Russia and Ukraine Current Events

Mauro

Senior Member
aka undeclared war

for some reason (?), it seems to be in everyone's interest to keep it that way
and that's why they don't cross the border
Declaring a general mobilization would mean to lose face: the master strategist admitting his perfect plan was badly botched at all levels and veering into a disaster. He's also scared of people turning against him: up to now the brunt of the conflict has been sustained by non-ethnic Russians for a reason.

And I think it's too late for a general mobilization, he should have called it months ago, then it might have worked. But at this point mobilization is pointless: it would take months for military units to be mustered and trained, provided they can train them at all because they have sent even the training battalions to the frontline. And which equipment are they going to get? Russian material losses are staggering:

1663075472557.png

https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html

They have lost much of their 'modern' equipment and depleted their stocks of missiles and 'precision' weapons, with no results to show but an humiliating retreat. They have demonstrated an astonishing incapacity at every level of their command structure. An influx of untrained and demoralized reservists on vintage T-62 tanks is not going to help them anyway.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The horrible blunder Russians made in trying to reinforce Kherson has not only doomed the troops sent there, but has also thinned Russian lines on other fronts. For some inexplicable reason they decided to leave little defences just where an Ukrainian counterattack could hurt most, in the Kupiansk direction... really astonishing.
politically, it makes sense, it's just terrible strategy

I had thought myself, the war is coming to a halt, there'll be ceasefire talks soon (though I don't suppose Zelensky would agree to one).
And in that case, it'd be important for Russia that a) Donetsk and Luhansk are protected, and b) Russia retains the "bridgehead" west of the Dnipro so they can grab Odessa when they start the war again after that.

So with these priorities assumed, it makes sense to take troops away from Kharkiv (because Kharkiv oblast is not so important, especially without Kharkiv itself) and put more troops into Kherson. If they lose Kherson anyway, the general in charge can say "but I tried everything" at his trial.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
And I think it's too late for a general mobilization, he should have called it months ago, then it might have worked. But at this point mobilization is pointless: it would take months for military units to be mustered and trained, provided they can train them at all because they have sent even the training battalions to the frontline. And which equipment are they going to get? Russian material losses are staggering:
Russia's also done several rounds of "stealth mobilization" - pulling people from prisons, cash recruitment bonuses, college credit or forgiveness for failed classes as a recruitment incentive, calling in Chechen forces, and on and on.

All this kind of stuff diminishes what mobilization will actually do, because some of that harvest has already been reaped and squandered.

Edit: and of course the question isn't just "with what army?" But "what army with what guns?" Because there's a widely circulated video of Ukrainian soldiers finding at least 8 seemingly pristine T-80 tanks, supposedly from the 1st Guards Tank Army, and that's a story played out throughout this offensive, videos of roads with more vehicles than some nations can field just abandoned in the retreat.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
All this kind of stuff diminishes what mobilization will actually do, because some of that harvest has already been reaped and squandered.
it's hard to figure out how much of this propaganda is bunk, but after the Kiev retreat, then later after the pontoon bridge desaster and now another retreat, some of the conscripts may prefer jail to the front lines. would they be more willing to fight if Ukraine "invaded" Russia? maybe.
 

obiwanbenobi

Active Member
this is a great example of the difference in leadership and knowing your people. Putin may be at the top, but his country is not behind him in the sense that they really understand what he is doing and how much it is going to cost them. many of his soldiers claimed they didn't even know they were going to attack or why and even when they did they met resistance they didn't understand. that kind of disconnect just isn't going to work well when it comes down to choices between life and death and it isn't a big surprise to me to hear about how many abandon their posts and equipment when facing enough opposition from a determined foe (who's on their own turf and pretty much has nothing to left to lose when you've destroyed their homes, etc.).

the biggest mistakes Ukraine could make now would be to open yet another front (to the north with Bellarus) or to take their eyes off the basic goals of getting their own lands back. even shelling across the borders would be a rough choice and to me if anything had to be done it would best be done quietly and very much with precision (i.e. the opposite of what Russia has been doing).
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
many of his soldiers claimed they didn't even know they were going to attack or why
that's a bit of old propaganda that doesn't get better with repeating

remember when Russia had these military exercises near the Ukrainian border back in February, before the invasion, when Putin still claimed there wasn't going to be one? The grunts involved in these obviously got told these were just exercises, simply to keep the intention secret. It just turned into this invasion midway through, for them, but obviously they'd know when it had started. (Getting handed live ammo is usually a clear indication.) They just hadn't known when they left home weeks before, because the grunts wouldn't be told in advance.

