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Kiev Is Burning


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Why wouldn't they just wait for Ukraine to implode? Ukrainians are the ones running out of time as long as Russia controls DNR/LNR and Crimea. They can't join EU, they can't join NATO. Europeans care less and less about them. They can either cut their losses, which could work but could also lead to another separatist republic, maybe in Kharkov. Or they can solve it by force and hope Russia won't bite back because of potential economic repercussions. 

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If the Ukrainians were going to implode, they would have done it in 2014. Despite the continual narrative, year on year, from Roman and others of the 'Ukraine is going to collapse' narrative, its still there. Despite problems, despite issues, they endure year after year of Russian occupation. Their army is stronger than 2014, and now they are getting new kit. By contrast, Russia is not able to procure the high tech stuff it feels it needs, and its defence budget is dipping. And year on year, Putin becomes more and more unpopular, and the DNR seems to prove wholly unable to stand on its own feet without massive Russian support.

Do I know that Ukraine is going to wait Russia out? No. But I think from putin's position, he would be a complete fool not to believe it. Despite all he has done, they drift closer and closer to NATO and Europe, and his means of doing something about it are starting to drift. For him, panic must be starting to set in.

The Europeans may not care about Ukraine. I do think that Poland having another Russian border, dominating the Baltic states, and possibly becoming economically stronger and more dominant of the Baltic states SHOULD focus minds.

 

 

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Okay, I'll beat a dead horse with my simile. I wouldn't agree to a Hitler comparison because in 1938 everyone was aware that France and UK had an alliance with the Czechs and those two countries reneged on it, leaving the Czechs by themselves. Hitler got Sudetenland and everyone was happy (except the Czechs). Chamberlain warned hitler that was the last redline. 

Well, in early 1939 Adolf took the rest of Czech and Europe pretended not to notice. And the rest is history.

My 1914 comparison refers to the "blank check" mentality at the time. Both sides weren't aware of promises, alliances, as things were ramping up. It was more of a blunder into the war. Things might have been different if nations were more direct at the time. 

Anyway, I know it is silly to take historical comparisons too far. 

With that, I don't think there is a politically united front opposite the Russians. Adding to this, there is no treaty obligations to come to their aid. They are getting handshakes and half-promises. This is probably encouraging to Putin, but dangerous. 

Again, what would he want to accomplish? Another very limited territorial conquest to put the Ukrainians in their place and destabilize them further? Or massive territorial gains to essentially end Ukraine as a nation, though leaving a rump state? Or just create unrest like what happened in 2014 and hope that would open up political opportunities? 

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I don't believe that's correct. I'm not aware of any formal alliance with Czechslovakia comparable to that we had with Poland. On the other hand, we do have an awkward agreement with Ukraine guaranteeing their territory.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances

I think he wants what he can get away with. Personally I doubt if he took Kiev, we would ever convince him to give it up, anymore that he did in Crimea.

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Here is a question I haven't seen considered here. If Russia does invade what should the Ukies do? All the discussion here and in open source media is how they would resist. Would the Ukies be able to push into Russian territory at another point? The could focus on re-taking their territory back, but that essentially leaves Russia in a different position. Where should they push into Russia?

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1 hour ago, ex2cav said:

Again, what would he want to accomplish? Another very limited territorial conquest to put the Ukrainians in their place and destabilize them further? Or massive territorial gains to essentially end Ukraine as a nation, though leaving a rump state? Or just create unrest like what happened in 2014 and hope that would open up political opportunities? 

The re-establishment of an unbroken frontier against NATO expansion while reinstating Russian leadership over Belarus and parts of Ukraine in its near abroad.  If a nuclear war breaks out with the United States, then the thinking I would guess would be that this was inevitable anyways, so pitter patter, cost of doing business.

 

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On 11/23/2021 at 1:23 PM, Josh said:

I've no doubt the Russians are capable of engaging satellites at this point. Which particular weapon system happens to be operational or responsible for the most recent test doesn't seem especially germane. But I have hard time believing Russia will unilaterally engage '32 NATO satellites' pre-emptively. Because if NATO wasn't involved in the Ukraine before that act, it sure as shit will be after, starting with Russia's satellites dying the next day. Right now I don't think anyone seriously expects NATO to carry water for the Ukraine outside of sending more Javelins and wishing them luck. That clearly changes if Russia goes out of its way to provoke the US and inhibits assets used in numerous other regions.

