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The Ukraine War: Increasing Ukrainian gains in the past week

The Ukraine War as of March 24, 2022
The Ukraine War as of March 24, 2022. Click for full map.

The Ukraine War as of March 31, 2022
The Ukraine War as of March 31, 2022. Click for full map.

Another week has passed in the Ukraine war, and with it we begin to see increasing evidence that not only has the Russian invasion stalled, but that the Ukraine is beginning to push back with more and more effectiveness.

The two maps to the right are from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and have been simplified, annotated, and reduced to post here. The top was from ISW’s March 24, 2022 report, the bottom from its report today. The dark red areas are regions either controlled by Russia or areas of confirmed Russian advance. The light red indicates areas the Russians claim to control without confirmation. The blue areas mark areas retaken by the Ukraine in battle. The circles indicate areas of recent heavy fighting.

The green arrows I have added to both maps indicate areas where there have been changes since the week prior. Like last week, the arrows point almost entirely to areas where Russian control has ebbed, either because the Russians have chosen to retreat, or because Ukrainian forces have pushed them out. The summary from ISW is succinct:

Ukrainian forces conducted several local counterattacks around Kyiv, in northeastern Ukraine, and toward Kherson on March 31, successfully pressuring Russian forces and seeking to disrupt ongoing Russian troop rotations. Ukrainian forces northwest of Kyiv pushed Russian forces north of the E-40 highway and will likely assault Russian-held Bucha and Hostomel in the coming days. Ukrainian forces exploited limited Russian withdrawals east of Brovary to retake territory across Kyiv and Chernihiv Oblasts. Ukrainian forces likely conducted counterattacks toward Sumy in the past 24 hours as well, though ISW cannot independently confirm these reports. Finally, Ukrainian forces conducted limited counterattacks in northern Kherson Oblast. Russian forces only conducted offensive operations in Donbas and against Mariupol in the last 24 hours and did not make any major advances.

The Mariupol situation is interesting in that for weeks ISW expected Russia to capture the city within days. Not only has this not happened, ISW no longer makes this prediction. Last night I used Google maps to compare the territory marked as under Russian control with the satellite view of the city, and was shocked to discover that almost all the captured terrain is parkland. Russia has actually taken control of very little of Mariupol’s urban terrain. Russian continues to make very very slow gains in this street fighting, but at the present pace it could take much longer than anyone expected for it to capture the city.

All told, it appears that the tide of the war has shifted toward the Ukraine. Whether that trend continues is of course not guaranteed, but since the Ukraine is defending its home while Russia is the invader, I would not put much money on the invader. While the Ukraine people might not have been interested in fighting Russia before, its entire population now has good cause to fight, and their blood is up. Even if Russia should now call for a peace settlement, the Ukraine might not be interested until it has pushed Russia back a lot more, maybe even entirely.

One important note to my readers: I am using ISW’s maps for this analysis. I strongly recommend that you stop depending on the anecdotal news reports coming from the press, and read ISW’s daily reports instead. They will give you the larger context, based not on one story or another (possibly ginned up for propaganda by either side), but the overall situation, based on many reports from many sources.

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65 comments

  • John

    Mariupol isn’t really there anymore, it’s just a gutted city. What a travesty.

    It will be interesting to see if the lines stabilize and how much of their country Ukraine can recover. They’ll have weapons but their armed forces have to be weakened and blooded as well.

    Even if you see Russia’s point of view, and Ukraine is a corrupt state that was aligning with the west; but how anyone can side with Russia given the brutality, violence, death, and destruction is beyond me. Oh right, nazis; give me a break. People are so deranged and psychotic nowadays.

    Even if Russia throws in its conscripted reserve, I don’t think they can win. They’re done. Best thing they can hope to accomplish is a protracted human meat grinder. I hope they don’t do anything even more stupid.

  • John wrote, “Mariupol isn’t really there anymore, it’s just a gutted city.”