So the "not knowing" was mostly by necessity, in the pre-invasion phase.

of course the fighting force often doesn't know all of the reasons behind an operation, that's not just a Russian thing
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Reuters cites 3 anonymous sources for this (heavily excerpted):
Article:
PARIS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin's chief envoy on Ukraine told the Russian leader as the war began that he had struck a provisional deal with Kyiv that would satisfy Russia's demand that Ukraine stay out of NATO, but Putin rejected it and pressed ahead with his military campaign, according to three people close to the Russian leadership.

But, despite earlier backing the negotiations, Putin made it clear when presented with Kozak's deal that the concessions negotiated by his aide did not go far enough and that he had expanded his objectives to include annexing swathes of Ukrainian territory, the sources said. The upshot: the deal was dropped.

Asked about Reuters findings, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "That has absolutely no relation to reality. No such thing ever happened. It is absolutely incorrect information."

Even if Putin had acquiesced to Kozak's plan, it remains uncertain if the war would have ended. Reuters was unable to verify independently that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy or senior officials in his government were committed to the deal.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
I expect it to look a lot like the Crimea referendum after 2014, which basically the entire world rejected as illegitimate. A lot of influencing measures were alleged, but ultimately it doesn't much matter, as the vote was between restoring its own past constitution as a Russian protectorate or joining Russia directly, arguably distinction without difference and the prior status quo was never an option.

Edit: Some commenters online have said that the regions declaring for Russia officially means that the new conscripts can be sent there, as they normally can only be used inside of Russia's borders. That may be the case, but it's not like Russia's let its own rules get in the way so far, right?
 
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obiwanbenobi

Active Member
that's a bit of old propaganda that doesn't get better with repeating

except it's been verified plenty of times by soldiers who were sent.


remember when Russia had these military exercises near the Ukrainian border back in February, before the invasion, when Putin still claimed there wasn't going to be one? The grunts involved in these obviously got told these were just exercises, simply to keep the intention secret. It just turned into this invasion midway through, for them, but obviously they'd know when it had started. (Getting handed live ammo is usually a clear indication.) They just hadn't known when they left home weeks before, because the grunts wouldn't be told in advance.

So the "not knowing" was mostly by necessity, in the pre-invasion phase.

of course the fighting force often doesn't know all of the reasons behind an operation, that's not just a Russian thing

yes, i agree with that, but i think in this case most of what Putin, his gov't and his armed services have done is often going beyond that level of operational obscurity.

in recent days we've seen yet another operation that someone did where it has been claimed it was "someone else" but there is evidence of Russian ships in that area (the pipelines damages) and you can find plenty of examples also in the nuke plant troubles.

to me it does look like Russia is losing even while throwing thousands of more innocents into the firing line - if his people were behind him they'd not be fleeing the country...
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
in recent days we've seen yet another operation that someone did where it has been claimed it was "someone else" but there is evidence of Russian ships in that area (the pipelines damages) and you can find plenty of examples also in the nuke plant troubles.
the pipeline damage lacks evidence
the Russians have no motivation to destroy it

you know who else had a fleet in the Baltic recently and hates Nordstream? the USA (The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) left the Baltic on Thursday 22nd, if you want to connect them to the damage on the following Monday, just imagine timed explosives)

but it's also possible the damage occurred because there had been no gas flow, which is a condition the pipeline isn't designed for—then it would be an accident.

The Zaporizshia NPP situation is one of opposing accusations; it's not clear why either party would be targeting their artillery so close to the NPP, but the damage is real, says the IAEA

So these are situations where we should remain aware that we do not have all the facts.

Article:
Stuxnet is a malicious computer worm first uncovered in 2010 and thought to have been in development since at least 2005. Stuxnet targets supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and is believed to be responsible for causing substantial damage to the nuclear program of Iran.[2] Although neither country has openly admitted responsibility, the worm is widely understood to be a cyberweapon built jointly by the United States and Israel in a collaborative effort ....

