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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Donate to assist Saker Tue Oct 04, 2022 20:32 | Ice-Saker-V6bKu3nz
The following post was put together by the Saker team.. The team includes our translators, the staff of the related Saker sites the Spanish, Italian, French, Serbian, and technical support.

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2022/10/04 ? Open Thread Tue Oct 04, 2022 17:00 | herb
2022/10/04 16:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Update from Andrei (hopefully the last related to Hurricane Ian) Mon Oct 03, 2022 20:10 | The Saker
Dear friends This will be my last hurricane-related post (God willing!). Tomorrow my family and I will finish moving the objects we can salvage from the house. But on Wednesday

offsite link Update from Andrei Sat Oct 01, 2022 21:36 | The Saker
Dear friends We found a home to stay. We have workable Internet. Best of all, a neighbor told us that in his opinion our house might be fixable, but it

offsite link ?Biden? Fulfilled a Promise on Nord Stream 2 Sat Oct 01, 2022 20:48 | Leo V.
For those who haven’t seen this footage being reposted the past few days, ”Biden” promised to put an end to Nord Stream 2 on February 7, 2022.

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony

offsite link RTE bias complaint Anthony

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

offsite link Irish Examiner and fake news Anthony

offsite link Labour Party: The unvarnished truth Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link U.K. ?Climate? Aid Money Paying for Gender ?Revision? Lessons for Mexican Coffee Growers Wed Oct 05, 2022 09:00 | Chris Morrison
Why is UK 'climate' aid money being spent on lessons on the "complete revision of the concepts of gender? among Mexican coffee growers?
The post U.K. ‘Climate’ Aid Money Paying for Gender “Revision” Lessons for Mexican Coffee Growers appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Elon Musk to Buy Twitter After All Wed Oct 05, 2022 07:00 | Toby Young
Elon Musk?s purchase of Twitter is back on! In a red letter day for free speech, the billionaire rocket man has announced he?ll proceed with the purchase of Twitter for $44 billion.
The post Elon Musk to Buy Twitter After All appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Wed Oct 05, 2022 01:36 | Will Jones
A summary of all the most interesting stories in the past 24 hours that challenge the prevailing orthodoxy about the virus and the vaccines, the ?climate emergency? and the supposed moral defects of Western civilisation.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Nick Dixon, Toby Young and Will Jones Talk About YouTube Cancelling Russell Brand, Kanye West Being ... Tue Oct 04, 2022 22:45 | Will Jones
In the latest episode of the Weekly Sceptic, the talking points are YouTube cancelling Russell Brand, Kanye West and Candace Owens checkmating the internet with ?racism? and whether Toby is Tory scum.
The post Nick Dixon, Toby Young and Will Jones Talk About YouTube Cancelling Russell Brand, Kanye West Being ‘Racist’ and Whether Toby is Tory Scum appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Three Vaccine Doses Increase Infection Risk by Up to 27%, Study Finds Tue Oct 04, 2022 19:19 | Will Jones
Three doses of the Moderna Covid vaccine increase your risk of Omicron infection by up to 27%, a study has found. Why do the Covid vaccines increase your infection risk? This needs urgently investigating.
The post Three Vaccine Doses Increase Infection Risk by Up to 27%, Study Finds appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Anti-Empire - Tue Oct 04, 2022 12:32

I heard such a great summary of Putin recently, I couldn’t have put it better myself:

I see him fundamentally as a phenomenal procrastinator in terms of decision making. And usually waiting until the very end when all the best options are gone and he is forced into a decision, and he is only able to pick between poor options and worse options. And he takes the risk, he takes the action, but the efficacy is much lower than if he had done it much sooner.

This is precisely right. In the end, Putin still always takes the escalation road, but because he leaves it so late the efficacy is much lower than if he had done it sooner.

The way he acts is the way you would operate if you wanted your escalatory moves to fail as much as possible, and have as little effect as possible.

He procrastinates on things past any reasonable date, allowing the situation to turn way against Russia before he will do anything, and even then he will only take the most minimal step that he can get away with.

The time to start giving the military the men it needs wasn’t 7 months into the war. It was on day one of the war.

Now that Ukraine has had 7 months to expand forces, gain experience, build confidence and assimilate NATO hardware, the 300K reinforcements are going to have a far lower impact than they could have had when Russia was still advancing against a weaker opponent. (And before the Russian professional army had exhausted itself.)

Whereas if you’re going to be conducting a wanna-be police operation the time for that was 2014, not February 2022. (Bizzare!!!)

Kofman is actually talking here about his handling of Syria, but the description applies just as well to his handling of Ukraine and the NATO/West situation.

In fact, Putin’s indecision in Syria (— he only intervened after the Syrian army had already all but disintegrated and there was very little left to save —) is much easier to defend because Moscow doesn’t have a big stake in Syria.

How much of Syria survives isn’t really a critical question for Moscow, but Ukraine-Little Russia can’t possibly be treated with the same lack of ownership. A Russo-Ukrainian war is a bell you can not unring. Ringing that bell is going to have consequences for inter-East Slavic relations that are going to reverberate for centuries. If that is something you’re going to do (and it’s questionable that you should) then you absolutely owe it to pour enormous resources and planning into it from the start to make it as overwhelming and as brief as possible. To maximize the benefits of a violent resolution as possible, and limit the immense fallout from it as much as possible.

What is being done now is the exact opposite. It is what you would do if you wanted to build up anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalism as much as possible, thus cementing Ukraine’s separation and hostility as much as possible, while also trying to make Russia’s direct territorial gains vs Ukraine as meager as possible. — It is the worst of both worlds.

Kofman then moves onto Ukraine 2014:

So my view of it is that Crimea worked out rather well for Putin, but the rest of the campaign in Donbass ended up being a fitfull messy escalation that ultimately didn't get Russia what they wanted and ended up showing the limitations of the utility of force that they were trying to achieve, and that throughout he had been trying to pursue the most minimal [inaudible] he could, and he ended up in a situation where he was chipping in, chipping in, and chipping in, and getting pot committed into it and still not being able to attain his political objectives.

And again:

Briefly going back to 2014, that was another demonstration of Putin the Procrastinator when the initial plan fails, when he has attempted to conduct an operation, doesn't go through and he spent entire summer on his hands, fitfully escalating, until eventually he had to yank Girkin and Borodai out of there, and conduct a conventional military intervention leading to the Minsk-1 agreement — and that didn't achieve their objectives.

And then they conducted another campaign in the winter, in the Battle of Debaltsevo that led to the second Minsk agreement — and that also in the long run didn't achieve their political objectives either.

And the reason I raise that is that I saw it very much replicated in what over the course of this year. Where the initial campaign was unsuccessful and then Putin decided to proceed with fitfull escalation and basically sat on his hand, pursued piecemeal solutions, all of which were basically kicking the can down the road, and is now looking like he is steadily running out of road. He has been procrastinating this whole time in making any of the hard political decisions.

It’s quite damning when your own enemies have you figured out as indecisive, and a wimp.

Here is a Kiev-born American, Kofman, as pro-Empire as they come, and even he can’t wrap his mind around why Putin can’t make a single decision when it would be actually appropriate but has to sabotage each and every one of them by leaving them way past their best before date.

I heard such a great summary of Putin recently, I couldn’t have put it better myself:

I see him fundamentally as a phenomenal procrastinator in terms of decision making. And usually waiting until the very end when all the best options are gone and he is forced into a decision, and he is only able to pick between poor options and worse options. And he takes the risk, he takes the action, but the efficacy is much lower than if he had done it much sooner.

This is precisely right. In the end, Putin still always takes the escalation road, but because he leaves it so late the efficacy is much lower than if he had done it sooner.

The way he acts is the way you would operate if you wanted your escalatory moves to fail as much as possible, and have as little effect as possible.

He procrastinates on things past any reasonable date, allowing the situation to turn way against Russia before he will do anything, and even then he will only take the most minimal step that he can get away with.

The time to start giving the military the men it needs wasn’t 7 months into the war. It was on day one of the war.

Now that Ukraine has had 7 months to expand forces, gain experience, build confidence and assimilate NATO hardware, the 300K reinforcements are going to have a far lower impact than they could have had when Russia was still advancing against a weaker opponent. (And before the Russian professional army had exhausted itself.)

Whereas if you’re going to be conducting a wanna-be police operation the time for that was 2014, not February 2022. (Bizzare!!!)

Kofman is actually talking here about his handling of Syria, but the description applies just as well to his handling of Ukraine and the NATO/West situation.

In fact, Putin’s indecision in Syria (— he only intervened after the Syrian army had already all but disintegrated and there was very little left to save —) is much easier to defend because Moscow doesn’t have a big stake in Syria.

How much of Syria survives isn’t really a critical question for Moscow, but Ukraine-Little Russia can’t possibly be treated with the same lack of ownership. A Russo-Ukrainian war is a bell you can not unring. Ringing that bell is going to have consequences for inter-East Slavic relations that are going to reverberate for centuries. If that is something you’re going to do (and it’s questionable that you should) then you absolutely owe it to pour enormous resources and planning into it from the start to make it as overwhelming and as brief as possible. To maximize the benefits of a violent resolution as possible, and limit the immense fallout from it as much as possible.

What is being done now is the exact opposite. It is what you would do if you wanted to build up anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalism as much as possible, thus cementing Ukraine’s separation and hostility as much as possible, while also trying to make Russia’s direct territorial gains vs Ukraine as meager as possible. — It is the worst of both worlds.

Kofman then moves onto Ukraine 2014:

So my view of it is that Crimea worked out rather well for Putin, but the rest of the campaign in Donbass ended up being a fitfull messy escalation that ultimately didn't get Russia what they wanted and ended up showing the limitations of the utility of force that they were trying to achieve, and that throughout he had been trying to pursue the most minimal [inaudible] he could, and he ended up in a situation where he was chipping in, chipping in, and chipping in, and getting pot committed into it and still not being able to attain his political objectives.

And again:

Briefly going back to 2014, that was another demonstration of Putin the Procrastinator when the initial plan fails, when he has attempted to conduct an operation, doesn't go through and he spent entire summer on his hands, fitfully escalating, until eventually he had to yank Girkin and Borodai out of there, and conduct a conventional military intervention leading to the Minsk-1 agreement — and that didn't achieve their objectives.

And then they conducted another campaign in the winter, in the Battle of Debaltsevo that led to the second Minsk agreement — and that also in the long run didn't achieve their political objectives either.

And the reason I raise that is that I saw it very much replicated in what over the course of this year. Where the initial campaign was unsuccessful and then Putin decided to proceed with fitfull escalation and basically sat on his hand, pursued piecemeal solutions, all of which were basically kicking the can down the road, and is now looking like he is steadily running out of road. He has been procrastinating this whole time in making any of the hard political decisions.

It’s quite damning when your own enemies have you figured out as indecisive, and a wimp.

Here is a Kiev-born American, Kofman, as pro-Empire as they come, and even he can’t wrap his mind around why Putin can’t make a single decision when it would be actually appropriate but has to sabotage each and every one of them by leaving them way past their best before date.

Anti-Empire - Mon Oct 03, 2022 08:47

Yesterday I sat down for a beer with a long-serving former journalist from my country. He was a globe-trotting reporter who had rubbed shoulders with tribesmen in Waziristan and Maoist rebels in Nepal. He was working for the national print media, but his thing was always trying to get alternative viewpoints into our local mainstream. Eventually, he quit after he got tired of having to fight his editors over nearly every story.

In any case, as we were talking about the Russo-Ukrainian situation he expressed disbelief that Russia should be doing so poorly. He was convinced that the Russian army was in some way being intentionally held back or intentionally set up to fail in order to prolong the war and make it as bloody as possible. In other words, to kill as many of Russians and Ukrainians in the long run as possible, and maximally set back Russia.

He is now convinced that Kremlin is not an independent player, but is beholden to the same powers-that-be that also run the West and who do not have Russia’s best interest in mind.

I thought his view was very interesting because it expresses the same sentiment I have noticed many times in my comment section.

I constantly ridicule the 5D clowns who will spin every Putin’s indecision, under-resourcing, and blunder as solid judo gold, but that is really giving these jokers too much credit. It makes it appear as if they are the main game in town when that really isn’t true.

The opposite viewpoint that VVP is engaging in judo to ruin Russia, or at least to advance interests that are not Russian is at least as prevalent in the alternative if not more so, and increasingly so. Since 2020 I am not seeing Moscow picking up new fans. I am seeing international well-wishers who lined up behind Donbass and Syria with heart and soul becoming increasingly confused and disillusioned and wondering whose side is the Kremlin even on?

It is merely that while the unfazed 5D simpletons continue to churn out their hagiographical garbage with the fanaticism of an idiot. The people like my ex-journalist friend are, on the contrary, slowly dropping out of reading and writing on geopolitics and moving on to more fundamental questions.

As my friend said “This multipolar stuff used to be a lot more hopeful.”

Personally, I am not a huge conspiracy theorist. Perhaps I am naive, but almost always I find that incentive, self-delusion, and willful ignorance already sufficiently explain various mindboggling decisions of our political classes and that no formal conspiracy is required.

That said, I do like people who get slandered as conspiracy theorists because time and time again we find ourselves in the same trench. If you’re in my foxhole I’m not going to be splitting hairs over how you got here, I’m just grateful you did.

And the truth is that if you assume that Putin is a secret lizard the story of the last 2 years works a lot better, than if you assume that he is a 5D judo genius.

For many months now I have been toying with the idea of penning a tongue-in-cheek article that would be titled “If Putin Was a 5th Column Traitor, What Would He Be Doing Any Differently?”. The article would just be a long list of all the Russian self-inflicted wounds of the past two years courtesy of what seems like common-sense defying levels of stupidity emanating from the Kremlin recently.

Just the three most glaringly dumb, self-harming, incompetent, irresponsible, and dilettantish decisions would be:

  • Subjecting Russia to the unprecedented economic assault that were the benefit-free COVID lockdowns
  • Leaving $300 billion in Western banks just asking for them to be confiscated
  • Sending the Russian army into the largest European war after WW2 in a piecemeal fashion

The reason I haven’t started writing the text is that I fear that it would quickly balloon to 15,000 words and consume two weeks of my life, so much Kremlin retardation has there been lately.

As I said, the piece would be tongue-in-cheek because I do not honestly believe that Putin is a 5th column lizard (he just acts like one). But there is an undeniable pattern now where he constantly underestimates enemy resolveConstantly procrastinates on making the tough calls until it is all but too late. And where he constantly under-resources his gambles to a comical degree putting his men in extraordinarily and needlessly difficult and lethal situations, and generally making Russia seem hapless and incompetent while also exhausting her energies for the most minimal gains possible.

What could be more simple than that either you leave Ukraine completely alone, or else you pounce on it with everything at once? Doing anything in between just gets you the worst of both worlds.

Whom he increasingly reminds me of is the August 1991 putschists. The geriatric Soviet hardliners who attempted a coup against Gorbachev to save the Soviet Union. But who were so low-energy that all they succeeded in was to weaken the liberal but pro-Soviet Gorbachev, in favor of the liberal but anti-Soviet Yeltsin.

Like they, he seems like a man determined to grab the worst possible outcome, with all the downsides of all the possible approaches.

I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, but if it was one, — tell me, what would he be doing any different?

Can you think of one thing?

 

Yesterday I sat down for a beer with a long-serving former journalist from my country. He was a globe-trotting reporter who had rubbed shoulders with tribesmen in Waziristan and Maoist rebels in Nepal. He was working for the national print media, but his thing was always trying to get alternative viewpoints into our local mainstream. Eventually, he quit after he got tired of having to fight his editors over nearly every story.

In any case, as we were talking about the Russo-Ukrainian situation he expressed disbelief that Russia should be doing so poorly. He was convinced that the Russian army was in some way being intentionally held back or intentionally set up to fail in order to prolong the war and make it as bloody as possible. In other words, to kill as many of Russians and Ukrainians in the long run as possible, and maximally set back Russia.

