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Posts posted by panzermartin

  1. 9 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

    It is true that Russia will have a lot more space to play, but the fundamental problem for Russia still exists.  And that is the existing Ukrainian Armed Forces, without a single bit of direct assistance from the West, could roll up the frontlines very quickly whenever and wherever it wants.  To combat a large scale offensive Russia would have to move n larger quantities of line units than it did in summer 2014 and and do so in a shorter space of time.  This will not go unnoticed by anybody, including the Russian people.  They were hoodwinked, for the most part, with the 2014 counter attack... I don't think they'll be hoodwinked this time.  Especially because I expect Russian casualties would not be measured in the hundreds this time, but thousands KIA, WIA, MIA. 

    Russia has only been able to hide the several thousand casualties it has sustained so far because a fair number of them were "volunteers" and the casualties largely trickled into Russia over a period of years.  10 here, 15 there, 5 this week, 20 next week, etc.  The time when they Russia committed thousands of combat forces at once the Ukrainian forces were largely spent, disorganized, and left their rear wide open south of Donetsk city.  Casualties were relatively light for the Russians in part because of that and in part because Russia was able to push Ukraine to Minsk to (largely) stop the fighting.  I do not see things going that way this time.

    I see a much more competent Ukrainian military using a similar "slice and dice" strategy that they used in 2014 (it was actually very effective), but with more emphasis on protecting strategic flanks.  That means a phased attack with the initial one having fairly limited goals, wait for the Russian reaction, punish the Russian forces with maximum ferocity, assess the situation, push somewhere else if possible, assess the situation and repeat until the Russian response is either strong enough or the mission is accomplished.

    The initial phase, in my view, should be to disrupt and largely compromise the entire front's defensive works.  Get the entire front fluid again.  This shouldn't be too hard to do because the majority of forces holding the front are poor quality and will flee fairly easily in too many places for the remainder to hold out successfully.  This denies Russia some degree of assurances about what is coming next.  What comes net should be at least one minor push and one major push.  The major push should be to secure a very specific amount of ground in a very specific way so as to maintain an intact frontline without leaving major opportunities for Russia to circle around behind as it did with Ilovaisk.

    The second phase, if things are deemed favorable, would be to roll up another area deemed weak enough to take without compromising a solid frontline. Failing that, a general "creep" along the entire front could achieve measurable goals.

    If at any time the offensive gets tripped up by Russian counter attacks, stop in that sector and shift forces to attacking somewhere else.  Even if on a limited basis.

    The point of this strategy would be to take back as much territory as possible in the shortest period of time without causing Russia to push 30,000 forces in at one time.  Russia is naturally reluctant to put forces into Ukraine so favor a strategy which causes them to commit piecemeal.  Hopefully by the time Russia figures out how difficult it is to stop Ukraine with a few MBTs here and there Ukraine will have won back significant chunks of territory.

    Let's not forget that for all the failings of the Ukrainian summer 2014 offensive, they retained more ground than they started with.  Especially in the original ATO area (i.e. before Russian invaded along the Sea of Azov).  Russia has already done all it can to flank to the south and I doubt it will try flanking to the north as that would be an even more blatant outright invasion than it was in 2014.


    Fair enough. Ukraine will naturally seek to take back territory in more force but I'm not sure it can tolerate some more thousands casualties as well. I got some questions to ask if you don't mind, since you have studied the tactical situation really closely.

    Was Ukraine able to replace the relatively big hardware losses in 2014? Tanks, APCs, aircrafts etc? Is it  autonomous enough in military industry and can it build its own T-90s, APCs, SPAs, S-300 or Sukhois. I recall some military plants shared the manufacturing process with Russia (and vice versa of course). In short, can it compete in long term with no foreign aid, against a technologically and logistically superior permanent russian force in east ukraine that has also the luxury of long range support from the borders? Most key cities in the east are within reach of russian long range AAA, tactical missiles etc. In case ukrainian army approaches in large numbers there, russians can hit without actually invading, as probably has already happened. 

