The Russian-Ukrainian War Thread

Feanor

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I'll write a longer response to a few things here, but for now I wanted to share this.

It appears a detachment (possibly BTG) from the 200th Motor-Rifles was spotted near Voronezh. It's important to note that the 200th Motor-Rifles are part of the Northern Fleet. They were also used during some of the heavy fighting in 2014, inside Ukraine. It was part of a practice of relocating units from far away to both avoid over-taxing units in the area, and trying to hide their involvement.

 

STURM

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the 200th Motor-Rifles are part of the Northern Fleet.
In the past; as I'm sure you're aware; units from as far away as the Vladivostok area were spotted along the Ukrainian border. I suppose the idea is to give units the experience of operating in combat.

Interesting talk on the conflict. The speaker travelled to the Ukraine quite a bit [once with Wesley Clark] and had a first hand look at things.
He discusses operations and other things in great detail.


The same speaker in another talk.


Not on the Ukraine per see but very interesting. One of the speakers is Lester Grau.

 

Feanor

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In the past; as I'm sure you're aware; units from as far away as the Vladivostok area were spotted along the Ukrainian border. I suppose the idea is to give units the experience of operating in combat.
I don't recall any from around Vladivostok. I do recall some East MD units (like the 5th Tanks from Ulan-Ude area).
 

Rob c

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Russia doesn't need a war. For what?

It seems to be the Ukraine and NATO that need a war for some reason. They want something, they're not getting it so they start to warn and promise some big war or whatever. In Russia there's absolutely nothing said about this. Its going to be hard convincing the poles to get involved because I take it that what happened in volyhynia and east galacia is much worse than what happened in katyn, especially seeing the ukrainian armed feeling proud throwing nazi salutes with images of Bandera for some reason. Its pretty hard to have the will to fight a country that was willing to commit the same kind of ethnic cleansing they were going to do with Crimea because of the majority of people there seem to have a Russian background.
This, to me appears as if it came straight out of the Russian propaganda machine. It is highly emotive and lacking any credible evidence. I would suggest that you, tequilashooter provide more reliable backing for such emotive accusations.
 

SolarWind

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In this article from the National Interest, the author undertakes a fresh review of events that led to Ukraine's destabilization in the 2013-2014 time frame, the annexation of Crimea, and the occupation of Donbass. It explores the questions of whether the West's overplaying of its hand results in any responsibility in the current situation, and how to best move forward.
 

Vivendi

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Interesting analysis:
Hostile Russian coverage of Ukraine has declined since early December, following a steep rise in the months before, according to a study of almost 19 million online items with Russia’s “.ru” domain name by Semantic Visions, a Prague-based data analytics company that offers risk assessment to corporations.

The pattern is almost identical to last spring. In that case, negative Russian media sentiment toward the nation’s ex-Soviet neighbor peaked shortly before the government announced in late April that it was ending another major build-up of forces.
Russia’s State Media Is Curbing Its Hostile Coverage of Ukraine - Bloomberg

This could be an indication that Russia really aims at a diplomatic solution -- or it could be another example of sophisticated maskirovka from Russia...
 

Feanor

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Yeah there was a notice of movement from East MD westward when events started in Kazakhstan. Initially I suspected it might be related to the CSTO deployment. However it's also possible they're using the CSTO deployment to mask other movements.
 

Steinmetz

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Lavrov slinging some more heat.

РИА Новости

Meaning, both Jon Kirby and Jen Psaki are both claiming publicly that Russia has operatives in place to cause false flags as a pre-text of an invasion. Hopefully rhetoric remains rhetoric, for history and recent events has shown war and hostilities can be started anytime for any reason.


Kirby: "We have information that [Russia has] pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct what we call a "false flag" operation, an operation designed to look like an attack on them or their people -- or Russian speaking people in Ukraine -- as an excuse to go in."
Pentagon press secretary Kirby holds a news briefing

President Zelenksy is now aiming for a trilateral meeting between himself, Putin, and Biden. I doubt that'll happen at this point.

Zelensky proposes Biden to hold trilateral meeting with Putin – President's Office head

Good read, and further insight on the Ukrainian perspective of recent events.
Transcript: Top Ukrainian official Andriy Yermak on Russia’s military moves against Ukraine and a possible Putin-Biden-Zelenskyy summit
 

Rock the kasbah

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Stumbled across this, has echoes of England during the blitz.
Sound like a very hardy people. Don't think it will be a walkover for Mr Putin
 

Feanor

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There's more evidence of troops moving westward from East MD. And when I say westward, I mean they're already west of the Volga, and appear to be headed to the Ukrainian border.


