Ukraine, Russia Gear Up for War's Biggest Battles

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  one month ago  •  49 comments

By:   Yaroslav Trofimov (WSJ)

Ukraine, Russia Gear Up for War's Biggest Battles
Officials expect large-scale tank and artillery battles; it 'will remind you of the Second World War,' Ukraine's foreign minister says

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Ukraine and Russia poured reinforcements into eastern Ukraine this weekend, preparing for what are likely to become the war's biggest battles as refugees continued to flee the looming Russian assault.

Russia's main objective now is to seize the parts of the eastern Donbas region not yet controlled by Moscow. Unlike the first phase of the six-week-old conflict, that shift is forcing Ukraine into fighting conventional battles involving tanks, artillery and aircraft on flat, often barren terrain that allows Russia to leverage its superiority in military equipment.

Fresh Russian tank and artillery units, as well as forces withdrawn from areas around Kyiv, began arriving in recent days to staging grounds for the offensive north of the Ukrainian city of Izyum, according to footage shown on Russian military television. Ukraine, too, started moving toward Donbas combat units from areas of northern Ukraine that it recovered after Russian troops retreated.

Skirmishes along the contact line in Donbas and nearby regions continue daily, with Russian forces trying to push south of Izyum. The timing of a major campaign, Western and Ukrainian officials said, is up to Moscow, which may press the offensive imminently with available forces, or wait a few weeks to reconstitute units that suffered losses in northern Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials said Moscow’s aims likely go far beyond seizing the Donbas region, and that Mr. Putin seeks to destroy the best Ukrainian units in the battle of Donbas to then try again to seize the rest of the country, including Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for urgent assistance ahead of  this new round of the conflict , warning that Moscow hasn’t given up on its aspirations to subjugate Ukraine. “Russia can still afford to live in illusions, gathering new armor and new troops on our soil. And that means that we need even more sanctions, and even more weapons for our state,” he said in a late Saturday video address.

Attempting to disrupt the Ukrainian redeployment, Russia has said that its forces carried out airstrikes on Ukrainian railway hubs. Some 57 people died in  Friday’s Russian missile attack  on the railway station in the Donbas city of Kramatorsk while it was packed with civilians trying to board evacuation trains toward the relative safety of western Ukraine, according to Ukrainian authorities. Moscow denied it carried out that particular strike.

Authorities over the weekend urged all civilians in Ukrainian-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions—which comprise Donbas—and two districts of the Kharkiv region to use all available means to leave immediately. They organized additional trains and buses.

Russia launched several missile strikes on the Dnipropetrovsk region just west of Donbas on Sunday, destroying the airport terminal and another infrastructure facility in the city of Dnipro and an industrial facility in the city of Pavlohrad, the regional administration said. Six rescue workers were injured in Dnipro as a Russian missile hit one of the sites for a second time later in the day, it said. Ukrainian forces overnight destroyed a Russian column that was moving toward Izyum, according to the governor of Kharkiv. The claim couldn’t be independently verified.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it targeted Dnipro with Kalibr missiles from a Black Sea fleet frigate and that its missiles also struck the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolayiv and a military airfield near Kharkiv, where it said it destroyed an S-300 antiaircraft missile system. Those claims couldn't be confirmed independently. Dnipro, one of Ukraine’s biggest cities, is the logistical hub for Ukrainian military operations in Donbas.

Russia’s initial attempt to seize Kyiv and other cities in northern Ukraine collapsed in late March, in part because nimble Ukrainian units attacked Russian tanks and armored vehicles  using guerrilla tactics , striking at Russia’s long supply lines that ran through woods and villages whose residents relayed intelligence to Ukrainian forces. Light, portable missiles supplied by the U.S. and its European allies, such as the Javelin and the NLAW, played a big role in that success, as did Turkish-made  Bayraktar TB2 armed drones .

Many Russian battalion tactical groups that withdrew from northern Ukraine were battered so badly that they won’t be able to redeploy to the Donbas front anytime soon, Ukrainian and Western officials said. “We’ve seen indications on some units that are, literally, for all intents and purposes, eradicated,” a senior Pentagon official said. Russia, he said, is trying to mobilize some 60,000 reservists to fill the gap in manpower.