    Do we know about the situation of the separatist army deeper in their "republic". UKR army surely is reorganizing and you are probably right it will perform better next time but I suspect Russia has a plan on its own to recruit, train and equip those units better and as we speak it might still sneaking personnel and hardware across the "thin" borders. Population in the east,  favors Russia by a significant margin and despises the ukrainian army (that has also shelled civilians in big urban areas like Donetsk). While they are not so enthusiastic to join Russia, they do prefer to keep an autonomy. So while Ukraine still technically considers those territories own soil, even in the case of a military win, people there would treat the victors more like an invading force.  

    I still think, both Ukraine and Russia will avoid a larger, damaging confrontation. A lot will depend on the political situation and if the DPR is actually able to survive politically and economically. On that and given that even Crimea is not looking that good right now, I have some doubts. I dont really agree with the coup on Putin and a civil war prospect though. Imo Russia is strengthening its position worldwide, a lot consider them as the force that is actually bringing an end to the Syrian war and ISIS terror. Latest events like the assasination of the russian ambassador from a jihadist lunatic have reinforced this image to the world. Amazingly, they have even teamed up with Erdgoan's Turkey lately, a NATO member. And there is still the prospect of teaming up with Trump's USA against islamic state. That will be a big victory for Putin. And whatever serious western leaning opposition is left, is somewhat losing its purpose now. Because West is starting to look a bit more like Russia now instead of the opposite, more conservative, nationalistic, anti-islamist and xenophobic.



  2. 1 hour ago, JUAN DEAG said:

    @John Kettler It's more than 18 countries. Also, I wasn't trying to downplay western help or anything I was saying that the person I was responding to was exaggerating by making the assumption that the Ukrainian military is completely useless without western support. I was already aware of the assistance provided mainly by Canada, USA, and Britain, but this is mainly in small amounts of rear lines support equipment and small-unit training.

    I didnt say they are useless. Its just a fact they cant do much in case of a second russian ivasion. They are sufficient enough to drive back a makeshift force of middle aged volunteers but they are probably no match for a coordinated russian army counter attack. The only thing that hold back the russians was international outcry. Thats what I call support. Political pressure, sanctions etc. I didnt mean the romanian army helmets. If political pressure gradually dissolves, with the current confusion on the US/EU camp, Russia will have a lot of more space to play. 


  3. Is there a realistic possibility for Ukraine to make serious territory gains with no support from the West? And is the divided and strategically confused West with Putin's buddies leading now in US and UK and soon in France, willing to assist Ukraine in any way? Not in the next ten years imo. Whatever is happening right now is of very little significance compared to the bigger picture. 

  4. I think its the law of nature these types of leadership to become corrupt due to the concentration of power. Castro did relatively well since he was almost half a century in rule and had to face isolation, enormous pressure and a constant threat to his life. Most would switch to a lunatic dictator mode under these circumstances. We cant really judge him by today's standards, he rose in a time when even the democratic West was backing worse guys around the globe. I much prefer my flawed democracy so far but if things go really wrong with our capitalist system(its fine when markets work but its not human centered and that shows when things go downhill) chances are that types like Castro would be the ones we would all look upon and not a career politician employee made in Harvard. It is just that these people are like an emergency measure and not meant to stay forever in power. Cuba and Castro were frozen in time in a way, stuck in a revolutionary mode that never really had the chance to evolve or mature.

  5. RIP. A great personality with true love for his country in my opinion. Although authoritarian, for his era, he was a much better alternative than Batista and other right wing dictators. Cuba eliminated illiteracy(down to 2% comparable only to scandinavian countries) and offered high quality health care to its people. He became obsolete as most of these types of leaderships and that showed in the last decades in a morally and economically decaying Cuba. I hope democratic societies wont have to go back to these regimes though to maintain a humane standard of living if things go wrong with world capitalism.

  6. 21 minutes ago, Machor said:

    Instead of framing the election result as an establishment conspiracy, wouldn't it be easier to go with the explanation that it was a free and fair election, and you yourself have stated one of the reasons why Trump won. If I were looking for a conspiracy in this, I'd look at how successful RT/Sputnik/Southfront/Putinbots/the Kremlin's other information warfare agents have been in influencing American public opinion.

    I dont believe the elections were rigged but nobody knows 100% really. There was an imported propaganda war for sure but the fatal blow was inflicted by an insider, as Hilary herself is blaming the last minute FBI intervention for her election loss http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/us/politics/hillary-clinton-james-comey.html?_r=0




  7. 6 minutes ago, Machor said:

    Yes, and this is precisely the problem facing what is now left of the 'West' - which would be the EU, Canada, dunno are Australia and New Zealand still with us? Where will these millions of refugees go? I am very skeptical about them being able to go back to Syria.