He is now convinced that Kremlin is not an independent player, but is beholden to the same powers-that-be that also run the West and who do not have Russia’s best interest in mind.

I thought his view was very interesting because it expresses the same sentiment I have noticed many times in my comment section.

I constantly ridicule the 5D clowns who will spin every Putin’s indecision, under-resourcing, and blunder as solid judo gold, but that is really giving these jokers too much credit. It makes it appear as if they are the main game in town when that really isn’t true.

The opposite viewpoint that VVP is engaging in judo to ruin Russia, or at least to advance interests that are not Russian is at least as prevalent in the alternative if not more so, and increasingly so. Since 2020 I am not seeing Moscow picking up new fans. I am seeing international well-wishers who lined up behind Donbass and Syria with heart and soul becoming increasingly confused and disillusioned and wondering whose side is the Kremlin even on?

It is merely that while the unfazed 5D simpletons continue to churn out their hagiographical garbage with the fanaticism of an idiot. The people like my ex-journalist friend are, on the contrary, slowly dropping out of reading and writing on geopolitics and moving on to more fundamental questions.

As my friend said “This multipolar stuff used to be a lot more hopeful.”

Personally, I am not a huge conspiracy theorist. Perhaps I am naive, but almost always I find that incentive, self-delusion, and willful ignorance already sufficiently explain various mindboggling decisions of our political classes and that no formal conspiracy is required.

That said, I do like people who get slandered as conspiracy theorists because time and time again we find ourselves in the same trench. If you’re in my foxhole I’m not going to be splitting hairs over how you got here, I’m just grateful you did.

And the truth is that if you assume that Putin is a secret lizard the story of the last 2 years works a lot better, than if you assume that he is a 5D judo genius.

For many months now I have been toying with the idea of penning a tongue-in-cheek article that would be titled “If Putin Was a 5th Column Traitor, What Would He Be Doing Any Differently?”. The article would just be a long list of all the Russian self-inflicted wounds of the past two years courtesy of what seems like common-sense defying levels of stupidity emanating from the Kremlin recently.

Just the three most glaringly dumb, self-harming, incompetent, irresponsible, and dilettantish decisions would be:

  • Subjecting Russia to the unprecedented economic assault that were the benefit-free COVID lockdowns
  • Leaving $300 billion in Western banks just asking for them to be confiscated
  • Sending the Russian army into the largest European war after WW2 in a piecemeal fashion

The reason I haven’t started writing the text is that I fear that it would quickly balloon to 15,000 words and consume two weeks of my life, so much Kremlin retardation has there been lately.

As I said, the piece would be tongue-in-cheek because I do not honestly believe that Putin is a 5th column lizard (he just acts like one). But there is an undeniable pattern now where he constantly underestimates enemy resolveConstantly procrastinates on making the tough calls until it is all but too late. And where he constantly under-resources his gambles to a comical degree putting his men in extraordinarily and needlessly difficult and lethal situations, and generally making Russia seem hapless and incompetent while also exhausting her energies for the most minimal gains possible.

What could be more simple than that either you leave Ukraine completely alone, or else you pounce on it with everything at once? Doing anything in between just gets you the worst of both worlds.

Whom he increasingly reminds me of is the August 1991 putschists. The geriatric Soviet hardliners who attempted a coup against Gorbachev to save the Soviet Union. But who were so low-energy that all they succeeded in was to weaken the liberal but pro-Soviet Gorbachev, in favor of the liberal but anti-Soviet Yeltsin.

Like they, he seems like a man determined to grab the worst possible outcome, with all the downsides of all the possible approaches.

I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, but if it was one, — tell me, what would he be doing any different?

Can you think of one thing?

 

Anti-Empire - Sun Oct 02, 2022 17:21

Declared to be a part of Russia on September 30, Liman was then lost to Ukrainian army on October 1.

Some of the surrounding settlements meanwhile, got the chance to start voting to join Russia on September 23, only to be overrun before the annexation proclamation.

It’s safe to say that Russia isn’t exactly covering itself in glory on the battlefield these days. (Through no fault of the troops.)

After the Ukrainian Kupyansk-Izyum Offensive of September 6-15 caused the Russians to flee beyond the Oskil river, Liman became the next logical target.

That is because Russian positions at Liman formed a “balcony” facing Ukrainian lines to the west but also to the south. Also Liman lies on a river-flat that doesn’t offer many advantages to the defender, while also being a useful road hub.

On the other hand, what the Russian defenders theoretically had going for them is that their initial positions were anchored on the Oskil river to the west, and the Seversky Donets river to the west and south.

However, after Izyum the Ukrainians were able to bridge the Oskil without much fuss, and then steadily kept creeping forward until they were enveloping Liman from the north.

Liman’s fate was probably sealed when a few days ago the Ukrainians successfully bridged the Seversky Donetsk as well, thus enveloping Liman also from the southeast.

This crossing of Seversky Donetsk was perhaps particularly impressive seeing how in May when the Russians were crossing the river in the same area in the other direction, they first suffered a famous debacle in which a battalion-worth of equipment that had been bunched up by the river was destroyed.

The Ukrainians managed without such embarrassments.

The Liman battle was more successful for the Russians than the defeat in Kharkov region, since this time they at least successfully traded space for time and blood. Instead of having to quickly flee and leave a portion of heavy equipment behind as they had done in the Kupyansk-Izyum offensive.

(Perhaps some of the difference is down to Liman being in Donetsk so that Donetsk troops were more motivated than had been the Lugansk militias in Kharkov, ie outside Lugansk.)

In any case, albeit a less lopsided loss than at Kupyansk (where Russia relinquished as much territory in several days as it had captured in several months), Liman is still a defeat.

Moreover, while Kupyansk-Izyum could be blamed on Kiev catching the Russians by surprise, such an excuse is not available for Liman.

One Ukrainian victory could be a “coincidence” but stringing two in a row is a trend.

The nadir of Russian fortunes is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that defeat at Liman was, for the first time, followed by public recriminations going after named individuals. Ex-terrorist Ramzan Kadyrov publicly attacked general Lapin, commander of the Central Military District, scapegoating him for the defeat.

Andrey Gurulyov, a retired general, United Russia MP, and TV rent-a-pundit, then jumped on the bandwagon, as did mercenary CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Actually, it turns out Lapin wasn’t even in charge at Liman. He only contributed some reinforcements toward the tail end of the battle.* But Kadyrov and Prigozhin who run private armies have a strong incentive to try and discredit Russia’s real army. The army that is carrying 95% of the weight of this war, and without special favors from the top that Kadyrov’s selfie troops and Prigozhin’s criminals can count on, but on the contrary being handicapped at every turn.

The private-interest brigade is smelling weakness, that’s for sure.

https://twitter.com/Roberto05246129/status/1572690245057118209

Questions about the Western District aside, the gravely outnumbered Russian forces at Liman did about as well as could have been expected of them in the circumstances. (Probably a lot better than Kadyrov’s joke troops that many African warlords would be embarrassed to field would have.) If the opposition has the forces to envelop you from three sides, including to your rear, there just isn’t a lot you can do.

The fish rots from the head. The real question to ask is why are Russians everywhere outnumbered? Why was the Russian military thrown into the largest European war since WW2 piecemeal, its professional element detached from its conscript and mobiki elements?**

Kupyansk-Izyum and Liman reveal one truth about the September 21 mobilization. They reveal that this mobilization wasn’t optional. It was a choice between mobilizing and accepting that Kiev would eventually win, inflicting a defeat on Putin that his rule would be unlikely to survive.

 

 

https://twitter.com/worldonalert/status/1576220672581570561

 


*As it happened many soldiers jumped to Lapin’s defense:

https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1576258911149363201

**Actually it would be interesting to research if it was precisely the FSB, Kadyrov and Erik Prince, sorry, Yevgeny Prigozhin who reassured the Tsar that he didn’t need to use conscripts or mobilize because of the assets they had to give him.

Declared to be a part of Russia on September 30, Liman was then lost to Ukrainian army on October 1.

Some of the surrounding settlements meanwhile, got the chance to start voting to join Russia on September 23, only to be overrun before the annexation proclamation.

It’s safe to say that Russia isn’t exactly covering itself in glory on the battlefield these days. (Through no fault of the troops.)

After the Ukrainian Kupyansk-Izyum Offensive of September 6-15 caused the Russians to flee beyond the Oskil river, Liman became the next logical target.

That is because Russian positions at Liman formed a “balcony” facing Ukrainian lines to the west but also to the south. Also Liman lies on a river-flat that doesn’t offer many advantages to the defender, while also being a useful road hub.

On the other hand, what the Russian defenders theoretically had going for them is that their initial positions were anchored on the Oskil river to the west, and the Seversky Donets river to the west and south.

However, after Izyum the Ukrainians were able to bridge the Oskil without much fuss, and then steadily kept creeping forward until they were enveloping Liman from the north.

Liman’s fate was probably sealed when a few days ago the Ukrainians successfully bridged the Seversky Donetsk as well, thus enveloping Liman also from the southeast.

This crossing of Seversky Donetsk was perhaps particularly impressive seeing how in May when the Russians were crossing the river in the same area in the other direction, they first suffered a famous debacle in which a battalion-worth of equipment that had been bunched up by the river was destroyed.

The Ukrainians managed without such embarrassments.

The Liman battle was more successful for the Russians than the defeat in Kharkov region, since this time they at least successfully traded space for time and blood. Instead of having to quickly flee and leave a portion of heavy equipment behind as they had done in the Kupyansk-Izyum offensive.

(Perhaps some of the difference is down to Liman being in Donetsk so that Donetsk troops were more motivated than had been the Lugansk militias in Kharkov, ie outside Lugansk.)

In any case, albeit a less lopsided loss than at Kupyansk (where Russia relinquished as much territory in several days as it had captured in several months), Liman is still a defeat.

Moreover, while Kupyansk-Izyum could be blamed on Kiev catching the Russians by surprise, such an excuse is not available for Liman.

One Ukrainian victory could be a “coincidence” but stringing two in a row is a trend.

The nadir of Russian fortunes is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that defeat at Liman was, for the first time, followed by public recriminations going after named individuals. Ex-terrorist Ramzan Kadyrov publicly attacked general Lapin, commander of the Central Military District, scapegoating him for the defeat.

Andrey Gurulyov, a retired general, United Russia MP, and TV rent-a-pundit, then jumped on the bandwagon, as did mercenary CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Actually, it turns out Lapin wasn’t even in charge at Liman. He only contributed some reinforcements toward the tail end of the battle.* But Kadyrov and Prigozhin who run private armies have a strong incentive to try and discredit Russia’s real army. The army that is carrying 95% of the weight of this war, and without special favors from the top that Kadyrov’s selfie troops and Prigozhin’s criminals can count on, but on the contrary being handicapped at every turn.

The private-interest brigade is smelling weakness, that’s for sure.

https://twitter.com/Roberto05246129/status/1572690245057118209

Questions about the Western District aside, the gravely outnumbered Russian forces at Liman did about as well as could have been expected of them in the circumstances. (Probably a lot better than Kadyrov’s joke troops that many African warlords would be embarrassed to field would have.) If the opposition has the forces to envelop you from three sides, including to your rear, there just isn’t a lot you can do.

The fish rots from the head. The real question to ask is why are Russians everywhere outnumbered? Why was the Russian military thrown into the largest European war since WW2 piecemeal, its professional element detached from its conscript and mobiki elements?**

Kupyansk-Izyum and Liman reveal one truth about the September 21 mobilization. They reveal that this mobilization wasn’t optional. It was a choice between mobilizing and accepting that Kiev would eventually win, inflicting a defeat on Putin that his rule would be unlikely to survive.

 

 

https://twitter.com/worldonalert/status/1576220672581570561

 


*As it happened many soldiers jumped to Lapin’s defense:

https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1576258911149363201

**Actually it would be interesting to research if it was precisely the FSB, Kadyrov and Erik Prince, sorry, Yevgeny Prigozhin who reassured the Tsar that he didn’t need to use conscripts or mobilize because of the assets they had to give him.

Anti-Empire - Sat Oct 01, 2022 16:03

Once I heard a Balkan guy say that he loved reading about Russia in the Western mainstream press. He said he loved it because Russia presented on its pages was much more badass than real Russia. The based Russia of Western MSM imagination was what he wanted Russia to be, but what Russia was sadly not.

I imagine that guy might be quite happy today.

Western press loved to present the picture where the US was the status quo power, whereas Russia was supposedly going around the world trying to undermine America and the liberal-Westphalian order that underpinned its strength.

That would have been intuitive, but it wasn’t the truth.

It was actually the US that was celebrating its 30-year “unipolar moment” by throwing Molotov cocktails at the globe, scorching countries and the “rules-based international order”. While it was Russia that was sticking up for sovereignty, non-interference and stability. It was Russia that was the status quo power, the power defending the liberal-based international order. And it was the US that was acting like a drunken wolverine in a chicken coop, and whose neocons and “humanitarian interventionists” were penning long ideological tracts explaining why the world order rooted in classical international law had to go.

Ironically in doing so the neocons and liberal interventionists were attempting to subvert and demolish a system that US and Britain — more than any other power — had built.

However, where the egalitarian notion that small countries have all the same rights as great powers may in the past have served as a bulwark against Napoleon, Kaiser and Hitler, it now limited the power of Washington’s own apparatchiks.

In the past, these high-minded ideals could be mobilized to help freeze the European continent in its disunited state. Preventing any continental power from attaining the mastery of Europe with which to threaten British/American global dominance.

However, with 1991 seeing the last challenger to American mastery of the world on its knees, these rules no longer did anything but hamper Washington’s arsonist Cold War-victory celebration tour that took it to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

Russia intuitively understood this and so spoke up for the international order and its rules.

Bizarrely you had the situation where the Americans were trying to burn down the rules they had inaugurated, and the defeated Russians trying to defend them.

That is as if interwar Germany had been defending Versailles, while Paris-London-DC were tearing it up as not enough.

Such was the disparity in power!

Moreover the Russians were doing so albeit the dissolution of the Soviet Union now left international law a bitter pill to swallow, since it ruled out liberating any of the 20 million Russians who now found themselves on the wrong side of the new borders.

— Any yet for a quarter of a century Russia didn’t lift a finger to liberate any of them, instead staying true to sovereignty, non-aggression, and inviolability of borders (that until very recently had been internal). — Even as the US was going around the world making a mockery of these ideals.

Now, it is true that sometimes Moscow collaborated with the US in tearing up the classical liberal international order. In the 1990s because it was weak and a vassal state herself, Russia was complicit in sanctions against Yugoslavia. Later on, as it was hoping that collaboration might buy it some goodwill it went along with sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

However, increasingly Russia started to defend small nations against the jihads of the Washington pyromaniacs. First rhetorically and then materially and militarily.

Now Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua actually had a foreign friend to help counter the very worst aspects of the lawless US assault against them. The help wasn’t always a lot, but at least they weren’t completely alone as had been the case with Libya, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia.

Now, Moscow wasn’t helping these alleged “rogue states” because it was invested in them per se. It was aiding them as part of its strategy of forcing the US to engage with it. Allowing the US to use the UN Security Council to make a mockery of international law hadn’t paid dividends. No goodwill was earned and DC remained as unwilling to talk about Russia’s core concerns as it had been before. If enabling the Washington gang hadn’t worked — Moscow reasoned — maybe stepping on its bomb-throwing toes here and there might.

Thus Russia ventured into Latin America and the Middle East — not to overthrow the US — but to force a conversation on a few issues in the post-Soviet space that actually mattered to it.

(The Western press omitted this all-important context, and furthermore greatly exaggerated Russian reach and role, making Moscow seem far more badass than it really was.)

Nonetheless, whatever the Russian motivation for doing this, having a great-power backer of laws, rules, and treaties was incredibly refreshing. The world over people under imperial assault suddenly had at least rhetorical support.

