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ukraine military vs russia

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The Russians other rather serious problem is that there are well over a billion Chinese on the other side of the Siberian border. If Russia really got involved in a shooting war in Europe the Chinese would be very, very tempted. They have been playing nice with Uncle Vlad lately. They would still be bowing politely as the knife went in.

There would be no need to pay for natural gas if they owned the fields, now would there? The Russian population in Siberia outside a few major cities is vanishingly small, and shrinking

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What sburke said. There is no way, no how that the West would attempt an invasion of Russia. That's pure and utter fantasy. A conflict with Russia, if it were to happen, would always be somewhere other than Russia. In this case, Ukraine.

Ask yourself this... would would the West NEED to invade Russia to defeat it? Answer: it would not need to. If Russia invaded Ukraine and there was a fight, Russia would be fighting to keep Ukraine not to keep Rostov or St. Petersburg. Therefore, the West need only defeat the Russian forces in Ukraine not anywhere else. This would not spread the West thin either, but exactly the opposite.

A dirty little secret amongst the big militaries of the world is their dependence on outside resources to keep their militaries functioning. Even China has this problem since it imports most of the raw materials necessary to produce the stuff. Any major conflict would require nations to dip into their "ready reserves" and immediate stockpiles of on-the-shelf parts. Even then it takes a great deal of time to gear up industry for rapid, mass scale production. That would likely take more time than the conflict being fought.

So here's Russia's problem. In order to take over Ukraine it would need *all* of its tope tier forces and a fair number of its 2nd tier. It would lose a big chunk of these fighting just the Ukrainians. Then, they would have to militarily control all the captured territory, which is both vast, densely populated, and very hostile to Russia. Oh, and did I mention armed? Ukraine has been spreading weapons around the countryside just in case there's an invasion. Which means Russia would be facing hit and run tactics along it's entire supply route.

Even if Russia were successful in defeating Ukraine on its own without major turmoil at home (and I'm not sure that it can now), then what is the situation? The best of Russia's forces, bloodied and tired, sitting in a country that is actively undermining occupation. If the West were to intervene at that point it would have a concentrated target with plenty of intel on exactly where to hit. It would be almost like shooting fish in a barrel. I'm not a huge believer in air power fighting a ground war, but I think NATO could obligate Russia to pull out of Ukraine without committing ground forces.

It's a simple numbers game... NATO has the numbers, Russia does not. Ukraine requires a massive force to occupy it, Russia doesn't have a force of that size. It's fairly straight forward to figure out why Russia hasn't gone in full force. I don't think Putin is very smart, but I don't think he is a complete idiot.

Steve

P.S. Years ago we had a warehouse fulfillment service out of Vermont. Contracted services.

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While I may sound like a naive optimist here, I find it hard to believe Putin would use the nuclear option, rather he uses it as a veiled threat to keep everyone on there toes. If anyone here can give me a PLAUSIBLE scenario for a Russian nuclear strike over the Ukrainian situation it would be appreciated.

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Russia could win every single tactical battle and still lose the war simply because of numbers.

Steve

I never thought that I would read this statement from someone who actually knows what he is talking about.

In the end I think that the outcome of any conflict will be decided by Russias dedication. Without a doubt they would win any conflict if they are able to throw everything they have into it. Which is unlikely.

On the other side, while the ukrainian government is stable they will be able to put up a fight. In the end, an all out conflict (hopefully) is only fiction.

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.

Of course, it is Russian border, etnicaly Russian region. It is easier for such operations - to stay unrecognised, finally.

You say correct, almost nothing to add.

There were period before June-July, when supplies were very small, there were not enough even AKs for locals. You all saw photos with SKS, Mosins and PPShs. Density of forces were surpringly low, towns were defended by tiny groups. No AT weapons with except to that PTRDs, few RPG-7 and old not working ATGMs. But who did appreciate that "fair play"? :)

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While I may sound like a naive optimist here, I find it hard to believe Putin would use the nuclear option, rather he uses it as a veiled threat to keep everyone on there toes. If anyone here can give me a PLAUSIBLE scenario for a Russian nuclear strike over the Ukrainian situation it would be appreciated.

There is none. Russia knows that any use of nukes would be the end of Russia. Not just temporarily, but forever. Even the most ardent Russian nationalist, who is not clinically insane, would know this. Plus, the oligarchy that controls Russia would not be too excited to nuke their sumer homes and have their primary homes nuked in return.

I never thought that I would read this statement from someone who actually knows what he is talking about.

This sounds like you disagree with my statement, but I don't know what your objection is?

In the end I think that the outcome of any conflict will be decided by Russias dedication. Without a doubt they would win any conflict if they are able to throw everything they have into it. Which is unlikely.

