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volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltimaDork
5/14/24 1:59 p.m.

Friend of mine sent me this, today.  I'm sure he's exaggerating, but it's pretty freaking frightening regardless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Cz_1UgUco

Are we back to the duck and cover exercises of the 1950's?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/14/24 2:55 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

Scott Ritter's arguments on Russia boil down to "Putin is bluffing exactly none about any of the nuclear threats he's ever uttered, F16s or NATO troops in Ukraine would certainly trigger a nuclear apocalypse."

He then goes on to casually mention a couple of issues that cross red lines Putin had set in the past, like some American and French troops in Ukraine, who are not only troops from NATO countries, but also defy one of Putin's earliest nuclear red lines about "foreign interference." So we can see that Putin is capable of bluffing, in fact on nuclear issues he has an unblemished record of bluffing 100% of the time since the start of the invasion. So I don't think the "Putin doesn't bluff, don't cross any red line he sets or you'll kill us all!" theory holds water.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/14/24 3:02 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

Yeah...  I am (clearly my opinion) going to go with "the drama gets on the air" for this one.  For those who don't want to watch, his basic points seem to be: 

- The Ukrainian army is currently collapsing, 

- Any use of NATO supplied weapons (F16s) in Ukraine will result in Putin nuking NATO members

First of all, I see no indication of a Ukrainian collapse.  They have been falling back slowly for a while now and the recent Kharkiv offensive is not exactly a blockbuster, especially if you consider they are likely falling back to prepared lines.

The nuking of NATO members when F16's arrives, pretty much hits the top of the absurd meter.  Has he been paying any attention at all?  He even states, very clearly, that "Putin does not bluff!".....   oh really?  No indication?  Ever?  He has never bluffed about anything?  Especially about the use of nukes?  You sure about that? 

I am guessing where he is getting the "nuke the NATO members" thing is that Russia has stated if more significant NATO weapons show up in Ukraine the will bring the war (attack) areas like London etc.   They did NOT say they would nuke those places AND they have been threatening "Fire and Death to ALL" at pretty much every step anyone takes to help Ukraine (remember the depleted uranium rounds are nuclear, thus we are allowed to use nukes now threat?).  I remember a story about a boy who kept saying he saw a wolf.....

The tactical nuclear preparedness exercises are apparently a thing, but hardly a concern above the standard rhetoric.  I mean, it's pretty clear no one is really taking these threats seriously anymore, so he has to look for another angle.

This seems like straight up fear mongering to me.  But hey, he got his screen time!

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltimaDork
5/14/24 3:42 p.m.

It seemed very much like fear mongering to me.  I guess it works.  I also saw somewhere that Ritter gets significant airplay at RT and other Russian news outlets.  His background in U.S. intelligence is fairly credible and somewhat impressive, hard to tell why he's off on his on little tangent but, well, there he is.  

I recall discussions about "tactical nukes" back in the earlier days of this war, and some pretty frightening accounts of how powerful those devices are.  Still, Putin has to know what sort of hellfire E36 M3storm the rest of the world would unleash upon Russia if they did that. 

At least, I _think_ they would...

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
5/14/24 3:55 p.m.

Before you take one word Ritter says seriously, consider his track record. His insistence that there were Iraqi WMDs as long as he was in charge of finding them, then all of a sudden there weren't any once he's out. His numerous self-aggrandizing claims about how right he was about things like SCUDs not being destroyed in Desert Storm, how he had a long-standing relationship with MI6, and so on. His attempt to broker a POW swap with Putin's Chechen proxy Kadyrov. Oh, and don't forget the sex crimes conviction.

He's a loudmouth at best, and a dangerous clown at worst.

FJ40Jim
FJ40Jim Reader
5/14/24 4:50 p.m.

Couldn't watch the ritter thing for more than a minute or 2. Keeps insisting that Russia has a plan, so the world better back off.  

IIRC, The plan was a blitzkrieg strike to Kyiv, take over government, war over in 4 days. I assume the plan is not a grinding war of attrition for 2+ years, that's a stupid plan.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/14/24 4:54 p.m.
02Pilot said:

Before you take one word Ritter says seriously, consider his track record. His insistence that there were Iraqi WMDs as long as he was in charge of finding them, then all of a sudden there weren't any once he's out. His numerous self-aggrandizing claims about how right he was about things like SCUDs not being destroyed in Desert Storm, how he had a long-standing relationship with MI6, and so on. His attempt to broker a POW swap with Putin's Chechen proxy Kadyrov. Oh, and don't forget the sex crimes conviction.