There's plenty of unknowns.  For example, can Russia use lasers to blind satellites without shooting them down?  Does Russian doctrine emphasize shocking measures to prevent escalation such as destroying satellites, or lack of such actions to signal restraint, also to prevent escalation?  How seriously does Putin take the idea of a B-2 killing him on a high stakes conventional air raid?  How many Russian soldiers could be killed by Ukrainian missiles and artillery using satellite tracking data supplied by NATO?  How willing are the Russian leaders willing to be detected by enemy satellites passing directly overhead day to day?  

 

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7 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

If the Ukrainians were going to implode, they would have done it in 2014. Despite the continual narrative, year on year, from Roman and others of the 'Ukraine is going to collapse' narrative, its still there. Despite problems, despite issues, they endure year after year of Russian occupation. Their army is stronger than 2014, and now they are getting new kit. By contrast, Russia is not able to procure the high tech stuff it feels it needs, and its defence budget is dipping. And year on year, Putin becomes more and more unpopular, and the DNR seems to prove wholly unable to stand on its own feet without massive Russian support.

Do I know that Ukraine is going to wait Russia out? No. But I think from putin's position, he would be a complete fool not to believe it. Despite all he has done, they drift closer and closer to NATO and Europe, and his means of doing something about it are starting to drift. For him, panic must be starting to set in.

The Europeans may not care about Ukraine. I do think that Poland having another Russian border, dominating the Baltic states, and possibly becoming economically stronger and more dominant of the Baltic states SHOULD focus minds.

They kinda did implode in 2014. And it won't take long before they end up in even worse economic situation, especially with transit fees coming to the end and their reforms going nowhere. 

Ukrainian army got stronger in terms of raw numbers, they raised few more formations, recommissioned old tanks etc. However in the same timeframe Russian army got significantly stronger. While Ukrainians were repainting their tanks and trying to stop their air force from falling apart, Russians were acquiring hundreds of new aircraft, missile systems, new ships, satellites, improving their electronic warfare equipment etc. The stuff that actually makes a difference on the battlefield, while Ukrainians just increased the amount of meat they can send into the meatgrinder (or rather VKS shooting range).

The gap between their armies and economies is increasing at rapid pace, Ukrainian chance at salvaging something out of this is becoming smaller and smaller. It just makes no sense for Russia to invade Ukraine unless the "independence" of their puppet republics gets threatened.

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2 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Those 600?

Is this a serious question?

That's the point. If they are not a threat to Russia, they won't be able to defend themselves. All the talk of making the Russians pay will be talk.  Without the west, it sounds like they would be done for.

The west should either throw the Nato blanket over them and expect war, and a very cold winter when the gas is turned off, or begin preparing for the day Russia takes a 1/3 of Ukraine. 

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The west can certainly live with Russia taking 1/3 of Ukraine. It might even be better for the pro-western ideologues in western Ukraine too, as they lose regions and people who have a very different outlook, and get to end the civil war.

The best option for almost everyone would be a peaceful partition, though there is essentially zero chance of this occurring.  Short of that the best option is that if there is a war, there is a rapid collapse of Ukrainian resistance with few casualties, and a quick ceasefire agreement that creates a partition. 

Then with such an agreement in place, the whole competition can shift from military posturing and fighting to an economic one, i.e. which part of Ukraine has better living standards.

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When the US buys more crude from Russia than Mexico, does it really want to sanction their supplier? I guess it's worth it.

Europe can voluntarily cut Russian gas consumption and show Putin they don't need him. 

Poland and Estonia will provide replacement supply from their stocks. 

It's beyond farcical and 400 dollar oil will be quite amusing for awhile. 

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10 hours ago, glenn239 said:

I think China and the Soviets had a dust up in the late 1960's when both were nuclear powers.

That was a small border dustup over Damansky Island. Difficult to see the Chinese going nuclear in an era of total USSR Nuclear Supremacy. They didnt even have the US at their back for a few more years.

Look up what happened in 1983. Two massive nuclear powers almost got to war by accident. One blythely assuming its actions could not be misinterpreted, the other seemingly because it did misinterpret them. They were also within an couple of hours of being used in 1958 on China.

