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NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/4/24 8:02 a.m.

So what I am looking for and trying to predict is the day when these guys welcome the first family carloads of russian families into Kiev for a vacation. What is that going to take? Cause that will be the day that the war is "over".

 

The State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine

SATD is the central executive authority responsible for implementing the state policy in the field of tourism and resorts in Ukraine. We are dedicated to promoting Ukraine as a global tourism brand, fostering domestic tourism development, and enhancing the quality and competitiveness of the national tourism product. Our efforts aim to attract a greater number of tourists to explore the diverse and alluring attractions of Ukraine.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/4/24 12:21 p.m.

- The Russian Kharkiv offensive (north east) appears to be fully halted.  The Ukrainians apparently have even been doing some counter attacks.  The Ukrainians are claiming some pretty massive casualties on the Russian side.   Russian casualties for the war in May alone is reported as 38,000 (that's killed and wounded).  For perspective Russia had  14,000 killed in Afghanistan, and that was in 10 years, this was ONE month!  Also of note, the casualties the Russians took in Afghanistan were a primary reason why it pulled out.  I am not sure if the represents a new low in the standard of the Russians offensive capabilities / tactics, or a turn in Ukraine's ability to repel attacks (which they apparently where not even fully prepared for!).

- Oil refineries in Russia seem to be continuing to burst into flames:

- F16's seem very close.  There are rumors of instructors being in Ukraine for finalizing training.

- Ukraine continues to hit air defense radars, likely related to the above.

- Russia seems to be relying significantly on outside weapons sources:

According to a declassified Pentagon report, North Korean missile debris has been found throughout Ukraine. The report reveals that Russia is extensively using North Korean missiles to attack Ukraine, targeting not only front-line cities, Reuters writes.

- Russians have been apparently targeting Ukrainian artillery with drones and has created notable looses.  This may be a response to the increased availability of ammo for Ukraine

- Ukrainians hit military assembly area in Belgorod region (north east area,near Kharkiv) apparently with significant casualties.  This appears to be a HIMARS "here is what it looks like when we can use them in Russia" attack.

- Another example of the new dynamics:

Ukrainian forces struck a Russian S-300/400 air defense battery in Belgorod Oblast likely with HIMARS on June 1 or 2. Geolocated imagery published on June 3 shows two destroyed launchers and a damaged command post of a Russian S-300/400 air defense system in a field east of Kiselyovo (just north of Belgorod City).[1] Russian sources widely speculated that Ukrainian forces used US-provided HIMARS, but Ukrainian officials have yet to comment on the strike.[2] The S-300/400 air defense system was located roughly 60 kilometers from the current frontline in northern Kharkiv Oblast and over 80 kilometers from Kharkiv City, which is within the range of HIMARS but exceeds the range of other MLRS systems that Ukrainian forces reportedly use to conduct strikes into Belgorod Oblast.

- Dnipro dam power station is currently completely knocked out.  This is almost starting to look like "what will cause a country to collapse?" game.  Loss of power generation capability or loss of oil refining capability.

- Russia continues to target energy sector.  Air defenses seem to be getting better?

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/4/24 12:51 p.m.

This seems like quite a turnaround from a month or two ago. New weapons and aid making a difference, or has the spin changed now that the US passed the aid bill?

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/4/24 1:06 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

Not sure, but the Russian offensive near Kharkiv has clearly stopped.  They continue some very slow advances in other places, but in general, things seems to be notably quiet.  There are the rumors of the great Russian summer offensive.  But was that Kharkiv?  Or is there something else?  It certainly seems like, at least the Kharkiv attack, was an attempt to get something in while the supply situation was in question.

With the Ukrainians ability to strike into Russia now, Russia ability to assemble an offensive is severely limited in areas where (the actual) Russia directly boarders Ukraine.  Even in areas with a good buffer (e.g. Donbass area), the range of the Storm Shadows will certainly require the Russians to carefully consider any build ups (or storage areas, or facilitates) with the range of those.

I suspect there is a bit of scrambling on the Russian side at this point.  As usual, when a new weapon gets opened up, one of the results is the Russians "learning" what can get hit... by it getting hit.

Of note also (I think I noted this before), is that the Ukrainians seems to have heavily stepped up the drone  game.  They are now sending swarms of many multiples of drones at targets at some significant ranges.  Having to defend against the drones, look out for Storm Shadows, in a WIDE area of Russia, could make the appearance of F16's... challenging...