Stuxnet reportedly ruined almost one-fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
i just heard about the explosions now while doing my online puzzles. :(

[citation needed] - specifically the "hates" bit.
i wouldnt call this hate but (i dont know who the first guy at 18:40 is)

note: Dave Rubin show and he can be a bit biased about things so not sure if this footage was cherry picked.

18:40 [back in january]..this pipeline does not have gas flowing through it and if Russia renews its aggression to Ukraine, it would certainly be difficult to see gas flowing through it in the future. so some may see nord stream 2 as leverage that Russia can use against europe, in fact it's leverage for Europe to use against Russia.

19:30 President Joe Biden back in January..
[Biden speaks] If Russia invades, that means tanks cross the border of ukraine, again. then there will no longer be a nord stream 2. we will bring an end it.

Reporter: How will you do that exactly? The project is in Germany's control.

Biden: We will, uh, i promise you we'll be able to do it.
Content from External Source
Source: https://youtu.be/ER6dMMDKqPQ?t=1171
 

captancourgette

Active Member
the Russians have no motivation to destroy it
Not the first time russia has been accused of damaging pipelines during war, from 2006. And with this one unlike noord they were earning money from it. Why would they hurt there own revenues then?
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2006/1/22/georgia-accuses-russia-of-sabotage

Georgia accuses Russia of sabotage​

Gas supplies from Russia to Armenia and Georgia have been halted by two explosions on a pipeline that Georgia blames on Russian sabotage.
Theres also from 2009, but this may just be accidental

https://www.reuters.com/article/turkmenistan-russia-gas-idUSL959981620090409

UPDATE 4-Pipeline blast halts Turkmen gas exports to Russia​

Motivation?
Who knows. The pipeline was not supplying gas and earning money for a while, though apparently by turning off the gas Gazprom was facing fines for failure to fulfil its contract.
There is a nearby ~20km gas pipeline running from norway to poland, perhaps this was a warning, saying we can make you freeze this winter.

Though I think the most likely is a growing number of powerful people in russia are getting sick of the war and want business to return to normal, and want Putin to compromise, conceed and get the gas (and the billions) back flowing again. Putin will not accept defeat thus removed that option from the table.
Yes it sounds something a petulant child might do but look at a lot of their decisions recently, eg firing multi million dollar missiles (of which there are not an unlimited supply) at power stations so people in a city go without lights for a few hours, instead of using them on something that has military value that could help win the war.
Or the last few days/today, the refusal to retrteat from the Lyman area even though it was obviously going to be lost at the cost of 1000s of russians, 100s dead. Not rational

EDIT: Guess what happened on the same day as these explosions
https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/launch-baltic-pipe-2022-sep-27_en
Today, the Baltic Pipe was inaugurated at an opening ceremony in Goleniów, Poland. The event marks the end of the process of the Baltic Pipe construction, a key route to carry gas from Norway through Denmark to Poland and neighbouring countries. The Baltic Pipe will make it possible to import up to 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually from Norway to Poland and to transport 3 bcm of gas from Poland to Denmark. The start of gas transmission is planned for 1 October 2022.
Coincidence?
 
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Mauro

Senior Member
There is a nearby ~20km gas pipeline running from norway to poland, perhaps this was a warning, saying we can make you freeze this winter.
I think this is the main reason for the attack: to demonstrate they (Russia) can destroy pipelines while keeping 'plausible deniability' to avoid retaliation from NATO. The Norway-Poland pipeline is not the only one which passes undersea: gas pipelines from Algeria and Azerbaijan (under the Mediterranean sea) are vital for Europe too.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
As a Brit, I am not invested in the concept of the US Government's absolute moral superiority. It seems to me that in general the USG pursues foreign policies in what it considers the interest of the United States, without much regard for the interests of its friends or allies (with a few obvious exceptions, for domestic political reasons). Of course, this is what most states do, and at least the US does show a genuine preference for freedom, democracy, and human rights abroad, provided it does not conflict with US self-interest.

