Russia vs Ukraine

Tassie Devil

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I certainly can't pretend to know this situation well, but I've always said that Putin will only be stopped by his own people. Still believe that.

Are Russians seeing the latest bombings on civilians in Ukraine and turning against him?
 

Hacky McAxe

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The other thing from the last few days was that Russia sent a surgical missile strike on a busy shopping centre in Ukraine which destroyed the shopping centre and killed 20-40 people. Ukraine called it state sanctioned terrorism.

Russia is claiming that it didn't happen. They are claiming that they actually struck a weapons storage nearby and the fire travelled to the shopping centre. Photos and reports from journalists on site show differently.
 

Hacky McAxe

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I certainly can't pretend to know this situation well, but I've always said that Putin will only be stopped by his own people. Still believe that.

Are Russians seeing the latest bombings on civilians in Ukraine and turning against him?
Hard to say at this stage. Russia are arresting any Russian citizen who publicly speaks out against him.
 

Tassie Devil

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The other thing from the last few days was that Russia sent a surgical missile strike on a busy shopping centre in Ukraine which destroyed the shopping centre and killed 20-40 people. Ukraine called it state sanctioned terrorism.

Russia is claiming that it didn't happen. They are claiming that they actually struck a weapons storage nearby and the fire travelled to the shopping centre. Photos and reports from journalists on site show differently.
Stuck an apartment building this morning in Odesa killing more than 15 I believe? Getting more desperate it seems?
 

Tassie Devil

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Hard to say at this stage. Russia are arresting any Russian citizen who publicly speaks out against him.
I know a few Russian families trying to get out to Slovenia, but haven't been able to.

Stories from Russians living in Slovenia who've been very vocal against Putin they have seen their relatives in Russia lose their jobs due to their relatives (in Slovenia) being so open and against Putin.

Madness really
 

Hacky McAxe

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I know a few Russian families trying to get out to Slovenia, but haven't been able to.

Stories from Russians living in Slovenia who've been very vocal against Putin they have seen their relatives in Russia lose their jobs due to their relatives (in Slovenia) being so open and against Putin.

Madness really
The report from NATO is that this could go on for years. But Ukraine is running thin with many in NATO. Zelensky told them that Ukraine will need around $4 billion worth of equipment per week to keep the fight going.
 

south of heaven

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Haha. Sorry, I shouldn't laugh but Russia has nothing. Fuck em
They are a bit of a paper tiger , but while the are still getting billions every week they can just keep sending wave after wave ,for a while at least ,their tactics haven't really changed much
 

Tassie Devil

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They are a bit of a paper tiger , but while the are still getting billions every week they can just keep sending wave after wave ,for a while at least ,their tactics haven't really changed much
Was reading a little about Russia's war capabilities and they're not in the best position.

Something along the lines that their weaponry etc is heavily dependant on parts and machinery from the EU and the rest of the world. NOT China and definitely not themselves.

We'll see what happens but all Russia has done is increase their opposition 10 fold. Strengthened NATO like never before. Made their border to defend exponentially longer with Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Brought more troops to their borders. And, made Ukraine a EU member.

Whatever happens in Ukraine, Russia has lost out from this. In a big way!
 

alchemist

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Oh also.... Turkey has now accepted Sweden and Finland's bid to join NATO. Which means that they could join NATO at any stage. Russia responded by again threatening to nuke them.
not quite... Finland and Sweden need to go through the normal accession process being approved by each members parliaments which will take a year or so and gives Erdogan another opportunity to bleed them (eg. extraditing Kurds that Turkey wants to prosecute)
 
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alchemist

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He was threatening Finland not so long ago if they joined.

The only way to beat Putin is aggression. Call his bluff.
Putin has said he is disappointed if Finland joins NATO considering the decades of neutrality enjoyed by the USSR/Russia and Finland since the Second World War but it is their decision... but if Finland accepts NATO troops and weaponry onto its soil, it will invite a military-technical response from Russia
 

alchemist

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Haha. Sorry, I shouldn't laugh but Russia has nothing. Fuck em

The Return of Industrial Warfare
Alex Vershinin
17 June 2022


bublik_polina / Adobe Stock


Can the West still provide the arsenal of democracy?

The war in Ukraine has proven that the age of industrial warfare is still here. The massive consumption of equipment, vehicles and ammunition requires a large-scale industrial base for resupply – quantity still has a quality of its own. The mass scale combat has pitted 250,000 Ukrainian soldiers, together with 450,000 recently mobilised citizen soldiers against about 200,000 Russian and separatist troops. The effort to arm, feed and supply these armies is a monumental task. Ammunition resupply is particularly onerous. For Ukraine, compounding this task are Russian deep fires capabilities, which target Ukrainian military industry and transportation networks throughout the depth of the country. The Russian army has also suffered from Ukrainian cross-border attacks and acts of sabotage, but at a smaller scale. The rate of ammunition and equipment consumption in Ukraine can only be sustained by a large-scale industrial base.

