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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:40 am
by Mongrel
- With the Ukrainians now directly bearing down on them, administrators in the Donetsk and Luhansk puppet republics are calling for immediate referendums on joining Russia.
Russian propagandist and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan spoke glowingly of the call, referring to it as the “Crimean scenario.” She wrote that by recognizing occupied Ukrainian land as Russian territory, Russia could more easily threaten NATO with retaliatory strikes for Ukrainian counterattacks, “untying Russia’s hands in all respects.”

Sounds bad, right? At least somewhat? Well, ISW had some comments on this and the tl:dr is "lol not happening, but it'll be really funny if they do"
This approach is incoherent. Russian forces do not control all of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Annexing the claimed territories of the DNR and LNR would, therefore, have Russia annex oblasts that would be by Kremlin definition partially ”occupied” by legitimate Ukrainian authorities and advancing Ukrainian forces. Ukrainian strikes into Russian-annexed Crimea clearly demonstrate that Ukrainian attacks on Russia’s illegally annexed territory do not automatically trigger Russian retaliation against NATO, as Simonyan would have her readers believe. Partial annexation at this stage would also place the Kremlin in the strange position of demanding that Ukrainian forces unoccupy “Russian” territory, and the humiliating position of being unable to enforce that demand. It remains very unclear that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be willing to place himself in such a bind for the dubious benefit of making it easier to threaten NATO or Ukraine with escalation he remains highly unlikely to conduct at this stage.


Also Putin promised a single referendum across all occupied territories, and backing off of that to (try to) do annexation piecemeal is going to make him look really stupid with the pro-war nationalist crowd, who, as always, want Russia to be all-in.

- Russia elite units morale is extremely low. How long before they break, I wonder? Of course one argument is "they already have." when they fled Kharkiv as fast as a bunch of bowlegged orcs can waddle.
Recent Ukrainian counter-offensive successes are further reducing the already poor morale among Russian units that had been considered elite before February 24. Independent Belarusian media outlet Vot Tak posted images of intercepted documents left behind by Russian soldiers of Unit 31135 of the 1st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division as they fled Izyum en masse.[4] The signed documents (dated to August 30, prior to Ukraine’s counter-offensive in Kharkiv on September 7) include written pleas to commanders of Unit 31135 to dismiss the letters’ authors due to persistent “physical and moral fatigue.”[5] Ukrainian intelligence claimed that 90% of the personnel of the 1st Motorized Rifle Regiment wrote damning reports on the state of morale as early as May 23, 2022.[6] The 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division is one of three divisions of the 1st Guards Tank Army, which, prior to the current war in Ukraine, was considered Russia’s premier mechanized force and was to be Russia’s key force in a large-scale conventional war with NATO.[7] The intercepted letters indicate pervasive morale issues among Russia’s most elite units and the degradation of Russia’s conventional capabilities against NATO.


- Ukrainian units near the Oskil are already being equipped with the tanks and other equipment the Russians left behind. No long trips to the shop here, they're turning these prizes around and pointing them at the former owners FAST.

- Also more stuff:

with even the germans sending SOME more of that good shit.


- Several posts on Russian Telegram channels purportedly from Russians in Lyman, or people who know such troops, claim they are under "siege", being attacked from two sides, and taking losses.

- Southward push in Kherson was paused for today, with speculation the Ukrainians are building up a bit before punching south to Kherson city. Seemingly confirming previous claims of low morale and planning for a retreat, the somewhat more objective Russian analysis here is very hopeful about their chances.


- Russians were praising Wagner for the (alleged!) seizure of an electrical substation on the Bakhmut front. There is, as far as anyone can tell literally nothing unusual about this location; it really is nothing more than ordinary, unremarkable electrical substation of no strategic, tactical, or geographical value - might as well have captured a cell tower. Such is the scale of the victories Russia claims now, and we don't even know for sure if this even took the place at all!

- With recruitment dwindling to almost nothing, Russian regions are promising smaller-and smaller amounts of troops. Russian forces have also been observed as using ever-smaller formations as their main tactical units, degrading from battalions, to companies, and in some cases platoons. Now that recruiters are doing the same - some announced today they were sending "detachments", so any potential help these (horribly untrained and undersupplied) groups might bring at all is shrinking faster than the existing Russian forces already in Ukraine.