This may also indicate some internal challenges:

The Russian military is reportedly forcibly sending Russian servicemembers who refused to fight to the front in Ukraine from Russia instead of standing trial for their refusal to participate in combat. 

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/4/24 1:07 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

SO hard to say, especially when a lot of the info is coming from vested parties (Ukraine government) 

"Russian casualties for the war in May alone is reported as 38,000 (that's killed and wounded).  For perspective Russia had  14,000 killed in Afghanistan, and that was in 10 years, this was ONE month!"

Yeah, I think that Afghanistan is of limited utility as a basis for comparison. This is more as if we were at war with Mexico. 

So I wonder if Russia were to scale back its demands to Donbas and Crimea. Would Ukraine consider that? I kinda doubt it. 

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
6/4/24 5:44 p.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

SO hard to say, especially when a lot of the info is coming from vested parties (Ukraine government) 

"Russian casualties for the war in May alone is reported as 38,000 (that's killed and wounded).  For perspective Russia had  14,000 killed in Afghanistan, and that was in 10 years, this was ONE month!"

Yeah, I think that Afghanistan is of limited utility as a basis for comparison. This is more as if we were at war with Mexico. 

So I wonder if Russia were to scale back its demands to Donbas and Crimea. Would Ukraine consider that? I kinda doubt it. 

Ukraine isn't going to accept anything right now, because as noted they aren't doing badly, and are about to receive modern airframes and more weapons systems capable of striking Russia. If they were desperate, that would definitely be on the table. Both sides will keep fighting because they both think they can improve their position before wrapping it up, but as I've noted, the writing is on the wall; right now, however, the negotiation is being carried out with kinetic solutions as much as diplomatic maneuvering.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/4/24 5:53 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Going after infrastructure seems a fairly shrewd move by the Rooskies. It's going to be a hell of a winter in Ukraine. But then, they seem well capable of sharing the misery.

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
6/4/24 6:36 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

It is in the sense that they could find worse ways to use their ordnance (like hitting apartment buildings and malls), but I don't think it's going to have the effects they're hoping for. It doesn't really hurt Ukraine militarily or economically (both areas are reliant on external support, and thus protected). Morale? Sure, but the moral impact of this sort of thing has been shown time and again to be ineffectual in the long run.

Now, the Ukrainian strikes on petroleum facilities is a different matter. Those strikes hit Russia where it hurts: in the pocketbook. Similarly, hitting AD facilities is clearly paving the way for increased use of tactical and operation air (broadly defined to include drones) in the coming months. This will not be without cost, but Putin suffers a lot more domestically when Ukraine hits targets inside Russia than does Zelensky when the tables are turned.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/5/24 11:26 a.m.

Some... news...

Survivors say Russia is waging a war of sexual violence in occupied areas of Ukraine. Men are often the victims

...Shapovalenko’s experience of sexual violence at the hands of Russian forces is common among Ukrainians – including civilians and soldiers – who have been detained since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of the country more than two years ago....

https://edition.cnn.com/2024/05/30/europe/russia-sexual-violence-occupied-ukraine-intl-cmd/index.html

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa MegaDork
6/5/24 11:47 a.m.
aircooled said:

Some... news...

Survivors say Russia is waging a war of sexual violence in occupied areas of Ukraine. Men are often the victims

...Shapovalenko’s experience of sexual violence at the hands of Russian forces is common among Ukrainians – including civilians and soldiers – who have been detained since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of the country more than two years ago....

https://edition.cnn.com/2024/05/30/europe/russia-sexual-violence-occupied-ukraine-intl-cmd/index.html

Russia doing Russia E36 M3.  How anyone can want to ally themselves with that...

VikkiDp
VikkiDp HalfDork
6/7/24 7:44 a.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:

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.

You know, i agreed with this and i can say that it was one of the reasons for starting the war (in my opinion).

But i still very much keep asking myself the questions: Why??? What's the sense??? What's the reason for doing that??? Whaaattt???

Spending hundreds of billions of dollars to destroy a neighboring country and its citizens. I'm even not talking about russian troops casualties, it seems like it doesn't bother anyone.

Instead of this spend that money on improving something at your home - in russia. 

Anyone who think himself an emperor has two ways to stay in history - do something good or do something bad... 

