zorobabel wrote:Well, I've waited 6 weeks to criticize as I promised.
I still don't understand the strategy. I mean, yes, if in the next few weeks this redeployment leads to a land bridge to Transinistria, that will be impressive. Otherwise it seems like a fiasco.
May I ask what is your experience is in conflict zones?
I can tell you that it is simple to what the goal is. Nothing planned is ever 100% but the intended goal is still the same as beginning of the conflict:
- Force Ukraine to negotiating table
- Get DNR and LNR both their territories back
- De-nazify Ukraine
- Make sure they are neutral
Never mentioned how the end goal would look like though.
- No timelines given
- No clear diagram as to what they plan to do next (this would be silly to do to tell everyone what they will do)
So they are at the part of cleaning up Eastern Ukraine by removing their units in the Donbass and Lughansk regions. Since is where majority of Ukraine's experienced and trained military units are (be it the nationalist groups or the UAF themselves), bringing them down will free up the western front and it would also regroup DNR and LNR forces to push forward towards Kharkov right after Mariupol. Then after Kharkov, it can be foreseen by most experienced people that the Russians will move west towards Odessa from Kherson. I doubt at that point though DNR and LNR forces will join though as they will stay behind to finish cleaning up the eastern part and solidify their positions. With the raising of the Russian flag in Kherson, it is assumed that Kherson region will gain autonomy and become much like Transistria and Nargano-Karabakh region.
I agree with your analysis for the most part. That is why I have waited 6 weeks to say anything.
Completely understandable and very good on you for waiting rather than resorting to emotions like a lot of members have.
I will add that we cannot expect anything grand beyond what is happening now for a multitude of reason. I shall list them:
- Ukraine isn't a small state and in terms of general landmass, it exceeds most European countries to all of them.
- Russia's forces are very limited in Ukraine. It has been presumed to be anywhere between: 70K - 100K soldiers. Sometimes I heard 250K soldiers but that isn't a real figure at all as far as I am aware. Only other forces assisting this conflict but sometimes mentioned and conjoined with Russian armed forces figures are: Roughly 30K DNR forces and roughly same of LNR forces. Then there are volunteer units coming from Russia from all over and as well mercenaries (the supposed Wagner guys but that organization is still rather more word of mouth than anything). So I wouldn't put it much beyond 100K troops total for Russia. Contrast this to Ukraine's capabilities such as: 60-70K units consisting of a mix of UAF and Nationalist groups and volunteers, not accounting for the well over 200K troops further west. It is assumed that the 200K troops Ukraine has dont actually exist and or are mostly untested, untrained, unskilled and rather demoralized youngsters. The 60-70K in eastern Ukraine that Russia is concentrating on were trained by Canadian, US, British, German, French, Lithuanian, Polish, Israeli, Turkish, etc special forces and or more elite units and commanders. This also goes along with constant surveillance and assistance in weapons and intel from the US and others even during this very conflict. These are the key figures that Ukraine has and once they are gone, going west should be a walk in the park compared to this.
- Russia isn't going in strong. They are intentionally avoiding carpet bombings or suppressed firing on city centers and or residential areas. This is rather very commendable as nations such as mine (Canada) along with their NATO partners have a rather long and brutal history of completely demolishing a city for days before even moving any units around. This has been seen in Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc. In this regard, civilian casualties ranges in the hundreds of thousands and usually after the war when starvation, disease and general poverty strikes - millions. But you must understand too that not only does the west not border these countries, they do not consider them as civilized or worthy people. Even the media in the west has made mention of this by outright telling that the difference between this conflict and what they do, is that Ukrainians are blond hair and blue eyed. So outright racism that makes them hypocritical because they have no problem flooding their own countries with the very "uncivilized" people and demanding their homogenous societies to accept them. The real difference here
is that Russia is intentionally trying to prevent major destructions and human sacrifices because they live with these people, and they will continue to live with them and after the war, they need them to actually like them or willing to work with them. It would be very hard for a Novorussian republic or Republic of Odessa or Kherson or any of them to be willing to work with you and like you if you simply just mass kill and subjugate them. Eventually issue rises again and Russia will have an enemy that was once sympathetic to them at their border much sooner than later.
- You do not go in and go sporadic here and there. The initial purpose of the intrusion from the north and south into Ukraine was to scare Kiev and get them to surrender or push the demands. But that didn't work because it may have been clear at the time that Zelensky may still be in Kiev. I doubt it that he is now. Or he is but hiding. Dont really know. But regardless, he isn't going by anything he has said and he is sacrificing his own people. So when the Russians realized over time that Kiev regime wasn't budging and are willing to throw their own people - old and young into the fire, that is when Russia decided to move eastwards. The other issue is that the objective Russia set out for DNR and LNR forces were not exactly met as UAF kept shooting Tochka's at Donetsk city and thus it prompted the DNR forces to move towards those units instead. So the conflict in Mariupol starting taking a lot longer than necessary and so the Russians started to move those units eastwards in order to assist and help speed up the process.
- City fighting is way harder than you may think. Some members here may think its easy but it isn't. Grozny is an example of that. You cant just roll into the city and take it by force. The way the US does it, is to blow it all to hell. Then when the dead bodies are starting to decay, then they move in. The Russians are wanting to do this a bit on the easier side and rightly so - they will surround the cities, prevent resources coming in and out, create humanitarian corridors so the civilians don't get harmed, and then move in with special units and fast moving vehicles - BMP's, BTR's, foot soldiers, etc in order to clear out buildings and fortifications. Only large, heavy fortifications are hit with large munition's like guided missiles or rockets because they are a large and important target and taking it out with a surprise hit is a lot better than sacrificing guys to take it by foot. This process is very hard. And to make it harder is that the DNR and LNR forces are doing a lot of the fighting too and these guys, while trained and experienced, are still not entirely professional soldiers. Most are volunteers as well. People can complain about the equipment but it isn't so much the equipment that will be the end result, it will be their hard fighting. See the Houthis for example.
All in all, this is my opinion of course but this is what I gather from watching this conflict. I also heavily listen to the Duran and others in order to get a good idea of what is happening without the emotions. But to expect that Russia, whom is going very soft into this and trying to be as delicate as possible, to be able to start and finish such a complicated conflict within a matter of a month or two is silly. This can go on much longer but the Russian's know this - or at least the ones paying attention. They know this takes time and it is a long and strenuous battle but a battle necessary as it is existential for them. All the things like economics and what not are not that important really - jobs will always exist so long as Russia needs goods. They got the resources so they dont need to import it. They got the education centers and the talented workforce so they can make the products. The west required Russia for such things - resources and talent, but they also needed Russia's market. Russia doesn't need theirs; regardless how much the westerners have been crying about Russia's supposed failed economy.