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Putin, Ukraine, and Air Raid Drills (Page 2)
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OreoCookie
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Mar 11, 2022, 04:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I said nothing about renewables causing the failure of the Texas grid (though their failure didn’t help), what I said was interconnects wouldn’t have fixed the problem (in contrast to your claim).
I’m completely lost. You mentioned Texas in the context of its power grid failure, not in the context of coal power plants. I read (past tense) your argument as a way to show that interconnectedness of the European power grid isn’t as big of an advantage as I make it out to be.

I am arguing that this is wrong for multiple reasons: I wrote that you need to distinguish between managing short-term fluctuations and managing systemic, longer-term power imbalances or catastrophic events. The failure in Texas was largely due to systemic failures, because power equipment wasn’t properly winterized. (From this perspective alone, I’d argue that if the Texan power grid were connected, this would have ameliorated the power crisis in Texas, because more strict federal winterization rules would have applied. But I digress.) Power fluctuations for renewables are short-term, manageable and in parts predictable.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 11, 2022, 04:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Getting a little off topic here maybe.
True, sorry about that.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I read Putin sacked 8 of his generals for failing to conquer Ukraine fast enough. I have to think that will begin to motivate others in his administration to think about removing him.
Horace Dediu from asymco gave some estimates on the losses. According to him, Russia has sent about 50 % of its active duty force to Ukraine and has seen losses of about 10 % of those who arrived. While we should take these numbers with a grain of salt, if the order-of-magnitude of these ballpark figures is correct, then this is quite significant.

The tricky thing is that I don’t see an out. Just like it was hard for the US to leave Afghanistan without winning, the same is true here. Apart from Putin’s lack of care for human life, this aspect of humanity very much applies to him: I believe he doesn’t want to be seen as having lost in Ukraine to a rag-tag band of rebels. Dan Carlin in his awesome podcast episode asked the pertinent question: what is Putin’s winning condition? And he remarked that even if everything initially might be decided rationally, Putin’s options have narrowed down very quickly and he might see his hand forced. That’s the danger we should be looking out for.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Mar 11, 2022, 11:40 AM
 
If NATO had a guarantee that China would stay out of it, I think it would be worth them agreeing to enforce the no fly zone. Without air support Russia's troops would have a much more difficult job than they do already. Given he's already overextended and facing dissatisfaction at home, its hard to think he'd be foolish enough to pick a much bigger fight with a dozen other countries who are much better equipped than Ukraine to defend themselves.
On the other hand, it could backfire with the Russian people by allowing him to claim the world was ganging up on Russia and trying to inspire a siege mentality. The west needs to find effective ways to get information to the Russian people.
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Thorzdad
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Mar 11, 2022, 01:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If NATO had a guarantee that China would stay out of it...
Good luck with that. China’s been using Putin’ disinformation barrage on his own people to amplify its own internal anti-US rhetoric aimed at its own citizens. For China, NATO striking (even if blatantly provoked) would play nicely into China’s internal messaging.

Overall, this whole event has been a boon to China so far. I’m unsure how long that lasts once things devolve into a NATO/Russia shooting war. Certainly, China would prefer both sides cripple each other while it stands to the side and watches, ready to swoop in as a gracious benefactor to what’s left of the world once the dust settles. The key issue, of course, is just how they can stay out of the mess and let the two sides wreck each other.
     
subego
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Mar 11, 2022, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I’m completely lost. You mentioned Texas in the context of its power grid failure, not in the context of coal power plants.
This is incorrect.

Oreo: IMHO all coal power plants should be shut down now. They are by far the dirtiest way to produce electricity.

subego: How does Texas (for example) do this [shut down their coal plants]? Their grid is chronically on the edge of collapse.

I’m mentioning Texas in the context of your demand they shut down their coal plants. Grid failure enters into the discussion because if Texas got rid of their coal they could not meet demand, which would cause grid failure.


We can move continuing discussion to a new thread.
( Last edited by subego; Mar 11, 2022 at 04:17 PM. )
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Mar 11, 2022, 11:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Good luck with that. China’s been using Putin’ disinformation barrage on his own people to amplify its own internal anti-US rhetoric aimed at its own citizens. For China, NATO striking (even if blatantly provoked) would play nicely into China’s internal messaging.