In the case of the gas pipeline, the US would have both an economic interest (selling more gas, or selling gas at higher prices), and a strategic interest (reducing European dependence on Russia), in sabotaging the pipeline. But there is an essential caveat: it is only in the US interest if they are not caught out. If they are caught out, the downside is worse than any plausible benefits. They would hand a huge propaganda victory to Russia, and they would severely damage relations with their European allies, especially Germany.

So I suggest that even on a basis of self-interest, it would not make sense for the US to sabotage the pipeline unless they could be very confident of not being caught out. I don't see how such confidence could be justified. The Baltic Sea is subject to close surveillance by the military and intelligence services of several countries: notably Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Finland, and of course by Russia itself. How could the US be confident that none of these would find a 'smoking gun' of US involvement? And then there is the risk of spies or whistle-blowers within the US government and military system itself. There is a danger of whistle-blowers even when the US is acting (with dubious methods) against its enemies; how much more so if it is attacking its own allies?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
[citation needed] - specifically the "hates" bit.
example:
Article:
WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to pass a bill to slap sanctions on Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline sponsored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a day after Democrats unveiled their own legislation.

The tally was 55 in favor and 44 against the bill that needed 60 votes to pass, a major hurdle in the 50-50 Senate.

The United States, as well as some European countries including Ukraine and Poland, oppose the pipeline, which would deprive Kyiv of transit fees as well as increase Moscow's leverage over Europe, where gas prices have been soaring.

Cruz said the vote showed a Senate majority supports fast action on the pipeline which is touted by Russian President Vladimir Putin and led by state energy company Gazprom .

Article:
The Nord Stream projects have been opposed by some Central and Eastern European countries, as well as the United States, due to concerns that the pipelines would increase Russia's influence in Europe, and the knock-on reduction of transit fees for use of the existing pipelines in Central and Eastern European countries.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.

captancourgette

Active Member
Yes. All that proves is that people are quick to accuse Russia. I was trying to find news about the investigation, but couldn't.

Article:
Russian gas giant Gazprom said it was pumping extra gas to Azerbaijan so that more could be sent to Georgia via different pipelines.
I'm not sure if it was Russian gas. Azerbaijan is also a gas producer (*), and in fact have now increased their exports to europe.
From a google Azerbaijan produced 30.6 billion cubic meters gas in January-August 2022.

A little bit more here about the 2006
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2006/02/gas-f09.html
On the very day that the explosions severed gas pipelines connecting Russia with Armenia and Georgia, Armenia’s president Kocharian travelled to Moscow to discuss new energy arrangements between the two states.

Also on the table for discussion was the two countries’ military alliance.

Prior to the explosions, the actions of GazProm, Russia’s state-owned gas supplier, had thrown a shadow over the future of the alliance by announcing plans to virtually double gas prices from US$56 per 1,000 cubic meters to US$110. GazProm suggested Armenia might be spared the increases if it agreed to preconditions imposed by the Kremlin. Amongst others, these conditions are believed to involve granting Russia a stake in the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline.
hmm what does this remind me of, oh yes the norway -> poland gas pipeline that opened a few days ago, coincidently the day of the explosions.
I don't want to accuse russia of being a mafia like state, but they do seem to have a lot of unlucky incidents/accidents

(*)Though it could be a lot of business doesnt make sense, eg nz imports diary products even though its the largest exporter of said products in the world (and one pays more there than practically anywhere else as well, to rub salt into the wounds)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Though it could be a lot of business doesnt make sense, eg nz imports dairy products even though it's the largest exporter of said products in the world
that makes sense if you dig deeper
Article:
“New Zealand is very, very good at making some of the best lactose in the world, which is the basis of pretty much every pill. Every tablet, every pill, in the world is predominantly made from pharmaceutical grade lactose and New Zealand is one of the best suppliers in the world.”

This high value, it turns out, is at the heart of why we are importing dairy.

The answer is that we have gotten so good at making high-grade versions of these products that we have essentially priced ourselves out of using it in our products, and have to import cheaper versions instead.

“We make the best use of that raw material by exporting it for its highest price. And then when we need more, we buy it in [from overseas] for the lowest price.”
 

captancourgette

Active Member
Yes you're right, I should of used a better example, like venezuela or saudi arabia importing oil. Then again, all oil is not the same
 

qed

Senior Member
This is weird and I suspect will come to demand a thread of its own.

