What’s Happening in Ukraine?

If anybody remembers, it has been nearly three months since my initial post signaling the beginning of the Russia – Ukraine conflict. I correctly predicted the war’s outbreak, and looking back on my predictions of how it would take place, I can say I am both satisified and not. We’ve all been hearing a lot about how the war has been an alleged disaster for the Russians, how the Ukrainians have killed tens of thousands of Russian soldiers, how the Russian army was just a paper tiger all along, etc etc, but is any of it actually true? Why is this war still going when everybody, even including myself, thought it would be over in a few weeks at most? Is Russia actually losing?

The answer to the second question is in my opinion, no. But it may seem that way to everybody who had the expectation that this would be a very rapid war. Why this turned into a multi-month long conflict as opposed to a something lasting more than a few days simply comes down to the fact that Ukraine actually fought back. I’m assuming that going into the conflict, the Kremlin had a Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A was simple: bum-rush the Ukrainian capital on the shortest axis of advance, and hope that the Ukrainians just folded in the realisation that a protracted war against the Russian federation would be hopeless. I highly doubt the Kremlin was so arrogant in their expectations that this could have been the only possible outcome, merely, it was a (relatively) high risk, high reward strategy that would have resolved the conflict with a minimum of losses. However, on the event that this did not transpire, the Kremlin moved to Plan B: destroy the Ukrainian army in the field, and this is exactly what we seeing attempted right now in the Donbass region.


If you don’t know, the Donbass is a portmanteau of Donets Basin, a region of eastern Ukraine populated by ethnic Russians. It’s a big, densely populated urban agglomeration with lots of interconnected cities. Ukraine has been fighting a low-level civil war there against Russian separatists (specifically the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic) since 2014, which was one of the main, if not the main reason (not the NATO membership) why Russia went into Ukraine this year in the first place. A large proportion of the best of Ukraine’s forces are concentrated there, specifically in three settlements;  Severodonetsk, Lysychans’kand Kramatorsk. Russia wants to destroy these forces, because if it does, it will cripple the Ukrainian army. Ukraine’s capacity to continue the war without these units will only backwards-snowball from there, allowing the Russians to continue advance westward across the country.

So why do people think Russia is losing?

First and foremostly are people misunderstanding Russia’s objectives, and their overall strategy so far. This applies to the Russophiles as well in my opinion. I’m sure everybody reading this heard about Russia’s abandonment of the area around Kiev, which has been touted endlessly as proof that Russia is unable to defeat the Ukrainian army and is badly losing the war. In reality, and note what I wrote previously before, capturing Kiev with the forces Russia actually had around it was practically impossible unless Ukraine actually capitulated without a fight. This brings me to the most important point here, that few Western commentators and media followers actually understand:

Russia’s army in Ukraine is small.

This explains practically every move they have made in the conflict, and every withdrawal they have made following the initial phase when the Ukranians were shell-shocked and disorganised, and Russia was expecting little resistance. Russia’s army in Ukraine (which is by far not the totality of the Russian armed forces and its reserves) is small, and is significantly outnumbered by the Ukrainians. I think the force ratios, even when the Donbass militia armies are included in the count, is about 3:1 in favour of Ukraine. Why Russia has chosen to fight the war in this way is beyond my understanding, but it does place significant constraints on what they are able to achieve simultaneously. In total I believe they have somewhere around 200,000 men. Compare this to Army Group Centre , the grouping of the German forces that advanced across Ukraine in 1941. It had around 1.5 million (!). So the withdrawal from Kiev, given that Ukraine never gave in as was hoped, made perfect sense. Many pro-Russian commentators considered the Kiev front a ‘feint’; I do not, I just think that it was a gamble that didn’t pay off. Logically, withdrawal made perfect sense, as it allowed those forces to be aligned in the Donbass where they are needed to achieve Russia’s objective of destroying the Ukrainian army in the field.

The second reason people think Russia is losing is because Ukraine’s allies control the international channels of communication, including social media platforms. If you’ve ever been on Twitter and read some posts about Ukraine you would notice a deluge of really suspicious accounts with few followers that are following many multiples of accounts themselves posting content intended to be demoralising to the Russian war effort. Often these are bots, sometimes they are real people, and a lot of the time they’re just paid troll-farmers intended to create some sort of artificial consensus. ‘OSint’ (open source intelligence) accounts and talking heads regurgitate and repurpose content intended to weave a narrative of Russian losses; often destroyed Ukrainian vehicles and planes are claimed as Russian, and nobody really knows what’s true, which is the point in the first place.

Beyond social media, Ukraine has been claiming (or outright fabricating) many stories of their own, from the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ pilot who allegedly shot down 40 Russian planes (admitted to be a lie), to the Snake Island hold-outs who told a Russian warship to ‘fuck off’ rather than surrender. Turned out, they actually surrendered. Amusingly enough the Ukrainians very recently attempted a (apparently disastrous) amphibious operation to take back Snake Island. As Snake Island is nothing other than a strategically meaningless rock in the Black Sea, I could only assume this mission was for propaganda purposes only.

