Viewing 40 posts - 11,521 through 11,560 (of 11,674 total)
  • Ukraine
  • MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Is anyone else concerned that Putin might herd all these mobilised “troops” together somewhere in the occupied Donbas, then whack them with a false-flagged battlefield nuke, trying to pin it on Ukraine?

    Ukraine doesn’t have nukes, they signed them away after Russia, the UK and others signed a treaty agreeing Ukraines sovereignty and independence.

    Then Russia took Crimea and we all went “what treaty?”

    kimbers
    Full Member

    I think a lot hinges on this winter for many reasons

    A cold winter will send gas prices rocketing and even tho many countries have stored up gas (not UK !) will still lead to hardship

    Will also be punishing for Ukrainian civilians with damaged infrastructure targeted by Russia

    But it would also be deadly for Russian conscripts, I’ll equipped and under supplied with their logistics routes constantly being damaged by Ukrainian attacks

    muddy@rseguy
    Full Member

    even tho many countries have stored up gas (not UK !)

    Remember that only about 3% of our gas came from russia, about 50% is from the north sea (from our own supply), a further 33% comes form Norway, the rest is from other sources such as importing LNG from Qatar..
    The situation is different from countries like Germany that lack a large scale domestic energy resource (bar Coal), have leant heaviliy on importing gas from Russia and have lower access to renewables.
    Bit of an oversimplifiction here but remember that the cost and actual supply are different, We are getting hit by the rising costs of energy as gas is priced via the global market which is getting hit from the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia.

    As it stands it looks like the Russian economy is now in freefall, China, India and Turkey are stepping back from them both politically and, most likely soon economically. I dont think Syria, North Korea or Bellarus have a spare few trillion Rubles stuffed down the back of the sofa to help matters. The RU millitary is in pieces, and the plan now is to send tens of thousands of poorly led, untrained and under-equipped conscripts into a war zone and hope for the best.

    My gut feeling is that the large scale conscription and partial mobilisation has been done by Putin not to win the war in Ukraine but instead as an attempt to prevent a large scale uprising/revolution/coup in Russia.

    TBH, I think that has been the reason all along for this whole sorry escapade.

    jp-t853
    Full Member

    I had a good chat with a friend in Moscow this morning.
    Six months ago he was ashamed about what was happening. He is a progressive guy who has worked for western companies all of his life.
    Now he claims he reads Telegram for independent news everyday but he is no longer critical of his government. The main things I picked up from him.

    Cars are the main issue in daily life as they cannot get new ones and repairs are hard
    Lots of work for engineers working on military aims
    Not feeling the effects of the war in Moscow and no one in his circle affected by the mobilisation. He heard they were getting four weeks training and they will not go near the front lines.
    The escalation is being pushed by the West
    The USA is wanting this war (he does use that word at least) to last as long as possible
    Russia has not stopped gas supplies it is Europe who do not want it. Russians get gas cheaper than they used to and European governments are making big profits by doubling the price for their people
    Russia has liberated these areas of Ukraine

    I countered much of the above but it wasn’t sinking in. Still some way to go before reality hits home I think.

    funkrodent
    Full Member

    My gut feeling is that the large scale conscription and partial mobilisation has been done by Putin not to win the war in Ukraine but instead as an attempt to prevent a large scale uprising/revolution/coup in Russia.

    TBH, I think that has been the reason all along for this whole sorry escapade.

    May well be some truth in this. Certainly the latter part. It’s straight out of the kleptocratic dictator playbook, when you’ve stolen and corrupted everything you need new markets to violate. Plus you have some edgy Asian rebublics, no harm in reminding them what you’re capable of.

    Of course nobody thought it’d go this badly. Best get all the potential troublemakers off the streets and somewhere you can indoctrinate and keep tabs on them. And chuck the worst of them into the front line because why not?

    In the meantime continue to threat and bluster and pray – really pray 🙏 – that the West loses its resolve before your position becomes untenable..

    Caher
    Full Member

    I’ve found India’s and China’s stance pretty deplorable from the outset. The EU and the US need to wean themselves away from reliance on these states.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    The EU and the US need to wean themselves away from reliance on these states.

    Tricky. We don’t have enough people to fill the jobs we do now without on-shoring the all the medium tech and consumer electronics manufacturing.

