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GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/10/24 3:05 p.m.

Just ran across this article on the latest developments. Looks like there could be even more situations putting the Ukrainian war machine in danger of sucking air from the gas tank in the future:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ukraine-russia-putin-zelenskyy-1.7111172

And I was just starting to feel proud that we had strong bipartisan support for Ukraine's defense in Canada, just a few weeks ago it seemed that the two big parties here were trying to one-up each other on who wanted to support Ukraine harder. Now it looks like that won't happen again, especially after the Carlson/Putin interview.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/12/24 12:19 p.m.

Some interesting weirdness.  Possibly points to Russian's lack of confidence they would repel the Ukrainian offense (or possible future offensive?)

--------

Russian forces appear to have constructed a 30-kilometer-long barrier dubbed the “tsar train” in occupied Donetsk Oblast, possibly to serve as a defensive line against future Ukrainian assaults. Satellite imagery dated May 10, 2023, and February 6 and 10, 2024 shows that Russian forces constructed a long line of train cars stretching from occupied Olenivka (south of Donetsk City) to Volnovakha (southeast of Vuhledar and north of Mariupol) over the past nine months.[5] A Ukrainian source reported on February 11 that Russian forces have assembled more than 2,100 freight cars into a 30-kilometer-long train.[6] The source reported that Russian forces began assembling the train in July 2023 and suggested that Russian forces intend to use the train as a defensive line against future Ukrainian assaults.[7] The railway line between Olenivka and Volnovakha is roughly six kilometers from ISW’s current assessed frontline southeast of Novomykhailivka at its closest point and is in an area of the front that was relatively inactive when Russian forces reportedly began construction.[8] Russian forces have recently made marginal territorial gains in this area.[9] The Russians could have assembled the train for other purposes as well.

Wider view.  Essentially between Donetsk and Mariupol.  Clearly trying to keep Ukraine from taking back more than what Russian occupied in the invasion.

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/12/24 1:21 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Well, that is 2100 freight cars not carrying supplies for the Russians.  But what is the true purpose?

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/14/24 4:38 p.m.

Something is going on in Avdiivka.  The Russians have made significant gains recently and have likely cut the supply line to the "city".  Does this represent some new found effort on the part of the Russians, or a result of the Ukrainians giving it up?  I kind of guess the later, and you would certainly hope there are no troops in that lower right corner.  We will see in the next few days (if they don't beat them back).

What does this really mean?  Not much.  As implied, this "city" is likely entirely un-inhabitable, and will likely be for a long time (there are still areas that are un-inhabitable as the result of WWI !).  It has been of course a goal for the Russians for quite a while now (and many many dead soldiers and destroyed vehicles ago), so I am sure there will be much chest puffing about this wildly puric victory.  They will likely though have access to a fair amount of scrap metal, that they have been scattering around the approaches to the city for the last 6 months!

A "Pyrrhic victory" is named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at the Battle of Heraclea in 280 BC and the Battle of Asculum in 279 BC, during the Pyrrhic War.

Of course, in this case, the Russians are more like the Romans in that the losses do not have as much of an impact on them.  They got plenty.

A week ago:

Today:

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/14/24 6:06 p.m.

The ME war thread was (understandably) shut down. I'd like to be able to discuss it on a forum, but everything that I've seen is so antagonistic that I just don't want to go there, and I don't want to bring it up on my facebook feed for fear of pissing off my Jewish and Muslim friends. Can anyone recommend a place where the conflict is intelligently discussed in reasonable tones?

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
2/14/24 6:44 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

The first iteration was shut down. The second is still alive: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/history-in-the-making-part-2-v2-israelpalestine-no-religion/259067/page1/

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/14/24 7:13 p.m.
Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/14/24 7:15 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

It's a very touchy subject on both sides so I understand.  What I've been saying is "I feel for the civilians on both sides that they were put into this situation."

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/14/24 8:02 p.m.

I haven't been putting anything in that thread as the interest seems to be low (and of course there is a lot of emotions around it).

One thing that should have been noted though is that Israel did manage to actually rescue two hostages.  They used an airstrike as a distraction apparently. 

Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Norberto Louis Har (70), kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, FREED in overnight by Israeli SWAT.