    If so, then why haven’t Russian military forces taken over that rubble in more places? As I say, the Google maps satellite view, when compared with the ISW map, shows almost all Russian occupied territory to be parkland. Most of the areas where there are homes, streets, & buildings do not appear to be in its control. If now destroyed, a tank and infantry advance would be relatively easy (when compared to street-to-street fighting among buildings).

  • George C

    Bombed out rubble can be a great tactical place to defend. Remember the battle of Monte Cassino. If I were a Russian soldier now I am not sure which would be worse, being ordered to enter a city or to dig in with a trench near Chernobyl.

  • John

    Ruined cities have historically been an advantage to defenders. I didn’t meant to imply Russia was in control of it, just that there isn’t much left of it to fight over.

    Here’s some of the footage I saw.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOVwYbgek9Y

  • Max

    “You must break some eggs, if you want to make an omelette”

    As of most of you, I’ve been hearing conflicting stories, rumors, allegations of war crimes that turned out to be true/false flag events staged to blame Putin, just as the Democrats “staged crimes” against Trump as a diversion to their own crimes and alliances. (Trump has been vindicated, but has any of the media reported on Hunter Biden’s laptop with proof of treason of his father and other high-ranking officials and the lack of investigation by CIA, FBI, admitting they destroyed evidence?)
    Zimmerman’s advice of not relying on the “spoon fed” news it’s good advice, the propaganda that we are witnessing serves a purpose.
    Mostly it distracts from the bigger picture of dictatorial corruption of our government with forced medication and subservience leveraging food and economics that will change your lives.

    From the beginning of the war in Ukraine in 2014 until the pandemic in 2019, 13,000 casualties.
    https://www.rferl.org/a/death-toll-up-to-13-000-in-ukraine-conflict-says-un-rights-office/29791647.html
    Since the well publicized and anticipated (choreographed) Russian invasion to stop the Nazis, an additional 15,000 casualties. (NATO says 30 to 40,000 casualties… Who do you believe?)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/24/russia-troops-casualties-nato-ukraine/

    Meanwhile, the fentanyl war (formally the opiate war) in the United States in the last year is 100,000 casualties… And the war just south of El Paso Texas is nearing 200,000 with many fleeing reprisals of the drug cartels, coming to America where they feel safe, by the thousands and thousands.
    Over 2 million so far invited by Biden, MS 13 and other gangs, Including war refugees of military age from all over the world entering our southern border without contest as a fifth column setting up residence with the government’s help.
    In a few days, title 22? will expire… and will no longer restrict anyone from entering. The laws in place are not being enforced. They need to keep our focus on problems elsewhere… WHY?

    A report from Ukrainian hospitals, treating the Russian soldiers, has explained that there is a language problem… The soldiers are mostly new Muslim conscripts from southern Russia… Cannon fodder using antiquated equipment.

    Another BBC news service states, Syrian and former Isis fighters are being offered $7000 to fight for Russia and $3000 for support duties. More cheap canon fodder.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-offers-middle-east-fighters-3000-month-join-ukraine-invasion-2022-3

    https://m.republicworld.com/world-news/russia-ukraine-crisis/40000-syrians-register-to-fight-for-russia-in-ukraine-400-mercenaries-already-in-ukraine-articleshow.html

    Meanwhile, US government is allocating billions to help Ukraine (increasing wartime profits for the bomb makers) with very little of the money actually reaching Ukraine… Just like the billions loaded on planes that was dropped off in the middle east during the Obama era.