    Caher
    Full Member

    True but I’m sure there are potential skills in Europe similar to Skoda’s (VW) in the Czech Republic and SEAT’s in Spain.

    5lab
    Full Member

    the trouble with the western economy is it relies on people on extremely low wages to make stuff for us for low prices. Those people live in countries that will do the right thing by these people on extremely low wages, for example by buying fuel as cheaply as possible and trading with countries who may be doing unspeakable things in order to support their internal economy and keep their low-waged populations working. They don’t have the luxury of a choice to bump up energy prices by 100%

    We could reduce reliance on these countries, but our standards of living would drop significantly – we’d probably see clothes prices rise by 5x (approx guess, given US-made jeans are £50 a pop and far-east made jeans are a tenner). I don’t think there is support for that kind of change.

    A skilled IT worker in India with a few years experience has a wrapped-up cost (wage, building, taxes, etc) of around a quarter of the equivilent worker in the US

    andy4d
    Full Member

    Was watching some videos of more old Russian tanks getting wheeled out and it got me thinking. Do old tanks and newer tanks for that matter all uses the same shells or is it like bike standards and has changed over the years? I was thinking if they are not the same the it must be a logistical nightmare supplying different sizes etc to the right areas of the battlefield. And if they are having to wheel out old shells for the old tanks how many do they have and are they still viable?

    thols2
    Free Member

    Do old tanks and newer tanks for that matter all uses the same shells or is it like bike standards and has changed over the years?

    You mean artillery shells? As I understand it, militaries try to standardize, NATO has standardized ammo, for example. It’ll still be like bike standards though, there will be numerous variations on somewhat standard sizes (you need high explosive, armour piercing, incendiary, tracer ammo, etc., plus different fuses, and so on.)

    Old tanks are often modernized with new guns, engines, electronics, etc., but the really old tanks in storage will have old guns that use different ammo than newer ones. Russia has literally millions of tonnes of old Cold War era ammo, but it’s probably not been stored properly so will be in pretty poor condition.

    Edit. Here’s a link to a chart of different artillery rounds, keep in mind that Ukraine is operating both Warsaw Pact and NATO gear so their logistics will be complex.
    https://man.fas.org/dod-101/sys/land/row/arty_frame.htm

    andy4d
    Full Member

    Thanks for that^^^

    eddiebaby
    Full Member

    the trouble with the western economy is it relies on people on extremely low wages to make stuff for us for low prices.

    Don’t worry, in our new glorious route to the future the ERG and Trussbaby are making us the low wage centre of the west.

    andrewreay
    Full Member

    I had a good chat with a friend in Moscow this morning.

    But how many Russians would dare to contradict the Putin line on a call that is likely being monitored? Such is the level of censorship and control of communications in Russia, many of its citizens will be wary when contacted by friends, colleagues and family in the West.

    There’s a good story in the NY Times here:

    They Are Watching: Inside Russia’s Vast Surveillance State

    It seems that the state monitors posts and messages. Some have been arrested within hours of sending / writing something controversial. The monitoring at Roskomnadzor picks up on anything negative and the FSB can strike almost immediately.

    Pretty shitty.

    Chest_Rockwell
    Free Member

    I see those scumbags are currently targeting Odesa with Iranian loitering munitions.   Lots of videos doing the rounds.  Rob Lee’s Twitter etc.

    Plenty of interesting stuff on there regarding the mobilisation of troops, too…

    https://mobile.twitter.com/RALee85?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I feel desperately sad about this, I have both Russian and Ukrainian colleagues who are very close professionally and also thankfully still as friends. My UKR colleague was very worried but now some normality (whatever that means) is returning to his extended family in the Kyiv area; my Russian colleague is now worried for extended family who have call up age sons, none of them believe in the task or want to fight but if the time comes will have no choice.

    It feels like a poorly trained and led, poorly equipped conscript army that doesn’t want to be there is on a hiding to nothing. Outgunned by a resilient army bolstered by hi-tech NATO kit, it’s looking like just slaughter waiting to happen. I’m struggling to justify to myself whether it’s right to continue to pursue that – thousands of ‘innocents’ will die. Yet of course I can’t see an option to stop and allow Russia to regroup and re-arm.

    What a **** mess, driven in the main by one man….

    thols2
    Free Member

    thousands of ‘innocents’ will die.

