Russia and Ukraine Current Events

all of the weapons supplied by NATO are short range and tactical in nature
I can't access your tass.com link to see the claims.

Ukraine is not getting ballistic missiles, aircraft, battle tanks, or air defense systems.
They have received portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, drones, ammunition, light armored vehicles, and other gear, as well as military training.

Article:
The UNITED STATES has provided over $2.5 billion in military aid since 2014, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, coastal patrol boats, Humvees, sniper rifles, reconnaissance drones, radar systems, night vision and radio equipment. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators last week promised further supplies that could include Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, small arms and boats.

BRITAIN last week supplied a reported 2,000 short-range anti-tank missiles and sent British specialists to deliver training. It has also provided Saxon armoured vehicles.

BALTIC STATES Estonia is sending Javelin anti-armour missiles and Latvia and Lithuania are providing Stinger missiles.

TURKEY has sold Ukraine several batches of Bayraktar TB2 drones that it deployed against Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbass region, infuriating Moscow.

The CZECH REPUBLIC said last week it plans to donate a shipment of 152mm artillery ammunition.

GERMANY is ruling out arms deliveries to Ukraine but is co-financing a $6 million field hospital and providing the necessary training.

UKRAINE'S WISHLIST of items it wants to buy or obtain includes:

- Helicopters, communications systems and light armoured vehicles from the United States
- NASAMS surface-to-air missile system from Norway
- Self-propelled DANA artillery system from Czech Republic, and shells for Soviet-made artillery with calibers of 120 mm and above
- Medium and short range air defence systems

Article:
Javelin is considered the most advanced anti-tank weapon in the world; it can engage targets such as armored vehicles or bunkers from more than 2,000 meters (approx. 6,500 ft). Javelin can also destroy heavy tanks with a "top-attack" on their roof, where there is the least armor protection.

This also applies to the similarly functioning NLAW missiles from British stocks, which, however, have a shorter range. London most recently provided Ukraine with about 2,000 NLAW missiles.

The Turkish Bayraktar can be used for reconnaissance and can be equipped with laser-guided bombs and missiles. In late October, a Ukrainian Army Bayraktar destroyed an artillery piece of pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.


Bayraktar TB2 drones have a control range of 150-300km, according to Wikipedia.


I also expect Ukraine is receiving Western recon information via NATO liaisons. I've seen a report of 2 US GlobalHawk RQ-4 recon drones in the air in Ukraine early this morning, as they were in past weeks.
 
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i cant find this information online.. why doesnt ukraine just give sell Russia that small bit of land? is that where that pipeline is?
 
There are weapons and combat vehicles that have exclusive top-shelf versions that are kept for the country that makes them and not exported but they're getting the modern export tier stuff. Common claims peg most of that as equal or superior to the best Russian stuff, but a lot of it hasn't gotten real world use to prove it.

Russia heavily outnumbers Ukraine (for example, Ukraine has several hundred Javelin anti-tank missiles, but Russia had an estimated 1100 tanks on the border. The last US aid package included Javelins, but no word on how many. They're pricy and it was a $60 million package) and I would expect them to win regardless, but how well a lot of these weapons match up will decide the blood-and-treasure cost.

Yup, I think it was Javelins we sent last week.
 
I did a tour of Chernobyl and the surrounding area a few years ago. It struck me that I might not have another chance. From what I remember Ukraine is large but mostly flat and has a big wide river running up and down the middle of it. Chernobyl is on the western side of the river, but within artillery range of the eastern side, which raises the question of whether it would have to be abandoned again.

Well, Ashley, that comment has aged in an interesting way, given that there is now footage of Russian armoured vehicles in the grounds of the Chernobyl NPP. Almost in the exact same places they appear in Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. We weren't allowed to take pictures of the massive strategic installation so this is the only photo I have that shows even part of the reactor up-close:



I didn't anticipate that the invasion would come from the north and south as well. Chernobyl is in the middle-north of the country. Presumably the Russians have planned their occupation of the reactor and will have a team of engineers on standby. It's still a functioning reactor, so at this point they can probably black out central Ukraine.



This raises the question of whether refugees will be desperate enough to re-occupy Pripyat. The buildings are mostly intact, but freezing cold and damp. As you can see there's no shortage of wood. The environmental impact of burning Pripyat's forest for firewood would not be pretty.
 