Whyyy? Why did evil prevail this time? i still can't find the answer.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/7/24 8:01 a.m.

It must be about time to close off NATO's Baltic Lake to put the squeeze on Putin and his little band of Mafia sabotaging thugs. I would suggest a blockade with four Iowa class Battleships parked between Sweden and Denmark.smiley

MSN.com: String of mysterious attacks across Europe opens new front in Russia’s war on the West

VikkiDp
VikkiDp HalfDork
6/7/24 8:22 a.m.
aircooled said:

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

just let me give you one example of how we can trust the president of the country.

I think you know about the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

* turn on the subtitles, first person direct speech

Sometimes it feels like we're cornered. Where is the solution to this situation?

Negotiations? ummm... watch the video above sad

Fight to win? we're doing everything we can... and thanks to the support, we can still continue.

VikkiDp
VikkiDp HalfDork
6/7/24 8:32 a.m.

and I would also like to add that Ukraine is losing the best of us in this war... best of us... - young, talented, ready to do something useful, to bring something good to this world. But that's never gonna happen now, a lot of people won't have families, won't have kids. Their dreams will never come true...

That's the most painful thing about this war... i'm texting it and crying... it's too hurt...

Sorry guys.

VikkiDp
VikkiDp HalfDork
6/7/24 8:40 a.m.

Hi everyone!!! Hope you're doing well!!!

I'm trying to read this thread, but unfortunately I don't always get a chance to respond smiley

Thanks you guys for your thoughts and review of the situation.

johndej
johndej UltraDork
6/7/24 9:13 a.m.

In reply to VikkiDp :

No need to thank us Vikki, it is you who we hope are doing well. You're the true boots on the ground, keep fighting the good fight!

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
6/8/24 10:18 a.m.

In reply to VikkiDp :

While I recognize that analyzing this situation from the outside, as I will try to do here, rather than experiencing it from the inside, as you are, does not address the real sufferings of war, but perhaps I can try to at least offer some attempt at a logical explanation for Russia's actions.

The problem that Putin faces is a Russia in decline: falling population, weak economy (in the long term, the core of its foreign trade - oil and gas - are going to soften, and there's nothing they can do about it), and a population that can either be educated and become more productive, or be loyal to the regime, but not both. Sustaining power requires support, or at least acquiescence, and on the domestic face of it, there's little reason for the Russian people to back Putin.

History and foreign policy are the secret weapon of totalitarians. With an ignorant populace and control of the media, it is possible, even easy, to craft a new narrative that serves the purpose of distracting the people from the failures of the regime, and redirecting them to foreign enemies and agents, who are blamed for undermining the efforts of the government. Thus, the Russian people are suffering because of these foreign powers, rather than the failings of the Putin government. This is compounded by a selective reading of history (again possible because of an ignorant, uneducated populace) to show that this hostility is not new, and that Russia is a martyr state, victim of irrational foreign hatreds that as such cannot be reasoned with and can only be opposed with strength and force.

Additionally, the core of this logic is economic. As a state with limited resources, Russia has to use them efficiently, and the simple fact is that a war in Ukraine has a better cost-benefit ratio than anything Putin could achieve with the same resources peacefully and domestically. Cynical as it may be, given the primary interests of the Russian government - maintaining power in a declining state - this war has been cheap and effective, in part because the West has played into Putin's hands. The more vocal Western leaders are, the more Putin can point to how Russia's enemies are circling, and how only he can protect the Russian people.

As far as negotiations, the problem is not that Putin cannot be trusted; he can't be, but then, neither can any other leader facing a similarly dangerous set of domestic circumstances. A settlement in Ukraine is possible, but not in the sense that Russia and Ukraine will reconcile their differences and become friendly, but rather that both sides reach a point where the costs of continuing to fight outweigh the costs of accepting less than they want.

It is very possible for two hostile countries with unresolved ideological and territorial claims to stop shooting at each other - just look at North and South Korea. But for such a peace to be sustainable, both sides need to be able to defend their position to the extent that the cost of resuming war is greater than the cost of maintaining peace. This would require continued foreign support for Ukraine, obviously, but also the sort of conditions that allow Russia to maintain a domestic narrative of success. Put another way, if Ukraine reclaims all the territory Russia has taken, the war will not end, because Putin will have no way to plausibly declare that he has led Russia to victory; if Russia holds on to what it has now, give or take, it can be spun as establishing an "anti-fascist security zone" to protect the Russian people or something similar, even if Ukraine ends up economically stronger, armed to the teeth, and with steadfast Western support.

