Russia and Ukraine Current Events

DavidB66

Senior Member
Presumably even the Russians would want to avoid nuking their own troops (or am I being too naive about that?) In a complex battlefield situation that might not be easy. To minimise 'friendly' fire losses, one might expect measures to be taken to withdraw Russian forces from the danger areas, or to ensure that they take protective measures (donning radiation suits and breathing kit, etc). Coded warning messages would need to be sent in advance. Western (or Ukrainian) intelligence might well detect such warning signs. Or to be pessimistic, maybe measures such as the reported withdrawal of Russian troops from the west of the Dnipro river, and the evacuation of civilians from Kherson, are themselves part of such precautionary tactics.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
Well... if it comes to that, the situation is far gone enough that what restraint and responsible warfighting Russia's been doing (that's not a joke but it sounds like one) is out the window and don't count on anything, so the following is all hypothetical assuming rational and competent actors.

The strategy in the Abel Archer wargame was that, once the Soviet invasion overran the forward positions, the rest of the NATO line would collapse back to a secondary position while a tactical first strike is delivered to the advancing forces. This is a strategy that works conventionally, too, just not quite as final. Ukraine has been doing a lot - when Russia moves, Ukraine rarely meets them force-with-force, but gets out of the way and harries the oncoming forces with artillery and guerilla raids.

However... This has not been something Russia's been doing. During the offensive in the north last month we saw very little defensive artillery and a disorganized retreat that at times looked like it should be playing Yakkity Sax. Russia might just not have the command and communication to get their soldiers out of the way if the order comes down for a tactical nuclear strike and they might suffer substantial friendly fire.

But maybe not, because Russia's already squandering conventional tactical weapons on civilian targets, gaining little to no military advantage and instead opting to punish and terrorize the population. Tactics developed to suppress uprisings and unrest, not to conquer territory or defeat a peer force in symmetrical warfare. I see no reason to assume that if they decide to bring out the big bombs that they will use them any more effectively.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Presumably even the Russians would want to avoid nuking their own troops (or am I being too naive about that?)
Consider that the new batch of Russian troops are (possibly) prisoners who have been released from jail to fight and (certainly) unwilling victims of press gangs who have rounded them up straight off the streets and taken them from their jobs without warning. Also consider the reported lack of weapons and lack of training that most of those people are given. Russia's concern about the safety of their troops is questionable at best, as is the loyalty those soldiers will have toward Russia.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
To minimise 'friendly' fire losses, one might expect measures to be taken to withdraw Russian forces from the danger areas
in this context, a prediction I saw yesterday might make sense
Article:
Commander of Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine Army General Sergey Surovikin reported during an appearance on Russian television that the Russian military leadership has to make “difficult decisions” regarding Kherson Oblast and accused Ukraine of planning to strike civilian and residential infrastructure in Kherson Oblast.[1] Kherson Occupation Head Vladimir Saldo relatedly noted that his administration is evacuating the west bank of the Dnipro River in anticipation of a “large-scale” Ukrainian offensive.[2] Surovikin‘s and Saldo’s statements are likely attempts to set information conditions for a full Russian retreat across the Dnipro River, which would cede Kherson City and other significant territory in Kherson Oblast to advancing Ukrainian troops.

This confused me when I first saw it yesterday, because Kherson is very important strategically, being on the west bank of the Dnipro, and the Russians seemed to have been doing ok at holding it. It made no sense to me that they'd retreat from there.

On the other hand, there's not going to be peace or even a ceasefire with Russions still in Kherson, because of this strategic importance. If Putin is looking for an exit strategy, it might as well involve nuking Kherson City, if it gets him the other Russian-occupied areas. Trying to scare the population into fleeing, and evacuating some of them, makes sad sense in this context, too.

But so far, there's zero evidence that this is an actual plan.
 

Duke

Active Member
Consider that the new batch of Russian troops are (possibly) prisoners who have been released from jail to fight and (certainly) unwilling victims of press gangs who have rounded them up straight off the streets and taken them from their jobs without warning. Also consider the reported lack of weapons and lack of training that most of those people are given. Russia's concern about the safety of their troops is questionable at best, as is the loyalty those soldiers will have toward Russia.
Do you have sources for the claims of prisoners, press gangs, lack of weapons/training, etc? The only place I've seen these assertions have been on the websites of British tabloids such as "Sun," "Daily Mirror," and "Daily Express."