Other then that, it's pretty much been the same news, more weapons, tunnels, rocket launchers found. Hezbolla (in the north) still attacking, Israel taking out their posts and leadership etc.  They did spot Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar looking like he was getting him and his family out of Gaza.

I cannot say how much longer it will go on, but they are running out of areas to deal with.  They seem to be almost done with Khan Younis (the largest southern city) and I suspect will move on to Rafah (the southern most city bordering Egypt) soon.

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
2/14/24 8:21 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

The WSJ did a pretty in-depth piece on that hostage recovery operation a few days ago. The level of planning and coordination was astonishing. The initial diversionary airstrikes were so extensive that they apparently caused a panic in the Egyptian high command, which thought the Israelis had launched a full-scale assault into Rafah without notifying them, and they feared a flood of panicked refugees trying to cross the border.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/15/24 11:35 a.m.

As you may know, the Russian Black Sea Fleet has been taking a pounding from the Ukrainians.  Well, big news!  They have deployed a new submarine!....

....That used to be one of those large amphibious assault ships..... (sad trombone sound)

The suspicion is that it was carrying artillery shells because there were some rather impressive secondary explosions.

As o2 previously pointed out, these ships, although not useful for amphibious assaults, do make useful transport ships.  Not so much in submarine form.

A big Russian amphibious ship, the Caesar Kunikov, has been sunk off the coast of Russian-occupied Crimea, according to Ukraine's armed forces.

Powerful explosions were heard early on Wednesday, according to local social media, which suggested the landing ship was hit south of the town of Yalta.

Ukraine's intelligence directorate released video of what it said were Magura V5 sea drones striking the ship.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-68292602

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/15/24 11:41 a.m.

Evidence that Ukraine has started using GLSDB (ground launched small diameter bomb) rockets.  These are launched from HIMARS launchers and have the primary characteristic of having glide wings which extends the normal HIMARS range from 80km to 150km.  So rather significant.  I suspect the Russian will start figuring out what this range means in the near future. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_Launched_Small_Diameter_Bomb

Boeing GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/15/24 11:45 a.m.

More threats from Putin about nukes.  This time it apparently involves putting nukes in orbit.... which seems like a bad idea in a number of ways, especially with Russia's tendency to have weapons that are not entirely worked out when released.  Very likely more bluffing.

I am pretty sure there is a treaty that restricts weapons in space.   Not sure Russia cares at all.

 

The head of the US intelligence committee, Mike Turner, warned of a serious threat to national security, which was communicated to all members of Congress.

Turner called on Biden to declassify all information about this threat so that Congress, the White House and allies can openly discuss the necessary actions to respond to this threat.

Earlier, Turner sent a letter to congressmen, in which it was said that the threat was associated with “foreign destabilizing military capabilities.”

CNN's intelligence sources say the threat is related to some new Russian capabilities that US intelligence recently learned about. The Hill's story says nothing about Russia.

A meeting has been convened for tomorrow, at which National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will brief the G8 (which includes House Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries).

Found it:

The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a multilateral treaty that forms the basis of international space law. Negotiated and drafted under the auspices of the United Nations, it was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, entering into force on 10 October 1967. As of August 2023, 114 countries are parties to the treaty—including all major spacefaring nations—and another 22 are signatories

So... looking to see the penalty for violating the treaty.... looking..... looking.... Oh, I guess it means you face the rath of (dun dun duuuu)....

THE UNITED NATIONS!!!!

(Russia quivers in it's frost laden boots)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_Space_Treaty

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/15/24 1:06 p.m.
aircooled said:

More threats from Putin about nukes.  This time it apparently involves putting nukes in orbit.... which seems like a bad idea in a number of ways, especially with Russia's tendency to have weapons that are not entirely worked out when released.  Very likely more bluffing.

This isn't really a new concept, the Soviets worked on it in the 60s and 70s.  They dropped it because it didn't really offer any advantages over ICBMs and SLBMs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional_Orbital_Bombardment_System

 

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
2/15/24 1:31 p.m.

