The Ukraine War

Yes I do. Objectively they are the same.They both kill civilians and both create millions of refugees.
One might subjectivity view them differently. I doubt the families of the innocent dead civilians or refugees view them differently.

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US failure to understand opponents & supply sufficient munitions & weapons. And Ukraine War of attrition could mean the death knell of this war for Ukraine.

The US has shown that its failure in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya & Syria was IMO largely based on its failure to understand the culture of corruption in those regions. I believe the same is true with the US failure to understand the willingness of their opponents to sustain casualties in the Vietnam War & Ukraine War.

The Ukraine summer offensive may have been their Stalingrad.

That offensive chewed up their manpower & military equipment & munition stock. The West’s ability to provide adequate number of weapons & sufficient munition has proved lacking.
Ukraine had hoped that the Russian line & army would break. It did not.
Also the West’s economic war upon Russia has failed to reach the desired result. As has our president’s stated objective to remove Putin from power on March 28, 2022.

In fact, the Russians have started a winter offensive that is slowly gaining ground.

But it is costing them. It is costing both sides in this war of attrition. And Russian has access to at least double the manpower of Ukraine
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/russia-suffering-heaviest-troop-losses-since-start-of-war-uk/ar-AA1kC3mR
The Russian military is likely suffering its highest casualty rates since the start of the war in Ukraine as Moscow continues its offensive to capture the eastern Ukrainian town Avdiivka, according to British intelligence.

Both sides have suffered heavy losses since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

I brought Stalingrad up because that victory cost the then Soviet Union 3 times the losses in manpower & equipment. See the numbers at the link.

5 months later the Germans tried their last big offensive against the Soviets in the large tank battle ever at Kursk. That ended Germany’s chance at ever winning the war in 1943. At that point, Germany was fighting a war of delay in the East and had insufficient troops and equipment to defeat the Americans, Canadians & British on D-Day.
The Kursk victory cost the Soviets 2 times the manpower casualties & 4 times the loss of tanks than the Germans.

What does the above show?
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-has-a-high-tolerance-for-losses-after-losing-100s-of-aircraft-1000s-of-tanks-and-more-than-300000-men-in-ukraine-nato-chief-says/ar-AA1kMzMu
Russia has a ‘high tolerance’ for losses after losing 100s of aircraft, 1000s of tanks, and more than 300,000 men in Ukraine, NATO chief says

The current state of affairs.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/why-russia-could-win-the-ukraine-war-next-november/ar-AA1kXUjS

The way people think about this war does seem to be shifting. The lede of a recent Wall Street Journal article on the war reads as follows: “As Russia’s war against Ukraine approaches its third year, Moscow holds the advantage on the military, political, and economic fronts.” And an Economist cover story concluded that Putin is currently winning. Just to focus on the military element, do you see much evidence on the ground that Russia is doing better than it was a few months ago?

No, the Russians are not doing appreciably better, and I think the Journal is exaggerating. I do think that the Russians are not losing, and ultimately if the Russians don’t lose, they win. They have three times, four times the population Ukraine does. There’s just a much bigger base to draw upon.

Has the West [US] badly misjudged Russian [Putin’s] tenacity as it did [Ho Chi Minh’s]?
Has support for Ukraine fallen too low?

Ukraine’s allies have dramatically scaled back their pledges of new aid to the country, which have fallen to their lowest level since the start of the war, the German-based Kiel Institute’s Ukraine aid tracker showed Thursday.

“The dynamics of support to Ukraine have slowed,” the Kiel Institute said, adding that new military, financial and humanitarian aid pledged to Ukraine between August and October 2023 fell almost 90 percent compared with the same period in 2022, reaching its lowest point since the start of the war in February 2022.

Support for Ukraine started off too low.

The West badly misjudged Ukraine’s tenacity. The convention wisdom was that Ukraine would last a few weeks at most, maybe only a few days. Russia started off a much, much larger, better equipped military that was designed to beat NATO. Yet, Ukraine beat Russia to a standstill that all of Russia’s military power cannot break, notably including Russia’s inability to establish battlefield air superiority.

Putin’s entire political career has been dedicated to reconstituting the Russian Empire. I’m not aware of any reason to think he would change course because his war isn’t going as well as he hoped.

On the other hand, it is possible that Russia’s effort isn’t sustainable. There is evidence Russia is losing forces as fast as it can generate them. That can’t last forever. Open sources indicate Russia has lost ~half of its available armored equipment and production is far below the loss rate.

IMO, this war will turn out however we in the west want it to. Doesn’t seem to be much appetite for winning.

