Ukraine – Russia … not more of the last thread

M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
And there is this:

>>>Actions speak louder than words. We see no signs that Russia is leaving Kherson without a fight. A part of the ru-group is preserved in the city, and additional reserves are charged to the region. [Ukrainian flag image] is liberating territories based on intelligence data, not staged TV statements. <<<

There are conflicting reports about the situation in Kherson.

There have been videos of Russians crossing the Dnipro river:


It appears to me that the Russians are keeping quite a few forces in place in an effort to cover the evacuation:


Chuck Pfarrer states that this will be an extremely difficult operation for the Russians:


Pfarrer also states in another post that "UKR forces have been granted a golden opportunity to smash retreating RU units while motion. Mass RU casualties expected at river crossings." I'm a little surprised that the Russians have apparently been able to keep quite a few ferries in operation. It seems like these would be "sitting" (swimming?) ducks for drones and artillery.

My best guess is that the Russians decided they need to get out now before winter because it would be even more difficult to supply their forces across the Dnipro river in the winter.

There has been a lot of speculation that this is a Russian trap of some sort. I've been suspicious of this, but it is starting to look more and more like the Ukrainian forces are giving the Russian forces a good old fashioned *ss kicking.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
Pfarrer states that Surovikin and Shoigi will be scapegoated if the withdrawal becomes a rout. This could be true, but I have also read reports by people who claim to know a lot about Putin who say that Shoigu is one of the few military people that Putin knows personally and trusts.

I do not have any specific knowledge, of course.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
There has been a lot of speculation that this is a Russian trap of some sort. I've been suspicious of this, but it is starting to look more and more like the Ukrainian forces are giving the Russian forces a good old fashioned *ss kicking.
The Institute for the Study of War states that the withdrawal is unlikely to be a Russian trap:

>>>The Russian withdrawal from the west bank of the Dnipro is unlikely to be a trap meant to lure Ukrainian troops into costly combat near Kherson City, as some Ukrainian and Western sources have suggested.[6] ISW has previously observed many indicators that Russian forces, military and economic assets, and occupation elements have steadily withdrawn from the west bank across the Dnipro River, and Russian officials have been anticipating and preparing for withdrawal in a way that is incompatible with a campaign to deceive and trap Ukrainian troops.[7] Russian commanders will certainly attempt to slow Ukrainian advances to maintain an orderly withdrawal, and some forces may remain to delay Ukrainian troops in Kherson City itself—but this fighting will be a means to the end of withdrawing as many Russian units as possible in good order.<<<

 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
I'm not sure how true this is, but it's food for thought.

>>>In some ways, the best news about the retreat is that it provides more evidence that Putin is rational — he isn’t another Hitler who wants to die in his bunker and doesn’t care how many people he takes with him. . . . The Russian strongman is a rational actor who is willing to retreat under pressure if it is to his advantage to do so.
That should lessen concern that Putin will launch World War III if he doesn’t get his way in Ukraine. Putin certainly miscalculates (as he did in invading Ukraine), and he is definitely reluctant to concede defeat. But he is not unstable, stupid or suicidal. Thus the retreat from Kherson offers encouraging news not only about the state of the war in Ukraine but also about the state of Putin’s mind.<<<

 
M

Mojo Navigator

Audioholic Intern
I'm not sure how true this is, but it's food for thought.

>>>In some ways, the best news about the retreat is that it provides more evidence that Putin is rational — he isn’t another Hitler who wants to die in his bunker and doesn’t care how many people he takes with him. . . . The Russian strongman is a rational actor who is willing to retreat under pressure if it is to his advantage to do so.
That should lessen concern that Putin will launch World War III if he doesn’t get his way in Ukraine. Putin certainly miscalculates (as he did in invading Ukraine), and he is definitely reluctant to concede defeat. But he is not unstable, stupid or suicidal. Thus the retreat from Kherson offers encouraging news not only about the state of the war in Ukraine but also about the state of Putin’s mind.<<<

I will respectfully disagree. What I see is that military decisions are being taken away from Putin or his generals now have the authority to over-rule him when it is clearly detrimental to Russian military readiness. The Russian military had to put Putin on a leash to restrain him from making more disasterous decisions on the battlefield. Which reflects Putin's weakening position within the Kremlin.