For example, when the West illegally revises the obscure 1994 Washington Treaty to marginalize Bosnian Croats, who do you think these have to back them? Croatia? No. the Russian ambassador to Sarajevo. Russian embassies all over the world turned into embassies for rules. The much-needed but absent NGOs against Western arrogance and despotism.

It is true that on a couple of occasions Moscow itself broke international law. Namely the 2008 recognition of South Ossetia, and the 2014 recognition of Crimea.

These are exceptions that prove the rule. Firstly they are infinitely less numerous than Western-led assaults on international law. Secondly, while there is no international law defense of these, there is a pro-stability argument for them, at least as seen by Moscow.

South Ossetia was recognized as non-Georgian after Georgia launched a surprise military offensive against Russian treaty troops during the Olympic peace. Moscow in turn proclaimed South Ossetia to no longer be Georgian territory as a warning across the post-Soviet space (Russia also has treaty peacekeepers in Moldova and Azerbaijan) that surprise military offensives on Russians will come with dire, irreversible consequences.

Crimea was recognized in 2014 after Putin helped talk Yanukovich into a power-transition agreement wanted by Paris and Berlin, only for Yanukovich to be run out of town anyway, and the one-half of Ukraine that had no enthusiasm for Maidanites completely sidelined. Putin could have taken far more — it was there for the taking — but he settled for the one piece he could have bloodlessly and where 95% wanted Russia to come in.

It was an international law violation, but what it was first and foremost for Moscow was fundamentally a defensive move — another reactive shot across the bow to show a possible future if the half of Ukraine (Little Russia) that had no interest in merging with the Russophobic West continued to be sidelined and made voiceless.

We are a long way from there.

On February 24 Russia launched a regime-change invasion against Kiev. Of course, Moscow had used the military for regime change before. In Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan. But those were interventions against their own clients, inside Moscow’s own sphere of influence.

The 2022 undertaking was something else entirely. It was a US-style regime-change operation venturing outside own sphere of influence in order to expand it. It took inspiration from the 2003 invasion of Iraq, right down to the Rumsfeldian insistence that 130,000 frontline troops with 40,000 auxiliaries could do the job.

When that didn’t work (the Russians are novices at this stuff) the plan B was to annex whatever land was taken where the population was cooperative or ambivalent to Russia.

Note how different this is from the 2008 and 2014 recognitions. South Ossetia and Crimea were not premeditated. They were ad hoc reactions. Improvisations in the moment.

When the US (illegally) bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 it did so after a decade-long campaign to humble Belgrade and already with the intention to one day proclaim Kosovo non-Serbian.

But Russia didn’t arrive in South Ossetia in 1992 (as part of a joint Georgian-Russian peacekeeping force) with plans to one day proclaim it non-Georgian. Had the Empire not created the Kosovo precedent and had Tbilisi not attacked Russian peacekeepers it had invited in 1992 (because it refused joint patrols with Ossetians) South Ossetia would still formally be Georgian.

On the other hand, everyone with a brain cell knew on February 24 that if Russia failed to take power in Kiev it would start incorporating parts of Ukraine directly.

February 24, 2022 marks a turning point where Russia started using US methods for its own ends in a premeditated fashion.

As always this shift marks the recognition in Moscow that the previous approach had failed.

Up until 2002 the dominant tendency was for Moscow to try to secure the ear of the West for its own core concerns by being helpful. By serving as a helpful enabler of the Empire in the UNSC and in the early War on Terror. (1999 being the one big exception.)

After Putin’s help to Bush in Afghanistan was repaid by scorn this was increasingly recognized as a dead end. Now the dominant tendency became standing up for international law against the neocon-liberventionist assault on it. (The big exception being Medvedev and Libya.)

Until 2014 this Russian defense of principles of international order against Imperial arbitrariness was largely diplomatic and moral. But with the escalation of the Western-Russian tug-of-war over Ukraine (Malorus) Russia now started building real ties with besieged “rogue states” and offering them technical, trade — and in Syria’s case even military — support. (It is in this period that you hear the quip that Russia’s “foremost export is stability”.)

Russia was not doing so because it was organizing a Third World uprising against DC (something that even the USSR was too weak for). But to showcase it was a power with some reach whose concerns couldn’t be ignored forever. It did so to try and coerce the US into having to sit down with Moscow and hammer out a division of influence in the post-Soviet space that Russia could actually live with.

In other words, if Moscow couldn’t befriend DC enough to get it to stop penetrating deeper into former core Russian lands, perhaps that cooperation could be coerced out of it by throwing logs at the feet of Imperial transformations the world over.

2022 marks the turning point where Moscow recognized that this wasn’t working either, and that Russia was anyway running out of time.

All the while Russia was vying for a “Concert of Powers” solution, on the ground itself Ukraine, a core Slavic land of old Russia, was being steadily de-Sovietized and de-Russified. (Courtesy of Lenin who had picked out the Ukrainian project as the winner in the competition for loyalties in Ruthenia Minor over the All-Russian one.)

Thus in 2022 Moscow was forced to embark on what it had dreaded, and what it tried for 30 years to avoid and postpone. It embarked on the straightforward task of solving her own problems directly, by herself, and in contravention of America’s will.

Having left it late (and having failed to prepare properly) this “solution” takes the form of a bloody fratricidal war and rushed annexations to Russia.

It takes the form of Russia appropriating America’s own methods and using them to secure her own core interests.

It means that Russia has progressed from defending the international order in a convoluted 5D plan to eventually get what it wants with America’s coerced approval, to just going out and grabbing it the American way.

The Western press spent 20 years writing about Russia as a power in rebellion against “the rules-based order”. This wasn’t true. Moscow was precisely the world’s premier defender and champion of rules, stability, and non-aggression.

An imperfect defender (as North Korea, Iran and Yemen may testify) but the best we had.

That is in the past now. Henceforth when Moscow talks about the rights of weak states the words will fall empty. And Russia certainly is no exporter of stability right now.

After 20 years of constant accusations that Russia is a renegade power breaking international law, the slander has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But one part of the accusation remains a lie. The lie that remains is that there ever was a “rules-based order” to rebel against.

Where were these “rules” when two dozen Imperial clients ganged up together to thrash sovereign Libya? Where were these “rules” when the Empire got 140 governments to formally endorse its aggression vs Iraq? Where are these “rules” when DC has 100 governments proclaim that Kosovo is something other than Serbia?

The actual rules are what the rules have always been — the powerful do as they please and the weak suffer what they must.

The only difference is that the West is so bored, so narcissistic, and so devoid of actual external challenges that it will proclaim you Hitler and stomp you against the curb out of sheer boredom. Just to briefly drown out the terrifying lack of purpose that comes with having achieved absolute power with an imagined monster-slaying, feel-good moment.

At least when the Russians proclaim you Nazis and let the cruise missiles lose they are after tangible stuff. They are there to take your cities and people and make them Russian. (At least if your cities are as drenched in Russian history as Kharkov, Odessa and Kiev. & if your government is intent on de-Russifying them.) Somehow that feels refreshing, forthright, and downright flattering by comparison.

Certainly, I would rather have my town leveled because the Americans wanted it for themselves (something I can wrap my mind around), rather than because the Americans needed Hillary Clinton to be able to go to bed thinking of herself as the female Winston Churchill. (Or Paul Wolfowitz as the pro-capitalist Leon Trotsky.) — Something that is a whole nother level of evil.

Some will tie themselves into knots explaining how Moscow launching the march on Kiev and enlarging Russia by territories that 8 months ago it recognized as Ukraine do not violate international law. Others, with more pride, will decline to insult their intelligence thus.

The truth is that neocons are correct about one thing. International law is not an unambiguous good.

It is law developed by states to serve the needs of states. It is a mix of good and bad.

It can be useful to individuals trying to restrain government atrocities abroad by pointing out how these contravene the body of law that governments proclaim themselves bound to. But international law is not a moral category. Russia annexing Crimea and Donbass can be both moral and illegal at the same time.

Anyhow the “based” Russia that my Balkan friend once desired is now here. It is a Russia that looked Washington in the eye and said: “You want a world without rules? Okay, we’ll give you a world without rules.”

The ironic thing is that going around your neighborhood, making yourself just a little bigger is what states had done for 5000 years. It is only our own time that finds this novel. And it’s not because we’ve grown so enlightened and progressive. It is because for 70 years virtually nobody has been independent.

Now someone is.

Once I heard a Balkan guy say that he loved reading about Russia in the Western mainstream press. He said he loved it because Russia presented on its pages was much more badass than real Russia. The based Russia of Western MSM imagination was what he wanted Russia to be, but what Russia was sadly not.

I imagine that guy might be quite happy today.

Western press loved to present the picture where the US was the status quo power, whereas Russia was supposedly going around the world trying to undermine America and the liberal-Westphalian order that underpinned its strength.

That would have been intuitive, but it wasn’t the truth.

It was actually the US that was celebrating its 30-year “unipolar moment” by throwing Molotov cocktails at the globe, scorching countries and the “rules-based international order”. While it was Russia that was sticking up for sovereignty, non-interference and stability. It was Russia that was the status quo power, the power defending the liberal-based international order. And it was the US that was acting like a drunken wolverine in a chicken coop, and whose neocons and “humanitarian interventionists” were penning long ideological tracts explaining why the world order rooted in classical international law had to go.

Ironically in doing so the neocons and liberal interventionists were attempting to subvert and demolish a system that US and Britain — more than any other power — had built.

However, where the egalitarian notion that small countries have all the same rights as great powers may in the past have served as a bulwark against Napoleon, Kaiser and Hitler, it now limited the power of Washington’s own apparatchiks.

In the past, these high-minded ideals could be mobilized to help freeze the European continent in its disunited state. Preventing any continental power from attaining the mastery of Europe with which to threaten British/American global dominance.

However, with 1991 seeing the last challenger to American mastery of the world on its knees, these rules no longer did anything but hamper Washington’s arsonist Cold War-victory celebration tour that took it to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

Russia intuitively understood this and so spoke up for the international order and its rules.

Bizarrely you had the situation where the Americans were trying to burn down the rules they had inaugurated, and the defeated Russians trying to defend them.

That is as if interwar Germany had been defending Versailles, while Paris-London-DC were tearing it up as not enough.

Such was the disparity in power!

Moreover the Russians were doing so albeit the dissolution of the Soviet Union now left international law a bitter pill to swallow, since it ruled out liberating any of the 20 million Russians who now found themselves on the wrong side of the new borders.

— Any yet for a quarter of a century Russia didn’t lift a finger to liberate any of them, instead staying true to sovereignty, non-aggression, and inviolability of borders (that until very recently had been internal). — Even as the US was going around the world making a mockery of these ideals.

Now, it is true that sometimes Moscow collaborated with the US in tearing up the classical liberal international order. In the 1990s because it was weak and a vassal state herself, Russia was complicit in sanctions against Yugoslavia. Later on, as it was hoping that collaboration might buy it some goodwill it went along with sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

However, increasingly Russia started to defend small nations against the jihads of the Washington pyromaniacs. First rhetorically and then materially and militarily.

Now Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua actually had a foreign friend to help counter the very worst aspects of the lawless US assault against them. The help wasn’t always a lot, but at least they weren’t completely alone as had been the case with Libya, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia.

Now, Moscow wasn’t helping these alleged “rogue states” because it was invested in them per se. It was aiding them as part of its strategy of forcing the US to engage with it. Allowing the US to use the UN Security Council to make a mockery of international law hadn’t paid dividends. No goodwill was earned and DC remained as unwilling to talk about Russia’s core concerns as it had been before. If enabling the Washington gang hadn’t worked — Moscow reasoned — maybe stepping on its bomb-throwing toes here and there might.

Thus Russia ventured into Latin America and the Middle East — not to overthrow the US — but to force a conversation on a few issues in the post-Soviet space that actually mattered to it.

(The Western press omitted this all-important context, and furthermore greatly exaggerated Russian reach and role, making Moscow seem far more badass than it really was.)

Nonetheless, whatever the Russian motivation for doing this, having a great-power backer of laws, rules, and treaties was incredibly refreshing. The world over people under imperial assault suddenly had at least rhetorical support.

For example, when the West illegally revises the obscure 1994 Washington Treaty to marginalize Bosnian Croats, who do you think these have to back them? Croatia? No. the Russian ambassador to Sarajevo. Russian embassies all over the world turned into embassies for rules. The much-needed but absent NGOs against Western arrogance and despotism.

It is true that on a couple of occasions Moscow itself broke international law. Namely the 2008 recognition of South Ossetia, and the 2014 recognition of Crimea.

These are exceptions that prove the rule. Firstly they are infinitely less numerous than Western-led assaults on international law. Secondly, while there is no international law defense of these, there is a pro-stability argument for them, at least as seen by Moscow.

South Ossetia was recognized as non-Georgian after Georgia launched a surprise military offensive against Russian treaty troops during the Olympic peace. Moscow in turn proclaimed South Ossetia to no longer be Georgian territory as a warning across the post-Soviet space (Russia also has treaty peacekeepers in Moldova and Azerbaijan) that surprise military offensives on Russians will come with dire, irreversible consequences.

Crimea was recognized in 2014 after Putin helped talk Yanukovich into a power-transition agreement wanted by Paris and Berlin, only for Yanukovich to be run out of town anyway, and the one-half of Ukraine that had no enthusiasm for Maidanites completely sidelined. Putin could have taken far more — it was there for the taking — but he settled for the one piece he could have bloodlessly and where 95% wanted Russia to come in.

It was an international law violation, but what it was first and foremost for Moscow was fundamentally a defensive move — another reactive shot across the bow to show a possible future if the half of Ukraine (Little Russia) that had no interest in merging with the Russophobic West continued to be sidelined and made voiceless.

We are a long way from there.

On February 24 Russia launched a regime-change invasion against Kiev. Of course, Moscow had used the military for regime change before. In Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan. But those were interventions against their own clients, inside Moscow’s own sphere of influence.

The 2022 undertaking was something else entirely. It was a US-style regime-change operation venturing outside own sphere of influence in order to expand it. It took inspiration from the 2003 invasion of Iraq, right down to the Rumsfeldian insistence that 130,000 frontline troops with 40,000 auxiliaries could do the job.

When that didn’t work (the Russians are novices at this stuff) the plan B was to annex whatever land was taken where the population was cooperative or ambivalent to Russia.

Note how different this is from the 2008 and 2014 recognitions. South Ossetia and Crimea were not premeditated. They were ad hoc reactions. Improvisations in the moment.

When the US (illegally) bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 it did so after a decade-long campaign to humble Belgrade and already with the intention to one day proclaim Kosovo non-Serbian.

But Russia didn’t arrive in South Ossetia in 1992 (as part of a joint Georgian-Russian peacekeeping force) with plans to one day proclaim it non-Georgian. Had the Empire not created the Kosovo precedent and had Tbilisi not attacked Russian peacekeepers it had invited in 1992 (because it refused joint patrols with Ossetians) South Ossetia would still formally be Georgian.

On the other hand, everyone with a brain cell knew on February 24 that if Russia failed to take power in Kiev it would start incorporating parts of Ukraine directly.

February 24, 2022 marks a turning point where Russia started using US methods for its own ends in a premeditated fashion.

As always this shift marks the recognition in Moscow that the previous approach had failed.

Up until 2002 the dominant tendency was for Moscow to try to secure the ear of the West for its own core concerns by being helpful. By serving as a helpful enabler of the Empire in the UNSC and in the early War on Terror. (1999 being the one big exception.)

After Putin’s help to Bush in Afghanistan was repaid by scorn this was increasingly recognized as a dead end. Now the dominant tendency became standing up for international law against the neocon-liberventionist assault on it. (The big exception being Medvedev and Libya.)

Until 2014 this Russian defense of principles of international order against Imperial arbitrariness was largely diplomatic and moral. But with the escalation of the Western-Russian tug-of-war over Ukraine (Malorus) Russia now started building real ties with besieged “rogue states” and offering them technical, trade — and in Syria’s case even military — support. (It is in this period that you hear the quip that Russia’s “foremost export is stability”.)