There's also troop movement going on in general. Note, this is the type of photo and video materials we normally see when Russia moves troops to the Ukrainian border. The exact scale of the buildup is unclear.


There's also unconfirmed information that Russian diplomats have instructions to prepare for evacuation.


This comes as the UK announces upcoming deliveries of light anti-armor weapons to Ukraine, possibly the NLAW.

 
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Vivendi

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A historian examines the claim that Ukraine is "Russian". Interesting read. I was not aware that Ukraine's history involved so many different cultures, and although a lot of people were killed or deported over the centuries, still it remains a multicultural society. Also interesting that although a third of the population was Russian speaking in 1991, 90% of the population voted in favor of an autonomous Ukraine.

The swift succession of occupations and battles during the Second World War also marked the loss of Ukraine’s rich multi-ethnic past, with the execution and deportation of its Jewish population, and the near eradication of the remaining Crimean Tatar population.

By 1946, only 25 million inhabitants were left in Ukraine, which opened the country to rising migration from other parts of the Soviet Union – especially from Russia. The destruction of pre-war Ukrainian society and its replacement by supporters of a Greater Russian ideology was bolstered by the 1958 language and education reform, which aimed to make Russian the second native language of all non-Russians.

By the time of Ukraine’s independence in 1991, one third of the population was made of these Russophone migrants and their descendants, especially in the industrial east and Crimea. To this day, Ukraine is home to the largest population of Russian speakers outside Russia.

In 1991, 90% of the population voted in favour of an autonomous Ukraine. Now, 30 years later, Ukraine sees itself as a postcolonial and multinational state – neither “Russian” nor “Little”. While Russian politicians continue to frame Ukraine as Russian for their own benefits, this view ignores how Ukraine has persevered in the face of forced assimilation, cultural differentiation, imperial belligerence and colonial exploitation, to become its own country.
How Russian is Ukraine? | The Week UK

Since 1991 however the demographics has changed, and Russian speaking are now less than 20% of Ukrainian population, according to Britannica:

When Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union, a policy of Russian in-migration and Ukrainian out-migration was in effect, and ethnic Ukrainians’ share of the population in Ukraine declined from 77 percent in 1959 to 73 percent in 1991. But that trend reversed after the country gained independence, and, by the turn of the 21st century, ethnic Ukrainians made up more than three-fourths of the population. Russians continue to be the largest minority, though they now constitute less than one-fifth of the population. The remainder of the population includes Belarusians, Moldovans, Bulgarians, Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, Roma (Gypsies), and other groups. The Crimean Tatars, who were forcibly deported to Uzbekistan and other Central Asian republics in 1944, began returning to the Crimea in large numbers in 1989; by the early 21st century they constituted one of the largest non-Russian minority groups.
Ukraine - People | Britannica

Ukraine is not Russian, it is distinctly Ukrainian.
 

Feanor

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Interesting analysis:

Russia’s State Media Is Curbing Its Hostile Coverage of Ukraine - Bloomberg

This could be an indication that Russia really aims at a diplomatic solution -- or it could be another example of sophisticated maskirovka from Russia...
There's a steady stream of C-17s carrying arms and equipment into Ukraine. There's a virtual media hysteria over the possibility of Russian invasion of Ukraine, all out invasion, over the past couple of months, and there's nonstop claims of Russian troop concentrations that have yet to materialize. We see some, though significantly delayed, Russian troops movements, and we see some possible Russian moves in preparation for a possible conflict. One interpretation is that the narrative being presented in the west is fundamentally correct. Russia is de-facto threatening a full invasion of Ukraine with either regime change, or at least an establishment of a major proxy-state in the east, as a part of their ongoing negotiations with the US. But there is another possibility.

It could be that the maskirovka is from the west. Ukraine is planning a major offensive against the rebel-held regions, and the offensive will be supported in bulk by western weapons and logistics. Any Russian attempt to stop this offensive and maintain the status quo will be misrepresented as a Russian invasion and escalation, instead of being what it is, an attempt to maintain the status quo and prevent the collapse of the rebels.

Unfortunately this is a messy situation with no good evidence from either side. Evidence of Russian troop movements is scant and is far later then the claimed concentrations. Evidence of Ukrainian preparations for a offensive are also lacking. We don't see troop movements from Ukraine, we don't see Ukrainian sappers getting blown up while trying to make openings in minefields (like they did in spring of 2021). We do see an increased activity of western reconnaissance aircraft over Ukraine that isn't matched by Russia. But Russia simply has fewer such assets overall, and this activity would be expected in preparations for defensive or offensive operations.

