The Russian-Ukrainian War Thread

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
It appears that Russia is having morale problems within its army and trouble attracting new recruits. It's even taken to recruiting prisoners from the penal colonies.

 

tonnyc

Well-Known Member
I am frankly confused by Russia's decision to form volunteer battalions when the regular army are experiencing manpower shortage. Logically it should be straightforward to induct the volunteers into the regular army, give them proper training and equipment, and then deploy them at the necessary theatre. It also does not make sense given reports of recruiting troubles for the regular army.

Thinking about it some more a couple explanations occurs to me, none of it good.
One is that the volunteers are unfit to serve in the regular army (age, fitness, or some other criteria) and the volunteer battalion allows them to get around the regular army standard.
The other possibility is that the state of Russia can not afford to give them regular contract pay. Volunteer battalions, being volunteers, could be legally paid at a lower rate or even, if push come to shove, be unpaid.

Neither of this explanation are satisfactory and the whole thing feels nonsensical. It feels like Russia is being penny-wise but pound-foolish.
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
I am frankly confused by Russia's decision to form volunteer battalions when the regular army are experiencing manpower shortage. Logically it should be straightforward to induct the volunteers into the regular army, give them proper training and equipment, and then deploy them at the necessary theatre. It also does not make sense given reports of recruiting troubles for the regular army.

Thinking about it some more a couple explanations occurs to me, none of it good.
One is that the volunteers are unfit to serve in the regular army (age, fitness, or some other criteria) and the volunteer battalion allows them to get around the regular army standard.
The other possibility is that the state of Russia can not afford to give them regular contract pay. Volunteer battalions, being volunteers, could be legally paid at a lower rate or even, if push come to shove, be unpaid.

Neither of this explanation are satisfactory and the whole thing feels nonsensical. It feels like Russia is being penny-wise but pound-foolish.
Can't have 2 distinct groups in terms of training and capability in the same unit.
Beyond combat proficiency, there's the topic of roles.
A normal Russian BTG has a wide range of elements including armor, artillery, and intelligence.
Volunteer units would naturally lack all these, and be easier to train as light infantry without those elements, to be used organically to support regular BTGs.

I mean, you don't want your own infantrymen being dazed by their own tanks firing, or doing something dangerous around an MRL or howitzer.

It would make sense for Russia to introduce different levels of training for recruits depending on profile, and each form of training would be a path to different types of combat units.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Al Jazeera has a report on Wagner which includes an interview with a former member. There's been so much hype and speculation on Wagner that it's hard to separate the truth from the fiction. Like other mercenary/PMC groups before it - whether Mike Hoare's; Bob Denard or ones much later like Executive Outcomes; Wagner attracts all types of individuals. I've always been curious as to what Wagner's actual manpower strength is.

 

STURM

Well-Known Member
I am frankly confused by Russia's decision to form volunteer battalions when the regular army are experiencing manpower shortage.
From a Russian perspective I suppose there are political and practical reasons to do so. In Chechnya there were were volunteer Cossacks groups and I would be surprised if they're weren't volunteer groups in the Ukraine.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
It appears that Russia is having morale problems within its army and trouble attracting new recruits. It's even taken to recruiting prisoners from the penal colonies.

It's also conscripting (or forcing the local administrations to do so) the inhabitants of recently conquered parts of eastern Ukraine & sending them into battle untrained. Some have managed to surrender, & report being sent to the front within days of of being conscripted.

The Donbas forces seem to have suffered very heavy casualties. It looks as if some of them are being used just to soak up Ukrainian fire.
 

jref

New Member
Russian T-90M with Nakidka, and now a roof cage, somewhere in Ukraine. Likely this is still the 27th Motor-Rifles near Kharkov.
Thank you very much for the updates, they are greatly appreciated.

After almost 6 months of conflict, is there any evidence these cages work against top down attack from AT weapons? I wouldn't have too strict a definition of "work" in this context but something along the lines of preventing total destruction of the vehicle, saving the crew etc. Or is it still safe to call them cope cages?
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thank you very much for the updates, they are greatly appreciated.

After almost 6 months of conflict, is there any evidence these cages work against top down attack from AT weapons? I wouldn't have too strict a definition of "work" in this context but something along the lines of preventing total destruction of the vehicle, saving the crew etc. Or is it still safe to call them cope cages?
I'm not aware of any. Note almost all Russian and rebel tanks have abandoned them.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Update.

Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa.

Russian air defenses firing, Kherson.


Russian Khrizantema ATGM taking out a Ukrainian observation camera. Kherson region.


UAV-directed VDV strikes near Kherson.


Russian Kalibr launches.