Overall, this whole event has been a boon to China so far. I’m unsure how long that lasts once things devolve into a NATO/Russia shooting war. Certainly, China would prefer both sides cripple each other while it stands to the side and watches, ready to swoop in as a gracious benefactor to what’s left of the world once the dust settles. The key issue, of course, is just how they can stay out of the mess and let the two sides wreck each other.
That and the fact they'd stand to gain very little from getting involved in a WW3 makes me think that NATO could actually stand up to Russia without starting WW3. The only issue then is Putin launching nuclear weapons.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Mar 11, 2022, 11:38 PM
 
So Nigel Farage has popped up out of his sewer to start a new crusade against renewable energy sources. Some have speculated that (much like Brexit) Putin has put him up to this one way or another. I don't think its a coincidence that Trump started randomly rambling about windmills the other day.

On the plus side, this seems like a long game which would imply that Putin isn't planning a nuclear armageddon. Or at least someone isn't.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 12, 2022, 02:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If NATO had a guarantee that China would stay out of it, I think it would be worth them agreeing to enforce the no fly zone.
China tends to do things quietly. I have read that they are refusing to deliver aircraft parts to Russia. Which means that Russia’s airline industry is effed. This is China’s way of showing Russia its disapproval. I vaguely remember a few years ago when the West was in negotiations with North Korea and the North Korean leadership was unreasonable. Suddenly there was unscheduled maintenance on pipelines between China and North Korea. NK got the message and mellowed out.

Another data point is Chinese censorship: I have heard that they are suppressing both, pro- and anti-war stances in an apparent effort to keep the temperature down.

Lastly, a war does not seem in China’s interest. The Xi regime builds its support on the growth of the Chinese economy, and just the effect of the war on oil and gas prices will have negative effects on growth. Furthermore, I don’t think the Chinese like the fact that the West’s resolve is steeled by this. If they ever wanted to do something funny with Taiwan (which is where the most advanced chip manufacturing plants are located, i. e. absolutely essential to everyone), they know they can expect a more swift and more organized response.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Without air support Russia's troops would have a much more difficult job than they do already. Given he's already overextended and facing dissatisfaction at home, its hard to think he'd be foolish enough to pick a much bigger fight with a dozen other countries who are much better equipped than Ukraine to defend themselves.
Even inside Ukraine, the way the war goes puts Putin in a difficult situation. A retreat would be an embarrassment for him, and one for which he may pay the price for. So I think Putin will try to push harder and further. In the short run, I expect the Russian military to prevail, but at a cost that will have significant ramifications for Russia and Putin’s regime.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
On the other hand, it could backfire with the Russian people by allowing him to claim the world was ganging up on Russia and trying to inspire a siege mentality. The west needs to find effective ways to get information to the Russian people.
I don’t think we should fight propaganda with what can easily be perceived as counter-propaganda. Just wait for the Russian vets to come home, I think that’ll be much more effective than anything the West can do. Russians do have access to (parts of) the internet, so some can access our point of views.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
That and the fact they'd stand to gain very little from getting involved in a WW3 makes me think that NATO could actually stand up to Russia without starting WW3. The only issue then is Putin launching nuclear weapons.
That’s the major motivating factor for NATO and the West at the moment. Putin knows this. That will preclude any direct involvement in Ukraine apart from aid and delivery of smaller weapons systems. But something like the donation of Polish Mig 29s or a no fly zone is off limits, I think.

IMHO the West should do what it is doing now: focus on saving as many Ukrainians as possible. Accept refugees. Be generous. Show why they are better off siding with democracies.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 12, 2022, 09:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
So Nigel Farage has popped up out of his sewer to start a new crusade against renewable energy sources. Some have speculated that (much like Brexit) Putin has put him up to this one way or another. I don't think its a coincidence that Trump started randomly rambling about windmills the other day.
I was wondering what Farage is up to these days now that his pet project is over and he fled responsibility for working out what Brexit actually meant. It seems so weird how people pick up on lost/stupid causes when reasons for using fossil fuels are melting away like the ice caps.
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reader50
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Mar 16, 2022, 04:02 AM
 
Apparently nothing is sacrosanct to scammers. Got an email (to the forum admin box) from a "distressed Ukrainian" in a camp at the Poland border. Needed our help claiming millions of inherited euros.

I guess scamming and thieving is a 24/7 job. Might be prudent to look out for fake charities too. Make sure your donations actually go to Ukrainians, not a deposed Nigerian princess.
     
