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Thread: Ukraine: After the May 25 Election

  1. #4246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry View Post
    ps. not sure that we shall take one interview of a burned tanker as a TRUTH to account that Russia moved tanks and people from Buryatia (on Mongolian border) as a FACT. OE knows that since 1945 Russia always had MOST of its harware in European part.... as well as its BEST and most trained troops.
    You're not seeing the forest from the trees. I looked at the engagement in question. There is no doubt that this was a Russian Regimental level engagement; meaning a Russian Brigade HQ is in the Ukraines.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Thank you, that's what I've suspected from the beginning of the conquest of Crimea.

    It certainly doesn't make any sense to trash Russia's standing in the region and the world by stealing a few crumbs, or even a piece of the pie. "Go big or go home". Putin will, eventually, go big.

    The UA has not shown itself capable of throwing the Russians and their rebel allies back across the border and the West has shown themselves far too risk adverse to chance a full-blown shooting war with Russia over Ukraine by sending in kinetic support.

    I'm fairly certain that Putin knew both of those events would occur before he launched the Crimean annexation.

    The question now is, will Ukraine satisfy Putin (and Russia's) desire for that comforting buffer against the West? Or are there more pies to be stolen?
    Then Putin is an idiot after all. There is no way that Russia can swallow Ukraine at all. This war would be far more disastrous than the First Chechen War for Russia. Perhaps NATO and EU should cheer on Russia in taking on Ukraine because this war will finish Russia's hopes for global power. There is no way that Putin can hold Russia together if the expected costs, i.e., the butcher bill and associated economic costs, are incurred. Russia would be ruined for decades leaving a vacuum in eastern Europe in which EU will fill in quite nicely.

  3. #4248
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Then Putin is an idiot after all. There is no way that Russia can swallow Ukraine at all. This war would be far more disastrous than the First Chechen War for Russia. Perhaps NATO and EU should cheer on Russia in taking on Ukraine because this war will finish Russia's hopes for global power. There is no way that Putin can hold Russia together if the expected costs, i.e., the butcher bill and associated economic costs, are incurred. Russia would be ruined for decades leaving a vacuum in eastern Europe in which EU will fill in quite nicely.
    You never played Civ, I assume.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  4. #4249
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    You never played Civ, I assume.
    You think Civ is a true representation of what transpires for realpolitik and geopolitics? Sure...

  5. #4250
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    For comment.

    How Ukraine can win - Business Insider


    What Ukraine can do to beat Russia back

    John R. Schindler, The XX Committee

    Mar. 9, 2015, 9:32 AM


    Ukraine Poroshenko airport media addressReuters/Mykhailo Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press ServiceUkraine's President Petro Poroshenko addresses the media in Kiev in this February 18, 2015 picture provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service.
    See Also
    EU says it's ready for more Russia sanctions if necessary
    Putin is tearing Europe unity apart
    UK foreign minister: Putin isn't budging on Ukraine

    As we are now in a lull in Russia’s war against Ukraine that Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin began one year ago, it’s time to assess how Kyiv can do better at war-fighting.

    Not for want of courage, Ukraine’s efforts to defend its territory and sovereignty from Russian aggression have been failures, as I’ve explained many times.

    I’ve repeatedly counseled Ukraine to emulate how Croatia in 1991 lost one-third of its territory to Serbian rebels, only to regain almost all that territory through quick, decisive military operations in 1995. As a template for strategic success against a more powerful enemy at a reasonable cost in lives and treasure, Zagreb’s model from the early 1990’s cannot be improved upon.

    This has been met with whining from supporters of failing President Petro Poroshenko that 1. War is hard, and 2. Russia isn’t Serbia. The latter is true, but it’s also worth noting that Ukraine is ten times Croatia’s size in population, and even more so in area. Kyiv has ample resources to conduct defensive war, it just doesn’t seem to want to. National strength and honor seem lacking to a worrisome degree. Furthermore, if Poroshenko is not up to the difficult job of saving his country from Kremlin aggression, he needs to return to the candy business without delay and make room for a leader who actually wants to fight.

    Emulating Croatia today means several specific actions that must be taken, and soon. The current lull in the Russo-Ukrainian War is temporary. Since people often ask for specifics, I’m giving them to you. Here is what Ukraine must do if it wants to not lose even bigger swathes of the country to the Russians, and eventually regain the land it has already lost to Putin.

    ukraine russia mapReutersMap of Eastern Ukraine locating recent clashes between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces. Includes areas of control.

