Ukraine - Russia Flare Up

randomradio

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China looks to learn from Russian failures in Ukraine


BANGKOK (AP) — With its ground troops forced to pull back in Ukraine and regroup, and its Black Sea flagship sunk, Russia’s military failings are mounting. No country is paying closer attention than China to how a smaller and outgunned force has badly bloodied what was thought to be one of the world’s most powerful armies.

China, like Russia, has been ambitiously reforming its Soviet-style military and experts say leader Xi Jinping will be carefully parsing the weaknesses exposed by the invasion of Ukraine as they might apply to his own People’s Liberation Army and his designs on the self-governed island of Taiwan.

“The big question Xi and the PLA leadership must be asking in light of Russian operations in Ukraine is whether a military that has undergone extensive reform and modernization will be able to execute operations that are far more complex than those Russia has undertaken during its invasion of Ukraine,” said M. Taylor Fravel, director of the security studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Russia’s armed forces have undergone an extensive process of reform and investment for more than a decade, with lessons learned in combat in Georgia, Chechnya, Syria and its annexation of Crimea helping guide the process. The Ukrainian invasion, however, has exposed weaknesses from the top down.

Experts have been collectively stunned that Russia invaded Ukraine with seemingly little preparation and lack of focus — a campaign along multiple, poorly-coordinated axes that has failed to effectively combine air and land operations.

Soldiers have been running out of food, and vehicles have been breaking down. With losses mounting, Moscow has pulled its bloodied forces away from the capital, Kyiv, to regroup. Last week, the guided-missile cruiser Moskva sank after Ukraine said it hit the ship with missiles; Russia blamed the sinking on a fire on board.

“It’s very hard to see success at any level in the way that Russia has prosecuted the campaign,” said Euan Graham, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies based in Singapore.

President Vladimir Putin, who has been closely involved in Russia’s military reform, did not even appoint an overall commander for the operation until about a week ago, apparently expecting a quick victory and grossly misjudging Ukrainian resistance, Graham said.

“It’s a very personal war on his part,” Graham said. “And I think the expectation that this would be a cakewalk is obviously the biggest single failure.”

Putin’s decisions raise the question of whether he was given accurate assessments of the progress of military reform and Ukrainian abilities, or was just told what he wanted to hear.

Xi, also an authoritarian leader who has taken a personal role in China’s military reform, could now be wondering the same, Fravel said.
“Xi specifically may also wonder whether he is receiving accurate reports about the PLA’s likely effectiveness in a high intensity conflict,” he said.

China has had no recent major conflict by which to gauge its military prowess, having fought its last significant engagement in 1979 against Vietnam, said David Chen, a senior consultant with CENTRA Technology, a U.S.-based government services firm.

“The wakeup call for (China’s) Central Military Commission is that there are more unknown factors involved in any such campaign than they may have anticipated,” Chen said.

“Russia’s experience in Ukraine has shown that what may seem plausible on paper at the Academy of Military Science or National Defense University becomes much more complicated in the real world.”

Xi, the son of a revolutionary commander who spent time in uniform himself, began undertaking military reforms in 2015, three years after assuming leadership of the Central Military Commission.

Total troop strength was reduced by 300,000 to just under 2 million, the number of officers cut by a third and a greater emphasis given to non-commissioned officers to lead in the field.

China’s military has a tradition of respect for initiative from lower-ranking soldiers dating from its revolutionary origins, said Yue Gang, a Beijing-based military analyst. By contrast, Russian forces in Ukraine have shown weaknesses where decisions have had to be made on the front lines, he said.

“Chinese soldiers are encouraged to put forward their thoughts and views when discussing how to fight,” Yue said.

China’s seven military districts have been reorganized into five theater commands, the number of group armies reduced and the logistics system reorganized to boost efficiency. The ratio of support to combat units was increased and a greater emphasis placed on more mobile and amphibious units.

Xi has also sought to end rampant corruption in the military, going after two former top generals shortly after taking power. One was sentenced to life in prison and the other died before his case was concluded.