    If Trump's election had been the outcome of such nefarious planning, then Clinton should have won and established a no-fly zone over northern Syria, followed by the partitioning of Syria (which would have kept Assad in power in Damascus and the Russians with their bases). The article that started this thread presented the Russian assets in the theater as certain doom without presenting a detailed analysis of how the US could counter them, and mind you the US does have some very shiny assets. I personally believe even the possibility of such a move by the US would have brought Assad/Putin to the table, because as I mentioned they did not have to lose what they already had.

    Maybe they didnt want to risk direct confrontation with Russia and lose everything. No matter how well equipped the US military is, they havent face something more lethal than a 3rd world country's arsenal. Who would support Clinton in something so risky as this, while half public opinion has turned  pro-russian the most in the whole american history? Fighting ISIS and islamists is the new trend and Trump adapted better to it. Getting from the back door in Syria and getting closer with Putin and Assad seems like a decent alternative plan in a battle that seems lost. After all, from what I can tell, Trump's main concern is China. This is the country that considers the bigger threat to US interests and probably foreign policy will shift accordingly towards there.   

  8. 7 hours ago, Machor said:


    It is well established that Assad has been targeting hospitals and civilian infrastructure deliberately and systematically, and Russia has already gone out of its way to assist him in this:

    "U.N. Reports Syria Uses Hospital Attacks as a ‘Weapon of War’"


    "Syrian government forces are systematically attacking hospitals and medical staff members and denying treatment to the sick and wounded from areas controlled or affiliated with the opposition, United Nations investigators said Friday in a new report that also detailed the use of hospitals as torture centers by military intelligence agencies.

    “The denial of medical care as a weapon of war is a distinct and chilling reality of the war in Syria,” the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, which is monitoring human rights in Syria, said in its report. The panel said pro-government forces carried out such attacks “as a matter of policy,” but it also documented instances of attacks on hospitals by opposition forces.


    The report cited a string of attacks on hospitals that were shelled by artillery or bombed by jets, often after aerial reconnaissance by helicopters.


    Patients, too, are among the targets. “In exploiting medical care to further strategic and military aims, government forces have engaged in agonizing cruelty against the sick and wounded,” the report said, identifying a number of government intelligence agencies that have used hospitals as torture chambers.

    Among these is Military Hospital No. 601 in Damascus, where “detainees, including children, have been beaten, burned with cigarettes and subjected to torture that exploits pre-existing injuries.”

    “Many patients have been tortured to death in this facility,” the panel said.


    It highlighted the targeting of medical workers as “one of the most insidious trends” in Syria’s civil war. “Government forces deliberately target medical personnel to gain military advantage by depriving the opposition and those perceived to support them of medical assistance for injuries sustained,” the panel said."

    "Syrian and Russian forces targeting hospitals as a strategy of war"


    "Russian and Syrian government forces appear to have deliberately and systematically targeted hospitals and other medical facilities over the last three months to pave the way for ground forces to advance on northern Aleppo, an examination of airstrikes by Amnesty International has found.


    Several medical workers from Anadan and Hreitan, two towns north-west of Aleppo, told Amnesty International that the Syrian government’s strategy is to empty an entire town or village of residents by targeting hospitals and infrastructure to facilitate the ground invasion.

    A doctor from Anadan said: “Hospitals, water and electricity are always the first to be attacked. Once that happens people no longer have services to survive. This is what happened in Anadan. By mid-February most of the residents had fled the city after the field hospital and medical centre were attacked on 2 February. The field hospital is barely operating and the centre closed. The problem is that not everyone is able to leave the city. The ones who stayed behind are elderly people who are in desperate need of medical treatment.”

    “Hospitals in opposition-controlled areas around Aleppo became a primary target for the Russian and Syrian government forces. This eliminated a vital lifeline for the civilians living in those embattled areas, leaving them no choice but to flee,” said Tirana Hassan.

    All of the people interviewed by Amnesty International said that there were no military vehicles, checkpoints, fighters or front lines near the hospitals that were attacked and that the hospitals were exclusively serving their humanitarian function.

