The end?

Druss_The_Legend

Well-known member
The thing is if(and it is a very big if!) Russia some how defeated Ukraine the chances of some kind of incident that could trigger article 5 are more and more likely, the closer the fighting gets to the NATO borders the chances of an incident which could trigger article 5 increase. Surely it is in the best interest of all NATO members to do as much as they can to stop any kind of escalation where an article 5 could be a likely scenario.
If Germany are so against giving there own tanks then give permission for X amount of tanks to be given from other NATO members.
Not only is it morally wrong having seen the evidence of war crimes commited in Ukraine not to give them the tools to defend themselves and push the illegal occupier's from Ukraine, but from even a selfish point of view in the West by pushing Russia out of Ukraine it lessens the chances of article 5 being triggered which would likely lead to A World war type conflict.
 

Lefty

Well-known member
It's even more suspicious of the German leaders since they have moved quickly and the German people are pretty much out of thrall to Russia on the gas and oil front.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
Well this one is a biggie. And a couple of gems for the fans of his Swenglish.

"Before going to the Russian Offensive that started today, I will make an addendum to Germany's problem.
We have presented evidence of the German Defence Minister Pistorius receiving payments to Russian sources to NATO this evening.
Germany stated today that they would give weapons to a value of 1 billion Euro. Evidence was rapidly presented during the meeting that this was just so much bogus.

The good thing is that the German population is waking up, and they seem to be quite miffed with having been turned into the cuckolds of the free world.
There are massive protests outside of the Bundestag in Berlin. The protestors have surrounded the building and there are bonfires where people are burning their membership cards of the Social Democrats. Many are crying, and they are all demanding the resignation of the government.
I think the Germans will solve their issues, and I am not mad about the people, I am though roaring ****-firedly hopping mad about their government.

Other governments are rapidly stepping up to the plate, and many of them have pledged substantial amounts of heavy weapons, and promised even more in the coming week.
France is working on clearing Leqlercs, and a coallition of nations are now working on circumventing Germany alltogether on the Leopards.
But, the Netherlands took the lead in a new and unexpected direction.
First they pledged a SECOND patriot system, this takes it to 3 (it would have been four, but as per usual the German one will not arrive). This was done to cover for the German one.
Secondly they promised to send F-16s, this opened the door in a completely differend and completely German-free direction.
Ukraine has been drooling after fighters and attack aircraft, but even they knew it was probably not gonna be, and that they would get tanks instead.
Remind me to hug a feckin' blue airplane, or something else of Dutch origin. Or bathe in Hollandaise sauce.
This is after all something that can be given in the hundreds if needed.

There is also some serious talk now of providing Ukraine with real long range capacity.
We sent a few Gungnirs to have them tested, and they worked very well.
So, we are talking about sending more of those, many more...
And there is now serious talk about providing Tomahawks.
Just a couple of hundred of G&T together with the large amount of GBSDBs will do a huge difference.

On top of that large quantities of Bradley's and CV90s and equivalents will be sent in future packages.

In reality with what has been pledged in the last few weeks, and what was pledged today, Ukraine will be in a far better spot to perform the spring offensive successfully.

Moscow
In a sign of confidence The Russian High Command is dumping Pantzir trucks all over, on top of, and around, Moscow.
We are talking about Dozens of them. One was put on top of the Defence Ministry itself, and the other on Medvedevs front lawn...
If your 3 day Special Military Operation ends up with you on the 330th day are puting Pantzirs all around to try to stop your enemy blowing up your capital, then something has gone spectacularly wrong.

Putin
I have extensively written that Putin had been poisoned and was being treated in Sochii, and that he has not left from there since.
We had this confirmed by different Russian sources.
Problem is that we have now not heard from Putin for more than two weeks. Not a single call has been made to any other ministers or department heads from Sochii. And we are certain he has not left the place.
This obviously answers why the messages from the "Putins" have been so disjointed.
We now believe that he is either in a coma, or is dead, with the latter being the working theory.
Ukraine is now openly claiming that Putin is dead.
Even Zelenskyy claimed it in an interview.

If he is alive he will by now have a huge honking problem proving that he is the real deal, and that he is indeed alive.
Before anyone would negotiate with, or meet a Putin, that Putin would have to provide DNA proof of being alive.
And yes, West has that on file.
The downside though is that we would not be seeing Putin staring in the upcoming trials.

