Russia-Ukraine

Colstan

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Here's my latest update on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, I thought we could have some fun with charts:

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The Russian retreat has left so much military equipment behind that Russia is now unintentionally the second largest contributor to the Ukrainian military's war effort. The offensive in Kharkiv Oblast has yielded tremendous resupply of vehicles and ammunition. Keep in mind that these are primarily Soviet or Soviet-derived munitions, and therefore require little to no training for the Ukrainians to operate.

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The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence plans to return the ammunition to Russia, written in blood.

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As part of the deal for U.S. weapons systems, Ukraine agreed not to hit Russian territory using that weaponry, such as HIMARS, which Ukraine has used to great effect. Now, thanks to fleeing Russian soldiers, Ukraine can strike Belgorod while keeping their word on that agreement.

To be fair, not everything is roses and sunshine for Ukraine. Russia is starting to use drones made by the Iranian regime, with some measure of results.

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Still, if my choice is between being desperate enough to purchase weapons from Iran and North Korea, or receiving aid from NATO, I think I'd chose the latter.

At least COVID has been good for something:

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The Kharkiv offensive has been fruitful, not just in quantity, but quality.

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You can bet that Western intelligence agencies are going to want to get their hands on this thing, and I'm sure Ukraine would be happy to trade it for additional weapon systems...so they can go score more proprietary, top-secret Russian military technology. Seems like a win-win, in this situation. It'll also be interesting to see how much of this tech is home-grown in the Motherland, or imported from companies that shouldn't be doing business with Moscow. They aren't exactly known for using the latest process nodes.

The Ukrainian military has established three beachheads for future operations in Kharkiv Oblast.

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This operation will be studied by militaries for generations. (Except for Russia.)

It's also been a bad day to be a Russian collaborator.

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Cue cartoon pianos falling on Russian occupier's heads simultaneously.

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Maybe these people should reconsider their employment plans, because Ukraine keeps giving both political puppets and Russian military generals a permanent early retirement.

Referendum results:

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lizkat

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The Russian retreat has left so much military equipment behind that Russia is now unintentionally the second largest contributor to the Ukrainian military's war effort. The offensive in Kharkiv Oblast has yielded tremendous resupply of vehicles and ammunition. Keep in mind that these are primarily Soviet or Soviet-derived munitions, and therefore require little to no training for the Ukrainians to operate.

Problem now is that no serving Russian general likely has the nerve to tell Putin "I told you so" -- but heads are going to roll anyway after this debacle, so someone might as well speak up before "falling out of a window." Maybe hearing it from a formerly trusted senior military officer might make more of an impression on Putin than seeing it scroll by on social media.
 

TBL

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Looks like Russia is on track to annex Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia:

 

quagmire

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Looks like Russia is on track to annex Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia:


Wonder if this is a pre-text to further increase mobilization and justify it at home. As these places are under attack by Ukraine, the "referendum" passes, Russia now claims those regions as their own, now Ukraine is invading Russia.
 

Colstan

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Russia can hold all of the fake referendums it wants, which are getting their puppets killed, but what's happening on the battlefield matters long-term.

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Ukraine has an advantage in training, equipment, command and control leadership, morale, partisans behind Russian lines, clear strategic goals, and allied support.

Now, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has upped its game to include trolling.

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The only advantage Russia has is quantity. The willingness to toss as many soldiers into the meat grinder as needed to achieve their goals. For example, they are offering prisoners a deal where they can serve six months on the front line in exchange for having their sentences revoked. The Russian military isn't so much of an armed force, but multiple mercenary groups with different objectives, including the willingness to kill each other.

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General mobilization carries with it huge political risks, but it may be the last card that Vlad has left in his already empty deck. Meanwhile, according to recent polling data, 98% of Ukrainians believe that they will win the war, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy has a 91% approval rating.

Winning a war isn't simply about arms, equipment, and territory. It's also about the will of the people to fight. After the war crimes massacre in Bucha, which is being multiplied as new areas are liberated, Ukrainians fully understand what is at stake. If Putin stops fighting, then the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, then Ukraine ends.
 

GermanSuplex

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To hear Fox News and Tuckems tell it the last few weeks, Russia had already won this very legitimate war that was waged by Joe Biden and the radical left on Ukraine.

Glad to see they were wrong, as is usually the case.
 

Yoused

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This sounds like a smart move

Anti-war protests in 38 Russian cities saw more than 1,300 people arrested on Wednesday, a monitoring group said. Some had been served summons to report to enlistment offices on Thursday, the first full day of conscription, independent news outlets said.

Send anti-war protesters to the front. I bet Army officers really love the idea of built-in mutiny.
 

Alli

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Nobody of fighting age is allowed to leave Russia unless they’re in uniform. I recommend they all go and ask for asylum when they get to Ukraine. Putin will be left with a country filled with old people and children.
 