Ahead of the coming offensive, Moscow appointed Army Gen. Aleksandr Dvornikov, who leads the southern military district that is responsible for operations in Donbas, to oversee the campaign, a U.S. official said. In the initial phase of the war, when Russia attacked from multiple directions, commanders of four military districts acted autonomously—a lack of coordination that military analysts say hampered Russia’s war effort. Moscow hasn’t issued an official announcement about Gen. Dvornikov’s role.

The tactical situation is more advantageous for Russia on the Donbas front. Russian supply lines are shorter, and the more concentrated area of operations allows Russia to more effectively use air support, Ukrainian and Western military officials said.

This different type of warfare, with large formations facing each other instead of small-unit strikes, is a major reason why Kyiv says it urgently needs heavy weapons, such as artillery, tanks and antiaircraft batteries that most Western allies have been reluctant to supply so far.

“The battle for Donbas will remind you of the Second World War, with its large operations and maneuvers, the involvement of thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, planes and artillery. And this will not be a local operation, based on what we see in Russia’s preparations,” Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said after meeting North Atlantic Treaty Organization ministers this past week. “Either you help us now—and I’m speaking days, not weeks—or your help will come too late and many people will die.”

While Ukraine initially sought Soviet-designed heavy weapons systems that its troops are trained to use, the limited supply of this equipment and ammunition, combined with the prospect of a lengthy conflict, mean that Kyiv is now requesting purchases of NATO-standard heavy weapons, Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said.

“The Soviet-made weapons that we have obtained can only strengthen Ukraine for a short time,” he said in a speech posted by the Ministry of Defense.

Ukraine managed to win the first round of the war because of close-contact infantry engagements, he said, but now Russia has changed its tactics and is relying more on long-range artillery, aviation and missile strikes—weapons that Ukraine has limited ability to counter.

“The war is entering the phase of competition for resources, which are almost unlimited in Russia in comparison to Ukraine,” Mr. Reznikov said. “To win in this war, we need a different kind of assistance from what we received before.”

Western leaders are stepping up support. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who Saturday took a walk around Kyiv with Mr. Zelensky, announced new military and other assistance that includes 120 armored vehicles and new antiship missile systems. That is on top of Friday’s package of Starstreak short-range antiaircraft missiles, 800 more antitank missiles and high-tech munitions that loiter above targets for precision strikes.

“This war will be won on the battlefield,” European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted on Saturday. He traveled to Kyiv on Friday, along with the head of the European Commission, which afterward said the EU is proposing 500 million euros, equivalent to $544 million, in new support for Ukraine’s military, on top of 1 billion euros previously allocated for weapons.

The U.S. announced $400 million in additional military aid to Ukraine in April, out of a total of $1.4 billion since the war started Feb. 24. Washington is supplying Javelins, Stinger missiles, hundreds of Switchblade loitering drones and counter-artillery radars—but, so far, no heavy weapons requested by Kyiv.

Only the Czech Republic has supplied Ukraine with tanks, sending Soviet-designed T72Ms, while Slovakia shipped to Ukraine its S-300 air-defense system after the deployment of Patriot batteries to replace it.

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February, Ukraine controlled about two-thirds of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that comprise Donbas. The rest were governed by the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, statelets created following Russia’s intervention in 2014, when Moscow also annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in February recognized these statelets in their claimed borders that cover the entirety of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including the cities of Kramatorsk, Slovyansk and Severodonetsk that remain under Ukrainian control.

Ukraine, meanwhile, is slowly trying to retake the only regional capital still in Russian hands, the southern city of Kherson. Fighting has inched to the northern outskirts of the city, with artillery barrages audible to residents almost every night. On Sunday, several hundred Kherson residents gathered in the city with Ukrainian flags for a protest rally that was dispersed by Russian troops firing in the air, according to eyewitness accounts.

Unlike in the northern regions of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy, where support for Ukraine’s independence from Russia has long run high, Moscow can count on at least some cooperation from locals in Donbas and nearby areas of eastern and southern Ukraine, where some part of the population is sympathetic to Russia. In the Luhansk region, four city mayors have already switched sides and begun collaborating with the Russian military, including the mayor of the front-line city of Rubizhne, according to the regional administration.