Russian Offensive.
Calling it a spring offensive is a bit missing that it is still winter, so let us go with just offensive.
I would say that the Soledar/Bakhmut push was the start of the offensive, but that it was so limited that we did almost not notice.
Bakhmut failed as per usual, and Soledar was not a big win.

But, today the Russians roared forth from an unexpected direction, in Zhaporizhzhia.
After having been weakened for a couple of months by Ukrainian pinpoint artillery and Himars, and without receiving any reinforcements to speak of, Russia decided that it was a very good idea to run across fields with soldiers in the open, and limited amounts of BMPs and even fewer tanks.

So ran they did, mostly into surprised Ukrainian heavy units getting ready for their push. And they where amply reinforced and had a lot of gear.
Just on pure confusion Russia has taken 7 small villages, but rapidly the Ukrainians got the idea, and started making Vatnikstew of them.
The Russian offensive seems to have mostly stalled out, but more waves are seen coming.
It is turning into Bakhmut on steroids.

Why does Russia do this?
Well, I think they now understand that Ukraine will have a completely different level of equipment in a few weeks, complete with new classes of weapons.
So, we think that Russia jumped the gun on even their own planed offensive to try to gain some ground prior to the Ukrainian Spring Offensive.

Instead of the much touted massive 200 000 plus 500 000 men northern offensive, they instead seem to resort to a few smaller ones all over.
And the one from Belarus might even be cancelled, there are early signs that the Russians are packing up and moving out equipment eastwards. That one would only ever work if Belarus played ball, but that ball seems to be severely deflated.
We think those are going to Luhansk to produce a counter offensive before it is to late.

There is also the possibility that it is politically motivated, Russia trying to gain a little bit more before starting negotiations.
This would fit in well with Russia not having a President.

In the end, yes Russia will gain a little ground for now while Ukraine is building up their quite substantially more massive spring offensive.
It was due to be more massive before the weapons pledges in the last week, and it might happen prior to most even having arrived, but the new weapons that do arrive will make a clear difference.

Politics of Russia
I am still thinking about the Lavrov of yesterday that sat with Lukashenka.
It was quite the Lavrov of old, steel eyes, firm in how he sat, owning the room.
It was a far cry from the sickly hasbeen drunkard I met.
Something has changed, somehow he is relevant again.

Peskov emerging as a diplomat is also a huge change.
He is also acting like he has cast off a huge weight, and have a new purpose in life.
He is soon about to meet Kuleba again.

Naryshkin is smiling beatifically, not a pleasant sight indeed.
And he is about to meet Burns again.

And... why is there a Pantzir system on Medvedev's lawn, and none on Putin's a few kilometres down the road?
Not even pretending to protect an empty building full of "Putins" is kind of an interesting optic.

I say that something has changed in Russia.
"We do not even know who to talk to, we have clear indications that Putin is dead" (President Zelenskyy)

Kreminna/Svatove
Russia today tried to break through the encirclement to supply Kreminna with ammunition and new soldiers, it failed.
The fighting is very hard, but slow progress is being made.
My favourite colonel is happily waiting for her Command CV90, it is my old one, it is freshly painted, and I put a gift in it before it trundled away.
I arranged permission so that I could transfer my For Bravery in the Field in gold with swords to her.

I have also, together with 3 other command staff officers, recommended that she will become a Knight-Commander of the Order of the Sword from our King.
It is the highest honour that anyone can receive who is not an active head of government.
"For exceptional and brave defence of Swedish interests abroad".
There is nobody living that has been inducted into the Order of the Sword.
It has been received well by the Court.
What one does not do for exceptional students...
Now she better bloody survive."
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
I would seem that crowds surrounding the Bundestag woke the German Parlaiment up. They have approved other countries sending Leopard lls to Ukraine. Not a word from Scholz or his Russian funded defence minister. The Bundestag is due to debate the sending of German Leopard lls on Monday. Hopeful signs.
 

Mwelolo

Well-known member
I would seem that crowds surrounding the Bundestag woke the German Parlaiment up. They have approved other countries sending Leopard lls to Ukraine. Not a word from Scholz or his Russian funded defence minister. The Bundestag is due to debate the sending of German Leopard lls on Monday. Hopeful signs.
I really can’t see Germany alienating themselves from the western alliance and appearing to be sympathetic to Russia in any way.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
I really can’t see Germany alienating themselves from the western alliance and appearing to be sympathetic to Russia in any way.

