutely no military or political sense”
It would make sense if he believed that going all-out would tempt NATO to intervene somewhere else along Russia’s borders.
Plain commonsense says that he has to keep a large portion of his forces uncommitted and ready – and able – to deter such adventurism, which they can’t do if they are already committed to the SMO in Ukraine.
In part, I’d argue any waiting, if it is indeed occurring, benefits the Russians in that they can continue to produce and stockpile strategic arms that would only be useful in a fight against NATO (e.g., Zircon/Poseidon/etc).
Maple leaf – this one question is really making me think
If the waiting is to get parts delivered to fix those broken down tanks? (smh)
ONE thing for sure is that this current Russian military will be the ‘poster children’ for a cautionary tale on the dysfunction of kleptocracy –
I have a question for you. If Seversk falls what would that mean for Soledar and Bakhmut?
Wouldn’t the whole Ukrainian twenty-five mile front back to the Bakhmut -Sloyvansk line as roughly defined by the section of international highway between them (M-03) simply collapse?
How long do you think Seversk is going to hold out?
Days, weeks, months?
If Seversk falls, Soledar and Bakhmut will most likely be the next targets. It’s that simple. How long will it take? Could be days. Could be weeks or more like Severodonetsk. That offensive took near a third of Russia’s army and advanced at a rate measured in meters, a rate that would take 22 years to conquer all of Ukraine.
Thanks. About the time frame. I am afraid that I agree, to some extent. I don’t think Russia now has the time, given sanctions, economic duress, HIMARs, etc., to reduce the Festung city of Kramatorsk by siege, assuming that Russia could do so and felt that this was imperative…
So the real question is: How will it end? Doesn’t that mean that escalation is inevitable? And what then might escalation look like? I could not help noticing that when Rishi Sunak, ‘the cable guy,’ and a possible candidate for PM, turned against Boris Johnson and resigned, the British government fell in an astonishing crash. Something bothering them about the war? The cables? Out of sight, but perhaps then not out of mind; that is, at least not out of the mind of the leaders of the British financial establishment? So there is a top-secret, hidden concern that is growing steadily? Concern about those serpentine undersea digital connectors that give life to international commerce and without which everything will simply stop? Yes, Wall Street and ‘the City’ stop. Just plain stop.
The cleanest kind of nuclear war.
economic duress and sanctions are not hurting only Russia. I’m in the EU and my grocery bill is up some 25-30%. Some essential articles are up 40%-50% percent.
Don’t even get me started about fuel and heating costs.
People are getting restless. God knows what the next winter will bring.
Besides, Russian leadership knows that sanctions are here to stay even if they pulled out of Ukraine completely. Any withdrawal on their side would be perceived as weakness in Russia and abroad and the pressures would only increase.
Assuming they can sustain the rate of military attrition what would be their incentive to stop with their invasion ?
Thanks for the comment.
“God knows what the next winter will bring.” Exactly, and the remark applies to me as well here in Charlottesville, Virginia. Right now Chewy.com is killing me.
On July 6, 2022, Yves Smith had an article in her blog ‘Naked Capitalism’ titled “The Coming Sanctions-Induced Economic Tsunami?”, in which she quotes the head of the German Federation of Trade Unions as saying: “Entire industries are in danger of collapsing forever because of the gas bottleneck–especially, chemicals, glass-making, and aluminum industries, which are major suppliers to the key automotive sector.”
Yves mentions that BASF is shuttering its enormous 200-plant chemical facility at Ludwigshafen, across the river from Mannheim in the Rhineland-Palatinate, the largest chemical plant in the world. Why? Because it turns out that BASF, using something like four percent of German gas demand, devotes 60 percent of this to making electricity, which can be replaced by coal-fired electric plants, eventually, or so you would think, but the problem is that the other 40 percent of LNG goes to making feedstock, which would include ammonia, acetylene, etc. and surprising to me is that this stuff is the basis of other stuff such as toothpaste, medicine, cars… like everything, one might conclude. It’s all chemical! And when the German three-level national emergency plan kicks in when people are freezing, it follows that if LNG deliveries to BASF are rationed out and thus fall below fifty percent of what is absolutely minimally needed, the plant will simply be unable to function, grind to a halt, whatever. Kaput! Glass manufacturers will have the entire plant start to congeal into convoluted. hmmm undersea cable-like forms, which, by a Chilhuli, might be peeled down (just get the metal off) into a lasting monument in the Venetian style to human idiocy, weakness, perversity, and the existential threat of the internet.
