Next In the Russia-Ukraine War

Ukrainian troops are likely days away from taking the city of Lyman. Russian troops are mostly encircled there. Ukraine will likely only try to take half of Luhansk and cut off the supplies sent via rail through Troiske. It would be too difficult to defend three sides taking all of Luhansk.

It would then make more sense to put even more pressure in Kherson and pushing through to Mariupol in the center of the Russian captured areas.

Ukraine needs to capture areas that make it tougher for Russia to supply troops.

44 thoughts on “Next In the Russia-Ukraine War”

  1. Maybe the long term danger is a humiliated Russia that, like the Weimar Republic, falls before another dictator who promises to give the people back their national pride. (That worked for Castro and Hitler, and arguably Reagan and Trump played off this idea with their usual incompetence.)
    For centuries Russia has seen itself on a messianic mission to be the “Third Rome” (following the original and then Constantinople), carrying civilization and Christianity to the misbegotten. The Soviet Union kept this concept going, at least in principal, with the mission of Marxist for the world. And when it fell there was effectively a low pressure area, a political vacuum, that Putin filled with a mix of nationalism and revived religion. His removal will hopefully be done internally and surgically so Russians don’t see an outside enemy responsible for making them the victims.

  2. Possibly Russia using a nuke in Ukraine would mean it quickly loses. Ukraine has mostly refrained from attacking into Russia to cut off supplies to Russian troops in Ukaine – presumably to avoid triggering Russia to use nukes in ‘self defense’.

    So if Russia uses a nuke anyway, all bets are off, their territory is no longer safe. How much has Russia depended on that safety? Based on how they’ve run everything else in this war, I’d guess they haven’t got a lot of protection from an attack that pushes past Ukraine’s borders to destroy supply depots and rail and road supply lines within Russia. Their troops in Ukraine run out of ammo, start to starve, and surrender.

    • The problem there is if Putin simply says “attack any further and say goodbye to Kiev”, what is Zelenskyy going to do?

      Best solution is simply to promise that any kind of nuclear attack on Ukraine will be answered by the same on Russia. Give Zelensky the means to return the favor. That will be the end of Putin and this war.

  3. It has never been about winning or expanding or showing military competence – it’s only been about infecting – as in by a virus vector roughly jabbed. The cheapest and lowest maintenance way of invading. Disable and degrade the host – leave weak and loosely-aligned ‘russian sympathizer’ residue behind no matter the conflict outcome. Future infection vectors. Russia is a backward, unproductive culture -and- loose assemblage of gangster states all vying for influence using acts of violence, show-boating, and mutually-undermining activities, all floated on an ephemeral puff of historical tradition and post-medieval cultural norms. Minimal potential. Highly unstable. Creating an effective border buffer and continuing to show western technological and cultural competence is the only way to speed the undoing ‘glasnost’-style of such a plague mass. NATO is doing well by arming legitimately-motivated neighbours – unexpectedly resilient and politically-savvy in Ukraine’s case.

    • I am not sure that telling a culture that they are ‘backward and unproductive’ nor imposing widepread economic isolation has ever lead to large-scale disarmament, re-organization of their political system to be more responsive to soci-economic realities, and an increase in overall entrepreneurialism, creativity, and useful productivity. Work ethic, individualistic ambition; sense of pride in work, home, and community; and a desire to contribute to a futuristic, post-scarcity society (a predominantly western set of values) takes generations of motivated citizens. Many thought that by increasing merit-based as well as compassionate/economic-based emigration would spread the word. Many thought that globalization would provide that gentle influence via Starbucks, Apple, and BMW since the 1990s. Many thought that the internet, cheap cel service (with comparatively expensive hand-sets), and social media sharing would provide incentive and exposure to ‘positive and life-affirming consumption as reward for work’ (as practiced by the West). Ho-hum. It seems that only the grand dis-assembly of the ‘Federation’ will start the transformation, once they have been pushed out of Europe.