That's precisely what Scholtz and the defence minister did yesterday. Though these two Russian shills are not representative of Germans as a whole. Hopefully Parliament got the message. It's hard to see how Scholtz govt can survive this.
 

Mwelolo

Well-known member
I really can’t see Germany alienating themselves from the western alliance and appearing to be sympathetic to Russia in any way.
Up to this point in time only the US and the UK have provided more military aid to Ukraine than Germany have.
 

Mwelolo

Well-known member

Interesting - US asking Ukraine to hold off on an offensive till trained up on US kit and suggesting Ukraine would lose out on a war of artillery attrition with Russia.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member

Interesting - US asking Ukraine to hold off on an offensive till trained up on US kit and suggesting Ukraine would lose out on a war of artillery attrition with Russia.

Quietly there have been a good number training on Abrams in Poland already.
 

Ziggy

Well-known member
It would seem that crowds surrounding the Bundestag woke the German Parlaiment up. They have approved other countries sending Leopard lls to Ukraine.

Is it feasible, on top of the demonstrations. That the Euro countries who have tanks told the German government, to hell with it and that they would send them anyway.
Realistically what could they do about. They wouldn’t dare deny spares and other support.
 

Druss_The_Legend

Well-known member
I thought there weren't any Abrams going to Ukraine though? Are there countries other than the US who can donate them?
I would think that The US has vast stocks of Abrams throughout US bases in NATO countries, probably some of the earlier models. The US has used them in pretty much every conflict and peacekeeping force for the past 40 years. The main issue with the Abrams as Borolad said is maintaining them and logistics on a battlefield they basically have a jet engine in them so need special fuel, part and training not to mention they use about 0.5 mile per gallon on fuel(I think most modern tanks use about 1 mile per gallon, about the same as my 2004 Volvo XC90 🤣).
 

Decent_Left

Well-known member
Despite the horror and destruction of the invasion if you need a brilliant non military antidote to demonstrate the spirit of the Ukraine nation can I recommend following this guy - https://twitter.com/AKamyshin the head of the Ukraine railways.

Full of can do examples and determination. In the last fortnight - Opened a new rail link to Romania, achieved 97% on time train schedule the day after the Dnipro atrocity and just announced a successful test of using Starlink to provide 100mbit speed wifi on an inetrcity train with a plan to roll out to the entire intercity network by the end of 2023.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
A few thoughts for the day.

"Before I get going there is something more serious I must talk about.
The CIA leaked on purpose to the New York Times the intelligence brief about the GRU being behind the bomb letters in Spain.
We know that there are several Russian groups and agents roaming loose in Europe and the US that are ready to comit terror and sabotage behind the lines.
Several have been arrested, but many more are free and there is a high risk of them acting as things will get more grim for Russia.
Leaking this was a warning to Russia to not act further, but if or when they become active there will be real consequences.
As and when Russia suffers big losses I would caution everyone from visiting government facilities and/or military installations, public spaces will most likely be safe though.
I do not say this to scare anyone, just as a word of caution, this is all that I can say for now.

Punditry and the Stalemate
In the last few weeks there has been a lot of speachifying about there being a stalemate due to both sides being exhausted and out of resources, and that now the war will drag on for yours unless Ukraine receives a lot of more weapons and ammunition.
This is comming from both Pundits and "Experts".

I hope that this is an attempt to pressure politicians to give more weapons to Ukraine to shorten the war, but from a technical standpoint it is not true.
Yes, it is true for Russia, but not at all for Ukraine.

Ukraine has clearly stated that they would wait for spring to perform their next big offensive and that they up until then would do staging and "borstjing" along the frontline.
This has obviously returned the initiative to the Russians, and this is why they have had limited success in Donbass.
It was to be expected.
The reason is that the Ukrainian High Command knew that it would not be possible to operate in the mud. They hoped though for a cold winter to give them opportunities for more limited offensives. And that happened at Kreminna/Svatove.
And Russia did the same at Bakhmut/Soledar and in Zhaporizhzhia.

Being realistic and cautious in wintertime is a good decission, and both Ukraine and Russia has done this.
On top of that Ukraine needed time to gather resources, prepare and be rather when it is time to move forward.

The risk is clear that this stalemate talk will force the Ukrainians to act to soon to not lose support and morale.
I wish people would not spread this narrative.

