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Zveroboy1

Uh so has Debaltseve fallen?

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... Jews!
 

-------

 

...Khazars. Or even better: 5th density Orion-STS.

That's 21cent conspiracy grognitism 101.

:)

Edited by sawomi

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OK, I knew I should add another 2 points to the no-no list.

- Absolutely no New World Order conspiracy theory discussions. There are plenty of places that host those sorts of discussions, and I weep for Humanity's future every time I come upon one.

- Do not disparage the people of Ukraine's desire to live better lives. Ukraine has been ruled by various corrupt regimes. The people have several times tried to change that, only to be disappointed. They finally had enough of it and Yanukovych fled. It was not a coup, it was not funded by foreign governments. Though for sure Russia tried to prevent the change in power and many countries in the West tried to encourage it. But fundamentally, the change in power took place because the Ukrainian people wanted something different. And if you know 1/10th about what life has been like in Ukraine compared to a Western country, there would be no question about why they wanted change.

Steve

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Is it cool for people to be posting links to anti-semitic sites?

 

edit - I'm guessing the answer is no, so maybe people could not do it?

Edited by jspec

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I can't imagine myself spending 5 billion USD to develop my competitors country while playing Civilization. Can you? In Civilization, the only reason for that is to fight somebody by other hands.

World politics is a race for annihilation in your perspective? Damn, why did we stop doing this in Europe help me remember please..

Edited by Kraft

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Cool thanks Steve, I figured it was a good guess :)

 

I got why you left it up and put those sites as a rebutal, just figured might be better to get rid of it in the long run.

 

Majority of the thread is super interesting, enjoy reading.

Edited by jspec

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Do we have any reliable figure on the size of the Ukrainian military?

 

But really as far as loss ratios are concerned, while it is interesting, with the current level of losses attrition is not going to win this war or be a decisive factor.

 

The media often repeats this rough number of 5k casualties since the start of the conflict. I don't know whether this includes civilians or not, I am assuming it does for the sake of this discussion. Now let's say the Ukranian loyalists actually have a positive casualty ratio, I am not convinced this is true but ok why not. So half of these could be civilians, that leaves us with 2.5 or 3k military casualties., between 1000 and 1,500 killed for each side?

 

No matter how you look at it, this is a fairly low intensity conflict and at this rate, the war could go on for 10 years. Ok maybe this is a bit of an exaggeration but you get my drift.

 

So basically there is no military solution to this war.

 

The separatists are not going to drive all the way to Kiev and I don't really see the loyalists recapturing all the territory that is currently out of their control, unless they receive tons of arms shipments and the border with Russia is sealed by UN observers.

 

 

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By the way Wee, that comment was sarcastic.

 

If the separatists are as incompetent and weak then what does it tell you about the Ukrainian army that just got forced to pull back?

 

I am ready to accept that their withdrawal was in fairly good order and an improvement over Ilovaisk. However retreating is generally not a very good sign that things are going your way in a war even if you don't think holding ground is a priority. It is not a good sign unless you are Manstein leading a veteran professional army. But I don't think anyone is ready to claim the current Ukrainian army despite its progress is in the same league.

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Though for sure Russia tried to prevent the change in power and many countries in the West tried to encourage it.

 

We all can see results of encouraging in Libia, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia etc. It was predictable in Ukrain also. May be better option for people to not encourage them? Nobody will have to prevent in this case? May be better to not interfere into internal politics of other countries?

 

 

And if you know 1/10th about what life has been like in Ukraine compared to a Western country, there would be no question about why they wanted change.

 

I have no doubt that all people in the world would like to live better. There has to be better way, other than burn their country into ashes. And I think I know much better then 1/10 what has been life in Ukraine (sorry for my English one more time). It has been much better than today. Definitly.

 

There were some months to new elections. There was no need for a Maidan.

 

 

World politics is a race for annihilation in your perspective? Damn, why did we stop doing this in Europe help me remember please..