Clearly Putin blames the US and the world suspects Putin.

As I understand it, there are two scenarios for attacking the pipeline.
  1. An external depth charge, via plane, boat or submarine, which could be launched by anyone.
  2. A simple bomb placed onto the pipeline robots, which could only be launched from Russia or Germany.
I cannot understand how this could be in Putin's interest. Before he had control of the taps, now he does not! Before he could negotiate, now he cannot. He has also not claimed a false flag (such as blaming Ukraine for example).

Neither does it seem to be in Germany's interest.

My initial feeling is terrorism of some sort, aimed at escallating or ensuring this conflict.

[... there is nothing on bellingcat yet ...]
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
I cannot understand how this could be in Putin's interest.
Disclaimer: I have no knowledge that isn't just rumor, but the rumors are definitely out there. As of Thursday, they are now reporting four pipeline explosions occurred.

The evidence so far is pointing toward some kind of deliberate explosion. The Swedish National Seismic Network said that it detected blasts in the Baltic Sea. “There is no doubt that these are blasts or explosions,” Björn Lund, a seismologist with the Network, told SVT, a Swedish news site. On Thursday, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that German officials believe that an underwater explosion equivalent to 500 kilograms of TNT were used to destroy the pipelines.
.....
The Russians denied responsibility, and have tried to pin this as a false-flag operation by the U.S. or Ukraine. This was happily taken up by Tucker Carlson, who went on his show to suggest that the U.S. was responsible for the explosions as a way to get more people to buy electric vehicles. This was immediately co-opted by Russian propaganda outlets.

But European analysts suggest Russians might have had a reason to do it themselves — even though they are the owners of the pipelines. An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodomir Zelenskyy called it a “terrorist attack” by Russia that was meant to destabilize the European Union. Recently, Polish and Danish heads of state had participated in a ceremonial opening of another gas pipeline, and the nearby explosions may be intended as “a signal that something could happen to the Norwegian gas,” Anders Puck Nielsen, a researcher with the Center for Maritime Operations at the Royal Danish Defence College, told Reuters.
Content from External Source
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/202...blew-up-a-russian-gas-pipeline-to-europe.html

Even if we feel there are reasons to discount accusations from Ukraine, there seem to be analysts from other European countries with doubts about Putin having clean hands on this event.
 

qed

Senior Member
Disclaimer: I have no knowledge that isn't just rumor, but the rumors are definitely out there. As of Thursday, they are now reporting four pipeline explosions occurred.

The evidence so far is pointing toward some kind of deliberate explosion. The Swedish National Seismic Network said that it detected blasts in the Baltic Sea. “There is no doubt that these are blasts or explosions,” Björn Lund, a seismologist with the Network, told SVT, a Swedish news site. On Thursday, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that German officials believe that an underwater explosion equivalent to 500 kilograms of TNT were used to destroy the pipelines.
.....
The Russians denied responsibility, and have tried to pin this as a false-flag operation by the U.S. or Ukraine. This was happily taken up by Tucker Carlson, who went on his show to suggest that the U.S. was responsible for the explosions as a way to get more people to buy electric vehicles. This was immediately co-opted by Russian propaganda outlets.

But European analysts suggest Russians might have had a reason to do it themselves — even though they are the owners of the pipelines. An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodomir Zelenskyy called it a “terrorist attack” by Russia that was meant to destabilize the European Union. Recently, Polish and Danish heads of state had participated in a ceremonial opening of another gas pipeline, and the nearby explosions may be intended as “a signal that something could happen to the Norwegian gas,” Anders Puck Nielsen, a researcher with the Center for Maritime Operations at the Royal Danish Defence College, told Reuters.
Content from External Source
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/202...blew-up-a-russian-gas-pipeline-to-europe.html

Even if we feel there are reasons to discount accusations from Ukraine, there seem to be analysts from other European countries with doubts about Putin having clean hands on this event.
I still can't explain why Putin would shoot himself in the foot like this. Germany was going to buy Russian gas this winter in rubles and Putin needs the money Now they can't!