It's looking less like any orbital bombardment and more SDI-style anti-satellite nuttiness. https://www.reuters.com/world/what-is-space-based-nuclear-weapon-us-says-russia-is-developing-2024-02-15/

 

But this is a silly idea, seeing how the Starfish test we did, a 200km shot, energized low earth orbits to the point of denying the space to basically any satellite for several years. I was surprised to find out how long all those mega-electron volt particles stuck around.. During the Reagan era, this was the main part of that whole star wars thing. Billions and billions spent, going a long way toward ending the cold war due to the ussr spending too much to try and counter it, and here we are now where russia has an economy about the size of Italy. What do you figure their chances are of being able to launch a nuke powered xray space laser? lol...

 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/15/24 1:52 p.m.

Yeah, this seems more like a:  "we all use satellites, but you use them a LOT more than we do, so we are just going to crap on the dinner plate so NO one can have them!"

(Little Putler grabs ball so no one can play and runs home)

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/16/24 9:35 a.m.
Jay_W said:

It's looking less like any orbital bombardment and more SDI-style anti-satellite nuttiness. https://www.reuters.com/world/what-is-space-based-nuclear-weapon-us-says-russia-is-developing-2024-02-15/

 

But this is a silly idea, seeing how the Starfish test we did, a 200km shot, energized low earth orbits to the point of denying the space to basically any satellite for several years. I was surprised to find out how long all those mega-electron volt particles stuck around.. During the Reagan era, this was the main part of that whole star wars thing. Billions and billions spent, going a long way toward ending the cold war due to the ussr spending too much to try and counter it, and here we are now where russia has an economy about the size of Italy. What do you figure their chances are of being able to launch a nuke powered xray space laser? lol...

 

But we are talking about Putin.  And Russia does have space launch capacity.  

johndej
johndej SuperDork
2/16/24 10:27 a.m.

Looks like internal critics keep dropping, surprised he lasted this long.

Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny dead, says prison service

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltimaDork
2/16/24 10:36 a.m.
johndej said:

Looks like internal critics keep dropping, surprised he lasted this long.

Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny dead, says prison service

I think his health was so messed up, between regular issues and assassination attempts, that there's plausible deniability, but it does seem like sending yet another message to potential rivals ahead of the election.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/16/24 11:23 a.m.

COMPLETELY unrelated to the above:

The presidential election in Russia will be held on 15–17 March 2024

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
2/16/24 11:38 a.m.

In reply to Jay_W :

It's hard to destroy a satellite while being precise and avoiding collateral damage. It's easy to destroy a satellite by driving your own up next to it and blowing it up, but not subtle. Russia doesn't have the resources to develop an effective orbital laser anti-satellite system, but it has plenty of experience with nuclear warheads and maneuverable satellites, and subtlety is not their strong suit.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/16/24 12:23 p.m.

If you want to see one of the reasons why Navalny is dead, here is a movie he made about Putin's Palace (originally shot in Russian, this one has an English VO):

 

Descriptions of video (obviously translated):

This video was recorded by Navalny before his return to Russia, but we decided to publish it afterward: Alexei didn’t want the main character of this investigation — Vladimir Putin — to think that we are afraid of him and that we can uncover his biggest secret only while being abroad. Today you will see, what is believed to be impossible to see. We will visit places, that are forbidden for everyone. We will be Putin’s guests. We will see with our own eyes that this man in his craving for luxury and for wealth, became completely mad. We will uncover who and how financed this luxurious property. And we’ll witness, how the largest bribe in history is being given over the past 15 years, as well as how the most luxurious palace is being built. Alexei was detained immediately upon his arrival after his 5-month treatment in Germany. He ended up there in a German hospital after Putin’s attempt to murder him. Alexei has always fought for our rights. Now it’s our turn to fight for his. Putin has to be accounted for his crimes.

Navalny's website:  https://palace.navalny.com/.   (which has a nice history of Putin)

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltimaDork
2/17/24 8:05 a.m.

The withdrawal is underway.  I hope they can all get out safely.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/17/24 10:06 p.m.

Avdeevka is done. Looks like bad weather played a big part (making it hard to fly drones). Unfortunately not all got out.

Putler will have his worthless little prize to flaunt... as he stands on the pile of dead Russians who lay rotting in the fields, and invites more Russian mothers to make the sacrifice to mother Russia in pursuit of his folly....

