Ukraine problems

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Volkodlak
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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Volkodlak » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:47 am

well situation in Ukraine is getting worse peace plan that they signed this week is allready at brink of collapsing and voilence is getting worse i just hope they dont start fighting around nuclear powerplants
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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:26 pm

The only commercial nuclear power station anywhere near the fighting is Zaporizhia, and that's something like 200 km away from the current front line. There's an unfinished reactor somewhere near Kharkiv, but that's it.

The cease-fire is the thing that has me worried. The separatists are making noises that they aren't going to honor it (or more accurately, they welcome it except for the areas that they're still making gains, particularly around Debaltseve).

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Volkodlak » Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:11 am

truce is at the moment still holding, but there are reports of ocasional shelling from both sides.
im not sure truce will hold for very long
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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:02 pm

Yeah. I had some slim hopes that it would hold, but it looks like the whole thing is collapsing because of the action at Debaltseve.

Either Putin isn't serious (still), or he's lost control of the whole thing. If the cease-fire does fully collapse, I'd say it's about certain that the U.S. is going to start shipping weapons to Ukraine. The Pentagon has already started drawing up a list of the first things to go supposedly, including anti-tank missiles and "fire-finder" radars to allow the Ukrainians to do counter-battery fire against Russian artillery.

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Volkodlak » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:54 am

they allready missed the deadline too pull their heavy weapons from front lines why are we still dreaming there is a ceasefire last time i checked ceasefire means no combat yet they are still fighting for one city/town and people are still dying after ceasefire.
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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:41 am

Well, the "cease-fire" is apparently holding everywhere except Debaltseve and Mariupol. I supposed that there is hope (in western capitals at least) that it's a start and maybe they can finagle the separatists into finally backing off. In reality, that's going to depend in large measure upon the Kremlin. That the U.S. isn't throwing a fit suggests to me that somebody high up has reason to think that Putin has lost control over his proxies in the Donbas. That's not entirely unreasonable since those dimwits are totally nuts. On the other hand NATO Headquarters in Brussels is maintaining that Russian troops and equipment are still flowing across the border -- so who the hell knows.

The unfortunate reality is that the Germans are completely right in at least one respect: Arming Ukrainian forces will probably lead to a downward spiral of escalation and turn the whole mess into an east-west proxy-war. That's probably the real reason that everybody is desperately clinging to the mirage of a cease-fire. On a more practical note, I think that the Ukrainians seriously need to pull out of Debaltseve pretty darn quick. I mean, I get why they're holding on to it as fiercely as they are, but they've got the better part of a division in there. At the end of the day, the only strategic value of the place is as a friggin rail junction. Their operational leadership isn't inspiring much confidence in me right now. They appear to be ignoring the old tactical refrain: You can like a piece of terrain -- but don't get married to it. If they're not careful, that position is going to get isolated and they're in for a world of hurt.

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Volkodlak » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:04 am

well there are uncomfirmed reports that US is allready sending weapons to Ukraine

UPDATE: Ukraine forces in Debaltseve are retreating
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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:32 pm

Pretty darned unconfirmed if you ask me... The only noises about that sort of thing thus far seem to be coming solely out of the Russian media. They've been making noises about U.S. Humvees being seen in combat, but those appear to be part of a contingent of four dozen vehicles supplied to Ukraine a decade ago for use in their KFOR missions. Aside from that, the only thing I can find online more modern is a trio of TPQ-48 "fire-finder" radar trucks delivered last year.

I'm happy to see that the Ukrainians finally got smart and started pulling out, but it looks like they waited too long. There's some preliminary reports that up to 2,000 troops got themselves isolated and captured. That was not masterfully done.

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Volkodlak » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:38 am

Uniform Two Six wrote:I'm happy to see that the Ukrainians finally got smart and started pulling out, but it looks like they waited too long. There's some preliminary reports that up to 2,000 troops got themselves isolated and captured. That was not masterfully done.
I belive Ukrainian army is in more troubles than we think:
- people are avoiding being drafted into army by quite large numbers 80k+
- their equipment is not the best
- moral is low
- their leader is in denial of how bad the situation is

Ukraine leader Poroshenko is asking for UN peacekeepers means he cannot hold his enemys at bay if they decide too push and i wonder why he is threatening with martial law?
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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:24 am

I agree that their equipment is not the best, but that's not so much of an issue as it might otherwise be -- The Russians have some of the same issues there. This is compounded in some instances by the fact that the Russians are not sending the rebels their best stuff. The Gadfly missiles that apparently shot down Flight 17 were 2nd generation SARH pieces of junk dating back to the Disco-era. The biggest issue with the Ukrainians is the chronic under-funding of their whole force structure for the last two decades. That, however, is familiar territory to the Russian armed forces too. Their fiscal situation has improved markedly in the recent past, but these sorts of things have significant lag-times. I seriously doubt that the Russians are qualitatively in vastly better shape than their Ukrainian counterparts. If the Ukraine has a particular weakness in the equipment, it's probably in their anti-tank weapons, which reportedly have become so old that most are non-functional (I base this assumption on the fact that the one thing that the Ukrainians are screaming for in terms of resupply from the U.S. is anti-tank missiles). The other item would be tanks. On paper, they have two full armored divisions with roughly 2,800 tanks. Unfortunately, this force has been hit particularly badly by the funding issue, exacerbated by a lack of spare parts from Russia (who for the most part embargoed tank parts ever since Ukraine gained independence). Apparently, only about 600 of these (almost all, ancient and decrepit T-64s) are actually active. It turns out that the Ukrainians, in an effort to ameliorate this shortage, have for the last fifteen years or so, been engineering an entirely home-grown derivative of the Russian T-80 which they're calling the T-84. Two problems with this: First, with money so tight for so long, the first production runs went entirely to overseas export customers (primarily Pakistan), so that Ukraine (the country that produces it) has only about a dozen or so in service. Secondly, back during the Soviet era, they never had a piece of the composite armor business, so they have absolutely no experience in manufacturing modern armor. As best as can be surmised, the T-84 has homogeneous rolled steel armor of World War II vintage -- making it in some ways woefully inferior to their inventory of T-72s that are languishing in warehouses for want of spares.