    Deliberate attacks on civilians not directly participating in hostilities and on civilian objects, including hospitals and other medical facilities, violate international humanitarian law (also known as the laws of war) and amount to war crimes."

    Targetting hospitals is a war crime no doubt. Still exercized by both sides as this and other articles indicate. I'm not debating the cruel  and unlawful means of warfare here. Without wanting to sound cynical, its still no proof of "ethnic cleansing" , rather an inhuman way of bringing the opposition to its knees, as part of a military operation rather than means of extermination of certain ethnic/religious groups. I havent read reports of army rounding up people, or massively executing them for instance.  And while in the above situations there were no militants nearby, it is a widespread tactic of guerilla warfare to fortify in those complexes. Once this happens a few times, then all hospitals, fortfied or not, are probably turned into priority targets unsurprisingly.

    But this all has to come to an end. The truth is that rebels have achieved pretty much nothing those six years of conflict. Not even badly needed wider international support. Public opinion has turned against them as most associate them with Al-Nusra and ISIS. Ultimately, if Assad's agenda was to deport population opposing him as you say, then they served him right by giving him the excuse to do so under the disguise of a miltary operation against "terrorism". It's just madness pouring more gasoline in the fire of this conflict. Weapons flow in Syria, must be cut off. The conlfict must die out. Then a combined international effort respecting Syria's sovereignity should begin to shape the next day in the war-torn land.

    PS,I don't know sometimes I think Trump was needed by the deeper american industrial/miltary complex, to reset world policy and maybe gain something from the bleeding Middle east strategy by adapting to the new situation. The pawns(rebels) are discarded, and the new strategy is to approach Russia/Syria in a theatre US would otherwise be left out. 


  9. 59 minutes ago, Machor said:

    Assad ran a de facto ethnic cleansing campaign that altered Syria's demographics in favour of his powerbase, the Alawites. Why should he want to reverse such an outcome?

    I haven't heard of any Alawites being among the refugees, and for several years now the refugees had the option of returning to areas under Assad's control where there was no fighting. The BBC article I linked to previously in the thread about the residents of east Aleppo (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37779478 ) shows that people don't trust Assad to honour his word even with humanitarian corridors. Returning to live under him would seem like (and quite probably equal) suicide.

    I believe a lot will change once the fighting eventually and offcially dies. The millions of people living in camps in neighbouring countries will soon have to make a choice. If there isnt any conflict there will be no "offcial" reason for them to stay there, let alone countries to accept more of them. If Assad despite having neutralized Al Nusra/ISIS/armed rebels decides to keep on with genocide of returning refugees then he deserves a drone or something to cease his insanity. I doubt that will happen and any big power like Russia will assist in such a crime. I don't think there is hard evidence of "ethnic cleansing" so far, it is a really heavy word to use imo for mostly crude bombing of cities.  Mass murder, executions and other savage actions (like eating hearts of the dead), have been widely reported on christians, alawites, other minorities and captured army soldiers though. I'm at least relieved this monstrosity will be brought to end sooner or later.

  10. 21 minutes ago, Machor said:

    Who will force Assad to 'adjust' or for that matter do anything?

    I agree, and that means 3+ million refugees on their way to Europe. Good luck! ;)

    If he wants to govern something more than ruins and empty cities he has to show a glimpse of hope for the population that peacefully and silently opposed his rule all these years.

    I disagree on the 3 million regugees. The end of conflict will bring some people back not force more out. Not men in military age but I'm hoping families will attempt to return.


    "We never thought that one day we would be living in garages in Lebanon. We feel humiliated. But I never thought of going to Europe. How could I abandon my family and go to an unknown place?"

    A lot share this view. Plus Europe with its closed borders and right-wingers on the rise is not going to give them any hope and they know it. 

  11. Assad is not innocent and not only one side is the source of the problem, I have accepted this. I'm just hoping he will be forced to adjust to a less opressive rule. I'm hoping a part of those refugees will return once bombs stop falling and jihadists stop blowing up. I dont see any other way out right now. Maybe the uprsiing was popular in the beginiing as you say but now it clearly isnt. We are not talking about 2011. Whoever is supporting what is left from the opposition has to accept defeat given the balance of powers right now. I dont understand why people cant see its a lost cause to go on with the carnage. 