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Mar 16, 2022, 09:10 AM
 
So, yesterday, a bright, sunny spring day, the tornado sirens started sounding at around 10am. This quite confused me as the normal time for the weekly siren test is 11am on Fridays. I took a hard second look at the sky, and noted that it was a clear, cloudless blue sky. Not a storm cloud or front in sight. Then, my old-fart brain flashed on what the “tornado” sirens were originally meant for...air-raid warnings. I admit to a paranoid moment of “he didn’t really, did he?” as I peered in the direction of downtown Indy, hoping not to see a sudden blinding flash.

Then I turned on the radio to find out the sirens were all about this being some kind of Severe Weather Preparedness Week (this being spring and tornado alley and all), and it was just a test.
     
subego
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Mar 16, 2022, 01:58 PM
 
Tuesdays at 10a is actually the Chicago testing time.
     
reader50
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Mar 16, 2022, 03:10 PM
 
I would have assumed someone forgot to apply the time change to the siren-test script.
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 16, 2022, 03:25 PM
 
As I said, here in Indiana, our usual siren tests are Fridays at 11am. So, this was a wee bit confusing.
     
subego
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Mar 16, 2022, 09:33 PM
 
Just as confusing on my end!

Until you got to the normal time for you I was like “but that’s when it always happens”.
     
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Mar 21, 2022, 10:45 AM
 
We do Saturdays at noon.
     
reader50
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May 2, 2022, 01:33 PM
 
There is growing speculation that Putin has Parkinson's disease. In official video released by the Kremlin, Putin shows a number of symptoms or odd behaviors - take your pick.

Involuntary tremors on his right side. Notably affecting right hand and foot. Parkinsons tremors typically only affect muscles that are not in motion, so you can suppress the tremors by moving consciously.

Before shaking hands, Putin holds his right hand against his chest, possibly applying pressure to still the tremors. During the meeting, Putin sits slumped in a chair. Gripping the table with his right hand through the entire meeting. And his right foot taps throughout the meeting. YouTube has sped-up versions of the meeting, where the pattern is less tedious to see. Finally, he has a noticeably bloated face. That's not a Parkinsons symptom, but might be a response to treatments.

Parkinsons is not fatal by itself, but carries a boatload of symptoms. Including psychological ones such as depression, apathy, and anxiety. Add that to an isolated despot who's surrounded himself with an echo chamber, and you can see why people are speculating about this. Unfortunately Parkinsons won't kill him quickly - though it would make him more susceptible to dying from other causes.

Then there are those ridiculously long tables used when meeting subordinates and some world leaders. Paranoia or fragile health, take your pick.

I don't know if he has Parkinson's. Doctors haven't been commenting because they don't want to speculate on a patient they can't examine. And the Kremlin is tight-lipped about his health. But things don't look so good for Putin today.
     
subego
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May 2, 2022, 05:17 PM
 
Kremlinology 2.0
     
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May 3, 2022, 02:33 AM
 
Yesterday, my family and I were flying back home from a trip to Europe. There was a delay with disembarkation, and I struck up a conversation with “our” flight attendant (she was sitting in the jump seat opposite of us), keeping an eye on my 4-year-old who had a fascination with the emergency door handle. Turns out she is not just from Ukraine, but from the south of Ukraine. I was close to tears. Her immediate family was able to flee to the EU, but she has family and friends whose fate is unknown. That hit me hard.

@reader
I’m not sure how useful it is to go down that route. Perhaps he has Parkinson’s, but that isn’t necessarily connected to mental decline. If anything, Putin’s actions seem consistent with someone living in a bubble, being fed information he wants to hear rather than accurate information. Speculation like that doesn’t seem to contribute anything to my overall understanding, it doesn’t seem necessary.

The really tricky thing is to see under what conditions Ukraine and Russia will accept a cease fire or a peace treaty. Clearly, Russia wants as much of the south as it can while Ukraine will probably want all territory but the Krim. (The Krim seems too far gone.) That’ll make it tricky to facilitate talks between the two sides. Russia is putting everything it has left to gains in the south, specifically the coast line. And Ukraine seems to slowly and methodically weaken Russia’s assets in the area (including sinking the Moskva, which was probably also crucial to keep eyes and ears on its surroundings in addition to proving a ton of firepower). Although we should be careful and remain critical of what we hear: we are likely mostly hearing of successes and at least in the long term, losses and other limitations will be equally important.
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reader50
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May 3, 2022, 04:59 AM
 
Reporting factual data (if it is factual) is not a route to go down. It would be news. It turns out speculation about Putin and Parkinson's goes back over a year. A YT video from November 2020 covers it, and shows snippets of articles from the same time period. Apparently Putin has been showing possible symptoms for awhile.

