stroker PowerDork
11/20/22 1:48 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Funky muzzle brakes on that thing...

red_stapler SuperDork
11/20/22 3:34 p.m.
stroker said:

In reply to aircooled :

Funky muzzle brakes on that thing...

That's to accommodate the projectile velocity sensors.

02Pilot UberDork
11/20/22 3:54 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

The problem with the Gepards (some are already in service, and proving very effective) is the ammunition. Apparently, the Swiss made it (or at least some components within it) and don't want to give an export license for it. See here:

11/20/22 4:37 p.m.

OK, I am a bit confused here since the very start of this thing.

The Ukrainians can do whatever they want to the russsias that enter their borders, but they will leave the russian population 2 feet inside of russia out of the whole deal?


I would have given a riffle to every single civilian in Ukraine and told them that they are free to swarm across the borders and murder as many russians as they can.  Good for the Goose good for the Gander no? 

We are kinda in a situation I never understood in our society. Rob a liquor store and go to jail for 20 years. Murder a million people and you are a hero?

alfadriver MegaDork
11/20/22 5:30 p.m.

Never mind. 

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
11/20/22 6:36 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

If you are looking for logical consistency you may as well go looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. 

VolvoHeretic HalfDork
11/20/22 6:54 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

It's good to hold the higher ground as long as you completely defeat the enemy. Unfortunately, the US has a bad track record of abandoning our allies that are doing our heavy lifting. The worst is the three times we hung the Kurds out to dry.

aircooled MegaDork
11/20/22 7:34 p.m.
NOHOME said:

...The Ukrainians can do whatever they want to the russsias that enter their borders, but they will leave the russian population 2 feet inside of russia out of the whole deal?....

That really only applies to weapons the are getting from the western powers (e.g. HIMARS).  The west does not want a link between killing Russians inside Russia with western supplied weapons.  I am sure the west is also heavily discouraging any actual regular (as opposed to special forces) troops over the Russian boarders.  Probalby not even just for escalation reasons, but it also to avoid creating a new narrative of "Ukrainian Invasion!!" within Russia.

The Ukrainians have very much been doing "things" inside of Russia, and even made a helicopter rocket attack a few months back.  The interesting part will be when the get those Polish cruise missiles.  Maybe the Poles will only want them used inside Ukraine and the occupied territories?

It is sort of a ridiculous situation though:  We can attack you, take your land, kill and torture your civilians.... but whatever you do, don't dare attack Russia... that would be war!!  (as opposed to a Nazi cleansing operation I guess)

aircooled MegaDork
11/20/22 7:40 p.m.
VolvoHeretic said:

In reply to NOHOME :

It's good to hold the higher ground as long as you completely defeat the enemy. Unfortunately, the US has a bad track record of abandoning our allies that are doing our heavy lifting. The worst is the three times we hung the Kurds out to dry.

So yeah... about the Kurds....  They are some seriously fierce fighters, for much the same reason the Ukrainians are, but I am not sure who is backing them at this point, and there is only so many of them.  Certainly one of the most kicked around groups out there.


The IRGC has threatened to launch a ground invasion into Iraqi Kurdistan in the coming weeks. AP published additional information on November 18 about IRGC Quds Force Commander Esmail Ghaani’s November 14 meeting in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid – A Kurdish politician – and several other Iraqi and Kurdish officials. Ghaani reportedly warned that the IRGC will conduct ground operations against anti-regime Kurdish militants based in Iraqi Kurdistan unless the Iraqi army fortifies the Iran-Iraqi Kurdistan border and disarms all anti-regime Kurdish militias operating within Iraqi Kurdistan.[12] The IRGC has intermittently conducted artillery, rocket, and missile attacks into Iraqi Kurdistan since Iranian protests began in September 2022.[13] The Iranian regime has blamed anti-regime Kurdish militias operating on both sides of the Iran-Iraq for fomenting Iran’s ongoing domestic unrest, as CTP has previously reported.[14]

The Iraqi constitution forbids the Iraqi army from entering Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Iraqi army likely lacks the military capacity to meet Ghaani’s demands.[15] A significant Iraqi army redeployment to Iraqi Kurdistan would likely enable ISIS to intensify operations in other areas of Iraq and undermine the popularity of the current Iran-friendly government in Baghdad. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called on Iran to cease military operations against anti-regime militants in Iraqi Kurdistan and warned Iran that its domestic “tensions should not be exported to neighboring countries” in a November 17 statement.[16] Barzani’s remarks indicate that the KRG and significant portions of the Peshmerga, the KRG’s official military force, would likely actively resist any IRGC or Iraqi army efforts to operate against Kurdish groups within Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi and Kurdish politicians very likely will not accede to Ghaani’s demands, suggesting he may have presented them with an unacceptable ultimatum to use as political cover for a planned ground invasion.

