Russia Invades Ukraine IX

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TIDE-HSV

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It seems the Russians have the numbers to throw at the Ukrainians while the Ukrainians have the will and the way. Russians will win this if it continues for too long.
In terms of raw manpower, counting ready reserves, the Ukrainians are actually ahead. What they don't have which the RFA has is artillery. Of course, they also have the advantage in rockets as well. It seems they are relying more and more on the Wagner Group. The fact that the Russians are relying on them, Chechens and Syrians tells you all you want to know about the RFA manpower problem. Below is another Cooper installment, in which he mentions it in passing...

Tom Cooper
 
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crimsonaudio

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Tidewater

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Any guesses?
Big increase in the force that is ready to move in the event of crisis. I suspect more forces moving east in Europe to deter any Russian move further west. Maybe an announcement that the difficulties admitting Sweden and Finland have been resolved. Apparently the Finns have Kurds in their legislature and Turkiye does not like that. Really, it is Erdogan posturing for some payoff from Washington (which he will probably be getting).
Some doctrinal stuff. Many Europeans nations do not like working pre-crisis on resistance, but they have seen that groundwork needs to be laid before the crisis. After the Nazis have already occupied Paris, it is tougher to build a resistance. Better to lay some groundwork before the crisis. I expect some kind of announcement on that topic.
 

Tidewater

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It seems the Russians have the numbers to throw at the Ukrainians while the Ukrainians have the will and the way. Russians will win this if it continues for too long.
It depends on two things.
1. Russian casualty rate versus Ukrainian casualty rate.
2. The extent to which the Ukrainians can organize, vet, train, and supply anti-Russian resistance forces behind Russian lines. If the Ukrainians can do that on a consistent basis widely enough that the Russians are bleeding white in their rear, the Kremlin will pull their own troops out. If there is no appreciable Ukrainian resistance in the Russian rear, then stasis will prevail.
 

Go Bama

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Can you link this article? I've not seen an estimate anywhere near that high.
My mistake. It was not 55,000; it was 55%. Also casualty rate rather than killed.

The article was posted by TB upstream.

The casualty rate equals roughly 55% of its total force, according to the U.K. Ministry of Defense, “which highlights the extraordinary attrition rate Russian and pro-Russian forces are suffering in the Donbas.”
 

Tidewater

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In terms of raw manpower, counting ready reserves, the Ukrainians are actually ahead. What they don't have which the RFA has is artillery. Of course, they also have the advantage in rockets as well. It seems they are relying more and more on the Wagner Group. The fact that the Russians are relying on them, Chechens and Syrians tells you all you want to know about the RFA manpower problem. Below is another Cooper installment, in which he mentions it in passing...

Tom Cooper
Those guys seem charming...
 
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TexasBama

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BamaFlum

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How is this not a war crime? You can cover up smaller incidents of civilian deaths but hitting a mall?
 

Tidewater

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My only issue with that article is the phrase "regardless of civilian casualties," as if civilian casualties were an unintended byproduct of the Russian missile attacks.
 

TIDE-HSV

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My only issue with that article is the phrase "regardless of civilian casualties," as if civilian casualties were an unintended byproduct of the Russian missile attacks.
Correct, they're intentional. The lesson of history is that terror bombing does not work. Nevertheless, as I've observed before, lack of regard for human life seems to mean little to the Russian personality...
 
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TIDE-HSV

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Tidewater

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I would agree. This is pretty big.
The Finns signed a peace treaty in 1944 with Stalin. Finland would be non-aligned, but their military gear had to be compatible with Soviet gear, so if the Soviets had to rush in to "protect" Finland from a Western invasion. That is now by the board.
The Swedes have had a policy of non-alignment since 1815. A significant part of their decision to join NATO is that, being independent and non-aligned, they have to maintain every military capability on their own (e.g. amphibious ops, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, etc.). If they join NATO, they can specialize and economize. NATO calls this "burden-sharing." Russian subs violating Swedish territorial waters did not help Russia's case as to why Sweden should remain non-aligned.
Oh, well, the Kremlin has helped create what they said they wanted to avoid.
 