In besieged Mariupol, where fierce Ukrainian resistance continues in parts of the city, tying up a large Russian force, a member of the city council from a pro-Russian political party has assumed mayor’s duties under the auspices of Russian occupation forces, according to his appearances on Russian TV. Ukraine said it has begun treason proceedings against him.

At least 5,000 people, and possibly many more, have died in Mariupol under Russian shelling and bombing, according to the city’s elected mayor. Russian state media usually blame the destruction there, and elsewhere in Ukraine, on Ukrainian “Nazis” who allegedly shell their own cities to incriminate Moscow.

In an unusually frank admission, Aleksandr Sladkov, Russian state television’s military commentator, wrote in a social-media post that Mariupol is being leveled to present an example to the rest of Ukraine.

“Let them see in Kyiv and Lviv, Cherkasy and Poltava, Ternopil and Chernivtsi—if the city doesn’t surrender, it gets annihilated,” he wrote. “The cities of central and western Ukraine will also be destroyed if they decide to resist Russian troops.”



Max Colchester, James Marson and Gordon Lubold contributed to this article.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

After a spectacular failure the Russian military has changed it's strategy and has now reduced to two armies instead of 3 and consolidated leadership into the hands of Gen. Aleksandr Dvornikov. 

79f4ef14ed6b6a319da6a3fb4880e2cb
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Alexander Dvornikov (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Dvornikov led forces in both Syria and Chechnya. He is well known as a ruthless commander.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.1  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    one month ago
Gen. Aleksandr Dvornikov.

AKA the Butcher of Syria. Let's see if the former wag also calls this a genius move.

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Quiet
1.1.1  Colour Me Free  replied to  Hallux @1.1    one month ago

Huh, butcher of Syria?  What difference does that make?  The Syrian people are brown .. the world watched a genocide unfold and did nothing - thankfully the Ukrainians are white and 'Christian' .. the world is all over it!  YAY!

Why invoke the so called wisdom of Trump here, what difference does that make what he says?

Romney is going to run 3rd party in 2024 and hopefully win - this nation needs a true moderate .. was not a Romney supporter in 2012 - but now I see him as the sane choice ,, another Biden term...?    Harris?... ugghhh .. my head shaking condition will only get worse!

Just my ever so popular opinion Hallux ...  give me a call this afternoon .. : )

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @1.1    one month ago

I suppose the genius move was not pulling this stunt when the Prersident who said "My button is bigger than yours" was in office.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.1.3  Hallux  replied to  Colour Me Free @1.1.1    one month ago
give me a call this afternoon .. : )

OK! I'll pitch the only other real Republican to you.

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Quiet
1.1.4  Colour Me Free  replied to  Hallux @1.1.3    one month ago

Nikki Haley?  I was on board - thought she might be the first woman president .... sadly those days are over, she fuck'd up by associating herself with the Trump administration, and backup one or 2 too many of his BS ..  sadly she is tainted goods...

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.1.5  Hallux  replied to  Colour Me Free @1.1.4    one month ago

Nikki ain't no republican ... I was thinking Liz C.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     one month ago

The typical way that Russia wages war is to attack the civilian population. This is their history, Chechnya, Syria, Georgia, and all wars prior to that. Now that the Butcher of Syria is in charge you'll see the killing of civilians increase. 

Mr. Zelensky, announced new military and other assistance that includes 120 armored vehicles and new antiship missile systems. That is on top of Friday’s package of Starstreak short-range antiaircraft missiles, 800 more antitank missiles and high-tech munitions that loiter above targets for precision strikes.

What is very important in that is that the anti-ship missiles system is the Harpoon. Highly mobile and with a range of between 70 and 120 miles depending on the type of launch. I would like to see Ukraine take out the Russian ships in the Black Sea. 

What Ukraine needs is more heavy offensive weapons. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Kavika @2    one month ago
What Ukraine needs is more heavy offensive weapons. 

