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Lessons (Already) Learned From The Ukraine War - Military, Political, Technical


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They have about Bn of new T-90Ms and logistical requirements are mostly the same as older one. Armata would require whole new logistic trail.

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18 hours ago, Angrybk said:

Yeah but Russians were doing some pretty sophisticated and very damaging stuff against Ukraine back in 2017, they were totally willing to use their zero days etc. also not a lot of evidence of them doing more minor stuff. Also if you’re in a conventional war that’s not going so great, if not now then when?

I suspect the answer is a complex bunch of reasons equaling the whole of what we’re seeing, but two ideas spring to my mind this hangover morning:

 

They simply didn’t plan for any kind of long campaign because cyber efforts were redundant with a two day or even two week campaign (this also might apply to the Air Force)

 

Two, the people who enable Russias cyber sophistication are not military types or even necessarily directly paid by the government and they simply didn’t cooperate or left the country completely. They would be among the most mobile and sought after personnel in the country and simultaneously likely some of the most informed. When things went off the rails, they easily could earn more in any other country.

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11 minutes ago, Josh said:

I suspect the answer is a complex bunch of reasons equaling the whole of what we’re seeing, but two ideas spring to my mind this hangover morning:

 

They simply didn’t plan for any kind of long campaign because cyber efforts were redundant with a two day or even two week campaign (this also might apply to the Air Force)

 

Two, the people who enable Russias cyber sophistication are not military types or even necessarily directly paid by the government and they simply didn’t cooperate or left the country completely. They would be among the most mobile and sought after personnel in the country and simultaneously likely some of the most informed. When things went off the rails, they easily could earn more in any other country.

I think this is quite plausible. 

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23 minutes ago, Angrybk said:

I think this is quite plausible. 

I don’t know if anyone has any way of tracking or detecting Russia’s cyber personnel but if there was a lot of turnover then the effects of this war on future Russian capability becomes even more profound. Hypothetically, if it was a few key highly placed personnel, it’s a temporary disruption at wrong time and can be rebuilt. If it was more of a groundswell it might be a more permanent loss of capability. It will be interesting to see if Russias cyber warfare resumes its previous levels and efforts, next US presidential election for example.

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Paywalled:

Flood of weapons to Ukraine raises fear of arms smuggling

Vague U.S. assurances spark concern about lost military equipment in Ukraine, a longtime hub of arms trafficking

Ukraine’s illicit arms market has ballooned since Russia’s initial invasion in 2014, buttressed by a surplus of loose weapons and limited controls on their use. 

A State Department spokesman said the United States has conducted thorough vetting of the Ukrainian units it supplies while forcing Kyiv to sign agreements that “do not allow the retransfer of equipment to third parties without prior U.S. government authorization.”

But the means of enforcing such contracts are relatively weak — and made even weaker by Washington’s own mixed history of compliance, as recently as last month. 

Ukraine’s history as a hub for arms trafficking dates to the fall of the Soviet Union, when the Soviet military left behind large amounts of small arms and light weapons in Ukraine without adequate record-keeping and inventory control. According to the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research organization, a portion of the Ukrainian military’s 7.1 million small arms in stock in 1992 “were diverted to conflict areas” underscoring “the risk of leakage to the local black market.”  The problem grew more acute after Russia’s invasion in 2014, which saw combatants looting arms and munition-storage facilities of Ukraine’s Security Service, Interior and Defense ministries. “Irregular fighters on both sides progressively gained access to a wide range of military-grade equipment, including the full spectrum of small arms and light weapons,” according to a report by the Small Arms Survey in 2017. “Officials estimated that at least 300,000 small arms and light weapons were looted or lost between 2013 and 2015,” providing a boon the country’s black market run by Mafia-style groups in Donbas region and other criminal networks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/05/14/ukraine-weapons-trafficking/

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40 minutes ago, Josh said:

I don’t know if anyone has any way of tracking or detecting Russia’s cyber personnel but if there was a lot of turnover then the effects of this war on future Russian capability becomes even more profound. Hypothetically, if it was a few key highly placed personnel, it’s a temporary disruption at wrong time and can be rebuilt. If it was more of a groundswell it might be a more permanent loss of capability. It will be interesting to see if Russias cyber warfare resumes its previous levels and efforts, next US presidential election for example.

The DNC hack in 2016 (which was definitely Russians) is an interesting case study because it was totally basic shit — a reset your Google password spam email - and changed the course of history. I read a hilarious interview with the IT staffer who told Podesta it was ok to click on the link. He’s a Brooklyn hipster and described going on blind dates and women literally physically assaulting him once they figured out who he was. :)

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On 5/14/2022 at 6:22 PM, Angrybk said:

The DNC hack in 2016 (which was definitely Russians) is an interesting case study because it was totally basic shit — a reset your Google password spam email - and changed the course of history. I read a hilarious interview with the IT staffer who told Podesta it was ok to click on the link. He’s a Brooklyn hipster and described going on blind dates and women literally physically assaulting him once they figured out who he was. :)

If it was so basic why did it have to have been Russians?

