aircooled MegaDork
11/28/22 12:59 p.m.

Some interesting observations about the Russian defenses near Kherson.  They clearly be interested in defending the ground, but not sure how much or how successful it would be.  The paper cutout soldiers that the mobilized troops are (probably in the first line of defense) will likely fold rather quickly, if they have not frozen to death that is.

Russian defensive positions are optimized to defend against Ukrainian forces attempting to advance along GLOCs rather than driving cross-country as Ukrainian forces have previously done. Russian forces concentrated most of their defenses at multiple locations astride critical GLOCs, establishing only a handful in the open fields between the highways. However, Ukrainian forces have previously conducted long cross-country drives in Kharkiv Oblast to capitalize on their success in breaking through Russian defensive lines near Balakliya, enabling them to more quickly advance on and surround Russian strongpoints such as Kupyansk and Izyum and push Russian forces from the Siverskyi Donets River in Kharkiv Oblast to the international border in most of the oblast.[3]

Most of the Russian field fortifications in eastern Kherson are nevertheless optimized to defend against drives along the roads and would be very vulnerable to envelopments across the open countryside.  Many of the fortifications across the roads do not extend far past the roads themselves, often just far enough to provide good fields of fire from both sides onto the road itself.  Most of these positions have open flanks terminating in the middle of fields. The flanks are often not refused (drawn back) or otherwise well-designed to deter or defend against attacks from the sides or rear. Many of these positions are not in tactical supporting distance of one another, moreover, which would make each vulnerable to Ukrainian tactical envelopments. Satellite imagery shows that Russian forces have constructed dragon’s teeth anti-tank structures around their positions immediately on the roads, but those anti-tank arrays do not extend far enough into the open fields to prevent Ukrainian tanks and other tracked vehicles from enveloping the Russian lines. 

eastsideTim UltimaDork
11/28/22 1:11 p.m.

I wonder how heavily mined the open fields are around the Russian defensive positions.  If they can bog down an advance, artillery could do a number on it.  I'm sure the Ukranians are several steps ahead, informationwise.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/28/22 1:22 p.m.

Horrific story about Russian soldiers in trenches in Forbes.

Imagine freezing to death in a trench and trying to kill yourself before the drone does it for you. 

aircooled MegaDork
11/28/22 7:01 p.m.

The Russians appear to be setting up for another cruise missile attack.  They really want to completely destroy the Ukrainian electrical system.  As the number of missiles they have drops, and the number and effectiveness of Ukrainian air defense increases, they are likely running out of time.

50 cm satellite images from ENGELS AIR BASE from Nov 28 morning show apparent preparation of Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers


stroker PowerDork
11/29/22 10:19 a.m.

That makes me wonder just how many SU-25's the Ukrainians have left...

aircooled MegaDork
11/30/22 12:04 p.m.

Things are bit slow while everyone waits for the ground to solidify.  The Russians have made a little progress near Bakhmut (eastern area) but who knows at what cost.  

Looks like the Ukrainians are trying to get a little bit of payback:

Blackout in Sudzha and Korenevo districts of Kursk region of Russia as result of shelling at electrical power infrastructure

.... as expected:

On the outskirts of Kherson in the village of Pravdyne, a new mass burial of people killed by the Russian military was discovered. The bodies were found with their hands tied and blindfolded. All were shot in the head at close range

And this:

Some Iranian protesters celebrated the US victory over Iran in the World Cup on November 29. Iranians in Alborz, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, and Tehran provinces, among other locations, cheered and gathered during and after the match in opposition to the Iranian national team.[1] Some reportedly launched fireworks in Saghez, Kurdistan Province after the American team scored a goal.[2] CTP cannot assess how widespread this sentiment may be among Iranian protesters, but the reported celebrations indicate how politicized the Iranian national soccer team has become among at least some protesters. Iranian citizens cheering a US victory over Iran underscores the depth of popular frustration against the regime.

aircooled MegaDork
11/30/22 5:15 p.m.