    Warhawk radio and TV commentators blindly supporting the administration for supporting Ukraine, forgetting what the same administration was trying to force them to do with medical intervention, without which you cannot travel, have a job, or go to the store without! It’s funny how fast things are forgotten for the next new shiny object that catches their eye… Shut down the world for two weeks to flatten the curve… I wonder if the economy will recover in my lifetime. (with the death rate from all causes over 40% above average, that may be sooner than we all think… Another young person at my work dropped dead this week! I lost count around 10)

    I still hear one radio announcer cry out “give Ukraine the Polish planes!”
    As if it was that simple. Mig fighters refurbished with NATO avionics and weapon systems that cannot be serviced in Ukraine or flown by Ukrainian pilots. Ukrainian military air bases with holes in the runaways… Nowhere to land, no weapons to resupply… the planes can only be used in a suicide attack against Moscow itself, or drop their bombs and return to NATO countries.
    Don’t think that’ll work. Unless the strategy is to force Putin to use his nuclear weapons… just more eggs to Break.
    Means to an end.
    The question is, is Putin following the playbook by the world economic forum? He is a big supporter… But then maybe China and Russia were just following along until they found their opportunity? Time to raise the communist red to take control away from the weak European / Americans?
    A strategic opportunity to not be the servants, but the masters of the New World Order, great reset leaders? (I’m sure you’ve seen Biden’s recent speech)
    We will soon see.
    Thr world economic forum Schwab is very unhappy with the many Oil rich and communist countries like Venezuela joining with China and Russia. If just for the cameras…

  • Max

    I forgot to include a short clip on MS 13 crackdown in Nicaragua which is under a state of emergency. The reason we have to fear what’s coming our way.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2KrF6TsQvr4&pp=QAFIBA%3D%3D

  • wayne

    Mark Felton
    “Putin’s RS-28 Sarmat ICBM”
    (March 31, 2022)
    https://youtu.be/CjrPS8Lzs2g
    6:36

  • pzatchok

    As for the Polish Migs.
    Yes they have been updated to NATO standards but so have the Ukrainian pilots. They can fly and use the aircraft.

    As for airstrips.

    You forget that Migs are designed to use open grain fields as runways. Any road or field 2 km long is fine.

    All NATO troops practice this. I loved doing this training.
    https://www.warhistoryonline.com/featured/1984-testing-the-autobahn-airfield.html

  • Andrew_W

    Something for Questioner:

    “Ali Velshi looks back at how Russia compensated for poor military strategy in its war with Chechnya with brutality and destruction, ultimately allowing Vladimir Putin to appoint a loyal puppet leader in Chechnya after years of devastating war. ”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF8RX6y18cg

  • Col Beausabre

    As far back as the American Civil War, rubble has demonstrated an ability over intact structures to give an advantage to the defender, On April 7, 1863 a Union fleet of nine vessels reduced Ft Sumter (Charleston, NC) to rubble., which provided the garrison with superior cover from fire and was virtually impossible to damage. The fort was able to repel a subsequent amphibious assault and held out until February, 1865 when the Confederates evacuated Charleston, As part of our training in MOUT (Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain) we were taught to consider what buildings and other structures to rubble to create defensive positions and obstacles to canalize the enemy into preplanned kill zones. As mentioned, the Battle of Cassino and the Siege of the Intramuros in Manila in 1945 are classic examples of this. But the supreme example of this effect, the Russians, should know well – Stalingrad.

  • Andrew_W

    Col Beausabre wrote: “But the supreme example of this effect, the Russians, should know well – Stalingrad.”

    I was having a discussion in the comments of a YouTube video with a Russian just 3 or 4 days ago, the Russian was condemning the Ukraine Nazi’s for retreating into the city and using the inhabitants as human shields. My response was that that’s what armies on the defensive have throughout history, it almost always ends up in street fighting, that as a Russian he should know this. His response was that no, the Russian armies at Leningrad and Stalingrad had maintained defensive lines outside those cities, never actually being forced back into the cities themselves, which is largely true of Leningrad, there the Germans just held back and for a year and a half just let the population starve. He wouldn’t be shaken from his belief that the Soviet army had never had to defend any of their cities with street fighting.
    Perhaps history is taught differently in Russia. I’ve noticed the claim that by continuing the fight inside the city of Mariupol the Ukraine Nazi’s are just using the inhabitants as human shields.

  • Andrew_W

    He told me not to try to tell Russian history to a Russian. SMH.