I have major doubt they could win even in a total war situation. Russia's total population, including people who would prefer revolting against Moscow than fighting for it, comes in at about 145 million. Europe has roughly three times that population, coming in at 500 million. The US and Canada add another 350 million to the fight, with another 30 million from Australia, NZ, and a few other countries not already counted. Ukraine currently has about 40+ million that would be in the fight too. All told that means the West has about 6.5 times the population that Russia has.

In terms of military resources, Russia is dwarfed by the combined weight of NATO. In terms of industrial output, also dwarfed. In terms of every measure of anything needed to wage a prolonged war... Russia is out matched by a huge margin. It is also improbable that Russia will get help from any other nation, yet NATO can count on the bulk of the world to support it. China would as well. So in reality Russia would be trying to wage a war against the majority of the world's population, military, and industrial output.

Russia's traditional advantages have been trading space for time. In a modern war space and time do not have as much meaning. Plus, as you say, it is unlikely that Russia's population could be motivated to fight to the death. In fact, at the first major sign of stress the most likely scenario is Russia breaking into independent pieces. It happened to a large extent when the Soviet Union broke up and a significant chunk of Russia is now held together by force, threat, and intimidation.

On the other side, while the ukrainian government is stable they will be able to put up a fight. In the end, an all out conflict (hopefully) is only fiction.

We were hoping that in 2009 when we first started working on CMBS. Sadly, much of what we predicted MIGHT happen HAS happened. We hope that the rest doesn't.

There were period before June-July, when supplies were very small, there were not enough even AKs for locals. You all saw photos with SKS, Mosins and PPShs. Density of forces were surpringly low, towns were defended by tiny groups. No AT weapons with except to that PTRDs, few RPG-7 and old not working ATGMs. But who did appreciate that "fair play"? :)

True, early on the separatists were lightly armed (they did "find" a truckload of RPG-18s very early on), but the Ukrainian security forces were in a state of turmoil. Timing and surprise can do a lot. When the surprise wore off, so did the advantage.

My analysis of the situation, at the time and now, is that Russia thought they could achieve their goals with a "light footprint". The Kremlin leadership made many major miscalculations that proved fatal to the initial plan. It has been reacting with short term planning ever since. Putin has no idea how to get himself out of this mess other than to have the West and Ukraine give up. That isn't going to happen.

Steve

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I never thought that I would read this statement from someone who actually knows what he is talking about.

In the end I think that the outcome of any conflict will be decided by Russias dedication. Without a doubt they would win any conflict if they are able to throw everything they have into it.

I don't think that is a valid assumption anymore. Russia's resources are not limitless. The balance of forces since the Cold War days is increasingly in the west's favor and growing by the day for the simple reason that Russia does not have the resources to compete and as time passes is even less capable everyday. The economy underpinning it's military was in decline even before sanctions. There is a point where you have to assess your inherent capabilities versus your desires, Russia passed the balance point for that a while ago and is now working on bluff. Ukraine is calling it.

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I took a minute to get the numbers, from Wikipedia.

"Thus, the whole region of Asian Russia (or Siberia in the broadest usage of the term) is home to approximately 30 million people.[45] It has a population density of about three people per square kilometer."

Depending on how you want define a metro area China has between 15 and 20 CITIES with a population over 5 million. They wouldn't even need to burp.

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about food shortages in Russia... that.s what I found:

Business Insider october 3, 2014

Those sanctions have barred various food imports from the West. Predictably, this has led to shortages of certain types of food: brie and parmesan being two, according to USA Today. Prices of some staples have risen 36%.

It is not the case that Russia is facing the kind of food shortages it saw in the Soviet era — with breadlines — or in the 1990s, after it defaulted on its national debt. But it is the case that certain Western food products are becoming unavailable and domestic products are rising in price.

Oh my god ! we are going to die ! no more Brie and smelly parmesan ! :D

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-inflation-hits-8-and-there-are-food-shortages-2014-10#ixzz3JeOKq919

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China will not attack Siberia unless they want to reduce their population by 1 billion and be back to the stone age.

China won't have to attack Siberia in the event of an all out war. Siberia would likely try to break away from Moscow control. And don't think China doesn't have agents in Siberia tasked with making that happen, because I am sure they do.

As for food shortages, for sure things are not too bad in terms of shortages *yet*. But food prices have been going steadily up, faster than other things. Ironically, The Moscow Times put out this article today:

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/staple-foods-rising-prices-to-hit-russian-consumers/511557.html

From October to November, the price of hard flour increased more than 70 percent, Andrei Dribny, CEO of Extra-M, one of Russia's largest pasta producers, told Interfax. The retail price of pasta, which is made from hard flour, could soon rise 20 to 25 percent, he said.