    Think strategically

    This means looking at a map and noting that Ukraine is a very big country by European standards. Kyiv can certainly trade space for time, and in the long run time is not on Russia’s side in this war of choice. This means halting idiotic military moves like “last stands” at places of no strategic significance like Donetsk airport and Debaltseve, where Kyiv sacrificed motivated defenders for no reason except Poroshenko, a strategic illiterate, said so.

    Any Russian drive to make its Novorossiya fantasy a reality must be stopped — in practical terms this means turning Mariupol into Vukovar-on-the-Azov — but this is an achievable strategic goal for Ukraine’s hard-pressed armed forces. If the Russians can be halted at Mariupol, they can be halted anywhere. If not, Ukraine is lost. Act accordingly. Zagreb won big in 1995 because it played the long game, both diplomatically and militarily. Eventually the Kremlin will tire of its noxious proxies in Eastern Ukraine: be ready to pounce when that happens.

    ukraineReutersMembers of the Ukrainian armed forces ride an armoured personnel carrier in Artemivsk, eastern Ukraine, February 24, 2015.

    Take intelligence seriously

    At present, Kyiv cannot do much of anything in secret. Moscow’s spies, deeply embedded during the Yanukovych era, when Ukraine’s SBU was in effect a subset of Russia’s FSB, know all, or nearly so. Operational security in the Western sense hardly exists. Rigorous counterintelligence is needed without delay. This task seems daunting but, given patience and discipline, it can and must be done.

    In 1991, Yugoslavia’s military intelligence alone had almost 1,800 agents in Croatia — counting Belgrade’s civilian security service the true number of Serbian spies easily doubled — but Zagreb eventually won the all-important SpyWar by taking counterintelligence seriously. There are other pressing intelligence needs, especially in the area of electronic warfare, where Moscow’s dominance on the battlefield is almost total, costing Ukraine’s military many lives, and here Western aid can help significantly. But there’s not much point in giving Kyiv sensitive gear that will be passed to the Russians. Ukraine cannot win the war until it bests the Russians in espionage, and time is wasting.

    ukraineBaz Rotner/ReutersFighters with separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic army walk near a building damaged during fighting in the village of Nikishine, south east of Debaltseve February 17, 2015.

    Fight corruption hard

    Ukraine’s fighting troops are already disgruntled by the fact that their political masters in Kyiv, to include the military’s famously corrupt generals, are living well while they are dying in misguided operations that seem doomed to fail. This is recipe for political disaster for Ukraine in the long run. The situation is so bad that Western charities supporting the military go around the General Staff and the official chain of command, which they know steal aid that is intended for the front.

    Ukraine’s overall corruption problem is staggering, but institutionalized theft in the defense sector must be beaten down if Ukraine wants to stop losing lives and territory to a rapacious Russia. Executions of corrupt generals and politicos, in Beijing style, pour encourager les autres, would send an indelible message. Rooting deep corruption of out of the military would have a salutary effect on the whole country. Spreading the message that corrupt officials are helping Moscow, and should be dealt with as traitors, is a necessary start.

    Ukraine ground forces training Chemihiv UkraineValentyn Ogirenko/ReutersNewly mobilized soldiers take part in training at the 169th training center of Ukrainian ground forces "Desna" in the Chernihiv region on February 13, 2015.

    Quantity has a quality all its own

    Ukraine’s military is far too small to defend the country against Russian aggression, much less win back lost territory. In the more than two decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s military devolved into an embarrassing morass of theft and laziness with little combat capability. This erosion of basic competence in battle has been laid bare by events around Donbas in recent months. Additionally, Ukraine’s fighting forces are simply too small to defend the country.

    Belated efforts to raise the active military to 250,000 troops, approved in Kyiv this week, are both unconscionably late and inadequate. Putting anything less than one percent of the country’s population in uniform, when Ukraine is at war, is frankly a joke and indicates Poroshenko wants to lose. In the second half of 1991, Croatia mobilized nearly 200,000 troops from a population of not much more than four million. That Ukraine is having a hard time coming up with a similar number of troops from a population that’s ten times Croatia’s speaks volumes about what’s wrong here.

    ukraine rebelsAlexander Ermochenko/ReutersMembers of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic drive a tank on the outskirts of Donetsk January 22, 2015.

    But quality counts too

    Ukraine certainly needs more troops to prevent further Russian aggression, but it also needs better troops. Some of the volunteer battalions have shown impressive grit in battle against the Russians, far more than most regular army units, and properly handled, they might form the core of Ukraine’s new, improved army. Here the Croatian model again informs. Starting from basically nothing beyond disarmed Yugoslav-era Territorial Defense structures, Zagreb built an effective three-tiered army. At the top stood seven mechanized Guards brigades, staffed with professional soldiers and equipped with the most modern weaponry the Croats possessed.