  • Andrew_W

    There’s been a strike against a fuel depot in Russia near the Ukraine border, at the time of writing the Ukraine Ministry of Defense claims to be unaware of the incident. A small chance it’s the false flag operation I’ve been expecting by Putin to justify a full (non-nuclear) popular mobilization, which he now knows he needs to defeat Ukraine in a conventional war.

  • Cotour

    Information? Disinformation? False flag?

    https://youtu.be/crewrtTqkCA 2 min.

    The fog of war offers many opportunities to initiate, escalate, deescalate and negotiate the political conversation and political agenda.

    Last day Vlad, and coincidentally its April fool’s day!

  • sippin_bourbon

    The strike on the fuel depot may have been decided on by a local commander. Who knows.

    But it would be a smart move. An attack on the fuel being used to logistically support the invasion is a legitimate move. Putin started this war, the fact that the violence is not remaining within the boundaries of Ukraine and is crossing into Russia shows that they do not have the control they want or need. Ukraine has no desire to invade and occupy Russia. But this kind of attack is legit. If Putin wants to cry “no fair” he should be laughed at around the world.

  • Col Beausabre

    Andrew W. Ask him if the names “Tractor Factory” or “Barrikady Factory” mean anything to him and if he knows where they are located in Volvograd (renamed as part of de-Stalinization)

    “After 27 September, much of the fighting in the city shifted north to the industrial district. Having slowly advanced over 10 days against strong Soviet resistance, the 51st Army Corps was finally in front of the three giant factories of Stalingrad: the Red October Steel Factory, the Barrikady Arms Factory and Stalingrad Tractor Factory.”

    Here’a a situation map for Sept-Oct 1942

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/5840674488606820/

    I read Chuikov’s account of the battle back in college and allowing for the required propaganda, it was a factual account of the siege to include maps of the battle. He should know what went on, he commanded the 62nd Army in the thick of the fighting. at the Tractor Factory. And if I could get a copy in the early Seventies, how has it been suppresed in Russia…..

    https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/battle-for-stalingrad_vasili-ivanovich-chuikov/24895031/item/41538435/?gclid=CjwKCAjwxZqSBhAHEiwASr9n9FxPrtar8-3CnAdiV7Errev9AKseULDHv3_JrU_AzMeiDept9APmoBoCV1IQAvD_BwE#idiq=41538435&edition=57311728

    Anyway, even if the general public doesn’t know the details of the fighting, I would hope the officer corps of the Russian Army do – or Putin is in bigger trouble than he thinks,

  • Andrew_W

    Col Beausabre.
    Very much appreciated!

    The discussion is here at the bottom of the thread in the, it now has about 119 comments, leading with this one:

    Лариса Рущенко
    6 days ago
    Какой ужас ,какой разгром Бедные люди ,как вы могли всё это пережить. Смотришь через экран и сердце кровью обливается. Терпения вам,выжить и выстоять ,этот ад.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrvcVXlalh0&t=1s

  • Andrew_W

    . . .Well, hopefully my last reply, (using your words) will eventually appear in that YouTube discussion..

  • Questioner

    Andrew_W and Cotour:

    You poor lost ones. What do you actually want to do if sooner or later the fact of the Russian victory hits you as a harsh reality? To jump out of the window?

    Mr Z:

    What is this strange institution on which you base your whole analysis in your article above, which takes the propaganda about alleged Ukrainian victories at face value?

    Better try to put some energy into understanding Russian military strategy and performance. I’ve given you enough material from Colonel McGregor and Scott Ritter. Also about the involvement of the Kiev regime in Nazi activities and their atrocities in eastern Ukraine, and most recently, in Mariupol (see Patrick Lancaster). I can’t think of a better word to describe your behavior than willful ignorance of the truth.

    So now you can block me. Best forever.