And aircraft, which can now easily operate out of the western Ukraine. Ukraine needs to WIN not submit to a settlement!

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1    one month ago

The only aircraft that the Ukrainians are trained in is the Russian planes that some of the NATO countries currently have.

A quicker and perhaps better support are more ground-to-air missiles, S300 and tanks. Poland has over 400 of the Russian T72s that have been upgraded. Czech Republic sent some tanks and APCs to Ukraine two days ago and Slovakia sent S300. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Kavika @2.1.1    one month ago

I don't understand why we are evaluating what would benefit them. They are doing the fighting and dying. Why not give them the weapons they ask for?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.3  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.2    one month ago

The difference is between defensive weapons and offensive weapons. To avoid a US/NATO direct confrontation with Russia they are getting defensive weapons but over time (the last couple of weeks) that has changed and some of the weapons they are getting now can be described as offensive.

I forgot to add in my other comment that the Czech Republic is also sending multiple rocket launchers and howitzers. Both of those types of weapons are needed by Ukraine. Australia has sent 20 Bushmasters and 52 Infantry fighting vehicles are being provided by Czech.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
2.1.4  XXJefferson51  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.2    one month ago

A very good question….

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Freshman Guide
2.1.5  Right Down the Center  replied to  Kavika @2.1.3    one month ago
The difference is between defensive weapons and offensive weapons

While I have heard that I am not really buying it.  Any weapon can be used as either offensive or defensive.  And our idea of what is offensive or defensive most likely is not the same as Putins.  As a matter of fact he seems to say almost everything we do is a provocation of direct conflict.  At this point Ukrainians will not be able to rebuild for years to come and Putin is fighting for ruble.  IMO it is past time we gave the Ukrainians what they ask for and put Putin back in a box. 

After there is peace I look forward to a Zelinsky book where he tells about what he really thinks about NATO and giving up Ukrainian nukes in the past.  I have a feeling Boris Johnson will look good.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.6  Kavika   replied to  Right Down the Center @2.1.5    one month ago

Of course, any weapon can be offensive or defense, but it is what it is when they are declared defensive weapons. 

Yup, everything that we or NATO does is a provocation to Putin, no disagreement there. 

I would love to see us give Ukraine everything that they ask for it seems to be headed in that direction (with the exception of aircraft). 

The Czech Republic and Slovakia have sent offensive weapons to Ukraine and now UK and Australia have supplied what Ukraine has asked for as have the US in the latest round of weapons. 

The big question is will the deal to send Russian-era tanks and heavy arty to Ukraine come through as Poland has 400 of that type of tank plus others as well. 

I don't believe that Putin cares that he fighting for rubble, his aim is to re-establish the Russian empire, nothing less. 

NATO countries have supplied billions of dollars of weapons and aid to Ukraine. Granted it isn't all that Ukraine wanted but without what they have sent there would be no Ukraine today. 

If you watched the 60 Minutes interview with Zelensky on Sunday you would have seen what he thinks of NATO currently. 

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Quiet
2.1.7  Colour Me Free  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.2    one month ago

Sadly Vic, it all comes down to the politics of compromise  .. supposedly 'we' are dancing on the doorstep of WWlll .. I do not buy that, seems to me that NATOs weaknesses are beginning to show .. somewhere along the way someone needs to face the tough decision of whether Putin / Russia is even capable (outside of using nukes) of advancing beyond the quagmire they are already in, in Ukraine... Macron is catching hell .. but I think he is the only one on the right path of how to deal with Putin

'Our' government / media is spewing propaganda [admittedly] in order to beat Putin at 'his own game' ... 

The U.S. is using declassified intel to fight an info war with Russia, even when the intel isn't rock solid (nbcnews.com)

TA DA .. now 'we' are several steps closer to never again being able to believe a word coming out of DC and the media that covers it.  it does not set well with me that 'we' would roll in the mud spending unsubstantiated intel ...

So much for taking the high road...!

Peace Vic 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.8  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Colour Me Free @2.1.7    one month ago

I think you nailed the feeling at the State Department. The world has seen what the Russian Army is and the heroism of the Ukrainians. Can you believe they still hold Mariupol after all this time and after being surrounded there & hit with everything?