Recent Turkish threats to also conduct military operations against armed Kurdish groups in Iraq and Syria increase the likelihood of an IRGC ground campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan and present Iraqi Kurdistan with the danger of simultaneous invasion from north and east. Multiple senior Turkish officials have accused armed Kurdish groups of detonating the bomb that killed at least six people and wounded 81 more in Istanbul on November 13.[17] Turkish President Recep Erdogan and several cabinet-level officials warned that Turkey plans respond to the attacks by conducting military operations against armed Kurdish groups in Iraq and Syria.[18] The Turkish military consequently may intensify its air campaign against armed Kurdish groups in Iraqi Kurdistan. The US State Department’s Erbil Consulate issued a warning to US citizens to avoid areas in northern Iraq and northern Syria due to a “potential Turkish military action” in the coming days, further substantiating the possibility of Turkish military operations in either or both regions.[19] Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi and Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu held a phone call on November 17 to discuss issues related to “security cooperation against terrorism,” possibly including the prospect of conducting simultaneous military operations against armed Kurdish groups in Iraqi Kurdistan.[20] A concurrent Turkish military operation would provide Iran with additional political cover to launch a ground invasion and, furthermore, increase the effectiveness of the invasion.

The potential renewal of Turkey’s campaign against armed Kurdish groups in northern Syria may, however, impede close cooperation between the IRGC and Turkish military. Turkish rhetoric has emphasized that the November 13 terror attack is connected to alleged terror cells in the Manbij area of northeastern Aleppo Province.[21] Syria. Iran has historically prioritized protecting the Shia-majority towns of Nubl and Zahraa located approximately 75 kilometers from Manbij; Hezbollahi militants maintain a significant military presence around the villages.[22] A potential Turkish military operation aimed at Manbij may also include military activity nearby the Shia-majority villages, which Lebanese Hezbollah militants would likely fiercely resist. A direct military confrontation in northern Syria consequently may obstruct military cooperation between Iran and Turkey in Iraqi Kurdistan.

11/20/22 7:53 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

There seems to be a lot of fears from "Western" intelligence agencies that if Ukraine begins open strikes deeper into Russia proper, that It'll have the double-whammy effect of potentially increasing Russian citizenry's volunteering into the military and could also fan enough fears of "NATO invasion" that it could lead to Russia striking first, thinking it's retaliatory. I don't believe that, but with how good the US intelligence apparatus is I imagine there's good reasons why.

Personally, I think the failure of Putin's mobilization and clear weariness of the Russian populace- a low trust society if there ever was- says the former fear is past. I seriously think it's time to unlock things like ATACAMs for Ukrainian use to truly drop Russians morale even further and make it obvious they have nowhere that is safe, but I'm just a lad on the internet.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
11/20/22 8:21 p.m.

So long as the war takes place on foreign soil, Russians  can more easily justify staying at home. Once the war goes onto home soil - particularly soil that isn't very far from Moscow or St Petersburg, it's a whole different matter. People come together when faced with a genuine existential threat. I daresay that if the USA were invaded by a credible threat, you'd find lefties and righties standing side-by-side against the invader. It is truly in our best interest to keep this off of pre-2014 Russian soil.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
11/20/22 8:23 p.m.

As an aside, one thing that I have not heard is the idea of Crimea becoming an independent state. Neither side would like it, but it would still be preferable to being ruled by "the enemy".