    Ciao

  • Andrew_W

    Questioner, in the earlier discussion Mr. Zimmerman suggested that perhaps you were a paid propagandist for the Russian Government living in Germany, I was extremely skeptical of his theory due to the extremely amateurish effort you make, that surely the Russian government would have someone in their pay who puts up such a shallow and pathetic effort, continually getting even the basics wrong.

    Now we’ve seen the efforts of the Russian military in Ukraine we now know that indeed the Russian Government does have hundreds of thousands of people on the payroll who’ve demonstrated that their efforts are indeed amateurish, with them continually getting even the basics wrong.

  • So all my readers know, I have no reason to block Questioner, and have not. If he or she now chooses to stop posting comments, that will be his choice.

    I like hearing his perspective, because it challenges mine. That his sources are routinely so untrustworthy or anecdotal is a shame, as they don’t provide a convincing argument for his claim of an impending “Russian victory.”

    Regardless, I have not blocked him, even though he has previously tried to defend Hitler and even justify bigotry and genocide.

    As for my reliance on ISW, I check their analysis constantly, and consistently find it to fit the facts as offered by many others. If someone knows another source that provides a similar kind of strategic analysis, from a different perspective, I would be glad to know about it.

  • Biglar

    People are very quick to believe that Ukraine has Russia on its heels and point to some areas in the north where Ukraine has conducted some minor offensive operations. However, these are not in the core areas where Russia is concentrating its forces, and mean nothing strategically. And Russia has the ability to quickly snuff out any significant offensive operation using air power. Until Ukraine can turn the tide in Donetsk or Lukhansk, nothing Ukraine does elsewhere really matters. As long as Russia continues (slowly) advancing in the east, the tide of war has not turned. I’m hoping for a ceasefire, but both sides seem to have hardened their positions while hundreds of people die needlessly every day. It’s a pitiful tragedy.

  • Andrew_W

    “And Russia has the ability to quickly snuff out any significant offensive operation using air power.”

    Russia does not have air supremacy and continues to lose aircraft at an unsustainable rate, as most of the Ukraine systems are short range low altitude systems in theory high altitude bombing might be an option, except that the Ukrainian’s are not needing to concentrate their forces in a way that would make them vulnerable due to the low formation densities of the Russian forces which are spread out over a vast area.
    “Until Ukraine can turn the tide in Donetsk or Lukhansk, nothing Ukraine does elsewhere really matters.”
    That’s just not so, Russia has limited resources, if those forces in the North are lost or badly damaged that removes them as a force to be redeployed, meanwhile the Ukraine forces that did the damage are able to be redeployed (in not too badly damaged themselves)

    “As long as Russia continues (slowly) advancing in the east, the tide of war has not turned.”
    Russia has lost its earlier momentum, Ukraine forces continue to get fresh supplies of the latest weaponry with their troops becoming more proficient and organized. Russia in contrast is now calling in older equipment and less experienced units.
    The writing is on the wall.

    Strategically it would be a big mistake for Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire, as sensible as the allies agreeing to one after becoming established in Normandy.

  • Cotour

    Why are the Russians having so much difficulty nailing down the air space over Ukraine? The Russians have not invested in smart munitions carried on their bombers and fighters and are still using dumb bombs which require a lower altitude in order for any degree of accuracy.

    This makes their jets at risk of the Stinger and other shoulder fired missiles that are very effective against aircraft, tanks and artillery.

    Questioner: You are a unique human.

  • wayne

    Andrew_W
    1:07pm -> hilarious!

  • wayne

    Andrew_W
    1:07pm -> hilarious!

  • Cotour

    I just read this, made me laugh out loud:

    “Russia’s war effort stalls as the Red Army can’t get replacement weapons or spares for their crippled convoys because they’re all made in Ukraine ”

    Who is running this war, Joe Biden?

  • Cotour: Yup, I just saw that Daily Mail story, here:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10677711/Russias-war-effort-stalls-Red-Army-replacement-weapons.html

    This report however should be taken with a grain of salt. The sources are anonymous. Also, Russia did make a very concerted effort in the past three decades to replace Ukrainian space assets with Russian equivalents, and was largely successful. I would have expected them to do the same for military components.