Punditry and The Ginormous Russian Offensive
I find it hilarious that more western "experts" believe in this than even the Russian General Staff on a cocaine binge.
According to these pundits the Russian army will perform a gigantic spring offensive containing anything from 150 000 to 700 000 new soldiers in endles columns of tanks.
There is at the same time not a shred of evidence that these masses of soldiers exist anywhere.
And even if they did exist there is just not enough time to move them into position, because they are now neither in Ukraine, nor anywhere along the border.

It is here good to remember that it took Russia 6 months to move a quarter of a million men to the border to Ukraine for their first attack 11 months ago.

At the same time we see no tanks, no new artillery, no new nothing being brought in. At least in number that would make any difference at all in a war of this scale.
We also see no new massive mobilisation, just a smaller operation to replace killed soldiers with new canonfodder.

Reality
Russia has 50 000 trained soldiers left that are not in combat today, they are divided between Belarus and Kursk Oblast.
They have limited resources in regards of heavy equipment, around 100 tanks, some 200 BMPs, and a similar number of artillery.
It is for sure an impressive amount, but in a spring offensive that is between 1 and 2 weeks worth of heavy equipment.
And not even remotely close to what is needed to break through the rather impressive Ukrainian lines.

What I do not know is how, where and when they will be put into use.
Will they be sent in wholesale in a larger offensive from the North?
Will they be moved into Russian held parts of Ukraine?
Will they be divided and used as reinforcements on various parts of the frontline to support more limited offensives to gain positions?

I am of the opinion that we can draw conclusions from what Russia is already doing in the form of offensives.
I think we will get more of Bakhmut/Soledar and Zhaporizhzhia.
In other words limited positional gains to gain some sort of momentum to play out against Ukraine in the behind the scenes peace talks.
There is just not enough Russian resources for a big offensive.
But, Russia being Russia they might do something really stupid and squander their limited resources.

It is here important to talk about Gerasimov.
He is portrayed as an idiot by the Pundits, this is far from true though.
He is rather competent, and he has written a rather impressive book on the Russian military doctrine, and he has a fairly good record as a field commander in both Afghanistan and Chechnya.
Having reread his book I think the cautious offensives we are seeing now is his general idea, and that the potential for them have been set up by Surovikin during his 3 months as field commander.

I may obviously be wrong.
It would be good for Ukraine if I was.

Zhaporizhzhia
Even though the offensive in Zhaporizhzhia did not work out, at least so far, it was innovative.
Russian doctrine states that no offensive should be performed without intensive artillery preparations.
Instead Russia just jumped up out of the trenches and went on attack.
This obviously took the Ukrainians completely by surprise, a first as such. It is not easy to surprise them.

In under 4 hours Russia took 7 villages before Ukraine got up and counter-attacked.
And this was only possible due to the large army group they already had there.
Ukraine took back 6 of the 7 villages, the seventh was left alone on purpose since it is an untenable position in a valley with Russia on high ground and Ukraine on the other high ground.
It was only technically under Ukrainian command, but they did not have troops stationed there. Nor does Russia now, but they took it briefly so it is now counted as Russian.

As you know I have harped at the critical lack of heavy equipment in the Russian army, and their lack of artillery shells.
I see this attack as evidence of that, and as a future of the Russian offensives.
With limited artillery shells there was just not enough to perform artillery preparations, so Russia adapted to this new reality.
It is the first time we see Russia truly adapting their MO in the war.
Secondly, we saw about 150 soldiers on fot in each offensive supported by between 3-5 BMPs and at most 1 tank.
I see this as a clear sign of Russia no longer being able to perform large scale mechanized warfare due to lack of heavy equipment.
Their resources are spread to thin to be able to produce a clear tank-fist, without emptying out another place completely giving ground to Ukraine.

In the last 3 days we have seen wave upon wave during daytime, roughly every 4 hours, of this groupings pushing forward until being destroyed.
This has pushed the Ukrainians backwards slowly, but not a lot. At the best advance they have pushed 3 kilometres into Ukrainian held territory.

I think the strategical goal here is very limited.
Pushing forward to the next line where they can create a defensive line, consolidate and then try to repeat.

At the same time Ukraine does not want to commit their army grouping that is preparing for their spring offensive.
I do though think that in the end the Ukrainians will have to do a limited counter attack in force.

When do I think that Ukraine will push forward their Spring Offensive?
Well, first they will wait for more equipment to gain in offensive strength, and they will wait for the ground to carry better.
Late March or April would be ideal, perhaps even as late as May.
It is depending on the weather and the ground now, they are already ready.
Problem is that the Punditry might force them to do a premature offensive.
Idealy they would though want the Kreminna/Svatove campaign to be finished prior to going on the offensive, after all their best army group is locked down there right now, and even after that they will need rest and to change their equipment to the new western one.