World politics IS a race for resources, wealth and security. An I can't help you. I do not think you stop anything in Europe.

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..

If the separatists are as incompetent and weak then what does it tell you about the Ukrainian army that just got forced to pull back?

...

 

It tells me that the separatists were heavily reinforced with better units and equipment ( all of a sudden ). Gee, I wonder where they suddenly came from ?

 

Edit: On top of which, there was also a "ceasefire" - if one side tries to observe it and doesn't use its heavy weapons ( artillery etc. ) to prevent enemy massing for an attack ( which they successfully did for weeks if not months prior ), that's also going to adversely affect the outcome of an offensive.

Edited by Baneman

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Edit: On top of which, there was also a "ceasefire" - if one side tries to observe it and doesn't use its heavy weapons ( artillery etc. ) to prevent enemy massing for an attack ( which they successfully did for weeks if not months prior ), that's also going to adversely affect the outcome of an offensive.

 

 

The Debaltseve offensive has been going on for almost a month and the separatists had been in a position to interdict the Artemivsk road for a whole week before Minsk.

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I'm only posting on this thread at this time to say,

 

I read the administrator's caveats for engaging on this topic.

 

I'll look for another thread.

 

Cheers from Australia.

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Do we have any reliable figure on the size of the Ukrainian military?

It is a difficult question to ask. The total size is somewhere around 200,000. But about 50,000 or so are active in the ATO at any one time.

 

But really as far as loss ratios are concerned, while it is interesting, with the current level of losses attrition is not going to win this war or be a decisive factor.

This depends on who is losing more and what that side can afford to lose. The supply of legitimate "separatists" in DPR/LPR is a fraction of what is available to the rest of Ukraine. Not only from prewar population balance, but considering that a huge chunk of the population in DPR/LPR has fled. So if this were just a civil war without outside interference, there would be no war right how. They would have been easily crushed.

But obviously the separatist side is bolstered by a large range of Russian and smaller number of non-Russian nationals. They are armed and equipped by Russia, which has resources that are far superior to Ukraine. And when the forces are proving inadequate, Russia can (and has) moved in military forces of its own to change the balance of power.

Therefore, the question is if Ukraine can kill enough Russians to make a change of policy in Russia faster than Russia can kill Ukrainians to change a policy in Ukraine. There is also the political and economic questions of a similar notion.

 

The media often repeats this rough number of 5k casualties since the start of the conflict. I don't know whether this includes civilians or not, I am assuming it does for the sake of this discussion.

This is at least a reasonable place to start:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Ukrainian_crisis

Note that the figure given for the separatists are extrapolated from a very broad figure. As a rule, numbers and statements of pretty much any kind coming from DPR/LPR officials are highly unreliable. They have no track record of telling the truth and there is absolutely no way to verify their numbers.

Now let's say the Ukranian loyalists actually have a positive casualty ratio, I am not convinced this is true but ok why not. So half of these could be civilians, that leaves us with 2.5 or 3k military casualties., between 1000 and 1,500 killed for each side?

According to the poorly documented numbers, that is about right.

 

No matter how you look at it, this is a fairly low intensity conflict and at this rate, the war could go on for 10 years. Ok maybe this is a bit of an exaggeration but you get my drift.

In theory, true. But in reality, unlikely. Ukraine and Russia are organized states with interests beyond this war. As the costs of war continue to mount, Russians will become increasingly displeased with Russia's direct involvement. Especially as the body count of Russian citizens increases. Likewise, there is a large chunk of Ukraine's population that think the Donbas is not worth fighting for. As the costs increase and Ukrainian body count increases, the will to fight against Russia will decrease.

Putin is counting on this, so is Poroshenko. That is because neither believes they can win an outright military conflict against each other. At least not in a way that would prove beneficial to the state long term.

 

So basically there is no military solution to this war.