Not saying these aren't happening, but such claims are made to order for a nation to use as propaganda to both dishearten a struggling enemy in the field and degrade them in the eyes of the international community/world in general.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Do you have sources for the claims of prisoners, press gangs, lack of weapons/training, etc? The only place I've seen these assertions have been on the websites of British tabloids such as "Sun," "Daily Mirror," and "Daily Express."
re: prisoners, see https://www.metabunk.org/threads/russia-and-ukraine-current-events.12289/post-266882 and following. (Ukraine has also recruited prisoners.)

Article:
Reports of mobilized soldiers dying in Ukraine — from lawyers such as Nikiforov to residents of far-flung Siberian villages and even former Moscow officials — have emerged with increasing rapidity in recent days, suggesting that new soldiers have been thrown into battle with minimal training.

Three mobilized men aged 32, 40 and 42 from Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region died in Ukraine on Oct. 8, local media reported Friday.

All three of the men were reportedly killed exactly 10 days after they were drafted.

Article:
In review, the Moscow Times has been called a “militant anti-Putin paper, a digest of the Western press with extreme bias in covering events in Russia.”

We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
If Putin is looking for an exit strategy, it might as well involve nuking Kherson City, if it gets him the other Russian-occupied areas. Trying to scare the population into fleeing, and evacuating some of them, makes sad sense in this context, too.

Or in the context of flooding Kherson by blowing up the Khakhovka dam.

Article:
Ukraine has accused Russia of planning to destroy a hydropower plant in the eastern Kherson region — which Moscow has illegally annexed and subjected to martial law.

"Russia is preparing a manmade catastrophe," Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Thursday.

Podolyak said Russia was mining the dam and transformers at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant to flood the lower Dnieper River, where Russian troops face a Ukrainian offensive.

Earlier on Thursday, Vladimir Leontyev, a Kremlin-installed regional official, said Ukrainian forces had launched five missile strikes against the Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric power station. He told Russian TV that if the facility was destroyed, a crucial canal providing water to annexed Crimea would be severed.

Zelenskyy said Russia had plans to blow up the dam and power station in what he deemed a terrorist act to unleash 18 million cubic meters and flood Kherson and dozens of areas that are home to hundreds of thousands of people live.

The Ukrainian president told the European leaders Moscow would then blame Kyiv.

Zelenskyy, in his daily address, said that blowing up the dam would be "a catastrophe on a grand scale."
 

captancourgette

Active Member
@Duke & LilWabbit yes there are multiple easy & quick ways russia could deliver a tactical nuke thats why I'm saying when Nato saiz they see no signs russia is preparing to do this as just words to calm the public. If russia wanted to they could easily & quickly launch a tactical nuke. Will they? Who knows, I'm guessing blowing a dam makes more sense (not really the best look if you're meant to be liberating the people) but the way russia has handled this war, nothing makes sense.
The only thing you can guarantee from the russia side is lies and incompetence. Speaking of which, Heres a nice gem from yesterday, background Both Russia and Iran are saying Russia is not using Iranian drones
Do you have sources for the claims of prisoners, press gangs, lack of weapons/training, etc?
I've seen lots of videos online of Russians complaining about lack of equipment/weapons, thrown into ukraine early etc. I'm sure I could dig up some if you want.
WRT prisoners fighting
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62922152
A Russian mercenary boss has defended the idea of sending prisoners to fight in the Ukraine war after a video showed him recruiting at a prison.

Yes as Medel saiz, Ukraine also did the same wrt using prisoners though only at the start of the war, now they have enough recruits and have in fact cancelled the military draft this year
 
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LilWabbit

Senior Member
@Duke & LilWabbit yes there are multiple easy & quick ways russia could deliver a tactical nuke thats why I'm saying when Nato saiz they see no signs russia is preparing to do this as just words to calm the public.

In military parlance when we report "currently there are no signs of preparation of a [nuclear] strike" we're referring to current intelligence on such preparations, such as Iskander launchers moving into position. What the political leaders want to do with that information is up to them. Maybe some political leaders wish to calm the public down using similar wording in the context of managing panic.

But as one working within a defence department I can state with confidence the original intelligence language is not designed to calm anyone down neither to alarm anyone. Only to report what we currently know and do not know which we are legally bound to do and professionally hired to do.

If russia wanted to they could easily & quickly launch a tactical nuke.

Indeed.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
The latest from ISW on Russia's preparations to blow up the Kakhovka dam.

