Jump to content

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Josh said:

I simply don't think the US Administration enters into any of Putin's calculations. I doubt Putin is concerned with Biden's opinion one way or the other, for the same reasons you state: there is nothing the US could do to stop Russia from invading.

I said that if Russia attacks Ukraine the US is placed on the horns of a dilemma.  If they back down they look weak, if they intervene they risk escalation beyond any possible valid interest in Ukraine.  I also said that if Trump had won in 2020, that this would not be happening.  You voted for Biden knowing full well the risks you were taking.

If the reports of 150,000 Russian troops on the Ukrainian are true, that feels like war is likely even if Ukraine does not attack the Donbass.  I get that vibe because 70,000 troops would have been enough to signal 'don't do it'.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 19.7k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

45 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

I said that if Russia attacks Ukraine the US is placed on the horns of a dilemma.  If they back down they look weak, if they intervene they risk escalation beyond any possible valid interest in Ukraine.  I also said that if Trump had won in 2020, that this would not be happening.  You voted for Biden knowing full well the risks you were taking.

If the reports of 150,000 Russian troops on the Ukrainian are true, that feels like war is likely even if Ukraine does not attack the Donbass.  I get that vibe because 70,000 troops would have been enough to signal 'don't do it'.

 

I’m not particularly worried about the US looking weak and I’m unconcerned with Biden’s actions. I honestly don’t know what specific Biden policy you have an issue with because you’ve failed to ever specify what you objected to and I am unaware of the US making any tangible commitment to the Ukraine. I also don’t understand why you think Trump would have somehow waved a magic wand and prevented this build up from occurring. The build seems completely divorced from any US policy and more tightly bound to Zelensky's recent policies.

We can agree that the current Russian deployment is sufficiently large that an invasion is likely regardless of what the Ukrainians do. The large number of naval units from all over the hemisphere indicates to me they intend to move along the coast of the Black Sea and that this will go further than merely annexation of Donetsk. It couldn't have been easy to move those 30-40 year old LSTs from the Baltic and Northern fleets.

Edited by Josh
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, KV7 said:

If there is a war, it is, from the perspective of world peace, best if Ukraine quickly folds, and no one is tempted to try and swing the conflict against Russia via some sort of serious escalation.

Absolutely.

Wars could be completely bloodless and short, would it not be for the pesky defenders to resist aggression. It's nothing new; v. Clausewitz noted that once that their goals are achieved, aggressors become defenders and vigorously propose peace negotiations.

Brilliant. You just found the formula for world peace.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, KV7 said:

Exactly. They are more useful for locating large concentrations in the rear, fuel depots, less mobile air defense assets etc. which might be targeted by aviation or SRBM or long range MLRS.  But Ukraine would struggle to pull of such attacks I think, beyond those with SRBM.

What SRBM types do they possess? Presumably old Soviet models?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/17/2021 at 2:28 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

If you look at the Georgian campaign, they did a similar 'hail mary' with an amphibious landed Airborne Battlegroup. It wouldnt take much to pull reinforcements off the main offensive.

Just a pure guess on my part of course. But it partly explains the presence of 76th Airborne in Crimea. It will be interesting to see if the Ropucha docks there.

Russian WW2 amphibious operations targeting the Crimea and Novorossiysk come to mind as well.

I still think a landing east of Odessa would be bold as hell. But I now see the stakes are strategic, as in the cutting off the Ukraine from the Black Sea. Permanently.

Talk about a plan meant to end the war by Christmas. I like it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t think they will go that far. That’s a lot of urban areas to eat up, including Odessa itself. Plus that is a very deep penetration to support an amphibious op.

I think there will be an amphibious component as a supporting moves to help the forces in Crimea break out across their narrow fronts and possibly to support the forces rolling to (and eventually from) Mariupol, but trying to land troops on the far side of the Dneiper is a hopeless task for their level of amphibious lift IMO. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If political situation continues to deterioate, Russia will attempt to secure land bridge to Crimea and as far as the Dneipr River. If all goes well, they will secure all of Ukraine east of the Dneipr and threaten Kiev. Ukraine becomes a weak  rump state and buffer zone. 

Offensive will be mainly land based on multiple axes with airborne/air assault support. Sea insertion possible but based on how much of a fight the Ukies put up. 

My 2 cents.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Local population will be a plus/minus effect on Ukrainian or Russian ground forces. Some parts of Donbas outside the successionist section will favor Russian ground forces. But beyond Donbas, Ukrainian ground forces probably can expect sufficient support. Making a land connection to Crimea, even if occupation attempt is limited to just Zaporizhizhia and Kherson, could be very costly to Russian ground forces without a win to be had.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Josh said:

What SRBM types do they possess? Presumably old Soviet models?