The conundrum is there is also no diplomatic solution either. That was proved, yet again, by the Minsk 2 accord and the fact that the separatists (with the support of Russia) have no intention on abiding by it.

 

The separatists are not going to drive all the way to Kiev and I don't really see the loyalists recapturing all the territory that is currently out of their control, unless they receive tons of arms shipments and the border with Russia is sealed by UN observers.

Largely correct, excepting what I said above regarding military actions causing a change of policy in one or both nations' capitals.

 

 

If the separatists are as incompetent and weak then what does it tell you about the Ukrainian army that just got forced to pull back?

Whenever Ukraine has fought mostly against separatists it's done very well. When it's fought against Russian military units it has a mixed result. The second phase of the winter offensive against Debaltseve was heavily backed by Russian military forces, so the end result was not unexpected.

 

I am ready to accept that their withdrawal was in fairly good order and an improvement over Ilovaisk. However retreating is generally not a very good sign that things are going your way in a war even if you don't think holding ground is a priority. It is not a good sign unless you are Manstein leading a veteran professional army. But I don't think anyone is ready to claim the current Ukrainian army despite its progress is in the same league.

For sure, holding the ground for 6+ months against constant attacks, then having to pull back, is certainly not a good thing. But wars are rarely decided by a tiny patch of earth changing sides. Small patches of ground changed hands all the time during WW2, and no one, two, or dozens of them made a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Steve

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I'm only posting on this thread at this time to say,

 

I read the administrator's caveats for engaging on this topic.

 

I'll look for another thread.

You need to look for another Forum because the caveats apply to the entire Forum, not just to this one thread.

Steve

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We all can see results of encouraging in Libia, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia etc. It was predictable in Ukrain also.

Sure it was. In 2009 we predicted the minute there was a change in power in Kiev that Russia would invade Crimea, cause an "uprising" in eastern Ukraine, and would then invade.

 

May be better option for people to not encourage them? Nobody will have to prevent in this case? May be better to not interfere into internal politics of other countries?

I agree about not interfering in other country's internal politics. Russia's 20+ years of meddling in Ukrainian politics and economic affairs, including causing and fueling this war, is interference that Ukraine could have lived without.

 

There were some months to new elections. There was no need for a Maidan.

The previous elections were rigged, the politics were rigged, the judicial system was rigged. The elections in the past did not fix the problem, and the people on Maidan realized that. There has been more political reform and moves towards an accountable state in the 1 year since Yanukovych fled than there was in the 20+ years of post Soviet independence.

 

World politics IS a race for resources, wealth and security.

Which is why Russia is risking its entire nation state on a war in Ukraine. Many in Russia believe, very strongly, that if it can not directly dominate its neighbors then all is lost. This is something that many in the West don't really understand. In the West there is an idea that we can "all get along". Sometimes that is just not possible.

Steve

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I don't know if it would be appropriate to ask this in a mostly political thread, but I have a game related question.

 

I noticed before how Steve mentioned that there's going to be a module that includes separatists and Ukrainian volunteer battalions in the future. Are you thinking about basing their composition and actions directly on the current conflict, or might you roll them into the story of the established campaign?

 

If it's the latter, would that function as a prequel of sorts, with the campaign in Black Sea being the moment when the tensions boiled over? Furthermore, assuming we're talking within the context of Black Sea's story line, what level of Russian Federation support would the 'better organized' militia groups be receiving, and would there be options to include specialized detachments of Russian troops with them? Also, (again talking in-story) would there be any US/NATO support of Ukrainian militias/volunteer battalions, in terms of equipment?

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I don't know if it would be appropriate to ask this in a mostly political thread, but I have a game related question.

 

I noticed before how Steve mentioned that there's going to be a module that includes separatists and Ukrainian volunteer battalions in the future. Are you thinking about basing their composition and actions directly on the current conflict, or might you roll them into the story of the established campaign?