    They were the tip of the spear in Operation STORM, the biggest European military undertaking since 1945. At the other end were Home Defense regiments, part-time troops that were intended for mopping up duties, not high-intensity combat. The bulk of the army consisted of infantry brigades, a mix of conscripts and reservists, intended for defense and limited offensive missions. Together, this three-level system restored Croatian independence and sovereignty, making efficient use of Zagreb’s limited stocks of modern weaponry. The only thing stopping Ukraine from doing something similar is a lack of will and imagination.

    ukraine war rages onREUTERS/Baz RatnerMembers of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic army collect parts of a destroyed Ukrainian army tank in the town of Vuhlehirsk, about 6 miles to the west of Debaltseve, February 16, 2015.

    To sum up, the Russo-Ukrainian War is Kyiv’s to win, if it approaches the future wisely. The last year has been one of defeat after defeat for Ukraine, sometimes needlessly. Vladimir Putin has opted for war against Russia’s vast neighbor, the second biggest country in Europe, and this is now a conflict that Russia cannot win without a massive invasion and mobilization that would be politically and economically toxic to average Russians.

    Therefore the initiative has passed to Kyiv, if it has the strength and honor to use it. That will require thinking strategically, turning the espionage tables on Moscow, and building the right military machine for the war at hand. All this can be done, but every day that Kyiv does not change course is a further indication that the Poroshenko government does not really want to win.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  6. #4251
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    Not exactly on point, but I found this interesting. The irony is a little sharp however.


    (Reuters) - The United States has asked Vietnam to stop letting Russia use a former U.S. base to refuel nuclear-capable bombers engaged in shows of strength over the Asia-Pacific region, exposing strains in Washington's steadily warming relations with Hanoi.

    The request, described to Reuters by a State Department official, comes as U.S. officials say Russian bombers have stepped up flights in a region already rife with tensions between China, U.S.-ally Japan and Southeast Asian nations.

    General Vincent Brooks, commander of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, told Reuters the planes had conducted "provocative" flights, including around the U.S. Pacific Ocean territory of Guam, home to a major American air base.

    It is the first time that U.S. officials have confirmed the role of Cam Ranh Bay, a natural deep-water harbor, in Russian bomber plane activity that has increased globally.

    Brooks said the planes that circled Guam were refueled by Russian tankers flying from the strategic bay, which was transformed by the Americans during the Vietnam War into a massive air and naval base.

    Vietnam's willingness to allow Russia to use Cam Ranh Bay reflects Hanoi's complex position in a geopolitical tug-of-war that frequently pits China and Russia on one side and the United States, Japan and much of Southeast Asia on the other.

    Washington is keen to secure greater access itself to Cam Ranh Bay as part of its strategic "pivot" to Asia to counter China's growing strength in the region. U.S. ships have visited for repairs in recent years.

    Vietnam, in turn, has sought closer U.S. ties as a hedge against what it sees as China's aggression, but remains close to Russia in both defense and energy cooperation.

    Cam Ranh Bay is now host to three submarines bought by Vietnam's navy from Russia to counter Chinese expansion in the South China Sea, with two more expected by early next year.

    Brooks said in an interview the flights indicated that Vietnam's Cold War-era ally Russia was acting as "a spoiler to our interests and the interests of others."

    RAISING TENSIONS

    Asked about the Russian flights in the region, the State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Washington respected Hanoi's right to enter agreements with other countries.

    But the official added: "We have urged Vietnamese officials to ensure that Russia is not able to use its access to Cam Ranh Bay to conduct activities that could raise tensions in the region."

    The Vietnamese government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.S. request.

    Brooks declined to say when the flights he referred to took place. He did not say how many had been conducted and how many aircraft were involved. But he confirmed they had occurred since Russia's annexation of Crimea last March, which sparked a broader conflict with Ukraine and a surge in tensions between Russia and the United States.

    The head of U.S. air forces in the Pacific said last May that Russia's intervention in Ukraine had been accompanied by a significant increase in Russian air activity in the Asia-Pacific region in a show of strength and to gather intelligence.

    Russia's Defense Ministry said on Jan. 4 that Russian Il-78 tanker aircraft had used Cam Ranh Bay in 2014, enabling the refueling of nuclear-capable TU-95 "Bear" strategic bombers, a statement also reported in Vietnam's state-controlled media.

    In that time, Russia has conducted increasingly aggressive air and sea patrols close to the borders of the U.S.-led NATO alliance, including by Bear bombers over the English Channel.

    Last year, NATO conducted more than 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft, about three times as many as in 2013.

    RUSSIAN BOMBER FLIGHTS

    Russian bomber patrol flights, a Cold War-era practice, were cut back after the fall of the Soviet Union but President Vladimir Putin revived them in 2007.