The game between the US, it's NATO allies and Putin may be the only thing Putin has won. Putin makes some vague reference to nukes and "our" government sweats and looks for a way out for Putin. The Ukrainians deserve better.

Peace my friend.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.9  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.8    one month ago
The game between the US, it's NATO allies and Putin may be the only thing Putin has won. Putin makes some vague reference to nukes and "our" government sweats and looks for a way out for Putin. The Ukrainians deserve better.

Putin has won nothing at this point other than driving his country into bankruptcy and uniting NATO with the possibility of more countries joining NATO. I don't see our government looking for a way out for Putin. 

 Chechyna, Georgia, Syria, and Crimea deserved better, much better. The billions of dollars being poured into Ukraine in weapons and humanitarian aid is unrivaled.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.10  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Kavika @2.1.9    one month ago
I don't see our government looking for a way out for Putin. 

The refusal to allow offensive weapons has one purpose - to insure a long and bloody war that will force Putin to "negotiate" a "deal."  That's not going to be a good deal for the Ukraine.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.11  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.10    one month ago

Actually, in the past couple of weeks offensive weapons have been flowing to the Ukrainians from the US and NATO countries.  I've listed the country and the type of weapons before. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.12  JohnRussell  replied to  Kavika @2.1.9    one month ago

Bottom line - Vic doesnt want to give a shred of credit to Biden. That is why he says Putin has "won" something. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.13  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Kavika @2.1.11    one month ago

Did you see Zelensky on "60 Minutes?"  Let me repeat what he told Scott Pelley when Pelley asked "what do you want from Biden?"  Zelensky said "I told him what I wanted long ago."

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.14  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.13    one month ago

Yes, I did see the 60 Minute interview and heard every word.

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Quiet
2.1.15  Colour Me Free  replied to  Kavika @2.1.9    one month ago
Putin has won nothing at this point other than driving his country into bankruptcy and uniting NATO with the possibility of more countries joining NATO.

Driving his country into bankruptcy?  I have read Russia is facing a 'Lehman Brothers' moment .. HA! the US is facing another Lehman Brothers moment as well then .. that is the thing that sucks about a 'one world economy' ... 'we' all pay the price!

Uniting NATO, where in the world is NATO inspiring confidence?  The Ukraine has begged to join NATO - NATO has thumbed their nose at Ukraine (but retains a member like Turkey) .. why?               Perhaps because the Ukraine is a money pit? In 2014 Ukraine was begging to be an EU member, for Pete's sake a coop took place in order to gain closer ties to the west .. why are they not a member?

I do not see the uniting of NATO, I see NATO's weaknesses being revealed - seems the alliance is dependent on the US (money) and whatever president is in charge of the country at any given moment...  If Russia cannot not march its way through Ukraine, why is Poland worried.      Shirley the old Soviet map is not what people fear .. is the old Soviet Union map even Putin's goal .? 

This is not a beat the drums and wave the flag moment in history!

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Quiet
2.1.16  Colour Me Free  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.8    one month ago
The game between the US, it's NATO allies and Putin may be the only thing Putin has won. Putin makes some vague reference to nukes and "our" government sweats and looks for a way out for Putin. The Ukrainians deserve better.

The propaganda war is alive and well .. It is a sad day when the US government is admittedly participating at Putin's level to 'beat him at his own game' ... 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.17  Kavika   replied to  Colour Me Free @2.1.15    one month ago
Driving his country into bankruptcy?  I have read Russia is facing a 'Lehman Brothers' moment .. HA!

I'm well aware of the history of NATO and Ukraine. IMO, it was the fear of upsetting Russia that they were not allowed into NATO and that has changed with the Russian attack on Ukraine

I do not see the uniting of NATO, I see NATO's weaknesses being revealed - seems the alliance in depended on the US (money) and whatever president is in charge of the country at any given moment...

You see what you want to see, it would seem to most that NATO has rarely been this united.

Yes, the US has supported NATO and Ukraine and the EU and NATO countries have contributed huge amounts of money/humanitarian goods/weapons.