The only reason suggested in the referenced article is:

One possibility is Russia signaling it “is breaking forever with Western Europe and Germany” as Poland inaugurates its pipeline with Norway, he said.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Yes you're right, I should of used a better example, like venezuela or saudi arabia importing oil. Then again, all oil is not the same
it's the same deal, in principle, though

as with lactose in the NZ example, there are different types of crude oil, and if a country is not equipped to refine that oil (e.g. Norway), they ship it to a place that is (e.g. UAE).

from an article about the USA oil imports:
Article:
“They spent billions of dollars on this refining capacity in the ’90s and early 2000s,” said Ryan Kellogg, professor of public policy and deputy dean for academic programs at the University of Chicago. “They’re not going to want to let that sit idle. It’s there, and it makes sense to use it.”

and that's why oil exporters import oil
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Neither does it seem to be in Germany's interest.
it may be in the interest of some politicians

one party campaigns on "don't freeze for idealism" against the sanctions that cut our gas supply, so many politicians are caught between voters who support Ukraine and sanctions, and voters who want gas. If the pipeline is inoperable, they can say "it's out of my hands, nothing I can do" and appease both crowds while avoiding to take a firm stand

the problem is that without any facts to go on, everyone simply blames whomever is most convenient
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
I still can't explain why Putin would shoot himself in the foot like this. Germany was going to buy Russian gas this winter in rubles and Putin needs the money Now they can't!

Six points that may be helpful:

(1) As part of EU sanctions against Russia following the latter's attack on Ukraine, Germany already shelved Nord Stream 2 pipeline in February.

(2) In response to the West's sanctions, Russia halted in September gas supplies to Europe using Nord Stream 1 pipeline. On a superficial analysis, this is effectively Russia 'shooting oneself in the foot' but also a classic shock and awe tactic, demonstrating Russian power and Europe's dependence on Russian gas. The halting of Russian gas has been a major sting to Europe preparing for the winter while Europe is busy securing alternative energy supplies such as Norwegian gas.

(3) Sabotaging Russia's own pipelines is not a new tactic as demonstrated with the case of Georgia in 2006.

(4) By sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines after having already halted the gas supply Russia (read: Vladimir Putin) isn't sabotaging a commercially lucrative asset. Russia has already concluded that it's energy cooperation with Europe is over.

(5) By sabotaging the pipelines Putin sends the following signals to Europe and the West in the context of humiliating recent losses in Ukraine (Kharkiv, Lyman and Tors'ke) which is armed and supported by the West:

(a) Shock and awe: Russia is still powerful and can inflict significant damage internationally. Don't underestimate Russia.

(b) Warning: Russia is capable of sabotaging also the Norwegian pipelines should Europe choose to rely on it while continuing to arm Ukraine.

(c) False flag for domestic war-justifications: Citizens, the US is sabotaging and attacking Russian assets! This justifies continuing and escalating the war in Ukraine as well as the recent partial mobilization of Russian reservists which has shocked many citizens.

(d) Reminder of dependency on Russia: Europe, unless you get your act together quick in securing alternative gas, you're guaranteed to have a cold, cold winter. This was your choice and your mistake. Not Russia's.

(6) What seems irrational to the common spectator of these events may make sense to Putin. Also, to dismiss that Putin is behind the sabotage by appeal to 'rationality' is a poor argument when assessing megalomaniac dictators that have demonstrably made multiple irrational decisions recently which have ended up hurting Russia.

Most of the above analyses of 'why is it in Russia's interest to sabotage its own pipelines' are available from various think tanks, expert assessments and news outlets in Europe.

From a 'mainstream' European perspective (I'm a European) it's almost self-evident Russia is behind the sabotage. Some Europeans disagree, including on MB, but imho they're susceptible to Russian propaganda.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
yes. the message is, if you lift the sanctions we send gas again. now impossible.
the pipeline destruction is in the interest of those who wish German sanctions against Russia to continue, not in Russia's interest

Sabotaging Russia's own pipelines is not a new tactic as demonstrated with the case of Georgia in 2006.
claim not proven

Russia has already concluded that it's energy cooperation with Europe is over.
claim not shown

humiliating recent losses in Ukraine (Kherson, Lyman and Tors'ke)
Kherson is not lost. Tors'ke is a big village, and Lyman was lost after the pipeline damage.
The humiliating recent loss was Kharkiv oblast.