In an effort to find news that reflected what Russian citizens were likely able to read about Ukraine right now, I found the Russian News Agency TASS. https://tass.com/

Leading headline:

Top brass reveals 74 Ukrainian military facilities were crippled by Russia’s strikes​


Another top story:

Kiev troops deploy heavy weapons between residential buildings in Mariupol — DPR official​

Article:

Intelligence of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has data that Ukrainian troops are deploying heavy weapons between residential buildings in Mariupol and Artyomovsk (Ukrainian name Bakhmut), Deputy Head of the DPR People’s Militia Eduard Basurin said on Thursday.

"According to data from our intelligence, Kiev troops are deploying heavy arms among residential houses in Artyomovsk and Mariupol," he told a briefing.

Basurin also said that civilians are not allowed to flee the settlements under the control of Kiev troops in order to hide behind their backs.

"At the exit from settlements, Kiev military have set up additional check points, banning civilians from leaving the cities. This action signals that Ukrainian gunmen are planning to hide behind the civilians," Basurin stressed. Source: https://tass.com/defense/1410425
Obviously, TASS articles are not reliably trustworthy sources of factual reporting. But they do represent how Russian officials are portraying the military action in Ukraine. And the extent to which this portrayal is credible to the Russian people will likely play a primary role in determining its ultimate success.
 
NATO's definitely supplying Ukraine with weapons, I have no idea how modern classifies as modern, but they're current to us, so I'd say that makes them modern. We sent some ballistic supplies just last week and more are on the way now.
Indeed, but none of these modern weapons are strategic assets. Stinger, Javlin, NLAW are all hand held weapons with very limited range, so certainly no threat to Russia.
 
Indeed, but none of these modern weapons are strategic assets. Stinger, Javlin, NLAW are all hand held weapons with very limited range, so certainly no threat to Russia.
That's not the point.
Pre-2014, Ukraine would have received weapons like these from Russia. They were cooperating with Russia militarily, while now they're cooperating with the West. Western militaries training Ukrainian soldiers was unthinkable in the past.

Have another look at your TASS link:
Article:
Lavrov underscored that as NATO continues to "advance irresponsibly" its military infrastructure to the Russian borders, the architecture of strategic stability is being destroyed. "The alliance recklessly moved forward its military infrastructure to the borders of Russia. Missile defense systems have been stationed in Romania and Poland which can be used as strike complexes. American medium-range missiles are about to appear on European soil," he said.

The claim isn't that Ukraine is becoming a strategic threat, the claim is that this military co-operation is part of a NATO advance towards Russia, which changes "the architecture of strategic stability". A NATO ally east of the Carpathian mountains is a strategic threat to Russia (as was losing the Crimean peninsula).

From the Russian perspective, international diplomacy has disregarded Russia's interests for strategic safety.
 
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. Ukraine is starting a new nuclear weapons programme.
https://tass.com/world/1407773
That paraphrase is overstated.
Article:
Ukraine’s statement of potential development of its own nuclear weapons are not an empty bravado, Kiev has Soviet technologies and delivery systems for such weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his televised address Monday.

Ukraine is said to threaten nuclear armament, not that they're actually doing it.

That threat itself is an exaggerated reading of what Zelensky said in Munich on February 19th. From a RT (Russia Today) reprint:
Article:
In a dramaturgically sophisticated appearance at the so-called Security Conference in Munich on February 19, 2022, the trained actor and comedian Vladimir Zelenskiy, in his role as President of Ukraine, threatened NATO with nuclear rearmament.

Ukraine has every right to become a nuclear power again, Zelensky underlined, citing a document signed by leading world powers after Kiev agreed to return Soviet nuclear weapons to Russia in exchange for security guarantees following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The document is the so-called Budapest Memorandum.

Actually, Zelensky mentioned the Budapest Memorandum, because the annexation of the Krim and the occupancy of the Donbass break its guarantees; and it's true that Ukraine committed to nuclear disarmament with this memorandum. But Zelensky never actually talked about nuclear re-armament. Here's what he said (via https://web.archive.org/web/2022022...rayini-na-58-j-myunhenskij-konferenciyi-72997 ):
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Otherwise - who's next? Will NATO countries have to defend each other? I want to believe that the North Atlantic Treaty and Article 5 will be more effective than the Budapest Memorandum.

