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Kiev Is Burning


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Just now, Stuart Galbraith said:

Do you feel the same way about the amount of Russian tanks flying Soviet Flags?

Tanks do not fly flags - their crews do. And real question is how it happened that after almost three decades of de-facto unofficial ban on Red Flag, and attempts of Russian officials to replace it with something else  - from StGeorge stripe to "Victory Flag", after investing billions of Rus taxpayers money into "liberal art" of all kinds, all this anti-Soviet movies, Eltsyn-center and Sakharov center, Memorial, all this activity of pro-Western NGOs and advertising of consumerism from every TV set in the country (believe me, i know what i am talking about as i have spent almost two decades working for Western advertising agencies and media in Russia), after years of bashful hiding Mausoleum behind plywood and canvas during V-Day parades on Red Square - young crews of this tanks (who are mostly born 10 years after USSR collapse) feel they like to fight (and possibly die) under Red Flag of their grand-grandfathers they were told to be ashamed of as they were ? Note this young men grew up in western-dominated media environment (by the way i was one of the people launching Disney Channel in Russia), with school textbooks often prepared by West-controlled NGOs. Isn't it making you think a little about that and ask yourself a question "May be it is something wrong with Western values we are so proud of?"

    By the way, in line with Red Flag, equally popular is another traditional Russian flag

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  - Yes it is strange to see Red Flag and banner of Christ Non-hand-made on the vehicles in the same column, but still it is not what the "free world" is waving (pictureы below is US and UK Embassys in Moscow)

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1 hour ago, Huba said:

The whole idea that RU is somehow limiting themselves is really ridiculous at this point. The only limiting factor still on is that they didn't mobilize - and the reason for it is that it isn't a politically viable option for the regime at this time.

Could you please take one more step in your analysis and explain why, in your opinion,  "mobilization isn't a politically viable option for the regime at this time"? 

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16 minutes ago, Roman Alymov said:

Could you please take one more step in your analysis and explain why, in your opinion,  "mobilization isn't a politically viable option for the regime at this time"? 

I'll humor you. If I was to pick an option it would be that losses among recruits would lead to social unrest that has a regime-toppling potential, as proven by 1905, 1917, Afghanistan and a bunch of other wars in XIX century. Alternatively, arming all the nationalists who are disenchanted with what you call the "appeasers of the west" political faction might be a little disconcerting too. It might also make the fact that king is naked a little too obvious to everyone, showing how unprepared for mass mobilization RU army really is.

So what's your opinion is on that? Or do you stick with opinion that all is going according to plan and mobilization is not needed ?

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26 minutes ago, Roman Alymov said:

Could you please take one more step in your analysis and explain why, in your opinion,  "mobilization isn't a politically viable option for the regime at this time"? 

I was thinking same. AFAIK in russia public opinion basically is turning to demand for it? 

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3 hours ago, urbanoid said:

NRF, either the current 40k or the planned 300k soldiers, isn't deployed 'to the front' in peacetime, those are just high readiness forces - there will be more of them and that's all. Looks like some journo assumed they will be sent East and now is arguing with himself.

I could fully believe though that the Eastern members initially wanted more permanently-based Western troops (Poland and the Balts have been long arguing for that of course), but had to settle for vastly increased readiness to move across the board. It's notable that after all that has happened, NATO is still sticking to the essentials of the NATO-Russia Founding Act; even the additional US brigade in Romania will be rotational again.

I suspect some of that is still reluctance not just politically vis-a-vis Russia, but due to the cost and effort involved in basing major forces, lack of infrastructure and fear of retention problems given the still-considerable East-West divide of living standards in Europe. For example, base capacities are reportedly maxed out in Lithuania already, and German troops were complaining that even if you got hold of some training time on local exercise areas, you might still be cancelled at short notice due to national or US needs, and left to twiddle thumbs.

Then again, one of the decisions of the Madrid summit was to nearly double NATO's joint budget to about 45 billion Dollar, particularly in view of improving said infrastructure; so someone heard the shot at last.

 

 

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2 hours ago, MiGG0 said:

I was thinking same. AFAIK in russia public opinion basically is turning to demand for it? 

The fact that it hasn’t happened despite there being clear manpower shortages seems to be the best case for it being politically  unworkable. But that could potentially change, and there does seem to be an attempt at partial mobilization using Wagner, resigning contract soldiers, and various other means. A full mobilization would take months to achieve after the order was given though.

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6 hours ago, Perun said:

This is not true

Soviet truck factories switched to light tank and SPG production and yet the Red Army had no shortage of trucks. Because they got masses of them from the west. 