IIRC they have small number of Tochka. They have a more modern missile 'Hrim-2' in development too, but it isn't deployed AFAICT.

1514968661-1921.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Absolutely.

Wars could be completely bloodless and short, would it not be for the pesky defenders to resist aggression. It's nothing new; v. Clausewitz noted that once that their goals are achieved, aggressors become defenders and vigorously propose peace negotiations.

Brilliant. You just found the formula for world peace.

Why did I suddenly have a vision of Hitler saying 'And would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for those pesky Soviet Kids!'😂

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Josh said:

I don’t think they will go that far. That’s a lot of urban areas to eat up, including Odessa itself. Plus that is a very deep penetration to support an amphibious op.

I think there will be an amphibious component as a supporting moves to help the forces in Crimea break out across their narrow fronts and possibly to support the forces rolling to (and eventually from) Mariupol, but trying to land troops on the far side of the Dneiper is a hopeless task for their level of amphibious lift IMO. 

Bear in mind, the Russians have enough amphibious shipping to put a Tank Regiment ashore if they wanted to. And thats not counting what they could do if they used vertical lift or even airdropped units.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Bear in mind, the Russians have enough amphibious shipping to put a Tank Regiment ashore if they wanted to. And thats not counting what they could do if they used vertical lift or even airdropped units.

It’s one thing to put it ashore; it’s another thing to keep it supplied.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

As one of the British tabloids pointed out, if not Kiev, there is another very good reason for an amphibious assault between Odessa and Crimea.

crimeawater.jpg

That still falls well short of Odessa, which is on the other side of the Dneiper. The hydroelectric dam at Karhovka would be a logical axis of advance; it’s a crossing point, the source of the canal, and an infrastructure target in its own right...I believe it used to supply electricity to Crimea.

Edited by Josh
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Why did I suddenly have a vision of Hitler saying 'And would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for those pesky Soviet Kids!'😂

Both of you need to go back to the original discussion.

NATO intervention of the sort that is a dramatic escalation is unlikely, but in any case would be ruled out if it could in any case not be effectual, i.e. if the conflict was dramatically one sided.

Whether it is a good or bad thing that Ukrainian resistance is stiff or not is a separate question.  It is simply true that in assessing the risk of escalation, we need to factor that a stalled Russian advance which makes some in the US perhaps think that some escalation can turn it into a Russian defeat is very unlikely.

For example, even in out most lurid imagination, NATO is not going to start airlifting military equipment into Kherson to bolster Ukranian defences which have a life expectancy of at best a couple days.

If you want to play the WW2 analogy game, if Hitler did have nuclear weapons but was averse to using them, the Soviet resistance certainly would have made them more likely to be used. The resistance would still be noble and desirable, if it could still work, because defeating Hitler would be worth several million more casualties. But moving back to our world, several million dead to keep the Crimean canal out of Russian hands is an insane proposition.

Edited by KV7
Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Josh said:

It’s one thing to put it ashore; it’s another thing to keep it supplied.

One possibility is that just positioning an amphibious force may compel the Ukrainian defenders to split their attention, thus possibily reducing Ukrainian forces positioned towards Donbas.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, JasonJ said:

One possibility is that just positioning an amphibious force may compel the Ukrainian defenders to split their attention, thus possibily reducing Ukrainian forces positioned towards Donbas.

is resupply even that hard ? Once they have a bridgehead and taken some sort of port or dock, surely they can resupply with any old freighter. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, KV7 said:

is resupply even that hard ? Once they have a bridgehead and taken some sort of port or dock, surely they can resupply with any old freighter. 

Probably not. One thing I was wondering is that Turkey pledged support to Ukraine which probably would include drone support. Might the Ukraine be able to use drones to harrass a supply mission? Does the Russian Navy have sufficient anti-drone equipment?

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, JasonJ said:

One possibility is that just positioning an amphibious force may compel the Ukrainian defenders to split their attention, thus possibily reducing Ukrainian forces positioned towards Donbas.

Yes, the thought had occurred to me too. They might be carrying nothing, but the Ukrainians simply cant afford to ignore it.

20 minutes ago, KV7 said:

Both of you need to go back to the original discussion.

NATO intervention of the sort that is a dramatic escalation is unlikely, but in any case would be ruled out if it could in any case not be effectual, i.e. if the conflict was dramatically one sided.