Putin and Shoigu are best friends and neither have military experience. Armchair generals. Their military strategy has, so far, been an abject failure. This has severely weakened Russian military power and readiness across the Russian Empire. But the Russian blunders have put Russia in a situation it cannot win. Hence, the nuclear threats.

A few weeks back Putin's strategy was to hold Kherson at all costs. A Stalingrad v2.0 idea. Given the realities on the ground this has terrified the military leadership since there was no way for Russia to find victory in the Kherson theater. It was a lose-lose outcome and potentially another major Russian military disaster which could lead to the collapse of the entire Russian military.

Then, yesterday, in a poorly staged military drama filmed for the West/Ukrainian audience, they stiffly delivered the prepared speech announcing the withdrawal of Russian from Kherson. The stupidity of the Russian Military publicly announcing their strategy to "save lives" belies how utterly idiotic Russian strategy actually is. It shows that only Russians could ever believe in their own propaganda.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
I will respectfully disagree. What I see is that military decisions are being taken away from Putin or his generals now have the authority to over-rule him when it is clearly detrimental to Russian military readiness. The Russian military had to put Putin on a leash to restrain him from making more disasterous decisions on the battlefield. Which reflects Putin's weakening position within the Kremlin.

Putin and Shoigu are best friends and neither have military experience. Armchair generals. Their military strategy has, so far, been an abject failure. This has severely weakened Russian military power and readiness across the Russian Empire. But the Russian blunders have put Russia in a situation it cannot win. Hence, the nuclear threats.

A few weeks back Putin's strategy was to hold Kherson at all costs. A Stalingrad v2.0 idea. Given the realities on the ground this has terrified the military leadership since there was no way for Russia to find victory in the Kherson theater. It was a lose-lose outcome and potentially another major Russian military disaster which could lead to the collapse of the entire Russian military.

Then, yesterday, in a poorly staged military drama filmed for the West/Ukrainian audience, they stiffly delivered the prepared speech announcing the withdrawal of Russian from Kherson. The stupidity of the Russian Military publicly announcing their strategy to "save lives" belies how utterly idiotic Russian strategy actually is. It shows that only Russians could ever believe in their own propaganda.
As I understand it, you disagree with Boot's statement that "The Russian strongman is a rational actor"? I believe you are saying that the retreat is rational, but it was done against Putin's will because he was overruled? (i.e. I assume you are disagreeing with Boot, not my statement that Boot's opinion piece is food for thought?)

Do you have direct knowledge of facts? If so, please spill the beans. Who overruled Putin?

If the retreat is rational despite Putin being irrational, it might still be good news in the sense that someone rational is in control.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Seriously, I have no life.
I am just pondering if this place may be the target of a tactical nuke when UKR enter the city. Or, the rumor or truth, that civilians were forced out of their apartments and homes and males in civilian clothing started living there that to me would indicate military out of uniform, Wagner group perhaps, setting up for a city street to street fighting?
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
You mean you were not invited into the inner circle? ;) :D
Tell them about the curiosity at AH. :D:D:D
Actually, I turned Putin down when he invited me to his daughter's birthday party last year, and I think he was a bit hurt by that. Ever since, he doesn't give me inside updates on his latest world conquests, or the latest additions to his Blu Ray movie collection.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
Here's an interesting thread by Greg Yudin. The gist of it is that the only way Putin avoids defeat is if he somehow breaks up the coalition.