Russia was not doing so because it was organizing a Third World uprising against DC (something that even the USSR was too weak for). But to showcase it was a power with some reach whose concerns couldn’t be ignored forever. It did so to try and coerce the US into having to sit down with Moscow and hammer out a division of influence in the post-Soviet space that Russia could actually live with.

In other words, if Moscow couldn’t befriend DC enough to get it to stop penetrating deeper into former core Russian lands, perhaps that cooperation could be coerced out of it by throwing logs at the feet of Imperial transformations the world over.

2022 marks the turning point where Moscow recognized that this wasn’t working either, and that Russia was anyway running out of time.

All the while Russia was vying for a “Concert of Powers” solution, on the ground itself Ukraine, a core Slavic land of old Russia, was being steadily de-Sovietized and de-Russified. (Courtesy of Lenin who had picked out the Ukrainian project as the winner in the competition for loyalties in Ruthenia Minor over the All-Russian one.)

Thus in 2022 Moscow was forced to embark on what it had dreaded, and what it tried for 30 years to avoid and postpone. It embarked on the straightforward task of solving her own problems directly, by herself, and in contravention of America’s will.

Having left it late (and having failed to prepare properly) this “solution” takes the form of a bloody fratricidal war and rushed annexations to Russia.

It takes the form of Russia appropriating America’s own methods and using them to secure her own core interests.

It means that Russia has progressed from defending the international order in a convoluted 5D plan to eventually get what it wants with America’s coerced approval, to just going out and grabbing it the American way.

The Western press spent 20 years writing about Russia as a power in rebellion against “the rules-based order”. This wasn’t true. Moscow was precisely the world’s premier defender and champion of rules, stability, and non-aggression.

An imperfect defender (as North Korea, Iran and Yemen may testify) but the best we had.

That is in the past now. Henceforth when Moscow talks about the rights of weak states the words will fall empty. And Russia certainly is no exporter of stability right now.

After 20 years of constant accusations that Russia is a renegade power breaking international law, the slander has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But one part of the accusation remains a lie. The lie that remains is that there ever was a “rules-based order” to rebel against.

Where were these “rules” when two dozen Imperial clients ganged up together to thrash sovereign Libya? Where were these “rules” when the Empire got 140 governments to formally endorse its aggression vs Iraq? Where are these “rules” when DC has 100 governments proclaim that Kosovo is something other than Serbia?

The actual rules are what the rules have always been — the powerful do as they please and the weak suffer what they must.

The only difference is that the West is so bored, so narcissistic, and so devoid of actual external challenges that it will proclaim you Hitler and stomp you against the curb out of sheer boredom. Just to briefly drown out the terrifying lack of purpose that comes with having achieved absolute power with an imagined monster-slaying, feel-good moment.

At least when the Russians proclaim you Nazis and let the cruise missiles lose they are after tangible stuff. They are there to take your cities and people and make them Russian. (At least if your cities are as drenched in Russian history as Kharkov, Odessa and Kiev. & if your government is intent on de-Russifying them.) Somehow that feels refreshing, forthright, and downright flattering by comparison.

Certainly, I would rather have my town leveled because the Americans wanted it for themselves (something I can wrap my mind around), rather than because the Americans needed Hillary Clinton to be able to go to bed thinking of herself as the female Winston Churchill. (Or Paul Wolfowitz as the pro-capitalist Leon Trotsky.) — Something that is a whole nother level of evil.

Some will tie themselves into knots explaining how Moscow launching the march on Kiev and enlarging Russia by territories that 8 months ago it recognized as Ukraine do not violate international law. Others, with more pride, will decline to insult their intelligence thus.

The truth is that neocons are correct about one thing. International law is not an unambiguous good.

It is law developed by states to serve the needs of states. It is a mix of good and bad.

It can be useful to individuals trying to restrain government atrocities abroad by pointing out how these contravene the body of law that governments proclaim themselves bound to. But international law is not a moral category. Russia annexing Crimea and Donbass can be both moral and illegal at the same time.

Anyhow the “based” Russia that my Balkan friend once desired is now here. It is a Russia that looked Washington in the eye and said: “You want a world without rules? Okay, we’ll give you a world without rules.”

The ironic thing is that going around your neighborhood, making yourself just a little bigger is what states had done for 5000 years. It is only our own time that finds this novel. And it’s not because we’ve grown so enlightened and progressive. It is because for 70 years virtually nobody has been independent.

Now someone is.

Anti-Empire - Wed Sep 28, 2022 22:24

By supplying German industries with gas Russia held a tiny amount of leverage over Berlin since it could theoretically switch off the valve. It was a tiny amount of leverage since nobody had ever witnessed Russia actually do such a thing despite decades of financial, economic, diplomatic, political, propaganda, and moral war against her by Berlin and its Washington overlord.

When a month ago Russia actually went ahead and switched off Nord Stream gas it boosted its leverage. By carrying out the threat it demonstrated the credibility of said threat, while still retaining the ability to restore supplies. Its leverage proposition was “We can restore your gas the moment we reach a modicum of peace.”

By destroying Nord Stream the “mystery” explosions have removed Russian ability to make that offer, and have removed Russian leverage with Germany.

The explosion also removes popular pressure on Berlin from below. If there is no Nord Stream then there also can not be protest to open Nord Stream by freezing proles.

The explosion also removes a piece of infrastructure that the Imperial Capital has been obsessed with for years. Obsessions that led it to enact sanctions against entities of its own “ally” (vassal). Obsession that was out of all proportion to Nord Stream’s actual significance or prospects of German-Russian peace.

That is to say, I believe the chances of German-Russian rapprochement were always zero. But that did not stop Washington from traditionally hugely overreacting to the possibility and zeroing in on Nord Stream as the potential catalyst. Its final destruction will have caused a deluge of satisfaction and merriment in DC. (Never underestimate the drive of DC apparatchiks to create feel-good moments for themselves.)

And because the pipeline was inactive anyway the costs associated with blowing it up are minimal. Blow up an active pipe and you risk turning a vassal against you. But having succeeded in making the pipe into an object of shame that Berlin must apologize for ever having built, delivering the explosive coup de grace carries little risk.

https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1490792461979078662

https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/1486818088016355336

https://twitter.com/radeksikorski/status/1574800653724966915

https://twitter.com/radeksikorski/status/1574849994062020609

https://twitter.com/radeksikorski/status/1574867965991854093

https://twitter.com/JulianRoepcke/status/1575123547936129024

By supplying German industries with gas Russia held a tiny amount of leverage over Berlin since it could theoretically switch off the valve. It was a tiny amount of leverage since nobody had ever witnessed Russia actually do such a thing despite decades of financial, economic, diplomatic, political, propaganda, and moral war against her by Berlin and its Washington overlord.

When a month ago Russia actually went ahead and switched off Nord Stream gas it boosted its leverage. By carrying out the threat it demonstrated the credibility of said threat, while still retaining the ability to restore supplies. Its leverage proposition was “We can restore your gas the moment we reach a modicum of peace.”

By destroying Nord Stream the “mystery” explosions have removed Russian ability to make that offer, and have removed Russian leverage with Germany.

The explosion also removes popular pressure on Berlin from below. If there is no Nord Stream then there also can not be protest to open Nord Stream by freezing proles.

The explosion also removes a piece of infrastructure that the Imperial Capital has been obsessed with for years. Obsessions that led it to enact sanctions against entities of its own “ally” (vassal). Obsession that was out of all proportion to Nord Stream’s actual significance or prospects of German-Russian peace.

That is to say, I believe the chances of German-Russian rapprochement were always zero. But that did not stop Washington from traditionally hugely overreacting to the possibility and zeroing in on Nord Stream as the potential catalyst. Its final destruction will have caused a deluge of satisfaction and merriment in DC. (Never underestimate the drive of DC apparatchiks to create feel-good moments for themselves.)

And because the pipeline was inactive anyway the costs associated with blowing it up are minimal. Blow up an active pipe and you risk turning a vassal against you. But having succeeded in making the pipe into an object of shame that Berlin must apologize for ever having built, delivering the explosive coup de grace carries little risk.

https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1490792461979078662

https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/1486818088016355336

https://twitter.com/radeksikorski/status/1574800653724966915

https://twitter.com/radeksikorski/status/1574849994062020609

https://twitter.com/radeksikorski/status/1574867965991854093

https://twitter.com/JulianRoepcke/status/1575123547936129024

Anti-Empire - Tue Sep 27, 2022 14:41

The Russian mobilization will be messy. All the dire aspects of mobilization that you observed in Ukraine — expect to see them repeated in Russia.

There will be significant draft dodging, particularly in the Caucasus there will also be some level of collective resistance to conscription. Many thousands will receive woefully inadequate training, and some none at all. Plenty of men who are actually unfit (drunks, frail or meek) will be impressed in a hurry to meet the quotas, and some positively ancient ex-officers who were forced out almost 15 years ago will be reactivated.

You are going to see scenes of indiscipline and insubordination. At least a few officers will be shot up by troubled conscripts (the news will be suppressed), and in a few cases there will be scenes of collective insubordination as units film themselves demanding better equipment and conditions.

Many will receive firearms and vehicles that are 50 years old and in sketchy condition. Many will not receive the full “Ratnik” gear that a Russian soldier is supposed to have. Many will be left to procure their own body armor and optics (binoculars, NV…), many more will have to get their own gloves and sleeping bags. The most neglected units will even have to buy their own comms as they find what the army issued them with doesn’t work. And don’t even get me started about bandages and first kits…

One major problem that will be discovered is the lack of housing. All manner of public buildings will be appropriated, but the unlucky ones will find themselves housed in dilapidated military facilities not maintained since the 1980s or even camping.

If many past 300,000 are mobilized the next big problem that will rear its head is a shortage of leadership. Many small units will end up led by junior lieutenants —draftees given 3 to 8-month crash courses, by military academy cadets commissioned before graduation, or by oldtimers cut by the Serdyukov restructuring who have been out of the military for over a decade. The most unlucky ones will find themselves led by college graduates made to sit through “Reserve Officer Training” classes during their studies, albeit some outfits may avoid that fate by picking their own leaders among themselves.

Once deployed, some units will even find out that while ammo is plentiful, the command frequently fails to keep to a regular schedule where delivery of food is concerned.

The mobilization will be improvised and chaotic. It will be neither the picture of Germanic efficiency nor of American abundance.

The fact that mobilization is being called 7 months into the war, rather than when the war started, will it make it even more improvised and chaotic. This is due to three major reasons.

1. Unlike in February and March when they were making gains, by now the Russians find themselves on the back foot. Thus at least tens of thousands of men have to be sent in a matter of weeks to stabilize the Oskil front which limits the amount of training they can be given.

2. Some of the best reserve equipment has already been reactivated to replace the huge equipment losses that Russia suffered in a very foolish way in the first few weeks of the war. Thus it is no longer available for the mobiki.

3. The decision to fight with just the professional component of the military for so long placed such pressures on the professionals that many brigades are now deployed to Ukraine in full, with barely anyone left behind on base in Russia to receive and train the mobiki. Initially, each brigade contributed up to 2 battalion tactical groups, with some officers and specialists left behind to serve as the skeleton for a 3rd BTG that would be composed of conscripts and mobiki. However as there was no mobilization and conscripts were made non-deployable these NCOs and officers were gradually transferred to Ukraine to alleviate the manpower crisis. This means that in some brigades there won’t be enough officers on hand to give the new arrivals anything but the most general and superficial training, and they won’t receive proper mentorship until after they’re already in Ukraine.

All of these issues are real. None of these issues are made up. All of these issues are significant and consequential. And yet none of these problems are remotely as consequential as the fact that the Russian war effort is getting at least 300,000 reinforcements.

Will the mobilization be a chaotic, improvised mess? It’s Eastern Europe, what do you think?

The mobilization will have numerous deficiencies, and the forces raised will have numerous deficiencies— and in the end, it won’t matter. It will matter on the margins, but not fundamentally. There is no such thing as a perfect force. Every army ever has been less than ideal, it’s only a matter of gradient. A deficient 300K force is still a lot better than no force at all.

https://twitter.com/christogrozev/status/1520016749944524800

https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1574483334679478284

https://twitter.com/Horesmi/status/1574407417789554688

https://twitter.com/DonkeyJunkMedia/status/1573992994256068608

https://twitter.com/WarAgainstPutin/status/1574293008711028737

https://twitter.com/Horesmi/status/1574135306617589761

In the spring I was saying that the Russian failure to dismember Ukraine early on will allow Kiev to start standing up numerous new forces. The retort I received was that this wouldn’t matter because these forces would not be trained. I pointed out that training only took so long and that in a couple of months new trained forced would also start appearing.

The retort I received to this was that the Russians were supposedly killing Kiev troops at such a high rate that this also wouldn’t matter. Supposedly the Russians could kill Ukrainians faster than Kiev could put them in uniform, or else Ukraine would physically run out of men, or else the Ukrainian army would suffer a general morale breakdown over the level of losses.

This was a cartoonish and evidence-free idea. As it was, it was precisely the Russians who found themselves in the grips of a manpower crisis first, and having to man secondary sections of the front (Khakov) with overstretched second-rate troops, while the Ukrainian confidence only grew alongside their increasing numerical superiority and the commensurate rise in the sturdiness of their lines.

Early on, numerous observers focused on Ukraine’s Teritorial Defense battalions being sent to Donbass front without training and only lightly armed and then being shredded — but totally losing sight of the fact that this was absolutely the correct call.

The Territorials suffered and ultimately broke, but until then they had propped up the front, plugged gaps, and prevented breakthroughs that could turn into fast-paced disasters. They helped slowly exhaust Russian elan and they bought valuable time during the most critical stage of the war, buying Kiev the space to train up troops of much better quality in the rear.

They suffered, but the payoff for their suffering was outsized. Sometimes in a war that is what you have to do. Sometimes the logic of war calls for sending men into situations that are extremely unfavorable for them (bloodbaths) if the payoff for success — no matter the price — will be outsized.

War is not for the faint of heart. I am faint of heart, that’s why I don’t start wars. But if you do start a war, or if you find yourself in one, then you better not sin against the logic of the God of War.

Russia’s position right now isn’t as vulnerable, but the same principle still applies. There is a certain number of troops (20,000-50,000) whom are needed urgently and who can do more good untrained right now, than trained but three months from now. As Chuikov said: ‘Time is blood.’

All the Siberians from the Central and Eastern Military Districts have been transferred to Kherson leaving the Western District (which also seems to be the most prone to getting itself into catastrophic trouble) overstretched on the Oskil and Seversky Donetsk. The result is that Ukrainians continue to hold the initiative around Lyman and are also expanding another bridgehead to the north of Kupyansk. It’s cheaper to prop up the front with mobiki now, than losing ground and then having to retake it all over again.

All of this to say that all deficiencies of mobilization that you will hear about have to be taken in context. The context being that perfect troops are better than deficient troops, but that deficient troops right now are much better than perfect troops two years from now.

Ideally Russian mobiki would be perfectly trained, equipped and led, but if that means that you can’t get them until 2024 then they’re not that impactful, are they?

There will be a temptation on the part of people who are rooting for Russia to minimize the FUBAR of Russian mobilization.

And there will be a temptation on the part of those rooting against Russia (let’s be real, few of its supporters are rooting for Ukraine as such) to conclude that because Russian mobilization has its flaws that it won’t change anything. (In fact, that is what I heard scholars Michael Kofman and Robert Lee conclude who really should know better.)

We also must not lose sight of the fact that Russian realities, just like Ukrainian realities, may not be the same as American or Swiss realities.

Some dysfunction is already built in by the virtue of being Eastern European, and besides, the systems — as well as the expectations of the troops — might differ.

For example, if you have a great training program for troops available, but you don’t run them through it, then you’re being derelict. But what if you don’t have an amazing training to give them in the first place? Then dragging things out could very well just be a waste of everyone’s time.