Whether it is a good or bad thing that Ukrainian resistance is stiff or not is a separate question.  It is simply true that in assessing the risk of escalation, we need to factor that a stalled Russian advance which makes some in the US perhaps think that some escalation can turn it into a Russian defeat is very unlikely.

For example, even in out most lurid imagination, NATO is not going to start airlifting military equipment into Kherson to bolster Ukranian defences which have a life expectancy of at best a couple days.

If you want to play the WW2 analogy game, if Hitler did have nuclear weapons but was averse to using them, the Soviet resistance certainly would have made them more likely to be used. The resistance would still be noble and desirable, if it could still work, because defeating Hitler would be worth several million more casualties. But moving back to our world, several million dead to keep the Crimean canal out of Russian hands is an insane proposition.

Yes, but you miss what ive been trying to say. They ALREADY think NATO are involved. Its not a stance, they really believe it. Why do we assume therefore if there is a war, they wont throw some attacks NATO's way, such as blowing up arms dumps, even railway infrastructure, under the assumption that if war comes they will intervene anyway. If we knew Russia was about to invade Estonia, wouldnt we give a thought to doing the same to them?

Nato airlift, here is the issue, 2 NATO nations have a defence treaty with Ukraine. What happens if that trinational brigade bumps into the Russians in combat. Do they stop to consider its less than a NATO involvement, or do they, not entirely unreasonably, assume NATO units are arriving and proceed accordingly. And the answer is, absolutely no idea.

LITPOLUKRBRIG_Anaconda_2016.jpg

We assume for us there is no skin in the game. There is because it clearly is because of us. We simply cannot assume if it comes we are going to be divorced from it. Yes, probably we will. Can we be certain of it? No.

As I said a few pages back, Russia will if it comes to it, probably win it. But Putin ends up buggering up the Russian Army that will take years to straighten out (I dont think they are ever going to get the new kit in the numbers to replace what the Soviets bequeathed them). And as Galeotti in that video points out, if they take lots of casualties, Putin's popularity will nosedive. They are already turning against him, hundreds of young men, particularly conscripts, returning home in Zinc is going to be very bad news for him.  All his gains have been low cost, nobody has ever tried to see what happens when Russia gets Afghan level casualties, and they will if they do this. The problem is, can we sure that will deter him? No, not really. He might think if he kicks the door in, the whole rotten Ukrainian edifice will fall in. 

My point about nuclear weapons was NOT they would be used on the Battlefield. Subsequently they may, but that was not my point. The point is the Russian general staff around the time of Crimea was talking about 'deescalatory nuclear strike'. Which means you let one off, preferably where nobody is going to get fallout on them or anyone killed, and the other side say 'Jesus, they are serious about crossing the nuclear threshold. Lets back off!'. Which is dumb, incredibly dumb, but does seem to be something they have actively considered. After all, if NATO did intervene, they would lose at length. Any means of stopping us intervening from their perspective look entirely logical. Yes, even letting off buckets of sunshine.

Here is the thing, Putin doesnt have to behave intelligently or with his best interests at heart. Yes, its a reasonable assumption he will, but if he thought like that he would never have taken Crimea. He does not think like us, and its about time we faced up to that.

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, JasonJ said:

Probably not. One thing I was wondering is that Turkey pledged support to Ukraine which probably would include drone support. Might the Ukraine be able to use drones to harrass a supply mission? Does the Russian Navy have sufficient anti-drone equipment?

There was someone online that speculated some of the Turkish drones in Ukraine are actually operated by Turks. Im not sure if there is any substantiation of that.

Large drones are going to be vulnerable to standard AD weapons. Their new corvettes clearly do have a good AD fit. OTOH, their Ropucha's are 40 years old, and only had guns and manpads last I checked. Unless they are closely supported, they are likely to be vulnerable.

I wonder if NATO put in any SSN's without anyone noticing...

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Yes, the thought had occurred to me too. They might be carrying nothing, but the Ukrainians simply cant afford to ignore it.

Yes, but you miss what ive been trying to say. They ALREADY think NATO are involved. Its not a stance, they really believe it. Why do we assume therefore if there is a war, they wont throw some attacks NATO's way, such as blowing up arms dumps, even railway infrastructure, under the assumption that if war comes they will intervene anyway. If we knew Russia was about to invade Estonia, wouldnt we give a thought to doing the same to them?

Nato airlift, here is the issue, 2 NATO nations have a defence treaty with Ukraine. What happens if that trinational brigade bumps into the Russians in combat. Do they stop to consider its less than a NATO involvement, or do they, not entirely unreasonably, assume NATO units are arriving and proceed accordingly. And the answer is, absolutely no idea.