- Also more signs of futile desperation in the proxy republics.
Russian occupation authorities are attempting to mobilize additional forces from Ukrainian civilians in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory. Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on September 19 that Russian forces are failing to mobilize additional forces from occupied Luhansk Oblast and that local occupation officials failed to meet a 500-person quota for mobilization in Severodonetsk to replenish the depleted 2nd Army Corps, the armed forces of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR).[37] The GUR also reported that Russian occupation officials held a meeting in occupied Myrne, Kherson Oblast to discuss mobilizing local Ukrainian men to fight on Russia’s behalf. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on September 19 that occupation authorities rounded up all men under 40 years of age in Portivske, Mariupol Raion for forced mobilization.[38] Portivske is not part of the pre-February 24 borders of the Russian proxy Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and therefore would not have provided DNR units for the invasion. The Ukrainian Resistance Center also reported that women in Alchevsk, within the pre-February 24 borders of the DNR, rioted and tried to block a busload of mobilized men from leaving the town.


- Ukrainian resistance members blew up a Russian cop known for performing interrogations in occupied areas. In occupied areas nearest to the front, the occupation forces seem torn between hunting for resistance fighters or fleeing to Russia, with the latter occurring frequently in the east.

- Ukrainians hacked the Wagner website! Not linking it because they papered the front page over with gruesome images of dead Wagner mercs, but the text read "Ukrainian IT Army here. We now have your website personal data. Welcome to Ukraine. We’re waiting for you."

- They also did this additional bit of trolling (replaced the like/comment 'Wagner' icon, among other things).


- Speaking of Wagner. Good thread & video.

The tl:dr is that for the MOST part, they're relegated to the shittiest duties like corpse collection (though obviously some are out there doing their worst), kept separate from other units, and not entrusted with more sophisticated weapons. Oh, and there may well be THOUSANDS of Russian convicts in Ukraine by now.

- lol, rubbing it in for the whiniest Russians


Good article in the Kyiv Independent Retired US General Ben Hodges: ‘We’ve reached irreversible momentum for Ukraine’

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 4:20 pm
by Mongrel
Hahaha omg, looks like they really are gonna try a total panic-move Donbas "referendum" for annexation, plus also in Zaporizhzhia and - even Kherson! MY DUDES YOU ARE LITERALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF A SIEGE.

This is supposed to take place only three days from now. After months and months of referendum dates being pushed back because they had paltry facilities (not including the ones which were straight-up bombed), negligible staff, and no support or organization.

This is going to get very silly.
“The Russians can do whatever they want. It will not change anything,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in response to reporters’ questions at the start of a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

In a tweet, he added: “Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say.”

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington rejected any such referendums “unequivocally”. French President Emmanuel Macron and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda both used the word “parody” to describe the planned votes.

Essentially what happened was the Ukrainians took back some of Luhansk (just one village), which of course was the only Oblast entirely controlled by Russia at any point, and then the puppet leaders all started collectively shitting their pants.

This is terrible for Russia for all the reasons listed in my post last night, but it's the puppets who are forcing the puppeteer's hand!

EDIT: The Ukrainian MoD is having a field day.



Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 4:34 pm
by Mongrel
Oh and the Ukrainian hack on Wagner didn't just deface their website - that was just the fun part - it also obtained the complete personal records of every convict recruit signed with Wagner to date.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:04 am
by Mongrel
Well, in spite of everything, it's here: "partial" general mobilization announced in Russia. 300,000 reservists supposedly to be called up.
In an address to the nation on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization has been decreed, making Russian citizens currently in reserve subject to conscription.

War has come for the vatnik trolls who were happy to demand war and blood, so long as they could sit at home and watch from a safe distance.

Image

Image is accurate too, since rifles is about all they have enough of. I guess that's better than 1941's "Wait for the guy in front of you to die", but I hear you need a bit more than just a rifle in 2022. The uniforms actually fitting though, that's pure fantasy.