    The majority of deaths in wars over the millennia have been (relatively) innocent, just caught up in events they have little control over. That doesn’t mean that sometimes there is a clear good side and bad side and that we should hope for the good side to win. In this case, Ukraine is unambiguously the victim, they did nothing wrong, so we need to hope for Russia to lose. That will mean a lot of Russian conscripts will die, they have my sympathy, but it better for Ukraine to win than for Ukraine to surrender. Of course, Russian soldiers can surrender to Ukraine can be treated according to the Geneva conventions if they don’t want to fight. Russia doesn’t give Ukrainian soldiers that option, they face torture and murder if they surrender.

    DrJ
    Full Member

    The USA is wanting this war (he does use that word at least) to last as long as possible
    Russia has not stopped gas supplies it is Europe who do not want it. Russians get gas cheaper than they used to and European governments are making big profits by doubling the price for their people

    Some truth to those points, I’d say. The Russian military is being degraded every day and the US arms manufacturers are making out like bandits as well as field testing and demo’ing their products. It’d be strange if the US wasn’t entirely unhappy for the situation to continue.

    It’s also true that Europe stopped gas imports, cancelling Nordstrom 2 etc, and that the price of gas has soared for consumers while the producers have made a killing.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    ^ agree completely, and of course there’s no option for UKR really. But usually most modern era wars where conscription was used, while many didn’t want to be conscripted (else they’d have signed up voluntarily?) at least they were being conscripted for a cause they in the main supported. I think most WW2 German conscripts believed or at least were brought to believe in the cause, or were hidden from what was behind it. Allied call ups likewise, could see that Nazism needed to be defeated.

    I get too that professional soldiers get sent to wars they maybe don’t really believe in, but I guess when you become a professional soldier you kind of give that option up.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    it better for Ukraine to win than for Ukraine to surrender

    Yeah, if they cede territory to Russia then this might just keep happening. If Russia get put back in their box, maybe these sacrifices will save many lives in the future.

    thols2
    Free Member

    The USA is wanting this war (he does use that word at least) to last as long as possible

    Utter nonsense. Just quit with the “all the ills of the world are the fault of the U.S.” This is on Putin, not the U.S.

    Russia has not stopped gas supplies it is Europe who do not want it.

    It has. This is a flat-out lie from Putin. Please stop repeating Russian misinformation.

    PJM1974
    Free Member

    If Russia get put back in their box, maybe these sacrifices will save many lives in the future.

    Agreed. Not too long ago, Putin assumed that the Russian annexation of Ukraine would be a done deal and made thinly veiled threats against the Baltic states and Poland. Russia has also spent $300m since 2014 in cultivating a network of Russia friendly politicians around the world. Before Russia’s military was exposed as a Potemkin Village, it was clear that Putin’s ambitions extended beyond Kyiv.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    The money the US has spent (and will spend) represents an absolute bargain in geopolitical terms. Not only severely degrades a major adversary’s ability to wage war, potentially for decades, it strengthens NATO alliances, provides opportunities for its weaponry to be tested and assessed in a real war, and doesn’t even require US combat losses.

    And it may even destabilise Russia enough to provoke regime change.

    PJM1974
    Free Member

    Please stop repeating Russian misinformation.

    I don’t think that the poster was attempting to repeat Russian misinformation, they were quoting a conversation with a Muscovite friend and followed up with this:

    I countered much of the above but it wasn’t sinking in. Still some way to go before reality hits home I think.

    PJM1974
    Free Member

    And it may even destabilise Russia enough to provoke regime change.

    US General on possible consequences of a Ukrainian victory.

    The potential breakup of the Russian Federation may well be the least worst outcome.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Of course nobody thought it’d go this badly. Best get all the potential troublemakers off the streets and somewhere you can indoctrinate and keep tabs on them. And chuck the worst of them into the front line because why not?

    Think of it as mass defenestration but without actually having to lift a finger yourself. Worst get wiped out, the unfaithful go into exile and the rest don’t have enough clout to fart in the wrong direction.

    thols2
    Free Member

    I don’t think that the poster was attempting to repeat Russian misinformation,

    Sorry, my post was responding to DrJ’s endorsement of Russian misinformation, not to the factual reporting of what a Russian said.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    The original Telegraph article:

    Prepare for Russia itself to disintegrate

    The Kremlin’s disastrous losses in Ukraine could result in the collapse of the Russian Federation

    BEN HODGES13 September 2022 • 5:00pm

    It is becoming increasingly clear that Ukraine is going to win this war and that the Kremlin faces a historic crisis of confidence. Indeed, I now believe it is a genuine possibility that Vladimir Putin’s exposed weaknesses are so severe that we might be witnessing the beginning of the end – not only of his regime, but of the Russian Federation itself.