I don't know how reputable the sources were, but that pushes Parkinson's speculation back 18 months. Based on far more data points than a single recent video.

Personally, I hope it's true. It might cause Putin to make (more) bad tactical decisions. And makes it more obvious to those around him that he's unfit. I suspect the war won't end unless:

A) Ukraine is destroyed. (unlikely - their resources keep going up)
B) Ukraine wins decisively. (possible, but would take a long time)
C) Putin is removed from power. Possibly by dying.

Option C is the only one that can plausibly happen soon. The one option that would save the most lives.
     
OreoCookie
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May 4, 2022, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Personally, I hope it's true. It might cause Putin to make (more) bad tactical decisions. And makes it more obvious to those around him that he's unfit. I suspect the war won't end unless:

A) Ukraine is destroyed. (unlikely - their resources keep going up)
B) Ukraine wins decisively. (possible, but would take a long time)
C) Putin is removed from power. Possibly by dying.

Option C is the only one that can plausibly happen soon. The one option that would save the most lives.
Be careful what you wish for. I’d rather have a Putin with all his mental faculties intact rather, he has his own nuclear buttons he can push after all. Plus, someone who is sober and mentally strong can admit he has to retreat from Ukraine.

Regarding your three scenarios, I think the most likely outcome is a mixture of A and B: I don’t think Ukraine will win decisively, but I think they will have to make some territorial concessions. Crimea is gone, that’s annexed by Russia and it’d take a lot of manpower to conquer it. Plus, Russia would most likely consider it an attack against itself. I don’t think Ukraine will accept the loss of the entire south, it will want cities like Mariupol back. Their economic and symbolic importance is too great. The big question mark are the contested territories in the Donbas region. Strategic attacks is a different thing than defense. Russia, on the other hand, will eventually mostly limit its military activities to the south and to defending the quasi-annexed parts of the Donbas region.

Personally, my expectation is that Ukraine will be able to free some of its territory in the south, but will have to give up on some parts of the Donbas region.
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Spheric Harlot
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May 5, 2022, 04:12 AM
 
Control of the southern coastal cities is vital to Russia, because only that means control of the gas fields in coastal waters (which are among the twenty or so largest in the world).

If they relinquish that, a primary justification for re-“acquiring” Ukraine would have failed.
     
OreoCookie
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May 5, 2022, 08:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Control of the southern coastal cities is vital to Russia, because only that means control of the gas fields in coastal waters (which are among the twenty or so largest in the world).

If they relinquish that, a primary justification for re-“acquiring” Ukraine would have failed.
Correct. And in addition Russia would have access to port cities, something else that I reckon Putin considers vital. But this narrow strip seems vulnerable, and it isn’t clear to me whether Russia can actually hold the territory in the long run. Unlike the Donbas region, I don’t think the population is sympathetic to Russia’s cause.
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Spheric Harlot
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May 5, 2022, 12:19 PM
 
Beatings, rape, and murder can just continue until morale improves.
     
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May 18, 2022, 05:52 AM
 
     
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May 21, 2022, 07:56 AM
 
A few days ago, Zelensky’s TV show popped up on Netflix (at least here in Japan) and we gave it a try. It is quite funny (a mixture of the ridiculous and the sophisticated with a dash of slap stick) even though the premise isn’t new. Although the humor is tempered with irony (since he actually became president of Ukraine) and bitterness (given the horrific situation in Ukraine now). A lot of references are over my head, but it still gives some insight into what Ukraine was like before the invasion.
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Sep 5, 2022, 01:44 AM
 
A new video has surfaced. Putin is visiting Kaliningrad, addressing school children in a photo op. I don't know the exact date, but it happened within the last week - after Gorbachev died.

Putin shows uncontrolled leg twitching, and may be applying continuous force to both arms, which prevents twitching if one has Parkinson's. Link to the news story associated with the video. Analysts (including in Russia) cannot make sense of Putin's rambling address to the students either.

     
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Sep 5, 2022, 08:26 AM
 
Yikes! That’s...worrisome? And, yeah, that pose reminds me so much of my grandfather dealing with his Parkinson’s.
     
