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Ukraine - Superthread

Kirkhill

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Putin’s war has been a fiasco. It’s about to get worse​

There can be no peace deal with the Kremlin. This would be the worst time for Nato to lose its nerve
CON COUGHLIN
DEFENCE EDITOR
21 April 2022 • 6:00am

If the first phase of Vladimir Putin’s invasion plan for Ukraine has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster for the Russian president, there is little evidence to suggest his next effort to colonise large tracts of Ukrainian territory will fare much better.
Having abandoned his initial plan to capture Kyiv and replace the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with a pro-Russian puppet regime, Mr Putin has been forced, thanks to the heroic resistance of the city’s defenders, to accept the limitations of his military ambitions. Instead of conquering the entire country, the Kremlin has been obliged to regroup its forces to concentrate on capturing territory in the Donbas region in the south east.
And, judging by the early exchanges in what Moscow is calling the “second phase” of its “special military operation” against Ukraine, there is every indication that the Russian military will continue to struggle against the determined resistance of the Ukrainian forces.

Although the Russian offensive in the east is in its early stages, the latest Western intelligence reports show that, despite their superior firepower and numbers, Russian forces are failing to make sufficient headway, with the Ukrainians repelling numerous attempted advances.
According to the latest assessment published by the Ministry of Defence yesterday, “Russia’s ability to progress continues to be impacted by the environmental, logistical and technical challenges that have beset them so far, combined with the resilience of the highly-motivated Ukrainian armed forces.” The current informed view in Whitehall security circles, therefore, is that the battle for the Donbas will develop into an attritional conflict which will last for many months.
Nothing better sums up the inability of Russian forces to make a decisive breakthrough than their struggle to capture the key port of Mariupol which, despite being levelled by eight weeks of unremitting bombardment, has refused to accede to Russian demands to surrender.
The longer Ukrainian forces manage to resist the Russian advance, moreover, the more likely the Kremlin is to use banned weaponry, such as cluster bombs, in its desperation to achieve even a token victory. There is speculation that Mr Putin might resort to using tactical nuclear weapons to clear out the last remnants of the 2,500 Ukrainian fighters said to be holding out in Mariupol, an escalation that not even Nato could ignore.
Even if the Russian military, with its badly trained and unmotivated forces, were to succeed in capturing the Black Sea port, it would be a Pyrrhic victory.
Part of Mr Putin’s justification for launching his assault was the need to protect the pro-Russian inhabitants of cities like Mariupol. With their once vibrant city lying in ruins, it is unlikely there is much pro-Russian sympathy in evidence there today.
Certainly, from Mr Putin’s perspective, if the conflict drags on without an end in sight, ordinary Russians themselves are less likely to be willing to accept the nightly diet of propaganda they are fed by state-owned broadcasters. A week after the sinking of Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, most Russians are none the wiser about the true causes of its destruction by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles.
The Kremlin is also doing its best to conceal the extent of Russian casualties, which are said to be well in excess of 10,000 dead. The heavy death toll suffered by invading Russian forces can be seen from evidence provided to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee this week, which shows that nearly half of the 8,000 mercenaries deployed by the Kremlin-controlled Wagner Group to Ukraine have been killed on the battlefield.
Add to this the litany of war crimes that are being committed in Mr Putin’s name, from the wanton massacre of innocent civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha to parading captured British fighters on Russian television, and it is hard to see how even the most talented Kremlin propagandist can portray the Russian invasion as a success story.
With the Kremlin resorting to ever more desperate measures, Boris Johnson is right to warn that there is little immediate prospect of negotiating a peace deal to end the conflict – not least because, after all the lies Mr Putin has uttered about his intentions towards Ukraine, no sane Western leader should ever again trust the Russian leader to keep his word.
In the absence of a diplomatic solution to the conflict, therefore, it is vital that the Western alliance is united in its determination to hold the Kremlin to account for its appalling conduct. There must be no back-sliding by countries such as Germany, which seem to believe that their economic interests should take priority over confronting tyranny.
Even Mr Putin must be starting to realise that his decision to invade Ukraine has back-fired in spectacular fashion. And, so long as Western leaders maintain a united front in their support for Ukraine, there is every chance the Russian leader’s predicament could get a great deal worse.

