Jump to content
kinophile

Separatist push/Ukraine shove back

Recommended Posts

On 12/20/2016 at 0:02 PM, VladimirTarasov said:

Yes according to my sources it was a Ukrainian push and DPR counter-attacked. Doesn't look good for Ukrainian forces there for now. 

 

Okay Suvorov :rolleyes: - I can't believe you people take this gentleman's bait every single time.

@Machor - thanks for the ping. I'm usually not the biggest fan of VICE, but their documentaries from the front have always been enjoyable to watch. 'Proxy War' is the only way to describe it really, none of us really have the political capital to intervene directly so we have to help the Ukrainians help themselves, and avoid spinning into a train wreck government as they handle this crisis.

It's the best bet we have to countering Russia's ability and willingness to wage 'hybrid' wars.

Edited by Rinaldi
wew lad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Kalavelka said:

Just a friendly thought: Threads would stay in focus if Vlad would be kicked next time he starts broadcasting :) Happy holildays!

That's a bit rude. :( <--- *accurate representation of Vlad's feels right now*

6 hours ago, Haiduk said:

Not 220 hill, but VOP "Kikimora" westward. 5 KIA, 1 captured at 18th 

20th Artilery used more then infantry weapon. 4 WIA for today as minimum

Are those the casualties from the Ukrainian side? I don't know if you made it clear but has land changed hands at all?

9 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

But the thing is the Russian military wouldn't be able to organize the uprising if the people in the region didn't support it.

All the old lands of the Russian Tsardom, Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union (as well as Eastern Europe in general) have a long history of savage political violence and oppression, and because of this at the end of the day the citizens listen to the guys with the guns. When Girkin entered Sloviansk they were shouting "down with Ukrofascist Junta!" and the next day when Ukrainian forces took over they were "celebrating national unity" and "praying for the victims of the Holodomor". These people care very little for politics and just want to get by with food, water, electricity, and pension.

"All political power comes from the barrel of a gun" - Mao Tse-Tung 

 

 

 

Edited by JUAN DEAG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, a hill and I think some flanking positions changed sides, primarily to remove the hill as a spotting ground. 

It's interesting that even in an age if cheap drones that having a man on a hill (in TFO's case,  in his burrow in a hill :-P) is still considered damn useful/dangerous. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JUAN DEAG said:

All the old lands of the Russian Tsardom, Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union (as well as Eastern Europe in general) have a long history of savage political violence and oppression, and because of this at the end of the day the citizens listen to the guys with the guns. When Girkin entered Sloviansk they were shouting "down with Ukrofascist Junta!" and the next day when Ukrainian forces took over they were "celebrating national unity" and "praying for the victims of the Holodomor". These people care very little for politics and just want to get by with food, water, electricity, and pension.

Let's also not forget a fair number were Russians right from the start, others were paid by Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs, etc.  But I see Vlad's subtle shift away from "Russia had nothing to do with the start of hostilities" to "well, Russia did organize the whole thing from the start but it was Kiev's fault for making it possible" as being a step forward :D

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, JUAN DEAG said:

Yup, that looks to be a decent summation of recent events.

What Vlad fails to see in "his sources" is the pattern of being proven wrong almost always.  The standard DPR/LPR statements almost always denies it attacks anything anywhere for any reason except, sometimes, as a counter attack.  Then they say how heroic their forces are and speak of mounds of Ukrainian dead.  This standard propaganda crap is designed to do two things:

1.  Fool people who are ready to believe such lies that it is Ukraine that is the aggressor

2.  Provides cover for their failures on the battlefield.  And the DPR/LPR forces are still utterly incompetent on the attack, so they have something to cover up

The latter is what I've seen in the past few significant sized battles.  The DPR (LPR is rarely on the offensive) attacks, gets soundly defeated, loses ground, tries to counter attack, fails to do much (if anything), and then settles down to harassing fire.  The whole time saying pretty much the opposite is happening.

Overall I find the battlefield accounts coming from Ukrainian media, including the Ukrainian government, to be fairly accurate.  The Ukrainian government's casualty figures tend to take a day or two to solidify, but after they firm up Ukrainian critics seem to believe them accurate.  This was not always the case, but starting with Debaltseve the Ukrainian accounting became a lot more reliable.  The DPR/LPR/Russian accounting is still hilariously wrong :D  For example, in Debaltseve they were claiming 3000+ Ukrainian KIA, yet it was about 1/10th that amount.  Unlike the DPR/LPR/Russian sources of information, the Ukrainian military has updated that number as MIAs were found dead and their status changed.  DPR/LPR/Russia doesn't release casualty figures in any meaningful way like the Ukrainians do, even if I were prone to believing them (which I am not).

