Insane in the Ukraine

User avatar
Friday
Posts: 5577
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Wed Sep 14, 2022 5:50 pm



The "Black Swan" events that Mark Hertling describes

("An unpredictable event beyond what is normally expected in a situation that may have severe consequences. Black swans are characterized by unpredictability, rarity, severe effects & the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight.")

is basically what I've been going on about with DK events. I think "Black Swan" is a better name for it because it doesn't sound as silly as "Dragon King" which makes people think I'm making it fucking up or it's some kind of JRPG.

And yeah, the "obvious in hindsight" is an important part of that. When the Northwest Fault (Cascadia Subduction Zone) goes, killing an estimated 30,000 people in British Columbia, Washington state and Oregon, everyone will be like "well of course it went and caused a giant tsunami the likes of which the United States and Canada had never seen. Look at how much pressure had been built up on the fault" despite the fact that right now nobody even knows what the fuck I'm talking about outside of geologists and FEMA and whatever Canada's version of FEMA is.

The only difference is that Mark describes "Black Swans" as unpredictable, where DK events are actually entirely predictable but nothing is ever done about them because of normalcy bias. (Otherwise known as "nothing ever happens, ever, despite literally thousands of years of recorded history showing huge, massively impactful events do indeed happen with pretty clockwork regularity" syndrome. Or "that thing people do that Friday will literally not shut the fuck up about since Trump was elected.")
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Wed Sep 14, 2022 10:11 pm

Zelenskyy went out to visit the front lines again, visiting the troops in Izyum.

"Hey if Trudeau can do it..."

Image

Compare and contrast...

Image

All the Russian Telegram channels are indignantly howling "How is this even allowed at all? Why isn't Zelya [Zelenskyy] dead?!"
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Wed Sep 14, 2022 10:34 pm

- Sooooooo...... Wagner's chief cook and bottle-washer, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is being set up as the face of the "special military operation".
Prigozhin gave a recruitment speech on September 14 announcing that Russian prisoners have been participating in the war since July 1 when they were instrumental in seizing the Vuhlehirska Thermal Power Plant.[1] A Russian milblogger noted that Prigozhin is introducing a “Stalinist” method that allows the Kremlin to avoid ordering a general mobilization that could ignite social tensions in Russian society.[2] Milbloggers have been consistently praising Prigozhin’s success in Ukraine and some even said that he should replace the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, whom milbloggers and Kremlin pundits blame for the Russian defeat around Kharkiv Oblast.

This is sort of a natural move, given the Kremlin will be looking to scapegoat the Russian armed forces' senior commanders, but all the more so because the cook is on good terms with the milbloggers, who both share the same desire for a ruthless expansion in Russian brutality and war crimes.

- The intensity of Russian artillery attacks on Kharkiv City has decreased significantly (though not entirely). The Russians have never stopped shelling Kharkiv indiscriminately, but at least now Ukraine's second largest city is getting some real relief from the daily barrages.

- What air defence doing?
Ukrainian advances in eastern Ukraine have likely forced Russian forces to pull air defenses further away from the frontlines in order to protect those systems from Ukrainian artillery fire, potentially exposing frontline Russian troops to air attacks. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on September 14 that Russian convoys carrying S-300 and Buk systems moved through Lutuhine, Luhansk Oblast in the direction of the Russian border on September 11 and 12.[11]


- Russia pushing their luck with the proxy troops again. Considering how many of these guys have been press-ganged, I dunno how far they want to push this rather dangerous game.
Russian military leadership is likely attempting to force Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) proxy forces evacuated from Kharkiv Oblast to relocate to frontlines in Donetsk Oblast, rather than reinforcing the new frontlines in Luhansk, their home province. Odesa military spokesperson Sergey Bratchuk reshared a Telegram post alleging that women in Luhansk attempted to protest the LNR forces’ immediate redeployment and shared a video of many uniformed personnel and civilians on the streets in an unspecified location.[47] Forcing proxy forces to fight outside of their claimed oblasts will likely exacerbate morale issues and possible insubordination among proxy forces particularly if Ukrainian forces advance further into Luhansk Oblast.


- Also, Russian authorities shut off all mobile internet in Luhansk, ostensibly for reasons of operational security, but Ukrainian officials hinted that this is also to cover up looting and large scale evacuations in puppet republic territories.

- Former Ukrainian Defence Minister discusses some of the consequences for Russia of their recent defeats. This was particularly fascinating:
In contrast to the NATO planning system, where there are clear indicators of combat capability and combat readiness of units, in the Russian army, the doctrine does not even have the very concept of comprehensive capabilities. In fact, the Russian language does not have the word "capability."

Given this article was first published in Ukrainian in a major national paper, we are implicitly given to understand that the Ukrainian language absolutely does have such a word, even if it's perhaps a relatively recent addition.
Any officer who served in the Soviet or the old-style Ukrainian army knows these old traditions destroy efficiency.

According to these traditions, what is required is not victory but the fulfillment of a narrowly set task. Before receiving the rank of general, an officer of the Soviet-style army builds a career, understanding that his opinion is of no interest to anyone – the only important thing is the conscientious execution of orders, no matter how absurd they might be. And in every failure, there must be a designated guilty person.