This reality should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled down military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency. This strategy relies on flawed assumptions about the future of war, and has been influenced by both the bureaucratic culture in Western governments and the legacy of low-intensity conflicts. Currently, the West may not have the industrial capacity to fight a large-scale war. If the US government is planning to once again become the arsenal of democracy, then the existing capabilities of the US military-industrial base and the core assumptions that have driven its development need to be re-examined.

Estimating Ammo Consumption

There is no exact ammunition consumption data available for the Russia–Ukraine conflict. Neither government publishes data, but an estimate of Russian ammunition consumption can be calculated using the official fire missions data provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense during its daily briefing.

Number of Russian Daily Fire Missions, 19–31 May

Although these numbers mix tactical rockets with conventional, hard-shell artillery, it is not unreasonable to assume that a third of these missions were fired by rocket troops because they form a third of a motorised rifle brigade’s artillery force, with two other battalions being tube artillery. This suggests 390 daily missions fired by tube artillery. Each tube artillery strike is conducted by a battery of six guns total. However, combat and maintenance breakdowns are likely to reduce this number to four. With four guns per battery and four rounds per gun, the tube artillery fires about 6,240 rounds per day. We can estimate an additional 15% wastage for rounds that were set on the ground but abandoned when the battery moved in a hurry, rounds destroyed by Ukrainian strikes on ammunition dumps, or rounds fired but not reported to higher command levels. This number comes up to 7,176 artillery rounds a day. It should be noted that the Russian Ministry of Defense only reports fire missions by forces of the Russian Federation. These do not include formations from the Donetsk and Luhansk separatist republics, which are treated as different countries. The numbers are not perfect, but even if they are off by 50%, it still does not change the overall logistics challenge.

The Capacity of the West’s Industrial Base

The winner in a prolonged war between two near-peer powers is still based on which side has the strongest industrial base. A country must either have the manufacturing capacity to build massive quantities of ammunition or have other manufacturing industries that can be rapidly converted to ammunition production. Unfortunately, the West no longer seems to have either.

Presently, the US is decreasing its artillery ammunition stockpiles. In 2020, artillery ammunition purchases decreased by 36% to $425 million. In 2022, the plan is to reduce expenditure on 155mm artillery rounds to $174 million. This is equivalent to 75,357 M795 basic ‘dumb’ rounds for regular artillery, 1,400 XM1113 rounds for the M777, and 1,046 XM1113 rounds for Extended Round Artillery Cannons. Finally, there are $75 million dedicated for Excalibur precision-guided munitions that costs $176K per round, thus totaling 426 rounds. In short, US annual artillery production would at best only last for 10 days to two weeks of combat in Ukraine. If the initial estimate of Russian shells fired is over by 50%, it would only extend the artillery supplied for three weeks.

The US is not the only country facing this challenge. In a recent war game involving US, UK and French forces, UK forces exhausted national stockpiles of critical ammunition after eight days.

Unfortunately, this is not only the case with artillery. Anti-tank Javelins and air-defence Stingers are in the same boat. The US shipped 7,000 Javelin missiles to Ukraine – roughly one-third of its stockpile – with more shipments to come. Lockheed Martin produces about 2,100 missiles a year, though this number might ramp up to 4,000 in a few years. Ukraine claims to use 500 Javelin missiles every day.

The expenditure of cruise missiles and theatre ballistic missiles is just as massive. The Russians have fired between 1,100 and 2,100 missiles. The US currently purchases 110 PRISM, 500 JASSM and 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles annually, meaning that in three months of combat, Russia has burned through four times the US annual missile production. The Russian rate of production can only be estimated. Russia started missile production in 2015 in limited initial runs, and even in 2016 the production runs were estimated at 47 missiles. This means that it had only five to six years of full-scale production.
If competition between autocracies and democracies has really entered a military phase, then the arsenal of democracy must radically improve its approach to the production of materiel in wartime
The initial stockpile in February 2022 is unknown, but considering expenditures and the requirement to hold substantial stockpiles back in case of war with NATO, it is unlikely that the Russians are worried. In fact, they seem to have enough to expend operational-level cruise missiles on tactical targets. The assumption that there are 4,000 cruise and ballistic missiles in the Russian inventory is not unreasonable. This production will probably increase despite Western sanctions. In April, ODK Saturn, which makes Kalibr missile motors, announced an additional 500 job openings. This suggests that even in this field, the West only has parity with Russia.

