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Thread: How defensible is Georgia against Russian invasion relative to the Baltics?

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    How defensible is Georgia against Russian invasion relative to the Baltics?

    It's a vaguely topical question because of the possibility of Georgia's admission to NATO.

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    A big stumbling block of course is (regulation of) the Black Sea.

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    While neither Georgia nor the Baltics could keep Russian armor out on their own, Georgia is a ton more defensible from a geographic position due to the presence of the Caucasus Mountains along the northern border. They could make crossing those mountains effectively impossible. There is really only one pass through the mountains at Darial Gorge and a tunnel somewhat to the West that could undoubtedly be made to collapse if required. In the Baltics there aren't any difficult terrain obstacles, just open plains perfect for armored divisions to roll across.

    With enough determination, Russia could undoubtedly still get armor into Georgia even if bringing it across the northern border wasn't an option. There's the coastal road along the Black Sea if it hasn't become a NATO fishing pond yet; or there's always the long way around along the Caspian to Baku, then West through Azerbaijan to Tbilisi. This would be a much more difficult operation from a logistical standpoint however, and any pretense at surprise would be out of the question.

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    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    Georgia isn't defensible and Russia has some level of forces in the two breakaway Georgian regions. I do not believe Georgia controls their side of the tunnel anymore (could be wrong) which will allow Russia to reinforce almost at will. Russia will not overlook defenses for such a strategic asset and it will not easily be closed. You'd think Georgia would have tried this during the 2008 war. If they truly wanted to, any Russian TACAIR flying over the mountains will easily suppress any Georgian air assets.

    Georgia (and the Ukraine) are firmly in the Russian sphere of influence at this point and only another crumbling of the Russian state will change this. Admitting either to NATO at this point could kick off a war. It might only be the little Green Men again, but Russia will not idly stand by and let NATO any closer.

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCT View Post
    Georgia isn't defensible and Russia has some level of forces in the two breakaway Georgian regions. I do not believe Georgia controls their side of the tunnel anymore (could be wrong) which will allow Russia to reinforce almost at will.
    You're right. Georgia didn't even have control of the Roki Tunnel at the beginning of the 2008 war, and furthermore I don't think they've ever exercised control over it since it was constructed in 1984. The Russians were in control of it in 2008, and have been ever since.

    Maps of Russian military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (source: Wikipedia)

    Last edited by Ironduke; 09 Aug 18, at 20:30.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

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    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    You're right. Georgia didn't even have control of the Roki Tunnel at the beginning of the 2008 war, and furthermore I don't think they've ever exercised control over it since it was constructed in 1984. The Russians were in control of it in 2008, and have been ever since.

    Maps of Russian military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (source: Wikipedia)

    Wow, that is not a pretty picture for the Georgians. They're going to be in a tough spot if things get active again.

    I know that we've been working with the Georgians for awhile, anyone have any idea how effective they are? There was a Georgian inf battalion in Helmond Province while I was there, I don't think that they were noted as being particularly active in their zone. They did have the highest per person bottled water consumption, so at least they were well hydrated.

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    Not defensible unless Turkey/Azerbaijan get involved.


    Quote Originally Posted by JCT View Post
    Georgia (and the Ukraine) are firmly in the Russian sphere of influence at this point and only another crumbling of the Russian state will change this.
    Ukraine is a vastly bigger nut to crack than Georgia.
    Last edited by snapper; 13 Aug 18, at 18:00.

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    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Ukraine is a vastly bigger nut to crack than Georgia.
    Agreed, however any move to bring the Ukraine into NATO will trigger a response from Russia. What that is depends on how strong she is (90's vs today) and what they think they can achieve and what they think that they can get away with. I personally have no idea, but I'd bet they continue to have agitators working from within the Ukraine (and Georgia) to influence any upcoming elections.

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    Last time I visited Georgia (a personal visit to see friends) was in 2013 so I cannot speak of their ability to defend themselves now. I know the Muscovites keep moving the border another 500m or so further into Georgia (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a7835756.html nor was this the first time).


    The objectives for attacking both are the same: First to control the gas supply pipelines to Europe (the largest buyer of Muscovite gas) and secondly to stop freedom movements/independence movements starting elsewhere in what remains the Muscovite Empire.

    But there are massive differences; Georgia's population is less than 4m; Ukraine under 45m. Georgia's size 59,425 miČ; Ukraine 233,062 miČ. Occupation of such spaces - should they win a war - is considerably more costly in the case of Ukraine. Then there is suppression of resistance organisations operations after if a war is won; in this case the Georgians have their beautiful mountains to launch attacks from and while we have some mountains in the west we also have remote villages dotted all over.

    Ukraine also has this added advantage; we have been been at war with Moscow for years. Defeated them at times. We know they are the enemy. Yes they have their agitators (and assassins) in Kyiv (the last attempted assassination the SBU managed to foil and the GRU ended in prison) but we know this is an enemy. If they did manage to occupy all Ukraine - which I do not think they will attempt - they could not keep it down. It is a matter of size partly but also a matter of antipathy.

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