 

If it's the latter, would that function as a prequel of sorts, with the campaign in Black Sea being the moment when the tensions boiled over? Furthermore, assuming we're talking within the context of Black Sea's story line, what level of Russian Federation support would the 'better organized' militia groups be receiving, and would there be options to include specialized detachments of Russian troops with them? Also, (again talking in-story) would there be any US/NATO support of Ukrainian militias/volunteer battalions, in terms of equipment?

The original storyline for the game, prior to Russia's actual actions starting one year ago this weekend, was nearly identical to the way the war unfolded in real life. Therefore the early portion of both the fictional and the real war are hard to distinguish from each other.

I don't think we ourselves will attempt to portray specific real life battles with the Module forces. But yes, with the forces we provide that should be possible to do.

The militia type forces would take the same form as they did in CM:SF in concept:

One type based on ad-hoc force structure with a mix of small arms and nearly nothing beyond that for organic formations. Purchases of heavy weapons will be possible, but they are done individually for the most part.

The other type is based on more organized forces with a more recognizable military look to them. Organic heavy weapons of a limited nature will be available. Additional ones can be purchased separately.

The two forces will look different, with the ad-hoc type being extremely diverse and the more organized forces more consistent looking.

Steve

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The original storyline for the game, prior to Russia's actual actions starting one year ago this weekend, was nearly identical to the way the war unfolded in real life. Therefore the early portion of both the fictional and the real war are hard to distinguish from each other.

I don't think we ourselves will attempt to portray specific real life battles with the Module forces. But yes, with the forces we provide that should be possible to do.

The militia type forces would take the same form as they did in CM:SF in concept:

One type based on ad-hoc force structure with a mix of small arms and nearly nothing beyond that for organic formations. Purchases of heavy weapons will be possible, but they are done individually for the most part.

The other type is based on more organized forces with a more recognizable military look to them. Organic heavy weapons of a limited nature will be available. Additional ones can be purchased separately.

The two forces will look different, with the ad-hoc type being extremely diverse and the more organized forces more consistent looking.

Steve

 

Sounds interesting. Thanks for the information, and keep up the great work!

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By the way Wee, that comment was sarcastic.

 

If the separatists are as incompetent and weak then what does it tell you about the Ukrainian army that just got forced to pull back?

 

I am ready to accept that their withdrawal was in fairly good order and an improvement over Ilovaisk. However retreating is generally not a very good sign that things are going your way in a war even if you don't think holding ground is a priority. It is not a good sign unless you are Manstein leading a veteran professional army. But I don't think anyone is ready to claim the current Ukrainian army despite its progress is in the same league.

 

I never made any assumptions from Ukranian army, or made any comparison between the Separatist and Ukranian performance. 

 

Base of my observations was the combat footage found from the youtube, material shot by the separatists and uploaded and distributed by the same separatists to bolster their own agenda. Somebody might call it propaganda. I don't really care, I just look at the troops, their performance on the video and how they seem to act and wage the war, and this is the base of my personal observations. And what I see, doesn't confess me that they have much military training or military background and thus their actions in the field are most likely incompetent and modest, if acted alone without any major outside support and reinforcments, material and/or immaterial. This is where I totally agree with forum member "Baneman".

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Sure it was. In 2009 we predicted the minute there was a change in power in Kiev that Russia would invade Crimea, cause an "uprising" in eastern Ukraine, and would then invade.

 

I can't catch your logic. How do you differ uprising at maidan in Kiev where people stand up by themselves and uprising in the east of Ukraine wich was lead by Russia? 100 thousand of people at maidan have to have thousands of toilets for monthes. They have to remove waste for monthes. They have to eat for monthes. This was not possible without support and organization. Do not tell me that unorgonized people can do anything against goverment forces in 21 century.

 

Let's compare outcomes of unsupported and unorganized people uprising in Paris 2005 or London 2011 or Madrid 2014 or оcсupy wall street actions, with supported and well organizede uprising of people in Libia, Syria etc and finaly Ukraine.