Ukraine has received security guarantees for abandoning the world's third nuclear capability. We don't have that weapon. We also have no security. We also do not have part of the territory of our state that is larger in area than Switzerland, the Netherlands or Belgium. And most importantly - we don’t have millions of our citizens. We don’t have all this.

Therefore, we have something. The right to demand a shift from a policy of appeasement to ensuring security and peace guarantees.

Since 2014, Ukraine has tried three times to convene consultations with the guarantor states of the Budapest Memorandum. Three times without success. Today Ukraine will do it for the fourth time. I, as President, will do this for the first time. But both Ukraine and I are doing this for the last time. I am initiating consultations in the framework of the Budapest Memorandum. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was commissioned to convene them. If they do not happen again or their results do not guarantee security for our country, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum is not working and all the package decisions of 1994 are in doubt.

I also propose to convene a summit of permanent members of the UN Security Council in the coming weeks with the participation of Ukraine, Germany and Turkey in order to address security challenges in Europe. And elaborate new, effective security guarantees for Ukraine. Guarantees today, as long as we are not a member of the Alliance and in fact are in the gray zone - in a security vacuum.

What else can we do now? Continue to effectively support Ukraine and its defense capabilities. Provide Ukraine with a clear European perspective, the tools of support available to candidate countries, and clear and comprehensive timeframes for joining the Alliance.

You have to do a lot of reading between the lines to make this into a threat of nuclear re-armament, and as far as I can tell, only news sources aligned with Russia reported it as such.
 
5 key questions that could determine the shape of Russia's invasion

1. Will Putin's "peacekeeping force" deploy only to the territory already controlled by the separatists, or attempt to secure the much larger areas in Ukraine claimed by the two "republics"?

Either scenario could spark a broader conflict. The latter would be a clear declaration of war.

5. Will Russia's military maneuvers be limited to the east for the time being, or will U.S. warnings that Putin's planning a full-scale invasion targeting Kyiv soon come to fruition?

Some analysts argued that yesterday's gambit was the peak of Putin’s escalation. Many others contended it was just one step in a much larger military operation. Source: https://www.axios.com/russia-eastern-ukraine-invasion-whats-next-ba9d7389-1231-4c37-a83a-c46a5e9b93bb.html
Wednesday's questions have clear answers now: the invasion is not limited to the Donbass.

Russian forces tried to secure the Hostomel airport north of Kiev, but failed.
Article:
Russia has not taken any of its major objectives in the first 24 hours of its invasion of Ukraine and has lost more than 450 personnel, according to the UK's defence secretary.

Ben Wallace told Sky News it was the UK government's view that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends "to invade the whole of Ukraine".

"Our assessment, as of this morning, is that Russia has not taken any of its major objectives," the defence secretary said.

"In fact it's behind its hoped-for timetable. They've lost over 450 personnel.

"One of the significant airports they were trying to capture with their elite spetsnaz [special forces] has failed to be taken and, in fact, the Ukrainians have taken it back."

Article:
“Unfortunately, according to preliminary estimates today we lost 137 of our heroes, including 10 officers; 316 were injured, ”Zelensky said on his Telegram channel.

It's not clear whether that includes civilian casualties.
Article:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 137 civilians and military personnel had been killed in the country on the first day of the Russian invasion.
He called them “heroes” in a video address early on Friday in which he also said 316 people have been wounded.

In an earlier report (which I'm having trouble finding again), civilian and military casualties were listed separately, with only few civilians dead.

Edit:
Article:
"I know that more than 40 have been killed and several dozen wounded. I am aware of nearly 10 civilian losses," presidential administration aide Oleksiy Arestovych told reporters.

Reliable reports of civilian casualties are always hard to come by, in any war.
 
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Article:
The Russian military claims it has destroyed 118 Ukrainian military assets since the beginning of its assault on its neighbor and as it pushes into the outskirts of Kyiv.

The claim could not be independently verified and was not confirmed by Ukraine amid a flurry of claims and counterclaims by each side.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Friday that among the targets were 11 Ukrainian air bases, 13 command facilities, 36 air defense radars, 14 air defense missile systems, 5 warplanes, 18 tanks and warships.

Article:
Russian forces have bombed more than 30 civilian sites since the beginning of their attack on Ukraine, the country’s interior ministry has said, according to a report by the Interfax news agency.

“The Russians say they are not striking civilian objects. But 33 civilian sites have been hit over the last 24 hours,” Vadym Denysenko, a ministry official, was quoted as saying.