>>>There are three reasons why Putin is losing this war. Two of them cannot be fixed. That’s why Putin doubles down on solving the third 1/9

First: Motivation. Russian army has no business in Ukraine. No number of draftees will solve this problem. In fact, it will only make things worse, because every next batch is less motivated that the previous one. Russia is simply running out of idiots 2/9

The Kremlin has just started severe ideologization and militarization of Russian education to get the young committed to fight. Most probably, it is too late. Russian young are skeptical about this war, and will be increasingly opposed to it 3/9

Second: Russian army is too hierarchical and corrupt. Replacing one butcher with another in military command will change nothing 4/9

Russian military is built on despise of soldiers’ lives and suppression of their initiative because Putin’s state is founded on the same principles. It will take changing the state to repair the army 5/9

Third: Russia faces a coalition with practically unlimited resources. Ukraine will never stop fighting because Putin frames it as a genocidal war. The question is whether Ukraine will have resources for that 6/9

This is Putin’s only hope at this point. Nuclear, energy, or grain blackmail, creating divisions in Europe and in the US – all of this is meant to break the coalition 7/9

Those who say that Putin cannot be defeated, or that he should be offered a chunk of sovereign Ukraine as an off-ramp, or that he should be kept in power to avert the worst – these people are the only ones who can help him snatch victory from the jaws of defeat 8/9

Putin is not invincible. He will be soundly defeated, and rather soon. If only some useful idiots don’t step in to save him 9/9<<< (emphasis added).

 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
Putin is not invincible. He will be soundly defeated, and rather soon. If only some useful idiots don’t step in to save him 9/9<<< (emphasis added).
Here in the real world Ukraine has now liberated a great deal of territory:

>>>Ukraine has liberated approximately 74,443 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory since Russia's full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022.<<<


This reminded me of Tucker Carlson's statement in August:

>>>"By any actual reality based measure, Vladimir Putin is not losing the war in Ukraine. He is winning the war in Ukraine"<<<

 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
According to this NY Times article, Milley is in favor of negotiations because he thinks the war could devolve into something resembling the prolonged trench warfare of WW1 with neither side gaining significant territory.

>>>Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has made the case in internal meetings that the Ukrainians have achieved about as much as they could reasonably expect on the battlefield before winter sets in and so they should try to cement their gains at the bargaining table, according to officials informed about the discussions.

But other senior officials have resisted the idea, maintaining that neither side is ready to negotiate and that any pause in the fighting would only give President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a chance to regroup. While Mr. Biden’s advisers believe the war will likely be settled through negotiations eventually, officials said, they have concluded that the moment is not ripe and the United States should not be seen as pressuring the Ukrainians to hold back while they have momentum.<<<


Obviously, reasonable minds can differ on this:

>>>I have great respect for Chairman Milley who has access to intel that I don't, who carries responsibilities I don't. But if this article is accurate, then I completely disagree with his assessment of the situation and his recommendations. They seem uncharacteristic for him.<<<


It seems to me that Ukraine can continue to push Russia out if the coalition sends enough military hardware. Perhaps Milley is concerned that the West will start to go wobbly on it's support for Ukraine.
 
M

Mojo Navigator

Audioholic Intern
To me, it appears that Russia will retreat to Crimea and Donbas where they have fresh defensive positions prepared. Some time ago the military has realized that anything else would result in a military embarrassment. They are hoping to preserve those territories for negotiations. Russian troops have fractured and the retreat has been chaotic regardless of what the the TV says. It would be nearly impossible to reconstitute battalions from what remains of the Russian army in Southern Ukraine on such short notice.

The Russian military strategists are fooling themselves into thinking that blowing up a few bridges across the Dnipro will stop the Ukrainian advance. They assume this has bought them time and allow the Russians to regroup. They are wrong.

Ukraine has momentum and are now highly motivated. It was reported that they had amassed 60,000 troops in preparation for an assault on Kherson. When the Russians abandoned Kherson it will allow the Ukrainians to redeploy that force fairly rapidly as they are already prepared for battle in the South.