But we'll see what actually happens. They couldn't even keep the 150k supplied worth two shits all year and now they're gonna throw 300k in, in the middle of winter? With nothing? RIGHT. OKAY.

Also going for the real hardcore old-style Soviet shit here.
Putin is also adding new and harsher punishments in an effort to contain the risk of the collapse of Russian military units fighting in Ukraine and draft-dodging within Russia. The Kremlin rushed the passage of a new law through the State Duma on September 20, circumventing normal parliamentary procedures.[3] This law codifies dramatically increased penalties for desertion, refusing conscription orders, and insubordination. It also criminalizes voluntary surrender and makes surrender a crime punishable by ten years in prison. The law notably does not order full-scale mobilization or broader conscription or make any preparations for such activities.

This is a panic move. Weak. Won't change anything for a guy looking at this versus getting his ass shot off anyway - it didn't in 1917 and the penalties were a mite stiffer back then. Never mind that we already know from leaked Russian calls that some Russian commanders are only maintaining order at literal gunpoint already. All the more reason to stay in Ukraine as a PoW - anywhere but Russia.



Everyone knows it's weak. Putin's basically running around naked at this point.


Annexation will also bring additional legal consequences in Russia, in that they will legally be able to force any conscripts anywhere in Russia to go to Ukraine (remember the scandal early in the year when conscripts were killed in Ukraine when they're not legally supposed to sent to wars abroad). The borders are being closed and men of any age will be forbidden from leaving the country. Purely by coincidence, every flight from Moscow to Istanbul or Yerevan was booked absolutely solid.

Looks like Shoigu's going to be the face of the current effort, so when it all goes pear-shaped we know the top of the scapegoat list. Of course Shoigu was in deep shit already anyway. He also has no power to rally the army against Putin because he was never a military man nor ever held a post of any sort. He's just plain fucked.

Anyway...

- Also Shoigu: "We have 5937 killed... last week." (which isn't even the true number - posted funeral listings for KIA last week were actually over 6100)

- "I'm not bluffing on nuclear weapons', says Putin" as he pushes his last 200 rubles to the pot.

For the record, it's now basically guaranteed that if Russia tries anything like this, the US will be absolutely BOUND to become directly involved. If they let Russia throw a nuke and get away with it, it's all over - China, North Korea, anyone else will have the green light if that's not responded to. The whole world knows Russia is weaker than it's been in a long time, arguably weaker than the nadir of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, with plenty of room to fall further. As was mentioned a while back, Russia could even end up facing a second Time of Troubles.

- Various sources have confirmed the earlier Russian report that the Ukrainians are currently attacking Lyman from both the north and south.

- For days now, the Russians keep loading barges with equipment and vehicles to cross the Dnipro and bring this stuff into Kherson. Probably a few of these have got through but most of them are actually being sunk by the Ukrainians, with huge losses for the Russians.

- Russian milboggers continue their weird obsession with the notion that the Ukrainians are going to land forces on the thin spits sticking out from Crimea south of the Kherson coast (specifically the main one, the Kinburn Spit). Some even claimed Russian forces destroyed a "Kinburn Spit Operations Centre", which would be interesting considering even the Russians aren't claiming there's an operation going on (yet). I feel like the Ukrainians should fly a drone or two over the spit just to keep them flipping their shit (and maybe that's exactly what they're doing!).

- This isn't even burning the candle at both ends, it's dousing the thing in kerosene and letting it go VOOMPF.
Russian forces continue to degrade their force generation capabilities by cannibalizing training elements to fight in combat formations in Ukraine. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the Russian military is forming four new infantry battalions at the base of the Russian 36th Motorized Rifle Brigade (29th Combined Arms Army, Eastern Military District) in Borzya in Zabaykalsky Krai and that the Russian military is pulling faculty from the Russian Far Eastern Higher Combined Arms Command School to serve as officers in these battalions.[44] The Russian military‘s continued stripping of Russian training units and service academies of personnel will further impede its ability to train new conscripts and replacements.[45]

Russia continues to drain its forces deployed on bases outside Russia since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the Russian military-political leadership decided to withdraw unspecified elements of the Russian 217th Airborne Assault Regiment (98th Airborne Division) from the Syrian Arab Republic and prepare them for deployment to Ukraine.[46]

Yet these drill sergeants and desk jockeys they're sending as quick as they can to die, are also gonna train 300,000 new soldiers? Did someone play too much World War Z? (and damn, what a title that's retroactively become!)