This is one example where Lend Lease helped to avoid a production bottleneck. 

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2 hours ago, MiGG0 said:

I was thinking same. AFAIK in russia public opinion basically is turning to demand for it? 

Well, not so simple: In Russia public opinion is demanding to start fighting the war, not imitating it. And if mobilization is needed for it - it will be supported. Of course it will not be sort of 100% support (current support level for "special operation" is, as far as i remember, about 70-75%).

  But the wery fact of Gov starting mobilization will be the sign of "Appeasement of the West" loosing undercover civil war and demonstrating its unability to rule the country in new situation, as mobilization will change Russian society forever. Or, to be correct, it will mean that changes that are allready on, will become more visible and quick.

Let me direct you to my post from early April

 

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11 minutes ago, Markus Becker said:

Soviet truck factories switched to light tank and SPG production and yet the Red Army had no shortage of trucks. Because they got masses of them from the west. 

This is one example where Lend Lease helped to avoid a production bottleneck. 

Railroad engines and rolling stock also numbered in the thousands and were probably a even greater contribution than the massive truck fleet.

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15 hours ago, urbanoid said:

Uh, and what 'mass slaughter' are you talking about? Russia is unable to crush Ukraine, one of the poorer countries in Europe, and all it took to achieve it was modest and indirect Western help. The only 'entangling alliance' of 'the Euros' is the one with the United States and thank the nonexistent gods for that, 

  NATO has become allied with Eastern European countries such as  Poland and now Ukraine that are eager to drag it forward into a more direct confrontation with Russia.  This is what 'entanglement' means.  Your excerpt contains one whopper, which goes to the heart of the problem.  You said, "unable to crush", when  the truth is "unwilling to crush".

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13 hours ago, ex2cav said:

 

With all that, the destruction or removal of "Russia's ambitions" has not occurred as of yet. The war appears far from over. Russian leadership is stating they are still in the game. I would argue the risk increases the longer the war drags on. 

I hold out hope that after conquering the Donbas the Russians will revert to the defensive and the war will start to peter out.  However, this will require the West to get its tongue out of Zelensky's ass and start saying 'no' to constant demands from Kyiv for more escalation towards a major war.

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11 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

 You said, "unable to crush", when  the truth is "unwilling to crush".

The convenient thing about speaking out "truths" like this is that they are completely impossible to falsify. 🙃

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2 hours ago, Huba said:

I'll humor you. If I was to pick an option it would be that losses among recruits would lead to social unrest that has a regime-toppling potential, as proven by 1905, 1917, Afghanistan and a bunch of other wars in XIX century. Alternatively, arming all the nationalists who are disenchanted with what you call the "appeasers of the west" political faction might be a little disconcerting too. It might also make the fact that king is naked a little too obvious to everyone, showing how unprepared for mass mobilization RU army really is.

So what's your opinion is on that? Or do you stick with opinion that all is going according to plan and mobilization is not needed ?

Well, let's consider your options one by one:

1) " losses among recruits would lead to social unrest" - contrary, mobilization would generally reduce the overall losses as it give Russian forces not only superiority in heavy weapons, but also in manpower (and manpower is needed not for "human waves", but for numerous support tasks - from loading/offloading operations to maintanance to rapairing and guarding rairoads and bridges etc., only small portion of mobilized soldiers will end up with rifle on frontline):

2) "arming all the nationalists who are disenchanted with what you call the "appeasers of the west" political faction might be a little disconcerting too" - only in case if this "nationalists" are not some marginal group, but majority of population. And note that most active group of this "nationalists" are allready fighting in Donbass for years, or supporting this fight via "underground railway" despite all the attempts of Russian elite to stop this support and push Donbass back into Ukraine under "Minsk agreements". Actually Russian pro-Western elite is now facing their worst nightmare: young soldiers of regular Russian Army, born and raised in "no official ideology" environment, fighting side by side with mature Soviet-born volunteers, who are of various political backgrounds, from Communists to Monarchists, but almost none of them is entusiast of consumption-oriented West-dependent economic and political model Russian elite was trying to construct all this years. Guess with what ideas they will come back from this war - and they will come back one day. Now add mobilization to it....

3) "king is naked" -again, if "king is naked" then the logical question is why is he naked and where are all this massive assets left by USSR? How it happened that handful of superrich families and Western corporations associated with them became owners of massive Soviet industries, and if the social model that allowed this looting of Russia in favour of transferring its resources in Western hands (in various forms - from palaces in London to investments in treasuries) really what we need in Russia? May be we need some other system, and other people to lead it? Who will not educate their children in Western schools and prepare "reserve airfields" in nice places with nice climate far away from Russia?