    Still, the corruption that permeates Russia’s business culture remains, and could easily have allowed this stupidity to occur, while hiding it from the big bosses. If so, it is truly hilarious in a tragic sort of way.

    And if so, it gives us another data point showing how weak Russia really is. Putin would have been far smarter to threaten invasion and force concessions, than actually invade.

  • Cotour

    The Daily Mail is an interesting collection of stories, it is very broad spectrum, lots of T & A, vapid self-absorbed, childish Hollywood drama crap and perversion, the Queen, and then things like this story:

    “Putin ‘is constantly followed by thyroid cancer doctor’: Specialist has ‘spent 282 days’ with Russian President amid claims he is seriously ill and suffering ‘steroid rage’ from treatment”. (Information? Disinformation?)

    I think the takeaway for me is that much of the world is getting to a fever pitch point in time when things may at some point turn on a dime. Lots of forced tension, lots of corruption being revealed, lots of perversion being revealed. And it is especially so right here in America. And where we will find ourselves after the turn on that dime is not exactly understood by me.

    The Left in America is absolutely certifiably out of their minds in a very dangerous way as they push as hard as they can while they still have some measure of power with the insane agendas that threaten us AND them. But they are so invested they cannot see it; they are suicidal in many ways.

    It can only get much crazier before it settles down.

    There are no guarantees, Constitution or no Constitution.

  • Col Beausabre

    T&A and perversion…where do I get a subscription!

  • Col Beausabre

    ““Russia’s war effort stalls as the Red Army can’t get replacement weapons or spares for their crippled convoys because they’re all made in Ukraine ”

    “Also, Russia did make a very concerted effort in the past three decades to replace Ukrainian space assets with Russian equivalents, and was largely successful. I would have expected them to do the same for military components.

    Still, the corruption that permeates Russia’s business culture remains, and could easily have allowed this stupidity to occur, while hiding it from the big bosses. If so, it is truly hilarious in a tragic sort of way.”

    That would be as dumb as outsourcing the manufacture of your main rocket engines to a foreign power that’s none too friendly.

  • Col Beausabre. Most hilarious. 10 points for you!

  • Col Beausabre

    Hey, Questionable

    1) Putin is now a day late. I think, I’ll keep a calendar and post daily to remind you

    2) A Russian Lieutenant General told his officers it would all be over in a few hours. He was right. It was quickly over for him. A Ukrainian sniper got him, thereby joining John “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” Sedgwick in The Military Hall of Shame

    3) The war is going so gloriously, that Putin is calling up 135,000 conscripts and begging for mercenaries from the hellholes of the world. Barely trained draftees who have no desire to be there will be so much meat on the table to the Ukrainian forces hardened by six weeks of combat (combat is a Darwinian process, you either learn and adapt or you die. By now, the surviving Ukrainians have learned and adapted. The Ivans will be playing catch up)

    4) Morale has collapsed in some units. In one tank brigade, the colonel died of his injuries when he was run over by one of his own tanks – the troops were mutinous after taking fifty percent casualties in their 1500 man infantry battalion. MAN! That is taking fragging to a whole new level. Time to bring back the NKVD “Morale Enhancement” battalions – armed with machine guns to the rear of the attacking units to “encourage” (to use Voltaire’s phrase) them to do their duty.

    “Pour l’encouager les autres” – Candide by Voltaire

    But what do I know compared to you, after all I’m just a retired Armor Officer with a quarter century with the colors to my credit.

  • Max

    This should make Cotour very excited…
    Twice as many emails and four times as many pictures discovered in deleted files on Hunter Biden’s laptop! Incriminating evidence.
    And yes, it has direct relevance to what’s going on in Ukraine right now.
    The laptop they kept bottled up for years now just exploded. 41min.
    https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/hunter-bidens-laptop-from-hell-with-jack-maxey-is-it-the-end-of-the-nwo/

    As for the Ukraine’s boasting, why does each newscast from the lying media sound like Baghdad Bob?