Apparently Ukrainian forces hit while using a local structure for hygiene, near Krivoy Rog.


Footage of damage to the Novo-Kahovskaya dam and powerplant.


A missile allegedly hit a civilian home, Kherson region. It failed to detonate. Note it appears to be a HARM, and it's unclear what it was actually targetting, maybe a Russian SAM hiding nearby?


Zaporozhye-Dnepropetrovsk.

Russian strike, outskirts of Zaporozhye.


Battle damage from Russian strikes, Zaporozhye.


Russian strikes on Dnepropetrovsk.


The fire station next to the Zaporozhskaya NPP got hit, presumably a Ukrainian strike.


GMLRS fragments, Energodar.


An IED exploded in Melitopol' next to the station of a political movement of Russian supporters. Ukrainian infiltrators, local resistance fighters, or even a false flag are all possible.


Kharkov.

Russian strikes on Kharkov.


The Izyum Salient.

A Russian strike on Kramatorsk.


LDNR Front.

LNR 6th Rgt D-20s firing on Vladimirovka.


LNR 1st Btln 4th Bde, firing on Ukrainian positions, allegedly 54th Bde.


DNR 1st Bde firing on Ukrainian positions near Avdeevka.


Russian 40th MarBde firing on Ukrainian forces near Ugledar.


Russian TOS strikes, Peski.


Reportedly DNR forces have gained some ground in Mar'inka.


2nd btln 11th Rgt, DNR firing on a Ukrainian MT-LB. You can hear them correcting fire, and watch the misses, and then the hits.


Shelling of Donetsk continue, fires burn at a local beer factory after getting hit.


An ammonia cistern was hit at a beer factory in Donetsk, spilling chemicals over a large area. Details are still lacking, but rescue crews are working in the area in hazmat gear.


Rebel footage out of Peski.


Ukrainian POWs captured in Zaytsevo, near Gorlovka.


Ukrainian POWs taken near Donetsk from the 56th Bde. I count 5.


An interesting rebel T-72B mod'89 with extra K-1 tiles on rubber mountings, and a mineclearing trawl.


Russian Su-25s near Soledar.


Head of the LNR suggested that rebuilding Popsnaya might not make sense. Given that it's a small town that suffered extreme damage, this is probably true.


Russia.

Kursk region, two villages were shelled.


Igor Osipov, commander of the Black Sea Fleet was apparently removed and replaced with Vice-Admiral Sokolov.


Misc.

2 Ukrainian M-777s getting hit, location and context unclear.


The position of Ukrainian Caesar howitzers getting hit, location and context unclear.


Russian Msta-S and Grad firing, location and context unclear.


Russian helo ops, a mix of Ka-52s and Mi-8-ATMSh. Location and context unclear.


A damaged Russian T-72B3 took two ATGMs to the front armor, the commander died, but the gunner and driver survived.


There are reports that Ukrainian Switchblade 300 loitering munitions have surfaced for sale in the darknet.


A M-82 Barret sniper rifle captured by Russian or rebel forces.


A scarce Ukrainian T-84U near the front line, location and context unclear. They're apparently in service with the 3rd Tanks Bde, and shouldn't be confused with the newer T-84BM.


A Ukrainian source examining a captured T-80BVM shows it has rubber in it's ERA tiles. Note it's quite possible that a unit didn't received the contents of it's ERA boxes in time for deployment. However, note that the tank has had quite a bit of equipment removed, including a section of ERA on the front glacis, which suggests that Ukrainian engineers may have removed it for study. And it would hardly make sense to do that if it was filled with rubber.


Improvised Ukrainian quadcopter converted to drop mortar shells.


NATO/EU.

A battery of Krab howitzers supplied to Ukraine from Poland.


Confirmation of US HARM missiles in Ukraine and some speculation on launch platforms.


There are reports that the UK is buying WarPac munitions in Kazakhstan.


US MRAPs have been spotted traveling through Italy and Poland to Ukraine.


Germany reportedly handed over 4 more Gepards, for 12 total, with 30 planned, 49 000 35mm rounds, 15 EW stations of unspecified types, 3 BPz-2 armored evacuators, 10 Humvees, 8 of them EW and 2 UAV carriers, 4 remote-controlled mineclearing drones, and 8 unspecified mobile recon systems.


The UK will allegedly hand over 3 additional M-270s to Ukraine.

 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
A missile allegedly hit a civilian home, Kherson region. It failed to detonate. Note it appears to be a HARM, and it's unclear what it was actually targetting, maybe a Russian SAM hiding nearby?
HARMs, even when properly datalinked to an aircraft with a powerful sensory suite, are conceptually much easier to counter than other types of munitions.
So an inherently low probability (of defeat) munition is being expended in a mode that severely reduces its chances. I do not expect the HARMs to get any meaningful number of kills unless some incalculable incompetence comes to light.