In recent years, the Ukrainian army has been actively rooting out Soviet traditions, some of which date back to the army of the Russian Empire. This eradication is not easy. Many of the remnants of these traditions still exist today. But the process has started, it has gained momentum, and it will not be possible to stop it. Even intermediate results made it possible to radically change the effectiveness of our army.

It really must be something to take a risk of breaking with traditions so deep, in an institution which can get extremely hidebound, as armies often do, and to see that not only pay off but pay off in spades.

One comment I've often heard from people who grew up in former Soviet states is that the only life under the USSR was simple existence. Only after 1991 was there a chance to imagine deciding your own fate, and trying to build a better future, of having any agency whatsoever. The Ukrainians were far from alone in their almost desperate hunger to actually have a life of their own to live, but they have certainly been among the most eager of the former Soviet states to seek out better ways of doing things and better ways of life.

This was another REALLY deep cut:
Russians understand that a short victorious war remained only in their dreams — it has not happened and will not happen.

For reference, "a short, victorious little war" was the exact phrase used by Russian Emperor Nicholas II, saying it was just the thing the Empire needed, in 1904, when a certain dispute with Japan came to blows. Then, as now, the opponent was simply disregarded as a complete non-entity.

- Russia targeted a dam upstream of the fighting in Kherson Oblast to try and wash out Ukrainian bridges over the Inhulets river. There's been some flooding and it's unclear if the Ukrainian bridges have been impacted, but they have far more than one passage into Kherson. So while there might be some disruption, at most this buys the Russians a day or two of forestalling the inevitable. That might matter if they actually have a comprehensive evacuation plan, but what do you think the odds of that are?

- Capture confirmed it. These aren't even refurbished - they sent their troops museum pieces.

I mean there are a few countries out there who still have - for example - Vietnam-era Patton or even Sherman tanks, in active service or reserve storage. But even small players don't use such tanks for frontline duty, even in the far corners of the world, never mind having the world's third-largest defence budget, or claiming that they're one of the three great global powers.

Then again, if you don't screen your tanks with infantry in the first place, regardless of their age...

Image
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 16, 2022 2:46 am

- Ukrainians pushing east from the Oskil river and also from Izyum. Nothing major so far, and the Ukrainians haven't reached the next major defensive lines (the river itself didn't really have anything in place to make better use of it as a barrier). Still, the Russians aren't putting up major resistance yet.

- Ukrainian and Russian artillery are engaging in duels across the newly liberated border.

- No one has seen any elements of the the Russians' 1st Guards Tank Army since the Kharkiv counteroffensive and no on in Russia is talking about this either. The 1st Guards is one of the most prestigious and famous formations in the Russian armed forces and it being annihilated (even if it's just a massive loss of equipment, effectively disarming them) would be another serious blow to Russian prestige.

- Apparently the public (what's left of it...) in the Donetsk Puppet Republic are attempting to stop senior administrators from fleeing ahead of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Of particular note
The DNR’s State Defense Committee extended one-time injury payments of 3 million rubles and one-time death payments of 5 million rubles to the families of officers, civil servants, and employees of the DNR’s Ministry of Emergency Situations killed in the line of work, the first time ISW has observed DNR civil servants being promised payment in the event of their injury or death in the war.


- I really appreciate that the term for Putin's mobilization-without-actual-mobilization efforts are now being referred to as "crypto-mobilization".
The Kremlin is responding to the defeat around Kharkiv Oblast by doubling down on crypto-mobilization rather than setting conditions for general mobilization. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov called on all federal subjects to initiate “self-mobilization” and not wait on the Kremlin to declare martial law.[2] Kadyrov claimed that each federal subject must prove its readiness to help Russia by recruiting at least 1,000 servicemen instead of delivering speeches and conducting fruitless public events. Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan echoed the need for Russians to volunteer to join the war effort, and several loyalist Russian governors publicly supported Kadyrov’s speech.[3] The Russian-appointed head of occupied Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, announced the formation of two volunteer battalions on the peninsula in support of Kadyrov’s calls.[4]

So, expect more paper formations with half a dozen guys in them, so that the regional governors can say see, see we're doing something. Six months on, and the joke about about Russia having a Potemkin Army still applies. The Kremlin is doing advertising on a national scale now, but I don't think that's going to do much other than make the milbloggers and other nationalists happy that the Kremlin is doing something "serious" (lol).