    Russia said in November it planned to send long-range bombers on patrols over North American waters but the Pentagon played this down at the time as routine training in international airspace.

    In its effort to boost ties with Vietnam, the United States has been pouring in aid and assistance in health, education, landmines clearance, scholarships and nuclear energy.

    Defense cooperation had been limited by an embargo on lethal arms. But Washington started to ease this in October, enabling humanitarian exercises between both militaries late last year and more are taking place this month.

    Last year saw a flurry of high-level U.S. visits to Vietnam that coincided with a maritime territorial row between Hanoi and Beijing. On Friday, the U.S ambassador in Vietnam announced that the Vietnamese Communist Party chief would later this year become the first party leader to visit Washington.

    U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius said on Friday it was understandable Hanoi would look to "historic partners" when it came to security, but the United States had "much to offer... to enhance Vietnam's security in the short, medium and long term."

    (Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Martin Petty and Ho Binh Minh in Hanoi and Jason Szep in Washington; Editing by David Storey and Stuart Grudgings)

  7. #4252
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    JAD,

    i posted that a bit earlier, post #4198. interesting article.

    BM,

    Then Putin is an idiot after all. There is no way that Russia can swallow Ukraine at all. This war would be far more disastrous than the First Chechen War for Russia. Perhaps NATO and EU should cheer on Russia in taking on Ukraine because this war will finish Russia's hopes for global power. There is no way that Putin can hold Russia together if the expected costs, i.e., the butcher bill and associated economic costs, are incurred. Russia would be ruined for decades leaving a vacuum in eastern Europe in which EU will fill in quite nicely.
    no, Putin is not interested in occupying Ukraine's territory (I am guessing that is what you mean).

    he wants to paralyze and exert proxy power in Ukraine by having the autonomous eastern Ukrainian provinces act as his stalking horse. the eastern Ukrainian provinces would be able to stop Ukraine's shift to the West, and allow him to exert influence via money and bullyboys-- at best, wholly control Ukraine, and if nothing else, paralyze the system.

    given that the West will not be duking it out with Russia over this, if i were a Ukrainian i'd be lobbying my government right now to declare the eastern provinces lost due to Russian aggression, and go on from there. the alternative being, of course, a total war where Ukraine tries to bleed Russia into giving up, and then do ...population movement...to ensure that the pro-Russian minority doesn't try this again.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #4253
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    ...population movement...
    Interesting choice of words... of course that's what Serbia called that in Kosovo and China in Tibet and the world/UN/ICC/western powers saw that as ethnic cleansing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Interesting choice of words... of course that's what Serbia called that in Kosovo and China in Tibet and the world/UN/ICC/western powers saw that as ethnic cleansing.
    For Pete's sakes Hitesh, stop using morality as the basis of our decisions. Strategic interests always trump morality. And if morality happens to sway our strategic thinking, then so be it. We rather have our friends in place than our enemies who followed our rules..

    And your post is a red herring. We're arguing on how to hep the Ukraines, not that she deserves our blood. She doesn't.
    Chimo

  10. #4255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    For Pete's sakes Hitesh, stop using morality as the basis of our decisions. Strategic interests always trump morality. And if morality happens to sway our strategic thinking, then so be it. We rather have our friends in place than our enemies who followed our rules..
    There lies the basis of Russia's reasoning and actions in this Ukraine scenario. Therefore, it serves no purpose to play the morality card here.

    And your post is a red herring. We're arguing on how to hep the Ukraines, not that she deserves our blood. She doesn't.
    I know that. But advocating population movement is not helpful to Ukraine long term. You need to maintain a cultural link/bridge between both regions if reunification is to be possible.

  11. #4256
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    Alot of rumours here about Putin missing appointments that he is reported to have met. Health and reported email mentioning a stroke are mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Alot of rumours here about Putin missing appointments that he is reported to have met. Health and reported email mentioning a stroke are mentioned.
    A certain historical resonance there?

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    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    BM,

    Interesting choice of words... of course that's what Serbia called that in Kosovo and China in Tibet and the world/UN/ICC/western powers saw that as ethnic cleansing.
    no kidding. the point I was trying to get at was that Ukraine really has two choices. join the west or keep eastern Ukraine. and the second choice involves outbleeding Russia, to boot.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Senior Contributor Versus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Interesting choice of words... of course that's what Serbia called that in Kosovo and China in Tibet and the world/UN/ICC/western powers saw that as ethnic cleansing.
    Well, that is due to fact that you only acknowledge your own constructs and angle of view, to be only right one. The truth, however is much much more complicated than that.
    Last edited by Versus; 12 Mar 15, at 13:55.

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