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Sep 8, 2022, 04:05 PM
 
Guys, keep an eye on the Ukraine breakthrough happening right now in the north. Near Kharkiv. This could be the turning point of the war. Open-sourced war map.

It appears Russia stripped the region, to send reinforcements down south to Kherson. Leaving just perimeter forces, and regular police in the towns behind the perimeter. Ukraine broke through, committed significant forces, and appears to have already taken Volokhiv Yar. This is a shipping crossroads - taking it largely cuts off Izium, Russia's primary logistics hub in the north of Ukraine. The remaining highway to Izium relies on two bridges, which will both be within range of artillery. If Kupiansk falls in turn, it's all over in the north.

Possible loss of Izium, and mass capture of the Russian forces there, cuts off much of the support for the Donbas front in the east. So Russia is facing partial collapse on the northern front, possibly triggering collapse in the east. That could leave the southern front only being supplied through Crimea - via a single bridge to Russia. The Russian Navy is out of the picture - the remaining ships lack air defenses, and have been moved to the far side of the Black Sea to prevent being sunk.

If Russia cannot contain the unexpected Ukraine breakthrough in the north, this could turn into a rout across the board. And the thing is, Russia was overcommitted before this, and seems to have moved remaining reserves elsewhere.
( Last edited by reader50; Sep 8, 2022 at 04:21 PM. )
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 8, 2022, 09:22 PM
 
The worry then is that they will opt to go nuclear to save the face of defeat. Putin will not want to look so weak that the Mighty Russia can possibly lose to a Ukraine they told their people they'd "liberate" within a few days.
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Thorzdad
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Sep 9, 2022, 08:07 AM
 
I really wonder if Russia’s military leaders would actually go through with an order from Putin to go nuclear? I know he’s surrounded himself with sycophants, but it’s hard for me to believe any military brass willingly throwing nukes, especially as a last-gasp action.

That said, I also have to think NATO has thought the situation over many, many times, considering their options to Putin going nuclear. I also have to believe there have been back room conversations between the US and China about the situation. China has been supporting Putin with arms, but I can’t imagine they would be okay with a nuclear war breaking-out. The wild card in that conversation, of course, is North Korea, who has also been sending arms to Russia. It’s certainly a deeply complex and frightening situation.
( Last edited by Thorzdad; Sep 9, 2022 at 08:54 AM. )
     
subego
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Sep 9, 2022, 08:22 AM
 
I can’t imagine what he would achieve. We wouldn’t even have to nuke him back. The world would blockade Russia until it delivered Putin in chains.
     
Thorzdad
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Sep 9, 2022, 09:19 AM
 
I’m not sure he’s thinking that clearly. We’re dealing with a man who has openly declared his intention to rebuild the Russian empire. He probably assumes (probably rightly) that the western powers will not retaliate in-kind after nuking Ukraine.

It’s the sort of “fuck you” move a thwarted bully would pull. “If I can’t have it, nobody can.” The only question would be if he simply nukes Kiev, or also irradiates Ukraine’s farmlands, which are very important on a global level.
     
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Sep 9, 2022, 12:52 PM
 
Ukrainian forces have reached the outskirts of Kupiansk, but are not (yet) in the city. It appears that for Russian forces in the area, it's become a shitshow.
The Russian 202nd motorized rifle regiment, "located in the Kharkiv region, withdrew from their positions and moved to the nearest forest. The unit was left without commanders and communications," Ukrainian intelligence said.
...
Russian soldiers were "calling to relatives with requests to contact the command and find out where they should go next. Some of them ask their wives to contact the hotlines of the Ministry of Defense of Russia and the Red Cross with the demand to remove them from the territory of Ukraine," the Intelligence Directorate claimed.
...
The Directorate also claimed that the "237th Guards Airborne Assault Regiment of the Russian Federation ceased to exist due to the death or injury of all servicemen."
...
Through geolocation and the statements of the Ukrainian military, independent analysts and Russian military bloggers, it's estimated that Ukrainian forces have taken well over 400 square kilometers of territory this week in the Kharkiv region.
If Ukraine takes Kupiansk, the supply line to Izium is cut. Izium isn't completely isolated - Russians can still reach it from eastward directions. But it can no longer supply anyone. Both cities are/were critical supply hubs for most of the northern occupied territories, along with some of the Donbas (eastern front).

The Russian Ministry of Defense has been completely silent for a couple days now. I guess there's no good way to spin this. At least the lies have cut off.
     
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Sep 10, 2022, 02:53 PM
 
Ukraine has routed the Russian forces in the north.