China’s military is highly opaque and outside the purview of civilian judges and corruption investigators, so it’s difficult to know how thoroughly the organization has been exorcised of practices such as the selling of commissions and kickbacks on defense contracts.

For Xi, the military’s primary mission remains to protect the ruling Communist Party, and he has followed his predecessors in fighting back hard against efforts to have the military shift its ultimate loyalty to the nation.

Xi’s overriding political focus could mean the lessons he draws from the Ukraine conflict are off base, Graham said.

“Xi Jinping will always apply a political solution because he’s not a military specialist or an economic specialist,” Graham said. “I think the military lessons have to go through a political filter, so I’m not sure that China will take the lessons that are abundant and on show for everyone to see.”

The stated goal of China’s military reform is to “fight and win wars” against a “strong enemy” — a euphemism widely understood to refer to the United States.

China has pumped huge amounts of money into new equipment, has initiated more realistic training exercises with force-on-force scenarios, and sought to reform its fighting doctrine by studying American engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Gen. David Berger, the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, said in a forum in Australia last week that Beijing would be watching the Ukraine conflict closely.

“I don’t know what lessons they will learn but ... they’re focused on learning, without a doubt, because they’ve been doing that for the last 15 years,” he said.

Berger stressed the need for strong coalitions in the Pacific as a way to keep China’s ambitions toward Taiwan in check.

China claims Taiwan as its own, and controlling the island is a key component of Beijing’s political and military thinking. In October, Xi again reiterated that “reunification of the nation must be realized, and will definitely be realized.”

Washington’s longstanding policy has been to provide political and military support for Taiwan, while not explicitly promising to defend it from a Chinese attack.

Like Putin’s assessment of Ukraine, Xi’s China does not appear to believe that Taiwan would try to put up much of a fight. Beijing routinely blames its problems with the island on a small group of hardcore independence advocates and their American supporters.

The entirely state-controlled Chinese media, meanwhile, draws on the imagined narrative that Taiwan would not willingly go to battle against what it describes as their fellow Chinese.

Now, the quick response by many nations to impose tough, coordinated sanctions on Russia after its attack on Ukraine, and the willingness to supply Ukraine with high-tech weaponry could make Xi rethink his approach to Taiwan, Fravel said.

With “the rapid response by advanced industrialized states, and the unity they have demonstrated, Xi is likely to be more cautious over Taiwan and less emboldened,” he said.

Conversely, the Ukraine experience could prompt China to accelerate its timetable on Taiwan with a more limited attack, such as seizing an outlying island, as a real-world test of its own military, Chen said.

“A sensible course would be to mature the PLA’s joint institutions and procedures through ever more rigorous exercises,” Chen said.

“But as the world has witnessed, a central leader with a specific ambition and a shortening timeline may short-circuit the process in reckless fashion.”
 
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randomradio

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I was going to do a thread today on the implications of Ukraine’s offensive around Kharkiv. Instead, I have pushed that to tomorrow in order to discuss the Russian river crossing operation over the Severskyi Donets this week in #Ukraine.