With the Russian army in retreat and lacking strong defensive positions they will fall easily to an aggressive Ukrainian assault on their rear. Early reports indicate that the Ukrainians are already on the opposite bank of the Dnipro and meeting light resistance because the bulk of the Russian army has left the field. This will cut off any resupply to Crimea directly from Russia via Mariupol.

Ukraine will cut off the water supply to Crimea and attack the Kerch Bridge again and again. All of Crimea will be within range of Ukraine's artillery and drones. Resupply by sea will be extremely risky and tenuous. It will be a cold, dark, terrifying and thirsty winter for Russians in Crimea. It is indefensible and the Russians know it. This will make more Ukrainian troops available to redeploy elsewhere.

More bad news for Russia. The Ukrainians have captured some of the low tech Iranian drones and are rapidly developing their own improved version of this weapon to use against Russia before the end of the year. And they will not have supply chain problems to deal with, allowing them to manufacture as many as they need. So, the Russian military has opened a Pandora's Box and now must live with the consequences. These drones can carry heavy payloads and travel 1200 km/miles and are cheap to build.

The prospects for the Donbas are similarly bad. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is basically in hiding and is very limited in its ability to harass grain shipments. There is not sufficient time to train a professional army to counterattack. What remains is cannon fodder and the population is waking up to this reality.

I think that the terms for negotiations are being set but on Ukraine's terms. We will know within 6 weeks if this winter will be cold and dark in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

What is the biblical saying? An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth ?

And remember this all speculation.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Report of Russian missiles killing people in the NATO member Poland.


>>>Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday summoned the country’s security ministers for an emergency meeting, while the Associated Press reported a U.S. official as saying that two Russian missiles landed on the territory of the NATO country, killing two.

Polish government spokesperson Piotr Müller did not confirm the reports, but said that more information would be released after the government meeting.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told POLITICO he did not have any information to corroborate the reports.

Russian missiles on Tuesday hit targets across Ukraine in the largest such attack since the invasion began in February. ...<<<

Another article with more background and details:

 
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TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Report of Russian missiles killing people in the NATO member Poland.


>>>Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday summoned the country’s security ministers for an emergency meeting, while the Associated Press reported a U.S. official as saying that two Russian missiles landed on the territory of the NATO country, killing two.

Polish government spokesperson Piotr Müller did not confirm the reports, but said that more information would be released after the government meeting.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told POLITICO he did not have any information to corroborate the reports.

Russian missiles on Tuesday hit targets across Ukraine in the largest such attack since the invasion began in February. ...<<<

Another article with more background and details:

Yes, I have just seen that. That is an attack on NATO, intended or not. Time for NATO to go in and respond hard and get this over with.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
Report of Russian missiles killing people in the NATO member Poland.


>>>Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday summoned the country’s security ministers for an emergency meeting, while the Associated Press reported a U.S. official as saying that two Russian missiles landed on the territory of the NATO country, killing two.

Polish government spokesperson Piotr Müller did not confirm the reports, but said that more information would be released after the government meeting.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told POLITICO he did not have any information to corroborate the reports.

Russian missiles on Tuesday hit targets across Ukraine in the largest such attack since the invasion began in February. ...<<<

Another article with more background and details:

The Twitter verse is buzzing with speculation about this. I have yet to see reliable information about what kind of missiles they were, etc.

Some suggest these were Russian cruise missiles that went off course after being damaged by Ukrainian AA missiles.

Some suggest these were Ukrainian S-300 AA missiles (Russian made) that were fired at incoming Russian missiles but went off course.

And of course some reports suggest these were Russian missiles that were specifically targeting Poland.

Regardless of exactly how it happened, to my mind there's no doubt that this was the result of Russia firing a very large number of missiles into Ukraine.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Spartan
Yes, I have just seen that. That is an attack on NATO, intended or not. Time for NATO to go in and respond hard and get this over with.
I don't understand your mindset on this. Why do you want NATO to go to war with Russia? As detestable as the Russian regime is, going to war with Russia is not the best - not even a good - solution to this crisis.