  4. The Ukrainian military and political leadership had been able turn the tide around and inflict devastating strategic losses on the Russian military. The Ukrainian military was able to quickly acquire the knowledge and expertise of the NATO & Western military equipment & weaponry in a very short timeframe and effectively use it against the Russian forces. The results are impressive and visible: Within days the Ukrainians will be able to take over Lyman and further penetrate the Lugansk/Donbass southern frontlines. Strategically this is a very important move. However, will Putin who feels cornered with his military failures use the tactical (smaller scale) nuclear weapons to change the course of the war? With the sham & fraudulent referendums it feels like Putin is all in… In addition, with forced mobilization of Russians it feels like Putin is playing this game with the usual Russian military playbook he utilized in Georgia, Chechnya, Crimea and Syria: win the war by spilling more civilian blood, inflict more civilian terror, rapes, murder of civilians and keep committing more war crimes to further inflict more fear and terror.
    At this point the NATO nations should issue more direct and stricter threats against Putin and even consider closing the borders to the Russians who are escaping the country. These same people, the vast majority of them (75%-80%) supported Putin’s bloodshed and war vs Ukraine and now they also need to held responsible. They need to stay in Russia and protest there against Putin regime and not simply escape and claim refugee status, when they absolutely do not deserve it.
    This war will end within few months or a year at maximum, however it might be possible that Putin feeling cornered utilizes the tactical nukes (vs strategic). This will be the last and final nails to his coffin and this will forever destroy Russia as a country. If Putin makes this strategic mistake, there will be no more Russia and instead of it we will have 10+ more independent republics. And maybe this is the best outcome for the world peace and long-term stability on the Eurasian continent?

    • “Quickly” acquiring the knowledge and expertise of NATO? I guess it depends on what your time scale is for “quickly”. If the article in TIME magazine on Monday titled “Inside the Ukrainian Counterstrike That Turned the Tide of the War” is accurate, at least a portion of the Ukrainian military has been transforming themselves since at least 2014, and arguably since the beginning of the military careers of many of the current Ukrainian military leaders, though more slowly before 2014.

      In one sense, that is quickly, but it didn’t happen only since February of this year, if that is what you meant.

    • The Ukrainians have worn out the 150 mm howitzers they received from the USA. But, that’s okay since they have used up all the ammo and the USA has no more to send.

      The latest arms package will provide Ukraine with more HIMARs just as soon as they come off the assembly line. The estimated lead time is 2-3 years.

      There are no more man portable anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons to send. The cupboard is bare.

  5. Future look –

    07-Oct-2022 is Vladimir Putin’s 70th Birthday.

    Concern –
    1. Russian Generals do something big for his birthday (WMD usage?)
    2. Ukraine does something big for his birthday (Kerch Bridge?)

    Something to watch.

  6. Secondary sanctions on Putler’s Mongol orc hordes. If you trade with Putler you can’t trade with the west – NOTHING!
    The free world will have to adjust to no longer having cheap Mongol orc horde energy. China, Putlerland, India, Iran and North Korea will make a fine honest trading block.

  7. So, I’m a little weird, and I tend to say things that may not be agreeable or are provable. But, here it is:

    Putin– not Russia, Putin– is going to fail. How he fails is up to him, not western nations. There will probably be some sort of coup in which hard-liners which are even less sane than Putin attempt to silently attack nations outside of Russia, for reasons only known to them. Putin could have been compromised by a minority of his own inner circle. He likely understands the implications of the use of nuclear weapons. If there are nuclear weapons used in Ukraie, it may not be under Putin’s orders.

    The world is in far more danger if Putin has become a puppet of people who are less restrictive with nuclear technology than he is, himself. But, if officials in Russia really wanted to annihilate western nations, they could have done it with submarines, by now. Those marine vehicles are in play– it doesn’t matter whether or not you like it, but you do have to accept it– they’re available to Russia.

    Putin will not be using nuclear forces to attack anyone. If there is a nuclear weapon used, the international community should consider him compromised. Such a move would be condemned but NATO would not respond with nuclear capability, nor will China (because, well… why? Like, for fun, or something?). China might love to have Russia as a defacto economic vassal state, without admission.

    My point in saying this: there will not be an “Armageddon”, even though it’s a cute idea that makes for good use of Hollywood movie plots. [To that end]: A long time ago, I swear I saw a movie trailer in the early 1990s for some TV show/movie called “Fireshy” about nuclear war. I’ve never been able to find it. Anyone ever heard of it, please let me know, it’s driven me batty for over twenty years.

    • The real danger of nuclear weapon use is from Ukraine. It had lots of them (and manufactured them as well) before the breakup of the USSR. Supposedly they transferred them to Russia. It is strongly suspected that they kept some of them and also they probably sold some of them.

