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Will Putin Invade Ukraine?

Started by Cassia, January 20, 2022, 01:29:34 PM

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Russia loses ~1500 troops in one day

Looks like Putin is going to have to bump up recruitment again or face another manpower shortage.

The Ukrainians blew up another Turtle Tank.  This one must've been carrying napalm, because it was extra fiery.


Medvechuk's yacht officially transferred to Ukrainian state

Medvechuk was a Ukrainian billionaire and pro-Putin.  In 2021, he was under house arrest for financing terrorism (quite a shock from a friend of Putin).

Four days into the war, he escaped house arrest - presumably to flee to Russia - but was arrested by Ukrainian Intelligence after being at large for two months.  He was traded to Putin in exchange for some Azov POWs - Putin must've wanted him back badly because negotiating the release of Azov soldiers is incredibly difficult.

His $218 million usd yacht was seized by Croatia and has now been transfered to Ukraine.  Ukraine will sell it and put that money into the state budget.

Iirc, Medvechuk was gifted a new yacht by Putin, so it's not like he has anymore use for the old one.


Ukraine no longer suffering from artillery shell shortages for first time in the war

That doesn't mean that Ukraine doesn't still need shells long-term, this only means that Ukrainian brigades no longer report a lack of shells at the moment.  It also means that Russian forces will no longer be able to advance without opposition purely due to shell shortages as they have in the past.


Zelenskyy has said that Russian troops were able to advance as far as 10km in Kharkiv region, but the front in the region has been stabilized.

Dictator Putin has said that he has no plans to invade Kharkiv (he previously said he had no plans to invade Ukraine, so definitely take that with a truckload of salt)

Russia does not currently have enough troops to realistically have a chance of taking Kharkiv, but they have heavily bombarded it.  Instead, Putin has said that his goal is to create a "buffer zone" in the area, likely to reduce the risk of attack on Russian bases and troops in Russia and also to lengthen the frontline to force Ukraine to deploy more troops to the front, presumably to weaken some part of the frontline.

Months ago, Putin lackey  Medvedev came up with a map where essentially all of southern and eastern Ukraine was controlled by Russia (conveniently giving Russia fresh water ports, access to a lot of oil in the Black Sea, as well as forming a land bridge with Russian forces in Moldova)

I believe this to be Putin's current ultimate aim, a revision from his earlier plan to take all of Ukraine and install a puppet in Kyiv.  Putin's ongoing efforts to take Ukraine piece by piece at any cost appear consistent with the ultimate aim of turning it into a rump state and taking the majority of its resources and strategically important land.


Ukraine strikes back:

Targets in Crimea, especially Belbek airfield, have been hit multiple times over the past few days.

QuoteA pair of MiG-31 fighter jets were "destroyed" and an S-400 air defense system was damaged after Ukraine attacked the Belbek military airfield close to the western Crimean city of Sevastopol overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, independent Russian outlet Astra reported on Thursday, citing anonymous sources in Crimean emergency services.
Partisans saw the ammo go up.  Fun fact: partisans saw it go up last time as well.  Top notch security, lol.

QuoteEarly on Wednesday, Russia's Defense Ministry said its air defenses had intercepted 10 U.S.-provided Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles over Crimea overnight.
Oh, I bet they did.

*points to Family Feud style board renamed for copyright reasons into something that roughly translates to "Familial Dispute" in Cyrillic*  Is "intercepted ATACMS" on the board?  *buzzer sounds and a giant red X appears on the screen*  Zelesnkyy clan, you have a chance to "direct hit" on the board?  *dings*

Now, I'm not a military guy and I can't say I know for sure what this image means, but I'm pretty sure those missiles hit.  And very precise hits, too.  I'm also pretty sure that planes aren't supposed to be black.

Quotetwo MiG-31 fighter jets, an Su-27 aircraft, and a damaged MiG-29 fighter jet
Yikes.  Not a good day to be a Russian pilot.  Or maybe a fantastic day because no plane means not getting shot down.  I guess it depends on one's perspective.  And proximity to those strikes.



Massive Ukrainian drone strike against Russian military installations in Crimea and Russia itself, including a refinery

The Kremlin says it downed 100 drones but The Kremlin says a lot of things, and not very truthfully.  Eyewitness footage shows drones successfully hitting their targets at least some of the time, and I believe that over the Kremlin.

What we know for sure is that Russia's Tuapse oil refinery has been hit badly enough to force an emergency shutdown.  We also know that the Russian port of Novorossiysk and occupied Sevastopol were also hit - Sevastopol was hit badly enough for authorities to introduce rolling blackouts.  Also, a Russian weapons manufacturing plant at Tula


Russian casualties remain extremely high - it's been around 1400-1500/day for several days now.  For reference, 1000 has been considered a very busy day in the past.

According to combat footage - which I know give a very skewed perception when viewed as the baseline of the fighting, these are of course the most successful operations by Ukraine and should be viewed as exceptional, not the norm.

