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The Russia Politics and War in Ukraine Thread

#1941 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 30 March 2024 - 05:12 PM

View PostWerthead, on 30 March 2024 - 04:06 PM, said:

Ergo the best strategy for Russia might be encouraging Republican victories in the House and Senate whilst trying to keep Biden in the White House, to continue the gridlock (possibly also on the calculus that Biden dying in office in his second term is a reasonable likelihood, with a corresponding political crisis in the United States that might distract from Russian activities in Ukraine).


If Biden gets reelected and dies during his second term... how would that be a "political crisis"? Are Russian commentators fantasizing about Trump supporters rising up in rabid armed rebellion at the prospect of a Black woman being president? They might be imagining it, but it seems very unlikely to happen (in a way that would actually cause a major crisis, that is). Or if a Republican is Speaker of the House---trying to assassinate Kamala Harris before she can formally appoint a new VP? Slightly more likely, but still pretty minimal odds (I hope!). And Biden's already relying heavily on his team, so I don't think the transition would cause a major disruption in US foreign policy. Hopefully it wouldn't be an issue until the following presidential election.

This post has been edited by Azath Vitr (D'ivers: 30 March 2024 - 05:15 PM

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#1942 User is offline   Mentalist 

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Posted 30 March 2024 - 06:14 PM

I wouldn't say their airstrikes results have been "nonexistent". Over the past few weeks Ukraine lost at least 4 geothermal power plants, as well as the main facility for one of the main Dnipro river hydroelectric plants.

Not to mention the ongoing dominance of glide bombs undermining Ukraine's defenses. Situation isn't ideal. Without significant improvement in anti-air capabilities, the deterioration will continue.
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View PostJump Around, on 23 October 2011 - 11:04 AM, said:

And I want to state that Ment has out-weaseled me by far in this game.
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#1943 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 30 March 2024 - 10:14 PM

Huh, the "DPR" 1st Army Corps, 98th Separate Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, has mutinied. They refused to continue assaults on Semenivka, citing that their unit had suffered catastrophic losses and only 15 people remained in the unit. They have now been relieved of their weapons, arrested and accused of desertion.

Zelensky has suggested intelligence that Russia's next target may be Kazakhstan rather than the Baltics. Interesting, as anti-Kazakhstan rhetoric was extremely heated about a year ago but it got turned down, apparently after public Chinese statements of support for Kazakhstan's independence.

View PostAzath Vitr (D, on 30 March 2024 - 05:12 PM, said:

If Biden gets reelected and dies during his second term... how would that be a "political crisis"? Are Russian commentators fantasizing about Trump supporters rising up in rabid armed rebellion at the prospect of a Black woman being president? They might be imagining it, but it seems very unlikely to happen (in a way that would actually cause a major crisis, that is). Or if a Republican is Speaker of the House---trying to assassinate Kamala Harris before she can formally appoint a new VP? Slightly more likely, but still pretty minimal odds (I hope!). And Biden's already relying heavily on his team, so I don't think the transition would cause a major disruption in US foreign policy. Hopefully it wouldn't be an issue until the following presidential election.


I think it's more that Russia might anticipate a major crisis if Biden dies, and it would be controversial (I'd expect widespread shenanigans, Supreme Court things etc) even though totally without the bounds of the Constitution. If the Republicans have the House and the Senate, who knows what BS it would throw up.

I agree that overall, it's not likely to be a major issue.

Quote

I wouldn't say their airstrikes results have been "nonexistent". Over the past few weeks Ukraine lost at least 4 geothermal power plants, as well as the main facility for one of the main Dnipro river hydroelectric plants.

Not to mention the ongoing dominance of glide bombs undermining Ukraine's defenses. Situation isn't ideal. Without significant improvement in anti-air capabilities, the deterioration will continue.


Poor speaking on my part. Russian precision bombing of Ukrainian military targets, such as airfields, has been generally poor, especially at range, hence why the Ukrainian Air Force continues to be operational and effective two years into a war where Russia was expecting air superiority in the first 48 hours (at the latest). I believe, though figures are hard to precisely come by, that the Ukrainian Air Force is actually larger and more capable now than at the start of the war.

Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure have been unfortunately effective, and the glide bomb campaign is a major problem. What will be interesting is to see what happens when F-16s come online in the not too distant future.

This post has been edited by Werthead: 30 March 2024 - 10:39 PM

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#1944 User is offline   Mentalist 

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Posted 02 April 2024 - 03:15 PM

Targets in Tatarstan hit. The Nizhnekamsk refinery, and the Alabuga complex where students were press-ganged into assembling the Shahed drones. The results of the latter attack are unclear, since all we're shown is a damaged dormitory building. The claims are that the 3 drones missed the production facilities.

The fact that this is roughly 1200 clicks from the nearest UA-controlled territory is encouraging, though.
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View PostJump Around, on 23 October 2011 - 11:04 AM, said:

And I want to state that Ment has out-weaseled me by far in this game.
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#1945 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 02 April 2024 - 06:09 PM

Russia attacked out of Avdiivka towards Tonenke, Donetsk Oblast with almost 50 armoured vehicles in what some believe is the largest single armoured assault of the war to date. Apparently they were trying to break through Ukrainian lines in a decisive blow. Instead they hit a solid line of artillery and drones, backed up by forward-deployed AT teams using Javelins and other AT weapons that played a big role earlier on but have not been seen much since. One-third of the vehicles were destroyed or disabled before the rest retreated.

A similar, but smaller, attack was launched at Novomykhailivka with similar results.

This post has been edited by Werthead: 02 April 2024 - 06:16 PM

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#1946 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 04:55 PM

Interesting, I just read Zelenskyy may lower the draft age from 27 to 25. This fascinated me since it’s normally the other way round no? You can be drafters from 18 and up but they like to take younger fitter men and don’t draft above 40 or so?
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#1947 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 07:04 PM

View PostCause, on 03 April 2024 - 04:55 PM, said:

Interesting, I just read Zelenskyy may lower the draft age from 27 to 25. This fascinated me since it’s normally the other way round no? You can be drafters from 18 and up but they like to take younger fitter men and don’t draft above 40 or so?


Yes. But the demographics in Russia and Ukraine are not great, so you do not want to expend the lives of your younger cohort of citizens at the drop of a hat. This is also why Russia is expending the lives of minorities and criminals before "regular" (i.e. Slavs), younger citizens.

Most other militaries will indeed prioritise younger, fitter people. To be clear, plenty of younger people are fighting on both sides, but those are volunteers. Ukraine, in particular seems to also be trying to station its younger people off the front line (drone production and operation is popular).

This post has been edited by Werthead: 03 April 2024 - 07:06 PM

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#1948 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:56 PM

The Nevinnomyssky Azot petrochemical complex in Stavropol Krai, just north of Georgia, has caught fire.

Another TOS-1 thermobaric launcher destroyed in the field.

A third major Russian armoured push, this time at Terny, between Kreminna and Lyman. This looks like an attempt to reverse Ukrainian gains a few weeks ago on the SW and NW approaches to the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. This fared as well as those pushes.

Ukraine has fielded a series of new drones, including some with a range of 1,000km, with statements that 1,200km drones are currently testing and should be operational in a matter of months. Shorter-range drones are also now operating carrying AT PG-7VL HEAT warheads that are bigger than the drone itself. Ukraine is also making greater use of thermobaric suicide drones.

Javelin is back in vogue all along the front, with Ukraine switching to using ambush tactics. Some suggestion this is to preserve artillery ammunition for a possible "spoiling" push in the next couple of months that diverts Russian material from a possible summer offensive.

Estonia has reported that it has sourced 800,000 rounds of additional artillery ammunition on top of the 1 million sourced by the Czech Republic a couple of months ago. This supply consists of 155mm, 152mm and 122mm shells and 122mm rockets, and would allow Ukraine to restock a greater variety of offensive equipment.

