ALERT RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE - Consolidated Thread

Walrus

Veteran Member
Looks like they were preparing for this.

April 26, 2022
Finland restricts Russian power imports amid Ukraine conflict
Transmission capacity has been capped at 900MW in an effort to secure Finland's power system.

Finnish electricity grid operator Fingrid has reduced its electricity imports from Russia in an effort to secure Finland’s power system.

The decision was taken after an assessment of the risks to the country’s power system amid the changing international situation caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As of 24 April, Fingrid has restricted its maximum transmission capacity from 1.3GW to 900MW.

In a statement, the company said: “Fingrid will restrict the transmission capacity in the cross-border connections to Russia as of 1am on 24 April, with the effect that the import capacity in Fingrid’s connections will be a maximum of 900MW instead of the current 1,300MW.

“In addition, Fingrid will restrict the transmission capacities of the connections to Russia during the commissioning tests for Olkiluoto III.

“The import capacity in the cross-border connections to Russia will be zero when tests are carried out at the Olkiluoto III plant.”

Fingrid added that it will notify the exact times of these restrictions and publish notice of them as Teollisuuden Voima’s testing programme is updated.

There are not, however, expected to be any changes to power exports to Russia, which will remain at 320MW.

The company also said that transmission capacities for other cross-border connections will remain the same.

Fingrid president and CEO Jukka Ruusunen said: “Fingrid is, for its part, prepared for that the electricity imports from Russia will end.

“Finland is not dependent on electricity imported from Russia.


“The end of imports will increase demand for domestic electricity production, increase the need to import more electricity from Sweden, and may decrease electricity exports to Estonia.”

Earlier this month, the Finnish branch of Russian nuclear power company Rosatom announced it would proceed with plans to build the Hanhikivi I nuclear power plant in Finland.

RAOS Project will develop the 1.2GW plant despite uncertainty over government permits following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.




Finland once again showing much better sense than their non-Scandinavian neighbors further south. They're actually managing their situation proactively with a *gasp* plan!
 

Calfisher

Veteran Member
Not convinced of that. Doesn't the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine because Ukraine was beginning to lean toward NATO show that NATO is necessary? Ukraine didn't fire the first shot nor invade Russia, it was the other way around.

"Making friends" with Russia's neighbors is not what I would call being an aggressor. Invading another country is.
Incorrect! Ukraine has been killing Russians aggressively back before the 2014 conflicts. Do your research.
 

Artificially Intelli

Contributing Member
Everybody’s opinion is Right, Wrong, or Indifferent. Mines is at this point we do not have a dog in this fight, Russia has a justifiable claim that NATO overstepped on the agreed upon arrangements. NATO has not come back with one thing that would make me disagree with what Russia has stated. As far as Chem. Labs, Money Laundering from the U.S. and NATO, I am starting to see a lot of that proof in the pudding. But if you want to hide your eyes, plug your ears, and put a cork in your mouth…. Prove me wrong
Totally agree.
 

Artificially Intelli

Contributing Member
The Russians were beaten back by Ukraine in the battle for Kiev and it appears they are being beaten back in the northeast part of the country as well. The Russians do not look much like a "powerhouse" themselves.
I don't believe they were "beaten back". It's pretty obvious to anyone with any military experience they never intended to take Kiev. If so they would have taken out the power plants and the cell towers. And they wouldn't have tried to take Kiev with 40,000 troops. That move was just a feint. The real fight was always going to be in the east.
 

WTSR

Veteran Member
 

WTSR

Veteran Member
It's the only card they've got left at this point and the Russians are over playing it. By carrying on with "aid" to Ukraine, the West is replying to these threats by Russia without replying "in the clear".

At some point, something will give in a big way. It is only a matter of time.
With Ukraine joining EU, who is going to pay to rebuild it? The Russians won't, they are levying a trillion dollar bill on Europe in rebuild costs.
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
l
That's correct (most especially when our own octogenarians are in full frontal view in the lights and cameras), but look at who they run to whenever they get their titties in a wringer (mostly due to their own silly policies, especially considering Sweden).

Finland has always seemed to exist independently and danced to their own drumbeat but my impression is that they're now being influenced by neighbors more than usual and are panicking themselves.

As if Finland would even be a threat to Russia - even considering Polyarnyy and Severmorsk (northern fleet hq)
Finland danced to the drumbeat of the Soviet Union for a long time. All to stay "independent".
Incorrect! Ukraine has been killing Russians aggressively back before the 2014 conflicts. Do your research.
And ethnic Russians were killing Ukrainians.
 

Tex88

Veteran Member
That's correct (most especially when our own octogenarians are in full frontal view in the lights and cameras), but look at who they run to whenever they get their titties in a wringer (mostly due to their own silly policies, especially considering Sweden).

Finland has always seemed to exist independently and danced to their own drumbeat but my impression is that they're now being influenced by neighbors more than usual and are panicking themselves.

As if Finland would even be a threat to Russia - even considering Polyarnyy and Severmorsk (northern fleet hq)
Specifically Finland was, ever since WW2, forced to make nice with the Soviets.

Too much to write up in my own words, so you get this one...


Dunno what Sweden's excuse was.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment


Posted for fair use.....