Your assumption is based on the understanding they have not been used, so they never will. Thats called confirmation bias, and pays no attention to the numerous occasions when they almost have been.

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8 hours ago, Pleb said:

They kinda did implode in 2014. And it won't take long before they end up in even worse economic situation, especially with transit fees coming to the end and their reforms going nowhere. 

Ukrainian army got stronger in terms of raw numbers, they raised few more formations, recommissioned old tanks etc. However in the same timeframe Russian army got significantly stronger. While Ukrainians were repainting their tanks and trying to stop their air force from falling apart, Russians were acquiring hundreds of new aircraft, missile systems, new ships, satellites, improving their electronic warfare equipment etc. The stuff that actually makes a difference on the battlefield, while Ukrainians just increased the amount of meat they can send into the meatgrinder (or rather VKS shooting range).

The gap between their armies and economies is increasing at rapid pace, Ukrainian chance at salvaging something out of this is becoming smaller and smaller. It just makes no sense for Russia to invade Ukraine unless the "independence" of their puppet republics gets threatened.

Well, no they didnt. They stood up to Europes larges land power, and held on to about 90 percent of their country. The also managed to stand up to them for a further 7 years of hybrid war. That isnt imploding, in my humble opinoin at least.

Lets define 'significantly stronger'. They have over 12000-13000 tanks. Part of that total is T62's to keep the numbers up. The vast majority of the rest of those tanks have not been modernized. They still have significant numbers of 2S3 in service. Their rocket artillery is truly modern, but they still have Uragan, BM21 and other aging systems in service, suggesting its not quite as broad in scale as they make out. And the vast majority of their manpower are conscripts whom do only one year of service. Its not nearly enough to weld a truly effective mechanised army together. Only their airborne forces can be judged truly modern and effective and wholly comparable to NATO Armies. They have what, 4 divisions of just 2 brigades? Not going to go far.

In 1939, everyone look at the German Army and quaked. Here was a truly modern, mechanised Army. Well know, we know now about 70 percent of it was horsedrawn. Similarly everyone is quaking at the Russian Army, and yes, its a good army, and im not mocking it. But that the vast majority of its kit, particularly infantry carriers, has not moved on from 1992 shows the problems the Russians have. They cannot replace the vast majority of that kit, no matter how much they boast about 3000 Armata's. Even if they DID build those, it doesnt come close to replace all the old Soviet kit they have stockpiled.

Another 2 decades, unless they get really serious about building new kit, the Russian Army will be going the way of the British Army, declining into irrelevance with utterly ancient equipment. Ukraine is going the the way of the West, buying in PGM's to allow technology to even the balance. The Russians cant, they slammed the door in the face of access to western equipment. And its probably in a few years going to start showing up, particularly in development of their 5th gen aircraft.

That doesnt mean if they don tgo to war tomorrow they wont probably win. Im just suggesting, if they want to take Ukraine, now is the time. The tide is most definately turning.

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16 hours ago, Pleb said:

They kinda did implode in 2014. And it won't take long before they end up in even worse economic situation, especially with transit fees coming to the end and their reforms going nowhere. 

I'd suggest thinking more of Putin as looking towards his legacy, to be known as one of the greatest leader in Russian history rather than as you implicitly suggest here, sort of a cowardly global hyena.  Why would Putin want Ukraine to implode into chaos when what Russia really benefits from is a strong, vibrant Ukraine that is again not only an ally of Russia, but ideologically in lockstep with the whole 'we're all Russians' thing.  Putin wants to rebuild a political federation to replace the Soviet Union, and stop NATO in its tracks.  The only advantage to Ukraine imploding would be to prevent NATO expansion; that does nothing towards rebuilding a pan-Russian federation.  But Putin can prevent that militarily too, so its not as if he needs Ukraine to implode in order to block NATO expansion.  

 

Quote

The west should either throw the Nato blanket over them and expect war, and a very cold winter when the gas is turned off, or begin preparing for the day Russia takes a 1/3 of Ukraine. 