02Pilot UberDork
11/20/22 9:13 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

The issue with breaking off Crimea into an independent entity is always going to be the question facing any tiny, artificial state surrounded by neighbors competing for influence: how to secure said independence. Beyond that, what kind of government does it have? Western-oriented democracy? Russia sees it as a Ukrainian/US/NATO stooge. Russian-leaning autocracy (or even democracy, which is actually the most likely outcome of an election there as I see it)? Ukraine will scream bloody murder. Neutral mini-Switzerland-on-the-Black Sea? Both Ukraine and Russia (and Turkey, and the US, and China, and...) will fall all over themselves to turn it into a den of spies, intrigue, and dirty tricks to rival Cold War Berlin.

stroker PowerDork
11/20/22 9:53 p.m.
02Pilot said:

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

Neutral mini-Switzerland-on-the-Black Sea? Both Ukraine and Russia (and Turkey, and the US, and China, and...) will fall all over themselves to turn it into a den of spies, intrigue, and dirty tricks to rival Cold War Berlin.

<Harry Lime> "Sounds like fun!"

02Pilot UberDork
11/20/22 10:45 p.m.

In reply to stroker :

One of my all-time favorite films. Might need to watch it again.

stroker PowerDork
11/21/22 7:38 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

The new remastered version looks absolutely gorgeous.  Gonna have to buy one.

02Pilot UberDork
11/22/22 8:57 a.m.

This article from Der Spiegel presents a much more nuanced view of the situation in Kherson. It's definitely more informative than the narrative coming from both the US media and Ukraine's government, and suggests some of the domestic concerns Zelensky will have to contend with in the future.

aircooled MegaDork
11/22/22 1:47 p.m.

Some updates:

Germany to Deploy Patriot Missiles to Defend Polish Airspace


  • Two days of shelling caused widespread damage to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
  • The Russian government is continuing to escalate control over the Russian information space.
  • Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian special services are planning false flag attacks on Belarusian critical infrastructure in an attempt that would likely fail to pressure the Belarusian military to enter the war in Ukraine. ISW continues to assess that it is unlikely Belarusian forces will enter the war.
  • A Ukrainian official acknowledged that Ukrainian forces are conducting a military operation on the Kinburn Spit, Mykolaiv Oblast.
  • The November 18 video of a Russian soldier opening fire on a group of Ukrainian servicemen while Russian troops were surrendering has served as a catalyst for further division between the Kremlin and prominent voices in the Russian information space.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in eastern Ukraine amid worsening weather conditions.
  • Russian forces continued ground assaults near Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces continued conducting defensive measures and establishing fortifications in Kherson Oblast south of the Dnipro River as Ukrainian forces continued striking Russian force accumulations in southern Ukraine.
  • Russian mobilized personnel continue to protest and desert as their relatives continue to publicly advocate against mobilization issues.
  • Russian occupation authorities intensified filtration measures and the incorporation of occupied territory into Russia.
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/22/22 2:30 p.m.

An interesting article showing how much EU reliance on Russian fossil fuels softened their stance on Russia leading up to the invasion, including a horrific response from Germany:

stroker PowerDork
11/25/22 12:42 p.m.

I dunno 'bout you guys, but I'm thinking Ukraine needs to keep constant pressure on through the winter and not let Vlad get an operational pause and allow Russia to accumulate and train an overwhelming force to be unleashed in the spring.  If I were Zelensky I wouldn't want to count on material support from NATO lasting indefinitely--if you've got bullets, you'd best use 'em while you got 'em.   I fear all that's going to pressure Russia to negotiate are missing sons...  :( 

frenchyd MegaDork
11/25/22 3:24 p.m.

Ukraine doesn't have a limitless amount of solders it can squander defending territory it's taken back from Russia either. 
It's an extremely thin line Zelensky has to balance on. A pyric victory  is all to easy to achieve.  I doubt Russia is going to give up in less than a year.  They hung onto Afghanistan for a decade  before pulling out.  
 Since we don't know how many citizens The Ukraine has already lost between soldiers and civilians it's impossible to calculate  their ability  to loose more.    

aircooled MegaDork
11/25/22 9:33 p.m.

Ukraine doesn't have an an unlimited supply of soldiers, but they do have the motivation of what will happen if the Russians are allowed to win.  The Russians have left large amounts of evidence to that effect.  They may not fight to the last man, but it might get close.