The price of rice has also climbed from about 26,000 rubles ($550) a ton in October to 33,000 rubles ($700) a ton this month, the report said, citing data from grain tracker ProZerno.

Higher flour prices are the consequence of a poor harvest and the decline of the ruble, which has led to a significant increase in the amount of flour exported, Dribny said.

The rising price of staple food groups will only further accelerate inflation, which rose to 8.3 percent in October compared with the same period last year. Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said this week that inflation will hit 9 percent for the year.

Putin's cutting off Western food imports did not cause all of this, of course. Some of it is also because of Russia's long standing economic problems, not Ukraine. But add them all together... they are all contributing factors.

Steve

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The rest of the world would back the west. Russia would be facing the rest of the world alone.

like the Iraq invasion and occupation ? iraqis will welcome us with flowers and milk and honey. It will cost no more than 60 billions. We will rebuild the country and it will become a beacon of democracy in the middle east ;)

As for air power destroying the russian army in Ukraine.... there are LOT's of ways to mitigate western air power when you have a strategic capability to do so. Hitting airbases with ground to ground missiles which are way more accurate than SCUDS, special force raids at the beginning for closer airbases, cruise missiles air raids etc.. Even tacticals nukes if necessary. The Russian doctrine calls for nuclear weapons at the onset of ANY conflict with a serious and dangerous adversary. Also, you severely underestimate the capabilities the anti-air weaponry the Russians have. It would have an attrition and effectiveness limiting effect not before seen. We have only faced crappy air defenses so far. In the 1999 war in yugoslavia, which I admit is long ago, Serbs with an air defense system from the sixties and seventies forced us to fly too high to effectively hit their army in Kosovo. We switched to strategic targets in Serbia proper to force them to withdraw. No such luck with Russia. We would also hit dummies half the time and lose aircrafts in doing so. We dont even know their exact capabilities in ECM and EMP weaponry. We could have some nasty surprises. BTW, NATO almost ran out of ammo (precision guided) in Libya (think about it):

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/sunday-review/what-libyas-lessons-mean-for-nato.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Russia would also not invade the parts of Ukraine that are hostile to them. Not necessary nor desirable and politically stupid. They would expand Novorussia to the areas dominated by ethnic russians that's all. No trouble with insurgency either.

THe Ukrainian army is not as bad as at the beginning. But there is a reason why Novorussia or the DOnbass, (call it whatever you want) is not being ethnically cleansed right now and back under control by Kiev. And no, it's not because they are holding back.

Putin only have to wait for the winter to have its effect on Ukraine. It will become a hellhole soon enough unfortunately. We havent bailed them out yet and we wont bail them out either. The west has its own economic problems to deal with. Now that the initial strategy of denying Sevastopol to the russians has failed, all the US wants is to create a permanent problem for Russia to deal with on its borders so Russia doesnt meddle in the West's business elsewhere in the world.They dont give a damn about ethnic Ukrainians or the Ukrainian state.

Americans are nice people. You guys are nice people. But your government isnt. That's not an attack on you. Governments are governments. Including the Russian one.

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Putin didnt get rid of the incompetent oligarchs soon enough. Russia is in a much better position right now than before but his refusal to understand that the West doesnt care about an independent minded Russia and his insistence in integrating Russia to the west while at the same time trying to navigate an independent foreign policy was naive at best. THe west has always considered Russia an adversary and wanted it as a 'gas station' and nothing else. He made Russia vulnerable to pressure by trying to integrate it too much with the west instead of crushing the oligarchs and replacing them with REAL entrepreneurs able to develop their businesses and diversify trade with other non-western nations. Now that the gloves are off and illusions shattered, he's trying to do it but maybe its too late.

Btw, our supply lines in Afghanistan have been and are still passing through Russia. Putin is really an ******* isn't he ?

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The problem is Putin IS one of the incompetent oligarchs. You think he isn't gaining from his cronies taking over all these other aspects of the economy? Russia needs a leader who thinks of the welfare of the Russian people, not Ukraine, not past glories, not trying to live in comparison to the west. A leader who works for the long term health of the Russian people. That isn't Putin. I have no illusions that there is someone waiting in the wings like Cinderella, but I truly do wish there did exist such a person to allow the Russian people to live their lives with a future of prosperity and peace instead of fear, uncertainty and war.

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The more immediate question is who is waiting in the wings in case Putin's inner circle cracks. There must be any number of Colonels who think they have as much right to crowned as the next Czar as Putin does. Not to mention the vast array less public actors who are suddenly trying to divide shrinking pie instead of a growing one. And if one of them throws his hat, and regiment, into the ring, then why not three or four?