It turned into a race, who could get enough forces to Kupiansk the fastest. Ukraine won, partially encircling the city. The Russians broke and ran east rather then be captured. With Kupiansk in Ukraine hands, it appears most Russians began running. Ukraine has taken everything from Kupiansk down to Izium, and their forces are now in Izium. They haven't secured the whole city, but they have the city center and are locking things down as more forces arrive. Reportedly there is almost no fighting - the Russians fled.

It also looks like Russia didn't set up defensive lines in their rear - they assumed conquered territory would remain conquered. Or they didn't have enough reserves to build and man extra defense lines. The running hasn't stopped - I haven't heard of them standing to fight at any new lines. Russian command units north of Kupiansk have "been withdrawn" across the Russian border according to Russia. Which might be cover talk for those units abandoning their posts to run for the border.

So it's not clear how far the collapse will go. It's still happening.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 10, 2022, 08:13 PM
 
The other factor is the weather: as soon as it starts raining, it’ll be mud season, which will slow everyone down. While it might put a damper on Ukraine and the momentum its army currently enjoys, it will give Russia and Ukraine a chance to reinforce their positions.

The Ukranian army is surprisingly well-run: it seems to react very flexibly to the situation at hand, at times it can be very patient, other times it can quickly make decisions to maneuver troops. I heard in one of Perun’s videos (I think) that Ukraine has been building wooden mock Himars launchers, which Russian drones dutifully found and destroyed, wasting $1 million plus on plywood. That would also explain why Russia has been claiming they have destroyed more Himars systems than Ukraine has had at one point.
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subego
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Sep 10, 2022, 08:14 PM
 
I’m sure they have some top-class “advisors”.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 11, 2022, 07:11 PM
 
I'm pretty sure they are getting training at all levels from foreign friends. Some of this training is very hands on.
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OreoCookie
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Sep 11, 2022, 09:17 PM
 
It is curious to see how this plays out. I think if the war in Ukraine is taking a turn for the worse and there is no saving face for Russia that Putin's days in power might be numbered.
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Thorzdad
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Sep 11, 2022, 10:18 PM
 
Putin’s savior might be China, depending on how more directly involved they want to become. Right now, they’re simply selling munitions.
     
reader50
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Sep 11, 2022, 10:58 PM
 
Russia is now spinning it - they ordered a Kharkiv area withdrawal a few days before. Pulling the troops to reinforce the Donbas front. Half the troops that escaped may have walked back to Russia. And may have gone home rather than report in. I don't think beaten troops would be worth much elsewhere.

Down in the Kherson region (the other offensive) there is a rumor that soldiers on the east bank now have orders to shoot anyone trying to escape from the west side. ie - troops running. There is precedence for this. During the first month of the war, Chechen soldiers were stationed in the rear, and would shoot Russian soldiers who retreated without orders.

China is only buying oil from Russia so far as we know. But Russia is supposedly negotiating with North Korea to buy artillery and ammo. Maybe that's stuff Russia sold to them in the past, and Kim will make a tidy profit selling it back for triple the price. Or maybe China sells artillery and munitions to NK, which NK then sells to Russia. I'm not worried if it's just used crap from NK.

In other news, the Russian Ministry of Defense is still quiet about their losses, leaving everyone guessing. But the Ministry of Finance made a mistake and leaked a budget document. When a soldier dies, it triggers death benefits (coffin, etc). That needs to be budgeted for. According to the MoF, they lost 48,759 troops in the first 6 months. And they're making a budget request for 361.9 billion rubles, to cover 8,132 deaths per month going forward (271 per day). These figures are slightly under the Ukrainian estimates (~50K), and much larger than the western estimates (~25K).

Document on FaceBook (in Russian), news coverage - it hasn't hit the mainstream news so far.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 12, 2022, 01:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Russia is now spinning it - they ordered a Kharkiv area withdrawal a few days before. Pulling the troops to reinforce the Donbas front. Half the troops that escaped may have walked back to Russia. And may have gone home rather than report in. I don't think beaten troops would be worth much elsewhere.
I heard that Russia was following its old Soviet playbook in its military operators in these areas, i. e. a spearhead approach — with the important proviso that the spear was often missing. So once Ukrainian forces broke through the spear head, there was no defense. I'm not sure whether I believe that, but I'll take that as a data point.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
But Russia is supposedly negotiating with North Korea to buy artillery and ammo. Maybe that's stuff Russia sold to them in the past, and Kim will make a tidy profit selling it back for triple the price. Or maybe China sells artillery and munitions to NK, which NK then sells to Russia. I'm not worried if it's just used crap from NK.
To me that move reeks of desperation. NK has a depressing amount of artillery aimed at Seoul and other major South Korean cities (I think >= 10,000). AFAIK estimates are that if a conventional war broke out, it'd be a blood bath. On the other hand, we don't know what state the munitions are in. NK's military is pretty dilapidated and perhaps it is actually a very good deal for North Korea to get rid of “expired” military equipment at a profit and make more.