Update:   It appears the recent Russian missile attack, 20 ish of 70 missiles made it though, created a significant reduction in the Ukrainian power grid.  A very clear attack on the civilian population of Ukraine.  They have also started shelling Kherson.

  • The Russian military conducted another set of massive, coordinated missile strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure.
  • Russian politicians continue to promote openly genocidal rhetoric against Ukraine.
  • The Kremlin continues to pursue its maximalist goals and is likely issuing vague statements about its intent to mislead Western Countries into pressuring Ukraine into negotiations.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the directions of Kreminna and Svatove.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces continued defensive operations on the east (left) bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.
  • The Kremlin is continuing crypto-mobilization efforts at the expense of other Russian security services.
  • Russian forces and occupation officials continued to forcibly relocate residents and confiscate their property.


bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/25/22 10:45 p.m.

A quote by a Ukrainian senior on the BBC .

"At war," says Anatoliy, "you don't get accidentally killed. You accidentally survive."

aircooled MegaDork
11/27/22 3:28 p.m.

Some updates.  As noted below, it looks like the Russians are taking the nuclear version of the Kh-55 cruise missile and launching them in their attacks without a warhead.  Effectively making them very expensive decoys.  Also more signs of them running critically low on missile stores.

Some Iranian drone trainers have been killed in Crimea... 

"They were on our territory. We didn't invite them here, and if they collaborate with terrorists and participate in the destruction of our nation we must kill them."

  • The overall pace of operations in Ukraine is likely to increase in the upcoming weeks as the ground freezes throughout the theater.
  • Russian officials are continuing efforts to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
  • Russian officials may be trying to counteract Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s growing influence through the promotion of other parallel Russian military structures.
  • Russian forces are likely using inert Kh-55 missiles designed solely to carry nuclear warheads in its campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure, highlighting the Russian military’s depletion of high-precision weapons.
  • Russian forces continued defensive operations against ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in the directions of Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces continued establishing fortifications in eastern Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian tactical, logistical, and equipment failures continue to decrease the morale of Russian troops and drive searches for scapegoats.

Russian forces are likely using inert Kh-55 cruise missiles in their massive missile strike campaign against Ukrainian critical infrastructure, further highlighting the depletion of the Russian military’s high-precision weapons arsenal. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported on November 26 that Russia is likely removing nuclear warheads from aging Kh-55 missiles and launching the missiles without warheads at targets in Ukraine.[13] The UK MoD suggested that Russian forces are likely launching the inert missiles as decoys to divert Ukrainian air defenses.[14] Ukrainian officials have previously reported that since mid-October, Russian forces have extensively used the non-nuclear variant of the missile system, the Kh-555, to conduct strikes on critical Ukrainian infrastructure.[15] The Russian military’s likely use of a more strategic weapon system in the role of a decoy for Ukrainian air defenses corroborates ISW’s previous reporting that the Russian military has significantly depleted its arsenal of high-precision missiles.[16] The use of more strategic weapons systems in support of the campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure suggests that the Russian military is heavily committed to the strike campaign and still mistakenly believes that it can generate strategically significant effects through that campaign.

aircooled MegaDork
11/27/22 3:43 p.m.

There are some guessing that Ukraine may act sooner then later for the next step.  Perhaps when the ground freezes.  They of course really need to act quickly not only to give the Russians as little time as possible to prepare but their flow of money and support is likely dependent on their constant progress.

The obvious next step, as noted, is pushing south into Metropol.  As noted previously, this would create huge logistics issues for Russians in the Kherson region as well as Crimea.  As you can also see below, taking some of the Sea of Azov coast not only allows them easy shots on any shipping in the sea, there is a potential directs shot at the Kerch bridge.  It's a bit out of range for HIMARS, but there is an extended range version of the HIMARS missile that reaches out 95 miles, if the US would provide that, which they might (?) for this particular purpose(?)

This "could" be a very big turning point, but of course does not prevent Russia from going full defensive in Crimea (relatively easy to defend) and the eastern part of the Azov coast.  Won't go over well inside Russia of course, and that could be the most important aspect.

There has already been a fair amount of partisan and other activity in that areas, and the Russians are clearly preparing for that exact attack.  One wonders how well the Russians lines will hold, moral is a serious issue apparently.

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