Article:
Russia is likely continuing to prepare for a false flag attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP). Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated on October 20 that Russian forces mined the dam of the Kakhovka HPP and noted that the HPP holds over 18 million cubic meters of water, which would cause massive and rapid flooding of settlements along the Dnipro River, including Kherson City.[1] Zelensky emphasized that the flooding would impact hundreds of thousands of people.[2] Russian sources, however, continued to accuse Ukrainian forces of shelling the Kakhovka HPP and have widely circulated graphics depicting the flood path in the event of a dam breach.[3] As ISW reported on October 19, Russian sources are likely setting information conditions for Russian forces to blow the dam after they withdraw from western Kherson Oblast and accuse Ukrainian forces of flooding the Dnipro River and surrounding settlements, partially in an attempt to cover their retreat further into eastern Kherson Oblast.[4] Continued Russian preparation for a false-flag attack on the Kakhovka HPP is also likely meant to distract from reports of Russian losses in Kherson Oblast.


Kherson-dam.jpg
8b52b26-o-1g3omp33sc8m1lvh1vqfh0q1lq22v.jpg
 

Mauro

Senior Member
The latest from ISW on Russia's preparations to blow up the Kakhovka dam.

I would not read much into the Kakhovka Dam news, both sides have no interest in blowing it up.

Russians: they would make the situation in Kherson much worse for them: a Dniepr flood would further cut off the troops they have on the right side. Moreover, the flood would be mostly on the left (Eastern) side of the Dniepr, where Russian artillery and rear bases are, Kherson itself would be little affected, see the topography:

1666353771299.png
Russians would also lose the water supply to Crimea (the Crimea canal flows from the Khakovka reservoir), securing which was one of their war goals.


Ukrainians: they would achieve some immediate gains, because Russian troops on the west bank would be doomed, but they already are, so not much to gain here. Russian troops on the East bank would have to retreat many kilometers to escape the flood and this would leave Kherson without artillery support, this would be the main military effect I think, and the only reason Ukrainians could actually have to blow the dam up. Crimea water supply would be cut off immediately, but it will be cut off anyway sooner or later, and cutting the water supply has no military value. On the contrary, they would destroy an important own infrastructure and flood and harm civilians in a lot of their own land, and the destruction of the dam and the flood would hamper further military progress towards East.

It might be the Russians have already decided their troops on the West bank are lost and that there is a substantial risk of Ukrainians crossing the Dniepr, so they might have a reason to blow up the dam and do it, just to inflict more pain on Ukraine. But this is very improbable, at least they would try to evacuate troops and materials East of the river before doing anything like this.

Or, it might be Ukrainians have already decided Kherson will be too costly to conquer, and then the Dniepr would be impossible to cross. This would give them at least a military reason to blow the dam up, making the conquest of Kherson easier, notwithstanding the costs they themselves would have to pay.

All in all I think the Kakhovka news are mostly disinformation and psychological warfare (from both sides), just like for the Zaporizhzha power station. Then, accidents may always happen (especially with nuclear reactors).
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
Do you have sources for the claims of prisoners, press gangs, lack of weapons/training, etc? The only place I've seen these assertions have been on the websites of British tabloids such as "Sun," "Daily Mirror," and "Daily Express."
Here's one on the mobilization of older men, and the limited resources they've been given:
In one instance, a 63-year-old retired lieutenant colonel with diabetes was mobilised. A 51-year-old former lieutenant and a 59-year-old factory foreman were also pressed into service.
Earlier this week, a 59-year-old former lieutenant colonel with arthritis, hearing loss and hernia in the spine was also reported to have received a mobilisation summons.
...
Some young Russian men have reported being stopped from leaving the country.
Some Russians are being blocked from leaving the country. Some Russians are being blocked from leaving the country. (Bazabazon)

Meanwhile, conscripts are reporting being sent directly to the front lines without any training at all.
"We've been told officially that we'll go to the combat zone without training," one mobilised serviceman said in a video.
"We're off to Kherson on September 29."
Servicemen have been given uniforms and weapons, but told to source everything else they need themselves.
Content from External Source
https://www.9news.com.au/world/russ...rld-news/5e7b877a-0967-41d9-8c55-b261e6a23715
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Do you have sources for the claims of prisoners, press gangs, lack of weapons/training, etc? The only place I've seen these assertions have been on the websites of British tabloids such as "Sun," "Daily Mirror," and "Daily Express."
Here's another on seizing protesters directly from jail to the military:
Police detained the 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.
Content from External Source
https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/22/euro...tial-mobilization-ukraine-intl-hnk/index.html
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
The prison conscription started in one of the "stealth mobilization" waves:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/...f-prisoners-recruitment-mercenaries-rcna48035

There's video of Yevgeny Prigozhin, owner of the Wagner PMC, recruiting in person in a prison in Mari El (one of the ethnic republics), promising commuted sentences for anyone who fights for six months.