The dude cannot abide without feedstock, man.
a small, though important, caveat to Boris resigning is that he hasn’t actually resigned as PM, only as head of his party (Tory party if I recall correctly) There was another PM (years back) that resigned as the head of his party and the processes that went into effect did not lead to ousting as PM – that one remained in office and never left.
This resignation as party head is only one step an a somewhat convoluted process. First off, I believe the party gets to reorganize and find two new candidates for head of the party – they have over a month to get that done.
A fast track to ousting a PM is this. The PM of GB is the Queens PM so he has to meet with her majesty at some point to discuss if he wants to fully resign. If he says YES, then HRH can start a process to choose another PM. If his answer is NO – he does not want to resign as PM, I cannot recall any PM who has chosen not to resign that has then been ousted via political legal process anyway… have to ask an historian that question.
In addition to the party reforming and choosing a new ‘Head of Party, there has to be a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the House of Commons that gets passed (or ratified or confirmed – forget what they call it)… anyway this resignation from Head of the Party is only ONE step. Boris might stay in, might not, it is a situation to keep watching.
My own speculation is that the ‘bill is coming due’ for the large number of harms with the government ordering Lockdowns and Mandates – someone has to pay damages which are slowly getting verified and proven in various legal proceedings… If that bill is coming due – these mass resignations will be individuals that need to ‘not leave the country’ and ‘be available for (closed) legal proceedings’… If the cabinet members that are resigning were mostly in charge of civilian concerns – look to those cases of mandate harm…
Oh ya, something is up – this really is one to pay attention to
HRH does not choose the PM, the party that holds the majority of votes (even if a minority party) chooses the PM, HRH merely assents. A vote of no confidence, if a majority removes the PM, and all parties try and form a majority, and if successful has a vote of confidence. Then HRH assents to the new PM.
Thanks for the comment and the caveat. I read The Spectator and don’t exactly have it in for Boris, given his association with the magazine and his friends there like the essayist Jeremy Clarke, who has been writing LowLife for years now, and who is, I think, one of the finest writers in English today. But Boris has to go.
I am kind of hoping for the Wykhamist, Rishi, but we will see. Winchester boys always know how to climb a ladder, I have read. (Anthony Sampson.) (Old Etonians make revolutions in Africa.) Now is not the time to worry about off-shore tax havens. Rishi is a very sharp guy warped in all the right English public school ways and a Thatcherite.
As for Germany. I think that there is a good chance that we will see the return of the Baader–Meinhof gang. And Americans are going to be assassinated there.
Peter Williams – I cannot reply in the format here I did know HRH does not choose a PM but can respond to a PM meeting and saying they want to step down – (HRH I believe cannot initiate that? the PM has to say he/she wants out). I forget what the process is – know there is one though.
I do not mind a correction – I am (obviously) not a citizen of the UK –
What I was trying to make clear though is Boris is not out yet, and might or might not be out for some time, or at all… was looking at the list of cabinet members that have resigned and their duties… a lot of room for speculation there…
Assent – thank you that is the word I was looking for – I thought that if the current PM gets that ‘Assent’ from HRH to step down then it is a faster process for the PM to be out.
I stumble over this one because I know there are so many restrictions on what can an cannot be done… Daughter of the American Revolution Here (actual ancestry), The USA has had a lot of decades with very little education on political structure in the UK. I prefer to learn whenever I can. SO really – Thanks
Glad I did not offend – making note of a new reading list – especially interested in looking into Jeremy Clarke…
I like Starkey’s explanations of the monarchy – he makes me smile and the lesson sinks in
As to Germany – The Baader-Meinhof gang gives me shudders – all I can say there is ‘God I hope not”
I will look into Rishi in the UK- liked Thatcher, her tenure was supportive of US concerns (IMO)
Thing is – this whole tilt to world economy is causing the people (worldwide) to need to directly address concerns in ways we never thought of. While ‘I do not have a dog in that fight’ in the UK- a government transition in an allied nation is still important to keep an eye on – even if the only reason is to know when to duck.