1/Ukraine’s 17th Tank Brigade reportedly targeted a Russian pontoon bridge crossing with several destroyed tanks and BMPs. ДвіЩ
2/ This Russian river crossing has gained attention because it resulted in the loss of (probably) a battalion tactical group and some critical engineer equipment. The reality is, it is worse than that.
3/ Before examining why, let’s explore these types of operations. Assault river crossings are one of the most difficult combined arms operations possible. Not only do all the elements of the ground team need to come together in a tightly orchestrated series of events.
4/ The combined arms team also needs to deceive the enemy about crossing site and timings. And, the combined arms team is quite vulnerable while it waits to cross once the crossing site is established - regardless of how much dispersal and camouflage is conducted.
5/ I had a Brigade commander once who had us focus on these operations because if we could successfully undertake assault river crossings as a Brigade, we could do any other combined arms mission. He was right.
6/ These operations are generally conducted in 6 phases. First is recon and planning. Why is it needed, where will it be done, what is the follow-on mission on the other side of the river, and what info is needed to bring it all together?
7/ Of course, the defender on the other side of the river has also probably done an ‘engineer appreciation’ to find likely crossing sites. These will be high priority areas to cover in their recon and surveillance plan. Here is a good example of this:
8/ Second is ‘suppression’. This means to suppress the enemy in the vicinity of the crossing site. This includes denying them close recon, surveillance or direct / indirect fire onto the crossing site (both sides), exit routes on the far bank, and assembly areas on the home bank.
9/ Next is ‘obscure’. You don’t want the enemy to see what you are doing. This can including doing things at night, smoke, electronic jamming, feints at other sites, etc. And of course, you want to destroy as much of the enemy in the vicinity of the crossing site before crossing.
10/ Fourth, is ‘secure’. In this phase, friendly forces secure routes to the crossing site, assembly areas, as well as home and far banks of the crossing. Forces are also pushed across the ‘gap’ to secure the far back and ensure the enemy can’t interfere with bridging operations.
11/ Fifth, and the part combat engineers love - ‘reduce’. Reducing obstacles means the obstacle (in this case a river) is crossed and negated as an obstacle to friendly maneuver. Normally, a brigade would have at least two crossing sites with a 3rd in reserve.
12/ The final phase is ‘assault’. The ground maneuver force (supported by army aviation and Air Force assets), artillery, electronic warfare, etc crosses the bridges and shakes itself out on the far side of the crossing in preparation to continue the advance.
13/ I would add that Military Police are really important in this endeavour. There is a lot of directing traffic. This is particularly important to ensure the units prioritized by higher commanders cross first. This can get emotional at times - everyone wants to be first across.
14/ Of course, once the crossing site is established, it needs to be protected - on the ground, from air attack and from other sources of threat. In Australia, during training exercises, we often had to protect against crocodile attacks.
15/ The crossing site (regardless of how many bridges or ferries there are) is normally controlled by a regulating headquarters to ensure it is used in accordance with the wider scheme of maneuver leading up to the crossing, and the operations planned after it.
16/ And it would be remiss of me not to mention logisticians. Each site needs them to refuel vehicles, recover bogged vehicles, repair bridge equipment and boats, etc.
17/ An important aspect of assault river crossings is that they are only undertaken if absolutely necessary. The resources needed - engineers, bridges, artillery - are closely husbanded by commanders. As I already mentioned, they are really hard, especially when being shot at.
18/ Therefore, such operations normally only occur on an axis of advance that is a main effort (or about to become the main effort). This has been missed by many commentators - the Russians clearly intended to invest in this axis and throw a lot of combat power down it.
19/ Consequently, this is probably a larger set back for the Russians than some have speculated. Yes, they lost a lot of vehicles - but they are used to that now. It has likely resulted in not just a BTG but probably an entire Brigade losing a large part of its combat power.
20/ Importantly, the Russians lost scarce engineer bridging equipment (and probably combat engineers too). These resources are neither cheap nor available in large quantities. And these are in high demand during an offensive.
21/ But perhaps most importantly, defeating this assault river crossing has probably denied the Russians an axis of advance they clearly thought was going to be productive for them in their eastern offensive. This is a significant set back for them.
22/ This was just a quick look at assault river crossings, how they are done, and what this week’s disaster on the Severskyi Donets river means for the Russian Army in eastern Ukraine. I hope it was useful. End

Pretty much why the IA wants the FRCV to float.
 

Innominate

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Vietnam has dense jungle that made every sqkm like 100sqkm and a population of 100m, and it wasn't right next to the US border. It was on the Chinese border, who, together with the USSR offered massive support to Vietnam, like MiG-21s and thousands of SA-2s.

Korea was against North Korea and China at the same time on their doorstep and nowhere near ours and without modern technology and massively outnumbered. The Soviets were also flying for them and provided support and supplies.