 There is another option, the one I've recommended for 8 years.  That is for NATO to completely sever military relations with Ukraine, tell Kiev to go fuck itself, that it will never be part of NATO and must go to Moscow and work it out with Putin.  Putin gets along with ass hats like Erdogan, he can get along with ass hats in Kiev too.  At the same time, go to Russia and indicate that sanctions relief will be part of a Russian-Ukrainian rapprochement.   The problem with that approach is that globalists and western elites  see Russian only as an adversary, the evil meme in their advertising campaigns.  Ukraine is a pawn on a much larger chessboard, and doing sanctions relief to ease Ukrainian-Russian tensions is simply not in the playbook - they would prefer Ukraine to be invaded instead, because that will look better on the globalist advertising campaign.  Lots of propaganda in that one, and the more dead Uks the better.

If NATO does as you suggest and puts a military 'blanket' over Ukraine, then, since Russia is undeterrable at this point, this will trigger an invasion and NATO will very rapidly be in a situation where it must either backstab Ukraine, (like France and Britain let down Poland in 1939), or it must fight a war in which the outcome could be far worse than having done nothing at all.

 

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8 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Your assumption is based on the understanding they have not been used, so they never will. Thats called confirmation bias, and pays no attention to the numerous occasions when they almost have been.

No, that's not my assumption at all.  My assumption is that a nuclear war is not only quite possible, it actually makes sense for an Asian land power to fight one in certain circumstances.   That is, a nuclear war fought under tight engagement protocols could completely smash pretty little brittle things like the ability to produce aircraft or have big naval ships.  As I've mentioned here about a hundred times, if the Russian and American navies and air forces destry each other in an orgy of conventional and tactical nuclear destruction Russia will still be sitting in the middle of Asia, but the US will be back in the Americas, not in Asia.

So, my assumption is that the risk of a nuclear war is not symmetrical, that it is much greater for the US (which is the seapower that relies on all sorts of very delicate instruments of global power projection) than it is for Russia, (which is a land power and can still exert political influence after such a war in its own near abroad).  That makes a nuclear war very possible, and very much not within our interests.  

This article,

All options fraught with risk as Biden confronts Putin over Ukraine | US foreign policy | The Guardian

Outlines the US dilemma, why they should have never placed a bet in Ukraine in the first place.  One minute they're escalating in a shit hole of no value to the US, the next minute Texas is on the phone saying that much of the F-35 production capacity is gone.  Was a shithole worth that?

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24 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

No, that's not my assumption at all.  My assumption is that a nuclear war is not only quite possible, it actually makes sense for an Asian land power to fight one in certain circumstances.   That is, a nuclear war fought under tight engagement protocols could completely smash pretty little brittle things like the ability to produce aircraft or have big naval ships.  As I've mentioned here about a hundred times, if the Russian and American navies and air forces destry each other in an orgy of conventional and tactical nuclear destruction Russia will still be sitting in the middle of Asia, but the US will be back in the Americas, not in Asia.

So, my assumption is that the risk of a nuclear war is not symmetrical, that it is much greater for the US (which is the seapower that relies on all sorts of very delicate instruments of global power projection) than it is for Russia, (which is a land power and can still exert political influence after such a war in its own near abroad).  That makes a nuclear war very possible, and very much not within our interests.  

This article,

All options fraught with risk as Biden confronts Putin over Ukraine | US foreign policy | The Guardian

Outlines the US dilemma, why they should have never placed a bet in Ukraine in the first place.  One minute they're escalating in a shit hole of no value to the US, the next minute Texas is on the phone saying that much of the F-35 production capacity is gone.  Was a shithole worth that?

No, I think thats nonsense. Because we have a counterstrike doctrine, and for the Russians there is no real value in doing anything other than counterstrike either. Oh, Russia might beat its chest about Countervalue strikes, but if it ever did, it would witness historic cities like St Petersburg or Volgograd being wiped off the map, even if Moscow survived.

They know full well they are far more vulnerable to that kind of strike. If the Americans ever used the B2 with nuclear weapons, the war would be over before it even began. The Americans simply dont have that kind of vulnerability. Their nuclear command and control aircraft are not sat on unguarded airstrips having their radios nicked.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-55229438

As for China, they arent even at nuclear parity with the US in all kinds of systems, bombers, land based missile, SSBN's. All they have is hypersonic missiles, and yes, they could wipe out Guam with the First Strike, and the USAF would wipe out China's strategic systems with the Second.

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