Re my opinion, seems like i have to procrastenate my procrastenation and type a text that will explain my view of the events.

 

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13 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

I hold out hope that after conquering the Donbas the Russians will revert to the defensive and the war will start to peter out.  However, this will require the West to get its tongue out of Zelensky's ass and start saying 'no' to constant demands from Kyiv for more escalation towards a major war.

I fail to see how the current situation doesn’t qualify as a “major war”. Outside of nukes, what exactly have the Russians left off the table?

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7 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Nobody really knew what 300000 was, or where exactly it was coming from.

Canada is scraping the barrel even now.  Recruitment is down.  We've pledged more troops for Eastern Europe.  I'm waiting to hear whether my cousin will be sent.  Given manpower shortages, it's possible.  

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25 minutes ago, Josh said:

Railroad engines and rolling stock also numbered in the thousands and were probably a even greater contribution than the massive truck fleet.

Its a fair point. A friend of mine makes DLC for a train simulator, and did a US S160 locomotive, which included one in Russian colours and gauge. I never even knew the US produced locomotives for Russia. Not surprisingly, they never shouted about it either.

  • Soviet Union, Class ШA (ShA) – 200 machines ordered from Baldwin (ШA 1 to 90) and ALCO (ШA 91 to 200), designated S162s and S166s. ШA 52 to 55, 69 and 70 were lost en route to Vladivostok and ШA 13 remained in the USA.[10] In 1957, 50 of them were for 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) track and used by the southern Sakhalin Railway[10]

Elsewhere I found a source that claims they received 1900 locomotives via lend lease, including 66 diesels. Presumably Alco's.

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Just now, glenn239 said:

Canada is scraping the barrel even now.  Recruitment is down.  We've pledged more troops for Eastern Europe.  I'm waiting to hear whether my cousin will be sent.  Given manpower shortages, it's possible.  

We supposedly are going to raise our military budget to 2.5 percent of GDP. By 2030. Considering we were doing 3 percent only 12 years ago, its a pathetic. None of us are really taking the test seriously.

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1 hour ago, Huba said:

@Stuart Galbraith look who blinked first :)

 

Nothingburger, if they wanted them really dead they would have killed them and told that they were "KIA".

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Canada is scraping the barrel even now.  Recruitment is down.  We've pledged more troops for Eastern Europe.  I'm waiting to hear whether my cousin will be sent.  Given manpower shortages, it's possible.  

When economy comes crashing down job in the military will look far more attractive than it looks now.

Edited by bojan
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9 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

I hold out hope that after conquering the Donbas the Russians will revert to the defensive and the war will start to peter out.  However, this will require the West to get its tongue out of Zelensky's ass and start saying 'no' to constant demands from Kyiv for more escalation towards a major war.

I know, my fear is as war progress escalation almost seems certain. I am sure there are parties inside the kremlin that want to destroy Ukraine, whatever that means.

My thought would be that the Russians might still try and absorb Kharkov. My impulse would be to drive along the coast and landlock the country. 

From the Ukrainian point of view, I don't know where they go. You can argue they were successful in the north, but everywhere else else not so much. I still think the Ukrainian government's main objective is direct western intervention. That is the only way they can recover lost territory in significant amounts at this stage.

Most of the west is not interested in direct escalation at this point. Looking at the increasing sale of equipment, it comes at an odd time. It is almost an Iran-Iraq thing, they don't want either side to win. With all the tough talk of a free an independent Ukraine, neither side wants a strong country like that on its border. If the Ukrainians were to win outright, the far right in the country would want to keep needling the east. The Ukrainian government couldn't seem to rein in the far right before the latest escalation, I don't know how they would control them after a perceived victory. 

As the Ukrainians slowly lose, the west will  make good some material losses and provide verbal support to keep them fighting. I think the current goal in western capitals is to keep the Ukrainians supplied enough to keep them from collapsing.

The Russians seem to be okay with playing along and are happy with very incremental winning. I think that is dangerous, as the lack of dramatic action and the seemingly constant over the top western media playing to the Ukrainian side places popular pressure for the west to do more. Public perception would be that more intervention would be at little cost.

 

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15 minutes ago, Josh said:

I fail to see how the current situation doesn’t qualify as a “major war”. Outside of nukes, what exactly have the Russians left off the table?

Chemical and biological weapons I guess. 

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