Russia are using all the resources they can spare. Just because a country has x tanks and y fighter planes, it doesn't mean that many are operational or available at any given time.

Don't talk garbage, whilst weapons have been supplied to Ukraine, they don't yet appear to have guided artillery, or cruise missiles, or ATACMs, or PrSM, or stealth jets, or air supremacy, or sensor-fused munitions, or the massive number of vehicular assets, manpower and vastly superior armour NATO could deploy. Russia wouldn't even be able to drive a vehicle near the Ukrainian border if NATO got involved.

And remember, Russia has lost as much territory in Ukraine as it currently holds since the end of March. And they had Ukraine surrounded from 3 sides at the start.

No it's because they get on well with us, and don't have built-in allegiance to Russia based on dependency and trash propaganda.

It's dupe Russian propaganda so they can claim Ukraine said it on RT, while Polly I-look-nice-but-I'm-Russian Boiko struts around pretending things are going well, while the bodies stack up.
Not smart analogy from him but then again Russian fanboys aren't the brightest bunch.

The fact that he has to go 60-70 years ago to make his fail analogy against nations not bordering the US but the other side of the world just tells you how desperate they are. Notice how he completely leaves out Desert Storm and 2003 Iraq war? Lol.

He's been hanging out at russiandefense the most delusional place on planet earth. Try reading just one their page of Ukraine Russia war and it will make your head spin. Reality does not exist at russiandefense.
 
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randomradio

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Over a million strong force, equipped with some of the finest western weapons and outstanding battle information, is fighting mere 200K RA forces who are using their old arsenal and yet defeating these UA forces and gaining ground everyday.

And without the air force.

I can't imagine what the difference will be like in 10 years, especially after incorporating all the lessons learnt this time.
 
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randomradio

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Picdelamirand-oil

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1/ Ukrainian TVD, Day 77-79. The past 72 hrs has seen the Ukrainian military press the advantages made by their limited Kharkiv counteroffensive to push Russian forces into the Belgorod Oblast. Russian offensive action along the Siverskyi Donets Line has achieved little success.

2/ Weather. Forecast for the next 10 days will see increased rainstorms & cloud cover, severely degrading air & artillery strikes and ground assaults. Wind speed and direction will favor Ukrainian artillery strikes, however. Rainfall will continue to restrict movement to roads.

3/ Kharkiv OD. Russian forces have been thoroughly defeated north of Kharkiv. Russia has been conducting a fighting withdrawal since the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive rather than trying to establishing a new defensive line.

4/ The redeployment of 1st GTA & VDV units to the Vovchansk & Kupyansk areas indicates an eastward defensive shift tying into the natural barrier of the Siverskyi Donets River to augment the defensive capability & capacity of Russian forces to guard their rail & road GLOCs.

5/ Severodonetsk-Donetsk OD. Russian forces have suffered a series of significant setbacks with a few marginal successes over the past several days. Attrition & redeployment of 1st GTA / VDV units from the Izium Axis has forced Russia to assume the defense in this area.

6/ Further east, in the Severodoentsk Salient, two attempts to ford the Siverskyi Donets north-west of Severodoentsk and envelop the Salient from the north-west and west resulted in a decisive defeat of at least one guard brigade, possibly two.

7/ The Russian forces may be about to reach a climax where they will have no choice but to halt the offensive action for a more substantial overhaul to replenish combat losses. Before this happens, they will probably switch to an all-or-nothing effort to capture Severodonetsk.

8/ Zaporizhzhia OD. Little has changed in Zaporizhzhia OD over the past few days. Russian forces continue to rely on air and artillery strikes against Ukrainian defensive positions as units rebuild from the siege of Mariupol.

9/ Azovstal. Against relentless air and artillery attacks, the defenders of the Azovstal complex are still holding their position. Russian attacks have secured the western entrance to Azovstal. In Mariupol, the occupation authorities are increasing the number of checkpoints to detain "suspicious" residents.