But lest we forget what's truly important: Rubbing the Russians noses in everything, even the smallest stuff.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:39 am
by beatbandito
Mongrel wrote:War has come for the vatnik trolls who were happy to demand war and blood, so long as they could sit at home and watch from a safe distance.

I highly doubt they'll be recruiting you from canada.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:05 am
by Büge
Mongrel wrote:



Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:55 pm
by Mongrel
I remember using the charcoal model in one of my corpo jobs several centuries and a lifetime-and-a-half ago.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:08 pm
by Mongrel
Russia



and Ukraine


Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:30 pm
by Mongrel
Image

Sorry, I wasn't listening, could you repeat that? Who is it that'll always win?

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:36 am
by Mongrel
Well a day later and a bit more is shaking out

- Shoigu seems to be tempering expectations, saying any rollout will be done in phases and that no substantial number will be available before spring. He also said they will not take students out of school, that they should "go about their studies without concern", and that the main drive is to reactivate anyone who has previously completed their national conscript service. A university education in Russia thus retains its true primary purpose as protection against the draft for anyone with even modest means (remember that Russian schools literally advertise by putting draft deferments as the first line item in any list of benefits, facilities, or education they offer).

In practical terms, if Russia's somehow pulling a fakeout and sending more troops in earlier, they will just be more untrained or undertrained fodder. Overall it seems unlikely that the Russians will have any substantial reinforcements through the winter, and the Ukrainians have already expressed a determination to keep fighting back through the winter at the same pace as they have been all year.

Also Russia has already been calling up reservists for months anyway, with estimates to date that 80,000 Russian reservists are already in Ukraine, and that those were the ones most ready for combat (including virtually any which had anything even close to actual combat experience), so again, any other reservists will require training or retraining if they're to be of any actual use.

Of course the level of training the reservists will actually receive is unclear.
Shoigu described a deliberate training process that would familiarize or re-familiarize mobilized reservists with crew, team, detachment, and then platoon-level operations before deploying them to fight. That process should take weeks, if not months, to bring reservists from civilian life to war readiness. Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security head Viktor Bondarev reportedly said that mobilized reservists would train for over a month before being deployed.[7] A military commissariat in Kursk Oblast, on the other hand, reportedly announced that reservists under 30 would deploy immediately with no additional training.[8]


- Observers noted that while Putin spoke about partial mobilization in a new speech today, the planned annexation referenda in occupied areas, and the possibility of nuclear war, but refused to explicitly link the three topics without even so much as a word. He is obviously implying a linkage, but if he wanted to any such connection explicit it would have been trivial for him to do so. The speech was especially evasive on the subject of nuclear weapons:
Putin framed his comments about the possibility of Russian nuclear weapons use in the context of supposed Western threats to use nuclear weapons against Russia. He claimed that Western officials were talking about “the possibility and permissibility of using weapons of mass destruction—nuclear weapons—against Russia.” He continued, “I wish to remind those who allow themselves such statements about Russia that our country also has various means of attack...” His comment on this topic concludes by noting that Russia would use all means at its disposal in response to a threat to “the territorial integrity of our country, for the defense of Russia and our people.”

So much for the even the hollow bravado of "I'm not bluffing *sweats profusely*"

- Putin also reiterated that mobilization is required because their "front line against NATO" is very long, and not because there's any sort of fight going on in Ukraine. Oh no no no.

Decent analysis here (medium length, 21 tweets). More to come from familiar western commentators faces in the coming days, I'm sure.

The most important observation, IMO, is that the main immediate effects are all in the harsh penalties against refusals, desertions, etc. "Service contracts extended indefinitely, right to refuse deployment suspended, new criminal measures enacted to enforce what is a de facto introduction of wartime measures." these may or may not stem the losses somewhat. That said, many Russian units are already only being kept in the field at gunpoint. Those who wanted the Soviet Union back have got it.