- More on Russia's frittering away its regional influence. One more thing to throw on the fire.
The Kremlin has almost certainly drained a large proportion of the forces originally stationed in Russian bases in former Soviet states since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February, likely weakening Russian influence in those states. A Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) investigation reported on September 14 that the Russian military has already deployed approximately 1500 Russian personnel from Russia’s 201st Military Base in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to Ukraine since the full-scale invasion began and plans to deploy 600 more personnel from facilities in Dushanbe and Bokhatar, a southern Tajik city, in the future.[10] RFE/RL additionally reported on September 13 that Russia has likely redeployed approximately 300 Tuvan troops from the Russian Kant Air Base in Kyrgyzstan to fight in Ukraine at varying points since late 2021.[11]

The withdrawals from the Central Asian states are noteworthy in the context of border clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Tajik and Kyrgyz border guards exchanged fire in three separate incidents on September 14, killing at least two people.[12] The uptick in violence between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, both of which are members of the Russian-controlled Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), comes alongside renewed aggression by Azerbaijan against CSTO member state Armenia. Russian forces also withdrew 800 personnel from Armenia early in the war to replenish losses in Ukraine, as ISW has previously reported.[13]


- In Kherson, Ukraine is really hammering Russian positions, destroying an entire base up on Nova Khakova (northwest corner of Kherson Oblast, basically), and smashing bases and supply/ammo dumps in the Kherson city suburbs. They seem to have also been focusing on UAV (the big plane-sized military drones) control sites over the past 2-3 days, as well as more strikes on the east bank of the Dnipro, at positions assembling equipment and troops to try and get them across the river in Kherson.

- The Russians are continuing to fling missiles at flood-control dams on the Inhulets to try and mess with Ukrainian logistics over the river, but it's unclear this is having any meaningful effect other than modest flooding, much less on any actual Ukrainian military operations. In fact it's not even clear that today's round of strikes actually hit their intended targets. As with many things about this war, it seems the Russians can only draw on the cruder and more brutal tactics of Soviet forces in WWII (but not the more sophisticated ones - it seems the Ukrainians are the inheritors of those!).


- There are a number of thin spits extending west from the Crimean peninsula, not far south of the Kherson coastline. The Russians were in a noisy panic today about possible Ukrainian landings there, but no one actually produced any evidence that any such thing had happened and some of them called others out on the unsourced claims. Possibly just nerves, but hey, I'm all for more Russian panic and infighting.

- The NYT had a high-comedy piece where they wagged their fingers, warning of the onset of Russian Winter. My dudes, I hate to break it to you, but a "Russian" winter is also a Ukrainian winter; both of them have centuries of knowing how bad it gets, and if anyone is going to have problems keeping their forces alive and supplied through the usual continental deep-freeze, it's Russia, not Ukraine (who will always have shorter supply lines anyway).

- Rashists


- The lady with the tats, is the famous Ukrainian medic & physician Yuliia Paievska, aka Tayra (her WoW nick, of all things) who survived Mariupol and three months of captivity, and smuggled out many hours of video footage on a micro SD card.

She's in the US right now as she's going to testify about Russian atrocities to Congress tomorrow (okay, today now). Keep an eye out her in the news!

Image

lolol

Image

(note that the green blob is out of date - that's the mid-counteroffensive line)
Image

User avatar
Friday
Posts: 5577
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:35 am

- The NYT had a high-comedy piece where they wagged their fingers, warning of the onset of Russian Winter. My dudes, I hate to break it to you, but a "Russian" winter is also a Ukrainian winter; both of them have centuries of knowing how bad it gets, and if anyone is going to have problems keeping their forces alive and supplied through the usual continental deep-freeze, it's Russia, not Ukraine (who will always have shorter supply lines anyway).


good to see the NYT keeping up with their incredible high very good level of journalism
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 16, 2022 2:25 pm

Considering the invasion force was famously freezing their asses off in shit accommodations even before the invasion fucked them to hell and back I can't imagine Russia is anywhere prepared to offer up anything properly warm in the coming months. It wasn't so bad that anyone froze to death or had bits turning back and falling off, but it was enough to be exhausting, and once they got into Ukraine the orcs prioritized stealing Ukrainian houses to live in. They may not be so "lucky" this time around - and even the trees seems to be fighting for Ukraine.
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 16, 2022 2:38 pm

Ooh. Germany is nationalizing its Russian-owned oil and gas facilities.

It appears this was a mandatory demand by Poland, who will be facilitating a replacement of already-shut-off Russian oil supplies. Brilliant move by the Poles to force a deeper wedge between Germany and Russia, IMO. Germany decided to make itself beholden to foreign oil and gas providers, and damned if it isn't funny to see that turned against them for good by the Poles after the Russians used the same leverage for evil for so long.

Oh and Putin finally made a statement today, making a veiled threat that the war could get "more serious", specifically referencing recent infrastructure strikes against dams and power plants.

I think it's funny that he's essentially trying to play the nuclear card without even mentioning it because he already played that card so many times it's worn down to the point where you can see it in his hand even when he doesn't play it.

I'm sure Russia will step up missile attacks, but the situation in Kharkiv is better, not worse than it was a week ago thanks to their finally being out artillery range, and Russia has already basically run out of precision missiles and just flinging shit hoping it will do things. The Ukrainians have long since become inured to terror attacks, so it's really a case of "Oh don't do that. Don't shoot him - you'll only make him mad."
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 17, 2022 6:50 am

- As usual I don't want to go too deep into this stuff, but obviously the Ukrainians are uncovering mass gravesites for murdered civilians with very clear signs of torture or mutilation near Izyum. If anyone is feeling like they need additional information or sources for any reason, the information is very easy to find, including large stories in major papers. Suffice it to say I don't believe anyone here is unaware of the scale of Russian atrocities at this point. We all know this is what will be uncovered in most if not all liberated areas, never mind certain facilities in the puppet republics which are even worse, which I won't get into at all for the time being. The only real questions if Mariupol, where 100,000 people are listed for now as "missing", and where the fields of graves can be easily seen from satellites as they cover such a huge area will be the worst such place in the war, or of others will yet come to light elsewhere.