And


Russia is no longer the dominant power in Eastern Europe​

Whatever happens, the combined efforts of the former Soviet states have destroyed the idea of Russian military preeminence
ROBERT CLARK21 April 2022 • 3:22pm

Bolstered by the Red Army's fearsome reputation in World War Two, many analysts believed that the Russian military was comfortably Eastern Europe's premier military power. This conjecture is now being seriously challenged.
Yes, Russia has a formidable nuclear arsenal, but every other aspect of its military machine – from leadership to hardware – has been severely lacking. Indeed, one could argue that Russia's star has fallen, and that, in unison, the combined powers of many of its Eastern neighbours, including Ukraine, have put an end to the notion that Russia would ever be capable of a blitzkrieg-style takeover of its former territories.
Following the unsuccessful assault on Kyiv, Putin is desperately searching for a hollow military victory that he can sell to the Russian people before the May 9th Victory Day parade. Incredibly, Russian losses so far in the conflict (potentially up to 20,000 killed) amount to a higher attrition rate than that suffered by the British at the Battle of the Somme.

Putin may have declared his support for the so-called breakaway republics as a not-too-subtle casus belli days before the invasion began, but these Russian-speaking towns and villages have displayed the same stoic Ukrainian national identity as the rest of the country, in the face of growing Russian occupation and barbarism.
Whilst Putin claims that he is helping Russian speaking Ukrainians, in fact it is the Russian speaking towns and cities, including Mariupol, and Kharkiv, which have been hardest hit, in his efforts to erase Ukraine as a modern nation state.
Thus Putin has once more underestimated the pride and heroism of the Ukrainian people, launching his ham-fisted assault this weekend using mainly reconstituted units along a 300-mile wide front, initially concentrating their forces around Izyum, and Severodonetsk.
The support provided by other Eastern European powers has been remarkable. Further to the weapons provided by the UK and the US, Ukrainian forces have been, or soon will be, considerably bolstered by Soviet-designed T-72 tanks and BVP-1 infantry vehicles from the Czech Republic and Soviet-era S-300 air defence missile systems from the Slovakia. Poland, meanwhile, has worked tirelessly taking in millions of Ukrainian refugees, enabling the President Zelensky to focus his efforts on military strategy.
Russian forces have seen some initial success so far in the new battle for the Donbas. Their use of air power has increased by half to include 200 sorties on Monday, and the city of Rubizhne is close to occupation with smaller villages nearby in Russian control. The Russian long-range fires and slow advance has continued.
However, whist these minor Russian gains occur, Ukrainian defences are continuing to hold, and in war, maths is key. Russia simply lacks the numbers to seize by force from a well defended and highly motivated opponent key ground, and then in turn to hold that ground from Ukrainian counter-attacks.
Most estimates place total Russian losses at 25-32% of their pre-invasion figure. With approximately 76 Battalion Tactical Groups (each comprising roughly 800-1,000 soldiers) left in Ukraine, there are another 22 undergoing refit with a further 12 almost combat-ineffective units tied up in Mariupol. This leaves at most 110 BTG available, in time, for the assault in the Donbas. At present its more like 80.
Meanwhile Ukraine have at least the same amount currently in defensive positions across this new front line
. An attacking force requires three times the amount of troops, at a minimum. The maths alone spells Russia’s military defeat in the Donbas.
It’s important to note too that Russia has never even exercised this many troops before under a unified command; further logistical and command problems already exposed will be further exasperated.
This next phase of the war in Ukraine will be different: a much heavier Russian reliance on artillery, the intensity of the fighting doubling that of what came before. And double it shall, for Putin cannot afford to lose this battle, desperate to show some significant military success in time for the Victory Day celebrations. He knows that losing the Donbas is likely the only thing to change public opinion back in Russia.
So we are now entering the most critical phase of the war. But whatever happens, it seems likely that Russia will never again restore its former reputation as the strongest power in Eastern Europe. The combined efforts of Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and other former Soviet states, have made sure of that.

Robert Clark is Director of the Defence and Security Unit at Civitas. Prior to this Robert served in the British military for 13 years.