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18 minutes ago, Junior FO said:

If it was so basic why did it have to have been Russians?

It probably didn't have to be Russians, but it was.

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On 5/14/2022 at 10:47 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

Hmm, another thing for Sparky to gravitate to?

 

Oh dear god, you spoke its name... Now we'll be inundated with Electro-Gavins.

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On 5/14/2022 at 4:41 PM, Stuart Galbraith said:

As far as im aware, there has been scare few T90M's built either. And yet as we have seen, they used them. They have piddling amounts of hypersonic weapons. They used those too.

Well, if they don't use some new piece of equipment it must be because it doesn't work, and if they do, it's a sign of desperation and means that they have ran out of everything else....

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Fair enough, except they are clearly doing both. They ARE using kit they have but trace elements of (including Terminator) and Hypersonics, and they are running out of weapons, as we can see by them using Tochka.

Ive forgotten what point I was making, but im sure it was very edifying and incisive. :D

 

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4 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

...as we can see by them using Tochka.

How many of those and where?

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On 5/16/2022 at 10:27 AM, Yama said:

Well, if they don't use some new piece of equipment it must be because it doesn't work, and if they do, it's a sign of desperation and means that they have ran out of everything else....

That or, it's a Tuesday perhaps.  I agree that generalisation and quick off the cuff is easy to do but a trap in general terms.  As an analogue ex tank crewman/commander I have had to turn my experience of operating tracked vehicles and systems on it's head during this disastrous event.  In my experience and opinion, this could take years of analysis to get a proper handle on the kit and decisions that go around it.  Not to mention the logistics nightmare.

I do not get satisfaction from seeing brewed up tanks or the damage those tanks do.  I just hope we get out the other side relatively intact.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Someone in Slovenia took this lesson, which is from the "why didn't think anybody of this before" department: turning a test device for aircraft electronic defense suites into a handheld threat simulator to give the infantry squad an electronic scarecrow.

Quote

15 June 2022

Eurosatory 2022: Carboteh develops DAS spoofing system

by Huw Williams

Slovenia-based Carboteh has developed a manportable system that is designed to stimulate an aircraft's defensive aids suite (DAS).

Speaking to Janes at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris, company representative Domen Vertačnik said that the Battlefield Anti-Aircraft Non-Lethal System (BANS) has been developed in response to its observations of military activity in Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Although only under development for a matter of months, Vertačnik said that BANS is a fieldable system as it builds on proven technology from simulation and training specialist Guardiaris, from which Carboteh is a spinoff company.

BANS takes the form factor of a rifle, with a folding stock, foregrip, and Picatinny rail for mounting sights. Vertačnik explained that when the trigger is depressed the system emits a signal that replicates the signature of a surface-to-air missile (SAM), with the intention of spoofing an aircraft's missile approach warning system and initiating its countermeasures. BANS functions against targets out to a range of 5 km.

Vertačnik said that the signal that is emitted mimics a missile's seeker, flight profile, and heat signature; the intention being to force an aircraft to take evasive manoeuvres, create confusion, and ultimately assist real SAMs in engaging aircraft.

The technology for BANS is drawn from that developed by Guardiaris in 2019 to test and validate the missile warning systems onboard Slovenian military helicopters, Vertačnik said.

BANS uses a rechargeable battery pack that enables up to 500 ‘shots' and affords the operator 10 degrees of error in targeting an aircraft, Vertačnik explained.

BANS has been demonstrated to the Hungarian, Portuguese, and Slovenian armed forces, he added.

bsp_26499-idr-17893.jpg?sfvrsn=880576c7_

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/eurosatory-2022-carboteh-develops-das-spoofing-system

The maker claims they found it will trigger any aircraft countermeasures system they've come across. I don't know how effective it would be in the real world, but certainly more so than giving every infantry squad 500 MANPADS rounds to carry around.

Edited by BansheeOne
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On 5/14/2022 at 12:22 PM, Angrybk said:

The DNC hack in 2016 (which was definitely Russians) is an interesting case study because it was totally basic shit — a reset your Google password spam email - and changed the course of history. I read a hilarious interview with the IT staffer who told Podesta it was ok to click on the link. He’s a Brooklyn hipster and described going on blind dates and women literally physically assaulting him once they figured out who he was. :)

Thats popcorn worthy. 

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3 hours ago, rmgill said:

Thats popcorn worthy. 

Definitely popcorn worthy, DNC was massive fail. Your local auto repair shop probably wouldn’t have fallen for that shit 

Speaking of cyber, interesting report from Microsoft about initial Ru operations during the initial stage of the war. Obviously a bit of a PR piece but Microsoft has actually been expending lots of effort on this and has good people. https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2022/06/22/defending-ukraine-early-lessons-from-the-cyber-war/

Edited by Angrybk
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The Killnet stuff is kind of interesting in that it continues the historic dynamic of Ru rounding up local wannabes to do attacks against specific targets. Worked for them in the Georgia war, fail with Ukraine. 