Overall, the mobilization shouldn't be an event to worry about, though it also shouldn't be dismissed as nothing either.

- In the east, the Ukrainians are chipping away at the area immediately surrounding Lyman.

- Additional Russian forces were deployed to the Zaporizhian front line, though not in any substantial numbers.

- The other big story today is that over 200 Azovstal defenders - including all remaining foreign volunteers (5 British soldiers and a half dozen others) - are being freed in a prisoner exchange. Five senior officers will remain in Turkey until the end of the war under Erdogan's personal protection (this sounds like a punchline, I know, but it's fine) as Russia would not release them if they were to return to Ukraine. I'm not 100% clear on if this is all the remaining Azovstal PoWs from all branches of service, but I'm seeing a number of comments to the effect that this is all of the remaining defenders - marines & medics, border guards, territorials, and yes the Azov battalion guys too.

The Ukrainians are only returning 55 Russians - but one of them is the collaborator and pro-Russian ex-opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who is a relative of Putin's. I suppose he was finally, just this once, of some legitimate use to the country of his birth.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:27 pm
by beatbandito
some keyboard warriors getting their comeuppance

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:45 pm
by Büge
Mongrel wrote:- In the east, the Ukrainians are chipping away at the area immediately surrounding Lyman.


Image

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:16 pm
by Mongrel
Yeah, I can't help thinking that either. xD

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 2:14 am
by Mongrel
- Just to briefly mention a big story: Biden stated that he believes the list of permanent members of the security council should be expanded. More to come, though probably not immediately.

We are inching ever so slowly to the unprecedented and historic demotion of a country from the UN security council, which would arguably be the greatest long-term tectonic shift in international relations since WWII and the reassertion of the UN that it can change to meet future global balances of power, something the League of Nations was never able to do. Still might not happen, but the unthinkable is no longer so unthinkable.

- So, having crossed the Rubicon, as it were, with Partial General Mobilization, Putin and Shoigu have decided to go sledgehammer to raise more recruits quickly, and have already abandoned promises to take those with previous military experience first. As a result there's already significant backlash, with large protests hitting the streets in 42 cities across Russia, as well as a raft of protests even in small villages, especially in the Republic of Dagestan, which has already bled for this invasion more than most.
Unidentified assailants set fire to several military recruitment centers and local administration buildings in Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Tolyatti, and Zabailkalsky Krai.[13] The Kremlin will likely subdue such protests in the coming days. However, the declaration of partial mobilization and blatant disregard for even the government-dictated parameters for the mobilization may alienate concerned swathes of the Russian public who were previously more tolerant of the less personally impactful Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"previously more tolerant of the less personally impactful Russian invasion of Ukraine." Ha. Yes. Oh, and course the authorities are sending off arrested protesters straight to barracks, another cunning plan which cannot fail.

But oh dear, it seems someone leaked the entire mobilization list to the Novaya Gazeta

Also they had further leaked information from Kremlin sources that the "partial mobilization" decree’s classified article "envisages up to 1,000,000 individuals called up to war against Ukraine." That's right, one million. Not exactly what was announced, huh? Brief reminder that the Russians haven't even scrounged enough kit to fully equip the 15k soldiers they recently sent in as the "3rd Army Corps" to bolster the LPR/DPR's 1st & 2nd Army corps. It's also worth mentioning that current projections estimate that Russia has now used as much as 70% of it's stored military hardware and supplies. More WWII-era gear is being spotted, including WWII-vintage medkits.

You ever see those YouTube videos of guys eating WWII ration kits someone's been sitting on for 70 years?

- Widespread media is being shared on TV of mobilization which is very clearly not selective at all, instead grabbing everyone in an area. It's unclear if the change in media coverage is Kremlin directed or not. Russian opposition media are also covering a variety of individual stories:
A bank IT specialist received a draft notice despite never having served in the army or attended military-education courses in university.[4] The IT specialist is likely one of many Russian men who received mobilization notices despite not meeting the stated criteria for partial mobilization. A university student in Buryatia released footage of Rosgvardia and military police pulling students from lessons, reportedly for mobilization, despite Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu repeatedly stating that Russian students will not be mobilized.