The Easterners are certainly motivated. Their collective nightmare only ended 30 years ago. And the Ukraine is a constant reminder of what they have escaped.
 

Kirkhill

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Ukrainian forces are preparing for battle by training in UK​

Dozens of troops being taught to use armoured patrol and troop carriers, as Vladimir Putin steps up his offensive in the east

ByJames Crisp, EUROPE EDITOR ; Ben Riley-Smith, POLITICAL EDITOR and Dominic Nicholls, DEFENCE AND SECURITY EDITOR21 April 2022 • 10:00pm

A Ukrainian soldier holds part of a Russian missile after fighting in the village of Berezivka on Thursday CREDIT: Efrem Lukatsky

Britain is training Ukrainians in the use of armoured vehicles on UK soil to help Kyiv’s forces launch counter-offensives against Vladimir Putin’s invading army in eastern Ukraine.
Boris Johnson confirmed for the first time that dozens of Ukrainian troops were being taught to use armoured patrol and troop carriers, as the Russian president stepped up his offensive in the east.
Mr Johnson said: “I can say that we are currently training Ukrainians in Poland in the use of anti-aircraft defence and actually in the UK in the use of armoured vehicles.”
Western officials on Thursday said Russian forces continued to operate in relatively long convoys on single roads, making themselves vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks.
The British vehicles are designed to be used in offensive operations as they can keep pace with tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.

The vehicles include the Samaritan, primarily used as an ambulance, Sultan, from which commanders would direct the battle, and Samson, a recovery vehicle equipped with a powerful winch to lift engines and fix damaged tanks.

Ukrainian troops are also being trained on patrol vehicles designed to give extra protection to soldiers moving between bases.

Russian military leaders under pressure​

The Western official predicted that Moscow’s military leaders would be under huge pressure to deliver results, but said Russia was still in a position to win the war.
Putin would not want to celebrate May 9, when Russia marks the end of the Second World War, he said, “on the back of Russian forces being ritually humiliated in Ukraine, which is pretty much what's been happening so far.”
The UK hit key Russian commanders in its latest round of 26 sanctions against Moscow, including Lt Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov, the commander dubbed the “butcher of Bucha”.
The US also stepped up its support to Ukraine with an $800 million weapons package which includes new, bespoke “Phoenix Ghost” drones fast-tracked specifically to help fight Russia.

A US department of defence official described the Phoenix as a "one-way” drone that "delivers a punch" in a “kamikaze” attack after loitering in the air while identifying targets.
Joe Biden, the US president, said the aid was tailored to help Ukrainians defend the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
“We’re sending it directly to the frontlines of freedom,” he said before warning Mr Putin would never succeed in occupying the country.
Mr Putin on Thursday claimed to have captured the besieged city of Mariupol, however it later emerged he had ordered his men to blockade rather than attack 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers holding out at the Azovstal steel plant.
The Telegraph spoke to one soldier who said they could not surrender because they would all be killed. Mr Biden has called for the Russians to give the men safe passage.
 

Kirkhill

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Ukrainian forces are preparing for battle by training in UK​

Dozens of troops being taught to use armoured patrol and troop carriers, as Vladimir Putin steps up his offensive in the east

ByJames Crisp, EUROPE EDITOR ; Ben Riley-Smith, POLITICAL EDITOR and Dominic Nicholls, DEFENCE AND SECURITY EDITOR21 April 2022 • 10:00pm

A Ukrainian soldier holds part of a Russian missile after fighting in the village of Berezivka on Thursday CREDIT: Efrem Lukatsky

Britain is training Ukrainians in the use of armoured vehicles on UK soil to help Kyiv’s forces launch counter-offensives against Vladimir Putin’s invading army in eastern Ukraine.
Boris Johnson confirmed for the first time that dozens of Ukrainian troops were being taught to use armoured patrol and troop carriers, as the Russian president stepped up his offensive in the east.
Mr Johnson said: “I can say that we are currently training Ukrainians in Poland in the use of anti-aircraft defence and actually in the UK in the use of armoured vehicles.”
Western officials on Thursday said Russian forces continued to operate in relatively long convoys on single roads, making themselves vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks.
The British vehicles are designed to be used in offensive operations as they can keep pace with tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.

