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  • Isn't part of the issue with calculating casualties the fact that a lot of Russian BTGs went into the war under strength in infant to begin with. During the 'dash for Kiev' phase of the war there were all those reports of under-strength infantry companies (some allegedly at 50%) being deployed into combat and BTRs driving around crewed but with no infantry on boarded.

    If its true that lots of BTG infantry companies went into combat under-strength then even relatively low casualty rates are would lead to radio chatter about companies becoming 'combat ineffective' and hollowed out BTGs having to be combined.

    That said I still tend to side with the 10,000 -15,000 (max) KIA figure. It has been 6 months after all since the war started. Granted Russian casualty figures would trail off during the current 'grind' phase. But during the earlier, more chaotic phases before Russia started getting its act together? Easy to see them losing 2000 plus KIA in the first 3 months of the war.
    Last edited by Monash; 30 Jul 22,, 02:01.
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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    • A kinetic event killed and wounded scores of Ukrainian POWs in Russian-occupied Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, on July 28.[1] Ukraine and Russia are blaming each other for the attack and available visual evidence appears to support the Ukrainian claim more than the Russian, but ISW cannot independently assess the nature of the attack or the party responsible for it at this time.

      The Russian Defense Ministry asserted that Ukrainian forces deliberately struck the Olenivka pre-trial detention center holding Ukrainian POWs including Azov Regiment servicemen using Western-provided HIMARS, killing at least 40 and wounding 75 POWs.

      Kremlin-sponsored news outlet “RIA Novosti” published videos of the detention center, which showed fire damage but not the sort of damage that a HIMARS strike would likely have caused.

      RIA Novosti also released footage of HIMARS missile fragments but provided no evidence that the fragments were recovered at Olenivka.

      Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Ambassador to Russia Leonid Miroshnik claimed that Ukrainian forces struck the pre-detention center to eliminate the evidence of Ukrainian surrenders and prevent POWs from speaking out against the Ukrainian government.

      The Ukrainian General Staff said that Russian forces conducted the attack as a false flag operation to cover up Russian war crimes, disrupt the supply of Western weapons, discredit Ukrainian forces, and stoke social tensions within Ukrainian society.

      The Ukrainian General Staff stated that a deliberate explosion occurred near the newly-constructed penal colony, to which Russian forces had transferred Ukrainian POWs a few days earlier. The Ukrainian General Staff also noted that Ukrainian analysis of the damage to the building, intercepted phone conversations between Russian servicemen, the lack of reported shelling in Olenivka, and the absence of casualties among Russian personnel serving at the penal colony all point to a Russian deliberate “terrorist act” as the cause of the incident.

      The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) accused Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin of ordering the “terrorist act” without consulting with the Russian Defense Ministry, to conceal the embezzlement of funds allocated for the maintenance of Ukrainian POWs before an official inspection on September 1.

      The Ukrainian Office of the General Prosecutor reported that the explosion killed at least 40 and wounded 130 Ukrainian POWs.

      ISW is unable to assess the nature of the event or the party responsible for it with any confidence at this time. We will update our assessment as more information becomes available.
      _______
      "Donald Trump is the first seditious president in our history. He decided he would not abide by the election, the duly constituted, free election of Joe Biden as the president of the United States, and staged a coup to keep Biden from taking office." ~ Carl Bernstein

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      • Originally posted by Monash View Post
        Isn't part of the issue with calculating casualties the fact that a lot of Russian BTGs went into the war under strength in infant to begin with. During the 'dash for Kiev' phase of the war there were all those reports of under-strength infantry companies (some allegedly at 50%) being deployed into combat and BTRs driving around crewed but with no infantry on boarded.
        I think BTGs are designed that way, being to some degree or another skeleton units, meant to be filled out with conscripts in the event of war. Since this is a "special military operation", the BTGs didn't get brought up to "full strength" with the addition of conscripts.

        "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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        • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
          I think BTGs are designed that way, being to some degree or another skeleton units, meant to be filled out with conscripts in the event of war. Since this is a "special military operation", the BTGs didn't get brought up to "full strength" with the addition of conscripts.
          Yep, that's sort of the point. They are designed to be back filled by reservists/conscripts in the event of a major war. But as you noted according to Putin this invasion is isn't one (his biggest mistake of the war) so at least some under strength units were sent into battle. Which by default complicates attempts to estimate casualties e.g. does a radio intercept indicating a BTG is desperately short of manpower indicate that a full TOE unit has taken heavy casualties or merely that an under-strength one has taken a few casualties?