Tidewater & Kj –
I suspect you are right about Baader-Meinhof, AKA the Red Army Faction, returning and renewing assassinations. And bombings also. If not them then some similar group. But it won’t be a grass roots effort. Like before it will be supported, promoted, and armed by Moscow. Putin helped out with that during his former career working for the KGB in East Germany.
From wikipedia: “According to one former RAF member, on meetings with KGB in Dresden the group was also met by Vladimir Putin, then KGB resident in East Germany. On these meetings RAF would discuss weapons that were needed for their activities, and pass a “shopping list” to the KGB.”
In the US when you threaten to kill a US Senator the judge will make sure you don’t have to pay bail.
Certainly a provocative analysis of the current situation. If this analysis is wrong, while NATO acts on it, the damage to Ukraine and Europe, but the the United States as well, may very well be beyond repair. Gambling with the family jewels with limited intel of poor quality may be great to get the adrenaline flowing, but wait until the jewels are gone.
NATO entered a number of wars over the past twenty years, with nothing to show for it but huge deficits. Are we sure that this is not about getting even in some perverted way, or regaining our self-esteem? Are we rational while we look at what is happening right before our eyes? I recently read an article which described how the Russians played the ‘Kraken’, a group of soccer hooligans turned right wing soldiers defending Kharkiv. They gave them this sense of euphoria, inviting them to chase the withdrawing Russians, for which they were not equipped, leaving their defensive positions among the civilians in Kharkiv, and crushed them. Was it a correct analysis of what happened? We won’t know for sure till many years after the war. But some people in the know on our side of the fence can tell you today. However, it is not likely, under the circumstances, and with the embedded media we are left with, that they will tell us. Less so if these NATO-advisers and strategists never saw it coming, while they were cheering these boys to go on the offensive.
An impressive video of military hardware left behind when the Ukrainians vacated Lysyschansk, lined up for the purpose of showing the western donors that all this stuff is now comfortable, and unscathed in Russian hands, is somewhat akin to the ‘selfie’ shots Ukraine is publishing, and I read the comment that this is proof of Russia reaching a culmination point, no longer able to perform its operations. Better still, Ukraine rebuilding at breakneck speed. Yet, Ukrainian refugees staying with Dutch people I know, who were asked to provide emergency shelter for three months, are still there. Their next station will not be Ukraine by the looks of it, but camps being built in Poland. No way Ukraine is able to take care of its own people, though that shouldn’t be a problem with the Russian offensive stuck in the mud, and eighty percent of the country still controlled by Kiev, right? Less so since they are stuck with all this grain and farm products they are unable to export, right?
So, Colonel, you know for a fact that Ukraine has turned the corner, and from here on, with plenty of brand new weapons and even more training than they had over the past eight years, Russia should be begging for a way out, if I understand you correctly. And Europe may face some difficulty getting through the next winter, but things look hunky dory if only we stay the course. While Russia may have averted immediate disaster by leaving the Dollar and the Euro, and demanding payment in Rubles for the things the west can’t do without, from here on things can only go worse for them. As proof you mention a revival of the ‘Moskvich’ brand, which you picked from Ben Marlow’s May article in the British ‘Telegraph’ you used as a reference for your readers. Your analysis failed to uncover that this Russian carmaker entered talks with the successful Chinese carmaker ‘JAC’ to produced their models in Russia for the Russian market. ‘JAC’ set up shop in Mexico too. And as you may know, the Chinese own Volvo as well, and produce the newest Citroen model C5X for the European market. You can stop laughing now.
Please understand that I honestly try to learn from your analysis of what is happening in Ukraine and Russia, and how it will influence my life and that of billions around the globe. But I still can’t see where you are going with this. I see way too many inconsistencies, and casual asides meant to bring some color to what should be a rather dull, ‘matter of fact’ analysis if we focus on the military side. What am I missing?
“you know for a fact … I did not say that. My judgment concerned the Russians, and it is an analytic opinion.
Jake thanks.i agree with you.The Russians are fighting a war next door and have fully infiltrated ukraine society.I am 100% positive that there are Ukrainians who will side with russia.Hence khariv manoeuvre.Kherson,in my opinion is where the pivot will come from.
The winter will determine the winner
Does the concept of “culmination point” apply here? Perhaps Clausewitz theory only makes sense in the old days, and with near-peer nations fighting. Russia has air superiority, which was proven by the fact that the “40 miles” Russia convoy near Kiev was just sitting there for many days. And Ukraine has no missile defense. A lot of Ukraine weapon depots have been destroyed by Russian missiles.