But it's been happening all along and still is elsewhere where the orcs still rule, and they were carrying on with torture and murder right up until the last hours of the occupation on Sept 7th.

It would still be be fair to say that "not all Russians" are doing it, but a great many are - more than enough to generalize the Russian forces as a whole - and it's important to bear that in mind for those times someone tries any both-siderism shit. It is enormously telling that in spite of describing the Ukrainians from the beginning as 'nazis' not even the Russians themselves have presented so much as even one specific act which would make a case for that label being applied to the Ukrainians.

- Similarly, Putin threatened deliberate terror strikes on civilian targets, as I mentioned earlier today. I will say, the dynamic between Putin and the independent hard-nationalists here is fascinating as it is ugly.
Putin’s comments are likely in part a response to criticism by Russian milbloggers, who attacked the Kremlin for failing to protect Russian territory and for failing to respond adequately. One milblogger asked if the Kremlin still regards Belgorod Oblast as part of Russia, part of the “special military operation” zone, or part of Ukraine.[8] Another blamed the reported Ukrainian attack on Valuyki on the so-called “regrouping” of Russian forces (referring to the initial language the Russian Ministry of Defense used to describe the rout of Russian forces in Kharkiv Oblast) and warned that another “regrouping” could allow Ukrainian forces to attack other critical Russian areas.[9] Putin has increasingly shown a determination to appease the milbloggers and the constituencies they speak to and on behalf of, even at the expense of the uniformed Russian military and the Russian Ministry of Defense.


- Should also mention that the Ukrainians shelled the shit out of a Russian military base just over the border, south of Belgorod. Also struck was a major rail line headed southeast which represent the next best supply route south for Russia after losing the north-south rail network of Kharkiv Oblast.

- Ukrainian forces chased the last groups of Russian forces out of the small east-bank portion of Kupyansk and are expanding past the Oskil river in that area.

- Nice grab
Ukrainian forces separately arrested the head of the “People’s Militia of Balakliya” on September 16 as he attempted to escape from liberated Kupyansk to Russian-occupied Luhansk Oblast. Ukraine’s SBU said that the man ran recruitment for and managed the illegal pro-Russia militia on behalf of Russian occupiers.[78]


- Ukrainian forces directly struck Russia’s occupation headquarters in Kherson, likely using HIMARS
The Russian-appointed deputy head of the Kherson Occupation Administration stated the strike occurred during a meeting of Russian-appointed city and municipal heads.[32] Occupation authorities reported three deaths as of 1550 local time.[33]


- Ukrainian intelligence claimed that Ukrainian strikes have cut off large numbers of Russian troops in Kherson from their food and water supplies and that morale is extremely low in many units.

- IAEA telling the Russians they need to fuck off. Not that they will, but it's important that this is on record if anything should happen (and possibly serve as a deterrent in and of itself)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors passed a resolution on September 15 calling on Russia to cease all operations at and against the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine.[56] Russian sources denounced the IAEA resolution and claimed that Ukrainian forces again shelled the area around the ZNPP.[57] Russian forces continued routine fire on settlements on the north bank of the Kakhovka Reservoir, likely from positions in and around Enerhodar on the south bank.[58]


- Several people have independently come up the "The DirleWagner brigade."
Wagner Group financier Evgeniy Prigozhin’s campaign to recruit Russian prisoners to fight in Ukraine is likely already bearing fruit. Ukraine’s Odesa Military Administration Spokesperson Serhiy Bratchuk posted footage that he said showed the first batch of Russian convicts deploying to Ukraine on September 16. Bratchuk claimed that the convoy was spotted in Tambov Oblast, Russia and was transporting 400 Russian prisoners to unspecified areas in southern Russia for training.[69] Russian propagandist Sasha Kots reshared the footage and said it appeared Wagner forces would be replenished.[70]

(if you know what the Dirlewanger brigade was, you'll get it. If you don't, just imagine I typed a CW warning for that bit of history with 60pt font)
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 17, 2022 1:59 pm

The last reactor at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was actually shut off a few days ago, so I was a bit behind on that. The Russians also let the Ukrainians resupply the plant for now.
Ukraine’s atomic energy operator, Energoatom, said a convoy of 25 trucks has brought diesel fuel and other critical supplies to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — Europe’s largest, which was shut down a week ago amid fears that fighting in the area could result in a radiation disaster.

The trucks were allowed through Russian checkpoints on Friday to deliver spare parts for repairs of damaged power lines, chemicals for the operation of the plant and additional fuel for backup diesel generators, Energoatom said in a statement.
Image

User avatar
Friday
Posts: 5577
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:39 pm

The one thing I tell myself is that the increase in tech, recording and facial recognition means that a higher percentage of soldiers doing rape, murder, child rape and child murder during wartime (something that happens all the time in war) will actually be held accountable for their fucking crimes after the close of the war.

