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02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
1/3/22 5:14 p.m.

Building up forces in Crimea makes zero sense for anything other than amphibious operations against the Ukrainian littoral (look at a map - the exits from Crimea are the definition of chokepoint), and I haven't seen any information suggesting that's likely. The satellite image looks like a training area more than anything else (PI is not something I'm formally trained in, but I do have an interest).

Increasing NATO QRF readiness status is not exactly a major step; it's more likely intended to reassure border state governments and give them something to point to when their people start screaming that the Russkis are coming (again). I do find it an interesting detail that Turkey is currently in command of the QRF.

I still contend this is posturing carried out simultaneously with negotiations in an effort to drive the public narrative, nothing more.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/3/22 10:01 p.m.

What is interesting is that they are also pressuring Finland to not join NATO.  Finland is all "Screw you, I'll do what I want."  And the pressuring of Finland is causing the historically-neutral Scandinavian countries to reconsider that position.

 

When your antics are making Sweden consider abandoning neutrality, you just might be a shiny happy country...

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
1/4/22 7:31 a.m.

Finland and Russia have a...difficult past. The Finns would probably defy the Russians just on principle. While Sweden and Finland are technically neutral, both have been cooperating with the US on a lot of military issues for decades; Finland just selected the F-35 as their new fighter aircraft. I don't consider either of them to be neutral towards Russia in any meaningful sense.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
1/4/22 8:53 a.m.

Can anyone here with good knowledge dig up the actual material showing how NATO handled the agreements with Ukraine when we promised to defend them in exchange for giving up nuclear capability? I have heard a little about this, but I want unbiased truth, not reporting.

stroker
stroker UberDork
1/4/22 9:09 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

THAT is an excellent question....

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/4/22 9:18 a.m.
tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
1/4/22 10:07 a.m.
mtn said:

https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%203007/v3007.pdf

Page 167, which is page 192 in the PDF.

So in 1994, President Clinton signed this, and of my reading, clause six is enacted now, whereas: Ukraine, The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.

The other clauses do not necessarily require any action of our part to defend Ukraine in such a way as we have an obligation to protect Japan post WWII. It seems to be that Russia is clearly violating clauses 1, 3, and hopefully not, but probably 2.

 

Thanks for that link, that clarifies things a lot.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
1/4/22 10:40 a.m.

"Reaffirm their commitment" is an utterly meaningless diplomatic phrase when no formal commitments exist. I'd have to go back and look at the negotiations on that agreement, but my guess is that 1) Ukraine desperately wanted to get rid of a bunch of Soviet-era nukes rather than maintain them and needed help paying for it (remember, Chernobyl was only eight years prior), 2) Russia was willing to sign almost anything to make nice with the rich West because it desperately needed foreign direct investment, and 3) the UK and US didn't want to be roped into any formal arrangement while the dust of the Cold War was still settling. So they all got on board with touchy-feely, but toothless, language and kicked the can down the road.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/4/22 12:53 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

What is interesting is that they are also pressuring Finland to not join NATO...

You have to love the approach though:  "You better not join a pact that views us as a threat!  If you do, oh boy, are we going to get you!"

....uhm yeah, good way to show you are not a threat.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/4/22 1:42 p.m.

As an historical perspective to the relationship between Russians and Turks, this is Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, a painting by the Russian Rapen, from about 1890. It depicts the 1676 drafting of an insulting letter to the Sultan by the Cossacks after the Sultan sent them a letter demanding they submit to his rule. 

 

You ought to read the letters.The insults by the Cossacks are magnificent. As a personal note, the model for the priest who is inscribing the letter was the father of my dad's painting professor. 
 

Bad blood goes back centuries. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
1/4/22 2:14 p.m.

"Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks" sounds like something Douglas Adams would write. 

Copied and pasted because it's so dang good:

"O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil's kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are thou, that canst not slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil E36 M3s, and your army eats. Thou shalt not, thou son of a whore, make subjects of Christian sons. We have no fear of your army; by land and by sea we will battle with thee. berkeley thy mother.

Thou Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-berkeleyer of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig's snout, mare's arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow. Screw thine own mother!

So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won't even be herding pigs for the Christians. Now we'll conclude, for we don't know the date and don't own a calendar; the moon's in the sky, the year with the Lord. The day's the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!"

 

My new insult is now "Macedonian wheelwright".

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/4/22 2:17 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

I read the article. Not sure that the letter is real. Too many modern phrasings....

 

But funny as all

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/4/22 8:44 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

"Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks" sounds like something Douglas Adams would write. 

Copied and pasted because it's so dang good:

"O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil's kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are thou, that canst not slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil E36 M3s, and your army eats. Thou shalt not, thou son of a whore, make subjects of Christian sons. We have no fear of your army; by land and by sea we will battle with thee. berkeley thy mother.

Thou Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-berkeleyer of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig's snout, mare's arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow. Screw thine own mother!

So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won't even be herding pigs for the Christians. Now we'll conclude, for we don't know the date and don't own a calendar; the moon's in the sky, the year with the Lord. The day's the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!"

 

My new insult is now "Macedonian wheelwright".