If the Russians had air superiority, they would be flying over Ukraine delivering precision bombing to critical targets. Instead, they are reduced to launching their missiles from aircraft staying over their own territory. The Ukrainian trains wouldn’t be running if the Russians had air superiority, nor would the Ukrainian Air Force be able to continue to conduct sorties over Kherson. The Ukrainians have alway had some success downing Russian missiles. Lately they have gotten better. Don’t know what changed. Perhaps they received some new air defense weapon they’re just not talking about.
I think we are thinking from our point of view too much. Russians have no need for flying precision bombing to targets. Launching missiles from over the horizon and hitting the targets is much preferred if the missiles are capable of that kind of precision.
Air superiority can be achieved if you destroyed the enemy runways, isn’ it? I recall learning from other sources that in the first few days of the war, Russians had launched a lot of missiles and destroyed a majority of Ukranian runways. Sorties over Kherson are, of course, possible if some runways are still in operating condition.
The puzzlement. If the Ukranian Air Force were still functioning, why would they have not tried to bomb the Russian convoy outside Kiev? Something is not making sense.
They launched a lot of missile, but they missed most of the runways. Close, but no cigar. Why they stopped trying is beyond me. The small Ukrainian Air Force continued to engage Russian aircraft and missiles and engage in limited close air support for the last four months.
The Ukrainians didn’t launch a lot of artillery strikes against that static convoy, either. I don’t know why. At any rate, that convoy did Russia absolutely no good. Maybe the Ukrainians realized it wasn’t going to be a threat.
“If the Russians had air superiority, they would be flying over Ukraine delivering precision bombing to critical targets. Instead, they are reduced to launching their missiles from aircraft staying over their own territory.”
If that has the same effect then I’m not certain why you would think they would do the former and not the latter.
Machismo? Bragging rights? What, exactly?
“The Ukrainian trains wouldn’t be running if the Russians had air superiority,”…. you can’t justify that claim. The Russians simply don’t see them as military targets that justify the inevitable collateral damage.
You know, those old chestnuts of “proportionality” and “distinction”.
…”nor would the Ukrainian Air Force be able to continue to conduct sorties over Kherson.”
You appear to have mistaken the phrase “air supremacy” for “air superiority”. The Luftwaffe were able to conduct sorties throughout 1944 and into 1945 (Operation Bodenplatte was a very large operation in anyone’s book), but there is no doubt that the Allies had air superiority.
Air supremacy came later – mid-1945 – and even then the Luftwaffe was still flying sporadic sorties to the very, very end.
” The Ukrainians have alway had some success downing Russian missiles.”
“Lately they have gotten better.”
“Don’t know what changed.”
The Ukrainian exaggerations have increased.
Nothing more. No less.
You are right about the difference between ‘air supremacy’ and ‘air superiority’. I expect that the Russian VVS does have off-and-on ‘air superiority’ over the Donbas, no dominance though because Ukraine has been able to run some CAS missions there. And I’ll concede that the Black Sea Fleet Naval Air Arm has limited air superiority over much of the Black Sea. But even there they are extremely cautious about flying missions in the NE where Ukraine has air defenses.
But as for all of Ukraine, if the VVS has air superiority, why don’t they use it to take out Ukrainian military infrastructure? Or to take out Ukrainian HIMARS, M777s, Ceasars, and their ammunition stocks? Instead they are much too wary of flying over much of Ukraine because of the significant combat losses. So they end up using long range, non-precision missiles launched from Russia or Belarus or Crimea or the Black Sea and hit civilian infrastructure in Kiev, Odessa, Mykolaev, Kryvyi Rih, and other cities.
PS – The air situation may change soon. NASAMS will be in the next shipment:
Plus Slovakia might just honor its commitment to donate MIG-29s to Ukraine in a few months. I would bet there are already Ukrainian pilots and maintainers in Slovakia looking over the bling:
But the big news (unconfirmed) is that HIMARS just destroyed an S-400 system near Khartsyzsk in the DPR, 20 plus km east of Donetsk City. Those HIMARS must be running out of Russian ammo dumps and CPs to target.