There is a link that shows the contribution by country, it needs to be updated since it's from Feb. 2020

Shirley the old Soviet map is not what people fear .. is the old Soviet Union map even Putin's goal .? 

It is according to Putin. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.18  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Colour Me Free @2.1.16    one month ago
It is a sad day when the US government is admittedly participating at Putin's level to 'beat him at his own game' ... 

The consequences of what the US government and most of the US media have done has already begun. The credibility of both are at all time lows.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
3  Ed-NavDoc    one month ago

Sad thing is that the US just gave a bunch of refurbished M1A Abrams tanks to another country, can't remember which, but we cannot give Ukraine the same type of vehicles? Something sounds seriously wrong there.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1  Kavika   replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3    one month ago

The US sold 250 of M1A Abrams tanks to Poland in Feb. 2022.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
3.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Kavika @3.1    one month ago

I knew about Poland, but I was thinking of another country in the region. I could very well be mistaken though.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Kavika   replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3.1.1    one month ago

I searched the net and there is nothing there about any other country but Poland getting them, Doc.

There are some countries (Australia for one) that have the export version of the Abrams.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
3.1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Kavika @3.1.2    one month ago

My thanks for the clarification.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3    one month ago
but we cannot give Ukraine the same type of vehicles? Something sounds seriously wrong there.

I don't know the specifics but some military equipment isn't a good choice if needed for immediate use.   The M1 Abrams tank is a complex machine requiring days of individual training in each of the soldier positions plus collective team training and then ideally, platoon / company training with combined arms.  It aslo requires an extensive logistics tail to maintain them as combat ready.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
3.2.1  XXJefferson51  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2    one month ago

Maybe we could find some Army reserves or National Guard M-60 main battle tanks.  They likely require much less training time than the M-1 and are still competent fighting vehicles.  Maybe a NATO ally still has some to send that could be replaced/back filled  by the latest British, German, or American MBT

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  XXJefferson51 @3.2.1    one month ago

That's an idea.  There are maybe 15 countries or so still using various versions of the M-60.  Three that come to mind are Egypt, Turkey and the Saudis .

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
4  Nerm_L    one month ago

Yes, the preliminaries are out of the way.  Now the war begins.  It seems apparent that Mariupol was the key objective that that determined when the first phase would end.

Russia was never going to take Kyiv with the small force numbers deployed to the area.  Russia did not attempt to exert control over supply lines in western Ukraine.  Russia did not attempt to gain air superiority.  A force of 150,000 (the entire Russian force amassed for the invasion) would have a very difficult time taking Kyiv without air support and limiting Ukrainian resupply.  And it's not clear how many Russian troops were deployed around Kyiv.  We know the heaviest fighting has been in eastern Ukraine; that's where the bulk of the Russian force has been deployed. 

It is unwise to believe Ukrainian propaganda any more then Russian propaganda.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
5  Nerm_L    one month ago

Doesn't everyone remember when tens of thousands of rifles were being distributed to Ukrainian civilians?  Doesn't everyone remember Ukrainian civilians training to fight, building barricades, and making Molotov cocktails?  Everyone waved their Chinese made Ukrainian flag and chanted 'slava Ukraini'.  What the hell did everyone think would happen?

That was Zelensky's doing.  Not Putin's.  Civilian combatants are not civilians.  Freedom fighters are fighters; they're not civilians.  When soldiers don't know who they're fighting then battlefield exigency demands killing them all.  We should have learned that lesson in Vietnam.  The war on terror should have reinforced the lesson.  

It's unwise to believe Ukrainian propaganda any more than Russian propaganda.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
5.1  XXJefferson51  replied to  Nerm_L @5    one month ago

What else was Ukraine supposed to do?  Their freedoms and their very existence as a nation state was at risk and everyone thought the war would be over in 3-4 days.  The Ukrainians did nothing we wouldn’t have done if we were invaded.  Their civilians are living a “red Dawn” in real life.  I admire Zelensky and the fight in the Ukrainian people.  Russian atrocities against unarmed civilians trying to leave battle areas is well documented.  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
5.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  XXJefferson51 @5.1    one month ago
What else was Ukraine supposed to do?  Their freedoms and their very existence as a nation state was at risk and everyone thought the war would be over in 3-4 days.  The Ukrainians did nothing we wouldn’t have done if we were invaded.  Their civilians are living a “red Dawn” in real life.  I admire Zelensky and the fight in the Ukrainian people.  Russian atrocities against unarmed civilians trying to leave battle areas is well documented.  