LITPOLUKRBRIG_Anaconda_2016.jpg

We assume for us there is no skin in the game. There is because it clearly is because of us. We simply cannot assume if it comes we are going to be divorced from it. Yes, probably we will. Can we be certain of it? No.

As I said a few pages back, Russia will if it comes to it, probably win it. But Putin ends up buggering up the Russian Army that will take years to straighten out (I dont think they are ever going to get the new kit in the numbers to replace what the Soviets bequeathed them). And as Galeotti in that video points out, if they take lots of casualties, Putin's popularity will nosedive. They are already turning against him, hundreds of young men, particularly conscripts, returning home in Zinc is going to be very bad news for him.  All his gains have been low cost, nobody has ever tried to see what happens when Russia gets Afghan level casualties, and they will if they do this. The problem is, can we sure that will deter him? No, not really. He might think if he kicks the door in, the whole rotten Ukrainian edifice will fall in. 

My point about nuclear weapons was NOT they would be used on the Battlefield. Subsequently they may, but that was not my point. The point is the Russian general staff around the time of Crimea was talking about 'deescalatory nuclear strike'. Which means you let one off, preferably where nobody is going to get fallout on them or anyone killed, and the other side say 'Jesus, they are serious about crossing the nuclear threshold. Lets back off!'. Which is dumb, incredibly dumb, but does seem to be something they have actively considered. After all, if NATO did intervene, they would lose at length. Any means of stopping us intervening from their perspective look entirely logical. Yes, even letting off buckets of sunshine.

Here is the thing, Putin doesnt have to behave intelligently or with his best interests at heart. Yes, its a reasonable assumption he will, but if he thought like that he would never have taken Crimea. He does not think like us, and its about time we faced up to that.

 

On pointing out those two other countries, they are sending debuties to Ukraine as a show of their trilateral defense relation with Ukraine.

Quote

 

Deputy Speaker of the Polish Sejm Małgorzata Gosiewska and Deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Paulius Saudargas will pay a visit to Ukraine on April 19-24.

This was reported by the press service of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland.

"The visit is related to the dynamically changing situation in the region," reads the report.

Meetings and trips in Ukraine will be held in the format of the Lublin Triangle (Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania). The Ukrainian side will be represented by First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk.

Gosiewska said that the visit to Ukraine would be an element of "expressing solidarity with Ukraine" and "counteracting Russian aggression."

According to her, after the visit, Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian politicians will adopt a joint declaration.

As a reminder, the Lublin Triangle is a trilateral format of interaction among Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland, created by the foreign ministers of these countries in July 2020. The first meeting of the Lublin Triangle was held by the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland on January 29.

The format participants agreed to coordinate actions to protect international law in the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

 

https://www.ukrinform.net/amp/rubric-polytics/3230409-deputy-speakers-of-polish-and-lithuanian-parliaments-to-visit-ukraine.html

Their ground forces may help the Ukrainians if Russian ground forces try a big push.

Edited by JasonJ
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

There was someone online that speculated some of the Turkish drones in Ukraine are actually operated by Turks. Im not sure if there is any substantiation of that.

Large drones are going to be vulnerable to standard AD weapons. Their new corvettes clearly do have a good AD fit. OTOH, their Ropucha's are 40 years old, and only had guns and manpads last I checked. Unless they are closely supported, they are likely to be vulnerable.

I wonder if NATO put in any SSN's without anyone noticing...

Even if the corvettes kept close to supply ships, could those ships be drone swarmed? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, JasonJ said:

Even if the corvettes kept close to supply ships, could those ships be drone swarmed? 

Oh you mean dinky ones. Possibly, although its difficult to see a several thousand ton ship being much damaged by a drone that will be lucky to lift a grenade. Its probably going to be more effectual against a beachhead I would have thought. You can see on that BBC video I linked the Ukrainians being plagued by the bloody things.

36 minutes ago, JasonJ said:

On pointing out those two other countries, they are sending debuties to Ukraine as a show of their trilateral defense relation with Ukraine.

https://www.ukrinform.net/amp/rubric-polytics/3230409-deputy-speakers-of-polish-and-lithuanian-parliaments-to-visit-ukraine.html

Their ground forces may help the Ukrainians if Russian ground forces try a big push.

 

Yeah, you see thats what I was afraid off. If Poland gets further engaged (and I really doubt they want a second border with Russia) then its difficult to see NATO remaining uninvolved.

If you were Putin, you would probably see this as the tip of the NATO spear.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...