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Yep I noted that in the post just above. But Ukrainians are losing many troops too. Russia has 2 to 3 times the manpower of Ukraine.
Russia is losing more tanks than they produce. Yet they have many thousands in storage.

They are not up to date tanks. But they likely are sufficient. The Soviet Union overwhelmed the German army with inferior tanks.

The bulk of Ukraine tanks are not modern either. The quality is roughly equivalent to the Russian armor.

This is a war attrition. It will depend on which nation runs out of manpower & equipment or munitions. Supply from the West has proven inadequate.
It is the West that has kept Ukraine in the war. Without support Ukraine is finished.

It seems to me that support from the West is waning.
Local politics is one reason.

The four countries, two of which have elections within the coming weeks, say the bans are needed to protect their farmers from a supply glut that drives down local prices and hurts livelihoods.

Another is that perhaps the West believes Ukraine is done?

People play baseball. Right now Ukraine needs Russia to be on the offensive as best Russia can be. That is not much as it turns out.

Why?

Because all the munitions Russia spends cost the Kremlin which must print to buy more munitions. Hyperinflation in Russia is the only way to end this war.

Meanwhile, the portrayal of Ukraine’s military makes it harder for congress to refuse aide.

A declassified intelligence assessment of Russian losses was released today:

Since the beginning of the war Russia has suffered from a staggeringly high number of losses, according to another newly declassified assessment shared with Congress. At the start of the war the Russian army stood at 360,000 troops. Russia has lost 315,000 of those troops, forcing them to recruit and mobilize new recruits and convicts from their prison system.

Moscow’s equipment has also been crushed, according to the assessment. At the start of the war, Russia had 3,500 tanks but has lost 2,200, forcing them to pull 50 year old T-62 tanks from storage.

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Typical Russian operation. In WWII, the Soviets lost 9-10M military dead, almost exclusively against Germans. The Germans, against all opponents, lost 5.3M.

Steve

As I understand it, the Russians view the willingness to take huge casualties as a virtue. They feel their birthright and what sets them apart from lessor peoples is the ability to make enormous battlefield sacrifices for the Motherland. This trait is how Russians win wars, in their view.

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The 315,000 is likely dead and wounded. Some of the wounded will return to battle. The KIA to WIA ratio for the US military was roughly 1 to 3 in WW2 & Vietnam.

Soviet ratio KIA to WIA ratio in WW2 was 1 to 2.6.

No mention of Ukrainian casualties from the report.

But last August there was a news article that report casualties suffer by both side.

Ukraine was said to have close to 70,000 killed and 100,000-120,000 wounded. Russia’s standing army is between two to three times larger than Ukraine’s, and the country has a larger population from which to replenish its frontline soldiers.

Ukraine has about 500,000 troops, while Russia has more than 1.3 million, the newspaper estimated, including reserves and Wagner paramilitaries.

Both estimates, which the officials admitted were speculative and varied widely within the government, would mark high killed-to-wounded ratios, with one Ukrainian killed for every two other soldiers wounded on the battlefield.

The reports of 120,000 Russian soldiers killed is considerably higher than the numbers confirmed by Russian journalists monitoring the conflict.

So yes many more Russians than Ukrainian soldiers have been killed. But Russia has a larger population to draw recruits.
The Stalingrad victory cost the then Soviet Union 3 times the losses in manpower & equipment than the Germans.
The Kursk victory cost the Soviets 2 times the manpower casualties & 4 times the loss of tanks than the Germans.

Russia has unleashed new offensive.

And the mood in Ukraine is much different than in 2022.

“Last year, people were more or less optimistic,” says Solomiia Bobrovska, a member of Ukraine’s parliament who serves on the national security, defense and intelligence committee. "But these days, they are exhausted. They are asking, ‘When will the war end?’ "

Can the Ukrainian prevail. Only if the West steps up with much more potent weapons and massive amounts of munitions. So far the West’s efforts have been inadequate.

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Then how come when it backfires historically the leader is decapitated?

@tjscott0

There used to be a ratio in the US military of ten men behind the scenes for every single man in the combat zone. Saying Russia has 1.3 million men means 130k plus are in combat. It might be possible to add more but it gets harder and harder while trying to supply them.

The reason inflation dropped in Russia is staggeringly high central bank interest rates. The printing did not stop it is getting worse. Russia has no options.

Again the Russians can surrender all of Ukraine and walk away. It is ignorant mass murder not to surrender right this minute.

Ain’t happening.
You need to review your history of authoritarian totalitarian nations.