I contemplated pasting the letter, didn't think it would pass the "12 year old daughter rule," or whatever it is. 
I won't tell if you won't tell! wink

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
1/5/22 9:54 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Most 12 year old girls can figure out how to click a Wikipedia link. wink

If my 7 year old daughter recited that speech, I'd probably bust out laughing. My kids are going to be as warped as I am.

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
1/13/22 7:59 a.m.

Interesting developments as Vlad ups the anti with new threats.  The article title is "Russian diplomat leaves open Cuba, Venezuela army deployment".

https://apnews.com/article/europe-russia-ukraine-vladimir-putin-moscow-473d4b2eebff4dc59d8e7dff9e8653ba

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
1/13/22 8:59 a.m.

In reply to 84FSP :

There have been a few developments lately - I've been too busy to offer a more detailed discussion either here or in the Kazakhstan thread. The fact that Russia is bringing up Cuba and Venezuela again is a perfect demonstration of how they have always seen the American position as hypocritical: the Russians know that the American government will scream if they start deploying nearby, but the US feels like it is perfectly OK to deploy US troops and supply equipment to states bordering Russia. This is the same basic logic that drove Khrushchev to deploy MRBMs and IRBMs to Cuba in 1962 (US Jupiters were already deployed in Turkey).

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/13/22 1:22 p.m.

ah yes, the Alexandria Goatberkeleyers.  i've had a run-in or two with them over the years.  berkeley goats they do.

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
1/15/22 9:52 a.m.

Putin seems to be setting the stage for a false flag event to justify invading.  

Aggression

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/15/22 12:07 p.m.

Interesting how the news coverage has shifted from "Russians preparing a completely inexcusable invasion of their peaceful neighbor" to "Russia has legitimate greviances that are unresolved and have forced them to act to defend their interests"

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
1/15/22 5:35 p.m.
Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/22 2:27 p.m.

Six amphibious ships headed that way, about 10 days out. Add to the 4 Russia already has in the region, and it's a sizable amphibious assault force.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/43902/russian-landing-ships-leave-baltic-sea-raising-concerns-that-ukraine-may-be-their-final-destination

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/20/22 2:18 p.m.

It's a new moon in 11 days. The amphibious ships will arrive a day earlier. And then there's the ground build up...

https://www.rferl.org/a/satellite-photos-russia-ukraine-troop-buildup/31662944.html

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/20/22 5:03 p.m.

Just snow camping.  What's the problem?  frown

Even the Whitehouse is now telling the world that they expect some sort of false provocation to an attack (false flag).  It does make you wonder how well some sort of provocation will go off if everyone is watching for one.  I suspect it will something along the lines of:

"Of course, with everyone saying Russia will create some false attack to justify an invasion, that is the PERFECT way to hide an attack on Russian loyalists and get away with it!  We will not fall for such tricks of the west to justify attacks on those loyal to Russia.... Attack!"

Some more info / thoughts:

- The ground should be well frozen now (better for tanks)

- There was a recent indication (!) that the US might go easy on sanctions on Russia if they only invade a little... uhm, yeah, probably not the message you want to send.

- England has been shipping large amounts of what is rumored to be infantry anti-tank weapons to Ukraine.

- Russia has a huge tank advantage over Ukraine.  Similar tanks (all Russian) but Ukraine has much older tanks in general, so anti-tank is very much needed.

- Numerically, the Russians do not have any huge advantage, but can very quickly call up a large number of airborne troops.  

- The big question is air superiority (Ukraine's air force is minimal).  Can the Russians knock out all the air defense quickly? Do the Ukrainians have some trick to hide them (the Russians have a number of weapons very capable of knocking out systems from a safe distance).  Do they have some new equipment hiding somewhere?

- An interesting side note:  Apparently Russia has been a very big supporter of the Green party in Germany for quite a while (not saying they are evil, just working to the same end). Russia is very good at the long game. Not surprisingly, Germany is now dismantling it's last nuclear power plant... don't worry, plenty of natural gas to go around.... 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
1/20/22 5:21 p.m.
aircooled said:

- An interesting side note:  Apparently Russia has been a very big supporter of the Green party in Germany for quite a while (not saying they are evil, just working to the same end). Russia is very good at the long game. Not surprisingly, Germany is now dismantling it's last nuclear power plant... don't worry, plenty of natural gas to go around....

And this is what makes Russia dangerous. They are exceptionally good at this sort of thing, and have been at it for decades. And they have a patience the West cannot match.

On the Ukraine, I've been monitoring ADS-B and seen some interesting things. First, RAF C-17s were quite active into Kiev long after the reports of deliveries. Not sure what else they were bringing in, but there were several sorties that I observed, and probably more. Second, an RAF RC-135 Rivet Joint flew several patterns along the Black Sea coast of Russia and Crimea earlier today before returning to the UK. I find it interesting that the UK is suddenly the visible player in supporting Ukraine, while the US is notably quiet all of a sudden. I have to assume there's a plan here (perhaps hope is the better word), and that the US and UK are coordinating behind the scenes.

stroker
stroker UberDork
1/20/22 5:58 p.m.

Follow the money--er... A-10's.

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