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lateapexer Reader
8/8/22 11:54 a.m.

Reuters says 300, 000 North Korean troops in Vietnam 1966, plus a squadron of fighter jets plus lots of economic aid.

02Pilot UberDork
8/8/22 12:23 p.m.

In reply to lateapexer :

Got a link to that?

Nevermind, I found it. That's 300,000 South Koreans fighting with the RVN and the US, not against them.

lateapexer Reader
8/8/22 1:46 p.m.

Sorry, misread the info. Apparently the North Koreans sent advisers and the fighter squadron but were more interested in observing the South Koreans in action.

aircooled MegaDork
8/8/22 6:42 p.m.

Some interesting developments that is also somewhat related to Russia:

Baby bust: China’s looming demographic disaster


According to a new UN report, China’s population growth has collapsed by 94 per cent, from eight million a decade ago to just 480,000 last year. What’s particularly worrying for Chinese leaders is that this means a rapid reduction in the working population. The previous set of projected figures suggested that by the year 2100, China’s 15- to 64-year-old population would be 579 million. This has now been revised down to 378 million, a 35 per cent fall. If this prediction plays out, the implications for China – and the rest of the world – could be brutal.

A lot of this is of course related to the One Child Policy, that is no longer in affect, which had some pretty brutal unintended consequences.  This trend is actually evident in other developed countries also for a variety of reasons (e.g. fewer people having children, people living longer), but it looks to be far worse in China.

China likes to talk a tough game. But the demographic crisis means that there is a question over the way in which China could sustain any military attack. Part of the reason for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a calculation that soon the Russian army wouldn’t have the manpower for a full-blown war.

This has a bit of a double hit affect on China.  Not only would they be killing their most productive age of the population in a war, they would be killing off men, which they are already short on.  Another feature is that China, much like Russia, considers the aviation branch a bit of a status branch, and thus tends to heavily lean towards the sons of those with privilege, which not only reduces the average skill (there apparently is evidence of Russian pilots who wear glasses), because they will not always be picked by talent, it also means many in power positions would be very upset to sacrifice, there many times ONLY son (super important in China of course).  Any attack on Taiwan would involve a lot of aviation commitment.

Add to all that, and attack on Taiwan could have tremendous effect on US trade (although I suspect, much like Germany's situation, it would continue) and both China and the US are rather dependent on that.  A bit of an economic Mutual Assured Destruction situation if you will.

It also creates an interesting recovery problem.  As the population bubble moves up, you have a large number of older, less productive (or zero productive) population and in order recover, you have to create a bunch of new children, another bubble, that not only is not productive for a few years (may be fewer than most think in China!) they require part of the population to take care of them / support them!

Note the skew toward male in China:



Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/8/22 6:55 p.m.

Like the rest of the developed  world, we're going to be dealing with this same demographic trend ourselves. We are fortunate that we're an immigration destination, which will temper the severity. 

Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/9/22 10:03 a.m.

Heard on the news this morning (NPR I think) that Ukrainian bipartisans are revolting against their Russian overlords.

Hard to believe, isn't it.


06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/9/22 11:29 a.m.
aircooled MegaDork
8/9/22 12:07 p.m.

Yeah, don't worry about that... just a minor fire accident.... and don't worry about all the other things blowing up in the area either....  nothing to see here. (lots of stuff seems to be randomly blowing up in the southern Ukraine).


Western and Ukrainian outlets circulated a report, likely false, of a Russian general allegedly threatening to destroy Europe’s largest nuclear facility, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), if Russia could not hold the plant.....

....This likely misreporting distracts from the very real risks of Russia’s militarization of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which may include mining the plant and almost certainly includes the unsafe storage of military armaments near nuclear reactors and nuclear waste storage facilities.[4] Bellingcat geolocated a drone video of the Zaporizhia NPP that was shared by Russian opposition outlet The Insider on August 5. The video depicts Russian military vehicles moving in and around the plant, including military trucks and armored vehicles moving around and into the building containing the first of the plant’s six nuclear reactors.[5] Russian forces have also dug trenches in and around the plant and may have established firing positions.[6] Russian officials claim that Ukraine has repeatedly attacked the plant, while Ukrainian officials claim that Russian forces are attacking Ukrainian positions from within the plant, preventing Ukrainian return fire and essentially using the plant as a nuclear shield.[7] Russian forces have repeatedly shelled the nearby Ukrainian-controlled town of Nikopol, likely from positions in or around the NPP, since July.[8]

So yes, the Russians are using a large nuclear power plant as a safe zone to store weapons and launch attacks.   