The stories I've read about US Soldiers during Vietnam, man. I will never understand why people can do that to other people. Dehumanization, I know. In order to get people to go to war and actually kill the enemy, you have to dehumanize the enemy, and that leads to raping and killing their kids as a side effect.

Or, I guess the darker explanation is just that people will do that shit if they think they can get away with it, which, historically, you absolutely can during war. It's probably a mix of both.
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Brentai
Woah Dangsaurus
Posts: 3578
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:40 pm

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Brentai » Sat Sep 17, 2022 6:42 pm

We're talking about people aren't exactly soldiers per se, they're farmers and, like, McDonald's cashiers, who have been scooped up out of whatever nowhere and temporarily turned into soldiers, with the near-universal understanding that any amount of respect they might have earned from being a soldier will evaporate the moment they aren't one any more.

Take a person like that, drop them into a situation where they could die literally right now from some errant sniper bullet or mortar blast, with full knowledge that the only eulogy they'll receive from humanity in general is "Ha ha, eat it bitch." Also, make it really obvious that these sacrifices will result in absolutely nothing, because the conflict they have been dropped into isn't just unwinnable, it's so half-assed that nobody can even tell you what winning looks like.

You don't need to dehumanize anybody, at this point. Your man on the street cum warrior already has a pretty sharp axe to grind against humanity. Cool, now, let's arm that person to the teeth, set em out upon a bunch of hapless innocents, and make it clear that, while they're never ever going to be able to so much as touch the people that they're actually mad at, it's not only allowed but actually encouraged to take those frustrations out on the nearby populace. Now let's see what happens and oh would you look at that it's rape at the very first opportunity.

Conscript armies do to humans exactly what animal fighting trainers do to their pets.
Image

User avatar
Friday
Posts: 5577
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Sat Sep 17, 2022 6:57 pm

Yeah, that's a good point and very true. I wonder if there has ever been any studies done about the rates of civilian murder and rape done by conscripts/draftees vs mercs vs professional soldiers. Probably impossible to get accurate numbers. But I have no doubt you're right, especially in this particular situation, as you described.
ImageImageImage

User avatar
nosimpleway
Posts: 3805
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:31 pm

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:08 pm

"Man on the Street Cum Warrior" is the sort of thing I'd expect to see on a clueless Gravy-SEAL t-shirt

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 17, 2022 9:00 pm

The environment in which conscripts, merc, and draftees are taught and operate in matters a lot too. There are absolutely Ukrainian soldiers who would love to exact some brutal eye-for-an-eye vengeance on Russian soldiers but knowing the world has its eyes on them matters, and for those who are the sort to be unaffected by such "distant" considerations, there's still a critical mass of their fellows who can and do act as their "conscience", one way or another. Rather like normal society.

Which isn't a bad parallel! The Ukrainians generally wish to not only remain global citizens with a standing they already had prior to the invasion, and now aspire to further integrate with neighbouring countries and the global community at large. Enough people are thinking in the big picture and in long enough terms, with real concrete hope of success to keep them going, that you're seeing a very clear example of a "citizen army".

Without those things, without a sense of the future, or shared social obligations, yeah, you're going to see things break down. In Vietnam you had a citizen army initially, but there was the taint of ideology and racism already in the mix. Once things dragged on and the war became hopeless and lethal, with soldiers knowing they were hated back home and the war feeling pointless, a lot of soldiers didn't have to fall all that far to hit bottom, and enough of them did so or understood those who did to cover for the rest.

On the other hand the capital-N Nazis had an extremely professionalized military, with much the same incentives of hope and future-building - though specifically only with other Germans - but they didn't give a damn what the world thought of them partially because they misunderstood international sentiment (they figured everyone should know the Communists were the "real" enemies) and of course partially because they really believed in ridiculous notions of German racial supremacy, which has the handy consequence of elevating everything you do and debasing anything anyone else does.

I don't really have a point, I'm just rambling. But I suppose that goes without saying.
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:16 am

- ISW doesn't editorialize too much - rightly so. So when they do lay down the thick sardonics, you really notice it.
Russian forces continue to conduct meaningless offensive operations around Donetsk City and Bakhmut instead of focusing on defending against Ukrainian counteroffensives that continue to advance. Russian troops continue to attack Bakhmut and various villages near Donetsk City of emotional significance to pro-war residents of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) but little other importance. The Russians are apparently directing some of the very limited reserves available in Ukraine to these efforts rather than to the vulnerable Russian defensive lines hastily thrown up along the Oskil River in eastern Kharkiv Oblast. The Russians cannot hope to make gains around Bakhmut or Donetsk City on a large enough scale to derail Ukrainian counteroffensives and appear to be continuing an almost robotic effort to gain ground in Donetsk Oblast that seems increasingly divorced from the overall realities of the theater.


- The US announced the latest military package, which is middling by the standards of these packages, but is mostly HIMARS and more ammo for the same, so that's pretty good.