The UK Ministry of Defense has said this is not an isolated incident:
Source: https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1570640540953202689


This was around the same time that colleges were promising college credit and forgiveness of bad grades for signing up.

This all is a big reason why Russia is now drafting men above the normal service age, government functionaries (who are usually exempt to keep the wheels of bureaucracy turning while attention is elsewhere), defense contractor employees (who are usually exempt because they're already important to the war effort), and people who should have medical exemptions. They've already tapped a lot of conscription pools by doing a series of "fake drafts" to get bodies.
 

Duke

Active Member
I've seen lots of videos online of Russians complaining about lack of equipment/weapons, thrown into ukraine early etc. I'm sure I could dig up some if you want.

Soldiers the world over complain, that's what they do.
WRT prisoners fighting
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62922152


Yes as Medel saiz, Ukraine also did the same wrt using prisoners though only at the start of the war, now they have enough recruits and have in fact cancelled the military draft this year
I remember reading this article on the BBC website last month. Note, the prisoners are being recruited to fight under the employment of a private military contractor (PMC), not forced to fight in the Russian military. Not that it would surprise me if Russian prisoners were forced to serve.

Some of the UK tabloids have printed stories that are at best questionable, including one that claimed the Russians were getting AK-47s from "Somali pirates." I've also seen photos of Russian soldiers, supposedly in Ukraine, carrying WWII vintage Mosin-Nagant bolt action rifles.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Soldiers the world over complain, that's what they do.
They've had to provide their own supplies, and that has driven a price rise that gives them an extra burden.

  • Russian reservists forced to buy their own gear are finding sky-high prices in stores, reports say.
  • Some items like body armor vests cost up to 10 times than normal, one Russian news site wrote.
  • Putin last month announced a mobilization of 300,000 Russian reservists to fight in Ukraine.
Prices are through the roof at Russia's military and outdoor gear stores, Russian news outlets report. This comes as thousands of Russian conscripts drafted for the Ukraine war scramble to purchase their own supplies because Moscow isn't giving them what they need.

Men's thermal underwear now costs up to $340 in some stores, while hiking backpacks are priced at up to $600, per Russian business news outlet Kommersant. A pair of gloves now sets a Russian soldier back by $260, while night vision goggles have hit the staggering price of $810, per Kommersant.
Content from External Source
https://news.yahoo.com/many-mobilized-russian-reservists-had-082249642.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

From my previous reference:
In one video, a female officer tells new recruits they are only being supplied their uniforms and armour.

READ MORE: Russians flee as conscripts for Ukraine war handed rusty weapons
Russian conscripts were handed rust-covered AK-47s before being sent into Ukraine. Russian conscripts were handed rust-covered AK-47s before being sent into Ukraine. (Twitter)

"Take sleeping bags with you. You will have to sleep where you have to," she said.
"All this applies to medicine, diarrhoea tablets, hydrogen peroxide tourniquets. I don't have enough tourniquets for you."
When she was told by a soldier that pharmacies are out of tourniquets, she told them to find some in car first aid kits.
She then told them to buy tampons and pads to use to absorb the blood from bullet wounds.
Content from External Source
https://news.yahoo.com/many-mobilized-russian-reservists-had-082249642.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
 

Duke

Active Member

A Russian fighter jet fired a missile while shadowing a Royal Air Force recon plane on patrol over the Black Sea, UK says​

From the article:

A Russian fighter jet recently released a missile "in the vicinity" of a Royal Air Force reconnaissance plane conducting a patrol mission in Eastern Europe, UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace said Thursday.

The unarmed RC-135W Rivet Joint was in the middle of a routine patrol over the Black Sea on September 29 when two armed Russian Su-27 fighter jets "interacted" with the surveillance aircraft, Wallace told lawmakers in London while delivering an update on the war in Ukraine.


https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-fighter-jet-fired-missile-near-royal-air-force-plane-2022-10

Just one of the many NATO ISR flights in NATO or international airspace keeping an eye on the war in Ukraine.

The byline for this particular article used the term "fired" to describe the missile, yet the text of the article used the word "released." "Released" was also used in a quote within the article from UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace. Interesting distinction. Maybe diplomatic speak to defuse the incident, "fired" sounds more aggressive? Or it is possible the missile fell away from the Russian fighter without the rocket motor igniting?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The byline for this particular article used the term "fired" to describe the missile, yet the text of the article used the word "released." "Released" was also used in a quote within the article from UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace. Interesting distinction.
"fire" implies intent.

Straight from the British Defense Secretary:
Article:
“The reply by the Russian minister of defence on 10 October stated they have conducted an investigation into the circumstances of the incident and stated it was a technical malfunction of the SU-27 fighter.