I know it's not what anyone in Ukraine or any of its supporters want to hear, but barring major shifts on the battlefield, which I don't consider likely in the next year or so, this will either continue to grind on, or it will end with a settlement that gives up some territory in exchange for a more sustainable defensive position, oriented toward the West, and focused on the future rather than the past. Again, look at Korea. The North clings to the narrative of hostility and territorial claims to maintain power, but no one in the South is talking about reclaiming territory or reuniting the peninsula; they are talking about building the economy, raising the standard of living, trading with the world, and developing new technology, as well as defending what they have built. They have accepted that the net benefit of an imperfect peace is the better outcome.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/8/24 11:20 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Very nice summary of the situation.  Thanks again for your well thought out and rational perspective.

It's probably also of note that in reading your analysis that some may take that Zelensky's demand / goal of re-taking all of the land Russia captured as un-realistic or un-reasonable.  From a negotiations perspective of course that is a rather useful (perhaps critical) stand.  You never want to start a negotiation (or a sale) from the point of what is the minimum you will accept.

I guess the real question is if Zelensky is as adamant in the demand as he appears to be?  (As noted, giving that appearance at least is rather useful for both negotiations and internal moral)

Not to be a complete bummer of the possibility of Ukraine getting some of their country back, but it seems like one "win" for the Russians could potentially be if things get so bad internally (economic, dead soldiers etc) a win could be stopping it.  That of course is a very complicated and difficult point to get to with Russia who has seemingly positioned itself internally to make that as unlikely as possible.

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/8/24 3:12 p.m.

And meanwhile, Ukraine remembers what England did with Spitfires did in WW2 against V1s (Not the tipping part).

The planes in question are not armed.  But I am pretty sure they will be in the future.  

Yak-52 shoots down drones

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/8/24 3:31 p.m.

And I just saw this in the Moscow Times.

Russia Bans Nonexistent ‘Anti-Russian Separatist Movement’ one day ago

Now that is getting out in front of a problem.

02Pilot
02Pilot PowerDork
6/8/24 11:42 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

My reading is that Zelensky is holding to this position for domestic political reasons, as well as to attempt to ensure that Western aid does not become conditional on public acceptance of some sort of deal. By adamantly refusing to admit the possibility of a deal, he is hoping that his Western supporters will not publicly contradict him (as Biden did to Netanyahu a few weeks ago), and in doing so, make it more difficult to cut aid. It's a risky position, and certainly solely a public one - US and other Western leaders will have made clear to Zelensky that 1) they're not giving Ukraine enough to throw the Russians out, and 2) that a deal, when the time comes, will inevitably be a compromise. But announcing that to the world can only hurt Zelensky's position.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE UltraDork
6/9/24 12:22 p.m.

I tried growing beets to learn how to do Vikki's borscht but it looks like the pillbugs ate them all sad I have bad luck with them and carrots.

 

Immediately after allowing weapons to be used inside Russia, Ukraine has successfully hit an SU-57 with drones. There might be ~7 of them in existence currently. Satellite photos confirm one, a second might also have been struck.

Interview with a captured Russian from the Kharkiv attack.  He claims apparently, 20,000-25,000 dead. I hate to sound this way, but his claims are similar to others we've heard from past Russian POWs where they're sent to combat without any support.

New claims that Russia is running telegram groups, giving money in exchange for arson. No other confirmations yet, but Russia has already done similar before.

 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/9/24 8:28 p.m.

Interesting recap of Russia's current economic situation I just ran across:

 

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/10/24 9:09 a.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

I just watched that earlier today, and in reading 02Pilot's post above about North Korea, I think I'm ready to ask the question I've deleted probably 20 times by now:

So, does this change our opinion on whether or not russia risks becoming the next North Korea after this war is over?  Isolated totalitarian regime with only a few allies on the global scale, adamant that the war is still on and the country is constantly at risk of being over run, largely separated from the global market?

I think I remember the answer being an "absolutely not" when we were still pre-invasion, and even in the months following.  What about now?

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/10/24 10:05 a.m.

The sheer size of Russia, coupled with their cultural/educational background would seem to make it impossible to go too far down the NK route. 

But I've been wrong before.  

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