I know at least partially where they will hit, but I can't obviously say where that will be.
The spring offensive is not depending on new tanks, that is all I can say.
The summer offensive does though require them, or at least be more effective with them.
But the CV90s, Bradley's and so on is quite enough together with the tanks they have to tide them over for the spring offensive.
Even if the Leopard's had been freed they would not have been used in the Spring Offensive.

What I can say is that our favourite colonels Tank Brigade is the best equiped on the entire frontline and is quite beyond any brigade that Russia can field.
She has updated T-72s, T-80Us and even a couple of T-90S (due to Russian donations), and she has spare tanks if needed.
Russia is dreaming right now about being able to field anything like it.
On top of that she has a mix of updated BMPs, and quite a lot of western provided lighter combat vehicles.
On top of that she has Krabs, Zusanas and Himars as artillery.
Technically she obviously have a general above her, but she is now the field commander of 1 tank, 1 mech, 1 infantry and one artillery brigade of each type. It is quite an impressive army group. And after a brief reequip it will be even more impressive when the BMPs are switched to CV9040s with anti-tank missiles, and the 24 Archers.
This will obviously free up equipment for a new mech brigade and a new artillery brigade somewhere else.

It is quite telling of how hard the Russians are fighting as they try to stop the inevitable in Kreminna and Svatove.
Expect good news from there soon regardless of the Russian unusual fighting spirit.
What I find most insane is that Russia has almost completely emptied out Luhansk to be able to hold, instead of just bleeding Ukraine a bit, and then falling back to the next line... instead they are taking such a beating that Ukraine will be able to take quite a bit of Luhansk if they wish.

Anyway, this is more than enough for today.
I know, I am longwinded and rambling. 🙂
I will just say that the tank problem is almost solved now, without incorporating the Germans.
At least until the current leadership there has become more trustworthy.
b***r, I will have to recertify as a tanker on an Abrams.. shart."
 

Lefty

Well-known member
I wonder if you could ask your friend a couple of things @borolad259 ?

Predicting what an enemy will do is difficult enough, because one of the things it depends on is judging the competence and style of the enemy generals. Predicting what a genius like a Napoleon, Alexander or Marlborough would do is understandably fraught with difficulty. Equally, predicting an absolute fool move such as the British commander on Crete in May 1941 would abandon defending the only airstrip during an airborne attack from lightly armed paratroopers (while the Royal Navy controlled the seas around the island) is not something you expect. What the competent commander does is plan for a competent opponent who has decent knowledge of the forces available and opposing, and is a rational actor.

At the start of the 'special operation' it seems clear with hindsight that the Russian high command were unaware of the actual quantity, state and effectiveness of their own military equipment.

It seems that in addition the Russians underestimated the Ukrainian determination, tactical nous and military skill and planning, but does he think that the Russians had a fairly good handle on the forces and amount of military equipment Ukraine had at the beginning of the war?

My assumption is that they probably were quite well informed on the enemy, having always had pretty good intelligence services and plenty of Ukrainians would were Russian sympathisers. So the initial farce of Kyiv was not down to not acting rationally, but being misinformed.

We are now 11 months on and the situation has changed radically. Does your friend think that Russian intelligence will be quite well aware of the forces Ukraine now has, the quality they bring and the equipment they have and will soon have?

And will the competent Generals like Surovikin and Gerasimov by now have an accurate picture of their own resources and capabilities, even if the west are doing some guessing and deducing on it?

If you have competent, fairly well informed generals, you can make some predictions on what the rational moves are. The irrational moves (from a military perspective) are less of a worry as they usually end up being mistakes.

So will the Russian military commanders now know the real situation or are they still going to be acting, totally misinformed?
 
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borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
I will certainly put this to him @Lefty but, reading between the lines of that last missive, the Russian command is well aware of the limitations that they have in terms of troops and equipment (hence a more rational approach to long term defence from Surivikin and now limited offensive under Gerasimov). They will be well aware of what is coming from the west in the next few weeks, and, as our man suggests, these attacks are an attempt to gain some ground in order to have more clout when they claqmour for peace talks ... presumably when the Ukrainians start their offensive and gain a lot of ground. Not sure what his movements are today, we aren't scheduled for a meeting but I may have chat during the day.
 
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