“They also acknowledge that the incident took place in international airspace.”

“We do not consider this as a deliberate escalation by Russia. Our analysis is this was a malfunction, but it a reminder of quite how dangerous things can be when you choose to use your fighters in the manner the Russians have done over many periods of time,” Wallace said.
 

Duke

Active Member
"fire" implies intent.

Straight from the British Defense Secretary:
Article:
“The reply by the Russian minister of defence on 10 October stated they have conducted an investigation into the circumstances of the incident and stated it was a technical malfunction of the SU-27 fighter.

“They also acknowledge that the incident took place in international airspace.”

“We do not consider this as a deliberate escalation by Russia. Our analysis is this was a malfunction, but it a reminder of quite how dangerous things can be when you choose to use your fighters in the manner the Russians have done over many periods of time,” Wallace said.
Possibly, then diplomatic speak to defuse the situation.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
the amount of complaints from the Russian 'recruits' shows this is a systemic problem
except it's often the same complaints echoed over and over

like, the clip with the female officer and the suggestion to use tampons to staunch the blood flow (that @Ann K mentioned) is weeks old, at least. What we have here is anecdotal evidence being handed around, which may be indicative of a larger problem, or it may be outliers that survive on social media because of their shock value (and could even be fake).
 
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LilWabbit

Senior Member
I would not read much into the Kakhovka Dam news, both sides have no interest in blowing it up.

Russians: they would make the situation in Kherson much worse for them: a Dniepr flood would further cut off the troops they have on the right side.

You've articulately outlined the disadvantages to Russia as well as to Ukraine for blowing up the dam.

But stopping the Ukrainian advances at the Western banks of the flooded area is also a major advantage that may outweigh the disadvantages in Putin's mind. What is in his 'interest' is also not necessarily rational to other analysts. At this point of the war he may be trying to minimize losses rather than gain major victories, and hence resort to scorched-earth tactics (or 'flooded-earth' rather -- a bad joke, I know).

Also the current Russian efforts to evacuate 60,000 inhabitants out of Kherson city suggest much more than a mere information campaign.

However, I do not pretend knowing the outcome given the fickle variables we have to deal with in this tragic war.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian terror must lose, Ukraine and all of Europe must win - President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address to the European Council

20 October 2022 - 20:06

[...]

Russia is deliberately creating the grounds for a large-scale disaster in the south of Ukraine. We have information that Russian terrorists mined the dam and aggregates of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. This is one of the large power facilities. The dam of this hydroelectric power plant holds about 18 million cubic meters of water. If Russian terrorists blow up this dam, more than 80 settlements, including Kherson, will be in the zone of rapid flooding. Hundreds, hundreds of thousands of people may be affected.

The water supply of a large part of the south of Ukraine may be destroyed. This Russian terrorist attack could leave the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant without water for cooling – water for the ZNPP is taken from the Kakhovka Reservoir. Even the operation of the canal, which was built to supply water to Crimea and which is periodically allegedly "cared about" by Moscow, will be completely destroyed. This is the real attitude of Russia towards our Ukrainian Crimea. And in general, the devastating environmental, humanitarian, man-made consequences of this single Russian terrorist attack may become such that it will be called a historical disaster.

According to our information, Russia has already prepared everything to carry out this terrorist attack. Ukrainian workers were kicked out of the Kakhovka station - only Russian citizens stay there. They have complete control over the station. It is necessary to act immediately so that Russia does not have the opportunity to realize this catastrophe.

An international observation mission to the Kakhovka HPP is needed. It is necessary to return the Ukrainian personnel there and ensure immediate and professional demining of the aggregates and the dam.

I believe "aggregates" means "power units".

If I was Russia, expecting to retreat, I'd obviously mine the roadway across the dam, as it constitutes a bridge; and given that Russia has used missiles to attack Ukraine's power infrastructure very recently, destroying the power plant also makes sense. This could be loosely described as "mining the dam".

I do not know whether the Russians actually mined the retaining wall; if they did, it's unclear how big the breach would be, and how severe the resulting flood.

ISW reported Russia has published some kind of flood map, but I haven't been able to find it.
Article:
Russian sources, however, continued to accuse Ukrainian forces of shelling the Kakhovka HPP and have widely circulated graphics depicting the flood path in the event of a dam breach.


The Kyiv Post estimates the flood wave would peak at under 5m:
Article:
Catastrophic destruction of the dam would, theoretically, trigger a flood wave reaching 4.8 meters in height flowing in a five kilometer-wide swell at speeds reaching 24 kph. Flooding would reach Kherson in two hours, achieve high water in 14 hours, and fall back to normal levels in 72 hours, estimated the Telegram information site Zastavnyii, in a widely-reposted graphic.