The US has a centralized training system where a few specialized facilities do nothing but boot camp and handle the initial intense training for all the rest of the army.

That is a bottleneck that Russia with a much different structure of military can not afford.

The Russians send raw recruits straight to their final units. There they receive training that in the long run is not worse than a boot camp, but certainly is not as condensed and intense.

Moreover as I explained, with so many of the officers at the front, the training they can receive on base in Russia is probably even less valuable than would be in peacetime.

Therefore it must be understood that by cutting their training time in Russia short, much less is being sacrificed than one might assume.

Also, let’s be clear about one thing. While trained troops are far more capable than untrained troops, it would be a mistake to think that a 3-month boot camp is what makes the difference between a trained and untrained soldier.

In reality, a fully trained soldier would probably require boot camp, plus at least a few years of service, and possibly even some combat experience.

Most time in basic training is actually spent building up discipline and cohesion. After outdoor skills and physical training, comparatively little time is left for marksmanship and small-unit tactics.

The main purpose of basic training is actually to produce troops that are easier for officers to control and to use. And also to increase the survival odds of troops during their first 3 months of the front when they are at their most green.

However, if a soldier survives the first 3 months of the combat zone then whether that soldier went through basic training becomes something of only the most marginal significance.

Whatever the deficiencies of training, equipment and leadership the Russian mobiki receive turn out to be, these factors will be something that affect their efficiency (how well they fight) but not their effectiveness (whether they fight or not).

I’m actually seeing observers who are half expecting that Russians not having ideal equipment and not being volunteers will cause them to defect, surrender and desert en masse.

That is so surreal because there is so little precedent in history books for anything like that.

Even the esteemed scholar Michael Kofman (let’s give him credit where it is due, up until now he has called the war as accurately as Strelkov), believes that the mobiki not being volunteers will have massive repercussions for their morale and their military value.

That is such a strange thing to say. Once you are hiding from loitering munitions in a damp trench the last thing that has any bearing on your morale is whether you were dumb enough to actually volunteer for this mess or not. What determines morale in such conditions isn’t who felt more idealistic 6 months ago, but basic stuff like who has a pair of dry socks, and whether your lieutenant has a telephone line to the regimental artillery.

(In fact volunteers might be among the most shaken in such conditions because their volunteering might speak to their not knowing what war is and arriving with unrealistic expectations.)

Look, I’ve read about the conditions that awaited Red Army recruits in 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942. Whatever deficiency of training, equipment and leadership await the Russian mobiki in 2022 they won’t be even 5% as bad.

And yet, even the Russian troops of 1939-42 already fought incredibly fiercely. They weren’t well led so they didn’t fight particularly well, but they always fought hard. There were desertions and surrenders on the margins but far fewer than you would expect given the catastrophic conditions, and never close to a point where they would threaten ability of the army to stay in the field and continue to offer resistance. (Which is also why I was extremely skeptical of the strange claim that a historically puny number of Ukrainian (Little Russian) daily KIA would cause some kind of majestic breakdown of their forces.)

And here’s another thing — they even fought hard through abysmal morale and habitual indiscipline. I get the feeling that because Stalin’s Soviet Union was a totalitarian state and because this state did deport many of its soldiers to gulags or execute them that there is an impression that the Red Army was some kind of a robot force where officer word was law and the troops got wobbly in the knees at the mere sight of a commissar. The reality was just the opposite. It was a force that was downright anarchic. The other side of the coin to executions, gulags, and penal battalions for the worst (repeat) offenses, was that for numerous infractions the Red Army was far more lenient than Western armies — it simply had to be, due to the sheer frequency with which they were occuring.

This is to say that an Eastern European military bureaucracy might not exist at the same level of order and functionality as a Western one. However, this lack of tidiness and the overall higher level of FUBAR does not mean that they’re going to start running away from fights. The science of how to take men who are not jumping for joy at the thought of war and set them up to fight anyway is at least 5000 years old. It generally takes far greater stresses and oversights for any major breakdown of such a force than people tend to imagine.

Even the crucified Ukrainian Territorial Defense battalions when filming their combat refusal videos were not demanding that they be returned to their warm beds, but to return to the fight with more heavy weapons support, non-cowardly leadership, and with a brief respite.

It’s good to be consistent. People who were very attentive of compromises in Ukrainian force generation and deployment probably shouldn’t blind themselves to compromises and deficiencies of the Russian mobilization either.

And people who didn’t say a word about the often messy and improvised nature of Kiev’s mobilization are probably setting themselves up for disappointment by expecting imperfections in the execution to invalidate the fact of Russian mobilization.

Good training, gear, leadership, and morale are characteristics that God of War looks upon kindly. But the quality Mars appreciates the most is availability.

It’s useful not to lose the sight of forest for the trees:

https://twitter.com/SrbskyRus/status/1573731994525220866

https://twitter.com/SrbskyRus/status/1574126438613221380

https://twitter.com/SrbskyRus/status/1574126238435725312

https://twitter.com/Zzzaikar/status/1572988439766630400

https://twitter.com/SrbskyRus/status/1574457534240329728

https://twitter.com/shaunwalker7/status/1573395277419085837

https://twitter.com/marmar_ae/status/1574721819415814145

https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1574049185892282368

And some glorious Russian anarchism:

https://twitter.com/olex_scherba/status/1573341453706985472

https://twitter.com/JakeCordell/status/1573647765082628096

The Russian mobilization will be messy. All the dire aspects of mobilization that you observed in Ukraine — expect to see them repeated in Russia.

There will be significant draft dodging, particularly in the Caucasus there will also be some level of collective resistance to conscription. Many thousands will receive woefully inadequate training, and some none at all. Plenty of men who are actually unfit (drunks, frail or meek) will be impressed in a hurry to meet the quotas, and some positively ancient ex-officers who were forced out almost 15 years ago will be reactivated.

You are going to see scenes of indiscipline and insubordination. At least a few officers will be shot up by troubled conscripts (the news will be suppressed), and in a few cases there will be scenes of collective insubordination as units film themselves demanding better equipment and conditions.

Many will receive firearms and vehicles that are 50 years old and in sketchy condition. Many will not receive the full “Ratnik” gear that a Russian soldier is supposed to have. Many will be left to procure their own body armor and optics (binoculars, NV…), many more will have to get their own gloves and sleeping bags. The most neglected units will even have to buy their own comms as they find what the army issued them with doesn’t work. And don’t even get me started about bandages and first kits…

One major problem that will be discovered is the lack of housing. All manner of public buildings will be appropriated, but the unlucky ones will find themselves housed in dilapidated military facilities not maintained since the 1980s or even camping.

If many past 300,000 are mobilized the next big problem that will rear its head is a shortage of leadership. Many small units will end up led by junior lieutenants —draftees given 3 to 8-month crash courses, by military academy cadets commissioned before graduation, or by oldtimers cut by the Serdyukov restructuring who have been out of the military for over a decade. The most unlucky ones will find themselves led by college graduates made to sit through “Reserve Officer Training” classes during their studies, albeit some outfits may avoid that fate by picking their own leaders among themselves.

Once deployed, some units will even find out that while ammo is plentiful, the command frequently fails to keep to a regular schedule where delivery of food is concerned.

The mobilization will be improvised and chaotic. It will be neither the picture of Germanic efficiency nor of American abundance.

The fact that mobilization is being called 7 months into the war, rather than when the war started, will it make it even more improvised and chaotic. This is due to three major reasons.

1. Unlike in February and March when they were making gains, by now the Russians find themselves on the back foot. Thus at least tens of thousands of men have to be sent in a matter of weeks to stabilize the Oskil front which limits the amount of training they can be given.

2. Some of the best reserve equipment has already been reactivated to replace the huge equipment losses that Russia suffered in a very foolish way in the first few weeks of the war. Thus it is no longer available for the mobiki.

3. The decision to fight with just the professional component of the military for so long placed such pressures on the professionals that many brigades are now deployed to Ukraine in full, with barely anyone left behind on base in Russia to receive and train the mobiki. Initially, each brigade contributed up to 2 battalion tactical groups, with some officers and specialists left behind to serve as the skeleton for a 3rd BTG that would be composed of conscripts and mobiki. However as there was no mobilization and conscripts were made non-deployable these NCOs and officers were gradually transferred to Ukraine to alleviate the manpower crisis. This means that in some brigades there won’t be enough officers on hand to give the new arrivals anything but the most general and superficial training, and they won’t receive proper mentorship until after they’re already in Ukraine.

All of these issues are real. None of these issues are made up. All of these issues are significant and consequential. And yet none of these problems are remotely as consequential as the fact that the Russian war effort is getting at least 300,000 reinforcements.

Will the mobilization be a chaotic, improvised mess? It’s Eastern Europe, what do you think?

The mobilization will have numerous deficiencies, and the forces raised will have numerous deficiencies— and in the end, it won’t matter. It will matter on the margins, but not fundamentally. There is no such thing as a perfect force. Every army ever has been less than ideal, it’s only a matter of gradient. A deficient 300K force is still a lot better than no force at all.

https://twitter.com/christogrozev/status/1520016749944524800

https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1574483334679478284

https://twitter.com/Horesmi/status/1574407417789554688

https://twitter.com/DonkeyJunkMedia/status/1573992994256068608

https://twitter.com/WarAgainstPutin/status/1574293008711028737

https://twitter.com/Horesmi/status/1574135306617589761

In the spring I was saying that the Russian failure to dismember Ukraine early on will allow Kiev to start standing up numerous new forces. The retort I received was that this wouldn’t matter because these forces would not be trained. I pointed out that training only took so long and that in a couple of months new trained forced would also start appearing.

The retort I received to this was that the Russians were supposedly killing Kiev troops at such a high rate that this also wouldn’t matter. Supposedly the Russians could kill Ukrainians faster than Kiev could put them in uniform, or else Ukraine would physically run out of men, or else the Ukrainian army would suffer a general morale breakdown over the level of losses.

This was a cartoonish and evidence-free idea. As it was, it was precisely the Russians who found themselves in the grips of a manpower crisis first, and having to man secondary sections of the front (Khakov) with overstretched second-rate troops, while the Ukrainian confidence only grew alongside their increasing numerical superiority and the commensurate rise in the sturdiness of their lines.

Early on, numerous observers focused on Ukraine’s Teritorial Defense battalions being sent to Donbass front without training and only lightly armed and then being shredded — but totally losing sight of the fact that this was absolutely the correct call.

The Territorials suffered and ultimately broke, but until then they had propped up the front, plugged gaps, and prevented breakthroughs that could turn into fast-paced disasters. They helped slowly exhaust Russian elan and they bought valuable time during the most critical stage of the war, buying Kiev the space to train up troops of much better quality in the rear.

They suffered, but the payoff for their suffering was outsized. Sometimes in a war that is what you have to do. Sometimes the logic of war calls for sending men into situations that are extremely unfavorable for them (bloodbaths) if the payoff for success — no matter the price — will be outsized.

War is not for the faint of heart. I am faint of heart, that’s why I don’t start wars. But if you do start a war, or if you find yourself in one, then you better not sin against the logic of the God of War.

Russia’s position right now isn’t as vulnerable, but the same principle still applies. There is a certain number of troops (20,000-50,000) whom are needed urgently and who can do more good untrained right now, than trained but three months from now. As Chuikov said: ‘Time is blood.’

All the Siberians from the Central and Eastern Military Districts have been transferred to Kherson leaving the Western District (which also seems to be the most prone to getting itself into catastrophic trouble) overstretched on the Oskil and Seversky Donetsk. The result is that Ukrainians continue to hold the initiative around Lyman and are also expanding another bridgehead to the north of Kupyansk. It’s cheaper to prop up the front with mobiki now, than losing ground and then having to retake it all over again.

All of this to say that all deficiencies of mobilization that you will hear about have to be taken in context. The context being that perfect troops are better than deficient troops, but that deficient troops right now are much better than perfect troops two years from now.

Ideally Russian mobiki would be perfectly trained, equipped and led, but if that means that you can’t get them until 2024 then they’re not that impactful, are they?

There will be a temptation on the part of people who are rooting for Russia to minimize the FUBAR of Russian mobilization.

And there will be a temptation on the part of those rooting against Russia (let’s be real, few of its supporters are rooting for Ukraine as such) to conclude that because Russian mobilization has its flaws that it won’t change anything. (In fact, that is what I heard scholars Michael Kofman and Robert Lee conclude who really should know better.)

We also must not lose sight of the fact that Russian realities, just like Ukrainian realities, may not be the same as American or Swiss realities.

Some dysfunction is already built in by the virtue of being Eastern European, and besides, the systems — as well as the expectations of the troops — might differ.

For example, if you have a great training program for troops available, but you don’t run them through it, then you’re being derelict. But what if you don’t have an amazing training to give them in the first place? Then dragging things out could very well just be a waste of everyone’s time.

The US has a centralized training system where a few specialized facilities do nothing but boot camp and handle the initial intense training for all the rest of the army.

That is a bottleneck that Russia with a much different structure of military can not afford.

The Russians send raw recruits straight to their final units. There they receive training that in the long run is not worse than a boot camp, but certainly is not as condensed and intense.

Moreover as I explained, with so many of the officers at the front, the training they can receive on base in Russia is probably even less valuable than would be in peacetime.

Therefore it must be understood that by cutting their training time in Russia short, much less is being sacrificed than one might assume.

Also, let’s be clear about one thing. While trained troops are far more capable than untrained troops, it would be a mistake to think that a 3-month boot camp is what makes the difference between a trained and untrained soldier.

In reality, a fully trained soldier would probably require boot camp, plus at least a few years of service, and possibly even some combat experience.

Most time in basic training is actually spent building up discipline and cohesion. After outdoor skills and physical training, comparatively little time is left for marksmanship and small-unit tactics.

The main purpose of basic training is actually to produce troops that are easier for officers to control and to use. And also to increase the survival odds of troops during their first 3 months of the front when they are at their most green.

However, if a soldier survives the first 3 months of the combat zone then whether that soldier went through basic training becomes something of only the most marginal significance.

Whatever the deficiencies of training, equipment and leadership the Russian mobiki receive turn out to be, these factors will be something that affect their efficiency (how well they fight) but not their effectiveness (whether they fight or not).

I’m actually seeing observers who are half expecting that Russians not having ideal equipment and not being volunteers will cause them to defect, surrender and desert en masse.

That is so surreal because there is so little precedent in history books for anything like that.

Even the esteemed scholar Michael Kofman (let’s give him credit where it is due, up until now he has called the war as accurately as Strelkov), believes that the mobiki not being volunteers will have massive repercussions for their morale and their military value.

That is such a strange thing to say. Once you are hiding from loitering munitions in a damp trench the last thing that has any bearing on your morale is whether you were dumb enough to actually volunteer for this mess or not. What determines morale in such conditions isn’t who felt more idealistic 6 months ago, but basic stuff like who has a pair of dry socks, and whether your lieutenant has a telephone line to the regimental artillery.

(In fact volunteers might be among the most shaken in such conditions because their volunteering might speak to their not knowing what war is and arriving with unrealistic expectations.)

Look, I’ve read about the conditions that awaited Red Army recruits in 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942. Whatever deficiency of training, equipment and leadership await the Russian mobiki in 2022 they won’t be even 5% as bad.

And yet, even the Russian troops of 1939-42 already fought incredibly fiercely. They weren’t well led so they didn’t fight particularly well, but they always fought hard. There were desertions and surrenders on the margins but far fewer than you would expect given the catastrophic conditions, and never close to a point where they would threaten ability of the army to stay in the field and continue to offer resistance. (Which is also why I was extremely skeptical of the strange claim that a historically puny number of Ukrainian (Little Russian) daily KIA would cause some kind of majestic breakdown of their forces.)