Note that in this case the students were Buryats. It's still possible affluent white slavs will remain exempt, but it seems awfully risky to bank on such promises when so many units in Ukraine are only held together at gunpoint. Reports are spreading and fear is taking hold, followed by swiftly imposed crackdown measures. In the video Beat linked above, the rounding up of draftees was preceded by a law hurriedly passed only hours before, banning all men from leaving the Yakutia region for any reason and even from leaving their towns of residence.

Further stories show continued fraudulent (by actual Russian law), practises are continuing and expanding with draft notices being sent in a variety of ways, and to a large number of individual to whom they should not apply. Crypto-mobilization also continues in parallel, with misleading or outright false notices sent to men of military age who also should not legally be subject to conscription.

Also a LOT of arguments about whether the huge amount of one-way traffic to visa-free countries is "abnormal" or not.

Lots of people trying to figure out what the ratio of men to women is on departing flights, etc.

Ultimately, ethnic Russians are already feeling betrayed; remember that Vlad first won power as the man who "ended" the Chechen wars. Not making them fight in the nation's wars was one of the last sacrosanct social contracts.


Cooking up something?

(because a "President Prigozhin" would improve matters so very much, of course)

- The Kremlin will still aim to draft ethnic minorities in disproportionate numbers.
A member of the Kremlin’s Russian Human Rights Council, Kirill Kabanov, proposed mandatory military service for Central Asian immigrants that have received Russian citizenship within the last ten years, threatening to confiscate their Russian citizenship if they do not mobilize.[9] Current Time reported that residents of Kurumkan, a village in the Republic of Buryatia, noted that Russian enlistment officers mobilized about 700 men of the total population of 5,500 people.[10] If witness reports from Kurumkan are accurate, they would indicate that Russian officials mobilized about 25% of the male population from a single village in a majority ethnically Buryat district. An Armenian Telegram channel published a mobilization list from Tuapse, Krasnodar Krai that reportedly consists of 90% ethnically Armenian residents, despite the town’s total Armenian community being only 8.5% of the population.[11]

"Russian Human Rights Council" is already a punchline in and of itself.

- Russian nationalists and milbloggers are of course losing their shit online over the prisoner swap yesterday, asking what was the point of the trials where most were condemned to death, especially given the fact that these prisoners have been deemed prime targets for Russian "denazification". One very helpfully put together a guide on how NOT to take Ukrainian prisoners:

Not that this is new

Pickled Igor's mad, but hey, he's always mad. Stay mad, Igor.

Kadryov also lost his shit publicly over the trade.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov described the exchange as ”incomprehensible,” implied that Chechen forces tortured Azov prisoners in captivity, and implied that Russian forces who capture ”Nazis” should kill them rather than take them as POWs if they will be traded back to Ukraine.[18]

Incidentally, it was announced there will be no mobilization in Chechnya, since Kadyrov claims the previous conscription in the republic was "254% of the plan".

Can't say they don't have a sense of humour about the whole thing though. Many Russian Telegram channels lauded Medvedchuk's value, how this great hero has, in spite of a total lack of experience or training, personally shot down 87 Ukrainians Su-25s, single-handedly destroying 100 HIMARS, and holding entire fronts with his brilliant strategies, even while in a Ukrainian jail. It was a miracle he was returned, except that of course it's really just a front, as he's obviously still behind Russian lines, stealth killing Ukrainian kaiju.

- The IAEA announced they began negotiations to establish a nuclear safety zone around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. We'll see if anything comes of that, considering shelling of the plant has not been stop and the point of origin of this fire being locations further south, deeper in Russian-controlled territory, as opposed to any shelling observed coming across the river, from the Ukrainian-controlled norther bank of the Dnipro. Must be those backwards-landing shells the Russians talked about in the video from last week.

- With Russian dead now passing 55,000, a number of people have pointed out that not only has Russia lost five times as many men than it did in ten years in Afghanistan - the single largest cause of the collapse of the USSR (albeit among many causes) - it has now also surpassed the official American death toll for the entirety of America's involvement in Vietnam. All in six months.