There's also unconfirmed reports of a British initiative which may locate 300,000-500,000 shells in the near future, with possibly Greece sourcing a lot of the weapons.

In total, Estonia is estimating that Ukraine should receive over 2.5 million shells this year, which should lift it over the danger zone for offensive use, and towards the figure where a new offensive could be sustained.

Germany has also confirmed that around 12,000 shells no longer deemed to be in their operational lifespan have been shipped to Ukraine. Not a load, but every little helps.

Russia has been celebrating the one-year anniversary of the "liberation" of Soledar by saying it is far too dangerous to actually inhabit and if you go outside you will almost certainly die thanks to FPV drones.

Ukrainian intelligence has said it plans to target the Kerch Strait Bridge again in the near future (possibly a psyop to get Russia to redeploy assets to the bridge area).
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#1949 User is offline   Mentalist 

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 05:34 AM

Bridge is supposed to be gone in the 1st half of the year, clock's ticking.

Big drone strike towards the Morozvs'k airbase in Rostov Oblast, they are reporting 40-60 explosions.
We'll have to see if any of the planes actually get hit though.
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View PostJump Around, on 23 October 2011 - 11:04 AM, said:

And I want to state that Ment has out-weaseled me by far in this game.
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#1950 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 09:28 PM

View PostMentalist, on 05 April 2024 - 05:34 AM, said:

Big drone strike towards the Morozvs'k airbase in Rostov Oblast, they are reporting 40-60 explosions.
We'll have to see if any of the planes actually get hit though.


One indication that 6 aircraft were destroyed and 8 severely damaged.

Apparently there were 36 aircraft parked at the airbase as recently as Tuesday, so you'd think with 40 drones hitting the place it would be difficult not to hit a significant target.
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#1951 User is offline   Mentalist 

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 01:18 AM

View PostWerthead, on 05 April 2024 - 09:28 PM, said:

View PostMentalist, on 05 April 2024 - 05:34 AM, said:

Big drone strike towards the Morozvs'k airbase in Rostov Oblast, they are reporting 40-60 explosions.
We'll have to see if any of the planes actually get hit though.


One indication that 6 aircraft were destroyed and 8 severely damaged.

Apparently there were 36 aircraft parked at the airbase as recently as Tuesday, so you'd think with 40 drones hitting the place it would be difficult not to hit a significant target.


Summary of claims from "Ukrainian sources"

Morozovs'k (Rostov Oblast) 6 planes destroyed and 8 more damaged (Su 24 and Su 34)
Yeys'k (Krasnodar Krai) 2 Su-24 planes "burnt beyond repair'
Engels (Saratov oblast) "at least 3 Tu-95 bombers damaged"
Kursk (Kursk Oblast) "no information as of yet"

Lofty claims, but until we see some proofs, shouldn't get excited.
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View PostJump Around, on 23 October 2011 - 11:04 AM, said:

And I want to state that Ment has out-weaseled me by far in this game.
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#1952 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 07 April 2024 - 08:36 PM

Ukraine's precision targeting is getting seriously impressive. They tracked a Russian armoured convoy and hit it in the middle of a town when it made a gas stop. The gas station was partially destroyed, the vehicles totally and everything around it seemed to be untouched. Multiple KamAZ transports destroyed and a Tigr IMV.

Ukraine has deployed yet another new drone model, the OWA-UAV, which is an attack drone which is jet-powered. They used them to hit a series of targets in Belgorod Oblast. They travel far too low for S-300 or S-400 to be effective but far too fast to be easily shot down by Pantsir or standard anti-drone weapons.
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#1953 User is offline   Lady Bliss 

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Posted 08 April 2024 - 02:19 PM

Any thoughts on who hit the power plant? I’d like to think it was Russian ineptness, but since Russians are occupying it, Ukraine looks like the more obvious culprit.
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#1954 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 08 April 2024 - 04:32 PM

View PostLady Bliss, on 08 April 2024 - 02:19 PM, said:

Any thoughts on who hit the power plant? I’d like to think it was Russian ineptness, but since Russians are occupying it, Ukraine looks like the more obvious culprit.