    This vast empire encompassing more than 120 ethnic groups is on an unsustainable footing, and like that famous Hemingway quote, its collapse may be gradual at first but could quickly become a sudden, violent and uncontrollable event. If we fail to prepare for this possibility in the way that we failed to prepare for the collapse of the Soviet Union, it could introduce immense instability to our geopolitics.

    I see at least three factors that could lead to the Federation’s collapse. The first is the breakdown of domestic confidence in the Russian Army, which has traditionally been at the core of the Kremlin’s legitimacy. Its humiliation in Ukraine is now almost complete, with the proud Black Sea Fleet still hiding behind Crimea, too frightened to take action against a country that doesn’t even have a navy.

    And Russian men, once enticed by the military’s pay offers, are shunning recruitment en masse in the knowledge of the fate the battlefield holds for them. This has exacerbated the disproportionate recruitment of ethnic minorities from Chechnya and other nations on the edges of the Federation – the easiest groups to use as cannon fodder – which has raised grievances that won’t easily be forgotten.

    If some militant Chechens were to decide to trigger another war of independence, where would Putin find the military resources to fight it now that he has dedicated so much to Ukraine? He will no doubt be aware that if such a war is won quickly and decisively by the Chechens, it could trigger a wave of similar insurgencies across the Federation.
    Second, the damage suffered by the Russian economy has been too devastating to sustain a population of 144 million. The loss of energy markets, which compensated for the country’s lack of modern industries, cannot be reversed. European governments will not rely again on Nord Stream 1, having witnessed how easily it can be turned off, and are already making long-term investments in domestic energy supply.

    Russia has also relied on arms exports, but which country will be interested in buying its equipment or weapons now? Such an economic crisis can be sustained for months in the misplaced hope that business will one day return – but even in Russia the well of stoicism has its limits.

    This brings us to the third factor, which is the sparse nature of Russia’s population. For despite possessing 70 times the landmass of the United Kingdom, the Federation has just twice the population. These numbers make civic solidarity difficult to achieve in the best of times, but now, with the metropole in a weak position, any sense of national identity could rapidly deteriorate.

    Western sanctions will force Moscow’s elites to make difficult economic trade-offs. They will inevitably bail-out the middle classes in the capital, who pose a more immediate threat to officials, to the detriment of minority populations in the constituent nations.

    Seen this way, it is shocking how little discussion there has been about the potential end of the Russian Federation. We ought to be asking difficult questions now lest they be sprung on us out of nowhere.

    For instance, how would this play out in a country that has considerable stockpiles of nuclear weapons and few centres of power? Who would extract the nukes? How do we avoid leakage of weapons and militants into the Baltic states? Is a major internal conflict inevitable or can the collapse be contained within a political context?
    Combined, these dilemmas pose a very significant challenge for the West. Get it wrong and we could face disaster. Our failure to prepare for the last Russian collapse some 30 years ago, and the internal unrest that ensued in its aftermath, arguably led to the Putin presidency. We cannot risk being unprepared a second time.

    PJM1974
    Free Member

    Sorry, my post was responding to DrJ’s endorsement of Russian misinformation, not to the factual reporting of what a Russian said.

    In that case I stand corrected. Thank you!

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Sorry, my post was responding to DrJ’s endorsement of Russian misinformation

    I wouldn’t call it an endorsement, he was just acknowledging that, like all good lies, they hide behind a veil of truth.

    thols2
    Free Member

    Seen this way, it is shocking how little discussion there has been about the potential end of the Russian Federation. We ought to be asking difficult questions now lest they be sprung on us out of nowhere.

    For instance, how would this play out in a country that has considerable stockpiles of nuclear weapons and few centres of power? Who would extract the nukes? How do we avoid leakage of weapons and militants into the Baltic states? Is a major internal conflict inevitable or can the collapse be contained within a political context?
    Combined, these dilemmas pose a very significant challenge for the West. Get it wrong and we could face disaster. Our failure to prepare for the last Russian collapse some 30 years ago, and the internal unrest that ensued in its aftermath, arguably led to the Putin presidency. We cannot risk being unprepared a second time.