And of course this...

Newly mobilized Russian battalions are likely worse trained, less professional, and more brutal to occupied populations than professional Russian soldiers or even conscripts who completed formal military training prior to their deployments. Russian forces may increasingly deploy low-quality, poorly trained units, like those made up of convicts, to control populations in occupied parts of Ukraine. Such deployments may reduce the competence of occupation authorities and counter-partisan operations and may increase Ukrainian support for movements that resist Russia’s occupation.

Man, I really hope there is some serious Russian ass-kicking about to happen.

84FSP UberDork
8/9/22 10:44 p.m.

Apparently a massive hit to the russain airforce in Crimea.  Significant loss to their air force, depots, and manpower.  The ukrainian response to watch smoking in unsafe areas was magic.




Oooh the BBC picked it up so sounds legit.


racerfink UberDork
8/10/22 6:13 a.m.
84FSP UberDork
8/10/22 9:51 a.m.

I see  both sides of the various Amnesty International report but struggle to find much fault with the Ukranian effort.  Much of the population is unable to evacuate or there is simply nowhere to evacuate to, aside from Russia.  Ground fighting predominantly focused on population centers is going to end badly.

scardeal SuperDork
8/10/22 10:02 a.m.

Apparently the Ukranian branch and Ukraine in general is super-pissed about the Amnesty Int'l report, because both of the realities of people not evacuating and lots of insinuation that international laws were broken but with the huge caveat that it's interepreting things in a sensationalist way.  Supposedly the Russians are having a field day using it as a propaganda tool to say "we're the good guys here".

Source - NPR on the radio...

02Pilot UberDork
8/10/22 11:34 a.m.

Ever since the end of the Cold War (and arguably some years before that), Amnesty International has become larger in membership and more diffuse in its efforts, with the net result being that they've become more and more beholden to more and more causes in order to maintain their donor base and political relevance. Every dramatic report they issue is in part an effort to get their name in the news to keep the money flowing. When they were focused on peacetime authoritarian abuses they had a far easier time maintaining clarity of purpose. Once you get into the messy business of a shooting war, they have little hope of actually achieving anything, or frankly being taken seriously by anyone but opportunistic propagandists and professional hand-wringers.

aircooled MegaDork
8/10/22 12:05 p.m.

On the same topic:

Russian media showed the aftermath of precise Ukrainian HIMARS strikes on the Kakhovka Dam, Kherson Oblast - and accidentally revealed destroyed Russian military equipment placed there, including a valuable R-439-MD2 satcom vehicle and 5 KAMAZ-based vehicles

Link to video (on Twitter):  https://twitter.com/UAWeapons/status/1557384679166283779

This is the dam that is upstream from the bridge they have been attacking in Kherson.  It's also RIGHT next to the canal inlet that feeds water to Crimea.

02Pilot UberDork
8/10/22 1:17 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Ukraine appears to be trying to simultaneously retake Kherson and squeeze Crimea, I suspect as part of an operational plan to push Russia out of the south. Aside from the obvious, there's an argument to be made that, without possession of Crimea, Russia will have far less reason to try to hold the coastal areas they now control. In turn, if Crimea can be turned into a very uncomfortable place to be, the economic and social disruption caused by the flight of a significant part of the civilian population may make it harder for Russia to hold in a useful way, and reduce its value as a military staging area. I could easily see all this being directed toward an effort to establish a cease-fire that leaves Ukraine in possession of Crimea and much of the south (or at least cuts off the land bridge to Crimea), and Russia in possession of the Donbas. Both sides may claim maximalist objectives publicly, but realists in both Kyiv and Moscow will know that they are unlikely to be achieved, and that some sort of negotiated settlement is the more likely outcome.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
8/10/22 1:24 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Doesn't Russia need at least part of Crimea for the Black Sea fleet (or what is left of it)?  I can't see them giving that up through negotiations, only if they are forced out.