Russia had amassed 150,000 troops on Ukraine's borders.  And there were 30,000 pro-Russian Ukrainian fighters in the Donbas region that had held back the Ukrainian military for eight years.  Who thought this would be over in a matter of days?

Russia had been conducting military exercises in Belarus and Russia, close to the Ukrainian border, as a show of force seven months before the invasion.  NATO and the United States were warning of invasion months before the invasion began.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine was not a surprise attack.  

Since World War II, the major powers have used show of force as a prelude to negotiation.  The show of force highlights issues of contention and concern and the threat of war sets the stage for negotiating those issues of contention and concern.  The threat of war establishes an incentive to achieve a mutual understanding on issues of contention and concern.  In the case of Ukraine, the Minsk agreements negotiated in 2014-2015 already addressed those issues of contention and concern and arrived at a mutual understanding.  But the Ukrainian government did not follow through on what had been agreed to in the Minsk agreements.  Ukraine was trying to bluff Russia to avoid enacting the conditions agreed to in the Minsk agreements and daring Russia to follow through on its threat of war.  Russia made a threat as a prelude to negotiation and threats become meaningless if they are not acted on.  Ukrainian bluffing and intransigence made invasion inevitable.

Volodymyr Zelensky had plenty of time to make choices.  As pointed out, the Russian invasion was not a surprise attack.  Zelensky could have negotiated.  Zelensky could have demanded expedited membership in NATO.  Zelensky could have prepared to evacuate civilians (as Russia did in the Donbas region before invading).  Zelensky could have planned humanitarian aid.  But what Zelensky actually did was to arm civilians and prepare for a glorious fight to the death.  Zelensky deliberately chose the riskiest and most dangerous course of action for the people of Ukraine.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
6  Nerm_L    one month ago

The propaganda coming out of the United States government clearly tells us why neoliberal nation building always fails.  The US military and diplomatic corps tells us that Russian forces not taking Kyiv is a strategic failure.  The US military and diplomats have focused their attention on the political government in Kyiv because that would be the neoliberal objective.  The neoliberal national building playbook requires the military installing a puppet political government and the diplomatic corps controlling that puppet government.  That was the approach in Iraq.  That was the approach in Afghanistan.  That's what the US attempted to do in Syria.

The neoliberal nation building playbook depends on a political government controlling the country while the military and diplomats control the political government through threats.  That's the same sort of protection racket used by organized crime.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
6.1  JBB  replied to  Nerm_L @6    one month ago

You'd think the US invaded Ukraine reading that BS!

AND, Newsflash! It is the Russians who are trying to install their own puppet government in Kiev, again!

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
6.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  JBB @6.1    one month ago
You'd think the US invaded Ukraine reading that BS! AND, Newsflash! It is the Russians who are trying to install their own puppet government in Kiev, again!

By all means, let's ignore the Obama administration's involvement in Ukraine and opposition to the Minsk agreements.  Let's completely forget VP Joe Biden using money to threaten the Ukrainian government into accepting quid pro quo demands, as official policy of the United States.  And we certainly don't want to know how that Ukrainian government was put in place.  Those facts are too, too inconvenient.

Another inconvenient fact is that Russia did not invade Crimea in 2014.  The Russian Black Sea fleet has been headquartered in Sevastopol, Crimea, for a very long time.  Russia had a military force in Crimea for decades before 2014.  Russia took political control of Crimea away from a government installed by parliamentary coup.  But that's not an invasion; the Russian military  was already there.  Who has been ignoring that inconvenient fact to tell the public that Russia invaded Crimea?  

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
6.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.1    one month ago

By all means let's ignore that little putin is a murdering thug bastard killing innocents for NO FUCKING REASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
6.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Nerm_L @6    one month ago

Not everybody detests Ukraine the way you seem to. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
6.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @6.2    one month ago
Not everybody detests Ukraine the way you seem to. 