Basically, the two sides do distort things, do have lagging data, and do have motivation to twist the numbers to make themselves look good.  However, to say each side does this to the same extent is laughable (I mean, hold my stomach, double over and make my sides hurt kind of laughter :)).  The Ukrainian military publishes figures on how many soldiers were KIA, WIA, MIA, and Captured.  These numbers can be looked at by anybody and "tested" against reality.  Various Ukrainian organizations, press, and OSCE are allowed to test these numbers with relative freedom.  The Russian military, on the other hand, states that their KIA, WIA, MIA, and Captured count adds up to ZERO.  Why?  Well, because they aren't fighting in Ukraine, therefore no casualties.  HAHA!  As for DPR/LPR, they are repressive military puppet regimes with even less accountability than Russia's MoD. 

But as simple, obvious, and defendable as this logic is... some people still don't get it.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JUAN DEAG said:

Are those the casualties from the Ukrainian side? I don't know if you made it clear but has land changed hands at all?

Yes. I wrote yesterday we took VOP ("vzvodnyi opornyi punkt" - eng. "platoon strongpoint") on west bank of the lake (terrain around also known as Markiv Yar), but enemy probably recaptured one position of three, our special forces 20th Dec made mop up and helped infantry to turn back control over all VOP again. Yesterday to the battle have joined detachment of 2nd battalion of 54th mech.brigade, they also gained some land, but no any info where. 

 

2Vladimir - no minefield on the way of our troops 18th Dec. All loses was sustained in close skirmish and artillery shelling after taking positions. 

Edited by Haiduk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TBH I don't find this engagement interesting, as it appears to be a small scale positional skirmish over no-man's land (regardless of who initiated it and the legal status of Debaltsevo region), just like many other small positional skirmishes in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, this:

https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/danger-close-fancy-bear-tracking-ukrainian-field-artillery-units/

report is militarily interesting (please avoid political discussion here) in more than one way. For example:

- that Ukraine lost over 80 percent of the D-30s.

- that applications developed by amatures may have combat uses.

- that same applications can be exploited by hostile cyber agents.

p.s. I believe that this application was discussed here previously as a great achievement of Ukrainian croudfunding/croudsourcing/volonteer-work. If the report above is correct, it may have done more harm than good.

Edited by ikalugin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Everything digital is inherently and fundamentally hackable -  not just to reveal information but also to turn against it's owners. The classic example of course is stuxnet - it corrupted the digital programs controlling Iranian centrifuges,  causing the machinery to wreck itself. 

Pitting a state sponsored hacking group against a small open source crowd funded specialized system is hardly a realistic fight. If Mossad wants to get you,  you will get Mossad-ed. 

Building that system was needed and worked. 

Also with digital systems, as we all know, nothing is static -  today's Impregnable Fortress of Iron Clad security is tomorrow's wiki leaks infodump. 

Great link though,  very interesting twist. I've always wondered when tactical weapons hacking would become a reality. In this case it's the targeting system, rather than the gun itself,  but the effect is the same. 

It would make a Man On The Hill even more vital as an analogue redundancy. 

Edited by kinophile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Building that system was needed and worked."

But was it and did it? As I have said, in my opinion it is quite possible that the system did more harm (by allegedly providing intell to the adversery) than good (improving the fire control), if the report is to be believed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It certainly deserves a proper examination by those who can, comparing rounds fired versus arrival and effectiveness of counterfeit. But that probably requires far greater record keeping than is realistically possible for the UKR forces.

I wonder how hard it would be to assist the Ukrainians with securing the system. Probably an entire rebuild necessary,  with proper broadcast encryption and core code protection as primary building blocks this time. 

It is pretty bad that the targeting app was distributed online through forums (if I understand correctly from the article)... That's pretty naive online opsec. 

@Haiduk are you aware of this? 

 

Edited by kinophile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ikalugin said:

TBH I don't find this engagement interesting, as it appears to be a small scale positional skirmish over no-man's land (regardless of who initiated it and the legal status of Debaltsevo region), just like many other small positional skirmishes in the past.

No, it's not like other skirmishes.  This is the largest one in 1/2 a year by a very wide margin with relatively high losses on both sides, lots of artillery in use, and ground being exchanged.  This is similar to only a few skirmishes since the large scale Russian offensive to take Debaltseve.  Oh, and of course the legal status of Debaltseve region is that it is a part of the nation of Ukraine and all non-government approved armed groups in it are there illegally and therefore all actions of those groups are illegal.  There's no doubt about that ;)

Although the territory and forces involved is small, there's some interesting things to note.  Specifically, the DPR forces still do not have the capability of launching even small scale offensives, presumably with direct Russian military cooperation, even after Russia has worked on improving them for 2.5 years now.  By contrast, the Ukrainians seem to have again shown that they are capable of thwarting an attack and then exploiting the situation to their advantage.