RUSSIAN ANNEXATION OF OCCUPIED UKRAINE IS PUTIN’S UNACCEPTABLE “OFF-RAMP”
May 13, 2022 - Press ISW

Download the PDF

By Katherine Lawlor and Mason Clark
May 13, 2022​
Key Takeaway: Russian President Vladimir Putin likely intends to annex occupied southern and eastern Ukraine directly into the Russian Federation in the coming months. He will likely then state, directly or obliquely, that Russian doctrine permitting the use of nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory applies to those newly annexed territories. Such actions would threaten Ukraine and its partners with nuclear attack if Ukrainian counteroffensives to liberate Russian-occupied territory continue. Putin may believe that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would restore Russian deterrence after his disastrous invasion shattered Russia's conventional deterrent capabilities.
Putin’s timeline for annexation is likely contingent on the extent to which he understands the degraded state of the Russian military in Ukraine. The Russian military has not yet achieved Putin’s stated territorial objectives of securing all of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and is unlikely to do so. If Putin understands his military weakness, he will likely rush annexation and introduce the nuclear deterrent quickly in an attempt to retain control of the Ukrainian territory that Russia currently occupies. If Putin believes that Russian forces are capable of additional advances, he will likely delay the annexation in hopes of covering more territory with it. In that case, his poor leadership and Ukrainian counteroffensives could drive the Russian military toward a state of collapse. Putin could also attempt to maintain Russian attacks while mobilizing additional forces. He might delay announcing annexation for far longer in this case, waiting until reinforcements could arrive to gain more territory to annex.
Ukraine and its Western partners likely have a narrow window of opportunity to support a Ukrainian counteroffensive into occupied Ukrainian territory before the Kremlin annexes that territory. Ukraine and the West must also develop a coherent plan for responding to any annexation and to the threat of nuclear attack that might follow it. The political and ethical consequences of a longstanding Russian occupation of southeastern Ukraine would be devastating to the long-term viability of the Ukrainian state. Vital Ukrainian and Western national interests require urgent Western support for an immediate Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Kremlin Plans to Annex Southern Ukraine:
Russian President Vladimir Putin likely intends to annex occupied southern and eastern Ukraine directly into the Russian Federation in the coming months to consolidate his control over these territories and possibly deter Ukrainian counterattacks.
The Kremlin likely plans to annex much of the Ukrainian territory currently occupied by Russian forces—portions of Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts in the south and the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the east that Russian forces and their proxies control. Moscow may also annex other Kremlin proxy statelets like South Ossetia (in Georgia) and Transnistria (in Moldova). ISW has previously detailed the ongoing Kremlin conditions-setting to annex or recognize occupied Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk.[1] That conditions-setting includes replacing local media with Kremlin-run media outlets, installing Russian internet and communications networks, forcibly transitioning local economies to the Russian ruble, kidnapping, executing, and replacing local Ukrainian officials with Russian collaborators, and likely hunting and eliminating anti-occupation activists and partisans. Widespread Russian atrocities against Ukrainian civilians are part of the established Kremlin playbook to gain control over occupied areas.[2]
The Kremlin no longer conceals its intentions to annex areas of occupied Ukraine. The secretary of United Russia, Putin’s political party, visited Kherson on May 6 and announced that “Russia is here forever.”[3] The Russian-appointed deputy head of the Kherson Civil-Military Administration, Kirill Stremousov, announced on May 11 that Kherson would develop a legislative framework for joining Russia by the end of 2022 and would entirely forgo a public referendum after reports that Russian occupation authorities were preparing for a fraudulent Kherson independence referendum.[4] He said that the international community did not recognize Russia’s (rigged) referendum on annexing the Crimean Peninsula after Russian forces invaded and captured that Ukrainian territory in 2014, and that a Kherson referendum was therefore unimportant.
Stremousov said aloud what Russians have tried to obfuscate: Russia will annex Kherson despite widespread local opposition to annexation. Stremousov’s statement shows that the Kremlin likely realizes any attempt to conduct a “referendum” in Kherson would be met with widespread resistance even after months of Russian brutalization and intimidation of the local population. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov did not contradict Stremousov in a May 11 press conference, stating that the Russian annexation of Kherson “must have an absolutely clear legal background, justification, [and] be absolutely legitimate, as was the case with Crimea” but explicitly did not mention a referendum. Russian-appointed Kherson regional head Volodymyr Saldo said on May 9 that “if the Russian Federation is here, then the entire set of laws, the structure and construction of power will be precisely Russian.”[5] He said that he expected “some kind of [Russian] federal district will be created, which will include the Crimea, Kherson, and Zaporizhia regions,” though the Kremlin is not bound to administer an annexed Kherson Oblast in this manner and regularly contravenes the stated expectations of its other proxies.
The Kremlin has many models for the governance of annexed territories based on Russia’s complex and varied federal system. Occupied territories could be incorporated as oblasts (the administrative unit roughly analogous to American states that comprise most of Russia), republics (like the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula), federal cities (like Russia’s two main cities of Moscow and St Petersburg and the city and naval base of Sevastopol), or an entirely new organizational structure.[6] The Kremlin could also choose to first turn occupied territories into proxy “people’s republics” as an intermediate step, or offer a phased path to annexation. ISW cannot currently forecast which path to annexation the Kremlin will likely pursue, but the recent Russian official comments noted above suggest that outright annexation is currently the most likely.