- The troops up north are still almost entirely 1) tattered remnants of the same units which fled earlier 2) junior reservists ('BARS' in Russian). Meanwhile the Ukrainians are comfortably pushing east of the Oskil river, not hurrying but not wasting time either. I think the next target will probably be the city of Lyman, which is about halfway between Izyum and Lyschansk, and they're mainly trying to take as much of the area around it unopposed as they can get away with. More importantly, liberation efforts continue (the soldier in the second image is also her grandson - people being liberated by their own children and grandchildren seems to be a common theme in the images and videos the Ukrainian DoD chooses to post)

Fun fact - Paraskovia (her first name) actually translates to "Friday" (an archaic religious form to be specific).

- One line of thought is that Russia has effectively given up on the northeastern portion of their conquests entirely, which is mostly agricultural countryside and forested areas and not many urban areas, in order to focus on the south which is more industrial, has more large, urban areas, and of course the coast and all that goes with that. They're also a buffer for Crimea (for now). But as the above says, futile attacks on Bakhmut for absolutely nothing might indicate that nothing half so logical is at work. The article from the previous Ukrainian Defence Minister I linked the other day is a great read on where the Russian officer classes heads will be at now (extreme but perverse risk-avoidance, where they all scramble not to be someone else's fall guy), and I would absolutely suggest reading it if you haven't already. There was even a report they're pulling stuff from the south to send to the meat grinder:
Russian forces transported a column of 15 Russian tanks marked with the 3rd Army Corps symbol from Mariupol towards Donetsk City, likely to reinforce Russian positions along the Bakhmut-Donetsk City front line.[27]


Speaking of the southern front, partisan activity in Zaporizhia is getting serious and well-organized if the Russian complaints are accurate
Ukrainian sources reported extensive partisan attacks on Russian military assets and logistics in western Zaporizhia Oblast on September 17. Ukraine’s Resistance Center reported that (likely partisans) detonated explosives at the Nyzyany rail station (40km east of Tokmak), damaging rail lines on which Russian forces frequently transport military equipment and supplies from occupied Crimea.[35] Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces struck the Nyzyany rail station with artillery, rockets, or HIMARS, but the high level of documented partisan activity and the inconsistent Russian narrative suggests that Ukrainian partisans likely conducted the attack.[36] Ukrainian Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov reported explosions (from likely partisan activity) in Bohatyr and Radivonivka (on the southwestern outskirts of Melitopol), where Fedorov reported that Russian forces have established a military base and are storing military equipment.[37] Russian occupation authorities claimed that “terrorists” (likely Ukrainian partisans) blew up power lines in southern Melitopol, damaging concrete supports on the M18/E105 highway connecting Melitopol to Crimea.[38]

Those weren't the only incidents either - at least four occupation administration buildings across the south were hit by partisan bombings the previous day as well. One of the administrators killed in these bombings was a collaborator named Kirill Strenusov, noted for being an anti-vaxx and conspiracy nut, holding both extreme far right and far left beliefs, and for sharing a video online of him swinging his one year old daughter around so wildly that he said "he heard her bones popping". These are the creatures Russia finds to run their occupation.

- The Russians in Kherson oblast are reportedly trying to set up lines of retreat. There may be (probably are?) worse things going on as well; Russian Telegram channels published footage of orcs firing "at unspecified targets near the Kherson City railway terminal", with claims that they were conducting a "counter-terrorist operation." This could just be twitchy idiots firing at a stray dog which knocked over some trash cans or whatever... or they could be shooting civilians. Regardless the danger to civilians in occupied areas only continues to rise.
Zaporizhia Oblast occupation authorities recently announced the strengthening of “sanctions” against patriotic Ukrainians and are threatening Ukrainian activists with forced deportation to occupied Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts where occupation authorities have deemed providing support to members of the Ukrainian resistance movement a crime punishable by death.[55] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that occupation authorities in Kherson Oblast are conducting weekly inspections of Ukrainian businesses and are threatening to “nationalize” the businesses if they do not cooperate with the occupation regime.[56] Ukraine’s Resistance Center reported that occupation authorities are searching for patriotic Ukrainians in Kherson City by engaging in dialogues to fish for personal information, setting up fake fundraisers for Ukrainian forces, or asking about the deployment of Russian forces, after which occupation authorities detain the Ukrainians for filtration.[57] The Rosgvardia Press Service announced that Rosgvardia forces detained over 50 alleged “accomplices of the Ukrainian Armed Forces” in occupied Zaporizhia and Kherson Oblasts within the past week.[58]


- Recruitment, if you can even call it that...
Russian authorities are seeking warm bodies to confront Ukrainian counteroffensives in the absence of trained soldiers and are taking extreme measures to speed recruitment efforts. A recruitment poster in Sevastopol advertised a mere 10 days of training for recruits prior to deployment as a part of the 810th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade of the Black Sea fleet, which Ukrainian sources report has lost over 85% of its personnel.[43] The report noted that locals spotted similar posters in Bakhchysarai, Simferopol, Kerch, and Yalta, Crimea.[44] Ten days is not remotely enough time to provide even basic levels of military training. The commitment of such “troops” will more likely further degrade Russian forces’ capability to defend against Ukrainian forces and conduct their own offensive operations than add to Russian combat power.

The BBC also had a report that Wagner is going whole hog on convict recruitment.
Russian humanitarian group “Rus Sidyashiy” head Olga Romanova stated that Russian-led forces have recruited at least 7,000 prisoners to fight in Ukraine, visited roughly 35 penal colonies, and recruited an average of 200 new prisoners per visit.