Ukraine war latest: Ukraine air defence 'very likely' caused explosion - Polish president - BBC News
Summary
  1. The Polish president has said there is no sign that the missile that hit Polish territory late on Tuesday was part of an intentional attack
  2. President Duda says it's "very likely" that a missile explosion was caused by Ukrainian air defences
  3. The Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg, who is holding a press conference, also says the incident in Poland was "likely" caused by the activity of Ukraine's air defence systems
  4. Two people were killed after a missile landed in eastern Poland near the Ukrainian border following a wave of Russian strikes across Ukraine
  5. Earlie, PM Rishi Sunak said the UK and its allies were trying to establish the facts about the blast
  6. US President Joe Biden has said it was "unlikely" that the missile was fired from Russia
  7. The American reaction earned rare praise from Russia - with a Kremlin spokesman describing it as "restrained and professional"
Right now, the best course of action is to continue to tighten the economic noose, while continuing to supply Ukraine with whatever they need to push the invaders out.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
Yes, I have just seen that. That is an attack on NATO, intended or not. Time for NATO to go in and respond hard and get this over with.
I don't understand your mindset on this. Why do you want NATO to go to war with Russia? As detestable as the Russian regime is, going to war with Russia is not the best - not even a good - solution to this crisis.

Right now, the best course of action is to continue to tighten the economic noose, while continuing to supply Ukraine with whatever they need to push the invaders out.
As of this morning, the consensus seems like the missile that struck Poland was a Russian-made S-300 AA missile. Both Ukraine and Russia use them. Ukraine certainly used them as defense during the latest Russian cruise missile attack. But, it's been noted that Russia has modified some of these missiles for use as surface-to-surface weapons. As a result, we may not know for certain who fired this missile.

The standard range of a S-300 missile is short, about 75 to 96 km, with later versions capable of 150 km. I don't know what range the modified surface-to-surface S-300 has.

Their warheads are large for an AA missile, typically 100 to 133 Kg, but can be as high as 150 Kg. Warheads that size can easily do real damage if they hit the ground.

What should NATO do next? My instincts lead me to agree with @GO-NAD! . Why should NATO go to war over what may be a misguided missile?

However, in the long run, even if Ukraine succeeds in defeating Putin's unwarranted invasion, I believe Putin will remain a threat to all of the former Eastern Block nations, all of the USSR's former provinces, and as a result, to all of Europe and NATO. I fear that the only way to end this threat is to remove Putin and his mafia from power in Russia. I also don't believe wonder if we can depend on Russians to accomplish this. Will it require a full-scale invasion of Russia by NATO? Or can it be done with less war and bloodshed? I don't see support for this idea yet, in either the USA or our NATO allies.
 
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Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
I fear that the only way to end this threat is to remove Putin and his mafia from power in Russia. I also don't believe we can depend on Russians to accomplish this. Will it require a full-scale invasion of Russia by NATO? Or can it be done with less war and bloodshed? I don't see support for this idea yet, in either the USA or our NATO allies.
Invading a country with a huge number of nukes and many ways to deliver them is risky, to put it mildly.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Spartan
However, in the long run, even if Ukraine succeeds in defeating Putin's unwarranted invasion, I believe Putin will remain a threat to all of the former Eastern Block nations, all of the USSR's former provinces, and as a result, to all of Europe and NATO. I fear that the only way to end this threat is to remove Putin and his mafia from power in Russia. I also don't believe we can depend on Russians to accomplish this. Will it require a full-scale invasion of Russia by NATO? Or can it be done with less war and bloodshed? I don't see support for this idea yet, in either the USA or our NATO allies.
Yes, even if the Russians are pushed out of Crimea and the Donbas, they remain a threat. But, we cannot justify an invasion to impose regime change. It will take change from within in order to minimize the risk of a wider catastrophe. As long as it remains an oligarchic kleptocracy, relations cannot go back to the way they were.
 

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