This raises the necessity in the growing niche of anti-radiation loitering munitions. These travel much slower, and less suitable for true targets of opportunity, but will prove more valuable to Ukraine, especially if coupled with HARMs as pen-aids.

There are such munitions available in the west. It's odd to say the least. Sure, HARMs are old and need to be expended, but it's no use if they're not effective on their own.
 

relic88

New Member
HARMs, even when properly datalinked to an aircraft with a powerful sensory suite, are conceptually much easier to counter than other types of munitions.
So an inherently low probability (of defeat) munition is being expended in a mode that severely reduces its chances. I do not expect the HARMs to get any meaningful number of kills unless some incalculable incompetence comes to light.

This raises the necessity in the growing niche of anti-radiation loitering munitions. These travel much slower, and less suitable for true targets of opportunity, but will prove more valuable to Ukraine, especially if coupled with HARMs as pen-aids.

There are such munitions available in the west. It's odd to say the least. Sure, HARMs are old and need to be expended, but it's no use if they're not effective on their own.
Interesting. Related to this and from a completely civ perspective it is interesting to me that the skies over Ukraine have seemingly been conceded by both sides. One would think that RUS would own it from day 1 but it has not worked out that way at all it seems. And Ukraine can't do much about it either.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
HARMs, even when properly datalinked to an aircraft with a powerful sensory suite, are conceptually much easier to counter than other types of munitions.
So an inherently low probability (of defeat) munition is being expended in a mode that severely reduces its chances. I do not expect the HARMs to get any meaningful number of kills unless some incalculable incompetence comes to light.

This raises the necessity in the growing niche of anti-radiation loitering munitions. These travel much slower, and less suitable for true targets of opportunity, but will prove more valuable to Ukraine, especially if coupled with HARMs as pen-aids.

There are such munitions available in the west. It's odd to say the least. Sure, HARMs are old and need to be expended, but it's no use if they're not effective on their own.
Ukraine in the past had been gifted Humvees with bald tires, and M113s from storage. Outdated and less relevant missiles being handed over is par the course. Of course it's also possible Ukraine is simply throwing HARMs in with other missiles, like GMLRS and even Uragan/Smerch, to saturate Russian air defenses. If you have HARMs and it's a question of let them rot or let Ukraine chuck them in Russia's general direction, the latter might make sense.
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
Ukraine in the past had been gifted Humvees with bald tires, and M113s from storage. Outdated and less relevant missiles being handed over is par the course. Of course it's also possible Ukraine is simply throwing HARMs in with other missiles, like GMLRS and even Uragan/Smerch, to saturate Russian air defenses. If you have HARMs and it's a question of let them rot or let Ukraine chuck them in Russia's general direction, the latter might make sense.
Of course. Just saying that providing new anti-radiation LM to Ukraine as well, would be complementary to HARMs in a way that would provide efficiency higher than the sum of the two products.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Of course. Just saying that providing new anti-radiation LM to Ukraine as well, would be complementary to HARMs in a way that would provide efficiency higher than the sum of the two products.
If Ukraine has the ELINT/SIGINT to find Russia radars, would the HARM offer any advantage over a Smerch/Uragan/HIMARS strike?
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
If Ukraine has the ELINT/SIGINT to find Russia radars, would the HARM offer any advantage over a Smerch/Uragan/HIMARS strike?
Yes of course. Even without proper integration, a HARM can dramatically increase success rates in certain scenarios.

First, HARM in its D variant which is confirmed to be used by Ukraine, has GPS guidance, so it's already better than any unguided long range rocket, and its 150km range (albeit at altitude and speed) gives it a farther reach than HIMARS.

We know HARM has multiple employment modes, of which one permits somewhat effective use even without digital integration with the aircraft.

Its ability to lock onto not only radars but also jammers allows it to hit with high probability targets that moved after aircraft lifted off.
It does however still suffer from ineffectiveness if the Russians simply switch off radars and jammers for a while.
This means HARMs might be somewhat useful for destroying Russian radars, but more useful for sneaking Ukrainian aircraft and other munitions past air defense bubbles.

I wouldn't be surprised if HARMs were instrumental in the recent Crimea strikes, when everyone was wondering "what the air defense doing?"
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Update.

Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa.

The Novo-Kahovskaya dam is getting hit again.


Russian strike lands 100km north-west of Nikolaev, Domanevka.


Russian allegedly SpN using mortars, the Kherson-Nikolaev axis.


Zaporozhye-Dnepropetrovsk.