Flawed Assumptions

The first key assumption about future of combat is that precision-guided weapons will reduce overall ammunition consumption by requiring only one round to destroy the target. The war in Ukraine is challenging this assumption. Many ‘dumb’ indirect fire systems are achieving a great deal of precision without precision guidance, and still the overall ammunition consumption is massive. Part of the issue is that the digitisation of global maps, combined with a massive proliferation of drones, allows geolocation and targeting with increased precision, with video evidence demonstrating the ability to score first strike hits by indirect fires.

The second crucial assumption is that industry can be turned on and off at will. This mode of thinking was imported from the business sector and has spread through US government culture. In the civilian sector, customers can increase or decrease their orders. The producer may be hurt by a drop in orders but rarely is that drop catastrophic because usually there are multiple consumers and losses can be spread among consumers.

Unfortunately, this does not work for military purchases. There is only one customer in the US for artillery shells – the military. Once the orders drop off, the manufacturer must close production lines to cut costs to stay in business. Small businesses may close entirely. Generating new capacity is very challenging, especially as there is so little manufacturing capacity left to draw skilled workers from. This is especially challenging because many older armament production systems are labour intensive to the point where they are practically built by hand, and it takes a long time to train a new workforce. The supply chain issues are also problematic because subcomponents may be produced by a subcontractor who either goes out of business, with loss of orders or retools for other customers or who relies on parts from overseas, possibly from a hostile country.

China’s near monopoly on rare earth materials is an obvious challenge here. Stinger missile production will not be completed until 2026, in part due to component shortages. US reports on the defence industrial base have made it clear that ramping up production in war-time may be challenging, if not impossible, due to supply chain issues and a lack of trained personnel due to the degradation of the US manufacturing base.

Finally, there is an assumption about overall ammunition consumption rates. The US government has always lowballed this number. From the Vietnam era to today, small arms plants have shrunk from five to just one. This was glaring at the height of the Iraq war, when US started to run low on small arms ammunition, causing the US government to buy British and Israeli ammunition during the initial stage of the war. At one point, the US had to dip into Vietnam and even Second World War-era ammo stockpiles of .50 calibre ammunition to feed the war effort. This was largely the result of incorrect assumptions about how effective US troops would be. Indeed, the Government Accountability Office estimated that it took 250,000 rounds to kill one insurgent. Luckily for the US, its gun culture ensured that small arms ammunition industry has a civilian component in the US. This is not the case with other types of ammunition, as shown earlier with Javelin and Stinger missiles. Without access to government methodology, it is impossible to understand why US government estimates were off, but there is a risk that the same errors were made with other types of munitions.

Conclusion

The war in Ukraine demonstrates that war between peer or near-peer adversaries demands the existence of a technically advanced, mass scale, industrial-age production capability. The Russian onslaught consumes ammunition at rates that massively exceed US forecasts and ammunition production. For the US to act as the arsenal of democracy in defence of Ukraine, there must be a major look at the manner and the scale at which the US organises its industrial base. This situation is especially critical because behind the Russian invasion stands the world’s manufacturing capital – China. As the US begins to expend more and more of its stockpiles to keep Ukraine in the war, China has yet to provide any meaningful military assistance to Russia. The West must assume that China will not allow Russia to be defeated, especially due to a lack of ammunition. If competition between autocracies and democracies has really entered a military phase, then the arsenal of democracy must first radically improve its approach to the production of materiel in wartime.

 

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alchemist

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Was reading a little about Russia's war capabilities and they're not in the best position.

Something along the lines that their weaponry etc is heavily dependant on parts and machinery from the EU and the rest of the world. NOT China and definitely not themselves.

We'll see what happens but all Russia has done is increase their opposition 10 fold. Strengthened NATO like never before. Made their border to defend exponentially longer with Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Brought more troops to their borders. And, made Ukraine a EU member.

Whatever happens in Ukraine, Russia has lost out from this. In a big way!
with all due respect, nothing about the above post is correct

firstly, Ukraine is not an EU member... they have been granted candidate status for EU, nothing more... Turkey and Serbia, for example, have been candidates for decade(s) with very little movement towards acceptance into the EU... moreover, with the European economies in crisis and Europe in truth in irreversible decline, it is more likely the EU ceases to exist than Ukraine becoming a member

secondly, when it comes to Russian weaponry, just consider their hypersonic missiles whether they be plane (Kinzhal), ship (Zircon) or land based (Sarmat)... the Russians maintain that they are fully domestically produced and if what they say about their capabilities is accurate, represent a game changer from the tactical to the strategic to the nuclear level... this is a capability that thus far the West cannot match --> https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-h...DpabIF514dEnVOJdqWSOBV4LiZBZofKEnoKT1Rk-zx3OV

thirdly, as for NATO, how exactly are they going to strengthen on the European continent with economies falling and their people struggling with cost of living and a lot of their weapons and armaments already sent to Ukraine and destroyed by the Russians... if anything, this is the weakest Europe has been since the end of WWII

as for the results of the Ukraine War, it is unknown yet... I am coming to the view that both Russia and the West see the war as existential and so, the whole world could burn in truth... the only guarantee at the moment is that Ukraine will lose --> 100,000+ deaths, millions displaced within Ukraine, millions more refugees fled to Europe and Russia, hundreds of billions of dollars of destroyed infrastructure, Russian control of 4-7 Ukrainian oblasts etc.