The Sun published a graphic visualizing this (higher water levels cropped):
Article:

The reservoir is 240 km long.
 

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Oystein

Senior Member
Not to mention the non-trivial fact that Russia's aggression against even military targets in Ukraine is unlawful under international law. And it's utterly irrelevant whether that aggression occurs near the 'frontier' of opposing ground forces.

Resolution ES-11/1 "Aggression against Ukraine" adopted by the General Assembly on 2 March 2022:
...
General Assembly Resolutions are toasts on a Sunday brunch: Participants raise their glasses and say: "Hear, hear, yeah, yeah" - but unfortunately, they are not binding on anyone and do not create legal prohibitions or entitlements. They are no more than glorious opinion polls.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
General Assembly Resolutions are toasts on a Sunday brunch: Participants raise their glasses and say: "Hear, hear, yeah, yeah" - but unfortunately, they are not binding on anyone and do not create legal prohibitions or entitlements. They are no more than glorious opinion polls.

Unfortunately you're right. But that really applies to all "international law" which ultimately boils down to international agreements and the degree to which individual nations decide to follow them. There are no powerful sanctions nor law enforcement behind such laws.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
A war hawk commentator has come under sharp criticism for his broadcast on a Russia-controlled program.

Ukraine accused the Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT of inciting genocide after a presenter said Ukrainian children who considered the Russians as occupiers under the Soviet Union should have been drowned.

Pro-war commentator Anton Krasovsky was speaking with sci-fi author Sergei Lukyanenko about the writer’s first trip to Ukraine in 1980, when local kids told him their lives would be better if Moscow wasn’t occupying their homeland.

“They should have been drowned in the Tysyna [river],” Krasovsky said. “Just drown those children, drown them.” He added that the children could have been forced into huts and burned.

During the same interview, Krasovsky also laughed about reports of elderly Ukrainian women being raped by Russian troops. “Those grannies would spend their burial savings to get raped by Russian soldiers,” he said.
Content from External Source
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ukrai...er-presenter-calls-to-drown-children?ref=home

As of now, Krasovsky has been suspended from the station.
 

Oystein

Senior Member
Unfortunately you're right. But that really applies to all "international law" which ultimately boils down to international agreements and the degree to which individual nations decide to follow them. There are no powerful sanctions nor law enforcement behind such laws.
Well, not true.
Writing from memory, so I may get a term here or a provision there not exactly right, but gist is: The Charter of the United Nations is an international treaty. Treaties are binding on those parties that ratified them. All countries relevant to the current topic are parties to the Charter of the UN. This is how international law is created.
The Charter holds that General Assembly resolutions are just that - resolutions, non-binding.
The Charter also stipulates that resolutions by the UN Security Council to preserve and restore the peace ARE binding on all members, and thus have the power of international law.

Of course there are (at least) two problems with UNSC resolutions:
1. Five members have veto power, among them Russia, so no UNSC resolution will ever call on Russia to stop wars of aggression, genocide, another holocaust or the annihilation of humanity
2. How to enforce resolutions, or indeed any provision of international, when no coalition of willing countries strong enough to actually enforce can be found
The UN does not have any tools strong enough to compel any and all member states into compliance.

But that weakness of the UN does not mean UNSC resolutions, or any other obligations under international law, arising from the UN Charter or any other international treaty, are not binding.
In contrast, General Assembly resolutions ARE non-binding, from the get-go. Because international law (the Charter) says so.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Well, not true...

But that weakness of the UN does not mean UNSC resolutions, or any other obligations under international law, arising from the UN Charter or any other international treaty, are not binding.
In contrast, General Assembly resolutions ARE non-binding, from the get-go. Because international law (the Charter) says so.

I didn't say anything about an international agreement signed and ratified by the parties to the agreement not being legally binding. I said even the legally binding ones (such as the UN Charter) lack powerful sanctions and effective law enforcement in the event of violations, and hence in actual fact it's weak and up to individual nations choosing to follow it or refusing to do so in the event it's not in their national interest. International law, in other words, is nothing akin to what you would have within a nation-state with a legislature enacting the laws of the land, a powerful executive enforcing them, served by security forces with an overwhelming monopoly in the use of force in the land, and a supreme court which is also served by law enforcement. Hence, the oft-repeated description of UN as being "toothless". Also, this derail of a debate has nothing to do in the way of countering the referenced UN resolution stating international laws (namely the UN Charter) were violated when Russia attacked Ukraine.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
At #601 above, I suggested that if the Russians were planning to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, one would expect them to take some measures in advance to reduce damage to their own troops. Such measures might be detected by western and Ukrainian intelligence.