DNR 123rd Reserve Rgt somewhere in Zaporozhye.


Ukrainian strikes near the Zaporozhskaya NPP have been reported.


Explosions reported in Zaporozhye, presumably Russian strikes.


GMLRS fragments allegedly found in Energodar.


Kharkov-Sumy.

Russian T-90M, Kharkov region.


Battle damage from a Russian strike, Kharkov.


The Izyum Salient.

Russian fires on Ukrainian troops in the treeline near Izyum.


Russian strikes on Kramatorsk.


LDNR Front.

Allegedly Ukrainian positions near Peski getting hit.


Apparently Russian artillery taking out a Ukrainian MBT, near Avdeevka, allegedly Krasnopol' use.


ATGM allegedly taking out a Ukrainian fighting position near Soledar.


DNR 1st Arty Bde, Kal'mius, firing towards Avdeevka.


Shelling of Donetsk continues.


A fire burns at the Kalinin mine near Donetsk, unclear if the result of battle damage.


Stirol, a factory in Gorlovka, got hit by shelling.


1st DNR Brigade in action near Avdeevka. Note they got at least some T-72B3mod'16s.


Footage out of Peski, rebel forces are still clearing the town.


Rebel fighters show off captured weapons in Peski.


Ukrainian soldiers walking among damaged buildings on the eastern outskirts of Artemovsk/Bakhmut.


Footage from the outskirts of Artemovsk/Bakhmut where reportedly Russian and rebel forces are advancing inside the city.


Scarce footage of Russian mercenaries clearing houses in Pokrovskoe.


Romanian SPG-9 HEFRAG rounds captured in Novolugansk but apparently only being shown now.


Landmines scattered around Donetsk, unclear if new ones, or still not cleaned up.


Joint patrols between Russian and LNR MVD forces in Sverdlovsk.


Russia.


More footage from the recent explosions at the Novofedorovka airbase, Crimea.


2S7 troop train heading to Ukraine.


Misc.


Russian loitering munition strike against allegedly a Ukrainian APC, though I can't make it out. Location and context unclear.


Russian Ka-52 strikes, location and context unclear.


A destroyed Husky TSV, Ukrainian, next to a flipped over BMP (1?) presumably also Ukrainian.


Uparmored Russian Ural, location and context unclear.


Russian Uragan, location and context unclear.


Uparmored Russian MT-LBM1. Note, the type is very lightly armored, but also has a very powerful engine, designed for towing artillery. If being used as IFVs or even APCs uparmoring makes a lot of sense.


Russian T-90M somewhere in Ukraine, in action.


A rare these days Ukrainian T-64BM somewhere near the front line.


NATO/EU.

There are reports that Turkey supplied Kipri 4X4 MRAPs to Ukraine.


MaxxPro MRAPs have arrived in Ukraine and are promptly stuck in the mud. Note, this isn't a surprise. Russian MBTs stuck in similar ways, and they're far better offroad.


More British M-270s have reportedly arrived in Ukraine, possibly the 3 that were mentioned recently.

 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
Mick Ryan with a new Twitter thread on Ukraine's potential counteroffensive in the south:
He is clearly an expert, and I am a layperson, nevertheless I struggle to share his optimistic view on a potential counteroffensive. The "rule of thumb" is 3:1 relationship between attackers and defenders -- even if Ukraine manages to do much better, say, 2:1, they still require a significant number of
(well trained) troops to counterattack. However they also need the equipment, the ammo, the comms gear etc. etc.

We know little about the losses Ukraine has suffered other than that they have suffer huge losses, so I am guessing they need to train new soldiers to replace the losses before they can start a counteroffensive. Also, in spite of significant weapons transfer from "the West" they are still short on many things.

I may be wrong of course, but I struggle to see how Ukraine will be able to do a major offensive this year. Perhaps during the fall next year if the US and others keep supplying and training during the coming months.

In all fairness he does not say when he thinks a counteroffensive might start. On the other hand it seems a bit odd to write a long thread about a counteroffensive if it is highly unlikely to happen in the near future, since things typically change quite a lot during a war.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
is 3:1 relationship between attackers and defenders
The attackers might need a slightly higher ratio if they're attacking prepared defensive positions.

may be wrong of course, but I struggle to see how Ukraine will be able to do a major offensive this year.
They may do operational level offensives which if successful could have strategic payoffs. The ability of the Russians to react also remains to be seen given all the reports we're hearing about the various difficulties [low morale, shortage of manpower; logistical difficulties; etc] they're facing. No doubt the Ukrainians are hoping that a successful localised offensive might lead to the Russians being unable to effectively react and perhaps leading to a chain reaction.
 
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