He's a loudmouth at best, and a dangerous clown at worst.

Wow, he's a real piece of work, isn't he?

 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/15/24 2:18 p.m.
02Pilot said:

....He's a loudmouth at best, and a dangerous clown at worst.

Yes, yet another good example as to why to be super suspicious of almost anything you see / read, especially if it's a bit shocking, or dramatic.  Seems like Volvo did a good job of being suspicious.

Another example of this popped up recently with a claim that the Ukrainians have sold a Patriot system to China, based on a picture from China.  Clearly dramatic(!).  On it's face, doesn't make a lot of sense based on, if nothing else, their critical need for them.  Analysis of the pic show "Inert" clearly stenciled on the side of it, and many specifics that make is clearly not a Patriot (just a launcher BTW). Probably a prop or training device / target.

There is a clear effort by Russia to push the idea that Ukraine is selling off the weapons sent to them (you may... have noticed that.... previously...) because it is a good way to undermine support for sending weapons to Ukraine.  There are two wars going on.  The one with bullets, and the one with information (news, social media etc).

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/15/24 7:10 p.m.

The Russian offensive may already be slowing.  There is suspicion Russia is also setting up an offensive toward Sumy (north of Kharkiv) though the troop build up is far smaller, so maybe an attempt to spread out the Ukrainians more.  There are also indication that the Ukrainians defense in this area was not run well and the commander there has been re-assigned.

The pace of Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast appears to have slowed over the past 24 hours, and the pattern of Russian offensive activity in this area is consistent with ISW's assessment that Russian forces are prioritizing the creation of a "buffer zone" in the international border area over a deeper penetration of Kharkiv Oblast....

 

....Drone footage purportedly from Vovchansk shows Russian foot mobile infantry operating within the settlement in small squad-sized assault groups, consistent with Ukrainian reports.[4]

The use of small assault groups, however, may be contributing to higher Russian manpower and materiel losses and slowing the overall pace of the Russian offensive in this direction. One Russian military commentator, who previously served as a "Storm-Z" unit instructor, complained that footage of small Russian assault groups is indicative of poor training and preparation, not an effective new tactic....

There was a fairly significant ATACMS attack at Belbek airfield in Crimea (near Sevastapol).  Damage is unsure, but there are pictures of what might be a destroyed S-300 system.  The Ukrainians really seem to be focusing on air defense systems.  You might think this is to clear the air for F-16's, but it's like more to make Storm Shadows more effective.  The F-16's biggest threat are likely the long range R-37 (air launched) missiles.  Either way, the position in Crimea for Russia seems to be getting difficult.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/15/24 7:21 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Yes, because it makes total sense for a polity in desperate need of materiel, to sell that materiel...

 

Maybe it makes sense to Russians.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/15/24 7:22 p.m.

Also, in the "Let's all get together and play CCCP again", Russia is playing games in Georgia (not the one with the peaches), which is south of Russia, next to Turkey.  They have successfully "de-Nazified" the country, and it now has a Russian leaning government, which recently passed a Foreign Agents act, which is essentially a nice way of saying "state controlled media".  The citizenry is not responding well to that(!) 

An (apparent), pro-russian journalist attempted to kill the Prime Minister of Slovakia (just south of Poland). Uncertain if he will survive at this point.  Slovakia has not been super pro-Ukrainian at this point from what I hear.

Georgia protests: Riot police face off against foreign influence bill demonstrators

Protests in Georgia have continued in a last-ditch effort to prevent the passing of a controversial law.

....Critics of the governing Georgian Dream party say the foreign influence bill - which they describe as the "Russia law" - could be used to stifle dissent....

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-69001339

 

Speaking of Poland, they are planning on building up defensive fortifications on their border (I suspect mostly with Belarus).  Europe, in general, seems to be taking this more seriously lately.

nderwater
nderwater MegaDork
5/16/24 1:56 p.m.

Meanwhile, European sanctions against Russia seem to be going well...