The U.S. Is Considering The Transfer Of GLSDB Munitions To Ukraine

Which is interesting.  They have a 93 mile range.... (see map on previous page with distance from Sea of Azov coast to Kerch bridge)

There are also apparently Ukrainians qualified to fly the F16 now.  They may not be getting any soon though since one issue with the F16 in Ukraine is that it has a relatively fragile nose gear.  Compared to Russian planes of course, which are generally designed to work from less than ideal runways. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/30/22 6:19 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

One thing I have read is that the Iranians by and large are pro West, but their government is hardline anti-West.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) MegaDork
12/1/22 8:02 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

There are a good many Iranian born American citizens living in Michigan and nearly 100% I have talked with state that the west is admired by everyone but the religious political leadership, echoing what you have read

jharry3 Dork
12/1/22 8:55 a.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown) said:

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

There are a good many Iranian born American citizens living in Michigan and nearly 100% I have talked with state that the west is admired by everyone but the religious political leadership, echoing what you have read

Like Kipling wrote "...iron, cold iron, is the ruler of them all".

aircooled MegaDork
12/1/22 3:04 p.m.

Still waiting for the next Russian missile attack (on energy infrastructure no doubt).  Some interesting recent observations:


Russian efforts around Bakhmut indicate that Russian forces have fundamentally failed to learn from previous high-casualty campaigns concentrated on objectives of limited operational or strategic significance. Russian forces have continually expended combat strength on small settlements around Bakhmut since the end of May; in the following six months, they have only secured gains on the order of a few kilometers at a time.[1] As ISW has previously observed, Russian efforts to advance on Bakhmut have resulted in the continued attrition of Russian manpower and equipment, pinning troops on relatively insignificant settlements for weeks and months at a time.[2] This pattern of operations closely resembles the previous Russian effort to take Severodonetsk and Lysychansk earlier in the war. As ISW assessed throughout June and July of this year, Ukrainian forces essentially allowed Russian troops to concentrate efforts on Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, two cities near the Luhansk Oblast border of limited operational and strategic significance, in order to capitalize on the continued degradation of Russian manpower and equipment over the course of months of grinding combat.[3] Russian troops eventually captured Lysychansk and Severodonetsk and reached the Luhansk Oblast border, but that tactical success translated to negligible operational benefit as the Russian offensive in the east then culminated. Russian efforts in this area have remained largely stalled along the lines that they reached in early July. Even if Russian troops continue to advance toward and within Bakhmut, and even if they force a controlled Ukrainian withdrawal from the city (as was the case in Lysychansk), Bakhmut itself offers them little operational benefit. The costs associated with six months of brutal, grinding, and attrition-based combat around Bakhmut far outweigh any operational advantage that the Russians can obtain from taking Bakhmut. Russian offensives around Bakhmut, on the other hand, are consuming a significant proportion of Russia’s available combat power, potentially facilitating continued Ukrainian counteroffensives elsewhere.


Russian opinion polling suggests that the Russian public may be tiring of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russian opposition media outlet Meduza reported on November 30 that it had gained access to the results of an opinion poll commissioned by the Kremlin for internal use that shows that 55 percent of Russians favor peace talks with Ukraine and 25 percent favor continuing the war.[15] Russian independent polling organization Levada’s October polling shows a similar breakdown with 34 percent favoring continuing military actions in Ukraine and 57 percent favoring negotiations.[16] Internal Kremlin polling reportedly placed the percentage of Russians supporting negotiations with Ukraine at 32 percent in July and the percentage favoring the continuation of the war at 57 percent.[17] Meduza reported that the director of the Levada Center Denis Volkov stated that the share of Russians likely to support peace talks with Ukraine began to grow rapidly following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization decree.[18] Disruptions associated with partial mobilization and Russian setbacks on the battlefield have likely contributed to an increasing war weariness among the Russian public, as reflected in the polling. 