Ukraine is considerably less likely to try blowing up the power plant, given prevailing winds would more likely push any radiation release over Ukrainian territory. I have seen the explanation that the two sides have been firing over the Dnipro directly over the plant and some shells and missiles have fallen short and hit installations by accident, along with some of the damage coming from Russia's initial capture of the facility.
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#1955 User is offline   Lady Bliss 

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Posted 08 April 2024 - 05:36 PM

View PostWerthead, on 08 April 2024 - 04:32 PM, said:

View PostLady Bliss, on 08 April 2024 - 02:19 PM, said:

Any thoughts on who hit the power plant? I’d like to think it was Russian ineptness, but since Russians are occupying it, Ukraine looks like the more obvious culprit.


Ukraine is considerably less likely to try blowing up the power plant, given prevailing winds would more likely push any radiation release over Ukrainian territory. I have seen the explanation that the two sides have been firing over the Dnipro directly over the plant and some shells and missiles have fallen short and hit installations by accident, along with some of the damage coming from Russia's initial capture of the facility.

Hmmm I wonder if Russia would be crazy enough to try and destroy it “accidentally”.
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#1956 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 06:03 PM

Ukraine has confirmed one of its OWA-UAVs is officially called the "RAM X" but has been informally dubbed "Ukrolancet." They've gone on a spree with it in the last 48 hours or so, destroying 7 Russian SAM systems along the front.

The United States has given Ukraine over 5,000 weapons (machine guns and rocket launchers) and half a million rounds of ammunition seized from Iranian smugglers in the Red Sea, bound for the Houthis in Yemen.

Some suggestions that recent GUR attacks behind Russian lines were undertaken using US-donated Blackhawk helicopters, possibly modified by Ukraine to be much less visible to Russian radar. Impressive if true.
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#1957 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 10 April 2024 - 06:10 PM

Ukraine flexing with its new "Ukrolancet" munitions. It destroyed an electronic warfare station 22km behind the front, a significant increase on current on drone ranges.

A Russian Mi-24 Hind was shot down over the Black Sea in a friendly fire incident. A Ka-27 was also destroyed in Crimea by long-range Ukrainian fire.

The infrastructure failures in Orsk have led to talk of Orenburg Oblast possibly seceding from the Russian Federation (!), with citizens furious that Crimea gets more money than they do. Orenburg borders Kazakhstan, with Bashkortostan and Tatarstan (which both have historically greater secessionist tendencies) to the north. I would not expect this to happen anytime soon.

A Russian drone construction and maintenance facility in occupied Kherson Oblast was blown up by a worker dropping a grenade he was trying to fit to an FPV drone. The initial explosion resulted in him losing his arm. The facility was evacuated as the rest caught fire and burned for two days.

Ukraine has requested seven Patriot batteries, believing this would secure airspace around Ukraine for some considerable time. The US is apparently unable to provide them, so other countries possessing the system are discussing what they can do.
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#1958 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 08:06 PM

Something that might save Ukraine's arse whilst the US flails around is that Russia seems to be having real equipment shortages at key areas on the front. Apparently Russian forces have been ordered to retake Robotyne in armoured assaults despite their armour being obliterated in frontal attacks, so the last few waves of attacks have taken place in barely-armoured Ural-4320 transport truck charges across open ground, which have...not gone well (protip: if your upgunned T-72 can't achieve an objective, it's highly improbable a truck with some dudes on it will be able to achieve the same goal). At least two trucks destroyed, caught on camera.

In the last four days, OSINT sources seem to agree that Russia has lost 6 Russian SAM systems, 32 artillery systems, 40 tanks, 51 IFVs, 14 APCs, 52 trucks, 10 UTVs, 43 cars, 9 EW systems, 2 comms systems, 2 engineering vehicles and 1 boat. 262 vehicles in total destroyed. This might be a record for any four-day period of the war, but people are checking that.