          If you take it as a given that a significant % of the BTGs deployed at the start of the war were under strength it would be easy to over-inflate initial estimates for both of the size of invasion force and casualties. My question is though, based on what has happened behind the scenes since then, does this really matter? If all the reports we've seen are reliable then in the months proceeding from their initial failures Moscow has been;

          1) Stripping garrison formations of troops for reinforcements;
          2) Conscripting Dombass civilians as cannon fodder; and
          3) Using mercenaries and trying to bribe poor rural Russian citizens into enlisting;

          Which as far as I can see means that if most of their BTGs were fully manned at the start of the war then yes, Russia really must have suffered heavy casualties. And if many were grossly undermanned? Well in that case the same behavior indicates the Russian military has no manpower reserves to call upon anyway (absent a general mobilization) and that the casualties they've suffered to date, even if light were severe enough cripple offensive operations. Either way I don't really see it making much of a difference. All that matters is that so far the casualty levels Ukraine has been able to inflict have been severe enough to screw Russia's invasion strategy regardless of how large those figures actually are.
          Last edited by Monash; 30 Jul 22,, 14:52.
          If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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          • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
            Yeah, this amateur historian says we ain't any better. I mean the actual battle lines at Little Big Horn and Isandlwana are not where we thought them to be.

            It's going to be a lot of work sifting through the propaganda of this war to gleam the facts.
            Yup...the historians of tomorrow will have many of the same issue as historians of today. I specialize in American Military History, specifically the Civil War & World War 2.

            One of the things I learned in grad school was to be careful using primary sources, especially autobiographies. I mean who ever told the full story on themselves, especially the bad parts and failures. Unit records are usually pretty accurate rather than books. But muster records and casualty reports often can be more accurate than battle after action reports, especially if someone is trying to clear their name.

            The same level of discipline will be needed to interpret the true stories of the wars of the 21st Century.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

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            • We're now dumping our toxic waste in Ukraine to save money apparently:

              https://www.joint-forces.com/world-n...age-to-ukraine

              "including a significant initial supply of decontamination agents"

              Comment


              • A pretty good map, and some more pontoon info.

                https://news.usni.org/2022/07/29/rus...-imagery-shows
                When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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                • The railroad bridge 4km upstream of the Antonivsky Bridge has been cut.



                  Attached Files
                  "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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                  • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                    The railroad bridge 4km upstream of the Antonivsky Bridge has been cut.


                    So what is left now? The pontoon bridges?
                    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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                    • Originally posted by Amled View Post

                      So what is left now? The pontoon bridges?
                      Looks that way. There's the Nova Kakhovka Dam with a two-lane road and railroad atop it 50km upriver, but if the Dariivka, Antonivsky Road Bridge, and Antonivsky Railroad Bridge are all rendered unusable, the only way for Russian forces in and out of Kherson City environs is through pontoon bridges and ferries.

                      I've heard, but not yet seen any photos or video, that the bridge spanning the lock at the Nova Kakhovka Dam Bridge is the portion that was hit. If it's been damaged, it's short enough that a bridge layer could put a span across it though.
                      Attached Files
                      "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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                      • Originally posted by Monash View Post
                        Which as far as I can see means that if most of their BTGs were fully manned at the start of the war then yes, Russia really must have suffered heavy casualties. And if many were grossly undermanned? Well in that case the same behavior indicates the Russian military has no manpower reserves to call upon anyway (absent a general mobilization) and that the casualties they've suffered to date, even if light were severe enough cripple offensive operations. Either way I don't really see it making much of a difference. All that matters is that so far the casualty levels Ukraine has been able to inflict have been severe enough to screw Russia's invasion strategy regardless of how large those figures actually are.
                        I've been thinking about this and either the Ukrainians are as incompetent as the Russians or the line BTGs were at full strength and did not suffer the casualties every pro-Ukrainian propaganda site says they did. 1st axiom of combat survival - do not lose contact with the enemy. You keep pressuring a retreating enemy until you can't. You don't allow him time and space to re-org. This is an axiom I truly expect the Ukrainians to follow, being veterans of the 2014 War (what not to do) and being trained by us (what to do). This means that again, given Matt's example of 50 men ouit of 200 size coy, the Ukrainians should have marched all the way to a BTG CP. Obviously, they didn't, meaning a substantial Russian force blocked them. The combat does not reflect 75K Russian KIA/WIA or 190 BTG- no matter how you slice it.

                        Russian strategy was screwed from the get go. I have zero idea how anyone thought you could take Keiv with a population of 2 million with 30K men, especially when they decide to fight.
                        Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 31 Jul 22,, 21:54.
                        Chimo

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                        • No way of knowing what Russian casualty figures truly are, but like I said, lots of anecdotes from intercepts that they are very heavy.