And here’s another thing — they even fought hard through abysmal morale and habitual indiscipline. I get the feeling that because Stalin’s Soviet Union was a totalitarian state and because this state did deport many of its soldiers to gulags or execute them that there is an impression that the Red Army was some kind of a robot force where officer word was law and the troops got wobbly in the knees at the mere sight of a commissar. The reality was just the opposite. It was a force that was downright anarchic. The other side of the coin to executions, gulags, and penal battalions for the worst (repeat) offenses, was that for numerous infractions the Red Army was far more lenient than Western armies — it simply had to be, due to the sheer frequency with which they were occuring.

This is to say that an Eastern European military bureaucracy might not exist at the same level of order and functionality as a Western one. However, this lack of tidiness and the overall higher level of FUBAR does not mean that they’re going to start running away from fights. The science of how to take men who are not jumping for joy at the thought of war and set them up to fight anyway is at least 5000 years old. It generally takes far greater stresses and oversights for any major breakdown of such a force than people tend to imagine.

Even the crucified Ukrainian Territorial Defense battalions when filming their combat refusal videos were not demanding that they be returned to their warm beds, but to return to the fight with more heavy weapons support, non-cowardly leadership, and with a brief respite.

It’s good to be consistent. People who were very attentive of compromises in Ukrainian force generation and deployment probably shouldn’t blind themselves to compromises and deficiencies of the Russian mobilization either.

And people who didn’t say a word about the often messy and improvised nature of Kiev’s mobilization are probably setting themselves up for disappointment by expecting imperfections in the execution to invalidate the fact of Russian mobilization.

Good training, gear, leadership, and morale are characteristics that God of War looks upon kindly. But the quality Mars appreciates the most is availability.

It’s useful not to lose the sight of forest for the trees:

https://twitter.com/SrbskyRus/status/1573731994525220866

https://twitter.com/SrbskyRus/status/1574126438613221380

https://twitter.com/SrbskyRus/status/1574126238435725312

https://twitter.com/Zzzaikar/status/1572988439766630400

https://twitter.com/SrbskyRus/status/1574457534240329728

https://twitter.com/shaunwalker7/status/1573395277419085837

https://twitter.com/marmar_ae/status/1574721819415814145

https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1574049185892282368

And some glorious Russian anarchism:

https://twitter.com/olex_scherba/status/1573341453706985472

https://twitter.com/JakeCordell/status/1573647765082628096

Anna Ringstrom - Tue Sep 27, 2022 14:31

Source: Reuters

European countries on Tuesday scrambled to investigate unexplained leaks in two Russian gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark, infrastructure at the heart of an energy crisis since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Sweden's Maritime Authority issued a warning about two leaks in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, shortly after a leak on the nearby Nord Stream 2 pipeline was discovered that had prompted Denmark to restrict shipping in a five nautical mile radius.

https://twitter.com/OAlexanderDK/status/1574741064056852481

Both pipelines have been flashpoints in an escalating energy war between Europe and Moscow that has pummelled major Western economies and sent gas prices soaring.

Neither pipeline was pumping gas to Europe at the time leaks were found amid the dispute over the Ukraine war but both still contained gas under pressure. The incidents will hinder any effort to start or restart either pipelline for commercial operations.

https://twitter.com/OAlexanderDK/status/1574742228647526402

"Yesterday, a leak was detected on one of the two gas pipelines between Russia and Denmark - Nord Stream 2. The pipeline is not in operation, but contains natural gas, which is now leaking," Denmark's energy minister Dan Jorgensen said in a written comment.

"Authorities have now been informed that there have been 2 more leaks on Nord Stream 1, which is also not in operation but contains gas," he added.

https://twitter.com/thisisnotarose/status/1574714838395195392

Gazprom declined comment.

Russia slashed gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream 1 before suspending flows altogether in August, blaming Western sanctions for causing technical difficulties. European politicians say that was a pretext to stop gas supplies.

https://twitter.com/Sprinter88000/status/1574729236027351040

The new Nord Stream 2 pipeline had just been completed but had not entered commercial operations. The plan to supply gas via the pipeline was scrapped by Germany days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February.

'EXTRA WATCH'

"There are two leaks on Nord Stream 1 - one in Swedish economic zone and one in Danish economic zone. They are very near each other," a Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) spokesperson told Reuters.

The leaks were located northeast of the Danish island Bornholm, the spokesperson said. It was not immediately clear what had caused the leaks.

"We are keeping extra watch to make sure no ship comes too close to the site," a second SMA spokesperson said.

The Baltic Pipe, a new subsea pipeline delivering Norwegian gas to Poland with an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic metres per day, is due to be inaugurated later on Tuesday.

Danish authorities have asked that the country's level of preparedness for the power and gas sector be raised after the leaks.

"Breaches of gas pipelines happen extremely rarely ... We want to ensure thorough monitoring of Denmark's critical infrastructure in order to strengthen security of supply in the future," said the head of the Danish energy agency, Kristoffer Bottzauw.

The raised level would mean that companies in the power and gas sector have to implement measures to increase safety at for example plants, buildings and installations.

Vessels can lose buoyancy if they enter the area, and there may be a risk of an ignition over the water and in the air, said the Danish energy agency, adding there were no security risks associated with the leak outside the exclusion zone.

It said the gas leak would only affect the environment locally, which means that only the area where the gas plume in the water column is located would be affected.

There would be a climate-damaging effect from the escaping methane gas escaping into the air, it said in a written comment.

Source: Reuters

European countries on Tuesday scrambled to investigate unexplained leaks in two Russian gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark, infrastructure at the heart of an energy crisis since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Sweden's Maritime Authority issued a warning about two leaks in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, shortly after a leak on the nearby Nord Stream 2 pipeline was discovered that had prompted Denmark to restrict shipping in a five nautical mile radius.

https://twitter.com/OAlexanderDK/status/1574741064056852481

Both pipelines have been flashpoints in an escalating energy war between Europe and Moscow that has pummelled major Western economies and sent gas prices soaring.

Neither pipeline was pumping gas to Europe at the time leaks were found amid the dispute over the Ukraine war but both still contained gas under pressure. The incidents will hinder any effort to start or restart either pipelline for commercial operations.

https://twitter.com/OAlexanderDK/status/1574742228647526402

"Yesterday, a leak was detected on one of the two gas pipelines between Russia and Denmark - Nord Stream 2. The pipeline is not in operation, but contains natural gas, which is now leaking," Denmark's energy minister Dan Jorgensen said in a written comment.

"Authorities have now been informed that there have been 2 more leaks on Nord Stream 1, which is also not in operation but contains gas," he added.

https://twitter.com/thisisnotarose/status/1574714838395195392

Gazprom declined comment.

Russia slashed gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream 1 before suspending flows altogether in August, blaming Western sanctions for causing technical difficulties. European politicians say that was a pretext to stop gas supplies.

https://twitter.com/Sprinter88000/status/1574729236027351040

The new Nord Stream 2 pipeline had just been completed but had not entered commercial operations. The plan to supply gas via the pipeline was scrapped by Germany days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February.

'EXTRA WATCH'

"There are two leaks on Nord Stream 1 - one in Swedish economic zone and one in Danish economic zone. They are very near each other," a Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) spokesperson told Reuters.

The leaks were located northeast of the Danish island Bornholm, the spokesperson said. It was not immediately clear what had caused the leaks.

"We are keeping extra watch to make sure no ship comes too close to the site," a second SMA spokesperson said.

The Baltic Pipe, a new subsea pipeline delivering Norwegian gas to Poland with an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic metres per day, is due to be inaugurated later on Tuesday.

Danish authorities have asked that the country's level of preparedness for the power and gas sector be raised after the leaks.

"Breaches of gas pipelines happen extremely rarely ... We want to ensure thorough monitoring of Denmark's critical infrastructure in order to strengthen security of supply in the future," said the head of the Danish energy agency, Kristoffer Bottzauw.

The raised level would mean that companies in the power and gas sector have to implement measures to increase safety at for example plants, buildings and installations.

Vessels can lose buoyancy if they enter the area, and there may be a risk of an ignition over the water and in the air, said the Danish energy agency, adding there were no security risks associated with the leak outside the exclusion zone.

It said the gas leak would only affect the environment locally, which means that only the area where the gas plume in the water column is located would be affected.

There would be a climate-damaging effect from the escaping methane gas escaping into the air, it said in a written comment.

Oleg Kaptsov - Mon Sep 26, 2022 14:00

Editor's note: On paper the two systems, the Russian and the American, are similar. But in reality, the Soviet-era Smerch is a "grid eraser" that disperses its missiles and showers an entire area with ordnance (which is what you want for certain things), whereas the American missile is a precision weapon.

They operate at the same ranges, but Smerch (it's like Grad but much longer range) is artillery (just extremely long-range) whereas HIMARS is a Liliputan tactical ballistic missile. One way to think about HIMARS is as a poor man's Iskander.

It performs the same role that the Russians would use their precision-guided ballistic and cruise missiles for. But its range is far more limited and the warhead isn't particularly powerful either. On the other hand, the missiles are cheaper.

Nonetheless, the Ukrainians have already expended a significant portion of the US stock of HIMARS missiles, and ammo availability is starting to be a limiting factor for them.

The Russians do have a relatively new system called Tornado-S that is similar to HIMARS, but its GLONASS satellite guidance isn't quite on par with the American GPS, plus it only exists in small numbers so far. — But the Tornado-S does have a larger, more useful warhead.


Source: Voennoe Obozrenie

Machine translated from Russian.

Over the past months, a variety of opinions have been voiced about the HIMARS system. But no one paid attention to the main thing.

The use of HIMARS differs from other multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS)

Let's start with such an example.

The estimated deflection of the Smerch shells at a range of 70 km does not exceed 150 m. This is not enough to hit point targets. But more than enough to provide a "controlled dispersion" of shells in a salvo. The Smerch shells must not fall into the same funnel. They should fall at some calculated distance from each other. In order for a full salvo from 12 guides to leave behind 672,000 sq. m of scorched space!

MLRS HIMARS, on the contrary, tends to heap "put" shells at one point. The projectile separation capability (estimated at 1-2 km at maximum firing distance) was provided for attacking several individual targets located in a narrow sector. In practice, such a coincidence is rare, so HIMARS fire volleys at the same target.

Pointing each missile at a specific target is contrary to the intent behind the MLRS installations. Their application does not require the calculation of coordinates for each individual target. Volley launch of many shells is guaranteed to cause damage to enemy forces dispersed over a large area.

This is the whole meaning and advantage of this type of weapon . The measure of success is fire performance. The blast wave weakens to the third power of distance. When shooting at areas, many explosions of lower power are always more effective than single explosions of high power.

The instructions of the Soviet period indicated that a salvo of three Smerch MLRS installations was comparable in efficiency to the work of two brigades armed with 9K79 Tochka-U missile systems. That is, one and a half to two dozen missiles fired, equipped with half-ton warheads!

Unlike the Smerchs, Grads and Hurricanes, the Hymars is deprived of the main quality of the MLRS - high fire performance. Instead, it provides a circular probable deviation of each ammunition within a dozen meters.

Sniping from MLRS is nonsense. This means that HIMARS belongs to a different type of weapon. The characteristics and purpose of HIMARS correspond to the complex of tactical surface-to-surface missiles. The impression is reinforced by the too small number of guides for the MLRS.

Are traces of MLRS still present in his pedigree? From its ancestors, the Chimera inherited only the ability to fire in a salvo, however, only six missiles.

This betrays the main weakness of the prodigy

Why fire missiles repeatedly at the same place?

HIMARS takes on the tasks of tactical (operational-tactical) missile systems using rockets with 90-kg warheads. For comparison, the missiles of the Tochka-U complex are equipped with high-explosive fragmentation warheads weighing 482 kg, containing over 160 kg of explosives!

The lack of power of HIMARS ammunition became especially noticeable from the results of their combat tour in Ukraine. The missiles turned out to be ineffective in solving the tasks of a strategic scale, which the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been putting before them for the second month already.

Perhaps the reason lies in the ridiculous attempts to use the complex beyond its capabilities. Disabling kilometer bridges was hardly taken into account when developing 227-mm GMLRS rockets.

To destroy capital structures, the MGM-140 ATACMS short-range ballistic missile was included in the HIMARS complex. The same “long arm of Hymars” with a launch range of 300 km, which so far no one is in a hurry to transfer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The hull diameter is 610 mm with a launch weight of over one and a half tons. A 500-pound (230-kg) warhead is used as standard equipment.

In terms of its weight and dimensions, ATACMS approaches those of Tochka-U, and in terms of combat qualities (range and especially accuracy) it is expectedly superior. Still, 30 years of age difference.

The transport and launch container with the ATACMS missile has six decorative "guides" - outwardly it is difficult to distinguish from containers with GMLRS rockets that hit 70 km.

As of mid-September, there is no reliable evidence of the use of ATACMS in Ukraine.

In all other cases, this weapon, of course, deserves serious ratings.

Behind the swirling dust of tank biathlons, few people noticed that the “probable enemy” had a new method of warfare. Massed launches of guided missiles - at logistics hubs and "decision centers" in the near rear, to a depth of up to 70 km.

The Yankees guessed to create a complex of tactical missiles based on 227-mm shells of the former MLRS. This approach ensured relative mass character and the possibility of firing at targets that did not deserve the use of Tomahawks.

Unlike traditional multiple rocket launchers, in this case, only six guides were enough. And HIMARS itself fit on the chassis of a three-axle army truck.

This was followed by all the known qualities of HIMARS, which are drawn to so much attention. Stealth, mobility ...

There is only one reason - "HIMARS" is not an analogue of traditional MLRS.

On the technical side, the Hymars launcher is the "half" of the M270 installation. Multiple launch rocket system of the 1970s, built on the tracked chassis of the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. With its own advantages and disadvantages. And a dozen guides for 227 mm shells - a close analogue of our "Hurricane".

In other words, the Hymars, like its predecessor, is capable of launching volleys of unguided rockets at targets at a distance of 30 km.

Was capable. And only in theory. With all the will, a competitor of the Grad MLRS will not come out of Hymars. It has a different purpose.

30 km is a very weak indicator for such a caliber. The Yankees have long abandoned the topic, never knowing what long-range unguided rockets are for.

The obsolete M26 shells were officially withdrawn from service in 2018. From that moment on, all M270s switched to tasks similar to the Hymars. With the advantage of better cross-country ability and density of a rocket salvo. And disadvantages in the form of a large mass and worse transportability.

In other words, across the ocean they completely abandoned the idea of ​​shooting at squares. How justified or premature this decision was will be shown by the coming conflicts. Decommissioned unguided shells were delivered in large numbers to ... You guessed where.

How to find a needle in a haystack?

For the use of high-precision missiles, in the quantities that HIMARS allows, not only the missiles themselves are needed, but also effective means of issuing target designation. In Ukraine, HIMARS operate on an area of ​​one hundred thousand square kilometers. "Bayraktars" and quadrocopters will not help here.

Who provides the APU with so much data? Global Hawk drones do not hang over the front line around the clock and Blackbirds do not fly.

Many experts agree that the APU was able to use the Hymars so actively due to access to services that provide high-resolution satellite imagery. And daily data updates. Such as the commercial company Maxar, which has its own constellation of satellites and tools for data analysis.

Analyzing and processing hundreds of images allows you to track the movement of convoys, identify regular stopping places and even daily routes of individual trucks. Based on these observations, conclusions are drawn about the location of military equipment accumulations, warehouses and command posts of the RF Armed Forces.

If this turns out to be true, then our military strategists, apparently, "slapped their ears" on the next round in the development of modern weapons.

There is no intrigue left in this topic, so in the end - a blitz on the most interesting issues.

Does Hymars charge itself?

Back at the end of July, at a briefing by the Ministry of Defense, an account was opened for the destroyed HIMARS installations.

“Two launchers were eliminated near the settlement of Malotaranovka, another HIMARS and a transport-loading vehicle near Krasnoarmeysk, and a fourth launcher on the eastern outskirts of Konstantinovka of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
(Briefing July 22)

What attracted the attention of experts? Unlike Gradov, Smerch and Hurricanes, which require special equipment to install rockets on rails, there are no transport-loading vehicles in the HIMARS complex.