  12. Slightly OP but the first good sign for the World matters is that Trump will abandon support for the rebels in Syria according to a latest interview in WSJ. We can say whatever we want for the dude but if this is true, he will probably be the president of the US that will put an end to the bloody Syrian War. The strategy of supporting obscure jihadist groups was doomed to fail from the start and a lot unecessary blood was spilt in the process. Hopefully, a political plan for Syria will soon be put to table to see what can be saved from the carnage and how all those refugees can return to a safe home and not keep on living in tents in Europe and elsewhere. At least we can hope.

  13. Probably not that smart from the ukrainians, I mean they couldnt do much to affect people's vote in the US anyway. But lets not forget that this guy is primarily a businessman.  It will mostly be about good deals, so things can shift accordingly. But its true for the time being he seems a lot more russian leaning than ukrainian leaning and he has talked about doing business with Russia in the past (apart from bringing miss Universe to Moscow I suppose;) )

  14. He hasnt spoken a lot about foreign issues. Probably he will rely greatly on his staff on that which can be a good or a bad thing. I bet if he and Putin were taking a history/political quizz it would be embarassing for him;) We know he doesnt like China much, hates ISIS and goes way easier on Russia than Clinton and Obama.

    The few hints we have about Ukraine, is that at first he seemed to be ok with Crimea being russian: " But you know, the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that..."

    Also, he didnt meet Poroshenko in NY, while Clinton did. Some say he snubbed him, others it was just due to conflicting schedules. 

    Its too early to tell but it would be nice to hear a more insightful speculation from people that know better perhaps. 

  15. 12 minutes ago, Erwin said:

    You should be comforted that Trump has a large family of his own plus huge business interests and is "very comfortably off".  Why take the chance of losing all of that? 

    Am not sure what Putin's family or business interest are.  But, he may have much less to lose.

    Remember, Hitler had very little to lose and one wonders if that enabled him to be such a gambler with the lives of others and his whole nation..

    Well that holds some truth. Though Trump seems like such a big narcissist that likes to gamble big as well. Maybe he is fed up with his material empire and wants something more than that;) His speech was in a different note than his pre-election populist cries. We'll see, I dont think he is as dumb as his talking. 

    I agree though, I think comparisons with Hitler are off. Hitler was a rather failed, bitter and frustrated person driven solely by hate since childhood and ended up a murderous psychopath and drug addict. Trump was born in luxury, raised and lived in luxury and being succesful most of his life. He doesnt believe in much but I dont think he could ever do harm on purpose. 


  16. On 29/10/2016 at 4:42 AM, Blazing 88's said:



    Please, don't include Canada in that "World" list...  PLEASE!!  Thank you.  :D

    This guy here scares the **** out of me, as I am sure he would be the one whispering past Trumps left ear hair to push the F'n button.


    Sorry, last I will be posting about this ****.  Don't want to derail the thread further.

    Anyone else a bit worried, people like him are now in charge? Seeing the unrest and the divided public in the states, I have a slight fear Trump will turn more agressive on the outside despite his more "friendly" towards the World, rhetoric. Its still too early to tell though. 

  17. 2 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

    This has been answered a number of times, especially when Russians try to say it's Ukraine's fault that this all happened.

    There was a flight restriction in the zone up to a certain ceiling (I forget what), put into place after Russian AA equipment flooded into Ukraine and in fact shot down Ukrainian aircraft.  It was thought that the higher ceiling was safe because, after all, the "separatists" didn't have sophisticated weapons because they were just poor coal miners.

    Individual airlines had to make the call if they would fly over the area or not.  Due to the costs of going around the zone, I'm not sure any had made a decision to avoid the area at the time.  Certainly Russia's own state run airline was flying straight over the combat zone.

    Of course Ukraine could have advised the airlines that their airspace was too dangerous and that they should avoid it.  In hindsight they should have.  However, in hindsight Russia should not have shot down a civilian airliner.


    I just want to say that there is more than one responsible for this. Airline company risking people's life to keep the cost down, Ukraine authorities not correctly estimating that their airspace was not safe. And of course Russia, for providing the BUK and the crew that shooted it down, apparently by mistake. I'm surprised that flying over warzones is considered a normal routine though for airlines @panzersaurkrautwerfer. Hope they changed their minds after this.

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