It reminds me of the "surgical strikes" when Baghdad was bombed back in 1991.

Article:
Poland’s Border Guard says that some 29,000 people were cleared to enter through the country’s land border with neighboring Ukraine on Thursday, the day Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.

Before that, there were some 12,000 average daily entries from Ukraine into European Union and NATO member Poland, through land, sea and airport checkpoints, according to Border Guard statistics.
 
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Article:
The number of Russian troop casualties is 2,800. This was announced by Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Maliar on her Facebook page.

Since the beginning of the open large-scale Russian invasion as of 15:00 on February 25, the troops of the invading country have suffered the following losses (approximately):
Tanks - up to 80;
Armored fighting vehicles of various types - 516;
Aircraft - 10;
Helicopters - 7;
People - 2,800.

Obviously these numbers are hard to verify.

Article:
A senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of current intelligence assessments told AP that Russian armor is 50 kilometers (31 miles) to both the north and west of Kyiv.

AP reporters saw signs of significant fighting near Ivankiv, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Kyiv. Russian troops also entered the city of Sumy, near the border with Russia that sits on a highway leading to Kyiv from the east. A Russian missile launcher was seen on the outskirts of Kharkiv in the east.

A U.S. defense official said a Russian amphibious assault was underway, and thousands of Russian naval infantry were moving ashore from the Sea of Azov, west of Mariupol. The official said Ukrainian air defenses have been degraded but are still operating, and that about a third of the combat power that Russia massed around Ukraine is now in the country.


Article:
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said its staffers have so far verified at least 127 civilian casualties, 25 people killed and 102 injured, mostly from shelling and airstrikes.


Many reports of tens of thousands fleeing Ukraine westward, with police detaining men of fighting age.
 
Well, Ashley, that comment has aged in an interesting way, given that there is now footage of Russian armoured vehicles in the grounds of the Chernobyl NPP. Almost in the exact same places they appear in Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl.
Are you sure the clip you saw wasn't game footage?
There's a lot of "repurposed" video and images going around.

Article:
Facebook and Twitter posts purporting to show Russia’s attacks on Ukraine actually showed a range of different events, from a 2015 warehouse explosion in China to 2021 Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Users also shared video game footage as real, amassing millions of views across platforms.


Sometimes it's a mix. I've seen credible reports that NATO tanker aircraft are in the air near the border, presumably to refuel NATO aircraft up for guard and observation duties. And I've seen a report that these flying tankers are refueling Ukrainian aircraft as the airports are said to no longer be safe to park aircraft on, which I think is a hoax.
 
NATO is likely operating intelligence aircraft and feeding the data to Ukraine, but I think refueling combat aircraft would be "dirty hands" on a level I don't even think Poland is ready to pull yet.

Ukraine's air force is mostly late Soviet aircraft, would they even be compatible with the refueling systems on a NATO tanker?
 
Ukraine's air force is mostly late Soviet aircraft, would they even be compatible with the refueling systems on a NATO tanker?
Poland and Romania are flying MiGs. I expect the probe for a NATO drogue is easily refitted.
 
The claim isn't that Ukraine is becoming a strategic threat, the claim is that this military co-operation is part of a NATO advance towards Russia, which changes "the architecture of strategic stability". A NATO ally east of the Carpathian mountains is a strategic threat to Russia (as was losing the Crimean peninsula).
No, Putin is describing Ukraine as a strategic threat to Russia.
 
Sometimes it's a mix. I've seen credible reports that NATO tanker aircraft are in the air near the border, presumably to refuel NATO aircraft up for guard and observation duties. And I've seen a report that these flying tankers are refueling Ukrainian aircraft as the airports are said to no longer be safe to park aircraft on, which I think is a hoax.
Regardless of whether tankers are available, they are going to have to land to rearm.
 
Article:
GENEVA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Fuel, cash and medical supplies are running low in parts of Ukraine after Russia's invasion, which could drive up to 5 million people to flee abroad, U.N. aid agencies said on Friday.

At least 100,000 people are uprooted in Ukraine after fleeing their homes since Russia launched its assault on Thursday, while several thousand have already crossed into neighbouring countries including Moldova, Romania and Poland, U.N. refugee agency spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said.