That said, Ukraine continues to find very creative uses for drones - strapping a light machine gun to one and somehow managing to fire it semi-accurately at Russian positions (recoil is of course a huge problem)

The Russians have started to adapt somewhat to fend off Ukrainian drones and one low-cost option is to drape some sort of covering over the hole/trench as an improvised protection against Ukrainian drones.  And in theory, it could work reasonably well.  But there is a nuisance - Ukraine used a land-based drone to explode on the covering (I don't know how it got there without being shot to pieces).  With the covering gone, Ukraine immediately sent an FPV drone in there and that was that.

In a very bizarre situation, a Russian squad of around ten troops managed to wander into Ukrainian machine gun nest.  Squad gone in seconds.

There was odd footage of a group of Russians apparently trying to ransack the Vovchansk Central Hospital, with frantic diving in and out of windows like some sort of circus act.  One guy jumped out of the second story window, landed on the canopy just under the window, which somehow supported his weight despite significant damage.  He then fell off the canopy onto the concrete below, which appeared to have broken his leg.  Intentional or accident, I can't tell.

And Russian artillery fires from a busy road in Belgorod City, seemingly using Russian civilians as human shields to prevent counter-battery fire

QuotePublication of the footage has drawn mixed reactions from Russians on social media. Some accused Moscow forces of endangering the lives of civilians by firing at such close proximity, while others condemned residents for potentially exposing the positions of Russian artillery.

QuoteThe channel added: "What kind of idiots do you have to be to stupidly endanger civilians like that?"
Yeah, really strange behavior for people who...*checks notes* have literally been targeting civilians this entire time.


Arsenal of democracy:  US-made ammo reaches Ukrainian defenders, bolsters Chasiv Yar defense

QuoteThe race was on—between Russian forces trying to capture Chasiv Yar and Ukrainian and allied logisticians rushing American-supplied ammunition to the embattled town.

The good news, for friends of a free Ukraine, is that the Ukrainians seem to have won the race. The garrison in Chasiv Yar is now flush with ammo, apparently—and wreaking havoc on Russian assault groups.

On Friday, a battalion of around 20 Russian armored vehicles emerged from Bakhmut and rolled toward Chasiv Yar. As recently as a few weeks ago, a Russian assault group might've traveled much of the three-mile distance from Bakhmut to Chasiv Yar relatively unmolested by Ukrainian attacks.

QuoteWith precious few anti-tank missiles and artillery shells, the Ukrainians relied on first-person-view drones to bombard the Russians. But those two-pound drones range just two miles or so, and pack just a pound of explosives—too little to pierce the layers of do-it-yourself armor the Russians have been adding to their vehicles.

By mid-May, the Ukrainians were much better-armed. So when that assault group tried to cross miles of open fields on Friday, it got hit the whole way—with 100-pound shells, 50-pound missiles and two-pound drones. The few Russians who reached the canal district didn't last long.
It's all about layered defenses.  Having only short-range defenses may be adequate against probing attacks, but don't fare well against heavy assault.  But if you add some medium and long-range defenses in the mix, the enemy attackers weather fire earlier, longer, and more intensely - incurring larger losses and much more likely to have their attack falter.  Basically, US aid (and aid from other countries) keeps the Ukrainian defenders' biggest guns firing longer, ultimately foiling Russian assaults.


They're really earning that Remnants name.



Ukrainians have figured out how to destroy Turtle Tanks

Ukraine heavily relied on $500 FPV drones to do most of the work during the lull between US aid packages.  The Turtle Tanks are designed as a counter to these drones.  What they don't counter is artillery/missiles and with Ukraine receiving renewed US aid, the Ukrainians have a lot more artillery shells and missiles to spare.  So when an artillery round hits the roof of the now much larger and less maneuverable target, it's not only a burning wreck, it's a burning wreck that also caves in on the tank crew and traps them when they most need to escape.  Not great for crew survivability, though the turret tossing wasn't particularly good either.

Fun fact: the turtle tanks require an external camera for any sort of visibility.  The Ukrainian drone operators figured that out very quickly.  So the first fpv drone hits the camera and suddenly it's completely blind.  It might be able to take a few more hits, but that sort of situation only ends one way.

Also, the Russians made sure to post the turtle tank creation process online for everyone to see and keen-eyed observers noted that the metal is welded directly onto the turret, so the gun can no longer traverse.  So if it were blinded or rendered immobile, it would no longer be able to shoot at anything that's not directly in front of it, even if the gun is completely operational.  That's a hell of a design flaw.


Ancient armored vehicle spotted on the battlefield

While I would caution against believing that Russia has completely run out of steam, we are starting to see difficulties in its ability to adequately supply its troops, hence the golf carts and the ancient BTRs.  Obviously, if you have better equipment available, that's what you'd use.  We'll see if this is just a temporary hiccup or if Russian stockpiles are more permanently declining.


Aftermath of Ukraine ATACMS strike near Mospino, Donetsk yesterday (footage taken not long after the strike)

They're not 'mostly destroyed' or "mission killed' or whatever.  They're 200% destroyed - inoperable, unrepairable, the scrapyard won't take it sort of destroyed.  The ashes are on fire.  No kill like overkill, I guess.  Russia definitely lost at least two s-400 air defense launchers, their radar, and their control center in that strike.

Russia: "Intercepted.  No casualties" lmao