HIMARS continues the tradition of its predecessor M270 and uses interchangeable transport and launch containers. The TPK is being changed ... The process of changing ammunition can be seen in a short video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnUk4n7BElE

What to do with the statement about the destruction of the "transport-loading vehicle"? It has its own explanation. Ammunition "Haymars" is not transported on conventional trucks.

Ammunition carriers are attached to each HIMARS battery - according to the state, two vehicles per launcher. These are ordinary 6x6 trucks, which are distinguished by the presence of a crane-manipulator and "shoes" for missile containers.

This technique bears the designation MK.37 Resupply Vehicle (literally - "resupply vehicle"). Her task is to lift and put the container on the ground in front of the launcher; further "Hymars" will do everything himself.

Probably, a machine of this type was discussed at the MoD briefing. No emphasis on technical details.

Hunt for the HIMARS

Installations with tactical missiles for the second month are dissected through the combat zone under the fire of Russian artillery and airborne forces. It is expected that among them there should be losses.

The question here is not in scoring, 5:3. The main question is why part of the "Chimera" is still on the move and shoots in all directions. As if not a couple of dozen, but hundreds and thousands of launchers were brought to Ukraine.

The enemy, of course, cares about the reputation of the "wunderwaffe" and will hide any data on losses.

From our side, the identification of the destroyed HIMARS is complicated by their external resemblance to trucks of the FMTV family. Dozens of such vehicles are used as part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for towing 777 howitzers.

Another circumstance preventing the public demonstration of the wreckage is the way the HIMARS are used in combat. Installations "work" from the depths of enemy territory. Unlike the hulking 777 howitzers, the Ukrainian MLRS are not so easy to capture and display at the exhibition of captured weapons.

Domestic sources also do not strive for high-quality coverage of the events of the “hunt for Hymars”. The presented footage of the destruction of HIMARS launchers is of such low quality and resolution that they could describe any event in any military conflict.

However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The Hymars had spent enough time in the war zone for casualties to form among them.

Russian analogue of HIMARS

An analogue of GMLRS rockets are 9M542 precision-guided munitions, designed for advanced MLRS 9K515 Tornado-S. The letter "S" indicates that the complex took the best from its progenitor - the Smerch MLRS.

The mass and caliber of the projectile are cubically related, for this reason, the 300-mm Tornado-S rockets have twice the power compared to the 227-mm GMLRS.

12 guides - instead of six for HIMARS. Due to its size and the use of a specific chassis, the Tornado-S is inferior in stealth and mobility. But it significantly surpasses HIMARS in terms of the power of ammunition, the firing range (120 km) and the density of the rocket salvo.

At the same time, the Russian complex retained the potential of the MLRS and the possibility of salvo firing of unguided rockets at targets dispersed over a large area.

The most important point is related to the issuance of target designation. As the events of the NMD demonstrate, control over the situation and movements of the Armed Forces of Ukraine leaves much to be desired.

And, as usual, the traditional question relates to the number of Tornado-S in service. 20 units are enough for parity with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but this is unacceptably low for a conflict with NATO countries.

As for ATACMS ballistic missiles, the advantage in this class of weapons remains with Russia. A complex that does not need a long introduction is the Iskander OTRK.

The world's first HIMARS operator in terms of the number of installations promises to be... Poland. In June of this year, the Polish Ministry of Defense announced plans to acquire 500 launchers (more than the US has in service) to equip 80 missile batteries with them. The absurdity of the situation is that four full salvos of HIMARS are more expensive than the launcher itself. The Poles, apparently, forgot to count the ammunition load for 500 launchers.

Editor's note: On paper the two systems, the Russian and the American, are similar. But in reality, the Soviet-era Smerch is a "grid eraser" that disperses its missiles and showers an entire area with ordnance (which is what you want for certain things), whereas the American missile is a precision weapon.

They operate at the same ranges, but Smerch (it's like Grad but much longer range) is artillery (just extremely long-range) whereas HIMARS is a Liliputan tactical ballistic missile. One way to think about HIMARS is as a poor man's Iskander.

It performs the same role that the Russians would use their precision-guided ballistic and cruise missiles for. But its range is far more limited and the warhead isn't particularly powerful either. On the other hand, the missiles are cheaper.

Nonetheless, the Ukrainians have already expended a significant portion of the US stock of HIMARS missiles, and ammo availability is starting to be a limiting factor for them.

The Russians do have a relatively new system called Tornado-S that is similar to HIMARS, but its GLONASS satellite guidance isn't quite on par with the American GPS, plus it only exists in small numbers so far. — But the Tornado-S does have a larger, more useful warhead.


Source: Voennoe Obozrenie

Machine translated from Russian.

Over the past months, a variety of opinions have been voiced about the HIMARS system. But no one paid attention to the main thing.

The use of HIMARS differs from other multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS)

Let's start with such an example.

The estimated deflection of the Smerch shells at a range of 70 km does not exceed 150 m. This is not enough to hit point targets. But more than enough to provide a "controlled dispersion" of shells in a salvo. The Smerch shells must not fall into the same funnel. They should fall at some calculated distance from each other. In order for a full salvo from 12 guides to leave behind 672,000 sq. m of scorched space!

MLRS HIMARS, on the contrary, tends to heap "put" shells at one point. The projectile separation capability (estimated at 1-2 km at maximum firing distance) was provided for attacking several individual targets located in a narrow sector. In practice, such a coincidence is rare, so HIMARS fire volleys at the same target.

Pointing each missile at a specific target is contrary to the intent behind the MLRS installations. Their application does not require the calculation of coordinates for each individual target. Volley launch of many shells is guaranteed to cause damage to enemy forces dispersed over a large area.

This is the whole meaning and advantage of this type of weapon . The measure of success is fire performance. The blast wave weakens to the third power of distance. When shooting at areas, many explosions of lower power are always more effective than single explosions of high power.

The instructions of the Soviet period indicated that a salvo of three Smerch MLRS installations was comparable in efficiency to the work of two brigades armed with 9K79 Tochka-U missile systems. That is, one and a half to two dozen missiles fired, equipped with half-ton warheads!

Unlike the Smerchs, Grads and Hurricanes, the Hymars is deprived of the main quality of the MLRS - high fire performance. Instead, it provides a circular probable deviation of each ammunition within a dozen meters.

Sniping from MLRS is nonsense. This means that HIMARS belongs to a different type of weapon. The characteristics and purpose of HIMARS correspond to the complex of tactical surface-to-surface missiles. The impression is reinforced by the too small number of guides for the MLRS.

Are traces of MLRS still present in his pedigree? From its ancestors, the Chimera inherited only the ability to fire in a salvo, however, only six missiles.

This betrays the main weakness of the prodigy

Why fire missiles repeatedly at the same place?

HIMARS takes on the tasks of tactical (operational-tactical) missile systems using rockets with 90-kg warheads. For comparison, the missiles of the Tochka-U complex are equipped with high-explosive fragmentation warheads weighing 482 kg, containing over 160 kg of explosives!

The lack of power of HIMARS ammunition became especially noticeable from the results of their combat tour in Ukraine. The missiles turned out to be ineffective in solving the tasks of a strategic scale, which the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been putting before them for the second month already.

Perhaps the reason lies in the ridiculous attempts to use the complex beyond its capabilities. Disabling kilometer bridges was hardly taken into account when developing 227-mm GMLRS rockets.

To destroy capital structures, the MGM-140 ATACMS short-range ballistic missile was included in the HIMARS complex. The same “long arm of Hymars” with a launch range of 300 km, which so far no one is in a hurry to transfer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The hull diameter is 610 mm with a launch weight of over one and a half tons. A 500-pound (230-kg) warhead is used as standard equipment.

In terms of its weight and dimensions, ATACMS approaches those of Tochka-U, and in terms of combat qualities (range and especially accuracy) it is expectedly superior. Still, 30 years of age difference.

The transport and launch container with the ATACMS missile has six decorative "guides" - outwardly it is difficult to distinguish from containers with GMLRS rockets that hit 70 km.

As of mid-September, there is no reliable evidence of the use of ATACMS in Ukraine.

In all other cases, this weapon, of course, deserves serious ratings.

Behind the swirling dust of tank biathlons, few people noticed that the “probable enemy” had a new method of warfare. Massed launches of guided missiles - at logistics hubs and "decision centers" in the near rear, to a depth of up to 70 km.

The Yankees guessed to create a complex of tactical missiles based on 227-mm shells of the former MLRS. This approach ensured relative mass character and the possibility of firing at targets that did not deserve the use of Tomahawks.

Unlike traditional multiple rocket launchers, in this case, only six guides were enough. And HIMARS itself fit on the chassis of a three-axle army truck.

This was followed by all the known qualities of HIMARS, which are drawn to so much attention. Stealth, mobility ...

There is only one reason - "HIMARS" is not an analogue of traditional MLRS.

On the technical side, the Hymars launcher is the "half" of the M270 installation. Multiple launch rocket system of the 1970s, built on the tracked chassis of the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. With its own advantages and disadvantages. And a dozen guides for 227 mm shells - a close analogue of our "Hurricane".

In other words, the Hymars, like its predecessor, is capable of launching volleys of unguided rockets at targets at a distance of 30 km.

Was capable. And only in theory. With all the will, a competitor of the Grad MLRS will not come out of Hymars. It has a different purpose.

30 km is a very weak indicator for such a caliber. The Yankees have long abandoned the topic, never knowing what long-range unguided rockets are for.

The obsolete M26 shells were officially withdrawn from service in 2018. From that moment on, all M270s switched to tasks similar to the Hymars. With the advantage of better cross-country ability and density of a rocket salvo. And disadvantages in the form of a large mass and worse transportability.

In other words, across the ocean they completely abandoned the idea of ​​shooting at squares. How justified or premature this decision was will be shown by the coming conflicts. Decommissioned unguided shells were delivered in large numbers to ... You guessed where.

How to find a needle in a haystack?

For the use of high-precision missiles, in the quantities that HIMARS allows, not only the missiles themselves are needed, but also effective means of issuing target designation. In Ukraine, HIMARS operate on an area of ​​one hundred thousand square kilometers. "Bayraktars" and quadrocopters will not help here.

Who provides the APU with so much data? Global Hawk drones do not hang over the front line around the clock and Blackbirds do not fly.

Many experts agree that the APU was able to use the Hymars so actively due to access to services that provide high-resolution satellite imagery. And daily data updates. Such as the commercial company Maxar, which has its own constellation of satellites and tools for data analysis.

Analyzing and processing hundreds of images allows you to track the movement of convoys, identify regular stopping places and even daily routes of individual trucks. Based on these observations, conclusions are drawn about the location of military equipment accumulations, warehouses and command posts of the RF Armed Forces.

If this turns out to be true, then our military strategists, apparently, "slapped their ears" on the next round in the development of modern weapons.

There is no intrigue left in this topic, so in the end - a blitz on the most interesting issues.

Does Hymars charge itself?

Back at the end of July, at a briefing by the Ministry of Defense, an account was opened for the destroyed HIMARS installations.

“Two launchers were eliminated near the settlement of Malotaranovka, another HIMARS and a transport-loading vehicle near Krasnoarmeysk, and a fourth launcher on the eastern outskirts of Konstantinovka of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
(Briefing July 22)

What attracted the attention of experts? Unlike Gradov, Smerch and Hurricanes, which require special equipment to install rockets on rails, there are no transport-loading vehicles in the HIMARS complex.

HIMARS continues the tradition of its predecessor M270 and uses interchangeable transport and launch containers. The TPK is being changed ... The process of changing ammunition can be seen in a short video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnUk4n7BElE

What to do with the statement about the destruction of the "transport-loading vehicle"? It has its own explanation. Ammunition "Haymars" is not transported on conventional trucks.

Ammunition carriers are attached to each HIMARS battery - according to the state, two vehicles per launcher. These are ordinary 6x6 trucks, which are distinguished by the presence of a crane-manipulator and "shoes" for missile containers.

This technique bears the designation MK.37 Resupply Vehicle (literally - "resupply vehicle"). Her task is to lift and put the container on the ground in front of the launcher; further "Hymars" will do everything himself.

Probably, a machine of this type was discussed at the MoD briefing. No emphasis on technical details.

Hunt for the HIMARS

Installations with tactical missiles for the second month are dissected through the combat zone under the fire of Russian artillery and airborne forces. It is expected that among them there should be losses.

The question here is not in scoring, 5:3. The main question is why part of the "Chimera" is still on the move and shoots in all directions. As if not a couple of dozen, but hundreds and thousands of launchers were brought to Ukraine.

The enemy, of course, cares about the reputation of the "wunderwaffe" and will hide any data on losses.

From our side, the identification of the destroyed HIMARS is complicated by their external resemblance to trucks of the FMTV family. Dozens of such vehicles are used as part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for towing 777 howitzers.

Another circumstance preventing the public demonstration of the wreckage is the way the HIMARS are used in combat. Installations "work" from the depths of enemy territory. Unlike the hulking 777 howitzers, the Ukrainian MLRS are not so easy to capture and display at the exhibition of captured weapons.

Domestic sources also do not strive for high-quality coverage of the events of the “hunt for Hymars”. The presented footage of the destruction of HIMARS launchers is of such low quality and resolution that they could describe any event in any military conflict.

However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The Hymars had spent enough time in the war zone for casualties to form among them.

Russian analogue of HIMARS

An analogue of GMLRS rockets are 9M542 precision-guided munitions, designed for advanced MLRS 9K515 Tornado-S. The letter "S" indicates that the complex took the best from its progenitor - the Smerch MLRS.

The mass and caliber of the projectile are cubically related, for this reason, the 300-mm Tornado-S rockets have twice the power compared to the 227-mm GMLRS.

12 guides - instead of six for HIMARS. Due to its size and the use of a specific chassis, the Tornado-S is inferior in stealth and mobility. But it significantly surpasses HIMARS in terms of the power of ammunition, the firing range (120 km) and the density of the rocket salvo.

At the same time, the Russian complex retained the potential of the MLRS and the possibility of salvo firing of unguided rockets at targets dispersed over a large area.

The most important point is related to the issuance of target designation. As the events of the NMD demonstrate, control over the situation and movements of the Armed Forces of Ukraine leaves much to be desired.

And, as usual, the traditional question relates to the number of Tornado-S in service. 20 units are enough for parity with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but this is unacceptably low for a conflict with NATO countries.

As for ATACMS ballistic missiles, the advantage in this class of weapons remains with Russia. A complex that does not need a long introduction is the Iskander OTRK.

The world's first HIMARS operator in terms of the number of installations promises to be... Poland. In June of this year, the Polish Ministry of Defense announced plans to acquire 500 launchers (more than the US has in service) to equip 80 missile batteries with them. The absurdity of the situation is that four full salvos of HIMARS are more expensive than the launcher itself. The Poles, apparently, forgot to count the ammunition load for 500 launchers.

Anti-Empire - Fri Sep 23, 2022 05:38

Putin was careful to say he was ordering a “partial mobilization” and Shoigu specified the military was looking for 300,000 men.

However, there is no mention of 300,000, or it being partial, in the actual mobilization decree.

Thus the decree actually establishes the legal groundwork for the authorities to eventually conscript as many as they want.

The figure of 300,000 may not look high next to Russia’s population of 145 million, or next to Russia’s Armed Forces size of 0.9 million, but it is actually enormous.

300,000 represents the upper bound of how many men the Russian military can assimilate in short order.

Russia no longer has skeleton, officer-only divisions that could quickly absorb gargantuan numbers of conscripts.

Pre-war Russia’s military only had about 200,000 slots that were kept empty and that were to be filled in case of a major war through mobilization. For example, during peacetime mortar teams don’t really need the 3rd crewman, artillery guns don’t need the 6th and 7th crewman, and ammo trucks don’t need assistant drivers. But in war, all of these become enormously useful, critical even. (How the SMO dealt with this was often through consolidation, instead of mixed kontraktniki-conscript-mobiki teams called for by doctrine it created fewer kontraktniki-only teams.)