this ain't a Marvel movie where the West are the Avengers assembling to fight and defeat the latest Thanos threatening the world whether that be Saddam, Gaddafi, Milosevic, Asad etc. and now Putin... grow up
 

alchemist

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They are a bit of a paper tiger , but while the are still getting billions every week they can just keep sending wave after wave ,for a while at least ,their tactics haven't really changed much
the Russians initially launched a multi-pronged invasion which took large areas of land around Kiev, the Donbass, and a lot of the southern coast... now, there is an argument about what they wanted to achieve by this and whether they were successful in it, but ultimately, they did not have the manpower to hold those territories and their columns were getting ambushed, some units (especially around Kiev) were getting clobbered by Ukrainian artillery, they had not properly set up its anti-aircraft defences etc., and so, the Russians stated that they were relatively successful with Phase 1 of their Special Military Operation and so, were moving onto Phase 2 being the liberation of the Donbass which has developed into an artillery battle which is as Russian as borscht

as for manpower, the Ukrainians have gone through 6-7 waves of mobilisation including territorial guards and Ukrainian men being nabbed at beaches, public pools etc. and conscripted into the Ukrainian Army... the Russians, on the other hand, have not supposedly mobilised reservists (although there is talk about covert mobilisation), have rotated troops and in truth, have adopted an approach which will minimise their own losses
 
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alchemist

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Putin was provoked into invading Ukraine?

I think, at the end of the day, that the West didn't do enough previously to stop Putin and his grab for more land. Had they done something in '14 for example, then I doubt they'd have gone back now for a second go.

Ultimately, I think it was good Putin did what he did as it's brought the EU and NATO closer together and forced all countries to be more self-sufficient rather than just relying on Russia for gas etc.
in 2014, Ukraine had no military means of repulsing Russia and would have been conquered quickly... the problem for the Russians was that their economy was considerably weaker and at the mercy of the West whose sanctions of today applied then would have cratered Russia's economy... so, they both pulled their punches and made further preparations --> NATO trained and armed Ukraine's army and the Russians prepared their economy for the coming war (liberalisation policies, floating the ruble, reducing debt and US dollar dependency, greater liquidity for their banks etc.)... and here we are

and of course, let's not forget the US's role in the events of Euromaidan in 2014


and where is Europe going to get the same amount of liquified natural gas for similar prices if not from Russia?
 
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alchemist

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I find Putin's response to Finland and Sweden entering NATO interesting.

He's not bothered ...

What does that tell us?
a number of potentially different things... Sweden and Russia have historical enmities and Sweden was a de facto NATO member anyway and so no big difference... Finland is a nation of 5-6 million, it will take a year or so to become a fully ratified NATO member and years more before any significant NATO presence and military infrastructure is in place on Finnish soil (especially since there will be corresponding build ups in Poland, Germany and Romania) and in the meantime, the economic impact on Finland from this new adversarial stance against neighbouring Russia is going to bite down hard... Russia is the most powerful conventional and nuclear power on the European continent and that won't change with the addition of the mighty Finns to NATO... may be Russia can do nothing about it... maybe Russia is waiting to see what NATO military infrastructure is placed in Finland before responding... with the US withdrawing from the INF Treaty, Finland ceases to exist within 5 minutes should it come to war and Russia knows that
 

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This thread has gone quiet so small update...

A few days ago Ukraine declared that they were on the verge of taking Snake Island. Russia responded by saying that there was a small force but Russia annihilated them.

Yesterday Russia stated that as a good will gesture, they withdrew their forces from Snake Island to allow Ukraine to have it. Ukraine responded by saying, "no, we overran them and forced them out. And we recorded it. Here's the video"
the Russian PR is funny --> a goodwill gesture to leave Snake Island for the sake of grain shipments

the Russians cannot properly defend the island as it is small and within range of Ukrainian artillery from the coast but the Ukrainians cannot reclaim it as it would be subject to Russian fire from their navy, air force and cruise missiles
 

alchemist

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long been played out in war games that the Russians would hit London with a nuclear strike before targets on the American continent (eg. New York, Washington DC) to test whether Article 5 of the NATO Charter applies to an American president when mutually assured destruction is assured
 
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alchemist

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From an outsiders perspective he wasn't provoked into it. But from Putin's perspective, he was. This guy can explain it far better than me
Mearsheimer is worth the listen but there is a lot more to it
 
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