02Pilot UberDork
8/10/22 1:28 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

They'll certainly want to retain it, but that can also work against them, and Ukraine knows it. The harder they have to fight to keep Sevastopol (and indeed all of Crimea), the less they can commit elsewhere. The fact that the BSF's facilities present big, static targets means that they are hard and costly to defend. No matter how much the Russians want it, at some point there's a threshold where it just won't make sense any more. The Ukrainians are going to try to push them closer to that line.

Edit: And if the Ukrainians can shut down the fresh water supply by closing down the canal, that's going to make Russia's effort considerably more costly in a single stroke.

aircooled MegaDork
8/10/22 3:14 p.m.

I am curious if the population of Crimea is overly Ukrainian supportive at this point though.  Even if there were some when Russia took it (I believe there was at least a reasonable population of Russian supporters), I would suspect Russia has shipped out a lot of potential trouble makers by now.

Getting back Crimea would get Ukraine back a good amount of the petroleum (off shore) deposits they are loosing though.  Donbas of course has a lot of them also.

aircooled MegaDork
8/10/22 7:08 p.m.

The guess is that Ukraine struck that airbase with their newly acquired Harpoon missiles (500lb warhead, make big boom).

Also of interest is that apparently Ukraine has been given HARM missiles.  HARMs are anti-radiation missiles that basically home in on the output of radars.  Great for knocking out SAM radars. Certainly useful for the Ukrainians, but how do they use them?  The HARM is an air-launched missile (although it technically could be launched from the ground at a great reduction in range).  The Ukrainians have Migs.

One guess is that Poland has done some mods to their Mig 29's to make them more integrated with NATO weapons and they are using some of those developed mods.  The other thought is that the "parts" that were delivered to Ukraine to allow them to get a bunch of planes flying where actually just disassembled Polish Mig 29's, technically not "planes".

aircooled MegaDork
8/10/22 7:29 p.m.

Smoking in Russia really is deadly!   It even makes huge craters!

Looks like SU-24s and SU-25-35s

Google maps location:  https://www.google.com/maps/@45.0916693,33.5878804,642m/data=!3m1!1e3


pheller UltimaDork
8/10/22 8:13 p.m.

I'm not entirely sure Ukraine wants to take Crimea, but strikes into the region avoid the handshake agreement with Washington to not strike into Russia. Crimea might be that one area it can make some high value strikes against military targets because well...it previously occupied/owned/developed those installations. 

Crimea and the Donbas both go back to the same root of Russian strategy - annex regions of neighboring states, pour money into those regions to make them look successful as a result of Russian rule, and then simultaneous make the neighboring state look weak. 

Ukraine can now say "we're going down together." 

This is a good tactic as Russia may find itself struggling to rebuild its puppet governments in the aftermath of the war, while Ukraine will have the help of NATO. If we come out of this with a decent ceasefire, I suspect that Ukraine will rebuild quickly and with far tighter alliances to the west, and Crimea, Donbas, Rostov, Bolgorod, etc, will look pretty rough by comparison. 

DarkMonohue HalfDork
8/10/22 8:21 p.m.
aircooled said:

Smoking in Russia really is deadly!   It even makes huge craters!

Nah, smoking is as safe in russia as anywhere else. It's when russians smoke outside of russia that the dangers of smoking become rather more immediate. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/22 8:53 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

And here I was led to believe that revetments protected aircraft from bombing strikes smiley


In WWII this is why they strafed enemy airfields with fighters' machine guns in addition to bombing and hoping to get the fuel tanks/ammo stores.   Wonder what an airburst WWII era bomb could do damage wise.

VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/10/22 9:16 p.m.
aircooled said:

Smoking in Russia really is deadly!   It even makes huge craters!

Looks like SU-24s and SU-35-35s

Google maps location:  https://www.google.com/maps/@45.0916693,33.5878804,642m/data=!3m1!1e3


That's quite the sight. I'm not sure I understand what happened.

How about this one?


02Pilot UberDork
8/10/22 10:05 p.m.

I'm no BDA expert, but I don't think that damage is the result of anything short of large aerial bombs or small ballistic or cruise missile warheads. Consider that an Su-24 Fencer is just shy of 74ft long; based on that, the crater shown is looks to be at least 50ft across, probably more. Compare it with recent shots of damage inflicted by HIMARS rockets, which carry 200lb warheads. The damage here is an order of magnitude more significant. A lot of that damage looks like the result of blast overpressure, not fire or shrapnel. Whatever hit that airfield was not small.

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