Some Europeans disagree, including on MB, but imho they're susceptible to Russian propaganda.
cheap ad hominem


and that pretty much sums up why I usually don't read your posts
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
yes. the message is, if you lift the sanctions we send gas again. now impossible.
the pipeline destruction is in the interest of those who wish German sanctions against Russia to continue, not in Russia's interest


claim not proven


claim not shown


Kherson is not lost. Tors'ke is a big village, and Lyman was lost after the pipeline damage.
The humiliating recent loss was Kharkiv oblast.


cheap ad hominem


and that pretty much sums up why I usually don't read your posts

This whole thread is your propaganda for Russia while calling yourself a skeptic.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Why 3 holes instead of one? wouldn't that be even less expensive?

Also less likely to succeed or to send the signals mentioned by experts as poignantly as possible.

why not sabotage the Baltic pipeline to Poland on the day before it is due to be opened?

Because at this point sabotaging an actively operational pipeline would fail to send the relevant signal at the current juncture of the war, namely a warning -- a demonstration of full Russian capability to sabotage fully operational pipelines next if the West continues to support the Ukrainian war effort. We may yet come to a point when this scenario also comes to pass. The timing of the warning signal as close as possible to the Baltic pipeline opening is not a coincidence according to the same analysts. Rather it adds further credence to the signalling claim.

none of your experts look unbiased to me:
  • Sergey Vakulenko in Carnegie Politka [The Carnegie Endowment is s Washington Think Tank]
  • Kristine Berzina, a senior fellow for security and defence at the German Marshall Fund [also headquartered in Washington]
  • Scott Savitz, a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation [yet another Think Tank]
  • A British defence source
  • Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] intelligence officer
  • Former CIA Director John Brennan
  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former US senior intelligence officer

But of course you would say that. However, if you're honest to yourself, you'd admit your objection to the objectivity of these somewhat solid experts is prompted by the fact that they dare to suggest Russia as the likeliest culprit. Not because you really have any evidence to demonstrate their lack of expertise and objectivity in offering such an analysis. And why would we have to accept your analysis in their stead?

If I saw evidence of Putin "signaling" something, that'd be great.

The whole point of such signalling is plausible deniability. Even Lord Palmerston mentioned it as the common Russian MO as far back as the 19th century.

Anyway, you're entitled to your interpretation. Let's just wait for the Swedish investigation to run its course and see if there's harder evidence forthcoming. And if such evidence points to another power, I will eat the humble pie. I've said it.

I agree with @FatPhil on opening another thread:

Claim: US is behind the Nord Stream sabotage
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
https://www.news.com.au/technology/...t/news-story/b640184acb24baf9af38533b76e4b2bf

This one's getting some breathless coverage: a train operated by the Strategic Rocket Forces carrying 12th Main Directive vehicles towards Ukraine. The 12th is the unit that handles Russia's nuclear weapons logistics. The tweet with the original video:

Source: Https://twitter.com/rybar_en/status/1576544997318410240


However, the train looks like it's carrying trucks, APCs, and other general transport and logistics vehicles, not heavy weapons platforms. The most notable inclusion seems to be an upgraded BPM configuration. Still, the sort of thing Russia's going to need a fresh supply of for their conscription push, not the sort of stuff you need to kick off Armageddon.





The 12th handles nuclear logistics, but that's not their only job. They could very well be the biggest reserve of vehicles and weapons systems that haven't yet received the blessings of Saint Javelin.
 

Duke

Active Member
https://www.news.com.au/technology/...t/news-story/b640184acb24baf9af38533b76e4b2bf

This one's getting some breathless coverage: a train operated by the Strategic Rocket Forces carrying 12th Main Directive vehicles towards Ukraine. The 12th is the unit that handles Russia's nuclear weapons logistics. The tweet with the original video:

Source: Https://twitter.com/rybar_en/status/1576544997318410240


However, the train looks like it's carrying trucks, APCs, and other general transport and logistics vehicles, not heavy weapons platforms. The most notable inclusion seems to be an upgraded BPM configuration. Still, the sort of thing Russia's going to need a fresh supply of for their conscription push, not the sort of stuff you need to kick off Armageddon.