So how is Donbass going?

Russia needs to win in Donbass to have any hope of continuing its campaign without additional force inputs; In my opinion, it will. The first thing you will notice about how their campaign in Donbass has proceeded is how cautious it has been. Ukraine’s army in the area is heavily entrenched, with makeshift fortifications and dug-out trenches resembling those that were constructed on the Western Front in WW1. The Russian army consequently has proceeded carefully, expanding its axis’ of control while ensuring it does not dangerously over-extend and leave itself open to encirclement. Significantly it recently captured the town of Popansaya, which the Ukrainians had been aggressively contesting since the war began. Popansaya is a big deal because it occupies an elevated position in the Donbass, allowing Russia to easily shell Ukrainian positions throughout the area.

It is also on the road to Lysychans’k. Russia has (only today) recently broken through to Severodontesk as well, bypassing Ukranian forces held out in the industrial regions of a town called Rubizhne. All of these portend to Ukraine’s inevitable defeat in the area.

I also do not believe the Ukrainans’ will withdraw from any of these places, even if seriously threatened with encirclement such as in Mariupol, as this will harm their propaganda image.

You won’t and don’t hear about any of this in Western media, with dwindling reporting focusing on the tactically less meaningful advances of Ukranian forces North-East of Kharkov (the second largest city in Ukraine), which the Russians are mostly withdrawing from for the same reasons they left Kiev. I consider this a sideshow to the real main event occurring in the Donbass, as Ukraine simply cannot afford a multi-encirclement of its forces there, regardless of how much junk Western countries continue to ship to them.

What’s Russia’s Main Advantage?

You might have noticed how I talked about how Russia’s army is actually quite small in manpower terms (too small IMO) for this operation, and indeed is smaller than Ukraine’s total defensive forces. This is where my prediction from February has come in clutch; Russia has overwhelming artillery advantage, and artillery is the single most deadly actor on modern battlefields. Russian and Soviet military doctrine has long-emphasised artillery as the cornerstone of its arsenal, and this war has been no exception to that. Russia has been shelling the fuck out of Ukraine’s army, with anecdotal reports from Ukrainian soldiers saying that their guns operate on a 24 hour basis, day and night. I do not think it is unreasonable to believe Russia is achieving 3:1 kill ratios in Donbass with the help of its artillery forcces, but probably more than that.

Like LSWSHP said however, artillery and long-range forces (such as Russia’s equally exceptional Strategic Rocket Force) might be deadly, but manpower and infantry are needed to hold and take ground. As long as Russia’s army in Ukraine remains deficient in infantry, it can only advance slowly, and achieve objectives singularly rather than simultaneously. I have little doubt however that the Donbass offensive will be an eventual success, and many Western commentators and politicians will be shell-shocked to realise that all the billions we are throwing at Ukraine was an exercise in futility.

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Coming

I love this military nerd shit

Fuck it, I WILL take my opinions from some anonymous stranger from Dubbo

A fly in your ointment

lol, you could take it from mainstream media too.
it would be literally the same or lesser credibility.

one thing for sure, there was never a war in history of mankind that was accompanied with the amount of mass media hysteria and reporting completely devoid of facts.

robert2013

Lots of detail there stag. Why are you so interested?

Coming

I don’t have the concentration span to be able to understand anything about the ukraine conflict

why don’t you turn this autistic urge into a skill you could monetize, like programming or something

Coming

to be fair mate, the war in ukraine isn’t that interesting either

If you can get a white collar/professional job, most of the time is spent just bludging surfing the internet and talking to your colleagues

I think you should go for it – you’ll still have plenty of time to watch yt vids on ukraine and post on ezfka

Coming

don’t let your dreams be dreams

i don’t really know the field, but im sure one of the dweebs here could point you in the right direction

There’s some really fucking dumb people out there who already have the life you want

Totes

There’s some really fucking dumb people out there who already have the life you want”

That’s the best comment I’ve ever read, anywhere.

No one starves in Australia. No one is poor.

Expect less, and life is so easy it’s ridiculous.

I stopped striving for excellence when I worked out you can buy trophies from shops.

While elites are doing what they’re doing to Australia, working hard is dumb IMO.

Weasel your way into some BS job you’re way too smart and qualified for, with good money and kick back.

LSWCHP

Interesting analysis Stag.

Regarding the size and nature of the Russian armed forces, I think they’re using the minimum number of troops necessary of the lowest possible quality. They just want to fix the Ukes in place so they can be destroyed by artillery, which is not a job for the A team.

Beyond that, they have no doubt anticipated NATO intervention so are keeping a very large capable reserve to deal with that contingency.

The Western MSM is full of hysterical bullshit and Uke propaganda and should be largely ignored.