As for their morale and conscription problems, I view that as being symptomatic of a deeper problem. Again due at least in part to the historic poor funding, the force never really trained terribly well, or often. That tends to lead to leadership that is more "head-down" on administrative matters and bestirs itself much less with tactical matters. That creates a serious leadership problem that cannot be solved overnight. Frankly, the Ukrainian armed forces don't strike me as being terribly well led (an assumption that their bewilderingly poor tactics tends to reinforce). Bad leadership is death for any armed force and leads to exactly the sorts of issues you cite. Until they get serious and fix that issue, they're pretty much screwed.

I don't think that Poroshenko is in denial, so much as he's painfully short on options. I see the call for UN peacekeepers as a politically cunning move (note how vehemently both the rebels and their Russian masters reacted to the suggestion). It would make it much harder for the Russians to maintain the fiction that they aren't directly involved, and would make it exponentially more difficult (politically) to dick with the Ukrainians with foreign troops as a buffer. Poroshenko is generally full of $hit, but he's a politician so that sort of goes without saying. I think (with the exception of the Debaltseve fiasco -- which I sense has his fingerprints on it somehow) that he's probably doing the best he reasonably can with the lackluster hand he got dealt.

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:05 pm

The good news is that the cease-fire is (for the most part) appearing to finally have taken hold.

The down-side is that this may merely be a lull before a new push to take Mariupol. Frankly I don't trust either Putin or the rebels one little bit, so I'd be inclined to lean towards that as being the more likely scenario. Not that there's much Poroshenko can do.

The really bad news is that the financial aid packages that were supposed to be headed for the Ukraine are being held up now over transparency issues. The Ukraine needs cash more than it needs nearly anything else. The problem being that the Ukraine has developed an environment of corruption roughly as bad as that of Russia itself. None of the potential donor nations are willing to see 80% of their aid packages mysteriously disappear into anonymous Swiss bank accounts. Ironically giving them arms directly may be the best option since (although possible to fence) arms have marginally less liquidity than just handing over great wads of cash.

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:55 pm

The latest issue of The Economist alleges that the Russians are beginning to pull some of the same stunts in Kharkiv that they did in Donetsk. That would be less than ideal since that's also Ukraine's only tank factory.

Elsewhere, the noises that Finland has been making about joining NATO are only getting louder and more serious sounding, while Sweden has just released a joint statement about forming a "military partnership" with Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. Not exactly coming out and saying that they want to join NATO too, but of those four, Finland is openly contemplating it, while Norway, Denmark and Iceland already are in NATO. From a geo-political perspective, Putin may be the biggest dunce in recent Russian history.

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Volkodlak » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:30 am

Great,

now there is a forrest fire heading for Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Fri May 01, 2015 1:16 am

Meh.

Chernobyl is totally closed down and all the fuel is gone -- well, except for the stuff that's in the reactor that melted back in 86', but that's about as far gone as it can get. Besides, the whole place is built out of concrete and steel. I might worry about radioactive materials from the fallout getting carried aloft by the smoke (y'know, if I actually lived there) but again, Chernobyl was basically the worst-case meltdown scenario and most of that stuff is going to get deposited on areas that are already heavily contaminated by the original fallout pattern anyway.

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:50 pm

Putin is back at it again, apparently. He went to Italy to try to poison the well there, and when that didn't work, he went across the street to the Vatican to try to get the Pope to bring some pressure on the Italians. The photos from that meeting are almost comical -- Putin almost couldn't look any more uncomfortable. At the end, the press-relations guy at the Vatican described the meeting as "not cordial".

Unfortunately, though Putin is apparently taking to heart the old adage "If at first you don't succeed -- Try, try again". He's trying to lever Greece away from the EU, and given their (the Greeks, that is) economic situation and general displeasure with the rest of the EU (particularly Germany), it is starting to look like he might succeed.

Oh, and the cease-fire appears to be collapsing (big surprise).

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Re: Ukraine problems

Post by Uniform Two Six » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:57 pm

Reuters just ran a story that took note of the fact that two Russian banks just laid off almost 6,000 workers between them. Some experts are estimating that total Russian debt (not just sovereign debt, but private and corporate debt too) may exceed half a trillion dollars -- and almost all of it is owed in foreign currencies. Worse for Russia is that most of its income comes from energy sales abroad, so they really can't default on it, since its creditors can raid energy payments before they get booked in Russia.

And Putin still doesn't seem to grasp the trap he's put himself in.
:?

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