As for the conscripts and draftees, even if they somehow survive they're sent back to Russia (if they're sent back at all) with basically nothing, to the point where more traditional military groups (veterans groups, branch-of-service orgs) are protesting the treatment of contract soldiers in Ukraine.
The Russian Union of Paratroopers and a Russian milblogger posted a public call to action on September 14 that details the poor treatment of BARS personnel in receiving promised benefits, recording their contracts, and in the documentation and quality of their medical care.[47] The post claimed that the Russian milblogger has gathered nearly two dozen reports of such treatment from a single unit from Rostov-on-Don and that some BARS personnel were thrown on the streets with no money or supplies to get home and some returned home with untreated injuries.[48] The post appealed to the Russian Ministry of Defense to protect the rights of military personnel and prosecute the worst perpetrators of unequal treatment.[49]

I thought you were only supposed to get that shabby once the war was already over, especially considering the little recruitment problem they're having in the first place.

- There was more reporting on the children kidnapped by Russia. I will avoid mentioning the details other than to say the main news is that they're now breaking up "larger" groups of siblings (claimed as 7 or more, but quite possibly smaller families as well).

Also, CW for a little while on Illia Ponomarenko's Twitter feed if you check it regularly. He has posted images of limbs from exhumed corpses as well as full images of exhumation sites from Izyum and Balaklyia which show clear evidence of binding, torture, etc. rightly stating the world should not hide from the truth. I have enough faith in you guys to believe it's not necessary for any of you to subject yourselves to this, unless you wish to do so voluntarily. But the images are there, should you feel the need to bear witness.

With all that, some levity is welcome. This is the sort of "boys will be boys" I can get behind.


The internet never ceases to, uhm, internet.


Also a bit of "better late than never" good news, Frankie got off the fence.
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:36 am

Of course there's a twitter account just for this stuff. I don't know why I even thought there wouldn't be.



Most pictures are more of the same, but I have CW one of the most recent ones in case you want to look at the feed. The dog in this video, thankfully, appears to be healthy and in good spirits now, but he has a prominent scar because "someone" decided they were going to cut a Z into the bridge of his muzzle.
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:11 am

- Assessments released today show Russian forces suffered "devastating losses of manpower and equipment" in the fight for eastern Ukraine, mainly during the Kharkiv counter-offensive and that "Multiple Russian armored and mechanized units have likely been effectively destroyed".
Emerging details about the extent of losses by professional Russian combat units reveal devastating losses rendering elite brigades and regiments combat-ineffective or nearly non-existent. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on September 18 that the Russian 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (MRB) of the Eastern Military District has suffered 90% losses between its fighting around Kyiv and its subsequent operations in eastern Ukraine.[60] The 64th Separate MRB was complicit in war crimes around Bucha and was reportedly sent immediately back into the fight following the Russian withdrawal from around Kyiv to ensure that its personnel would be unable to answer questions about their atrocities.[61] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the Russian MoD had transferred the unit’s remaining equipment to the FSB and was preparing to disband the brigade.[62] The General Staff also reported that the 11th Army Corps of the Baltic Fleet has suffered 50% casualties.[63] An independent Western analyst assessed that the 4th Tank Division of the 1st Guards Tank Army lost a regiment’s worth of advanced T-80 tanks during the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast, observing that that division only had two regiments to begin with.[64] The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Ukrainian forces had overrun a Russian repair facility in Balaklia during the counteroffensive around Izyum and had seized over 200 modern and in some cases advanced armored vehicles.[65] These losses to some of the Russian Army’s premier conventional armored and motorized rifle units will be impossible to replace in the short term.

Ukraine has also confirmed they captured at least one Russian T-90M tank, which is the most advanced Russian tank in operational service. Gotta catch 'em all!


- Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv oblast were mostly consolidating their gains today. They also confirmed that they are waiting to retake Lyman before strongly pushing into Luhansk Oblast. The Russians are building defensive lines relatively close to the current front lines, but they're thinly defended considering the large area they're trying to cover, the defenders (whose morale is already in the shitter) are only fitfully supplied in drips and drabs due to Ukrainian strikes on Russian logistics, and spread too widely to reinforce each others' positions.

- Not unrelated:

Also, CW if you're looking at War Translated's Twitter at the moment - one of the tweets from yesterday is another intercepted Russian call back home, guy whose wife is asking him to join Wagner so he can bring back body parts, especially severed heads (what in the fuck) for them to "roleplay with" (no really, what in the absolute fuck) JFC what is WRONG with these people.

- Looks like Russia tried to send a few small groups over the border north of Kharkiv, but Ukraine chased 'em away.

- A look at where things might go.

I very much appreciated the Deep Battle reference:
Ironically, it was the Russians in the early 20th who were early advocates for such operational thinking about military operations. This is not obvious with the current Russian military performance, which has demonstrated historic levels of incompetence and stupidity.

tl;dr, the obvious possibility is the Russians are forced to chase after their defeats, desperately shuffling troops from other regions - which then become the next target for Ukrainian counter-offensives.