The situation is complicated by a new set of Russo-Belorussian exercises that also involve troop movements. I doubt that Belarus is truly willing to get involved in this fight one way or another, but Lukashenko may not have a choice. These exercises apparently involve large parts of the Belarussian military and the arrival of multiple S-400 units from Russia, a Pantsyr btln, and an Su-35S squadron. In other words the type of deterrent to make it very hard for someone like Poland, nevermind Ukraine, to challenge Belarussian airspace.

EDIT: Case in point, some sources are stating that the movement of units from East MD is a part of the Union State exercises for Russia and Belarus. A completely plausible claim, and a great way to disguise movements towards Ukraine.


EDIT2: There's another significant issue. Ukraine is going to run out of gas this winter, and has no money to purchase more. They could resort to stealing gas from the pipeline which could lead to Russia tearing up the contract and halting all supplies of gas to Ukraine. Let's remember that while theoretically Ukraine purchases reversed gas from the EU, this is a virtual reverse. In other words the majority of physical gas to Ukraine still comes from Russia. This could be a trigger for the war, and the war could be a great way to distract Ukraine's public from a collapse of heating and industrial capacity.
 
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Arji

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EDIT2: There's another significant issue. Ukraine is going to run out of gas this winter, and has no money to purchase more. They could resort to stealing gas from the pipeline which could lead to Russia tearing up the contract and halting all supplies of gas to Ukraine. Let's remember that while theoretically Ukraine purchases reversed gas from the EU, this is a virtual reverse. In other words the majority of physical gas to Ukraine still comes from Russia. This could be a trigger for the war, and the war could be a great way to distract Ukraine's public from a collapse of heating and industrial capacity.
Can they not just switch to coal for the time being? That way they can get supply from Germany or something.
 

OPSSG

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Can they not just switch to coal for the time being? That way they can get supply from Germany or something.
If the Ukrainians have invested in the right power generation equipment, they can easily switch from gas to oil (takes less than an hour to switch) but they need oil contracts in place and storage space, and need to mobilise trained technicians. Poor countries usually don’t invest in contingency planning or practice fuel source switch-overs for their power plants’ gas turbines, so not sure if Ukraine has done the necessary — be it in planning or design allowance, to be dual fuel.
 
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denix56

Active Member

So it seems that the Russia continue negotiations, proposing that USA will not vote for the Ukraine joining NATO instead of forbidding Ukraine joining NATO.
While Europe is relatively weak, it will be not too hard for Russia to control it (at least Germany). And without USA, there will be probably 0 chance of Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO.
 

Sandhi Yudha

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Is this a gift from the UK to Ukraina or is this more a speed up procurement?

According to some unreliable sources on the internet, Ukraine will get 2000 pieces, while other say 1000. Ukraina needs quite a large budget for 2000 NLAW missiles.

 

Musashi_kenshin

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Is this a gift from the UK to Ukraina or is this more a speed up procurement?
Unknown. Doesn't really matter, the deliveries are taking place.

Ukraine won't be made to pay now. Either it will be by way of a loan to be repaid in due course, or it will come out of the foreign aid budget.
 

Delta204

Member
There's a steady stream of C-17s carrying arms and equipment into Ukraine. There's a virtual media hysteria over the possibility of Russian invasion of Ukraine, all out invasion, over the past couple of months, and there's nonstop claims of Russian troop concentrations that have yet to materialize. We see some, though significantly delayed, Russian troops movements, and we see some possible Russian moves in preparation for a possible conflict. One interpretation is that the narrative being presented in the west is fundamentally correct. Russia is de-facto threatening a full invasion of Ukraine with either regime change, or at least an establishment of a major proxy-state in the east, as a part of their ongoing negotiations with the US. But there is another possibility.

It could be that the maskirovka is from the west. Ukraine is planning a major offensive against the rebel-held regions, and the offensive will be supported in bulk by western weapons and logistics. Any Russian attempt to stop this offensive and maintain the status quo will be misrepresented as a Russian invasion and escalation, instead of being what it is, an attempt to maintain the status quo and prevent the collapse of the rebels.
This is an interesting idea, but I do think it's unlikely. I doubt any adviser in the White House or any western govt. would agree to a plan that could risk war in Europe simply to back a Ukrainian offensive against the rebels. Western powers have little to gain in this crisis IMO, but much to lose. While the US administration is having it's share of difficulties at home (poor polling, failure of build back better etc.) I cannot imagine a scenario where they would think a crises like this could turn things around - especially after Afghanistan. The risk / reward would be far greater than any western govt would accept.
 
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