Stewie

Good post Stag – I agree with you and LSWCHP on the Russian tactics, their plan A and B, and the fact that the Russian Army is mainly an artillery army. This was part of the strategy on how they eventually won the second Grozny war.

IMHO, another reason why the Ukranians are fighting so hard in this region beyond mere patriotism or propaganda, is that it will force the Russians to revert to artillery strikes – ensuring maximum destruction over the land they are capturing and that the Ukrainians will (imho) inevitably cede.

Like the way you’ve constructed you post too – clear language and an entertaining, informative narrative. Coming is right, your talents are wasted as a janitor – you need to get a white collar job on the Dubbo council somewhere. Those jobs are full time for people with half a brain, but if you’ve got a brain (which your sentence structure suggests) you’ll probably be finished all your work by 11am and can spend the rest of the day goofing off on the internet.

T

Solid post. Not sure about this bit, ‘Many pro-Russian commentators considered the Kiev front a ‘feint’; I do not, I just think that it was a gamble that didn’t pay off.’

I was watching Scott Ritter, and he had a very convincing argument about how the feint was a classic example of Napoleonic warfare.

The video is long, but its absolutely a master class in what the Russians are doing. Should point out, Scott Ritter was part of the planning of Iraq 1 inside the Marine Corp, then was a UN weapons investigator looking for Saddam’s WMD’s and importantly, was the whistle blower when he realized it was bollocks.

Link: https://youtu.be/SN7o-ThhFfY?t=393

Gruppenführer Mark

Scott Ritter is the other side of the propaganda, without diminishing his skills, knowledge, etc.

I follow a few Telegram channels, including Kadyrov. Either side posts their own message, one is to sift trough lots of chaff to find the wheat.

One message, though, remains, DYOODD. There is nothing out there in the open space that tells you the truth. Not one iota.

Jimmy Saville

Good post. I’d like to add that NATO forces are sending a shitload of artillery to the Ukes. For some God unknown reason Australia sent Howitzers along with the Bushmaster vehicles. So this may change things.

Reus's Large MEMBER

Should have sent the Greens, they could have annoyed the Russians to death with their woke BS.

canuckdownunder

One of the most hilarious things about the conflict has been wokesters falling over themselves to stand with Ukraine and democracy.

The same Ukraine that ranks near the bottom of European countries in terms of democracy, freedom of the press, gay rights, vaxx rates…

Stewie

The co-ordination by all elements of the ‘Temple’ in uniting behind Ukraine, including the false pope Francis, only highlights how top down manufactured this supposed support actually is.

Here Pope Francis meets the very devote Ukrainian Pyotr Verzilov, who 10 years ago took part in a public orgy with his heavily pregnant wife as a ‘protest’ against Putin appointing Dmitry Medvedev as Prime minister. The pope also met two fine Trad ladies from the Ukranian Nazi persuasion… and fine breeders they look to be too!

https://twitter.com/talkrealopinion/status/1524739463603277826

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Last edited 4 months ago by Stewie
Peachy

stew, what’ve your been smoking?

Francis is an antipope?

And a dude banging his wife is wrong?

Gruppenführer Mark

There is a wider conspiracy about the Pope being antipope. Saker had a piece or two on the situation.

If you joined the group, you have to be aware, tin foil hat and all:)

Peachy

I’m not sure I have the energy to get into antipope conspiracies.

Besides, I’m running quite short in tinfoil, so can’t really spare enough to add the requisite number of layers to my hat! 🤪

JimsCentralBank

Sending the Greens would violate all the torture conventions and constitute a war crime. We’d be sent to The Hague.

JimsCentralBank

Is it possible Russia’s demographics have a role in all this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia

They’ve been slowly dropping off the perch since the early nineties, with the last increase occurring when the population of Crimea was added. The median female age is 43 and they’ve been hit hard by Covid.

Adding the population of Ukraine might be a tempting option.

I also don’t get the timing of this at all. The Russian separatists have been fighting Putin’s proxy war for close to a decade. Other than Biden being a weak leader, what is the motivation for invading now?

If NATO was the motivator it seems this little invasion has strengthened it .

IDK. Maybe the old crook is just losing it.

no country with a foreign army on its soil will be admitted to NATO and EU. It is settled now and only an accepted secession of zukraine from its remainder on th e East can make the things better.

Gruppenführer Mark

Ukraine is of the newest countries that ever existed. Ukraine was not on the map until 1920s. I t was the creation of Russian Empire, and then USSR.

Historically, yes, Kiev Rus was in existence since ~700s. It originated in what is now a capital of Ukraine.

But, as a country, a sovreign nation, it did no exist until 1920s.It was firmed by the Russian Empire with the explicit role to guard the western borders, to protect the main land holdings from the invasion from the Turks.

History is a bitch!

Magic Man in the Sky

Oy vey Goys. Jewkraine is winning and will take it all back, including Crimea. And I have a nice bridge to sell you in Sydney.