It is now reported that Russian forces are taking (or planning to take) protective measures against the threat of Ukrainian 'dirty bombs', which Russian sources claim (without evidence, as usual) Ukraine is preparing. This is ominous. Protection against radiation from dirty bombs could also serve against Russia's own nuclear weapons, though the hazards are not exactly the same. A nuclear bomb would create both an immediate pulse of intense radiation and prolonged hazards from fallout, whereas a dirty bomb would (I think) be confined to the latter.

A news report on the Russian 'precautionary measures' is here:

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/worl...pc=U531&cvid=5e49641ac83c4ded90c05f1a7caf92af
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
A nuclear bomb would create both an immediate pulse of intense radiation and prolonged hazards from fallout, whereas a dirty bomb would (I think) be confined to the latter.
From Wikipedia

A dirty bomb or radiological dispersal device is a radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives. The purpose of the weapon is to contaminate the area around the dispersal agent/conventional explosion with radioactive material, serving primarily as an area denial device against civilians.[1][2][3] It is not to be confused with a nuclear explosion, such as a fission bomb, which produces blast effects far in excess of what is achievable by the use of conventional explosives. Unlike the cloud of radiation from a typical fission bomb, a dirty bomb’s radiation can be dispersed only within a few hundred meters or a few miles of the explosion.[4]

Dirty bombs were never used, only tested.
Content from External Source
It sounds as if dirty bombs, as defined here, would be relatively quick and easy to manufacture, and could be deployed in the same fashion as conventional bombs.
 

Oystein

Senior Member
...
It is now reported that Russian forces are taking (or planning to take) protective measures against the threat of Ukrainian 'dirty bombs', which Russian sources claim (without evidence, as usual) Ukraine is preparing. ...
The article says, specifically:
"Work has been organized by the ministry of defense to counter possible provocations from the Ukrainian side: forces and resources have been put in readiness to perform tasks in conditions of radioactive contamination," Kirillov said
This is merely a claim made by the Russian leadership, and the claim that the Russian forces already are put in readiness to perform under radioactive contamination.
This is, very obviously, not true: Russia struggles to supply their soldiers with warm socks - there is no way that forces are sufficiently equipped and trained with gear to operate under ABC conditions. There is, i am sure, not a single unit in all of the Russian forces that could, today, start operating under contaminated conditions and not be done and doomed by the end of the week. That's a damned difficult job, and they suck at so many easier ones.

So, hot air. This is NOT preparation for an actual expected nuclear incident. Kirillov knows that, and he knows that we and the Ukraine know.
 

Duke

Active Member
The article says, specifically:

This is merely a claim made by the Russian leadership, and the claim that the Russian forces already are put in readiness to perform under radioactive contamination.
This is, very obviously, not true: Russia struggles to supply their soldiers with warm socks - there is no way that forces are sufficiently equipped and trained with gear to operate under ABC conditions. There is, i am sure, not a single unit in all of the Russian forces that could, today, start operating under contaminated conditions and not be done and doomed by the end of the week. That's a damned difficult job, and they suck at so many easier ones.

So, hot air. This is NOT preparation for an actual expected nuclear incident. Kirillov knows that, and he knows that we and the Ukraine know.
Somewhere in my collection I have an article in a respected (at the time) aviation magazine from 1940 that explains why "the Japs" are paper tigers who wouldn't stand a chance if they tried to invade the Dutch East Indies.

Never pays to underestimate an enemy, especially a desperate enemy.
 

captancourgette

Active Member
So, hot air. This is NOT preparation for an actual expected nuclear incident. Kirillov knows that, and he knows that we and the Ukraine know.
You would think so, but history has shown us multiple times Russia leaders care little about the fate of Russia troops or in fact russia citizens.
My understanding of a dirty bomb is its not instantly lethal, ppl might live a week more, perhaps a year, 10 years. Certainly long enough for the troops to do what they are expected to do, ok they my die 5 years later from cancer but no matter.
USA which cares about their troops more has done similar things to their own soldiers
Somewhere in my collection I have an article in a respected (at the time) aviation magazine from 1940 that explains why "the Japs" are paper tigers who wouldn't stand a chance if they tried to invade the Dutch East Indies.