      A losing nuclear Nazi Ukraine would be a very dangerous wounded animal.

  8. @scott

    You could have said the same when he annexed parts of Chechnya, Georgia, Transnistria, Moldavia, Crimea, … Enough is enough. He’ll just keep killing people, stealing their land if we don’t grow some balls and say enough is enough.

    Appeasement might freeze the conflict for a while but he’ll come back for the rest of Ukraine in a couple of years if we let him.

  9. When did this insane idea of “beating” Russia militarily take hold? Early in the war there was the sensible acknowledgement that no military solution was possible. There were attempts to broker some kind of ceasefire. Now it’s all about escalating and beating Russia back. Well guess what, Putin is not just going to quietly accept defeat in eastern Ukraine. This is going to get really ugly if the west doesn’t come to its senses and start negotiating something with Russia. No matter how distasteful that might be it’s better than Armageddon.

    • Armageddon implies that Russia will use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Doing so will alienate its remaining economic partners and will invite a devastating conventional response from NATO.

      Don’t kid yourself. NATO will respond.

      “But Russia has strategic nuclear…” Just shut up. First, even if all of Russia’s strategic nukes were fired and successfully hit their targets (which is a BIG if) population loss for NATO would be in the 10-15% range and industrial capacity would be in the ~20-25% range. Western Russia (the only densely inhabited part of Russia) would be glassed, loose >50% of its population, and then be occupied by NATO forces which would reduce what was left of Russia to a subsistence agrarian society by force.

      The war in Ukraine will likely stall during the fall. Ukraine will continue to receive supplies from the west. Russia will continue to attrit what weapons it has while its forces are hit by high-precision long-range artillery. OSNIT analysis has shown that Russia has only ~1,330 operational tanks left. Other weapon systems are similarly attrited. By this time next year, Russia will have to pour poorly equipped and trained conscripts into Crimea in an attempt to hold it. Russia will beg China for help but China will not provide it as China would prefer Russia to be a weakened and beholden mineral colony rather than a pier.

      • Great to see the Russian mob and FSB be decimated and neutered. Watching these types of empires die shows the free world resolve. Russia has always been a sponsor of corruption and dictator support of other countries. May have even compromised Trump. Sure they have Nukes, but do they work? – that is the $10 dollar question that everyone would never want to find out. My bet only 15% are truly functional, hydrogen Nukes even worse more like 2% working order. Russia has been playing a paper tiger game for decades, while reality has finally caught up and they played there hand and lost it big time. Putler’s time is done.

        • “an all out nuclear war” — How’s that supposed to happen? It’s not like Putin can push a button & all the ICBMs/SLBMs get launched. If he tries, Russia will be wiped off the map. Putin has no good nuclear options. If he drops a tactical nuke in Ukraine, the West will not reply in kind & Putin gets universal hate from inside & outside Russia.
          And letting Putin get what he wants because of a little nuclear saber rattling would have serious negative consequences as well.


        Full scale nuclear war between Russia and USA.

        Russia-US nuclear war scenario, where Russia would target 2,200 weapons on Western countries and the US would target 1,100 weapons each on Russia. In total, therefore, 4,400 warheads detonate, equivalent to roughly half the current inventories held each by Russia and the US.
        The devastation causes so much smoke that only 30-40 percent of sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface for the subsequent six months.

        A massive drop in temperature follows, with the weather staying below freezing throughout the subsequent Northern Hemisphere summer. In Iowa, for example, the model shows temperatures staying below 0°C for two years straight. There is no growing season. This is a true nuclear winter.

        Nor is it just a short blip. Temperatures still drop below freezing in summer for several years thereafter, and global precipitation falls by half by years three and four. It takes over a decade for anything like climatic normality to return to the planet.

        By this time, most of Earth’s human population will be long dead. The world’s food production would crash by more than 90 percent, causing global famine that would kill billions by starvation. In most countries less than a quarter of the population survives by the end of year two in this scenario. Global fish stocks are decimated and the ozone layer collapses.

        The models are eerily specific. In the 4,400 warhead/150 Tg soot nuclear war scenario, averaged over the subsequent five years, China sees a reduction in food calories of 97.2 percent, France by 97.5 percent, Russia by 99.7 percent, the UK by 99.5 percent and the US by 98.9 percent. In all these countries, virtually everyone who survived the initial blasts would subsequently starve.
        Everybody on here saying he wont dare .. push on .. THIS THIS is what you get if you are wrong, you ready for that?