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4 hours ago, Angrybk said:

The Killnet stuff is kind of interesting in that it continues the historic dynamic of Ru rounding up local wannabes to do attacks against specific targets. Worked for them in the Georgia war, fail with Ukraine. 

Edit to add - anybody who thinks the dnc hack wasn’t Russians. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-38610402.amp

and interview with that dumbass https://slate.com/technology/2016/12/an-interview-with-charles-delavan-the-it-guy-whose-typo-led-to-the-podesta-email-hack.html

Edited by Angrybk
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1. Infantry, Infantry, Infantry....The Russians stalled for lack of infantry. Armor takes ground, infantry holds it. There is enough open source info out there showing that most BTG's were woefully short infantry in their IFV vehicles. As the Russians advanced, they should have been dropping off infantry companies along the way. They didn't. Large areas were initially un-held.  Infantry.

2. Military intelligence isn't. See Afghanistan and see early Russian assumptions on Ukrainian army and government. Count tanks and masses of forces, but intent and motivation is harder to discern.

3. Armies shouldn't have multiple axis of advance. Combat power is immediately degraded and different axis can't support each other.

4. Weather. See point one. If you attack in winter, realize you will be limited to roads, maneuver will be extremely limited. Relatively small blocking forces can stall an advance of a much larger force  confined to roads.

5. Drones are important, but a wealthier military can mitigate the threat. Drones can be critical for recon. Recon drones should be incorporated to at least battalion level, perhaps even company as personnel allows. Incorporate targeting drones for all artillery units.

 

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1 hour ago, ex2cav said:

1. Infantry, Infantry, Infantry....The Russians stalled for lack of infantry. ... There is enough open source info out there showing that most BTG's were woefully short infantry in their IFV vehicles.

The lack of infantry is something that all western armies would have to deal with likewise. The conclusion can only be, "don't wage an offensive land war in Asia" or something to that effect.

1 hour ago, ex2cav said:

2. Military intelligence isn't. See Afghanistan and see early Russian assumptions on Ukrainian army and government. Count tanks and masses of forces, but intent and motivation is harder to discern.

I should point out that this isn't just a Russian phenomenon. The disaster in OIF was founded on political bending of intelligence findings. The Western miscalculation about Afghans as a whole wanting to become little secular Europeans was the basis for the whole nation building post 9-11. Similar cases could be made about Libya and Arab Spring (and if there had been no military coup, we'd have another Islamic terror state in Egypt right now). Arguably, most wars are started out of miscalculations that are largely the result of political directives to find supporting evidence for a theory already formulated at the top.

1 hour ago, ex2cav said:

3. Armies shouldn't have multiple axis of advance. Combat power is immediately degraded and different axis can't support each other.

In this case, a direct consequence of #2 combined with #1.

1 hour ago, ex2cav said:

4. Weather. See point one. If you attack in winter, realize you will be limited to roads, maneuver will be extremely limited. Relatively small blocking forces can stall an advance of a much larger force  confined to roads.

I don't see much stalling by the Ukrainian army in the initial phase of the run on Kiev. It was about as fast as if it had happened in a near vacuum. The Russian columns stalled when they ran out of fuel, because they ran out of fuel. They lost more equipment to bad terrain than to enemy action. Even then a large part of the long and terribly exposed columns could eventually be extricated because Ukrainian armed forces were too weak to mount an effective counterattack. So, yes, the wisdom of METT-T is unbroken, but I'm not sure if this is really something new.

 

WRT drones, I think they should and will be pushed down to the platoon level, eventually.

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i often wondered how ´WW3, but non-nuclear´ would have turned out, with all major participants having only armored divisions of ww2 type and almost none having the infantry that made up the rest 80% of the armies . with a typical mech. inf. batallion having around 200 infantry and logistical tails so huge. 

there was a training exercise in estonian defence forces late 90´s , where  commanding officer , trained in Sov.Army, said to AT platoon co ´well, they will shoot 122How here, there, and there, since these are the most likely positions, it will be murderous´ and cited the norms for such shoot ,like 200 shells.

the AT platoon commander asked, if they shoot 4 tons of ammo to supress every little crossroads every 2 km , how much trucks  the russians need to advance 200km. on multiple roads and can they really do such logistics?

´huh.......´

looking at ukraine, probably not.

would be an interesting thread to read if there were a ´Lessons learned about Cold War, looking from 2022´

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1 hour ago, bd1 said:

i often wondered how ´WW3, but non-nuclear´ would have turned out...

Extremely nasty surprise for everyone involved, with doctrines falling apart all around.

Edited by bojan
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