 

 

Russia's 20+ years of meddling in Ukrainian politics and economic affairs, including causing and fueling this war, is interference that Ukraine could have lived without.

 

Russia did nothing in Ukraine for 20+ years. This is why all this can happen. It was not Russia who spent 5 billions in Ukraine. Russia was busy with it's own problems.

 

 

The previous elections were rigged, the politics were rigged, the judicial system was rigged. The elections in the past did not fix the problem, and the people on Maidan realized that.

 

The previous elections was legitimate. It was confirmed by international observers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_presidential_election,_2010#International_observers

Meanwhile It is previous Maidan (Puts Yuschenko in the president's chair at 2004) wich did not fix the problems you are talking.

 

 

Many in Russia believe, very strongly, that if it can not directly dominate its neighbors then all is lost. This is something that many in the West don't really understand. In the West there is an idea that we can "all get along". Sometimes that is just not possible.

 

This is a bla-bla words about "all get along". Let's try to look at what countries of the world do rather than what they say. Suddenly it is just not possible to "get all along" only when there is some resources under the ground and the goverment is not our guys. Who cares about death penalties for homosexual acts in Saudi Arabia? Anybody care about quality of life there? It is not Russia who belive in world domination. World domination is done by someone else. Russia has all possible resources on it's own territory. Russia is one of very few countries who can get along indeed.

 

Finally this is very offtopic here. I am sorry for that. I will not continue here.

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I can't catch your logic. How do you differ uprising at maidan in Kiev where people stand up by themselves and uprising in the east of Ukraine wich was lead by Russia?

Because the people on the Maidan were 100s of thousands of Ukrainians led by Ukrainians and acting in the best interest of Ukrainians. The majority of their funding came from Ukrainians, mostly in the form of volunteers. No amount of money from outside would have made this possible without the support of the people. Oh, and the $5b number that the Russian media loves to use is factually incorrect and grossly distorted. But that is another line of argument that I do not want pursued here.

In contrast to Maidan, the war in the east of Ukraine was started by a few hundred armed men that infiltrated in from Russia, many of whom were Russian citizens, funded by Russian and autocratic/criminal Ukrainian organizations, with the intention of pursuing an agenda for the benefit of Russia and the now disgraced former rulers of Ukraine. This was done with the direct knowledge and control of the Russian government, it was done quickly and without tangible support of the local people, and it was done in gross violation of international law. The people of Ukraine did not have a choice in the matter.

Further, the invasion of armed groups of Russians from Russian soil was preceded by an invasion of unarmed (or more precisely, not usually armed) Russian agitators who beat up pro-unity rallies being held in the cities that the Novorussian Project had their eye upon. The evidence shows that when a large pro-Unity rally was held in cities like Donetsk and Odessa, a much smaller and deliberately violent group of pro-Russians showed up to do battle. We predicted this in our backstory as well because this is not something new.

100 thousand of people at maidan have to have thousands of toilets for monthes. They have to remove waste for monthes. They have to eat for monthes. This was not possible without support and organization. Do not tell me that unorgonized people can do anything against goverment forces in 21 century.

We had the Occupy movement here in the US and it was even larger in terms of actual numbers, though smaller by percentage. I can assure you it is definitely possible, but it takes a lot of social pressure to make people want to do this. The Occupy movement in the US was a failure because the social pressure was not sufficient to produce a movement capable of pushing for real change, not because they couldn't organize local support to sustain the protests.

 

Russia did nothing in Ukraine for 20+ years.

Heh. Yeah, and the Pope is an alien being from another planet just as Russia Today's "Vatican expert" commentator told the world.

Sorry, but if you hold the belief that Russia was not directly interfering and even in ways controlling the politics and economy of Ukraine since the breakup of the USSR you are woefully misinformed. Which is exactly why media in Russia is state controlled. The only reason to control media is to make sure the truth is controlled. There is no other reason.