Russian officials are also apparently confused on their own mobilisation plans. The annual draft in May may be delayed until June or July, and the number of troops to be raised for combat operations is apparently being fiercely debated behind the scenes, due to growing disgruntlement about losses and casualties (it also sounds like the prisons have turned up the last recruits they're going to, so the next groups will need to be workers and students).

The EU Council has apparently provisionally agreed to pay for the extra Patriot systems that Ukraine has asked for, although the details are still being ironed out. 

Czech diplomacy has apparently resulted in the acquisition of artillery ammunition from Serbia, India and Pakistan, despite their relative friendliness to Russia.

Perhaps factoring into that, the Indian government is apparently extremely unhappy with Russian "security companies" offering high pay for Indians to travel to Russia, where they are promptly pressganged and sent to the front line in Ukraine, with none of the expected money appearing. Several Indians have apparently fled the front and made their way to the Indian embassies in Minsk and Moscow where they were repatriated home.

Estonia is apparently considering joining an informal coalition of countries who are prepared to send engineers, technical trainers and non-combat personnel directly to Ukraine. This coalition would likely consist of France, the Baltics, Poland, the Czech Republic and UK. Apparently this plan severely irritates Russia because it introduces a "grey zone" where the consequences of killing large numbers of NATO troops in a non-NATO country would be highly ambiguous, so Russia would probably avoid doing it.

There seems to be growing agreement that the threatened offensive towards Kharkiv is a bluff: Russia does not have enough forces on the Kursk-Belgorod axis to defend against Russian partisan attacks, let alone cross the heavily-defended border and advance the considerable distance towards Kharkiv. Russia's most likely next move is a major offensive action to secure Donetsk Oblast's borders and resecure Luhansk (in the face of some Ukrainian attacks in that sector recently), but it looks like even this will stretch their manpower. It's also worth noting that the 2021 Bakhmut offensive was supposed to deliver them both oblasts and so far it's taken two years to scratch forwards to take Avdiivka.

Future Russian success may depend on if they can continue to leverage glide bomb superiority; if Ukraine can deploy more Patriots and F-16s, that advantage may be eroded.

This post has been edited by Werthead: 11 April 2024 - 08:10 PM

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#1959 User is offline   Tsundoku 

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 11:37 AM

Apparently Russia launched a large drone and missile attack across multiple areas and completely took out the Trypillya/Trypilska thermal power plant.

https://www.bbc.com/...europe-68788110

This post has been edited by Tsundoku: 12 April 2024 - 11:38 AM

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#1960 User is online   Werthead 

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 03:53 PM

The thermal power plant being knocked out is bad news, but Ukrainian officials have noted better for it to happen now in the spring rather than in the winter. They think the plant could be back online in a few months, but note it could just be hit again without better AA defences. on which note:

Britain is sending freaking laser weapons to Ukraine. Unclear if they are being sent alongside or separately to the sharks.

(No, seriously, Britain is sending DragonFire laser-AA systems to Ukraine for field-testing) 

Russian police officers broken into the home of Manas Zholdoshbekov, an advisor to the Kyrgyz Embassy in Moscow, and beat his wife when he was unable to produce documents on his migration status, instead producing his diplomatic credentials which they seemed confused by. Kyrgyzstan has filed an official complaint with the Russian government.

A former Ukrainian intelligence officer who defected to Russia has been assassinated in Moscow.

Lukashenko has extended an offer to Ukraine to discuss peace terms. Ukraine has ignored him.

One drone team operating near the front destroyed ten Russian tanks in one night using a number of low-cost munitions attached to cheap drones, halting a Russian offensive. This is probably one of the attacks previously reported.

Russians in flooded areas have requested more money and infrastructure support. The Russian government agreed to provide a light aircraft so some priests could fly around the area and "prayer-bomb" it from up high. Subsequent flooding suggested this tactic has been ineffective.
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"Try standing out in a winter storm all night and see how tough you are. Start with that. Then go into a bar and pick a fight and see how tough you are. And then go home and break crockery over your head. Start with those three and you'll be good to go."
- Bruce Campbell on how to be as cool as he is
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