The Kremlin’s planned wave of annexations could also include proxy territories outside Ukraine. The newly elected leader of South Ossetia, one of two Russian proxy regions in Georgia created and defended by the Russian military during and after the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, said on May 11 that he awaited a Russian “signal” to hold a referendum on joining Russia.[7] His predecessor said in his concession speech on May 9 that his government had already submitted paperwork to prepare and determine a date for the accession referendum.[8] Officials from Abkhazia, the other Russian proxy state in Georgia, said on March 31 that they support but do not share South Ossetia’s aspirations to join Russia, indicating that Abkhazia will likely not be included in a Russian annexation sweep.[9] Separately, US National Intelligence Director Avril Haines warned on May 10 that Putin seeks a land bridge to the Russian proxy Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria, but does not currently have the military capabilities to achieve that goal.[10] The Kremlin may approve Transnistrian annexation or recognize the independence of the self-declared Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic to set conditions for future operations in Moldova or southwestern Ukraine. Such Russian actions would likely follow the establishment of military control of occupied Ukraine and take account of the fact that Russia almost certainly lacks the military capability to seize the parts of Ukraine, including Odesa, that would be necessary for such a land bridge.
Costs and Benefits of Annexation for Russia:
The direct Russian annexation of any areas of occupied Ukraine would permanently change the pre-invasion legal frameworks codified in the Minsk II Accords and preclude returning to any sort of status quo antebellum. It would thereby cost Putin the opportunity he pursued doggedly from 2014 to 2022—attempting to insert Russian proxies (the DNR and LNR) into the Ukrainian political system as permanent levers of influence.
Outright annexation of Ukrainian territory would foreclose the resurrection of the legal frameworks outlined by the Minsk II accords, which depended on treating Russia’s proxy statelets as parts of Ukraine and requiring Kyiv to grant them both autonomy and the rights to participate in the Ukrainian political system. Putin’s recognition of the “independence” of those statelets immediately before the February invasion has already formally changed the situation, to be sure. But whereas one might theoretically imagine Putin trading that “independence” for a return to the Minsk II framework, it is almost impossible to imagine him accepting a retrocession of territory he has formally annexed to the Russian Federation.
If Putin annexes the occupied territories, therefore, he will have decided to give up the option of using proxies within the Ukrainian political system to resume the hybrid war approach he had taken toward Ukraine since 2014. He would likely make such a decision because he knows his latest invasion has already destroyed any possibility of returning to those Kremlin-favorable frameworks, because he fears a Russian military collapse, or because he seeks to restore credible Russian deterrence by introducing a nuclear threat—or all three. Regardless of Putin’s reasoning, Russia cannot—and will not—accept a return to a pre-war status quo. If the Kremlin directly annexes Ukrainian territory, it will mark a fundamental departure in the Kremlin’s approach to Ukraine, from hybrid warfare and political manipulation to outright military coercion and, if possible, conquest.
Annexation of Ukrainian lands is likely the only “off-ramp” that Putin is interested in pursuing at this time. Even this face-saving option, which falls far short of the Kremlin's initial war aims of complete regime change in Kyiv, would be a devastating blow to Ukraine and is likely the minimum outcome that the Kremlin is willing to accept.
If Putin can declare victory by annexing large swathes of Ukrainian territory, he can better sell the costs of the war to the Russian population and to any sympathetic global audiences. The Kremlin absurdly justified its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine as defending the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics from Ukrainian “Nazi” aggression and an alleged planned genocide against Russian speakers. The Kremlin likely assesses it must therefore consolidate and justify its gains by annexing at least the currently occupied portions of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts if it seeks to maintain that narrative and claim that it achieved the war's stated objectives.
A Russian annexation would seek to present Kyiv with a fait accompli that precludes negotiations on territorial boundaries even for a ceasefire by asserting that Russia will not discuss the status of (illegally annexed through military conquest) Russian territory—the argument the Kremlin has used regarding Crimea since 2014. The Kremlin did not seriously engage in its perfunctory negotiations with Ukraine in Istanbul in March and April. After annexing Ukrainian territory, the Kremlin will frame Ukrainian negotiators’ demands for the return of Ukraine’s sovereign territory as absurd requests for Russia to give up its own land and dismiss them.
A Russian military collapse combined with further Ukrainian battlefield successes or the Kremlin's acceptance that a military collapse is imminent are likely the only other circumstances under which Putin would accept something less than his stated objectives for this phase of the war. Collapse does not necessarily mean a mass surrender or rout of the Russian military. A Russian military collapse would more likely be roughly analogous to the state of the French army from April to June of 1917 during the First World War, when over half the divisions in the French army refused to go on the offensive due to shattered morale and poor leadership.[11] Russian forces in such a state would be extraordinarily vulnerable to concentrated Ukrainian counteroffensives, and the Ukrainian military would be able to pick the battles of its choosing if Russian forces were unwilling to attack. A Russian military collapse would likely involve an endemic level of desertions and “fragging“ of officers, the practice of personnel killing their own officers, both of which have been observed throughout the war.[12] Such a collapse would render further offensives impossible in the current phase of the war in Ukraine and could lead to a disorderly withdrawal of Russian forces from the front lines, as was seen following the Russian loss in the Battle for Kyiv.[13] The Russian military will not be completely destroyed, nor would it have to leave Ukraine before reaching a state of collapse. However, a collapsed Russian military would lose its ability to function as a coherent fighting force. If that happened, Putin might well find himself obliged to accept far less than his current stated objectives.
Timing:
The Kremlin has set partial conditions for annexation in areas like Kherson and Zaporizhia and has actually had to rein in some of its proxy officials from the DNR, LNR, and South Ossetia as they clamor for annexation. But the Kremlin has not yet formally announced annexation or the formation of new proxy republics in those areas. The Kremlin must set certain political and military conditions before it can annex occupied territories. Military realities could force a change in timeline or in pacing, however, and Ukrainian military gains in the east could drive a quicker annexation of specific areas.
The Kremlin likely intends to annex all of the territories it wants to incorporate into Russia at once, rather than stagger the annexation process. The Kremlin likely believes that mass annexation would minimize the longevity of international outrage. The international community eventually normalized relations with Russia following its 2008 invasion of Georgia and the stagnation of its 2014 invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea; Putin would likely seek to replicate that pattern.