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltimaDork
5/17/24 9:53 a.m.
aircooled said:
 

There is a clear effort by Russia to push the idea that Ukraine is selling off the weapons sent to them (you may... have noticed that.... previously...) because it is a good way to undermine support for sending weapons to Ukraine.  There are two wars going on.  The one with bullets, and the one with information (news, social media etc).

And that second war is the one that is least likely to be won- by either side.  We have multiple movies playing on the same screen, much like every other significant issue being discussed/ debated in this country.  And everyone is using fear to sell their own point of view- because fear matters more than facts.  

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/20/24 9:35 a.m.

Meanwhile, the waves continue.  From mil.in.ua

The occupiers led a tank column into the minefield

 

The Russians showed footage of the offensive, during which they drove their own tank column of six vehicles into a Ukrainian minefield.

The video was released by the Russian side.

The Russian military showed one of the episodes of its own offensive, during which the command led a tank unit into a minefield without informing about the threat of tankers.

 

The author of the video with the call sign "Chelyabinsk", who seems to have coordinated the work of two tank platoons from the command post, directed a convoy of equipment along a rolled dirt road across the field towards Ukrainian positions.

However, the occupiers immediately had problems with anti-tank mines and Ukrainian maintenance of ATGMs. According to other soldiers, the roads were densely mined.

In Kuza, the driver-mechanic is 300 [wounded], the triplex is broken ," they inform the occupier with the call sign "Chelyabinsk", clarifying the consequences of detonating a tank with a mine. In response to this, the commander only orders to drive blindly through the cameras.

 

"Chelyabinsk" immediately informs the senior officer with the call sign "Geiser" about mines not mentioned in the plan of attack, on which two tanks have already been blown up. In response to this, he makes it clear that there should be no mines there, and the tank unit should continue moving.

Immediately following the Geyser's response, the third tank closing the convoy explodes with the detonation of the ammunition in the video.

It is not known what caused another "meat assault" by the Russian invaders. It is possible that the road was imperceptibly mined by the Ukrainian military or that the Russians took the wrong road.

Previously, "Military" reported that Ukrainian units of unmanned aviation complexes use drones for remote mining of roads in the rear of the occupiers with TM-62 anti-tank mines.

For this, multi-rotor drones are used, which are able to hover over the required place and have a large reserve of payload. They are actively used by Ukrainian companies of attack drones as bombers.

To ensure that the mine does not explode when it falls and is properly ignited, it is equipped with an electric "smart" detonator. It turns on on the ground shortly after being reset and has up to 14 days of battery life.

Triggering with further detonation of the mine can occur in the event of the appearance of large metal objects or when the mine itself is moved. For this, a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer are installed in the detonator.

 

 

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/23/24 10:02 a.m.

half a mil...

May be an image of map and text that says 'Russia's losses as of May23 23 Source: Indicative estimates by Ukraine's Armed Forces as of 11 a.m. EET 497,700+1330 497,700 700 troops (approx., to be confirmed) 14,748+27 APV 355+1 planes 326+0 helicopters 17,513+71 vehicles and fuel tanks 野市年十ル 2,209+1 cruise missiles 7,622+11 tanks 813+1 anti-aircraft warfare 12,860 +40 artillery systems 2,094+4 special equipment 10,391 +45 UAV 1,077+0 MLRS 27+0 warships / boats THE KYIV INDEPENDENT 1+0 submarines'

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
5/23/24 10:49 a.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

The Soviets lost 25 million (that's the low estimate) in WW2, and they see this as a similarly important - if not nearly as dangerous, at least now - as the earlier conflict. A Western-oriented Ukraine, let alone one in NATO, is seen as every bit as existential a threat as was the Third Reich. Arguably, Putin feels he's handling this better than Stalin did; having made deals with Germany, Stalin waited too long, and the Germans were able to strike before the Soviets were ready. Putin, in spite of a position of weakness similar to the Soviet Union in late-1930s/1940's, has taken the offensive, in his view preemptively countering what his government sees as a growing threat (or at least needs to promote as a growing threat to manage their domestic position). They are not going to be put off by sustainable losses, no matter how horrific they appear by Western standards.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/23/24 11:03 a.m.