This is why all this can happen. It was not Russia who spent 5 billions in Ukraine.

Actually, the US only spent $1.8 Billion (http://ukraine.usembassy.gov/usaid.html) on programs to do things such as promote good governance, Human Rights, and economic reform. On the other hand, we have no idea how much Russia spent to combat Democratic, anti-corruption, and Human Rights in Ukraine because Russia doesn't publish its numbers in the open. I suspect Russia easily spent far, far, far more than $1.8 Billion over 20 years. But I doubt we will ever know the truth because that isn't something the Russian government wants known. Which, again, is why Russian media is controlled by the Kremlin and attempts get organizations branded "foreign agents" with their leaders legally harassed, imprisoned, or occasionally beaten up or even murdered. If you are concerned about truth, this should be of concern to you.

Russia was busy with it's own problems.

Now, here we finally agree. And what is Russia's single biggest problem, beyond all problems that it has? A large neighboring country that speaks Russian becoming a democratic and prosperous nation which is also aligned with Europe. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that is more important to Putin's ruling oligarchy than preventing this from happening. Which is why Putin is willing to gamble Russia's entire future on this war in Ukraine. Because he believes that if he loses the war, he will lose power. Therefore, Putin is doing the sensible thing for Putin. It is not the sensible thing for the Russian people, but that isn't an important factor.

 

The previous elections was legitimate. It was confirmed by international observers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_presidential_election,_2010#International_observers

Meanwhile It is previous Maidan (Puts Yuschenko in the president's chair at 2004) wich did not fix the problems you are talking.

This is exactly what I said. The old saying is "if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again". It is not "if at first you don't succeed, give up". The previous attempts at fixing the system did not work. So they tried again. The evidence in the last year points to it finally working. Or at least, it is at least changing for the better. This is something that the Russian media will not cover in its reports because it is not to Russia's benefit to have this story be told to the Russian people. It is also why middle aged women were arrested by FSB yesterday trying to place flowers on the Ukrainian embassy's steps to commemorate those who died on the Maidan.

Finally this is very offtopic here. I am sorry for that. I will not continue here.

I thought about not responding to your post at all, but I decided to at least answer your direct questions. I chose to edit out my response to your view that the US seeks to dominate the world and Russia seeks to mind its own business. That is so far off topic that it shouldn't be pursued here. Plus, I know from experience that it is a pointless debate to have.

Steve

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I thought I would weigh in with my opinion here at risk of violating the "no politics" clause in this forum -- please understand that I do not have strong emotions about either side in this conflict (I am an American, full disclosure), but I will understand if this post gets deleted back out for straying a bit too far from the Debaltseve topic in this thread.  I do hope I can keep this acceptable and neutral enough that it does stay up, and that what I am saying here isn't something everyone already knows all too well..

 

Big picture, the cold war never really ended.  Russia hit hard times during the official end of the first cold war, and while it's not worth recapping the last 20 years, you can summarize it that they hit on hard times, and are facing very hard economic and demographic realities (e.g. negative population growth forecasted) that Putin seems pressured by.  Russia has continued the gamesmanship by challenging us in pretty much every world situation since the late 90s -- Serbian militants, Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc.  Because of the ramp up of the economies in China and India, oil, and commodities as a whole. shot up in value in the past 10 years and put them in a position of some influence in terms of being able to jerk the EU around when it came to energy prices and supply.

 

There is some good evidence (but not irrefutable) that we did find a good way to counter this through gas and oil price manipulation with our own oil production and possible collusion from Saudi Arabia to lower prices and start drowning the economies of the  "usual suspects," Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, who are active opponents and adversaries in the international arena, supporting US and NATO/EU enemies, etc.  For instance, Iran has almost no refining capability of its own, so low oil prices hit them multiple ways and sink their economy.  Same goes for Venezuela, and of course, Russia, who only had that going for them, and a lot of internal problems (and Putin's oligarchy) going against them.