Continued.....
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Continued.....

The Kremlin will need to establish relatively comprehensive security and administration structures within its occupied territories before it can announce effective annexation. Unexpectedly stiff Ukrainian resistance in occupied Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant, as well as anti-occupation protests and partisan activities in Kherson and other occupied areas, have likely slowed the Kremlin’s intended timeline.[14] The Kremlin likely expects strong backlash in occupied Ukrainian territories when it declares formal annexation and therefore is seeking to break up partisan and opposition groups before going forward with annexation, likely through the population-control efforts of Rosgvardia forces.
The Kremlin must also work to transform its military occupation of Ukrainian territories into a series of political administrations capable of governing newly minted Russian regions before it can formally annex those territories. This process will take time as the Kremlin crushes opposition movements, arrests or kills off local Ukrainian officials, eradicates local governance structures, and replaces them with Russian administrators or Ukrainian collaborators. The longer that Russian forces have to control and subdue occupied Ukrainian territory, the more difficult it will be for Ukraine to rebuild local administrative and governance structures in those areas if they can regain control. The political clock on Ukraine’s ability to regain control of the southeast is ticking.
The Russian head of the Kherson region said in a May 9 interview that the formation of a regional government was underway.[15] He claimed that there was no widespread or organized violence in Kherson, only “separate manifestations.” These claims (likely exaggerated) may indicate that occupation forces, probably including Rosgvardia troops, have cracked down on Ukrainian resistance and partisan activities in the region, enabled by Russian control of communications infrastructure. The degree of success of those Russian crackdowns, or of ongoing Ukrainian partisan activities, is unclear.
The Kremlin also likely needs to address internal disagreements on administrative boundaries and organization before formally annexing Ukrainian territory. DNR head Denis Pushilin claimed on May 9 that Mariupol “is the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic forever. No one will take it away from us.”[16] However, conflicting Russian and Ukrainian reports on May 3 suggest that other Russian decisionmakers may be planning to annex Mariupol directly into Russia’s Rostov oblast, rather than into the DNR.[17]
Intended Effects of Annexation:
The Kremlin could threaten to use nuclear weapons against a Ukrainian counteroffensive into annexed territory to deter the ongoing Western military aid that would enable such a counteroffensive.
The Kremlin has already falsely claimed that Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory—during an unprovoked war of Russian aggression against Ukraine—are somehow escalatory rather than a legal Ukrainian response under the laws of war.[18] However, Russian nuclear doctrine clearly allows for nuclear weapons use in response to “aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy.”[19] The Kremlin could frame a Ukrainian counteroffensive into annexed Ukrainian territory as a threat to the existence of the Russian state—such an absurd claim would be no less plausible than many other claims Russia has already made. Making that claim, however, likely necessitates Russian annexation of occupied territories, rather than creating additional proxy statelets in places like Kherson and Zaporizhia.
The Kremlin could believe that a nuclear threat would deter ongoing Western military aid that would enable such a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukraine and the West should not let that happen. The Kremlin has likely calculated that NATO would rhetorically and materially support Ukrainian counteroffensives into a hypothetical proxy statelet Kherson People’s Republic (or simply Russian-occupied Ukraine), but would not support Ukrainian attacks into the Kherson Oblast of Russia, for example.
The Kremlin may also believe that Kyiv would be unwilling to directly attack claimed Russian territory, particularly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on March 27 that Ukraine would not try to recapture all Russian-held territory by force, arguing that it could lead to a third world war.[20] Zelensky has repeatedly called for the restoration of the de facto borders as of February 23, the day before Russia’s latest invasion.[21] The Kremlin could conceivably believe that annexation would prevent Ukrainian counteroffensives, even without an explicit nuclear threat.
Military Supporting Effort:
In order to enable the annexation of occupied Ukrainian territories, the Kremlin must accomplish the following military objectives:

  • Hold and consolidate control of occupied territory. This objective necessitates the disruption of partisan activities and the defense of held territories.
  • Stop Ukraine from retaking additional territory. The Kremlin will likely order Russian forces to settle into defensive positions once Kremlin officials accept that the Russian campaign in Donbas has reached its culmination point—if they ever do.
However, the Kremlin may not have acknowledged that its military campaign in Donbas has stalled. The Kremlin may still believe that its forces can take the rest of Ukrainian-held Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The Russian proxy head of the DNR claimed on May 9 that the DNR is “faced with the task of regaining control over its territories, and then the republic will decide on its future—almost certainly referring to accession into Russia”[22]
Russian forces are continuing ineffective offensive operations in eastern Ukraine despite the vanishingly small chance that they will make any substantial territorial gains. The Kremlin is likely operating under one of the following mindsets:
  • It erroneously assesses that Russian forces can complete their stated objective—the complete capture of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts; or
  • It has realized that Russian forces will be unable to completely capture Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts but is continuing to order attacks in order to maintain momentum and prevent the fragmentation of Russian forces; or
  • It is planning a larger mobilization of lower-quality Russian reserves or the general population in order to accomplish its original territorial objectives, forcing a months-long delay for additional Russian forces to arrive and turn the tide (or so the Kremlin might believe).[23]
Ongoing Russian attacks, though ineffective, do achieve the military objective of pinning Ukrainian defenders in place by threatening further advances. Kyiv may be unwilling to risk pulling the forces it would need to conduct a counteroffensive against occupied southern Ukraine from areas that are currently under Russian attack. If Russian forces accept that they will gain no additional territory in Ukraine and settle into defensive positions themselves, Ukrainian forces will gain an opportunity to seize the initiative and choose where to launch counter-offensives against the depleted Russian forces, which may collapse in the face of a determined counterattack.
Forecast:
We assess that the remainder of this phase of the war in Ukraine will likely follow one of three courses: either Russian forces will annex occupied Ukrainian territory into Russia, the Russian military will stall for time as it attempts to mobilize additional forces, or the Russian military will continue to pursue impossible military objectives with insufficient resources and ultimately collapse in the coming months. Mobilization does not preclude military collapse.
Many of the dangers outlined in this assessment hinge on a Russian recognition of its conventional military weakness and a proactive decision to secure Russian gains in Ukraine. Putin’s mistaken decision to invade Ukraine despite Russia’s poor preparation and conventional military capabilities suggests that the West should not rely on clear-eyed Russian assessments of their own military capabilities. Ukrainian forces may be able to force Russian forces out of occupied Donetsk and Luhansk, or at least back to the pre-February borders of the DNR and LNR, if Russian forces do not decide to end their offensives early. If Russian forces make the deliberate choice to end their offensive before the Ukrainian military forces them to do so, that decision would be a strong indicator of imminent annexation. If Russian forces fail to recognize that their Donbas campaign has culminated, the Russian military in Ukraine may be headed for an outright collapse.
Russian forces will likely either decide to end their offensives in Donetsk and Luhansk and annex the territory they currently hold or they will be militarily defeated by Ukrainian forces. If Russian forces stop shy of capturing the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the Kremlin will owe the Russian population an explanation as to why it did not achieve its stated objectives. The false Kremlin narrative of an anti-Russian “genocide” in eastern Ukraine traps Russian decisionmakers if they care about narrative consistency: they must “rescue” sufficient territory to claim to have stopped the “genocide” in order to claim victory.[24] Alternatively, the Kremlin could calculate that domestic support for the end of the war is unimportant to its aims and simply claim a victory that is inconsistent with the Kremlin’s running narratives.
Policy Implications:
Despite its conventional military failures, the only off-ramp the Kremlin appears to be considering is at least partial victory.
Putin likely understands that there will be no return to the Minsk II accords or any similar legal framework that allowed for Russian interference in Ukrainian politics. But Putin has not ceded his longer-term ambition of controlling Kyiv, even though his attempts to take the Ukrainian state by force have failed (for now). If Putin annexes occupied territory and the conflict settles in along new front lines, the Kremlin could reconstitute its forces and renew Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in the coming years, this time from a position of greater strength and territorial advantage.
The West must take seriously the real and likely threat that Russia will annex southeastern Ukraine and the expand Russian nuclear doctrine to cover that newly annexed territory.
Russia’s annexation plans are not guaranteed to succeed. They depend on consolidating control of occupied territory, establishing administrative capabilities, and preventing a Ukrainian counteroffensive. The West must do what it can to deter Putin’s expansionism while also preparing an answer that offers Ukraine more than capitulation.
Ukraine and its Western partners likely have a narrow window of opportunity to support a Ukrainian counteroffensive into occupied Ukrainian territory before the Kremlin annexes that territory (or brings up additional forces). This window of opportunity is not necessarily obvious. In a military sense, Ukrainian forces should begin their counteroffensive before Russian forces decide that their campaign has culminated and begin to dig into more orderly and possibly morale-boosting defensive positions. Poor morale and worse leadership have soundly degraded Russian forces; Ukraine should ideally counter-attack at the time of maximum Russian disorder before Russian forces have time to fully go over to the defensive and dig in.
The political and ethical consequences of a longstanding Russian occupation of southeastern Ukraine would be devastating to the long-term viability of the Ukrainian state and necessitate Western support for a more immediate Ukrainian counteroffensive. Every day that occupied Ukraine remains under Russian control is another day of horrific human rights abuses, targeted degradation of Ukrainian governance structures, and “filtration” of civilian populations. If Ukrainian forces do not retake southeastern Ukraine before Moscow annexes that territory, Kyiv may find that the southeast has become irreparably mired in the same situation that Crimea has faced since 2014.

[1] Institute for the Study of War
[2] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/west-must-help-ukraine-fre...
[3] https://tass dot ru/politika/14565509
[4] https://lenta dot ru/news/2022/05/11/stremousov/; https://www.unian dot net/war/novosti-hersonskoy-oblasti-russkie-sobirayut-dannye-grazhdan-dlya-provedeniya-referenduma-novosti-vtorzheniya-rossii-na-ukrainu-11801946.html
[5] https://tass dot ru/interviews/14580151
[6] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...
[7] https://finance.yahoo.com/news/breakaway-georgian-region-awaits-signal-0...
[8] https://ria dot ru/20220509/referendum-1787575207.html
[9] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/31/georgias-south-ossetia-plans-to...
[10] https://edition.cnn.com/europe/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-news-05-11-2...
[11] Ashworth, Tony (2000). Trench Warfare, 1914–18: The Live and Let Live System. Grand Strategy.
[12] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...;
[13] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...
[14] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-campaign-assessmen...
[15] https://tass dot ru/interviews/14580151
[16] https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-news-05-09-22/h_...
[17] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...
[18] Institute for the Study of War
[19] https://rusemb dot org dot uk/press/2029#:~:text=25.,with%20the%20Collective%20Security%20Treaty.
https://globalsecurityreview.com/nuclear-de-escalation-russias-deterrenc...
[20] https://www.aljazeera dot com/news/2022/3/27/ready-to-go-for-it-zelenskyy-is-willing-to-discuss-neutrality
[21] Ukraine war: Russia must withdraw to pre-invasion position for a deal - Zelensky
[22] https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-news-05-09-22/h_...
[23] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/explainer-russian-conscrip...
[24] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/putin%E2%80%99s-victory-day-sp...
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Hummm......

Posted for fair use.....

Three questions about ending the war in Ukraine
To avoid an Afghanistan situation of open-ended conflict, the US and its partners need to be thinking about how to end the conflict sooner rather than later, writes Robbin Laird.

By ROBBIN LAIRD
on May 13, 2022 at 9:19 AM

This is the latest in a series of regular columns by Robbin Laird, where he will tackle current defense issues through the lens of more than 45 years of defense expertise in both the US and abroad. The goal of these columns: to look back at how questions and perspectives of the past should inform decisions being made today.