It's too late now, but Ukraine in certain ways was ideally suited to be a neutral go-between. But one of the biggest flaws in the ointment of that particular scenario was that a prosperous Ukraine would make Russia look bad. Citizenry could look to the Southwest and say: How come they can pull off that standard of  living and we can't? Bloody shame what's gone down.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/23/24 1:11 p.m.

Some updates:

It appears western supplies are starting to reach the front.

The Armed Forces finally received shells to stop the Russians near Kharkov, Reuters

With Congress belatedly approving a $61 billion aid package last month, Ukrainian gunners say the catastrophic deficit is beginning to shrink.

"If we can demonstrate now that we are capable of stopping a large-scale enemy attack on Kharkiv Oblast in such an extreme situation, the enemy will not dare to think about an attack on Kyiv, Chernihiv Oblast, Sumy Oblast or Poltava Oblast," the commander of one of the artillery units told Reuters.

 

The Ukrainians are putting rockets on their drone boats.  There is already evidence of them putting heat seeking missiles on the drone boats (to take out the helicopters hunting them)

 

The Russian are preparing for the arrival of F16's.  The R-37 is effectively the Russian version of the Phoenix missile.  Very long range, originally intended to take out AWACs planes.  They have apparently already taken out a number planes inside Ukraine with these, being able to launch them from Su-30 of course gives them larger number of launch platforms.

The Russian Air Force is testing new air-to-air missiles before the appearance of the F-16 in Ukraine

The video shows a Su-30SM2 armed with two R-37M and two R-77-1 missiles. This is the first public appearance of an aircraft of this modification with the R-37M. Previously, only Su-35S fighters and MiG-31BM interceptors were the only carriers of these missiles.

According to the developers, the missiles are designed to shoot down aircraft at a range of 300 km.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/24/24 11:08 a.m.
02Pilot said:

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

The Soviets lost 25 million (that's the low estimate) in WW2, and they see this as a similarly important - if not nearly as dangerous, at least now - as the earlier conflict. A Western-oriented Ukraine, let alone one in NATO, is seen as every bit as existential a threat as was the Third Reich. Arguably, Putin feels he's handling this better than Stalin did; having made deals with Germany, Stalin waited too long, and the Germans were able to strike before the Soviets were ready. Putin, in spite of a position of weakness similar to the Soviet Union in late-1930s/1940's, has taken the offensive, in his view preemptively countering what his government sees as a growing threat (or at least needs to promote as a growing threat to manage their domestic position). They are not going to be put off by sustainable losses, no matter how horrific they appear by Western standards.

I hate how 1984 this is becoming (has become?  will be?  all of the above?)...

Yeah, he may be projecting this as WW2 levels of danger but major cities were literally under siege in WW2 to back that claim up.  There's not a whole lot going on in western russia, unless you're a refinery...  With only the "projection" as the driving force behind this, I keep hoping that either another branch of the government, or some major player(s) in the population, will stop playing along with this whole dang thing (I know.  Hope against hope.).

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/24/24 1:01 p.m.

Hmmmm... not sure how likely this is.  Even if true, and even if the Ukrainians agree (!) I am not sure it's sending a useful message or truly ending things.

It may, if remotely true, indicates some motivation on the Russian side to end thing and may be the reason for the recent (and continuing) shuffling of the leadership in Russia.  This does not indicate, and I really don't see, Russia giving up really any of what they have taken.

In the area of negotiation, this potentially points to a weakening bargaining position for Russia (or at least a potential for it to get worse).  In Ukraine's position, do they see if it can get better for them, or cut their looses now?

The "Western-backed attempts to hinder ceasefire negotiations" reads a bit like "Western support may make it hard for us from keeping what we stole".

 

Vladimir Putin ready to 'freeze' war in Ukraine with ceasefire recognising recent Russian gains, sources say

....Vladimir Putin is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a ceasefire that recognises the current battlefield lines, four Russian sources have told the Reuters news agency.