10/ Odesa-Kherson OD. There has been little change in the Kherson-Odesa OD. Missile strikes continue against Odesa, tensions remain high along the border with Moldova. Ukrainian reports indicate that the occupation authorities are having difficulty establishing an alternative government in Kherson.

11/ Black Sea. Snake Island is a key strategic maritime point from which the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) can extend its control over the southwestern coast of Ukraine, interdicting shipping to and from Odessa. The BSF will probably continue to try to extend its control over this area.

12/ Aerospace assessment. VKS air sorties were maintained at 250 per 24-hour period. Russian forces continue to improve air defence networks in Kherson and Snake Island. An improved air defence network in this area will allow control over Ukrainian shipping in the Black Sea.

13/ Battle damage assessment. Russian forces suffered considerable losses in several attempts to ford the Siverskyi Donets in the vicinity of Bilohorivka and Pryvillya. Although estimates vary, it is clear that at least 60-70 armoured vehicles and hundreds of soldiers were lost.

14/ These types of losses cripple Russia's efforts in this critical region and are simply not sustainable in Russia's current replacement process. Russia can replace these losses, but it will take a considerable amount of time and will have to rely on older equipment.

15/ Ukrainian Television, days 77-79. Russia is struggling to find an effective response to the impending demands of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, as well as to the new sanctions. Western aid to Ukraine continues to expand and accelerate, with Western countries hosting Ukrainian soldiers for training.

16/ Information warfare. Russia's audience for information operations remains domestic. The Russian state media has presented a few segments like this one, probably in order to heighten fears of a call for general mobilisation to maintain tacit support for the war effort.

17/ The information advantage. In an interview with AP News, Belarusian dictator Lukashenko criticises the Russian war effort, saying that the war "is not going as planned" and calls for an end to hostilities, undermining Russia's justification for the war.

18/ Humanitarian impact. The number of Ukrainian refugees is over 8.5 million, including over 6.33 million in countries bordering Ukraine, over 2.14 million in Europe and over 7.6 million internally displaced persons (over 1.4 million in the east and 519,000 in the south).

19/ The Washington Post reports Russia is operating so-called “filtration” camps (i.e., concentration camps) in the Donetsk Oblast. Video released via Telegram shows a camp in the village of Bezimenne east of Mariupol where residents have been sent.

20/ Overall Assessment. As surmised in my 03 May thread on the potential for a breakthrough along the Siverskyi Donets, Russia’s attempt at an integrated attack has failed to be synchronized in space & time. Any success will be localized to Severdonetsk.

21/ The best-case scenario outlined for Russian forces is increasingly likely not to occur. The Russian offensive in the Donbas may likely culminate in the next 2-3 weeks, with the forward line of contact relatively unchanged along the Izium & Lyman Axes.

22/ The Russians are likely still make progress in the Severodonetsk Salient, but successes will continue to come at a high price, remain slow, and may not push all Ukrainian forces out of the Luhansk Oblast. Lysychansk will likely remain under Ukrainian control by early June.

23/ Ukrainian forces are positioning themselves to potentially conduct, at scale, the type of general counteroffensive surmised in my 14 April post. Ukrainian forces will likely not commit to an operation of this scale until recent losses have been replaced.
 
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jetray

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then they pumped arms & funds to the very same nazis,
azov2.JPG
 

randomradio

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Soldier35

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An attempt by Ukrainian soldiers to shoot down a Russian plane with MANPADS


The Russian army stopped the APU's attempt to cross the river. The battle unfolded on the Seversky Donets River, presumably near the village of Petrovskoye, where the Ukrainian army created a pontoon crossing and tried to cross the river. Russian motorized skirmishers engaged in battle and adjusted artillery fire on the guided crossing and the AFU equipment sheltering in the forest. As a result of the battle, the ferry was destroyed and drowned. The Ukrainian troops who managed to cross were destroyed by artillery fire.


Combat operations of Russian airborne units in Ukraine. The personnel conducts offensive battles in Ukraine and destroys enemy firing points. The assault on enemy strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is carried out with the fire support of mortar crews and crews of combat vehicles of the landing force.