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you trust economists ? I trust astrologers better than economists ;)

Well Putin certainly seems to get his planning from an astrologist as his understanding of economics is worse than mine unless he really doesn't give a damn about how the average person lives under his regime. Here he is trying to be funny while the average person in Crimea is watching their savings vanish into the nightmare he created.

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21633949-russias-seizure-ukrainian-banks-crimea-still-wreaking-havoc-locals-finances-laughing-all

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Putin inherited the kleptocracy from yelstin's years and always had to navigate a thin line between them and thé needs of the people. To run Russia you need to be a bastard. As for prosperity, the russians are much better off now than before. I visited russia 2 years ago and I was pretty shocked at how better things were. Anyway, I dont believe russians are real westerners in the philosophical sense of the word. I wont go into detail but you cant expect things to ever be like on western Europe.

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Putin inherited the kleptocracy from yelstin's years and always had to navigate a thin line between them and thé needs of the people. To run Russia you need to be a bastard. As for prosperity, the russians are much better off now than before. I visited russia 2 years ago and I was pretty shocked at how better things were. Anyway, I dont believe russians are real westerners in the philosophical sense of the word. I wont go into detail but you cant expect things to ever be like on western Europe.

I expect if you go now your impressions may be quite different.

Also Putin may have "inherited" the kleptocracy, but that doesn't mean he wasn't part of it from the get go. He is no stranger to the halls of power and didn't arrive on the scene out of nowhere. To say he is just trying to deal with something that already existed as if he wasn't part and parcel of that system is disingenuous at best.

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Banks are banks.. May i suggest reading the foreclosure affair in the US in 2008 ? They should check them out more because if banks are left to their own devices... Anyway , crimeans probably prefer this to donbass , where they live in caves under bombardment from Kiev forces. You expected Russia to swallow the loss of their Sevastopol base without reacting ? The new Ukrainian government was probably going to denounce the treaty leasing the base to Russia. The US would have done the same thing. I dont pick sides here. I'm looking at the situation coldly.

Putin was a product of the nineties. Pretending that he approved of it because he was part of it like everybody else in Russia is disingenous at best. How do you suggest he coyuld have handled the situation ? He did seize the sectors that were strategic but he was walking a fine line between staying alive to complete the process and a car bomb on a gray morning. His rule is far from absolute. The reasons he didnt go all in in the Donbass is because there were people under him that didnt want that and actually made a difference in preventing an intervention in Donbass. Remember that russian parliament resolution giving him the authority to use military force in Eastern Ukraine ? He looked like a fool when they started bombing and attacking the separatists and he didnt do it (at least not overtly). That whole policy of acting covertly was a compromise between him (and other nationalists) and the oligarchs that were taken by surprise in Crimea and didnt want to lose even more of their personal wealth in another round of more severe sanctions. Didnt work out for them anyway. Coldly speaking, he should have intervened right there. Shock the world. Now he's giving his enemies ammo by dragging things out. Most Russians are really convinced that the people in the Donbass were going to be ethnically cleansed by the government in Kiev which does include many shadowy and very unsavory characters. I dont say they are right but right now people are living in caves and Ukraine probably lost for good the territories that they dont control because of the way they handled it. Giving them a lot of autonomy would probably have killed the project of separating outright and made Russia really look bad if they intervened anyway. They wanted to act like thugs so now they must deal with the loss of most of their industrial base. If you bomb people instead of talking to them in the end you are going to lose the little sympathy you had.

It's a mess.

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Banks are banks.. May i suggest reading the foreclosure affair in the US lately ? They should check them out more because if left to their own devices. Anyway , crimeans probably prefer this to donbass , where they live on caves under bombardment from Kiev forces

yep one can always find a way to excuse the behavior and somehow that may make you feel it is okay. It isn't.

Folks did go to jail and were fined for the foreclosure problems in US, probably nowhere near as many as should have but too be brutally honest, the foreclosure boom wasn't just the banks fault. Everybody was getting in on it thinking they could get rich quick flipping houses. Just because somebody rips you off with a ponzi scheme doesn't mean you shouldn't have known better to begin with.

Compare that to Crimea where it is Putin's buddies only who are benefiting from the chaos and none of those guys will go to jail. I think your comparison actually goes to show the opposite of what you'd intended.

Either way it doesn't matter we clearly have 180 degree views of what Russia is doing, whether Putin is good for Russia etc. I don't think this discussion is particularly fruitful to be honest. Feel free to reply, but I think I am going to avoid this thread here on out. Talking about the game is one thing, this is another. Besides I am overdue for posting some screenshots.

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