Three of the sources claimed that the Russian leader had expressed frustration about what he views as Western-backed attempts to hinder ceasefire negotiations...

https://news.sky.com/story/vladimir-putin-ready-to-freeze-war-in-ukraine-with-ceasefire-recognising-recent-russian-gains-sources-say-13142402

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
5/24/24 5:53 p.m.
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) said:
02Pilot said:

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

The Soviets lost 25 million (that's the low estimate) in WW2, and they see this as a similarly important - if not nearly as dangerous, at least now - as the earlier conflict. A Western-oriented Ukraine, let alone one in NATO, is seen as every bit as existential a threat as was the Third Reich. Arguably, Putin feels he's handling this better than Stalin did; having made deals with Germany, Stalin waited too long, and the Germans were able to strike before the Soviets were ready. Putin, in spite of a position of weakness similar to the Soviet Union in late-1930s/1940's, has taken the offensive, in his view preemptively countering what his government sees as a growing threat (or at least needs to promote as a growing threat to manage their domestic position). They are not going to be put off by sustainable losses, no matter how horrific they appear by Western standards.

I hate how 1984 this is becoming (has become?  will be?  all of the above?)...

Yeah, he may be projecting this as WW2 levels of danger but major cities were literally under siege in WW2 to back that claim up.  There's not a whole lot going on in western russia, unless you're a refinery...  With only the "projection" as the driving force behind this, I keep hoping that either another branch of the government, or some major player(s) in the population, will stop playing along with this whole dang thing (I know.  Hope against hope.).

Note the dates I mentioned. Yes, after 22 June 1941, cities were under siege, hundreds of thousands of Russians were being captured, and the Germans were an undeniable danger. But before that, there was a complex relationship between the two states, wherein they were ideologically bitter enemies who maintained extensive propaganda campaigns against each other, while at the same time enabling each other's rise to power with secret deals on raw materials and military technology. Both Hitler and Stalin knew that war was inevitable between their nations; both were juggling a lot of complex factors in deciding whether and when to act. Arguably they both lost that gamble, but Stalin only realized the full dangers of waiting too long after the fact.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/24/24 6:17 p.m.

Vladimir Putin ready to 'freeze' war in Ukraine with ceasefire recognising recent Russian gains, sources say

....Vladimir Putin is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a ceasefire that recognises the current battlefield lines, four Russian sources have told the Reuters news agency.

Three of the sources claimed that the Russian leader had expressed frustration about what he views as Western-backed attempts to hinder ceasefire negotiations...

https://news.sky.com/story/vladimir-putin-ready-to-freeze-war-in-ukraine-with-ceasefire-recognising-recent-russian-gains-sources-say-13142402

Hasn't this been floating out there for a while now?

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/24/24 8:45 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

Yes, exactly why I am very suspicious.  Heck, they have been talking about cease fires fire negotiations from very early on.  Very much part of their "game".  E.g. "I keep offering to buy your Miata, but you keep saying no!, so you are clearly the problem"  "Uhm, yeah, you keep offering half what it is worth!"  Of course.... what exactly they would demand from those are the big question (e.g. give us most of your country).

In this case there is a (seemingly, if true) an indication of what they want.  But, you never know, could be just another part of the game. Hard to even say if this was intentionally released or not.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/24/24 9:17 p.m.

If you give up right know, we won't commit genocide on all of your people after we conquer all of you. Because we are New Nazis and that's what we do.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/26/24 1:31 a.m.

A bit more.  So maybe the rumors are true.  Of course with a bit of a Putin twist...

The Russian President, Putin, announced during his visit to Belarus last night that he supports negotiations for a ceasefire with Ukraine.

The position presented by Putin is: negotiations for a ceasefire based on the situation on the ground (that is, the territories that Russia has captured from Ukraine so far will be territories under Russia's control).

Putin pointed out that Zelinsky's legal term as president of Ukraine has ended and therefore he is not a legitimate leader with whom negotiations can be conducted. Who will sign the agreements from the Ukrainian side Putin asked?

The guess here is that Putin wants someone else to negotiate with since Zelenskyy has repeatedly said they will give up none of the land that was taken.  An interesting tactic.  If the guy won't sell you the car for cheap, demand someone else negotiate for him.

Of note of course is that Putin's seemingly never ending presidency has a bit of a smell of illegitimacy.  Pot meet kettle?

As to why now?  Perhaps the Russian bodies piling up are becoming a problem (as in Afghanistan).  Zelenskyy recently claimed 8 to 1 casualty rates against the Russians in their recent and ongoing Kharkiv offensive. 

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