4Q Basket Case

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Irony of ironies. Putin was afraid of being encircled. Paranoids have a way of making their own fears come true...
I would agree. This is pretty big.
The Finns signed a peace treaty in 1944 with Stalin. Finland would be non-aligned, but their military gear had to be compatible with Soviet gear, so if the Soviets had to rush in to "protect" Finland from a Western invasion. That is now by the board.
The Swedes have had a policy of non-alignment since 1815. A significant part of their decision to join NATO is that, being independent and non-aligned, they have to maintain every military capability on their own (e.g. amphibious ops, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, etc.). If they join NATO, they can specialize and economize. NATO calls this "burden-sharing." Russian subs violating Swedish territorial waters did not help Russia's case as to why Sweden should remain non-aligned.
Oh, well, the Kremlin has helped create what they said they wanted to avoid.
So the big question now is, "How will Putin react?"

So far, he's posturing about moving troops closer to the Finnish border. But that's over 800 miles long, and he doesn't have the manpower to handle what he has going on in Ukraine, much less diverting the men necessary to carry out that move.

Back in February, my initial read was that Putin's insane. If that were case, it would be godamighty scary because insane people will do illogical things, often against their own interest, and are really hard to predict. He might still be insane, but I'm not as convinced as I once was. Based on that read, I would have predicted use of tactical nukes by now.

In contrast to my original expectation, he seems to have settled in on a strategy of attrition -- as in, he's betting he can wear the Ukrainians down. I'm not sure he has the manpower to do that, either. I guess we'll see.

As others have pointed out, it's a lot harder to root out an entrenched enemy (which Russia is now) than it is to repel attacks (which the Russians don't seem to be doing a ton of anymore, at least not on the ground). And I saw a poll in yesterday’s WSJ — Thursday the 30th, p. A9 — that showed over 80% of Ukrainians oppose giving up any territory whatsoever to gain peace -- doesn't matter whether the ground in question was under Russian control before February (i.e., the "breakaway republics"), or has been taken since then.

You gotta give those guys credit -- they are tenacious.

This war has not gone anywhere near the way Putin thought it would. He's lost a lot of men and equipment. He didn't have much in the way of expert military leadership to begin with and has lost a lot of that as well. He can't replace the troops, equipment or expertise. Chechens and Syrians aren't proving terribly effective.

He's running out of options.

Which brings me back to the original question: Never mind the fact that it's all entirely self-inflicted, how does Putin react to the circumstances he currently faces?

Not limited to TIDE-HSV or Tidewater: What do you think, and why?
 
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TIDE-HSV

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So the big question now is, "How will Putin react?"

So far, he's posturing about moving troops closer to the Finnish border. But that's over 800 miles long, and he doesn't have the manpower to handle what he has going on in Ukraine, much less diverting the men necessary to carry out that move.

Back in February, my initial read was that Putin's insane. If that were case, it would be godamighty scary because insane people will do illogical things, often against their own interest, and are really hard to predict. He might still be insane, but I'm not as convinced as I once was. Based on that read, I would have predicted use of tactical nukes by now.

In contrast to my original expectation, he seems to have settled in on a strategy of attrition -- as in, he's betting he can wear the Ukrainians down. I'm not sure he has the manpower to do that, either. I guess we'll see.

As others have pointed out, it's a lot harder to root out an entrenched enemy (which Russia is now) than it is to repel attacks (which the Russians don't seem to be doing a ton of anymore, at least not on the ground). And I saw a poll in yesterday’s WSJ — Thursday the 30th, p. A9 — that showed over 80% of Ukrainians oppose giving up any territory whatsoever to gain peace -- doesn't matter whether the ground in question was under Russian control before February (i.e., the "breakaway republics"), or has been taken since then.

You gotta give those guys credit -- they are tenacious.

This war has not gone anywhere near the way Putin thought it would. He's lost a lot of men and equipment. He didn't have much in the way of expert military leadership to begin with and has lost a lot of that as well. He can't replace the troops, equipment or expertise. Chechens and Syrians aren't proving terribly effective.

He's running out of options.

Which brings me back to the original question: Never mind the fact that it's all entirely self-inflicted, how does Putin react to the circumstances he currently faces?

Not limited to TIDE-HSV or Tidewater: What do you think, and why?
I honestly think that the question is going to turn out to be "What does Putin's successor do about the NATO expansion"...
 
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