Never pays to underestimate an enemy, especially a desperate enemy.
I have no doubt this article exists as wasnt that the same reasoning from russia beforehand in 1905 when they lost against Japan.
The difference I would argue is in 1940 the west didn't have much experience with Japanese (Dutch were the first IIRC to be allowed into japan ~100 years before) Here we have a lot of evidence from this war Russia has just shown incompetence over and over again, after so many failures in a row I doubt they are suddenly going to do a 180 and bring out their superweapons/supersoldiers and kick ukraines ass.

WRT dirty bomb, my initial reaction oh russia is accusing ukraine of wanting to use one in moscow/st petersburg but no then I found out they are saying ukraine will use one on their own soil! They literally think people will buy this reasoning? If it wasn't so tragic it would be hilarious.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
This is, very obviously, not true: Russia struggles to supply their soldiers with warm socks - there is no way that forces are sufficiently equipped and trained with gear to operate under ABC conditions.
It's easier to steal and flog socks on the black market than ABC gear. Used to be this was only gas mask and filter for the common grunt. The question is, how old is this stuff, and have scheduled replacements been bought?

The more Russia doubles down on this, the more afraid I get that they're going to nuke Kherson.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
If I was Russia, expecting to retreat, I'd obviously mine the roadway across the dam, as it constitutes a bridge; and given that Russia has used missiles to attack Ukraine's power infrastructure very recently, destroying the power plant also makes sense. This could be loosely described as "mining the dam".

I do not know whether the Russians actually mined the retaining wall; if they did, it's unclear how big the breach would be, and how severe the resulting flood.
Article:
Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian forces have not yet laid enough explosives to fully destroy the HPP Dam as of October 24.[27] Budanov observed that the Russians have prepared parts of the dam for limited explosions that would not unleash the full force of the reservoir’s waters. The Russians may seek to damage the top portion of the dam, including the road that runs across it, to prevent the Ukrainians from following after retreating Russian forces if and when the Russians abandon the western bank of the Dnipro River.


Also:
Article:
Russian forces continued to establish fallback positions near the Dnipro River on October 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are preparing defensive positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River and are mining the coastline near Hornostaivka, about 40km northeast of Nova Kakhovka.[31] The Ukrainian General Staff added that Russian forces are leaving small passages for a potential retreat and are attempting to repair destroyed pontoon crossings.[32]
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
A Rusich battalion intercept from Donbas 2014 source unknown and true translation unsure



711712-2802c5c9b916c4218352cde22b21de66.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusich_Group
The Sabotage Assault Reconnaissance Group (DShRG) "Rusich" (Russian: Диверсионно-штурмовая разведывательная группа «Русич», romanized: Diversionno-shturmovaya razvedyvatel'naya gruppa «Rusich» is a combat detachment of pro-Russian right-wing group[1][2] that took part in the Russo-Ukrainian War both in the War in Donbas from June 2014 to July 2015 on the side of the self-proclaimed republics, and in Russian invasion of Ukraine as part of Russian troops.[3]
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
When Russian troops fled the Ukrainian town of Balakliia last month, they left behind thousands of documents that detail the inner workings of the Russian war machine.

Another spreadsheet tracked equipment. Where there had been five drones on July 25, by the end of August there were only two. Eight armoured personnel carriers were reduced to three. The force had four “Fagot” anti-tank weapons systems left, down from 24 at the end of July. The one “Zoopark” system they had for suppressing enemy electronics systems was gone by the end of August.

The Reuters report sketches glimpses into the lives of the Russians on the Kharkiv front.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
RUSSIA's Economy will DIE BY WINTER as a result of MOBILIZATION according to Vladislav Inozemtsev, a Prominent Russian Economist. The IN DEPTH REPORT claims that Russia is undertaking a Mass Conscription which has led to People Fleeing from their Homes & Jobs and that will cause the Russian Economy to COLLAPSE.


...so what's the summary and conclusion today? Well I wanted to share this paper with you because it's been prepared by a leading academic in Russia and this is a guy who spends all of his time looking at the Russian economy and his summary of events is really very scathing.

He thinks that the mobilization is the turning point in this war it's changed now from being a special military operation that had no relevance to most people's lives to being something that's causing a lot of concern and even Terror on the streets of Russia.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
@Z.W. Wolf Russia has almost 150 million population, and they mobilized 300 000, which is 0.2% of the population, or 1 in 500 people. Granted that includes children and pensioners, but if an economy collapses when less than 1% of the workers become unavailable, there's something else wrong with that economy.

I'd be interested to hear whether the claimed knock-on effect of smart people leaving the country can be quantified.
 

Mauro

Senior Member
Russian economy is surely in for some big pains (notice it had a GNP lower than Italy when the war started...) but I would not count much on a collapse in the near future, dictatorships are pretty resilient (until they break all of a sudden, most times at least).
 
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