 

Finally, to my point -- when Putin invaded Crimea, I thought to myself, "He fell for it!"  Why?  Because the invasion of Crimea was something Russia could have been depended on to do, especially with Putin in charge.  Let's ignore for the moment the strategic reasons that almost any other aggressive leader would have invaded or at least made a big fuss about, that Crimea was their only warm-water port and that losing that is essentially the final nail in the Russian Navy's coffin, and that coffin was already well into the ground.  The fact is that Putin always invades when this happens.  The Bosnian situation and the airport, back in the 90s, when they seized it ahead of us?  I think Yeltsin was technically in charge, but that was Putin.  Chechnya twice?  Putin (and there is some evidence the second time was justified with a false flag terrorist attack or attacks, vs. real terrorism, but that is another topic). 

 

The fact is that Yeltsin could be counted on to invade as consistently as you could count on a bull to charge someone in the ring --  it's what he does.  He has already taken several pages out of a certain former leader of Germany's playbook, and I think NATO decided this was a good "tar baby" to get him to punch this time.  Why?  It saps resources further, but additionally, it then brought in official sanctions that the UN had to sign off on.  Now Russia's economy is going backwards at a rate of -3% to -10%  of GDP, while he sinks time, soldiers, and rubles into this fairly pointless war (other than the significance of Crimea).  His expansionist goals are stunted, though it is a somewhat dangerous game for all of us to corner him.  Strategypage.com  recently had an interesting opinion piece on him and his staff -- it sounds to me very similar, once again, to the very aggressive former leader of Germany being delusional about some grand military future of his country while those in the know, and those who count the rubles, are trying to get him to address real internal problems vs. this world domination fantasy.  He has made a big show of trying to reinvigorate the Russian defense industry in the past few years, but why, and is it practical?  My thought is that we wanted him to invade, to sap away from those goals, sap his ability to help our enemies (Syria/Iran/NK/Venezuela), and bring the wrath of the world down on his head.

 

This isn't to besmirch our current president or the presidents before him -- I'm not sure those guys are really in charge anyways, given current campaign finance laws in the US and the fact that corporations essentially pay both parties off.  The folks pulling the strings have a set policy, and Putin was a legit opponent of those goals, with his own goals in mind (supposedly he is now the richest man in Europe due to his own cronyism and corruption).  Ukraine is being used as a pawn for multiple parties here, and the folks that NATO supports there are not totally innocent (nor are the separatists) -- see their actions post-coup to remove all languages except Ukrainian from the ballots, which was in violation of UN treaties they (and we) had signed.  There are things going on in that country that probably should be settled internally, but the reality is that they now are a proxy for a bigger cold war fight, one that is rapidly warming up as Russia spirals down the drain.  Meanwhile, Putin fell for it, and instead of dealing with real issues (population growth, stopping rampant alcoholism, dealing with Chinese encroachment in the East), Putin is fighting his own little Stalingrad, and I think we remember what Stalingrad did to German ambitions and long-term goals in the big one.

 

Ok, that's about all I plan to say on this topic, and many apologies if this is out of place (please move or delete it), I want to stay in good standing on these boards in spite of my boorish behavior the day CMBS went on sale :P

Edited by Capt. Toleran

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Russian meddling in Ukraine is way more ancient than 20+ years. It started from 1054 when first principality broke off from old Rus'. In any case, Ukraine will be part of Russia one way or another, that is just the nature of historical cycles. When core Russia is weak, fringe regions break off for a varied period of time, when the cycle of power swings back, fringe territories are always reclaimed. Be it 1654, 1764, 1921, 1944 or 2015, the outcome is always the same. 

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I'll allow Amatoro to respond if he wishes, but other than that I'd like the political discussion to stop. It's not really relevant to CM and so really doesn't belong here.