The 12th handles nuclear logistics, but that's not their only job. They could very well be the biggest reserve of vehicles and weapons systems that haven't yet received the blessings of Saint Javelin.
Somewhat along the same lines:

https://au.news.yahoo.com/missing-submarine-russia-chilling-plan-radioactive-tsunami-015840437.html

From the article...

"A Russian submarine carrying a deadly nuclear weapon system has gone missing from its Arctic base with fears escalating about Vladimir Putin's next move.

The Belgorod submarine, believed to be the biggest in the sea, has been operating out of its White Sea base since July, but with it no longer there, officials fear its 'doomsday weapon' might soon be deployed."
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
The Russian State Duma approved the Kremlin’s illegal accession treaties on October 3 and laid out the administrative timeline for integrating illegally annexed Ukrainian territory into the Russian Federation. The draft legislation backdated all requirements to September 30, the date Putin announced Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory. The Duma mandated the use of the Russian ruble rather than the Ukrainian hryvnia beginning on January 1, 2023, laid out a timeline to integrate the territories into the Russian budget, and declared all persons residing within Russian-annexed territory to be Russian citizens.[68] Residents must file for renunciation of Russian citizenship within 30 days if they wish to refuse it—the Kremlin likely intends that process to identify potential Ukrainian dissidents and partisans. The draft legislation also mandated the integration of the DNR and LNR’s “people’s militias” into the Russian military. The draft did not clarify whether civilians in newly annexed territories will be eligible for the Kremlin’s “partial mobilization” order or for usual semi-annual conscription, which is set to begin on November 1. Russian officials will almost certainly forcibly conscript Ukrainian civilians between 18 and 27 years of age in that cycle. Putin will reportedly appoint heads of the new Russian oblasts within 10 days.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Big advance in Kherson oblast in the past few days:
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
There's been speculation on exactly what's happening on that front since the big push in the north started. Ukraine very openly telegraphed a push in Kherson, and Russia moved forces to meet it, and when the media blackout went into effect nothing seemed to happen there, and the blackout wasn't lifted at the same time (still might not be?).

There's been two suggestions:

A. Ukraine was never going to push against Kherson at that time, and was aiming to tie up Russia's forces while they swept up the north with immunity.
B. Ukraine was pushing along the whole line but Kherson didn't collapse because Russia was ready.

The speed that they did advance once they started suggests A, but it's also possible that the defenders are falling to attrition after being held down so long.

According to pro-Russian media, their best units are supposed to be stationed in the fortified areas immediately around the city of Kherson, which is not right on the front. So serious stuff could happen in the coming days or weeks, and if Russia's best really are in Kherson it could be the telling blow of the war if Ukraine takes the city.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
There's been two suggestions:
third suggestion, voiced by the analyst from the Austrian military academy, is that Ukraine has time on their side in Kherson, because with the bridges destroyed, the Russian units weaken over time. This was not true for Kharkiv, where Russia would've been able to send reinforcements. The speed of the Ukrainian advance in Kherson oblast need therefore not be reflective of their military capabilities there.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
This is huge...
Article:
Traffic across the Crimea bridge was completely stopped, as part of the road crossing collapsed in an apparent attack by Ukraine early on Oct. 8. Train tanker trucks could be seen burning on the rail section of the bridge, while a portion of the road was seen to have collapsed into the water in multiple images and video posted from Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimea.

Reports started emerging at around 6.30 a.m., just after sunrise, of what appears to be a long-range strike by Ukraine on the bridge.
Except Ukraine doesn't have any weapons with that much range.

Other sources say a truck exploded, so it may have been a truck bomb?

We're going to have to wait for more facts, but either way this is a tough blow for Russia.
Source: https://twitter.com/sumlenny/status/1578629681183543297
 

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Duke

Active Member
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/ukrainian-kamikaze-drone-attacks-bomber-base-deep-in-russia

From the article:

A Ukrainian suicide drone exploded at a Russian airbase destroying two bombers, two Ukrainian intelligence sources tell The War Zone.

The attack took place at the Shaykovka Air Base in the Kaluga Oblast, about 140 miles north of the Ukrainian border and about 170 miles southwest of Moscow.

The base is home to Russian Tu-22M Backfire bombers from the 52nd Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment.


Both sides agree there was a drone and an explosion, but not on the damage caused. No surprise.
 
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