        • Russia has 1,474 deployed strategic warheads. None of Russia’s tactical warheads would survive a strike by NATO (the primary target of nuclear weapons for both sides is nuclear weapons) and even if they did Russia does not have enough delivery systems. The soot figures you cite are based on WWII data from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which were cities literally built out of wood and paper. Modern target sets are primarily built of non-flammable materials. The number of nuclear weapons and their collective yield are 85% below their Cold War peak. The “nuclear winter” scenario is no longer plausible.

          If you don’t believe me, you should ask yourself “why did NATO start reducing the yields of their strategic nuclear weapons in the 1990s even though no treaty required them to do so?”

    • Ukraine’s primary supporters are UK, USA, and Poland. Yes Baltic states are all in also but their contribution is relatively tiny because those nations are.

      Strategically, the USA gets the best result by seeing Russia sucked into an quagmire in Ukraine and rendered militarily and economically irrelevant for decades. That’s what’s going to happen as the people of Ukraine are in no mood to parley with Russia due to their incessant commission of war crimes. Even if the government of Ukraine wanted to cut a deal the people of Ukraine wouldn’t allow it.

      So quite simply as long as the Ukrainian people will it and continue to get supplied by the Anglo-American-Polish alliance, it will continue until Russia is utterly crushed.

    • Negotiating implies that Russia gets to keep some of the territory it has seized and that can’t be allowed to happen if we don’t want Russia to keep starting wars like it has been doing. Russia needs to lose this war and if Russia doesn’t lose it will just start rebuilding it’s military and start planning what illegal war to start next. This is because Putin’s goal is to reconstitute the Soviet Union and its Eastern Block.

      • They get to ‘keep’ some territory, but we don’t recognize it. Just a ceasefire. Save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians (and innocent Russian cannon fodder). Russia still gets punished severely with sanctions. NATO strengthens its borders. Russia gains nothing except a bombed out chunk of Ukraine. Letting this escalate into ww3 over a chunk of Ukraine is a mistake. In the distant future Russia will collapse someday and Ukraine gets its territory back. We need to play the long game here. Limit the damage.

    • Russia doesn’t want Putin to commit to suicide for all their families….he will back down just like they wimped out in Cuba….

      • Khrushchev was ukrainian, not russian. He also unilaterally transferred Crimea from Russia to his Ukraine without any authority to do so.

    • When the Russian military was revealed to be some of the most decrepit, poorly-maintained hunks of junk among global powers.

    • So if Russia is not confronted, what land grab will it entertain next? Russia has an economy the size of Canada and a dilapidated army. Wouldn’t it make more sense if Putin just nuclear blackmailed the resources he wanted? Just cut out the military theatrics? Of course that is the problem. If nuclear threats work once in getting what Putin wants, where does it stop?

      • He hasn’t gotten what he wanted. He wanted all of Ukraine. And thought he would just take Kyiv unopposed just like he did Crimea. He has been stopped. His military has taken a beating. NATO has been strengthened. The sanctions will bite hard over time. There is no reason to risk escalating further.

        • He definitely didn’t get *everything* that he wanted, but he currently has *some* of it, and if we let him keep it, like we did in 2014, it will only embolden him to come back in 5–8 years to take yet another chunk off Ukraine, or maybe off Kazakhstan to switch it up a bit. Iean, who’s going to stop him?

    • This happened when the second most powerful military in the world was revealed to be the second most powerful military in Ukraine back in february and early march 2022. It happened when they tipped their hand and outright stated there intent for genocide in Ukraine; and it wasn’t just loose talk on Russian TV; they were bombing green corridors, stealing away and forcibly adopting children, raping and torturing their way across eastern Ukraine; all the while blaming the victim.

      Russia must get nothing. They must be beaten back within their borders. They must be humiliated like the Germans after world war II.

      The rot is so deep that it’s doubtful Russia has many functional nuclear weapons. These are things which need lots of expensive maintenance. You need to make the tritium and remove the helium 3 from decaying tritium stocks. You need to remanufacture the high explosives. You need to test the electronics. And best of all, it is not allowed to do any proper tests or actually use nuclear weapons in any context. The potential for corruption is monstrous.

      If Russia is crazy enough to start nuclear war over this, then the sooner the better.

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