NT1440

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Nobody of fighting age is allowed to leave Russia unless they’re in uniform. I recommend they all go and ask for asylum when they get to Ukraine. Putin will be left with a country filled with old people and children.
Wasn’t that the case in Ukraine too?
 

GermanSuplex

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I guess it’s easy to be deceived by Russia’s military capabilities by looking at a map and seeing its size, as well as it’s bluster and nuclear arsenal.

This war with Ukraine - no matter how it plays out - should really give pause to future leaders of Russia when it comes to believing their own bluster.
 

Macky-Mac

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....This war with Ukraine - no matter how it plays out - should really give pause to future leaders of Russia when it comes to believing their own bluster.

it certainly hasn't gone as they expected and probably won't end as they hoped......but they're currently positioned with territorial gains and if things grind on and on until a ceasefire, they'll have overrun and annexed a significant part of the Donbas and also perhaps the area south of the Dnieper river in southeastern Ukraine.

Not Putin's best case scenario, but perhaps enough to meet his goal for minimum acceptable results
 

AG_PhamD

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Problem now is that no serving Russian general likely has the nerve to tell Putin "I told you so" -- but heads are going to roll anyway after this debacle, so someone might as well speak up before "falling out of a window." Maybe hearing it from a formerly trusted senior military officer might make more of an impression on Putin than seeing it scroll by on social media.

I was listening to a rather fascinating analysis on the radio this morning in regards to the competency and coherence of the army on the ground.

We all remember that many of the troops were not informed they were going to be invading Ukraine until they were in Ukraine and being shot at. Apparently what has been happening since is that the soldiers being recruited are being told they will be moving boxes or driving a logistics truck… only to go to a week of riffle training being told “that’s what everyone does”… and then finding themselves on the front line.

It’s also clear Russia has expensed many of their best soldiers- either being killed, wounded, or having been fighting since the war began without a break. So you have tired, frustrated, professional military soldiers and Russian self defense forces having to coordinate with each other along mercenary groups like The Wagner Group, the Chechen Mercenaries- now also criminals they just pulled out of prison, along with several pro-Russian resistance militias, conscripts with no desire to fight, captured Ukrainian men being forced to fight, and rumor has it now Russian men arrested in recent anti-war protests are being forced to sign up to fight. All these groups obviously have their own interests and have little to no cooperation with each other. Imagine trying to wage a cohesive war with so many factions of people. I can only imagine…

It’s a rather obvious observation but an interesting one I had not heard discussed.

I have no sympathy for the actions of the Russian government, but you have to have a degree of sympathy knowing hundreds of thousands of men (likely young men and fathers) who are being forced to go to war- and go to war with virtually no resources and insufficient training. And a war they clearly don’t want to fight (if they did they probably would have signed up already). It’s not like they are even getting a fair chance from their government. Talk about being sent into a meat grinder.

I can’t imagine Russia will be able to change the tide of this war in the bear to moderate term and the Russian people will eventually tire of their loved ones returning in body bags with nothing to show for it. The scary thing is that I don’t see an east off-ramp for Putin at this point. And that’s a dangerous situation for everyone.
 

lizkat

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I can’t imagine Russia will be able to change the tide of this war in the bear to moderate term and the Russian people will eventually tire of their loved ones returning in body bags with nothing to show for it. The scary thing is that I don’t see an east off-ramp for Putin at this point. And that’s a dangerous situation for everyone.

Well yes it can be dangerous if Putin cannot be creative enough to talk his way out of this mess to a negotiation that should end up "ok like I said y'all need to quit threatening us, I think you get ti."

I mean hell he can just take a page from Nxon and Kissinger: sit down at a table, tell Zelensky and puppet administrators from the eastern provinces "enough fighting already, like I have said all along you must learn to live with each other in harmony" and then just declare peace with honor and go home. Let the dumbstruck people back home wonder wtf happened there for a little while. They'll just be happy to not have their sons and brothers being sent into battle any more.

Anyway the people already complain sotto voce about the leadership of both the military and Putin 24/7 -- if they're like we were about Presidents Johnson and then Nixon and their respective secretaries of defense and state while the Vietnam War chewed up our classmates and brothers. Even if we didn't object to the war itself or to presence of our kin "over there", we grumbled about how it was going.

The leaders do know this habit of plain citizens. Nothing they can do about it will benefit them. If they look back at history of trying to suppress grumbling about the government, they will realize that overlooking (semi-)private criticism is preferable to what eventually happens in the streets when suppression of such commentary occurs.

But see Russia blew it by already having criminalized criticism of the state. It was already not even ok to bitch about the government in a pub... It's why protest escalated instantly to streets when the draft was announced. In for a penny, in for a pound.
 
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