Back on topic. Some casualty figures from Ukrainian sources covering Debaltseve fighting from Jan 28 through Feb 14:

128th Mountain Bde: 25 dead, 4 MIA, 2 POW

25th Separate MR Bn "Kievska Rus'": 17 dead, 1 POW

40th MR Bn, 17th Tank Bde: 21 dead, 97 POW, 10 MIA

101st General Staff Security Bde: 25 dead, 5 POW

13th MR Bn 1st Tank Bde: "around" 30 dead, 6 POW

30th Mech Bde: 22 dead, 22 wounded, still working on numbers for MIA and POW

Kharkov NG Bde 3017 - 4 dead, 2 POW, 3 MIA

3rd Special Forces Rgt - 3 dead, 3 POW, 2 MIA

Donbass NG Bn/Bde - 9 dead, 15 wounded including the Bde commander

Interior Ministry Bn Artemovsk: 3 dead

55th Artillery Bde: 3 dead

Composite Interior Ministry Bn Poltava - 1 dead

Lvov NG Bde 3002 - 2 POW

Interior Ministry: 1 dead

Chechen Volunteer Bn named for Dzhokhar Dudaev: 1 dead

Total losses:

169 KIA, 118 POW, and 28 MIA

http://crime.in.ua/node/8516

Add to this the roughly 60 KIA, 110 POW, and 40 MIA reported since the 14th. That puts the total at:

230 KIA, 228 POW, and 68 MIA

This for a force size of roughly 2500 at any one time. That comes out to be a loss of about 20% for all categories.

The estimates for separatists are difficult to assess because, unlike Ukraine, they do not publish specific numbers. In fact, they hardly publish numbers at all. Which they can do because they are not accountable to anybody other than themselves and Russia, neither of which want this information to be known unless it is favorable to them. In fact, some separatist/Russian sources have put the number of captured Ukrainians at 150-300, which is pretty much the same as the Ukrainian figure.

From a mix of sources, including Ukrainian military estimates, the separatists lost in the same time period:

868 KIA, 2043 WIA (Briukov)

1400 KIA, 2700 WIA (Yarchuk)

Force size 15,000 - 17,000 total.

If we take the lower numbers this means the separatist/Russian forces had a theoretical 6:1 numerical advantage, but suffered about the same 20% casualties. However, that is a superficial view.

The force estimate for the separatists/Russians is in total, I do not have a similar calculation for the Ukrainian force size. It is certainly several times larger than the 2500 that were in the Debaltseve area at any one time, therefore the loss % for Ukrainian units is significantly lower than 20%. And of course, those losses are not evenly spread (as the details above show). Also, for sure the separatist/Russians were not fighting with 100% of its force at any one time in any one place. So total force on force ratio is obviously lower than 6:1. What it was, I don't know. But it probably wasn't less than 3:1.

The conclusion here is that despite overwhelming odds, the Ukrainians acquitted themselves very well. Not only did they suffer fewer casualties in absolute numbers, but they also suffered lower percent loss rates on average. Further, despite being nearly surrounded and outnumbered, they managed to evacuate nearly their entire force with relatively light losses from historical perspective of similar maneuvers.

Now, had the separatist/Russian forces managed to nip the 2500 forces off into a pocket and then eliminated it, the figures would be wildly different. Which emphasizes how important and significant the withdrawal was compared to the loss of the small scrap of territory. The loss of territory is militarily insignificant, but the near total loss of the force defending it would likely have been catastrophic. Which, no doubt, was the outcome the separatist/Russian commanders had in mind when they launched the offensive.

Are these numbers accurate? At face value they do not seem to be in contrast to the other known facts. However, because the separatists/Russians do not release numbers at all as a rule, this is about the best that can be estimated at the present time.

As for action at the front, the reports are that 2nd line local separatists are now manning the front, backed by at least 3 Russian BMGs. The shattered local and Russian militias have been withdrawn for rest and refitting deeper into their territory. Another major move of Russian forces has been spotted moving into Ukraine over the last two days, presumably to hold ground while the militias recover.

Steve

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