The vehicles include the Samaritan, primarily used as an ambulance, Sultan, from which commanders would direct the battle, and Samson, a recovery vehicle equipped with a powerful winch to lift engines and fix damaged tanks.

Ukrainian troops are also being trained on patrol vehicles designed to give extra protection to soldiers moving between bases.

Russian military leaders under pressure​

The Western official predicted that Moscow’s military leaders would be under huge pressure to deliver results, but said Russia was still in a position to win the war.
Putin would not want to celebrate May 9, when Russia marks the end of the Second World War, he said, “on the back of Russian forces being ritually humiliated in Ukraine, which is pretty much what's been happening so far.”
The UK hit key Russian commanders in its latest round of 26 sanctions against Moscow, including Lt Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov, the commander dubbed the “butcher of Bucha”.
The US also stepped up its support to Ukraine with an $800 million weapons package which includes new, bespoke “Phoenix Ghost” drones fast-tracked specifically to help fight Russia.

A US department of defence official described the Phoenix as a "one-way” drone that "delivers a punch" in a “kamikaze” attack after loitering in the air while identifying targets.
Joe Biden, the US president, said the aid was tailored to help Ukrainians defend the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
“We’re sending it directly to the frontlines of freedom,” he said before warning Mr Putin would never succeed in occupying the country.
Mr Putin on Thursday claimed to have captured the besieged city of Mariupol, however it later emerged he had ordered his men to blockade rather than attack 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers holding out at the Azovstal steel plant.
The Telegraph spoke to one soldier who said they could not surrender because they would all be killed. Mr Biden has called for the Russians to give the men safe passage.
 

Kirkhill

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Russian forces captured 42 villages in the eastern Donetsk region on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said.

An aide of President Volodymyr Zelensky said the captured villages did not mean Russia had won, and Ukrainian forces could shortly regain control of them.

Olena Symonenko said: “Today 42 villages were added to the list of those that have been occupied. This is at the expense of the Donetsk region.

“This happened today and it might be that our forces will win them back tomorrow.”
 

rmc_wannabe

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Underway

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It's medium. Heavy is 203mm (8 inch) and up.


Medium artillery.
Pffft arbitrary numbers... have you ever picked up one of those shells? They are heavy :LOL:

So what you are saying is that NATO doesn't produce heavy artillery anymore then? As 155mm is the biggest we make of a NATO standard (individual countries may vary, but NATO standard is 155mm).

Navy guys eh!? @Underway with your little 57mm pee shooter
It's not how big it is it's how you use it (I use it for missile defense)! And if I'm using 57mm for artillery then we have a serious problem as I'm probably standing the ship into danger being that close to shore!
 

ueo

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I pointed this out a while ago, but the best I could figure out why it's still standing is either a) Ukraine doesn't have effectors or b) they didn't want to give Russia fodder for propaganda or c) give Russia an excuse to mobilize more then they are.

Russia seems to be fighting with less manpower than they can actually mobilize.
Effectors? Infantry effectors or armoured effectors or Air Force effectors. I thought I was good at inventing new terms. Sounds a bit like those Layons commercials.
 

ueo

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Pffft arbitrary numbers... have you ever picked up one of those shells? They are heavy :LOL:

So what you are saying is that NATO doesn't produce heavy artillery anymore then? As 155mm is the biggest we make of a NATO standard (individual countries may vary, but NATO standard is 155mm).


It's not how big it is it's how you use it (I use it for missile defense)! And if I'm using 57mm for artillery then we have a serious problem as I'm probably standing the ship into danger being that close to shore!
Did a shoot with this weapon in the early 90's in Meaford. Impressive fire for effect but not sustainable for any duration. Don't know the mag capacity tho'. Steaming in lazy figure 8's in Georgian Bay did cause some local angst and might not be a recommended COA in an active theater.
 

Brad Sallows

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Russian forces captured 42 villages in the eastern Donetsk region on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said.

Worthless without a definition of "village". Borodino was a small collection of peasant buildings around a church (one of several collections of peasant buildings with names in the battlefield area), but gave its name to a battle.
 
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