Russia conducts these operations every so often in part, I believe, to see how well the DPR and Russian military support performs in real world circumstances.  It is the logical thing for Russia to do.  I know I'd do it if I were in the Kremlin's shoes.

6 hours ago, ikalugin said:

Now, this:

https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/danger-close-fancy-bear-tracking-ukrainian-field-artillery-units/

report is militarily interesting (please avoid political discussion here) in more than one way. For example:

- that Ukraine lost over 80 percent of the D-30s.

- that applications developed by amatures may have combat uses.

- that same applications can be exploited by hostile cyber agents.

p.s. I believe that this application was discussed here previously as a great achievement of Ukrainian croudfunding/croudsourcing/volonteer-work. If the report above is correct, it may have done more harm than good.

This is definitely an interesting topic.  The use of cyberwarfare within the combat sphere is something that is now gaining a lot more attention in the West than it did before this war.  It's one of the downsides for Russia... by using these capabilities they are exposing them to the West and they are certainly taking notes (as we say).

One thing I'm skeptical of is the loss figure of the D-30s.  For that number to be meaningful we'd need to see a more detailed analysis.  For example, losses of D-30s prior to the use (or widespread use) of the app, how many were lost during the 2014 Russian counter attack and Debaltseve when many pieces of artillery were lost due to retreat.  I'm sure the remaining number is significant, but I suspect it is quite a bit less than 80% and only a portion of that was the result of information from the hacked app vs. other reasons (e.g. Russia triangulating/interception cellphone traffic).

The other interesting things to note about this:

1.  That Russia is actively involved in fighting against Ukrainian forces.  The GRU gathers the information and hands it over to Russian controlled artillery "in realtime".  Not surprising, of course, but yet another piece of information about how much Russia is lying about its war in Ukraine

2.  More evidence that Russia hacked the DNC and therefore is responsible for messing with the US elections as it stands accused of

2 hours ago, kinophile said:

 

Everything digital is inherently and fundamentally hackable -  not just to reveal information but also to turn against it's owners. The classic example of course is stuxnet - it corrupted the digital programs controlling Iranian centrifuges,  causing the machinery to wreck itself. 

Pitting a state sponsored hacking group against a small open source crowd funded specialized system is hardly a realistic fight. If Mossad wants to get you,  you will get Mossad-ed. 

Yup, and Russia is obviously capable enough to take on the "Massads" of this world

Quote

Building that system was needed and worked.

Provided that Ukraine had overall better results with the hacked app than it would have without it, then yes I would say it "worked".  However, if Ukraine lost more than it gained, then I would say it was needed but they got the wrong tool for the job.

Everything in life is a learning experience.  One thing to be learned from this... distribution has to be as controlled tightly and someone needs to be in charge of monitoring both the applications as well as what happens with them in the field.  Someone should be there to say "er, aren't we taking an awful lot of direct hits from counterbattery fire?  Maybe we're doing something to give away our positions?" and then investigate from there.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And there's the rub - the app was developed due to the chronic inefficiency and corruption in the military beaurocracy, and distributed badly because of same.

Yet proper opsec is not inherently hard,  but requires discipline and conviction. I'd say the guys who developed the targeting app would more than welcome a proper security review and rebuild -  they made they app to assist UKR forces,  and I'd say would be horrified to learn it could/was a true double edged sword. 

It would be interesting to see how robust a crowd sourced, non state targeting actually  could be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That OSCE statement estimates a single battery (6 guns?) in support of the separatist attack of 150 men. 

Also estimates 20-30 killed,  but no breakdown I'd that was in the initial attack,  the succesful Ukrainian  counter-attack,  the separatist localized counter-counter attack or in the Ukrainian positional 'mopping up'  attack. 

Edited by kinophile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, kinophile said:

That OSCE statement estimates a single battery (6 guns?) in support of the separatist attack of 150 men.

Mortars were, I think, also in use?

One battery is about the right size for supporting a company scale attack under normal circumstances, not as much as I would expect for an attack against fixed defenses.  This fits in with my theory that Russia wanted test how well a "company maneuver group" could do against a selected Ukrainian strong point.  Giving a company sized group more artillery would distort the equation since a force of that type, under normal circumstances, wouldn't have access to more than a battery (at best).    If the priority was to seize the ground I think they would have used a lot more artillery.  At least for the prep phase.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering UKR had c. 6 KIA to,  what,  25  WIA/Shell Shocked,  that's a 1-4 K/W ratio. 