Article:
Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Russian forces have so far knocked out 211 Ukrainian military installations, including 17 command centers, 19 air defense missile systems, 39 radar units, 67 tanks and six warplanes. The Russian military also said it seized a strategic airport outside Kyiv, allowing it to quickly build up forces to take the capital.

As always, these numbers are unconfirmable. News about airports is especially controversial.
Article:
Vasylkiv, Kyiv Oblast: Ukraine repels Russian forces near Kyiv. Battles that lasted all night are now over, according to Ukraine’s military. The city remains under the control of Ukraine, said Vasylkiv Mayor Nataliia Balasynovych. Russian paratroopers landed with parachutes in the fields, forests and villages of Vasylkiv. “The worst was on Decembrists Street, there were fights, the street was on fire. They dreamed of capturing our airfield to deploy their troops, but our 40th Brigade was powerful and repulsed the attack, ” Balasynovych said.

Thursday it was Hostomel airport (Antonov's home airport), Friday Vasylkiv, that the Russians tried to take and allegedly failed. (Maybe the tank columns attacking from the North have reached Hostomel now?)

https://kyivindependent.com/ is running a detailed live blog on the fights that feels trustworthy.
 
Article:
Russia lost 14 planes, 8 helicopters, 102 tanks, 536 BBM, 15 heavy machine guns, and 1 BUK missile since Feb. 24, according to Ukraine’s military.

The Kremlin also lost over 3,500 soldiers, Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Feb. 26. Nearly 200 service members have been kept hostage.

Article:
Overall, Konashenkov said, the Russian army has destroyed more than 820 military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine including 14 airfields, 48 radar stations, and 24 S-300 and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems.

The Russian military have also shot down seven fighter jets, seven helicopters and nine drones, he said, adding that 87 tanks and other armored vehicles had been destroyed.

The Russian navy has destroyed eight military boats, Konashenkov said.

On the claimed numbers at least, Ukraine is ahead. The problem is that its military is smaller than Russia's.

The Covid stats for Ukraine is ~200 deaths per day, down from ~600 per day all through November.
 
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Looks like Germany dropped its opposition to sending weaponry to Ukraine.

Article:
Germany on Saturday agreed to authorize the shipment of 400 rocket-propelled grenades to Ukraine, a significant shift that ends a long-standing German ban on sending weaponry into conflict zones, according to two European Union diplomats who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Germany has come under heavy criticism for its continued reluctance to authorize the shipment of lethal weaponry to Ukraine, even after Russia invaded earlier this week. The country has long shied away from agreeing to send weaponry into wars, although critics note that it has been willing to sell its weapons to authoritarian regimes in the past.
Source: Washington Post
 
It looks to me as if this first phase could be a limited offensive meant to do two things.

- A probing attack to see what the defense strategy is going to be.
They've found that the conventional Ukrainian forces have dispersed.
They've found that the civilian population is aggressive.

-A buildup of forces and logistical support within the country. Instead of a "blitzkrieg" attack which moves away from their base of power and stretches their supply lines back to Russia and Belarus, they are establishing forward bases to stage offensive equipment and building bases for logistical support. They have the luxury to do this because they're moving into a country they overmatch so badly.

This is essentially moving day, with just enough offense to clear and hold open the supply corridors, which at this time is simply the highway network. This is "mud season" in that part of the world and moving cross country is not a realistic option. So the supply corridors are limited in capacity. It's taking time.

At the same time they're finding out what and where they need to strike.

If this is so it points to an ominous conclusion. If the population has proven to be the enemy, when the real offensive starts they're going to target the population. It will probably be swift and devastating.
 
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Hi, could someone explain a commonly-seen sentence such as this one please:

"...witnessing a major power invading a European neighbour for the first time since World War Two."

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56720589
Content from External Source

I thought Russia/the USSR had invaded a bunch of countries since WW2 - Georgia, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, etc - as well as Ukraine already in 2014?
 
I thought Russia/the USSR had invaded a bunch of countries since WW2 - Georgia, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, etc - as well as Ukraine already in 2014?
I see Georgia and Afghanistan in Asia, but CSSR 1968 and Kosovo 1999 probably qualify.
 