The Youtuber Perun (his videos are highly recommended) makes the important point that Russia is also likely strongly constrained in its military operations simply by barrel life and ammo supply, and it often cannot systematically exploit that it might have more weapons systems in an area. So even if they have the ammo somewhere, it still needs to get where it is needed. Ditto for replacement barrels and artillery.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
According to the MoF, they lost 48,759 troops in the first 6 months. And they're making a budget request for 361.9 billion rubles, to cover 8,132 deaths per month going forward (271 per day). These figures are slightly under the Ukrainian estimates (~50K), and much larger than the western estimates (~25K).
The figures are so close that I am inclined to take them seriously. I've also seen kill counts of high value military personnel, which is gruesome.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Document on FaceBook (in Russian), news coverage - it hasn't hit the mainstream news so far.
Probably most quality outlets don't want to publish numbers that haven't been vetted and confirmed independently.
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OreoCookie
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Sep 12, 2022, 01:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Putin’s savior might be China, depending on how more directly involved they want to become. Right now, they’re simply selling munitions.
My impression of China so far is that they want to stay somewhat neutral. Yes, they are willing to sell Russia stuff, including high-tech goods, cars and munitions, and they are open to buying hydro carbons from Russia. But China also doesn't want to sever ties with the West, simply because Chinese leadership knows that their days in power would be numbered if their actions cratered the Chinese economy (even further).

I'd say that countries like China and Turkey could actually be the key to a negotiated settlement, because they are somewhat neutral (Turkey already acts as the interlocutor for grain shipments) and Putin cannot afford to lose them as allies (completely). If I had to bet, I'd say that China is waiting for an investment opportunity in Russia for when Putin has to flog Russia's family silver (mining of various things, gas, oil).
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 12, 2022, 04:59 AM
 
I don't see any settlement while Putin is in power. The way things are going now, its seems like a matter of time before he is removed. The only questions are whether he does something crazy when he senses his back is up against that wall, whether that crazy order is followed and whether his replacement decides to go nuclear to avenge him, or decides to be sensible and hang all the blame on Putin and try to re-friend the west so they can go back to selling gas to Europe and eating McDonalds.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 14, 2022, 07:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I don't see any settlement while Putin is in power.
Yeah, but I see some signs that Putin’s days might be numbered. I wanna be careful, but he’s getting heat from both, ultra nationalists who don’t like that Russia’s troops are being wasted, and from more liberal elements of society. I want to be very careful and not overstate things, the situation is still in flux and could turn again.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 15, 2022, 04:06 AM
 
I think they were numbered when h invaded. That number is shrinking faster now.
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Spheric Harlot
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Sep 15, 2022, 12:13 PM
 
I see the possibility of a von-Stauffenberg scenario, where his generals might be plotting to remove him — not to undo the madness, but to decisively end it with more effective military strategy.

IOW, clear out Putin, nuke Ukraine into victory, save face.

Or some such horror.
     
Thorzdad
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Sep 15, 2022, 05:20 PM
 
I’m relatively confident that no actual military generals would throw nukes at Ukraine. They, maybe more than anyone, know how that move doesn’t work out well for anyone.

My guess is, if they act at all, they’ll take Putin into custody, sue for peace, then negotiate a deal where Russia gets to keep some of the area they won, in exchange for handing over Putin to the International Criminal Court. Or, y’know, air-drop his ass into the middle of Kiev for a little hanging upside down in a gas station, Mussolini action.
     
subego
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Sep 15, 2022, 05:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
nuke Ukraine into victory
The best that could turn out is a draw, but would far more likely end in an overwhelming Russian defeat.
     
Thorzdad
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Sep 15, 2022, 07:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The best that could turn out is a draw, but would far more likely end in an overwhelming RussianHuman Race defeat.
FTFY
     
 
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