Both forces use very similar weaponry, with I assume similar artillery methodology but different infantry  tactics. 

Apply that to the Separatist numbers,  and a kill number of 20 (low est) married with a 1/4 KW ration (probably higher,  as attackers) suggests a wounded count of 80...thence of est. 150 man attacking force, 100 are losses...

So 60% combat ineffective. 

That's a pretty awful result. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, JUAN DEAG said:

That's a bit rude. :( <--- *accurate representation of Vlad's feels right now*

Not really I like being on the bad guy side right? :D  

@Haiduk

The minefield claim can't be proved  so I'd have to assume you're right. 

Edited by VladimirTarasov

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, your hypothesis only works if we assume that separatists intended to attain significant gains. Do you have evidence that this was their intention?

You assume that Russia does something because you would do that, isn't that called projection? Not that it is bad, I just hope that you are aware of it.

The article does not state that. DNC stuff is a political derailment that I warned you against.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also fail to see the connection of battlefield tactical cyber war and a political party's database hack an ocean away,  other than definitely the same state perpetrator and possibly the same intelligence organization. 

He's projecting from previoys Russian actions, tactics and methods occurring repeatedly against Ukraine over the last 4-5 years. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, ikalugin said:

Steve, your hypothesis only works if we assume that separatists intended to attain significant gains. Do you have evidence that this was their intention?

Not necessarily.  In English, and in CM, there is something called a "probe" attack.  The purpose is to test defenses or (perhaps in this case) offensive capabilities, not to take territory.  In fact, sometimes probe attacks result in the attacker voluntarily pulling back to their original positions.

Which means that Russia could have launched the attack with no intention of gaining ground, but I suspect they did not launch it with the idea they would LOSE ground.  Which they did.  So whatever the intentions of this attack were, I'd say they failed in the immediate sense.  If Russia learned something that can help later on then perhaps it isn't a loss in the "big picture".

48 minutes ago, ikalugin said:

You assume that Russia does something because you would do that, isn't that called projection? Not that it is bad, I just hope that you are aware of it.

Unfortunately, the only people that know for sure what the purpose of the attack is are the same people that say there was no attack at all and that there's no Russian forces involved.  Which means we are left with having to guess.  The best way to guess is to put ourselves in the Russian commander's shoes and look at the situation from his perspective.  Doing so indicates four primary reasons to launch the attack:

1.  To gain ground

2.  To test capabilities (offensive and/or defensive)

3.  To keep grumbling soldiers occupied

4.  To yield some sort of political leverage (Russia has a pattern of this ahead of Minsk talks, but not so much lately)

Obviously it could be some combination as well.

Based on my knowledge of this specific conflict, I am favoring #2 with a bit of #3 and always some of #4.  The idea of seizing terrain appears to be unimportant.

Of course there is a possibility that this was a local initiative without the blessing of the Russian commanders in the field.  In the past this has reportedly happened, but Russia has largely murdered, dismissed, or otherwise got rid of problematic leaders so I don't think this is a likely situation. At this point I think it is safe to presume that any significant activity on the DPR side comes from the Russian chain of command.

48 minutes ago, ikalugin said:

The article does not state that. DNC stuff is a political derailment that I warned you against.

The article states, very clearly, that the same "fingerprints" noted with the DNC hack were found with the Ukraine artillery hack.  This helped them conclude that the GRU hacked the Ukrainian artillery app.  Reread the article if you must, but that is exactly what is stated in very direct terms.

That said, I don't want to talk about the election hack itself or what it means.  That is not relevant to anything in this Forum.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

Mortars were, I think, also in use?

One battery is about the right size for supporting a company scale attack under normal circumstances, not as much as I would expect for an attack against fixed defenses.  This fits in with my theory that Russia wanted test how well a "company maneuver group" could do against a selected Ukrainian strong point.  Giving a company sized group more artillery would distort the equation since a force of that type, under normal circumstances, wouldn't have access to more than a battery (at best).    If the priority was to seize the ground I think they would have used a lot more artillery.  At least for the prep phase.

Steve

This Is exactly why I suspected a 'blooding' operation in my OP or as you more accurately put it,  a probe to test off/deff capabilities. 

A proper Russian attack,  if I understand correctly, us not subtle, doesn't skimp on Arty and almost always counters the counter attack. 

Ie,  they commit,  properly,  in order to achieve. 

This felt,  even to my non-military mind, like something less than a proper attack with an important strategic aim. 

Edited by kinophile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...