Last August, the Biden Administration led a disastrous exit from Afghanistan, under the justification that the US could no longer take responsibility for a war with no end point in sight. Eight months later, the same administration is ramping up engagement in the Ukraine conflict — a conflict with no realistic end point on the horizon.

Of course, there are obvious differences between the 20-year, vaguely defined counter-terrorism effort directly involving American and NATO forces and the situation in Ukraine. But both the White House and bipartisan members of Congress seem to think trips to Kyiv and open-ended commitments to Ukraine in the context of a war engaged with an adversary with extensive lethal power is virtually risk free.

And it’s not: the longer the conflict goes on, the greater the chance Russian leader Vladimir Putin sees the situation as an existential threat to his power, and with that the chance of escalation — potentially of the nuclear kind — rises.

To avoid an Afghanistan situation of open-ended conflict, the US and its partners need to be thinking about how to end the conflict sooner rather than later. The most likely outcome: a partition of Ukraine, with Russia controlling some aspect of the Donbas and the NATO and EU nations backing the western part of the nation.

RELATED: A long guerrilla war is likely in Ukraine. The US must plan to help.

No, that’s not something that Ukraine, nor some of its more active supporters in Europe, will be happy with. But realism is needed in a situation involving nuclear warheads. Hoping for the democratic coup in Russia is not policy. Political objectives need to be clear for your nation and, while taking into account the concerns of your allies, partners, or adversaries, cannot be driven by their desires. But that is what is precisely happening in Ukraine.


The challenge of negotiation was well laid out in a recent piece by the distinguished British historian Max Hastings. As he wrote in an op-ed in The Times on April 11: “only a sordid bargain will end Ukraine’s war.”

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If one is to accept that partition is going to happen — and I believe it will — a number of still-unanswered follow-on questions appear. Here are three that need to be sorted out quickly.

First, who should be at the negotiating table? The US and UK have been among the biggest supporters of Ukraine’s fight, but they are also not part of the European Union, the body which is most likely to be the host of discussions around economic, civil and commercial support for Ukraine after a war.

The US, one could argue, should have no real role in those discussions; Washington’s interest in checking Russia may not mean it will align with Ukraine’s interests. And having the US be the lead negotiator will only fuel Russia’s propaganda efforts that DC is using Kyiv for its own interests and that the Zelensky government are simply puppets. The Russians and the Chinese clearly want to make their conflicts with the liberal democracies about their relationship with the United States. It is not in our interest to play their game. (I write more about this in my new book, now available.)

Second, what is the role of the non-Russian controlled Ukraine in the Western power structures? Despite efforts from Kyiv in recent years, there has been little support among either EU or NATO member states to let Ukraine in. While the EU now appears more open in the wake of Putin’s invasion, nothing is certain there, and Ukraine’s economy — the key factor for many nations’ EU membership — will likely be a shambles for years to come as a result of the invasion. And as part of negotiations, will Russia attempt to block Ukraine for being able to join either the EU or NATO — and should those member states accept that, even over Ukraine’s wishes, in order to end the conflict?

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RELATED: Finland to apply for NATO membership; Sweden expected soon

Third, what happens in terms of arming Ukraine and how Ukraine can use that military capability? It’s nice for the US to sit back and say we are simply arming Ukraine for its own defense, but that’s going to be a sticking point during negotiations. Statements by senior officials in the UK and the United States suggesting that Ukraine was free to attack Russian territory with the weapons being provided does nothing to help lower the risks.

The Ukrainian people should be commended for the fight they have put up. In the lead up to the invasion, few gave them much chance of lasting more than a few weeks; almost 80 days later, they have clearly bloodied and embarrassed Putin, whose forces have committed war crimes that, in a just world, would see them all sent to a dark prison forever.

But we don’t live in a just world, and the reality remains that the longer this conflict grinds on, the greater the risk of miscalculation, misunderstanding or simply a dead-eyed assessment of how Russian forces are doing will lead to the first use of nuclear weapons in anger since 1945. Now is the time to try and end this war. Hopefully leaders around Europe are thinking through the logical steps to do so.
 

OldArcher

Has No Life - Lives on TB
View: https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1525148048275423236
[/sycophants

Shit. T’would seem that the Putin‘s sycophants are susceptible to expanding the war, and are busy fanning the flames. One has to wonder if this war can be prevented from spreading, and what would it take to make it so… With all the shit our “leaders” and the press have heaped on this dumpster fire, I wonder if we are well, and truly, doomed…

OA
 

Nowski

Let's Go Brandon!
Russia did this all wrong.

A DMZ like the one in Korea, should have been established between Russia and the Ukraine. The Korean DMZ is 160 miles long, and about 2.5 miles wide.

The one in the Ukraine, would have needed to stretch from Belarus all the way down to Romania. It would have needed to be, at least 25 miles wide.

The Ukrainian DMZ, could have been patrolled by troops from the African Union as they are experts at policing borders.

The POS Brandon, and the aggressive POS NATO, could have then placed all of their offensive weapons in Ukraine. Ask Serbia and Libya if NATO, isn't an offensive organization, go ahead and ask them. Russia in response could have placed Iskander missiles in Cuba, established a navy base for Russian boomers and fast attack subs. Also a couple of good air bases for Russian bombers,
just like the POS ZUSA, has over in POS Germany.

Finally, Russia should have broken off diplomatic relations with the ZUSA, stating that until a legitimate democratically elected ZUSA federal government is installed in Washington DC, that they will no longer communicate directly with Washington DC and will use South Africa, as their intermediary.

Goose meet Gander.

I know that most on this board are Pro-Ukraine, but I ain’t.
All of this could have been avoided, if all parties of the Minsk
accords would have agreed to the accords.

Please be safe everyone.

Regards to all.

Nowski
 
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naegling62

Veteran Member
Russia did this all wrong.