It seems nobody knows or cares about Ukraine.  All of this driven by everyone detesting Russia for sound reasons.  But the sports mentality in the United States requires cheering for a team and Ukraine is that team to cheer for by default.  The sports mentality can't allow acknowledging that Ukraine is just as detestable as Russia.  

There aren't any 'good guys' in this fight.  The United States should not have been involved in 2014 and doesn't need to be involved today.  There isn't anyone to cheer for in Ukraine.  What's happening in Ukraine is wars within wars.  No matter the outcome of all these wars, Ukraine won't become a role model for western democracy.  Ukraine is too much like Russia.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @6.2.1    one month ago
But the sports mentality in the United States requires cheering for a team and Ukraine is that team to cheer for by default. 

Ukraine was invaded by Russia.   That is the key reason why most people on the planet are cheering for Ukraine.   We are cheering for them defending their nation against a more heavily armed invading military that is wreaking havoc and intentionally killing civilians.

No matter the outcome of all these wars, Ukraine won't become a role model for western democracy.  

Irrelevant.   It does not matter what Ukraine does democratically or how well they operate in the future with the USA.   Ukraine is under attack by an invading Russia and thus most rational minds will be in favor of this ending by the invader being driven out of Ukraine.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
6.2.3  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.2    one month ago
Ukraine was invaded by Russia.   That is the key reason why most people on the planet are cheering for Ukraine.   We are cheering for them defending their nation against a more heavily armed invading military that is wreaking havoc and intentionally killing civilians.

Which completely ignores that Russia has been in Ukraine since World War II.  Russia rebuilt Ukraine after the German occupation.  Everyone wants to ignore that the Soviet effort to develop an atomic bomb was centered in Kharkiv, Ukraine.  Why do you think there are so many nuclear reactors in Ukraine?  Those are inconvenient facts that do not fit the message.

Everyone ignores the 30,000 (or more) fighters in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts that had held back the Ukrainian military for eight years.  Yes, Russia has been supplying those Ukrainians fighting Ukrainians just as we are supplying Ukrainians fighting Ukrainians.  Russia has been training those fighters just as NATO has been training the Ukrainian military.  Everyone ignores the war atrocities that have occurred for eight years in eastern Ukraine.  Everyone ignores that Russia absorbed one million refugees from the war in Donbas.  Everyone ignores that neo-Nazi paramilitary groups fought and captured Mariupol in 2014.  It's too inconvenient to look at those facts.

Everyone wants to ignore that the Ukrainian defense industries have supplied arms and munitions to Saddam Hussein, Bashir Al-Assad, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban.  Everyone wants to ignore the corruption in the Ukrainian defense industries.  Everyone wants to ignore Ukrainian oligarchs whose wealth came from terrorism and regional wars.  Those facts must be swept under the rug and hidden from view.

Irrelevant.   It does not matter what Ukraine does democratically or how well they operate in the future with the USA.   Ukraine is under attack by an invading Russia and thus most rational minds will be in favor of this ending by the invader being driven out of Ukraine.

If Hitler had invaded Italy would you be cheering for Mussolini?  Those poor, poor Italians.  Think of the children.  But Mussolini's Italy would still have been Fascist.  Just ignore that fact because Hitler is detestable.

 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @6.2.3    one month ago
Which completely ignores that Russia has been in Ukraine since World War II. 

The statement that Russia invaded Ukraine also ignores the fact that the Moon orbits the Earth.

It ignores all sorts of irrelevant facts and focuses on why rational minds cheer for Ukraine right now because they were invaded by Russia who is in the process of using its vastly superior military equipment to kill civilians and destroy infrastructure.

In short, you offered a stupid rebuttal.

If Hitler had invaded Italy would you be cheering for Mussolini?  

No, we would be cheering for Italy and her people as a sovereign nation who has been invaded by a military force.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
7  Hallux    one month ago

For those who prefer something deeper than Nerm's ramblings:

The Donbas Conflict

Opposing Interests and Narratives, Difficult Peace Process

 
 

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