- The Russians tried to assault Kupyansk with a small force but were repelled. Meanwhile Ukrainian forces north of Kupyansk are pushing deeper across the Oskil and will soon be in a position (if they aren't already) to threaten any further attempts from the north, further securing Ukrainian gains.

- Ukrainian forces have now encircled more than half the perimeter compassing Lyman and its immediate surroundings, and the Ukrainians took a number of towns just outside the city earlier today.

- Ukrainian forces withdrew from the smaller eastern portion of Bakhmut, blowing bridges across a local river in an effort to stem the Russian drive for the city.

- Information about Kherson is limited today, but a variety of civilian reports do confirm that the Ukrainians continue to hammer away at Russian positions, and also that the Russians are trying to bring more anti-air defences into Kherson, in an attempt to strengthen their defence.

- Ukraine’s State Security Service stated that Ukrainian special forces had conducted a series of raids in an unspecified location of Zaporizhia Oblast, destroying Russian equipment, ammunition stores, and positions over the last several days. No further information or details though.

- Update on the impending referenda.
Russian occupation authorities in Staroblisk, Luhansk Oblast are forming armed groups to go door-to-door and force locals to participate in the referendum.[47] Occupation authorities reportedly forbid the local population from leaving the city during the referendum period. Ukraine’s General Staff also reported that Russian occupation authorities in Kherson Oblast are preparing propaganda campaigns to legitimize the referenda, forming “election commissions,” and are predicating the distribution of humanitarian aid on civilians providing their personal information to occupation authorities—personal information that Russian authorities will likely use to falsify voting records. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on September 22 that it had intercepted documents from the Russian proxy Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) suggesting that DNR officials will allow children ages 13-17 to participate in Russia’s sham annexation referendum. [48]

Russian officials created polling stations in parts of Russia, ostensibly to enable displaced (in many cases meaning kidnapped) Ukrainian residents of occupied territories to “vote.” Russian officials will likely use these hundreds of voting stations to more easily rig the sham referenda. The ambassador of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) to Russia, Rodion Miroshnik, announced on September 22 that the LNR established 201 polling stations across Russia for displaced LNR residents to “vote.”[49] A Russian milblogger reported that Russian authorities established 135 polling stations in Russia’s Rostov Oblast for displaced Ukrainians to vote in the sham referendum for the DNR, LNR, Kherson, or Zaporizhia.


Another notable outcome of the planned sham referendum is that "annexed" areas will be required to provide draftees the same as other Russian regions. Given that the puppet republics have been utterly gutted, and the other areas are, well, occupied Ukrainian territory, I'm sure this too will go well.

- Critical Threats has a neat article looking retroactively at Russia's utter failure to draw even little Transnistria - which is almost wholly dependent on Moscow - into assisting with the invasion.

- Is that Криденс Клируотер возрождение I hear playing?

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:48 am
by Mongrel

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 5:05 am
by Upthorn
beatbandito wrote:some keyboard warriors getting their comeuppance


There is an important point here, that the people who are responsible for the war are not the people who actually suffer the losses of their failures.

Take, for example, this CNN article (I hate to link CNN, but...) saying that some Russian anti-war protesters are being directly drafted out of police stations when they're arrested.
Police detained protesters across 38 cities in Russia on Wednesday, according to figures released shortly after midnight by independent monitoring group OVD-Info. The group’s spokeswoman Maria Kuznetsova told CNN by phone that at at least four police stations in Moscow, some of the protesters arrested by riot police were being drafted directly into Russia’s military.


The point here being that, while it is almost unambiguously a good thing that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is failing, it's maybe not the best to fall into the temptation of reveling in the terrible strategic decisions Putin is making, and celebrating the terrible condition of the Russian national military, and to remember that, excepting the PMCs, whenever Russia fucks up and loses tons of troops, it's the disenfranchised, disempowered, and discontent of their country that suffer, not the ones who actually support their government and benefit from their policies.

Tl;dr: Yes, Ukraine winning is good, but some of the celebration of Russian losses that I've been seeing, and even participating in, is kind of starting to feel ghoulish to me, especially in light of the "recruitment tactics" Russia is using for their general mobilization.