A DMZ like the one in Korea, should have been established between Russia and the Ukraine. The Korean DMZ is 160 miles long, and about 2.5 miles wide.

The one in the Ukraine, would have needed to stretch from Belarus all the way down to Romania. It would have needed to be,
at least 25 miles wide.

The Ukrainian DMZ, could have been patrolled by troops from the African Union, as they are experts at policing borders.

The POS Brandon, and the aggressive POS NATO, could have then placed all of their offensive weapons in Ukraine. Ask Serbia and Libya if NATO, isn't an offensive organization, go ahead and ask them. Russia in response could have placed Iskander missiles in Cuba, established a navy base for Russian boomers and
fast attack subs. Also a couple of good air bases for Russian bombers, just like the POS ZUSA, has over in POS Germany.

Finally, Russia should have broken off diplomatic relations with the ZUSA, stating that until a legitimate democratically elected ZUSA federal government is installed in Washington DC, that they will no longer communicate directly with Washington DC, and will use South Africa as their intermediary.

Goose meet Gander.

I know that most on this board are Pro-Ukraine, but I ain’t.
All of this could have been avoided, if all parties of the Minsk
accords would have agreed to the accords.

Please be safe everyone.

Regards to all.

Nowski
See though as you and I are more understanding of the Russians than many on this forum, and I have often stated Russia should have taken one of many other options, they didn't. They chose war and in so doing have threatened our newly acquired and old NATO allies. Russia made a mistake.
 

Artificially Intelli

Contributing Member
Nutcase
 

Walrus

Veteran Member
Specifically Finland was, ever since WW2, forced to make nice with the Soviets.

Too much to write up in my own words, so you get this one...


Dunno what Sweden's excuse was.
Hey, that doesn't often happen! But it's a good point that Finland most likely felt that making nice to the bear was the better long-term option, particularly after observing Stalin's ways of dealing with recalcitrant places. Regardless of the fond memories of the Winter War, discretion was surely the better choice than orneriness. Sweden has no excuse other than being Sweden.
 

Walrus

Veteran Member
Russia did this all wrong.

A DMZ like the one in Korea, should have been established between Russia and the Ukraine. The Korean DMZ is 160 miles long, and about 2.5 miles wide.

The one in the Ukraine, would have needed to stretch from Belarus all the way down to Romania. It would have needed to be, at least 25 miles wide.

The Ukrainian DMZ, could have been patrolled by troops from the African Union as they are experts at policing borders.

The POS Brandon, and the aggressive POS NATO, could have then placed all of their offensive weapons in Ukraine. Ask Serbia and Libya if NATO, isn't an offensive organization, go ahead and ask them. Russia in response could have placed Iskander missiles in Cuba, established a navy base for Russian boomers and fast attack subs. Also a couple of good air bases for Russian bombers,
just like the POS ZUSA, has over in POS Germany.

Finally, Russia should have broken off diplomatic relations with the ZUSA, stating that until a legitimate democratically elected ZUSA federal government is installed in Washington DC, that they will no longer communicate directly with Washington DC and will use South Africa, as their intermediary.

Goose meet Gander.

I know that most on this board are Pro-Ukraine, but I ain’t.
All of this could have been avoided, if all parties of the Minsk
accords would have agreed to the accords.

Please be safe everyone.

Regards to all.

Nowski
About time you made an appearance, most rev Nowski.

I don't particularly believe a DMZ would be effective if there's no cease fire and truce, though. Neither party seems particularly interested in one and fighting to the last Ukrainian appears to be the current favorite option.
 
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jed turtle

a brother in the Lord
I believe them...
Actually, the utterly brainwashed Americans who voted for Biden are - brainwashed- and would and are selling themselves and their countrymen out for the benefit of their depraved elite that want to ultimately put America through a war that we will never recover from. Utter fools who refuse to see anything but what the MSM puts before their eyes.
 

DuckandCover

Proud Sheeple
I don't believe they were "beaten back". It's pretty obvious to anyone with any military experience they never intended to take Kiev. If so they would have taken out the power plants and the cell towers. And they wouldn't have tried to take Kiev with 40,000 troops. That move was just a feint. The real fight was always going to be in the east.
In a very risky move, they used their best airborne troops (and lost many of them) trying to take two airports for just a feint? That's pretty hard to believe. They landed troops on the airports and then had to abandon them. That just doesn't sound like a feint to me. Even if it was a feint, it didn't work too well as they aren't exactly steamrolling the other areas, either.

However, I am NOT a military expert, so I dunno!
 

dawgofwar10

Veteran Member
I will say it one more time again…. It’s not your’s, mine, or anyone else’s Dog in this fight.. Just because someone else has a financial interest in this fight, that is their problem not mine, let them finance it at their expense not mine. I could go back to every war that was ever started, step back to the revolutionary war… Now they were taking money from me and my family for the King, I was fine for that War, Now they are taking my money to pay some country which comes back to the new King. And even worse, they are doing everything they can to gets us evaporated. God Bless Everyone, And Have A Blessed Night….
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
EndGameWW3

@EndGameWW3

·
2h

Says will even get Donbas and Crimea back...

Quote Tweet








Ruslan Trad

@ruslantrad
· 2h
Interview of the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, with Sky News: - The turning point will come in the second half of August. - We will reach our administrative borders. - This will lead to a change in the political leadership of the Russian Federation.
View: https://twitter.com/EndGameWW3/status/1525239491002347523?cxt=HHwWhsC9qY3P3qoqAAAA
 

jed turtle

a brother in the Lord
So let me get this straight everybody in the world changed. But Russians?

Okay then.

You are correct and that can be extended to pretty much all of Scandanavia and Europe. They have neither the capacity nor willingness to fight for their countries. They have been freeloading under the protection of US defense for so long to prioritize social welfare they would be toast.