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Russia appears to believe that a military “deadlock” through the winter will drain Western support for Ukraine and give Russian forces the advantage despite high Russian losses and persistent Russian shortages of trained personnel, munitions, and equipment.[3] ISW has assessed that Russian forces have been trying to regain the theater-level initiative in Ukraine since at least mid-November 2023 and have now likely committed to offensive operations in multiple sectors of the front during a period of the most challenging weather of the fall-winter season in an effort to seize and retain the initiative

I previously stated:
“Can the Ukrainian prevail. Only if the West steps up with much more potent weapons and massive amounts of munitions. So far the West’s efforts have been inadequate.”
I still believe that is true. The West’s will does appear to be wavering. And public support for supplying Ukraine with munitions is down.

The question is whether our nation will stay the course.

US intelligence also assessed that the war in Ukraine has devastated the pre-war Russian military, although Russia has partially offset these losses and continues to prepare for a long war in Ukraine.
The Russians appear ready to stay the course.

The assessment reportedly stated that Russian ground forces have lost over a quarter of their pre-invasion stockpiles of military equipment as of late November 2023, reducing the complexity and scale of Russian offensive operations in Ukraine.

The Russian leadership has undertaken extensive force generation measures to offset manpower losses, however, and Ukrainian intelligence reported in September 2023 that Russian forces had 420,000 personnel in occupied Ukraine.[13] Partial mobilization began in September 2022 and ongoing Russian crypto-mobilization efforts have very likely offset the Russian losses reported by US intelligence, although new Russian personnel likely have lower combat capabilities than those they replaced.

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American and Ukrainian military leaders are searching for a new strategy that they can begin executing early next year to revive Kyiv’s fortunes and flagging support for the country’s war against Russia, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

The push for a fresh approach comes after Ukraine’s months long counteroffensive failed in its goal of retaking territory lost to the invading Russian army and after weeks of often tense encounters between top American officials and their Ukrainian counterparts.

Well FIRST the Ukrainians must survive the winter. And to do that they must be supplied.

The Pentagon has also decided to dispatch Lt. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto Jr., who commands the support of Ukraine from a base in Germany, to spend lengthy periods of time in Kyiv. General Aguto will work more directly with the country’s military leadership to improve the advice the United States is offering, American officials said. While the White House has opted not to have U.S. military advisers in the country permanently , General Aguto’s frequent rotations in and out of Kyiv would inch toward the end of that restriction .

OK. What happens if the Russians manage to kill Aguto? What is the US response?
Anybody else see a potential escalation into WW3?

The updated version is “hold and build.” From the Times:

In most wars, the limiting factor is military capability. The military is defeated, or its leaders surrender, or the two sides decide the costs have become too high (or one side has achieved enough success) so that they negotiate a peace, or dial back hostilities to the skirmish level.

Here, more like a dying patient, Ukraine is having multiple systems break down, and armed capability may not turn out to be the one that drives the timetable. Mark Sleboda has pointed out that if Ukraine goes on the defensive, it could hold out for a very long time without horrific resource expenditure. Douglas Macgregor, who has regularly taken to depicting Ukraine as having lost the war, is almost always quick to add that World War II was over as of the Battle of Kursk, but it took another two years to vanquish the German army.

Ukraine is already suffering 30% inflation.

Reading through this thread it appears to me that there are 2 story lines.
It seems one is left with either the story line that “Russia is tittering on the brink of collapse”.
Or one can choose the story line that “Ukraine is tittering on the brink of collapse.”

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I am fully aware it is not happening. I do know my history.

I am completely correct. Russia could do the right thing and walk away. Time to say so instead of thinking there is no answer.

The solution is not to understand NATO is a problem for Russia. No one should give a flying…

Well, the Russians did bail out of Afghanistan, just like the US did.

Steve

That’s just it. Russia believes it is doing the right thing.

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Russia rightly came to the conclusion there was nothing of value in Afghanistan.
And they came to that conclusion after 9 years. It took the US 20 years!

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All of the Russians have been rethinking that. Now is a good time to change course.

Only Putin was convinced. What have I been saying? He is an ejit.

Shiny-land used the “global war on terrr” to enable police state policies at home. Russia was already a police state, so didn’t need to keep the show going.

Steve

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And that’s the difference between autocratic and democratic. In the democracy, whichever side finally admits that it’s been too long for too little and probably shouldn’t have happened in the first place - will get pummeled by the opposition for the next 30-40 years for being “soft on [fill in the blank]”, and the voters will punish them.

In an autocracy nobody says that, at least not on any floor higher than the 3rd of a tall building.

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