In this thread, it's mostly Mongrel, but I'm guilty of it, too, offline and elsewhere, and I'm sort of just trying to remind everyone here that, unfortunately, Russian soldiers are mostly just people in an awful situation through no fault of their own.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:04 pm
by Mongrel
While that is correct, it's important to remember several things.

- Putin follows this bread-and-circuses path of "war as a sporting event" because it had very broad popular support. Russians are deeply DEEPLY racist and pro-colonial, and very much wanted their empire back. They also have an extremely paternal and dismissive view of Ukrainians as people - the slur "Kokhol" (sometimes translated as "Hohol"), means, "strawhead", which is a very effective description of the majority Russian view that the Ukrainians are not "brothers" (or "little brothers" as is more commonly the "nice" term), but that Ukraine is a place full of backwards sub-human farm bumpkins who have no right to an identity or a voice, and who deserve death or worse should they disagree. The only accepted place for a Ukrainian in the Russian empire is as a peasant, or preferably, a serf.

- Let me reiterate something I said a while back: I generally refrain from posting images, videos, phone intercepts, or even sometimes descriptions of atrocities and war crimes committed by Russian forces in this war in this thread because I respect you guys enough to believe that it is not necessary for me to go into such detail, or "rub your noses in it" as it were. For the most part I know this is true. There's literally even a discussion between several of us on how seemingly ordinary humans can be turned turned into utter monsters during war, only one page ago ITT.

But do not think that because I go light on mentioning these that gruesome, horrible crimes are being continually committed by Russian forces, on a large scale in this war, at times descending into the practically medieval, and not even just against humans but even animals too. These acts are not "just" Wagner, nor are they "a few bad apples" any more than it was "only" the SS carrying out war crimes in WWII. Regular Russian forces have participated in the foulest crimes from the beginning of the war, on a large scale and IMO the Russian people as a whole absolutely DO bear a share of the collective responsibility here, just as the Germans collectively did for the actions of not just the Nazi party, not just the SS, but the Wehrmacht and the entire war. Not just from a distance, either; we know that the kidnapping of tens of thousands of Ukrainian children is an ongoing crime and these "orphans" are being placed with Russian families who are happy to literally steal the children of their enemies, a crime as bad or worse than any mere torture or atrocity.

- There very much ARE concentration camp equivalents in this war. Some of them are described as temporary filtration camps, but for the most part they are located in the Donbas puppet republics in several large buildings. There is even less oversight of these than there were of Nazi concentration camps and what goes on in these places is... well I want to say "horror beyond decription", but it's not. I could describe what's going on quite clinically, though again, I would very much prefer not to.

- Regardless, I think I've made it clear on many occasions when I do have sympathy for the troops involved, especially when you can see they've just showed up and thus haven't had the chance to be involved in atrocities yet. Maybe they too would have done something given time, but we're not here to prosecute thoughtcrime. The Germans in WWII were indeed victims as well as enablers and perpetrators.

I especially have HUGE respect for any Russian who surrenders out of conscience, even if they do not go and turn around to join the fight against the invasion as some of those (such as the Free Russia Legion) have done. That's something which takes a nearly unthinkable amount of moral and physical courage, and while it's uncommon, it notably is something occurring in this war more frequently than it ever did with German forces in WWII.

- As a note, I have tried my best to avoid directly stating anything requiring a CW here, so that as many of you who wish to are able to read this. This lack of examples might make my post sound vague, but believe me, my mind is very much full of very precise examples, and links to sources and evidence, many of it firsthand admissions from Russians themselves, for everything I am saying here.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 2:37 pm
by beatbandito
Mongrel please touch some fucking grass. You are approaching this like another world of tanks theory thread and turning every post you make in every thread into this war correspondence otherism of the CIA in the 80s.

Writing a book about your favorite war every day is not necessary information for anyone, it's indulgence of a hobby.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 2:47 pm
by Thad
beatbandito wrote:Writing a book about your favorite war every day is not necessary information for anyone, it's indulgence of a hobby.

So's your whining about it, but only one of those things is informative.

Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:28 pm
by beatbandito
Sorry, let me put together a list of reputable US news sources saying why people don't deserve to die based off the actions of their government, so it can be worth saying.