I am not seeing overwhelming Russia power in display so not sure there is any real power in Europe.
Do not forget that the Ukraine army is hugely benefitted by the [free] military tech of the most powerful Military Industrial Complex in the world, Which developed its technology throughout the last number of foreign wars in Vietnam, iraq, And afghanistan on the backs of American tax payers and dead and injured-for-life american soldiers. All orchestrated for the benefit of the Rothschild and Rockefeller’s banks.
 

jed turtle

a brother in the Lord
Perhaps if Russia didn't keep invading neighboring countries, they wouldn't keep wanting to join NATO. So, did NATO expansion or Russia invading other countries come first? I seem to recall Russia invading neighboring countries before NATO ever existed. Russia has, even recently, been invading other countries. However, it is rather interesting that none of the countries that they have invaded were NATO countries. Hmmmmm...... kinda makes joining NATO seem like a good idea, no?
Russia has an invasion problem?
it has been the US with the fetish for invasions... ie: pot calling the kettle black!
 

raven

Has No Life - Lives on TB
A guy gets in front of a mic and says the obvious.
So obvious that assorted pundits and writers and bloggers have been saying the same thing since it started.
Why is anyone surprised?

I thought the reason we spent so much money on military over the last 70 years was because
we believed they would use nukes.
And they believed we would use nukes.

Are they surprised because someone spoke word that are verboten and must remain unspoken?
that is rhetorical and not meant to attack anyone.
I figured it out.

No one believes in nukes . . . and they do not believe that anyone would use nukes.

They all believe that Dr Strangelove movie . . . that it would be so horrible that no one would push the launch button.
It would end mankind and so its just crazy. (Which is funny considering there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 nukes in the world.)

Nope. No one believes. Not like the bank will foreclose on your house. Not like the repo man will take your F250 at 1AM. Not like the water company will shut off the water or the electric company will shut off the power.
They believe in nukes like they believe in Santa Claus but they do not actually expect to get a lump of coal in their stocking.

No one believes.
 
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Calfisher

Veteran Member
Russia did this all wrong.

A DMZ like the one in Korea, should have been established between Russia and the Ukraine. The Korean DMZ is 160 miles long, and about 2.5 miles wide.

The one in the Ukraine, would have needed to stretch from Belarus all the way down to Romania. It would have needed to be, at least 25 miles wide.

The Ukrainian DMZ, could have been patrolled by troops from the African Union as they are experts at policing borders.

The POS Brandon, and the aggressive POS NATO, could have then placed all of their offensive weapons in Ukraine. Ask Serbia and Libya if NATO, isn't an offensive organization, go ahead and ask them. Russia in response could have placed Iskander missiles in Cuba, established a navy base for Russian boomers and fast attack subs. Also a couple of good air bases for Russian bombers,
just like the POS ZUSA, has over in POS Germany.

Finally, Russia should have broken off diplomatic relations with the ZUSA, stating that until a legitimate democratically elected ZUSA federal government is installed in Washington DC, that they will no longer communicate directly with Washington DC and will use South Africa, as their intermediary.

Goose meet Gander.

I know that most on this board are Pro-Ukraine, but I ain’t.
All of this could have been avoided, if all parties of the Minsk
accords would have agreed to the accords.

Please be safe everyone.

Regards to all.

Nowski

Welcome back!
 

Tristan

Has No Life - Lives on TB
China surrounds Taiwan for massive invasion 'rehearsal' drills | American Military News
The Chinese military deployed forces all around the island of Taiwan over the weekend in a set of large-scale military drills that one Chinese military analyst called a “rehearsal of possible real action.”
View: https://twitter.com/9e2169147cbe459/status/1524282955094364160?s=20&t=PE9IW5HAra1ApJ-85CXlfQ

I hope Taiwan has lots of long range anti-ship missiles.

Lots.


Looooooong Range.
 
Last edited:

Melodi

Disaster Cat
When we lived in Sweden, Nightwolf had a talk with a US Veteran who had married a Swede and worked with other Swedish veterans at a security clearance level job at the airport. Of course, the guys all talked to each other and the American Veteran told Nightwolf that the Swedish military situation was very simple.

They played nice with Russia as long as they could while considering themselves a Western-aligned Northern European nation. But they knew that from a military standpoint, including simple numbers of troops, if Russia decided to seriously invade they would put off a stand by they would be toast.

So the plan was (and they trained for this) that after an invasion, the majority of trained troops were ordered "home" to put on civilian clothing and the connect with and lead a resistance (and I got the impression that there was a lot of retired military already signed up for this, another retired Swedish Veteran showed Nightwolf his guns that he was officially encouraged to take home when he retired, even though they got listed as "lost" or "destroyed."

The Swedish population is actually quite heavily armed for Europeans (the EU hates this) and that's the legal guns, not counting all stuff the military expects their retired folk to keep on having in case they have to be included in a "resistance."

Now, Ukraine has shown that with HUGE OUTSIDE HELP, smaller countries may be able to stand up to the new Russian Military at least to some degree. So Swedish plans may have changed since 1994 when we lived there and it is highly likely that Sweden is taking this into account by asking to join the superior force of NATO.

Instead of just pretending to be willing to roll over if the Big Bad Russian Trolls came over their borders.
 

vector7

Veteran Member
Zelensky now a Davos man

The President of Ukraine, @ZelenskyyUa, will join our Annual Meeting virtually as the war continues to devastate his country. Watch his special address on our website and across social media. http://wef.ch/22 #wef22
View: https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/1525109834747727873?t=NC49ft0EpZI_e4vo5jaKLw&s=19


Is in the middle of a war but has time for the great reset

Ukraine is (Part of) the Great Reset
View: https://twitter.com/sakko994/status/1525111561597108224?t=3KFptUJCTqaq2FTZxv9X_Q&s=19
 
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