Perhaps that is why the S400 in Syria was never able to take down US or IDF missiles?
TTG, allow me to clarify the concept of air-superiority. Or better still, I will offer a link to the Wikipedia page explaining the various stages according to NATO-doctrine.
The Russians clearly possess air superiority in this fight according to that description. A remaining capability of Ukraine to launch aircraft and helicopters occasionally, or the possession of air defense systems capable of hitting aircraft if they get lucky, doesn’t mean air superiority cannot be claimed to exist. Wiki offers the example of Serbian air defense systems, considered obsolete by NATO, downing a US stealth bomber. In 2014, when Ukraine attacked the Donbas region, Ukraine clearly possessed air superiority, even though the regional forces fighting ‘Kiev’ were in possession of capable air defense systems. My country, and Ukraine, allowed airliners to file for flights traversing Ukrainian airspace, despite the fact that high flying aircraft had been shot down over Ukraine already. The result was MH-17.
Using missiles instead of bombers doesn’t sound like an odd decision under the circumstances, as long as a country has plenty of missiles. Why risk a manned aircraft? And these missiles are damn accurate by the looks of it. You also claim that if Russia would have air superiority, they would target trains. I remember a rather awkward incident in the NATO war against Serbia, where a US bomber caused a disaster when it struck a bridge moments before a train full of passengers was about to cross it. The western media had to go into overdrive to ‘explain’ it away as a mistake. Russia not targeting trains may come across as an odd strategy from a ‘Full Spectrum’ NATO perspective, unless it is true that Russia doesn’t consider itself at war with Ukraine-proper, yet, and their only goal is to free the Donbas area, and prevent future attacks by ‘discouraging’ Ukraine.
Zerohedge had a story about 10.000 Ukrainian serviceman being trained to perform ‘insurgency’ operations. And two US senators visiting Kiev expressed their hope that it would come to ‘hand-to-hand’ fighting. I feel this goes a long way to confirm my own analysis of the original NATO strategy. Which, as far as I can see, failed miserably because Russia refused to take all of Ukraine. Instead of a ‘Blitzkrieg’ they got a slow, steady, and deadly one-sided artillery war, killing troops in great numbers which were supposed to kill as many Russians as they could when the attacking forces would storm those well prepared defensive positions, and then turn around after the Russians would have declared victory, with ‘their puppet’ in Kiev, and Zelensky and his crew in exile as an opposing, elected government, to do the ‘Gladio-thing’ of ‘stay behind forces’. Leaving Zelensky and his crew, while not attacking those defensive positions with an assault, but with plenty of artillery, and taking their time, left Zelensky and NATO hapless.
With the prepared NATO strategy in tatters, if you accept my point of view, and the economic assault missing the mark spectacularly, the west may have to adjust to prevent it from going under. I’m no Russian troll, but a father and grandfather, living in Europe, minding my own business, hoping for wise leaders to replace those who brought us this mess. I would love to add ‘through elections’, since I am in favor of democracy, but the obvious truth is that many people who are calling the shots in our part of the world have not been elected, but selected. The entire EU commission as well as the head of NATO have been appointed. I petition those doing the appointing to wake up to reality, and consider what will happen if their strategy causes wide spread economic destruction and hardship for the people. From where I’m standing those in power appear to be gambling on their ability to turn Putin into their scapegoat. But that is unlikely, and as much wishful thinking as the original plan for this conflict. Things are going sideways, fast. I treasure honest debate, and I do not claim to have superior knowledge about the art of warfare. But I still have no reason whatsoever to make amends to anything I previously stated. Convince me.
Very plausible and very good comment. I am German and I believe that we are heading to total disaster vs. Russia. The men in the Kremlin are coldly calculating and have a much better grip on reality than our leaders. Yes, I believe that the Kremlin will not walk into the trap the West has prepared. They will not occupy all of Ukraine. Instead they are bleeding the Ukrainian army to death and then will dictate the terms of a cease fire.
According to the description provided by Wikipedia, the Russians do have air superiority. And why risk manned aircraft if you can do the job with a missile?
Tony says “a lot”.
not sure how Russia can continue to store ammo in Ukraine for long term use.Just not possible.That leaves a long range missile war.
The news that putin is expecting a child,evidently a daughter is interesting.the guy is 69.
Now if Biden was expecting an addition to his family that would be truly interesting