    This is quite chilling. Nine months ago, Russia looked like a Superpower, now it’s reduced to a homeless wino begging for scraps from random strangers. I’m old enough to remember the collapse of the USSR, the collapse of the Russian Empire actually scares me more because Gorbachev was a sensible guy, Putin seems to be in panic mode.

    BruiseWillies
    Free Member

    This thread has been something of both a comfort and a source of nightmares, but always informative and interesting.
    I was reading a David Aaronovich piece in yesterday’s Times, concerning Putins’ mobilisation speech and something popped out at me; in it, Putin was claiming that Nato is at the gates and that the nuclear threat and talk was coming from our side. Bearing in mind that the speech was a performance for the home audience, he goes on to say that the use of nuclear weapons is a double-edged sword and that the wind can blow either way…..now, considering that, as far as we all know, it’s Russia that are doing the atom-chat, could that snippet have been something of a dog-whistle to show that they don’t actually intend to use nukes?

    uponthedowns
    Free Member

    Nine months ago, Russia looked like a Superpower,

    Its never looked like a superpower to anyone with a basic grasp of economics. Economy slightly bigger than Italy’s (not any more) with a defense budget which last year was less than the UK. Its been in the interests of the west’s military industrial complex to play up the Russian threat to keep defence budgets up.

    thols2
    Free Member

    could that snippet have been something of a dog-whistle to show that they don’t actually intend to use nukes?

    Washington Post have an article about backchannel talks between Biden administration and Russia about U.S. response to potential Russian use of nukes. That’s obviously “leaked” at the direction of the White House. Backchannelling like this is intended to let leaders posture for their supporters, but to reassure the other side that it’s just posturing. I imagine that the U.S. has laid out its options if Russia uses nukes and that there are escalation options available for NATO short of a full-blown nuclear war, but that will still go very badly for Russia.

    U.S. has sent private warnings to Russia against using a nuclear weapon
    The Biden administration has been sending messages to Moscow about the grave consequences that would follow the use of a nuclear weapon in Ukraine

    DrJ
    Full Member

    ”The USA is wanting this war (he does use that word at least) to last as long as possible”
    Utter nonsense. Just quit with the “all the ills of the world are the fault of the U.S.” This is on Putin, not the U.S.

    Nobody said that or anything like it.

    “Russia has not stopped gas supplies it is Europe who do not want it.”
    It has. This is a flat-out lie from Putin. Please stop repeating Russian misinformation.

    So what happened to NS2? Who is talking about reducing reliance on Russian gas? Who is inventing stuff about fracking? Putin? No. That’s our game. Maybe wise, maybe justified, but it’s us who are doing it.

    timba
    Free Member

    snip…thousands of ‘innocents’ will die…

    Absolutely, but the protests in Russia should have started not on conscription but in February or before. “Innocent” Russians are now paying for a willingness to turn the other cheek because six months ago this didn’t affect them, “just” Ukrainians and Russian minorities

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    Its been in the interests of the west’s military industrial complex to play up the Russian threat to keep defence budgets up.

    Ummm. I don’t really think the threat has been played up given they have just invaded a neighbouring country

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Absolutely, but the protests in Russia should have started not on conscription but in February or before. “Innocent” Russians are now paying for a willingness to turn the other cheek because six months ago this didn’t affect them, “just” Ukrainians and Russian minorities

    You do remember the bit about Putin controlling the media? Right?

    timba
    Free Member

    So what happened to NS2?

    NS2 was always an unnecessary construct designed to move gas without Russia being beholden to Ukraine and other newly-independent states where Soviet-era pipelines run
    NS2 was pushed through by German leaders against the wishes of the EU, USA and other NATO allies who didn’t agree that Europe should be so reliant on an expansionist Russia with the power to damage the economies of those newly-independent states
    The additional volumes should have been unnecessary in times of moving towards renewables, etc. You only have to look at Europe managing for months solely on a reduced NS1 to demonstrate that

    DrJ
    Full Member

    Ummm. I don’t really think the threat has been played up given they have just invaded a neighbouring country

    They did, but it’s now clear that if they’d tried invading a NATO country they’d have had their arses kicked all the way to Kamchatka.

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