I thought Russia/the USSR had invaded a bunch of countries since WW2 - Georgia, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, etc - as well as Ukraine already in 2014?
It's difficult to know what to count as an invasion, since the USSR had forces stationed permanently in most 'Eastern bloc' countries - for their defence against NATO, of course! - so the USSR didn't always need to send tanks across borders to achieve its objectives. But I think Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 are pretty good cases. And of course the Baltic States were incorporated into the USSR in the late 1940s, and stayed that way until its collapse. Much of Eastern Poland, and part of former Prussia (including Kant's Konigsberg) are still part of Russia or Belarus, though to be fair the existing populations were largely replaced by Russians after WWII, so the current inhabitants are probably content with the status quo.
 
It looks to me as if this first phase could be a limited offensive meant to do two things.
Various media reports, attributed to Western intelligence sources, suggest that Russian paratroops and special forces were landed at the airport to the north of Kiev, with the aim of quickly entering Kiev and capturing or killing the Ukrainian President and installing a puppet regime. If that was the aim, it seems to have failed, at least for the time being. If the reports are true, that might be considered a limited offensive in its methods, though hardly in its objectives.

They've found that the civilian population is aggressive
Yes, those pesky civilians are obstructing tanks with their bodies.
 
Are you sure the clip you saw wasn't game footage?
There's a lot of "repurposed" video and images going around.

It's definitely real - or at least plausible enough for The Independent to run it:
https://www.independent.co.uk/tv/news/russia-invasion-chernobyl-ukraine-military-b2022910.html

The location is the main entrance, essentially this spot here, looking south and then south-east, towards the Prometheus statue:
https://goo.gl/maps/5PPbVu7HFaQFesBv8

Reddit has masses of crap, but it does occasionally get there first. I learn that the London Philharmonic led their concert this evening with the Ukraine national anthem, which doesn't appear to have made the news yet:

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UkraineWarVideoReport/comments/t29m2t/london_philharmonic_orchestra_playing_the/
 
Various media reports, attributed to Western intelligence sources, suggest that Russian paratroops and special forces were landed at the airport to the north of Kiev, with the aim of quickly entering Kiev and capturing or killing the Ukrainian President and installing a puppet regime. If that was the aim, it seems to have failed, at least for the time being. If the reports are true, that might be considered a limited offensive in its methods, though hardly in its objectives.


Yes, those pesky civilians are obstructing tanks with their bodies.
There's this tale...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...ashed-Ukraine-detain-kill-Kyiv-officials.html

A squad of Chechen special forces 'hunters' has been unleashed in Ukraine to detain or kill a set of specific Ukrainian officials.

Each soldier was reportedly given a special 'deck of cards' with Ukrainian officials' photos and descriptions on them, a Moscow Telegram channel with links to the security establishment reported.

The list is of officials and security officers suspected of 'crimes' by the Russian Investigative Committee, the report added.


It came as Ukraine's president admitted he is 'target number one' for Russian assassins in his capital, while his family is 'the number two goal' for Putin's hitmen.

The Chechen squad is thought to be in a Ukrainian forest and was allegedly given an 'order to kill' if those on the wanted list could not be detained.

I'm sure there is some sort of operation of this in the planning stages. But even if they are successful that won't win a military victory.

As far as major cities go, such Kyiv. IF they go after the city in serious way, I suspect the Russians will establish a perimeter around the city. Probing attacks are already happening and they will continue. They may win or lose but the major objective is to find where to bring in the artillery, the air strikes, the thermobaric rockets and so on. The Russians aren't going to fight door to door. Nor are they going to carpet bomb. They're going to destroy buildings or even neighborhoods. Advance, destroy, hold the new position, advance, destroy, etc. Armored columns may stage "thunder runs" along major roads or highways and establish new bases within the city.

If there is a second phase of the war, it could be a years long insurgency.
 
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This scene from 7 hours ago, taken from within Russia, shows armored vehicles and support vehicles heading into Ukraine.



To be fair, this looks to be pretty old equipment. T-72 tanks and MT-LBM armored personnel carriers... I think. Which points out how out-classed Russia would be matched against NATO Forces.
 
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BTW, I'm basing all this on my amateur understanding of Soviet and now Russian offensive tactics, which divides the armed forces into Operational Maneuver Groups and the Second Echelon. The OMGs are supposed to be logistically self-sufficient and intended for preliminary exploitation. The second echelon is the main force and is bound to the traditional logistics system and must maintain a secure line of supply. In this case they are bringing it with them.

I think what we've seen so far are preliminary probing attacks and attacks on enemy military infrastructure by the smaller OMGs. The main force, the second echelon, is staging for the real offensive.

As I said, this is only an amateur opinion... but at least I'm attempting to think in terms of logistics

But I think that the idea that these pauses in the Russian advance are being caused by stiff Ukrainian resistance is naïve misunderstanding. Wishful thinking. All offensives have pauses to rest, regroup, resupply. In this case in particular, the Russians have no need to stage a relentless blitzkrieg from day one. I'm afraid they are building up to a devastating offensive on their own timetable.
 
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Let me make a counter argument with myself.

Suppose this whole operation was poorly planned on the logistical level. What if it was a build up that was supposed to be a political bluff but got turned into a real invasion on an ad hoc basis? What would happen then? Logistical problems.

Or there are innumerable other reasons for logistical problems to develop.

It is surprising that the Russians have failed to gain air supremacy.

All this could be worked out by the military in the end, but the question is how much that would cost Putin's regime politically.

The media stories we're getting is heavily Kyiv centric. But there is heavy fighting all over the country. We really don't know what's going on in the big picture.
 
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This is an interesting thread to follow: Michael Kofman Twitter

I have elected Mr. Kofman as my military guru since I saw this video about one month ago: all of his forecasts have panned out exactly (except the overconfidence and bad planning of the Russians, that would have been difficult indeed to foresee).

 
This video just popped up and I think General Deverell has summed things up better than any other expert I've heard.

 
It is surprising that the Russians have failed to gain air supremacy.
How do you know they haven't?

Reported yesterday:
Article:
"Russian military parachuted from three helicopters in the area of Brody at 9 am. There are nearly 60 people there. Our troops repulsed the attack. Now they are retreating towards the forest area near Leviatyn. The armed forces are repelling the occupiers! We are keeping the situation under control," the mayor wrote.

As reported by the Brody City Council, the enemy’s unmanned aerial vehicles were flying over the city last night, conducting reconnaissance.

"Many people heard these sounds and saw the flash. Ukrainian aircraft covered the sky over Brody, at least one drone was shot down," the City Council said.

Brody is in western Ukraine, less than 100 km from the Polish border.

Ukraine had ground-based air defenses, but is losing some each day; plus MANPADS aka portable stuff like stingers which are good if you can see something slow and low like a helicopter or a transport.

If the West had wished to really become involved in the war, establishing air superiority in the Ukraine would've been a big help.

The media stories we're getting is heavily Kyiv centric. But there is heavy fighting all over the country. We really don't know what's going on in the big picture
Yes.

- There's a wide and slow advance in the East and Northeast.
- There's been an invasion from the Krim, and an attempt to link the Krim with Donesk via a coastal corridor.
- Russia is controlling the Azov sea and blockading the Black Sea coast of Ukraine.
- The battle tank columns from the North via Chernobyl may have been trying to reach Kyiv quickly.
- Part of that strategy was to secure Hostomel airport, which would provide supply and reinforcements.
- Russia reports hitting Ukrainian air defense units.
- There are reports of independently operating sabotage and recon commandos.

I believe this has been the general strategic situation for the past two days. It's hard to tell how successful the advance is. (In the Iraq war, there were 3 consecutive days of a specific town having been taken (Basra, IIRC) which suggested the first two reports were somewhat less definite than they sounded.)
 
There have been a lot of little instances where logistical support or communication have been lacking in the offense.

For example, the first Russian unit to arrive in Kyiv was a police riot suppression team that got lit up on arrival. Logically they should have been the last to arrive as their job comes after the battle to suppress civil unrest.

There's a number of videos of Russian vehicles stopped and out of fuel, my favorite being one in which a Ukrainian truck stops to talk to them, and the soldiers admit they don't know where the truck with their ammunition is so they're functionally unarmed.

And before I post this next link, as I said, intel is a complex game and everything that the public sees has been through several strategic and agenda filters, but they do sometimes add up:


Source: https://twitter.com/RihoTerras/status/1497537193346220038


This release alleges that Putin expected the battle to wrap up in four days (and here we are in day three, only one major city has fallen, Kyiv stands and early reports are that the force hitting Kharkiv has been captured), likely expecting the government to simply evaporate and the people to panic and capitulate*.

As such the supply chains are literally what was in those border bases. Rockets in particular are months out, but pretty much everything is only in supply for a matter of days, rifles and bullets are about all that will last past day 10.


Everything is part of the game and should be viewed as such, but this is much more consistent with what's coming out of the combat zone than pauses to regroup or probing strikes ahead of a proper attack - the number of people left behind at the border bases is lower than you'd expect for logistical support, let alone reinforcing attacks.


*Ukraine has a cultural heritage of giving invaders the finger. From the Mongols to the 20th Century their cultural story is one of going torches and pitchforks against all comers and making victory costly.

Yesterday there were rumors that the Chechen soldiers in the fight had withdrawn, today Ramzan Kadyrov confirmed that they were and that Russian tactics were failing. Kazakhstan also refused a call from Russia to join the fight.
 
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This video just popped up and I think General Deverell has summed things up better than any other expert I've heard.
5:40 I don't understand how he thinks this ends well for him. I think he's made an absolutely major miscalculation.
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I believe this explains the failure of diplomacy (that war always is). Like this general, Ukraine didn't understand that Russia would actually do it.
 
And before I post this next link, as I said, intel is a complex game and everything that the public sees has been through several strategic and agenda filters, but they do sometimes add up:
I thought about posting this yesterday, but it's from an anonymous source, unverifiable, aligns with Ukraine propaganda interests, and I couldn't even translate the Russian screenshot (attached).
Intel from a Ukrainian officer about a meeting in Putin’s lair in Urals. Oligarchs convened there so no one would flee. Putin is furious, he thought that the whole war would be easy and everything would be done in 1-4 days.

Russians didn’t have a tactical plan. The war costs about $20 bln/day. There are rockets for 3-4 days at most, they use them sparingly. They lack weapons, the Tula and 2 Rotenberg plants can’t physically fulfil the orders for weapons. Rifles and ammo are the most they can do.

The next Russian weapons can be produced in 3-4 months – if even that. They have no raw materials. What was previously supplied mainly from Slovenia, Finland and Germany is now cut off.

If Ukraine manages to hold the Russians off for 10 days, then the Russians will have to enter negotiations. Because they have no money, weapons, or resources. Nevertheless, they are indifferent about the sanctions.

Alpha Spec Ops have been near Kyiv since the 18th February. The goal was to take Kyiv and instal a puppet regime. They are preparing provocations against innocent civilians – women and children – to sow panic. This is their trump card.

Russia’s whole plan relies on panic – that the civilians and armed forces surrender and Zelensky flees. They expect Kharkiv to surrender first so the other cities would follow suit to avoid bloodshed. The Russians are in shock of the fierce resistance they have encountered.

The Ukrainians must avoid panic! The missile strikes are for intimidation, the Russians fire them at random to “accidentally” hit residential buildings to make the attack look larger than it really is. Ukraine must stay strong and we must provide assistance!
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There are so many claims in there that smack of Q revelations. I do not trust any of the claims, and I haven't seen evidence for most of them even though they contradict common sense.

"raw materials" - how about China as a source?

"hit residential buildings" - the Russian counter-claim is that Ukraine put air defense units or artillery in residential areas. Every nation fighting on foreign soil kills civilians by accident, that's just the nature of war (all war is terrible).

There's a prediction in there ("10 days"), we'll see if it holds true. I think it won't.

Ukraine is 37% bigger than Iraq, with approximately the same population. It took 2 weeks to reach Baghdad in 2003, several days to take it, and a month overall to control the country.
 

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China has cut off some exports to Russia also, but even if they hadn't or if steel isn't covered nearly everything is on futures traded just-in-time logistics and the inertia of shifting them after even a trivial disruption is significant.

Baghdad to Kyiv is an awful comparison, because Kyiv is 90 km from where Russia crossed the border, Baghdad was nearly 1300 km up the "highway of death." Coalition forces were not rolling tanks into Baghdad twelve hours into the attack, they arrived and took the city in one day.
 
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*Ukraine has a cultural heritage of giving invaders the finger.

Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YmT0_hKSUrw
(I know Ukraine isn't technically Asia.)


China has cut off some exports to Russia also, but even if they hadn't or if steel isn't covered
Russia exports steel. It imports some iron ore, I don't even know the proportion.
Article:
Top trading partners (import of "Iron and steel") of Russia in 2020:

Kazakhstan with a share of 23% (875 million US$)
Ukraine with a share of 20% (778 million US$)
China with a share of 13.5% (504 million US$)
Korea with a share of 6.48% (241 million US$)
 
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