 

General Tarnavsky: “The withdrawal of personnel from Avdeevka took place in accordance with a plan developed taking into account various scenarios and a possible change in the operational situation.

And yet, at the final stage of the operation, under pressure from superior enemy forces, a number of Ukrainian military personnel were captured.”

 

From the Ruzzian military channels:

Of course, one of the factors of our success in the Avdeevsky direction were aerial bombs with universal planning and correction modules (UMPC).

Thanks to the ability to use them beyond the reach of most Ukrainian air defense systems, as well as their cheapness and mass availability, which sometimes compensated for not the best accuracy with reliability, the enemy regularly received dozens of bombs of various calibers (250, 500 and sometimes even 1500 kg). Such raids destroyed the logistics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the near rear, destroyed its temporary deployment points and fortified positions on the front line.

Unable to directly counter the hail of bombs and barrage of fire, the enemy relied on a variety of cheap FPV drones, minefields and targeted artillery fire. Together, this allowed him to inflict heavy losses on Russian armored vehicles, which advanced in columns across narrow terrain. Even despite the destruction of the forward positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by aviation and artillery fire, our attacking armor and infantry often found themselves trapped in a minefield under attacks from drones flying in from the near Ukrainian rear.

The critical depletion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Avdiivka, as well as, suddenly, the weather, put an end to the protracted bloody assault. Thick fog and unflying conditions for drones allowed Russian assault units, without the threat of detection and defeat even at the advance stage, to quickly get closer to the enemy in the north-east of Avdievka and break into the private sector, then only developing their success in battles with the enemy, bled dry by heavy losses. At the same time, pressure began in the south of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ defense, which led to the almost simultaneous fall of several key strongholds.

The Avdiivka offensive operation once again demonstrates how important for success air superiority is, at least in the area of ​​offensive operations, massive high-precision weapons, as well as the tactics of small assault groups, competent use of terrain and timely consideration of weather conditions.

Military Informant

.....the Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Press Service reported that Ukrainian forces inflicted losses of 20,018 personnel, 199 tanks, and 481 armored combat vehicles in the Tavriisk direction (from Avdiivka through western Zaporizhia Oblast) between January 1 and February 15, with the majority of those losses inflicted near Avdiivka.[6] A Ukrainian soldier reportedly operating near Avdiivka stated that Russian forces lost hundreds of personnel just on February 17 and suffered massive losses on February 16.[7] Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Commander Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi stated that some Ukrainian forces were captured during the withdrawal from Avdiivka but that the withdrawal largely occurred according to plan and that Russian forces did not complete their intended encirclement of Ukrainian forces.[8]

 

Russian sources largely characterized the Ukrainian withdrawal as disorganized and costly and claimed that Russian forces managed to encircle large Ukrainian groups in Avdiivka, but ISW has observed no evidence supporting these Russian claims.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/20/24 1:31 p.m.

As Avdiivka was falling it looks like the Ukrainians repositioned one of their Patriots to ambush some Russian planes helping out the attack.  Report is the Russians lost one Su-35 and two Su-34's.  The collapse of the Avdiivka pocket will certainly make air defense much easier for the Ukrainians.  I am sure they were reluctant to put much in there.

The Russians are apparently massing troop near Robotyne.  I guess they are trying to build on their success.  The air defense situation in this area. is a lot different from Avdiivka though.  Also of note is the Ukrainians currently hold all the defense lines the Russians built in that area.

Russia is gathering “a huge number of troops” near the front line in the Zaporozhye region, - CNN citing sources

The troop concentration areas are approximately in the same places where the Ukrainian Armed Forces tried to launch a counteroffensive last summer.

According to the publication, a force of 50 thousand Russian troops has been gathered on the front line.

 

The guy who flew the Mi-8 to a Ukrainian base.  I guess he felt guilty about betraying mother Russia and needed to end it all.....

Maxim Kuzminov, who hijacked a Russian military helicopter in 2023, was shot in Spain

His body was found in an underground parking lot in the community of Villajoyosa. There were at least five bullets in his body.

 

US is working to provide Ukraine with a new version of the ATACMS ballistic missile with "even longer range" than before - NBC

For reference:

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