- It's like they're ticking every possible box on the "DO NOT" checklist.
Ukrainian and Russian sources have reported instances of Russian Armed Forces refusing to pay veteran benefits, one-time enlistment bonuses, or provide medical treatment to BARS (Russian Combat Army Reserve) servicemen.[6] Some military formations offer financial incentives for every kilometer that the serviceman’s unit advances, an incentive that few soldiers will likely benefit from considering that Russian forces are on the defensive almost everywhere apart from the areas around Bakhmut and Donetsk City, where gains have been slow and very limited.[7] Russian opposition publication Insider reported instances of ethnic discrimination within Chechen units, noting that the Chechen leadership deploys non-Chechens to the frontlines before committing Chechens to the battle.[8] Professional military staff are likely to confront behavioral issues among recruited prisoners, especially considering the likely prevalence of prisoners convicted of violent crimes, narcotics, and rape. The Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LNR and DNR) have both previously refused to fight for each other’s territory.[9] All these groups have different levels of military training, decentralized command structures, and different perceptions of the war and motivations to fight, which makes conflict and poor unit coordination more probable. The one thing they have in common is wholly inadequate training and preparation for combat.


- The fight in Kherson is tough and still incremental, but even the best Russian units with well-defended positions are preparing for retreat rather than standing their ground, as there are too many weaker units to hold enough of Kherson Oblast that the more professional troops could try to hang on. Eventually the lower-quality conscripts and irregulars will break, leaving the regular army guys vulnerable in too many places, and in any case the Ukrainians are doing well enough that even if there were more of the better-quality Russian troops it would only forestall the inevitable for a while longer, not prevent it. Constant Ukrainian strikes on troop assembly points, bases, control centres, command posts, supply lines, and of course all bridge crossings of any sort across the Dnipro are starving the Russians out. In addition to food and water shortages, the Russians in Kherson have also been observed as intermittently slackening their artillery fire too.

- Russian forces in Kherson are also increasingly seen to be searching for deserters in the region.

- Fire! Aim! Ready!
Social media users also reported that Russian air defenses activated in Nova Kakhovka at least 10 minutes after a missile struck an unspecified target in Nova Kakhovka.[32]


- SOMETHING is going on in Kherson city. Intial reports were shooting of civilians, or a staged provocation to try and blame local deaths on the Ukrainians, but Russian gauleiters denied the involvement of Ukrainian forces and refused to provide any additional details. Between that and some other information, Ukrainian intelligence is suggesting that these shootings appear to be street fights between various Russian forces(!), and that it's very possible "tensions between the personnel of private military companies, Russian Armed Forces, Chechen units, and elements of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) are boiling over".

The Ukrainians dryly commented that "Why would we need sabotage teams when we have HIMARS?"

- A Finnish news outlet reported on September 18 that "its study of publicly available satellite imagery shows that air defense bases in the Zelenogorsk area northwest of St. Petersburg have been partially or fully stripped of their air defense systems over the course of the summer." however, they also noted that most of the systems transferred were "older and that their movement was thus unlikely to affect Russia’s ability to defend the area around St. Petersburg materially." still, that's some desperation when you consider Finland literally just JOINED NATO, never mind that it very obviously gives the lie to Putin's bullshit about NATO being the "real" threat.

- Collaborators are rewarded appropriately
Occupation authorities are struggling to compensate collaborators with promised payments. Ukraine’s Resistance Center reported that Russian occupation authorities are continuing to bribe locals, but that parents in occupied Melitopol who sent their children to Russian schools did not receive their promised 10,000-ruble (roughly 165 USD) payment.


- Back home still the orcish chyrons swagger - and earn their hateful paycheques (Not that this is an exclusively Russian thing).



- Even some of the mercs are getting iffy about all this though.


- German Foreign Minister Anna Baerbock has suddenly backslid all the way to supporting Scholz's moves to not send Ukraine any main battle tanks. FUCK.OFF.
Image

User avatar
Friday
Posts: 5577
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:47 am

The irony is not lost on me that the news is now the source of making me feel good and not suicidal

I pray every night that it stays that way and Ukraine continues to kick ass
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:01 am

I'm increasingly just mentally picturing all these Russian TV spots as being filled with actual orcs now, like here's some relaxed looking dudebro in his blazer and slacks and a pressed shirt, and his knotted gray-green skin and horrific dental work, talking about how really, they should be eating their enemies alive and drinking from their skulls anyway because that will demonstrate strength, and without that ya don't got nottink. And incidentally, hey, have you heard about Crypto?

Friday wrote:The irony is not lost on me that the news is now the source of making me feel good and not suicidal

I pray every night that it stays that way and Ukraine continues to kick ass

You're not the only one, believe you me. But I'm allowing myself to feel better about Ukraine's chances every day.

I mean that tank capture is ridiculously huge - that's like a 400+ flip in tanks alone (Russia -200, Ukraine +200), not counting all the other armoured vehicles and everything else. Easily big enough to noticeably affect the course of the war. What this one guy said is still so true:

Image
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 19403
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: There's winners and there's losers // And I'm south of that line

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:23 am

I am also imagining a HIMARS shooting yellow-and-blue Pokéballs, as well.
Image

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests