Russia and Ukraine Current Events

FatPhil

Senior Member.

As I mentioned last time the blank signs were brought up, the arrests for no signs at all have an almost decade long history at least.
The book mentioned in that thread is this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_(novel)
George Orwell claimed that Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932) must be partly derived from We.[24] However, in a letter to Christopher Collins in 1962, Huxley says that he wrote Brave New World as a reaction to H. G. Wells's utopias long before he had heard of We.[25]

Kurt Vonnegut said that in writing Player Piano (1952), he "cheerfully ripped off the plot of Brave New World, whose plot had been cheerfully ripped off from Yevgeny Zamyatin's We".[26] Ayn Rand's Anthem (1938) has many significant similarities to We (detailed here), although it is stylistically and thematically different.[27] Vladimir Nabokov's novel Invitation to a Beheading may suggest a dystopian society with some similarities to Zamyatin's; Nabokov read We while writing Invitation to a Beheading.[28]

Orwell began Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) some eight months after he read We in a French translation and wrote a review of it.[29] Orwell is reported as "saying that he was taking it as the model for his next novel".[30] Brown writes that for Orwell and certain others, We "appears to have been the crucial literary experience".[31] Shane states that "Zamyatin's influence on Orwell is beyond dispute".[32] Robert Russell, in an overview of the criticism of We, concludes that "1984 shares so many features with We that there can be no doubt about its general debt to it", however, there is a minority of critics who view the similarities between We and 1984 as "entirely superficial". Further, Russell finds that "Orwell's novel is both bleaker and more topical than Zamyatin's, lacking entirely that ironic humour that pervades the Russian work".[25]
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CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
i didn't know that


Because it isn't true. The source of @Mendel's claim comes only from Russian state media and Russian supporters.

From NATO themselves:


Claim: NATO promised Russia it would not expand after the Cold War
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Fact: Such an agreement was never made. NATO’s door has been open to new members since it was founded in 1949 – and that has never changed. This “Open Door Policy” is enshrined in Article 10 of NATO’s founding treaty, which says “any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic” can apply for membership. Decisions on membership are taken by consensus among all Allies. No treaty signed by the United States, Europe and Russia included provisions on NATO membership.

The idea of NATO expansion beyond a united Germany was not on the agenda in 1989, particularly as the Warsaw Pact still existed. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev in an interview in 2014: "The topic of 'NATO expansion' was not discussed at all, and it wasn't brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn't bring it up, either."

Declassified White House transcripts also reveal that, in 1997, Bill Clinton consistently refused Boris Yeltsin's offer of a 'gentlemen's agreement' that no former Soviet Republics would enter NATO: "I can't make commitments on behalf of NATO, and I'm not going to be in the position myself of vetoing NATO expansion with respect to any country, much less letting you or anyone else do so…NATO operates by consensus."
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And another source:

But is there any truth to these claims? Over recent years countless records and other archival material has become available, allowing historians to go beyond the interviews or autobiographies of those political leaders who were in power during the crucial developments between the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the Soviet acceptance of a reunified Germany in NATO in July 1990. Yet even these additional sources do not change the fundamental conclusion: there have never been political or legally binding commitments of the West not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a reunified Germany. That such a myth could nevertheless emerge should not come as a surprise, however. The rapid pace of political change at the Cold War’s end produced its fair share of confusion. It was a time where legends could easily emerge.
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
Because it isn't true. The source of @Mendel's claim comes only from Russian state media and Russian supporters.

From NATO themselves:

Claim: NATO promised Russia it would not expand after the Cold War
Content from External Source

The idea of NATO expansion beyond a united Germany was not on the agenda in 1989, particularly as the Warsaw Pact still existed. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev in an interview in 2014: "The topic of 'NATO expansion' was not discussed at all, and it wasn't brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn't bring it up, either."
Content from External Source

Baker definitely discussed it with Shevardnadze - Page 3 of https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/sites/def...ent-04-Memorandum-of-conversation-between.pdf :
There would, of course, have to be iron-clad guarantees that NATO’s jurisdiction or forces would not move eastward.
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CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
Baker definitely discussed it with Shevardnadze


Nato's answer:

"Yet even these additional sources do not change the fundamental conclusion: there have never been political or legally binding commitments of the West not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a reunified Germany. "
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
Nato's answer:

"Yet even these additional sources do not change the fundamental conclusion: there have never been political or legally binding commitments of the West not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a reunified Germany. "
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That's called moving the goalposts.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
there have never been political or legally binding commitments of the West not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a reunified Germany. "
and that's not what my source claimed, so we are in agreement

promises serve a function even when they're not legally binding (and you explained why NATO could not legally offer such a treaty without redesigning its foundation), and there may still be consequences when they are broken.
 

CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
promises serve a function even when they're not legally binding (and you explained why NATO could not legally offer such a treaty without redesigning its foundation), and there may still be consequences when they are broken.

A reminder to all who may be swayed by threats from tyrants, (and those who pass them on so freely,) repeating these threats are not beneficial to humanity.

Being willing to spend more time "doing my own research", I can avoid disinformation like this which has plagued Russia, her apologists and those who depend on sources of information from Russian interests. There are not two sides to truth.

https://www.politifact.com/factchec...hecking-claims-nato-us-broke-agreement-again/


The comments, they say, were made in the context of the German reunification debate. Talk of NATO’s expansion to the rest of Europe never came up, in part because the Soviet Union and its associated Warsaw Pact were still intact. And in any event, those assurances were not baked into the final U.S. position and agreement around "special military status," they say.

"There was a discussion about whether the unified Germany would be a member of NATO, and that was the only discussion we ever had," Baker told CNN during a 2009 interview. "There was never any discussion of anything but (East Germany)."
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If anyone is able to provide any real evidence for @Mendel's claim that "NATO is breaking an agreement" of some sort, I'd be willing to investigate that new claim in another thread, (so as to not derail this one any further with disinformation).

Other than possibly some hurt feelings for the failures of Russian negotiators more than 30 years ago, I see nothing new being presented, and no further discussion being necessary here.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
A reminder to all who may be swayed by threats from tyrants, (and those who pass them on so freely,) repeating these threats are not beneficial to humanity.
My comment isn't about threats at all.

Moscow was wary that changing alliances in Europe would impact its strategic security, and it needed reassurance that lifting the iron curtain and allowing East Germany to join the West would not come to unbalance Europe. But that did happen, and the consequence is Moscow reacting to that situation once this sweep of Westernization reached Ukraine 25 years later.

There's a reason why Moscow discussed NATO expansion 25 years ago, and if you ignore the interests behind that reason (which your no "legally binding" document excuse is doing), you incur the diplomacy failure that war always is. The Russian threats were just the final step of that larger development.

The US have rarely shied back from enforcing their own interests militarily, canceling treaties etc., so we're getting into pot vs. kettle here if you see this on a historic scale (and you can include Europe if you go back to the imperialism era, or maybe just Yogoslavia). Compare:
Article:
Sat 23 Apr 2022 05.51 BST

The US government has warned Solomon Islands it will “respond accordingly” if its security agreement with China leads to a Chinese military presence in the Pacific island nation.
This threat is fine because it's not coming from a "tyrant", yes?
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
The ISW report had some interesting things to say again, after a few days of "business as usual".
Article:
Russian sources reported that stores in occupied Melitopol and Volnovakha are beginning to transition to using the Russian ruble. British Defense Intelligence reported that the ruble will be used in Kherson City starting on May 1 as part of a 4-month currency transition scheme enacted by the occupation administration.[2] These measures, which are not necessary or normal in military occupation administrations, indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely intends to retain control over these areas and that his ambitions are not confined to Donbas.

The Ukrainian Mariupol City Council stated that civilians in Azovstal began to evacuate to Zaporizhzhia.

Ukrainian forces likely conducted rocket artillery strikes against a command post of the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) and 2nd Combined Arms Army in Izyum on April 30.[14] Advisor to the Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Oleksiy Arestovych claimed that the strike may have killed Major General Andrei Simonov (reportedly the head of the Western Military District's electronic warfare troops), the chief of staff of the VDV, and other Russian officials.[15] A senior US defense official reported that Chief of the Russian General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov was present at the headquarters in Izyum but had departed to Russia before the strike.[16] Gerasimov may have been conducting a battlefield circulation (BFC) to evaluate the state of the Russian offensive in the Izyum direction. Gerasimov may have been trying to establish why the Russian offensive has largely stalled out on the Izyum axis and whether it is worth continuing to invest in strengthening their offensive grouping in that area instead of switching the operational focus to the Lyman axis of advance in Donetsk, where Russian troops are having more relative success, or other areas.[17] Commanders, even senior commanders, often conduct such BFCs in important areas to gain a better concrete and specific sense of the situation and, importantly, of the morale and capability of the individuals and units operating there. It is more likely that Gerasimov was conducting such a BFC than that he had actually taken command of military operations on this axis, as unconfirmed sources had previously reported.

The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces are blocking Ukrainian positions in the vicinity of Rubizhne and Popasna to prevent Ukrainian forces from maneuvering.[10]

That last item reminded me of something ISW had reported 2 days earlier:
Article:
The Ukrainian General Staff reported that intensified Russian fire against Ukrainian positions is intended to prevent Ukrainian troops from regrouping and that Ukrainian troops are conducting ”an active maneuver defense”—moving mechanized reinforcements in response to Russian attacks as needed rather than conducting a strict positional defense.[10]

More background:
Article:
Maneuver warfare - the use of initiative, originality and the unexpected; combined with a ruthless determination to succeed[2] - seeks to avoid an opponent’s strengths while exploiting their weaknesses and attacking their critical vulnerabilities: it is the conceptual opposit of attrition warfare. Rather than seeking victory by applying superior force and mass to achieve physical destruction, maneuver uses preemption, deception, dislocation, and disruption to destroy the enemy's will and ability to fight.[3]

Historically, maneuver warfare was stressed by small militaries, the more cohesive, better trained, or more technologically advanced than attrition warfare counterparts.

The strong presence of shoulder-mounted rockets and the intelligent Ukrainian defense seem to have forced Russia into attrition warfare (which it could not sustain against Kyiv due to the long supply lines). It looks like Russia is now seeking to pin Ukrainian troops down so it can destroy them with artillery superiority.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
If anyone is able to provide any real evidence for @Mendel's claim that "NATO is breaking an agreement" of some sort
Your use of quotation marks is misleading, I did not write this.
I don't think you've understood the point I was trying to get across.
 

obiwanbenobi

Active Member
My comment isn't about threats at all.

Moscow was wary that changing alliances in Europe would impact its strategic security, and it needed reassurance that lifting the iron curtain and allowing East Germany to join the West would not come to unbalance Europe. But that did happen, and the consequence is Moscow reacting to that situation once this sweep of Westernization reached Ukraine 25 years later.

There's a reason why Moscow discussed NATO expansion 25 years ago, and if you ignore the interests behind that reason (which your no "legally binding" document excuse is doing), you incur the diplomacy failure that war always is. The Russian threats were just the final step of that larger development.

i don't really think this is accurate in the way you're stating it. remember that when federation fell apart there was no concerted effort on the part of Europe to build up troops or other military assets. it has only been in recent months that the EU and NATO see that no matter what they did to appease Russian concerns it wasn't ever going to be enough.

simply put, Russia could not accept Ukraine as a democratic society of free people so close because it puts Russia in stark contrast and the war and how Russia has up to this point reacted has put it plain. they're not going to accept this over the longer term no matter if this temporarily stops with the Donbas and Luhansk being "annexed" the same as they're now working to "annex" Kershon and any other chunk they can occupy.


The US have rarely shied back from enforcing their own interests militarily, canceling treaties etc., so we're getting into pot vs. kettle here if you see this on a historic scale (and you can include Europe if you go back to the imperialism era, or maybe just Yogoslavia). Compare:
Article:
Sat 23 Apr 2022 05.51 BST

The US government has warned Solomon Islands it will “respond accordingly” if its security agreement with China leads to a Chinese military presence in the Pacific island nation.
This threat is fine because it's not coming from a "tyrant", yes?

yes, i suspect anyone would be upset if an ally that you'd been working with decided to start dealing with someone else instead for whatever reasons. times do change and alliances do shift, but in the end how is the South China Sea problem going to be resolved the way China has been going on and the lack of cohesive and decisive responses from anyone in that area?

you don't let up bullies set up shops in contested areas. that's what the world community needs to learn from recent times. it has been a massive failure to ignore, appease or try to negotiate with a bully. and by bully i mean someone who's not used the UN to try to deal with an issue or ignored international laws and decisions just because your country doesn't agree with them. the USoA is not innocent in this by far so i'm not giving us a free pass here either. the UN needs to be restructured entirely. the security council is dysfunctional and makes the entire organisation dysfunctional. until that gets sorted out it is each country for itself and any alliances you can forge outside the UN will likely get more done.

right now the majority are seeing what Russia is up to (more of what they've been doing in other neighboring countries in the past 20yrs) and they don't see that as something they want to see more of. do you want to see more of that? i sure don't.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
remember that when federation fell apart there was no concerted effort on the part of Europe to build up troops or other military assets.
I haven't argued that there was a "concerted effort", I've said that the situation changed as a result of the Eastern bloc opening up (glasnost).

Obviously, much of the change is due to countries self-determining their future. But it would be wrong to say that the West didn't systematically encourage this process. For example, there were a number of European politicians visiting the Maidan in 2014, and Nuland's efforts have already been mentioned.

Cold war world politics was framed in terms of "spheres of interest", and the boundary of those spheres in Europe shifted post-1989, with Moscow losing influence.

The Solomon Islands "threat" is only justified from that same kind of thinking, i.e. the US defending its own sphere of interest.
by bully i mean someone who's not used the UN to try to deal with an issue or ignored international laws and decisions just because your country doesn't agree with them
China has successfully prevented the UN from recognizing Taiwan as a country, so China is definitely using the UN to deal with some of its issues.

For many people in the world, your definition of "bully" applies squarely to the USA as well.

But none of this is "Russia and Ukraine"; I suggest going to ChitChat or to PMs if you want to discuss this further.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Debunking the Russian nuclear threat

I've been following Perun's youtube channel for a few weeks. He used to post gaming videos, but after Russia invaded, he's been posting hour-long powerpoint talks on variozs aspects of the conflict that have been quite popular. Perun has studied military history (e.g. WW2 eastern front) and economics at university, he's an Australian who is not a member of the military, and all of his talks are taking a "big picture" approach befitting his background, and breaking it down for a general audience (remember, he had a gaming channel).

His latest video is on the Russian nuclear threat, and he's making a good case that the Ukraine conflict is not going to lead to a nuclear war.

Source: https://youtu.be/sxOO0hCCSk4


SmartSelect_20220503-145401_YouTube.jpgSmartSelect_20220503-150429_YouTube.jpgScreenshot_20220503-151338_YouTube.jpgSmartSelect_20220503-152135_YouTube.jpgSmartSelect_20220503-152511_YouTube.jpgSmartSelect_20220503-152731_YouTube.jpgScreenshot_20220503-152944_YouTube.jpgSmartSelect_20220503-153046_YouTube.jpgSmartSelect_20220503-154058_YouTube.jpg
 

obiwanbenobi

Active Member
I haven't argued that there was a "concerted effort", I've said that the situation changed as a result of the Eastern bloc opening up (glasnost).

Obviously, much of the change is due to countries self-determining their future. But it would be wrong to say that the West didn't systematically encourage this process. For example, there were a number of European politicians visiting the Maidan in 2014, and Nuland's efforts have already been mentioned.

why would you expect anything different and what is wrong with encouraging people who've been otherwise oppressed for decades previously? if they wanted something different and the neighbors were willing to help - the neighbors would be seen to be unfriendly and cold had they not wanted open trade and open borders.


Cold war world politics was framed in terms of "spheres of interest", and the boundary of those spheres in Europe shifted post-1989, with Moscow losing influence.

The Solomon Islands "threat" is only justified from that same kind of thinking, i.e. the US defending its own sphere of interest.

China has successfully prevented the UN from recognizing Taiwan as a country, so China is definitely using the UN to deal with some of its issues.

For many people in the world, your definition of "bully" applies squarely to the USA as well.

chopping up my post and pointing it out, when i clearly stated that the USoA wasn't an angel in this regard is a bit ... ?


But none of this is "Russia and Ukraine"; I suggest going to ChitChat or to PMs if you want to discuss this further.

no need IMO. it's pretty clear to me what is going on.
 

Woolery

Banned
Banned
For many people in the world, your definition of "bully" applies squarely to the USA as well.
I’m not sure why you keep stating this in different ways across multiple topics. Who here is arguing that the US isn’t a bully? Who here is arguing that the US has been fair and transparent and peaceful?

And why does the US being a bully reduce Russia’s culpability in Ukraine? Russia isn’t owed a Ukrainian invasion because of any of the US’s past lies, atrocities or bad faith negotiations.

Throughout history nations with the most powerful militaries have bullied other nations (The UK, Japan, Germany, Russia, the US have all done terrible things in the last 200 years. Go back to the beginning and Assyria, Persia, Macedonia, Rome, the Mongols all did the same). It’s always been wrong and it’s never been different.

I think you can take it for granted that the US has done terrible things. Nobody’s arguing against it from what I can see. But it doesn’t excuse Russia in regards to Ukraine.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Throughout history nations with the most powerful militaries have bullied other nations
Yes. And that's why a diplomatic approach of "you really shouldn't be doing this" doesn't work and invites war. If you want peace, you need to negotiate the interests of everyone.
The fact that soldiers and civilians are dying in Europe again is a failure of diplomacy and politics.
 

Woolery

Banned
Banned
Yes. And that's why a diplomatic approach of "you really shouldn't be doing this" doesn't work and invites war. If you want peace, you need to negotiate the interests of everyone.
The fact that soldiers and civilians are dying in Europe again is a failure of diplomacy and politics.
I disagree. I think when an army from one country enters another country and, on orders, kills its people, it’s a “failure” of the invading country.

Iraqis died by the thousands in Iraq because of an American failure. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese died in Nanjing because of a Japanese failure. A million Russians died in Stalingrad because of a German failure. Thousands of Ukrainians are dying now in Ukraine because of a Russian failure.

Russia was not forced by diplomatic circumstance into invading Ukraine and killing its people anymore than the US was forced to invade Iraq or Germany to invade Poland. My point of view is very old-fashioned. Yours is definitely gaining popularity. Maybe you’re on to something.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Russia was not forced by diplomatic circumstance into invading Ukraine and killing its people anymore than the US was forced to invade Iraq
Did America try to negotiate with Iraq before invading? or threaten Iraq before attacking? I don't recall that.

While Russia is certainly the bad guy for invading, i think the situation is more like the Israel/Palestinian standoff thing. or like if we go to war with Iran because diplomacy failed.


edit: or like the Cuban Missile crisis. forgot about that one
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
I disagree. I think when an army from one country enters another country and, on orders, kills its people, it’s a “failure” of the invading country.
The political and diplomatic failures have occurred before that happens, and obviously the aggressor is part of it. But I find the black&white world view too simplified, and I think it's more likely to lead to war than to peace.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
The Ukrainian Armed Forces conducted a large-scale counteroffensive east of Kharkiv City on May 2, which could unhinge Russian positions to the northeast. A US senior defense official reported that Ukrainian forces pushed Russian forces about 40 km east on May 2, and social media reports corroborate that report by showing Ukrainian forces liberating the settlement of Staryi Saltiv.[13] Russian forces reportedly retreated in the direction of Volchansk near the Russian state border.[14] Ukraine’s Advisor to the Internal Affairs Minister Anton Herashchenko said that Ukrainian forces liberated the village of Molodova near Staryi Saltiv on May 3.[15] Ukrainian forces likely liberated more settlements along the T2104 highway based on May 1 reports that fighting occurred in highway adjacent settlements of Khotomlya, Shestakove, Staryi Saltiv, Molodova, and Peremoha.[16] Russian forces maintained artillery positions in Tsyrkuny, approximately 20 km from downtown Kharkiv City.[17] Russian forces will likely seek to retain their remaining settlements in Kharkiv’s vicinity to continue daily artillery fire and pin Ukrainian units in the area but may have to reinforce their positions in this area to do so.

Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said that Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian “Forpost” reconnaissance drone in Odesa Oblast on May 3, confirming ongoing Russian reconnaissance in the area amid growing tensions in Transnistria.[23] Ukrainian officials blocked the Kuchurhan-Pervomaisc border checkpoint with Transnistria amid new Transnistrian claims that the proxy republic repelled a terrorist drone attack on May 3, likely in preparation for possible escalations.[24]

Comparison:
Kharkiv Battle Map Draft April 28,2022.pngInternet_20220504_070132_4.png
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
The political and diplomatic failures have occurred before that happens, and obviously the aggressor is part of it. But I find the black&white world view too simplified, and I think it's more likely to lead to war than to peace.

The /sine qua non/ of invasion is the invasion itself. Change that one little thing, and there's no invasion.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
why didnt you go for "days"?
Article:
As George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein an ultimatum to leave power, the UN pulled out all the inspectors from Iraq. Days later the invasion began.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
why didnt you go for "days"?
Article:
As George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein an ultimatum to leave power, the UN pulled out all the inspectors from Iraq. Days later the invasion began.

Because nation states don't generally get the chance to react to the pronouncements or actions of other countries within days. (C.f. debate whether Japan was already ready to surrender before the Nagasaki bomb was dropped.)

But what would it have changed had I also included that in my list? My list was to demonstrate that there seems to be a large slice of recent US history that you have apparently overlooked. Add a few more days to that slice if you so desire, but it doesn't change my point except to enhance it microscopically.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
there seems to be a large slice of recent US history that you have apparently overlooked.
well im not clicking your second and third links, since its against policy. i know we were mad about the inspections, but i still dont know if we threatened them with war...until George Bush did. i do take Bush's ultimatum as contradicting what i said. so Woolery's example is good enough i guess.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Russian forces intensified airstrikes against transportation infrastructure in Western Ukraine on May 4 but remain unable to interdict Western aid shipments to Ukraine. Six Russian cruise missiles hit electrical substations near railway stations in Lviv and Transcarpathia (the southwestern Oblast of Ukraine) on May 4.[1] A senior US defense official reported that Russian aircraft conducted 200 to 300 airstrikes largely targeting transportation infrastructure in the last 24 hours.[2] The US official added that these Russian strikes are likely intended disrupt Ukrainian transportation capabilities and slow down weapon re-supply efforts but have been unable to do so.[3]

Russian forces have likely partially encircled several frontline settlements in Luhansk Oblast. Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai reported that Rubizhne and Popasna residents have one more week worth of water and food supplies as of May 4.[13] Drone footage also showed Russian Wagner mercenaries fighting a Ukrainian soldier in Popasna, indicating that Russian forces are continuing grinding block-by-block advances within the city.[14]
Kharkiv Battle Map Draft May 4,2022.png

Russian forces reportedly entered the Azovstal Steel Plant for the first time – rather than its outskirts, which they have contested for several weeks – on May 4.[15] Multiple Ukrainian sources stated that Russian troops successfully "broke into” Azovstal and that the Ukrainian government has lost communications with Ukrainian defenders within the plant as a result.[16] ISW cannot confirm the extent of Russian advances within Azovstal at this time but will continue to provide updates as the situation unfolds.

An unnamed senior US defense official estimated that 2 Russian battalion tactical groups (BTGs) ”cobbled together” from various damaged units and unspecified Chechen units, amounting to about 2,000 personnel, remain in Mariupol as of May 4.[17] The 10 damaged BTGs that have previously redeployed from Mariupol are reportedly still undergoing rest and refit and have not been committed to offensive operations in eastern Ukraine.[18] This report is consistent with ISW’s previous assessment that most Russian forces have left Mariupol, leaving smaller elements to finish capturing Azovstal.[19]

The Belarusian Ministry of Defense announced a “sudden test” of the reaction forces of the Belarusian Armed Forces on May 4.[32] The Belarusian MoD stated that the inspection will test the readiness and overall ability of troops to respond to “crisis situations” and will involve simulated land and air threats. The inspection will reportedly entail significant movement of military vehicles and equipment. The readiness test is unlikely to impact the situation on the northeastern axis in Ukraine, and Belarusian forces remain unlikely to enter the war in Ukraine
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I seem to keep missing the UNHCR updates, even though I had been looking for it. So here's some older news:
Article:
On 21 April, the World Bank announced that physical damage to Ukraine’s buildings and infrastructure has reached roughly US$ 60 billion.
• On 20 April, four evacuation buses managed to leave Mariupol using the humanitarian corridor. Around 1,000 civilians remain stranded in the premises of the Azovstal steel factory, alongside remaining Ukrainian troops. A humanitarian corridor proposed to enable civilians to escape the steel factory has not yet been successful. The mayor of Mariupol reported on 21 April that some 100,000 people still remain in the city.
• A further humanitarian corridor from Kherson planned for 21 April was unsuccessful while the situation there remains dire.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Deja vu: biggest most modern ship in the Russian Black Sea fleet reported burning
Article:
Russia’s Admiral Makarov warship has been hit by Ukrainian missiles and burst into flames, according to Ukrainian officials.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Anton Gerashchenko reported on his Telegram page that the Admiral Makarov was hit by a Ukrainian “Neptune” anti-ship missile. He cited Russian sources.
 

Mauro

Senior Member
Deja vu: biggest most modern ship in the Russian Black Sea fleet reported burning
Article:
Russia’s Admiral Makarov warship has been hit by Ukrainian missiles and burst into flames, according to Ukrainian officials.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Anton Gerashchenko reported on his Telegram page that the Admiral Makarov was hit by a Ukrainian “Neptune” anti-ship missile. He cited Russian sources.
Not confirmed yet, but it would be another big blow to Russia.

In any case Russian positions on Snake Island look untenable to me, I can't see how Russian can resupply their troops there with the threat coming from Neptune missiles and TB2 drones. Indeed Russia has lost two small patrol ships near Snake island just two days ago, attacked by TB2 drones, which have also attacked anti-air assets on the island itself (destroying at least two SAM systems and two anti-air guns). It would have been better for them to evacuate the island just after the Moskva sinking: they have already taken unnecessary losses there and, if the report about the newly hit frigate is true, the losses are mounting and even an evacuation could now turn into a disaster.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
The Makarov would be a huge hit, not just to the war itself but the country as a whole. Unlike the Moskva and Admiral Kuznetsov and so much of the Russian Navy, it's not an aging Soviet relic. It's a modern frigate, commissioned in 2017 at a cost of almost $500 million. There's one more ship of the class in service but I don't think it's in the Black Sea.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
There's one more ship of the class in service but I don't think it's in the Black Sea.
There are 3 frigates of this class, they're all part of the Black Sea Fleet, but Wikipedia says one of them is in the Mediterranean (Syria?) right now, and ofc Turkey has closed the Bosporus.
Article:
30th Surface Ship Division

745Guided Missile FrigateAdmiral GrigorovichAdmiral Grigorovich2016Active;[136] deployed in the Mediterranean as of February 2022[137][138]
751Guided Missile FrigateAdmiral EssenAdmiral Grigorovich2016Active combat operations as of February 2022[139][133][140][141][142]
799Guided Missile FrigateAdmiral MakarovAdmiral Grigorovich2017Unconfirmed Ukrainian reports claim Admiral Makarov possibly damaged or sunk by anti-ship missiles May 5, 2022[139][143][144]

I have not seen a report that the Adm. Makarov has sunk, but I believe she's been hit.
 
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Mauro

Senior Member
There are 3 frigates of this class, they're all part of the Black Sea Fleet, but Wikipedia says one of them is in the Mediterranean (Syria?) right now, and ofc Turkey has closed the Bosporus.
Article:
30th Surface Ship Division

745Guided Missile FrigateAdmiral GrigorovichAdmiral Grigorovich2016Active;[136] deployed in the Mediterranean as of February 2022[137][138]


I haven't seen any reports about the Admiral Grigorovich crossing the Bosphorus back to Black Sea since February so it may yet be in the Mediterranean. However it might cross the Bosphorus if Russia wants because ships based in the Black Sea always have the right to go back to their home port according to the Montreux convention.
However, Çavuşoğlu reiterated that pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Turkey cannot block Russian warships based in the Black Sea from returning to their registered base.[50] Around February 27–28, Turkey refused permission for 3 of 4 Russian warships to enter the Black Sea, as 3 did not have a home base in the Black Sea.[51]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreux_Convention_Regarding_the_Regime_of_the_Straits
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
I haven't seen any reports about the Admiral Grigorovich crossing the Bosphorus back to Black Sea since February so it may yet be in the Mediterranean. However it might cross the Bosphorus if Russia wants because ships based in the Black Sea always have the right to go back to their home port according to the Montreux convention.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreux_Convention_Regarding_the_Regime_of_the_Straits
Warships of any country still have to declare passage.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
However it might cross the Bosphorus if Russia wants because ships based in the Black Sea always have the right to go back to their home port according to the Montreux convention.
Good point. The drawback for the Russians is, if they do that, they can't put the Grigorovich back into the Mediterranean Sea before the war is over; a replacement for it would need to come all the way around through Gibraltar, or perhaps the Suez canal.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
ISW cannot confirm initial reports of a Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missile strike on the Russian frigate Admiral Makarov on May 6.[1] Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby said the United States cannot confirm the reported strike and added “we’ve been looking at this all day.”[2]

The Ukrainian counteroffensive north and east of Kharkiv made substantial progress in the last 24 hours and Ukrainian forces may be able to drive Russian forces out of tube artillery range of Kharkiv city itself in the coming days. The Ukrainian General Staff and independent sources reported that Ukrainian forces recaptured Oleksandrivka, Fedorivka, Ukrainka, Shestakovo, Peremoha, Tsirkuny, and part of Cherkasy Tishki from May 5-6.[14] Russian forces continued to shell Ukrainian positions, build up air defenses, and regroup damaged units on the Kharkiv axis.[15] Russian forces likely face the choice of sending additional reinforcements intended for eastern Ukraine to support defensive positions on the outskirts of Kharkiv or lose their ability to both shell the city and screen lines of communication through Kharkiv Oblast.
Kharkiv Battle Map Draft May 6,2022.png

Kharkiv Battle Map Draft May 4,2022.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Because it isn't true. The source of @Mendel's claim comes only from Russian state media and Russian supporters
Does it, though?
Article:
Washington D.C., December 12, 2017 – U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991, according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (http://nsarchive.gwu.edu).

The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels.

Your point is that statements of intent are not legally binding, and everyone agrees on that.
But that these statements were made is well sourced.
 

Mauro

Senior Member
At the moment I'm rather skeptical on the claim of Admiral Makarov having been attacked, having not seen any decisive confirmation. Ukrainians have officially stated yesterday that Russia lost one more ship, but without saying anything about which ship it was (the claim it was Admiral Makarov comes form unofficial Ukrainian sources). Today a video has surfaced of more attacks by TB2 drones on Snake Island, including one on a moored Serna-class landing ship (a small ship, with a displacement of about 60 tons):


Source: https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1522854338347122690


So the ship claimed by Ukrainians could have been that one. A loss much less important than an Admiral Grigorovitch frigate, but it stresses the difficulty Russians have in keeping their Snake Island outpost supplied and viable. It's just a tiny island, not much important in the overall picture, but Russians are taking disproportionate losses in trying to keep it.

Edit: it seems the ship was also carrying a Tor anti-air missile system on board:
Oryx
@oryxspioenkop
·
1h

Looks like the Bayraktar TB2 struck a Tor SAM system onboard of the landing craft, destroying both.
Source: https://twitter.com/oryxspioenkop/status/1522859446409564160?cxt=HHwWgMC4oaOmpKIqAAAA

This is a Tor SAM:
1651917157296.png
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_missile_system
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
Does it, though?
Article:
Washington D.C., December 12, 2017 – U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991, according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (http://nsarchive.gwu.edu).

The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels.

Your point is that statements of intent are not legally binding, and everyone agrees on that.
But that these statements were made is well sourced.

The actual document with the well-known Baker quote is the one just after the one that I linked too above in #325. The discussion with Gorbachev took place only hours after the discussion without him ("now we must go see Gorbachev" or similar is pretty much the last line of the one I linked to).
 
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