It is for this reason that I thought Russia’s first mobilization wave (if it ever occurred) would be at most 250,000-strong. (200K to fill the empty slots and another 50K to replace prior and future casualties.) Instead RUMOD went with 300,000 right away which implies that they will also be forming some new units (eg adding battalions to brigades).

There is another way in which the 300,000 figure is enormous. Assuming 250K will go into land combat arms that immediately doubles the number of men on whose shoulders the war is sustained. (If the 150K serving conscripts in the land arms are also added that takes the number further to 650K.)

That is important in the sense that available combat power is immediately nearly doubled. And it is consequential in the sense that finally the kontraktniki who have so far been carrying the entire weight of the war will finally get some respite and rotation.

But the importance of mobilization goes even beyond that.

For the pro soldiers in the trench it answers two key questions. One, is Putin actually serious about this war? And two, does he have our backs?

The ideological motivation of Russian pro soldiers to restore the Black Sea to Russia does not need to be questioned. But ideology is only the most minor part of why people fight. Nobody is eager to fight if they feel that they have been abandoned, thrown into a war the authorities no longer care about.

Or if they feel that they have been maneuvered into bearing enormously disproportionate sacrifices to everyone else in the society.

By sending them 300,000 reinforcements Putin proves (finally) that he has the pros’ back. That he will get them what they need to attain a favorable conclusion. That their lives won’t be thrown away for nothing in a crappy little inconclusive war betrayed by the authorities.

And he also proves to them that it is not only their military caste that will be made to sacrifice (and be consumed) for this all-national goal, but that the sacrifice will be spread around the entire society.

After all, it is one thing to be told that because you are professional military that is appropriate for the 250,000 of you to spearhead a war against a state of 35-million. And it is an entirely different thing to be told that the 250K of you must accomplish it all on your own with zero reinforcements ever.

Until now the Russian military actually had a significant deployment refusal problem. Not just contract soldiers, but even officers would refuse to deploy to Ukraine. I entirely understand why, and they were completely right to.

When you sign up to become a soldier you promise to go to war if ordered and lead your men into one. But the authorities also promise that they will only throw you and your men into military undertakings that at least halfway make sense.

Being sent to conquer a nation of 35-million without notice and simultaneously being ordered to shed one-third of your uniformed manpower (serving conscripts), and then not be reinforced for 7 months is the exact opposite of anything that makes sense. Under the circumstances, I am surprised that anyone at all followed orders.

Sending them 300,000 reinforcements will go a long way toward repairing the morale of the professionals, and of solving the deployment refusal problem.

It represents the dilly-dallying Kremlinboomers finally restoring their credibility with the rank-and-file military.

Heck, yesterday all the reinforcements they could hope for were Wagner convicts, and the puny 15,000-strong 3rd Corps. Now the number is 300,000.

That is the number for now. That is how many the military is capable of assimilating in short order. But the legal groundwork is there to mobilize more in the 2nd wave (in the spring?).

However this would mean forming many new units and the biggest obstacle and challenge would be providing them with semi-decent officers and leadership.

(Sending people to war without semi-competent leaders is a waste of human life. Probably you would need to beg the oldtimers cut by Serdyukov to come back, and start numerous junior lieutenant classes right now to have them ready by spring…)

This text ended up being mostly about what the mobilization means for the Russian contract soldiers, their morale, and their faith in the authorities, so I’ll have to write another one about what it could mean for the battlefield.

Putin was careful to say he was ordering a “partial mobilization” and Shoigu specified the military was looking for 300,000 men.

However, there is no mention of 300,000, or it being partial, in the actual mobilization decree.

Thus the decree actually establishes the legal groundwork for the authorities to eventually conscript as many as they want.

The figure of 300,000 may not look high next to Russia’s population of 145 million, or next to Russia’s Armed Forces size of 0.9 million, but it is actually enormous.

300,000 represents the upper bound of how many men the Russian military can assimilate in short order.

Russia no longer has skeleton, officer-only divisions that could quickly absorb gargantuan numbers of conscripts.

Pre-war Russia’s military only had about 200,000 slots that were kept empty and that were to be filled in case of a major war through mobilization. For example, during peacetime mortar teams don’t really need the 3rd crewman, artillery guns don’t need the 6th and 7th crewman, and ammo trucks don’t need assistant drivers. But in war, all of these become enormously useful, critical even. (How the SMO dealt with this was often through consolidation, instead of mixed kontraktniki-conscript-mobiki teams called for by doctrine it created fewer kontraktniki-only teams.)

It is for this reason that I thought Russia’s first mobilization wave (if it ever occurred) would be at most 250,000-strong. (200K to fill the empty slots and another 50K to replace prior and future casualties.) Instead RUMOD went with 300,000 right away which implies that they will also be forming some new units (eg adding battalions to brigades).

There is another way in which the 300,000 figure is enormous. Assuming 250K will go into land combat arms that immediately doubles the number of men on whose shoulders the war is sustained. (If the 150K serving conscripts in the land arms are also added that takes the number further to 650K.)

That is important in the sense that available combat power is immediately nearly doubled. And it is consequential in the sense that finally the kontraktniki who have so far been carrying the entire weight of the war will finally get some respite and rotation.

But the importance of mobilization goes even beyond that.

For the pro soldiers in the trench it answers two key questions. One, is Putin actually serious about this war? And two, does he have our backs?

The ideological motivation of Russian pro soldiers to restore the Black Sea to Russia does not need to be questioned. But ideology is only the most minor part of why people fight. Nobody is eager to fight if they feel that they have been abandoned, thrown into a war the authorities no longer care about.

Or if they feel that they have been maneuvered into bearing enormously disproportionate sacrifices to everyone else in the society.

By sending them 300,000 reinforcements Putin proves (finally) that he has the pros’ back. That he will get them what they need to attain a favorable conclusion. That their lives won’t be thrown away for nothing in a crappy little inconclusive war betrayed by the authorities.

And he also proves to them that it is not only their military caste that will be made to sacrifice (and be consumed) for this all-national goal, but that the sacrifice will be spread around the entire society.

After all, it is one thing to be told that because you are professional military that is appropriate for the 250,000 of you to spearhead a war against a state of 35-million. And it is an entirely different thing to be told that the 250K of you must accomplish it all on your own with zero reinforcements ever.

Until now the Russian military actually had a significant deployment refusal problem. Not just contract soldiers, but even officers would refuse to deploy to Ukraine. I entirely understand why, and they were completely right to.

When you sign up to become a soldier you promise to go to war if ordered and lead your men into one. But the authorities also promise that they will only throw you and your men into military undertakings that at least halfway make sense.

Being sent to conquer a nation of 35-million without notice and simultaneously being ordered to shed one-third of your uniformed manpower (serving conscripts), and then not be reinforced for 7 months is the exact opposite of anything that makes sense. Under the circumstances, I am surprised that anyone at all followed orders.

Sending them 300,000 reinforcements will go a long way toward repairing the morale of the professionals, and of solving the deployment refusal problem.

It represents the dilly-dallying Kremlinboomers finally restoring their credibility with the rank-and-file military.

Heck, yesterday all the reinforcements they could hope for were Wagner convicts, and the puny 15,000-strong 3rd Corps. Now the number is 300,000.

That is the number for now. That is how many the military is capable of assimilating in short order. But the legal groundwork is there to mobilize more in the 2nd wave (in the spring?).

However this would mean forming many new units and the biggest obstacle and challenge would be providing them with semi-decent officers and leadership.

(Sending people to war without semi-competent leaders is a waste of human life. Probably you would need to beg the oldtimers cut by Serdyukov to come back, and start numerous junior lieutenant classes right now to have them ready by spring…)

This text ended up being mostly about what the mobilization means for the Russian contract soldiers, their morale, and their faith in the authorities, so I’ll have to write another one about what it could mean for the battlefield.

Anti-Empire - Fri Sep 23, 2022 00:21

This Tuesday referendums on joining Russia were announced for Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye. Four days of voting from the 23rd through 27th are foreseen.

Referendums in wartime (under shells), for regions Russia doesn’t even fully control, with announcements made just 3 days ahead. — It’s safe to say it’s not a great look.

The most comical situation is the one in Zaporozhye. Russia doesn’t even hold Zaporozhye city that is home to 0.8 million of the region’s 1.6 million inhabitants. Russia controls under 50% of the region’s inhabitants but is organizing a “referendum” to transfer the region from Kiev to Moscow.

They’re not low-IQ in Moscow. If we can see that this isn’t a good look, then so can they.

In fact, it’s such a bad look that Moscow has spent 7 months trying to avoid it. The original intent was to first extend control over the entirety of Donetsk and Lugansk, and only then have the rubber-stamp referenda, as would have made far more sense.*

Yet they’re going ahead now, all of a sudden, and at a break-neck pace (just three days from announcement to voting). Why is that?

The reason is that it came down to either start doing things with the proper intensity, or slowly lose the war. The reason is that the Kremlin could no longer maintain the illusion (particularly to itself) that the war was on a proper track.

The war in the parameters before September 20th had exhausted itself, was on the back foot, and was probably headed for a defeat in the long-run, but was certainly headed for the destruction of Russia’s professional Ground Army — not so much on the battlefield, but through a combination of problems with burnout, retention and recruitment.

Far from the assertions of the 5D Kremlin Fan Club Boys that the shock success of Ukraine’s Kharkov offensive “did not matter”, the conclusion in the Kremlin was the precise opposite. Unlike its fanboys, the Kremlin opted to treat the Ukrainian offensive as a massive wake-up call, and reason to do what it had been desperately resisting for 7 months.

It was certainly a wake-up call for any pro-Russians in the territories Moscow had captured since February 24th. Moscow waltzed into Kharkov in February-March, started putting up “Russian World, One People” billboards, handing out citizenships, and promising it was here forever, then ran away in a matter of just 5 days. This after they had made “We do not leave ours behind” the official motto of the SMO.

After this who would ever be dumb enough to stick out his neck for Russia again?

After the Kharkov debacle the pro-Russians needed assurances that Kremlins are actually serious and not a bunch of feckless traitors to the Russkiy Mir as it was starting to look. The annexation to Russia that will follow the referenda is that badly needed assurance.

Another thing annexations will do is make conscripts deployable.

Officially Russia insists that conscripts will still not be deployed to “the area of SMO”. But just a week ago Peskov was also still insisting that there would be no mobilization either. Thus all Kremlin utterances must be treated as being of the “here today, gone tomorrow” variety.

The fact is that proclaiming the four regions Russian soil makes conscripts immediately deployable to them, without even having to proclaim a state of war.

Moreover the mobilization decree allows the state to mobilize conscripts as soon as they are discharged and become “former servicemen”, so it would be rather illogical if you could not be deployed while still in uniform but would become deployable immediately upon discharge.

(Possibly the assurances that conscripts will not be deployed are maintained for now so as not to make the fall draft any harder than it needs to be.)

Anyway, up until now the Russkiy Mir pitch Moscow has had been a very unappealing one. Not because there aren’t willing takers in principle — there are. But because Kremlin-s half-heartedness made it a two-tier system where pro-Russians outside Russia’s borders got a rotten deal.

The members of this Russkiy Mir in Kharkov, Kherson and Zaporozhye had no real security guarantees, which is why the pro-Russians of Kharkov are now refugees. Those in DLPR had security guarantees but they were also made to bear disproportionate sacrifices to repay them.

While trained conscripts already in the military from Crimea and Moscow were not sent to war, DLPR was made to carry out a general mobilization and send untrained 50-somethings off to war.

Perhaps these referendums (as sketchy as they are) can start to make Russkiy Mir a more egalitarian and just system, not one where your security and rights depend on your usefulness to the electoral prospects of the shysters of United Russia.

https://twitter.com/LvivTyler/status/1572195862113316864

https://twitter.com/paolobucci68/status/1572944324899348481

https://twitter.com/sbobkov/status/1573102815643598848

This Tuesday referendums on joining Russia were announced for Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye. Four days of voting from the 23rd through 27th are foreseen.

Referendums in wartime (under shells), for regions Russia doesn’t even fully control, with announcements made just 3 days ahead. — It’s safe to say it’s not a great look.

The most comical situation is the one in Zaporozhye. Russia doesn’t even hold Zaporozhye city that is home to 0.8 million of the region’s 1.6 million inhabitants. Russia controls under 50% of the region’s inhabitants but is organizing a “referendum” to transfer the region from Kiev to Moscow.

They’re not low-IQ in Moscow. If we can see that this isn’t a good look, then so can they.

In fact, it’s such a bad look that Moscow has spent 7 months trying to avoid it. The original intent was to first extend control over the entirety of Donetsk and Lugansk, and only then have the rubber-stamp referenda, as would have made far more sense.*

Yet they’re going ahead now, all of a sudden, and at a break-neck pace (just three days from announcement to voting). Why is that?

The reason is that it came down to either start doing things with the proper intensity, or slowly lose the war. The reason is that the Kremlin could no longer maintain the illusion (particularly to itself) that the war was on a proper track.

The war in the parameters before September 20th had exhausted itself, was on the back foot, and was probably headed for a defeat in the long-run, but was certainly headed for the destruction of Russia’s professional Ground Army — not so much on the battlefield, but through a combination of problems with burnout, retention and recruitment.

Far from the assertions of the 5D Kremlin Fan Club Boys that the shock success of Ukraine’s Kharkov offensive “did not matter”, the conclusion in the Kremlin was the precise opposite. Unlike its fanboys, the Kremlin opted to treat the Ukrainian offensive as a massive wake-up call, and reason to do what it had been desperately resisting for 7 months.

It was certainly a wake-up call for any pro-Russians in the territories Moscow had captured since February 24th. Moscow waltzed into Kharkov in February-March, started putting up “Russian World, One People” billboards, handing out citizenships, and promising it was here forever, then ran away in a matter of just 5 days. This after they had made “We do not leave ours behind” the official motto of the SMO.

After this who would ever be dumb enough to stick out his neck for Russia again?

After the Kharkov debacle the pro-Russians needed assurances that Kremlins are actually serious and not a bunch of feckless traitors to the Russkiy Mir as it was starting to look. The annexation to Russia that will follow the referenda is that badly needed assurance.

Another thing annexations will do is make conscripts deployable.

Officially Russia insists that conscripts will still not be deployed to “the area of SMO”. But just a week ago Peskov was also still insisting that there would be no mobilization either. Thus all Kremlin utterances must be treated as being of the “here today, gone tomorrow” variety.

The fact is that proclaiming the four regions Russian soil makes conscripts immediately deployable to them, without even having to proclaim a state of war.

Moreover the mobilization decree allows the state to mobilize conscripts as soon as they are discharged and become “former servicemen”, so it would be rather illogical if you could not be deployed while still in uniform but would become deployable immediately upon discharge.

(Possibly the assurances that conscripts will not be deployed are maintained for now so as not to make the fall draft any harder than it needs to be.)

Anyway, up until now the Russkiy Mir pitch Moscow has had been a very unappealing one. Not because there aren’t willing takers in principle — there are. But because Kremlin-s half-heartedness made it a two-tier system where pro-Russians outside Russia’s borders got a rotten deal.

The members of this Russkiy Mir in Kharkov, Kherson and Zaporozhye had no real security guarantees, which is why the pro-Russians of Kharkov are now refugees. Those in DLPR had security guarantees but they were also made to bear disproportionate sacrifices to repay them.

While trained conscripts already in the military from Crimea and Moscow were not sent to war, DLPR was made to carry out a general mobilization and send untrained 50-somethings off to war.

Perhaps these referendums (as sketchy as they are) can start to make Russkiy Mir a more egalitarian and just system, not one where your security and rights depend on your usefulness to the electoral prospects of the shysters of United Russia.

https://twitter.com/LvivTyler/status/1572195862113316864

https://twitter.com/paolobucci68/status/1572944324899348481

https://twitter.com/sbobkov/status/1573102815643598848

Anti-Empire >>

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