Noddaz PowerDork
12/2/22 11:49 a.m.

Belarus top diplomat, suspicious death

Belarus’ top diplomat buried as his death raises suspicions

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Belarus on Tuesday held a state funeral for its foreign minister who died suddenly at age 64, triggering speculation about possible foul play in his death after he leaned toward Western countries.




GameboyRMH MegaDork
12/2/22 11:57 a.m.

^Once you're out the window, gravity is a natural cause cheeky

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
12/2/22 12:29 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

Remember, it isn't the fall that get's you. It's the rapid deceleration. 

aircooled MegaDork
12/2/22 12:36 p.m.

It's generally referred to as:  Terminal Kenitic Energy Poisoning

nderwater UltimaDork
12/4/22 12:29 a.m.

I'm dismayed that a year has passed. What a mess. 

frenchyd MegaDork
12/5/22 9:39 a.m.
NickD said:

It would make a lot of sense to launch an attack relatively soon, strategically. Most of the world is in one sort of disarray or another. Could get pretty damn far before anyone gets their act together. 

For better or worse, I think Putin is a rational person. One cold ambitious bastard, but rational. On one hand, makes him less likely to start lobbing nukes willy-nilly or anything really crazy. On the other hand, the crazy ones do a good job of knocking themselves out of the fight (Hitler's absurd commitment to holding onto Norway late in the war, or Stalin murdering off his entire command structure in fits of paranoia)

Regarding Stalin's purge of military leadership.   Maybe that was crazy like a fox?   I keep thinking of the expression, " To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail".  
      Were there any progressive  thinkers in the Soviet  command structure prior to the purge?    The requirements for advancement in peacetime is wildly different than during times of combat.  
  What is keeping America as the leading military power is the new creative ways of solving traditional problems.   In part that is because in our military senor enlisted with combat experience  teach junior officers what actually works.   
   Russia completely lacks that capability.  

84FSP UberDork
12/5/22 12:43 p.m.

An exciting new phase of attacks on Russian soil begins!  While this is dailybeast it is up on multiple accredited sites.

Russias main airfield for Ukraine air attacks took a drone hit that took out two of their big nuclear capable bombers.  

Looks like the long range testing of their new drones is working well.


aircooled MegaDork
12/5/22 1:53 p.m.


Russian MOD confirms Ukrainian "reactive drone" strikes on strategic aviation airfields in Diaghilevo and Engels, says two bombers damaged, three service members killed and four injured

aircooled MegaDork
12/5/22 1:58 p.m.

Looks like the Russians have launched another missile / cruise missile attack on cities.  Which appears to be after the attack on the airfields in Russia.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
12/5/22 2:13 p.m.

Can't act surprised at Russia retaliating for attacks on military targets with attacks on civilian targets at this point...I hope Ukraine prepared their civilians for that.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
12/5/22 2:22 p.m.

Based on some stuff I was reading over the weekend, Russia was already planning the current round of missile launches, so it may not have been retaliatory.  Heck, the Ukrainians may have launched their attack in the hopes of blunting the missile launches.

aircooled MegaDork
12/5/22 2:57 p.m.

Yes, a large missile attack was very much predicted (see post about bombers being moved around) and they likely where trying to slow that down a bit.

VolvoHeretic HalfDork
12/5/22 7:46 p.m.

Just what am I looking at here? They say they are used russian rockets but I wonder if they are duds since shouldn't they be more blowed up if they weren't duds?

Mr_Asa UltimaDork
12/5/22 7:52 p.m.
VolvoHeretic said:

Just what am I looking at here? They say they are used russian rockets but I wonder if they are duds since shouldn't they be more blowed up if they weren't duds?

So these are MLRS rockets, Multiple Launch Rocket System.
The actual warhead/munition is separate from the launch/booster system.  So these are evidence that there was an explosion somewhere else

Edit: here's a primer on the Lockheed version, I doubt Russia is using their stuff, though.

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