                          At 3:20, Samara Brigade mentioned going from 2000 to 400, and 30th Brigade completely wiped out:
                          https://youtu.be/5OQbIEKbZyc?t=200

                          "Grandma, there are only 32 people [out of 90] left from our company!" @ 0:22
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-G_ZBaKdw8

                          0:17 "3 battalions were withdrawn and they will form a new one from those."
                          0:53 "From 2 thousand people who got in Ukraine... f*ck. It's fucking great if there are 500 people who are still there."
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fk2URk9tX4

                          2:35 Q: "How many of you are still there?" A: "Not much"
                          Goes on to say they have 14 tanks left out of 90
                          https://youtu.be/gAr75cGs3ro

                          1:47 How many times did our kombrig try to send a letter?"
                          Every time, they refuse his request to withdraw our brigade! It's even mentioned, in the officer's charter:
                          If there are less than 50% of the brigade left, then the brigade is withdrawn or united with another brigade!
                          And what do we see? Our brigade keeps fighting, but there are less and less people left in it!"
                          https://youtu.be/dsL264pAGQI

                          1:34 ""Brigade commander said that there are no staff people left and that there are only 1500 people left in the brigade."
                          "There are not much left from staff - maybe a dozen!"
                          "Yeah many of them are 200 dead and 300 wounded."
                          "I don't know. We don't have much people here. There are no more than 100 people left here." (maybe talking about his battalion?)
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N4PsCUnbn8
                          Last edited by Ironduke; 31 Jul 22,, 23:27.
                          "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                            No way of knowing what Russian casualty figures truly are, but like I said, lots of anecdotes from intercepts that they are very heavy.

                            At 3:20, Samara Brigade mentioned going from 2000 to 400, and 30th Brigade completely wiped out:
                            https://youtu.be/5OQbIEKbZyc?t=200

                            "Grandma, there are only 32 people [out of 90] left from our company!" @ 0:22
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-G_ZBaKdw8

                            0:17 "3 battalions were withdrawn and they will form a new one from those."
                            0:53 "From 2 thousand people who got in Ukraine... f*ck. It's fucking great if there are 500 people who are still there."
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fk2URk9tX4

                            2:35 Q: "How many of you are still there?" A: "Not much"
                            Goes on to say they have 14 tanks left out of 90
                            https://youtu.be/gAr75cGs3ro

                            1:47 How many times did our kombrig try to send a letter?"
                            Every time, they refuse his request to withdraw our brigade! It's even mentioned, in the officer's charter:
                            If there are less than 50% of the brigade left, then the brigade is withdrawn or united with another brigade!
                            And what do we see? Our brigade keeps fighting, but there are less and less people left in it!"
                            https://youtu.be/dsL264pAGQI

                            1:34 ""Brigade commander said that there are no staff people left and that there are only 1500 people left in the brigade."
                            "There are not much left from staff - maybe a dozen!"
                            "Yeah many of them are 200 dead and 300 wounded."
                            "I don't know. We don't have much people here. There are no more than 100 people left here." (maybe talking about his battalion?)
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N4PsCUnbn8
                            6 examples the Ukrainians should have punched all the way to CAA HQ and yet, none did. Once or twice I can see but 6 times? And I'm sure you can find other examples. Then again, these could be Ukrainians spreading misinformation to demoralize the Russians or even the Russians themselves. But the bottom line is these kind of casualties shoud mean the Russian invasion should have collapsed and Russian armies being chased all the way back to Moscow.
                            Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 01 Aug 22,, 00:58.
                            Chimo

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                              6 examples the Ukrainians should have punched all the way to CAA HQ and yet, none did. Once or twice I can see but 6 times? And I'm sure you can find other examples. Then again, these could be Ukrainians spreading misinformation to demoralize the Russians or even the Russians themselves. But the bottom line is these kind of casualties shoud mean the Russian invasion should have collapsed and Russian armies being chased all the way back to Moscow.
                              Lay opinion here but part of the problem as been noted previously by everyone was terrain. The same terrain that prevented Russian forces from spreading out or bypassing defensive positions/road blocks etc during the 'race for Kiev' also hampered any Ukrainian advance in the opposite direction. As far as I am aware the Ukrainian defenders had a different mix of forces in the North compared to Russia i.e. the Uki's were 'light' on armor/artillery and heavy on infantry (more of less the exact opposite of Russians). Which, as is usually the case would have make rapid counterattacks/advances comparatively more expensive for the Ukrainians to conduct than defensive operations were. Or am I missing something?
                              Last edited by Monash; 01 Aug 22,, 01:14.
                              If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                              Comment


                              • But the Russians were too walking. You see that many wrecks and few bodies mean there were not enough vehicles to carry all the surviving Russians. Should have at least kept contact and kept pushing. We trained those officers and they have been aggressive thus far. I cannot believe that they did not kept the pressure on and then find the way to a CAA HQ wide open. Again, this is 6 examples. Not a single one made it to a BTG CP?

                                The only thing I can think of is that the Ukrainians were blocked by strong forces, not that the Ukrainians were unwilling to go all the way to a CAA HQ.
                                Chimo

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