  • Andrew_W

    A video for Questioner:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNTPyAsMmxs
    BBC [12:12]

  • Cotour

    Col B: Here you go, its free (Prepare your brain for vapid, mindless BS (Bovin swill) : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html

    I just heard that Russia is suffering a tech brain drain of young people because of Putins actions and Vlad is eliminating income taxes for anyone in the tech industry to incentivize them to stay in Russia. Good luck with that in todays world. All those techies are getting on line and reading actual news and live video through their tech sources and know what is what.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/03/31/russian-tech-workers-are-leaving-for-more-stable-p/?msclkid=ccce79bcb28611ec8c435df182785556

    Vlad, it’s all a down hill spiral from here on in now.

    (You should have declared victory, made your amends and withdrawn to your new comfy border lines before April Fools day like I suggested. Hubris and irrational unbridled ambition will take its toll, your unconscious, brutal authoritarian model no longer works in todays 21st century world. What is your end game? Call me ;)

  • Cotour

    Tanks a lot: https://youtu.be/3s-H1aw69P4

    Have tanks been relegated to the status of buggy whips by modern shoulder fired missile systems?

    The future belongs to drones and jets with high tech / GPS targeting abilities.

    Vlad did not get the memo in the Kremlin.

  • Col Beausabre

    Cotour, No, they haven’t. The armies of the world have realized since around 1942 that tanks have to operate as part of the combined arms team – no more naked charges or thunder runs. The Israelis learned this to the sorrow in ’73 when they send their tanks charging forward with infantry, artillery or close air support, expecting that the Egyptians would panic and run as they had in ’56 and ’67 and got their heads handed to them. What you are seeing is the result of a combination of Russian incompetence and hubris. The Ivans tried the same thing as the Israelis, thinking they could roll right over the Ukrainians. Wrongo, Buffalo Breath. The armies of the world will adapt to fire and forget AT weapons and drones, just the way they have adapted to any new technology throughout history.

  • wayne

    Fury (2014)
    “Seizing Control of A German Town”
    https://youtu.be/5UysrKMlmIc
    6:06

  • Andrew_W

    Col Beausabre.

    I’m skeptical that tanks are now giving the best bang for the buck for the same reasons battleships have given way to aircraft and missile armed surface combatants. It often seems that tanks are making less of a contribution than can be justified for the money invested in them, if they’re so vulnerable that they need the protection of infantry they surely need to demonstrate and offensive capability that cannot be provided by cheaper systems. Their surface to air capability is very low, their main armament is out ranged by shoulder fired ATGW, so what’s their trump card? They’re certainly very vulnerable in an urban environment. Out in flat open country they’re easily destroyed by aircraft. . .

  • pzatchok

    Andrew_W

    Its called combined arms.

    Infantry protects tanks against infantry and tanks protect infantry against tanks. Both are needed to make strong solid ground advances.

    Artillery is used top protect the advances of both and in turn are protects bu both.

    Air power is used against two things. Both low level and high level air power. Low level air power protects against both low level air attacks and ground level targets that artillery and tanks can not target and eliminate. Precision air to ground attacks.
    High level air power is used to establish air superiority over the battler field so low level air power can work.

    Russia does not use the idea of combined arms very well if at all.
    Notice the armor advancing without infantry protection and infantry trying to advance without armor protection. Air power is thrown in with little to no actual tactical targets and or ground forces to protect,

  • Andrew_W

    pzatchok, I don’t think that really refutes my point. If battleships were still in use similar logic could be used to prove their utility. Can infantry work effectively without the support of tanks as long as they have other weaponry that can hit the threats that tanks are optimized to deal with?

  • LocalFulff

    Russia is leaving areas around Kiev in accordance with negotiation with Ukraine, it is not a military defeat. This entire operation has been a very one-sided victory for Russia. Perhaps this week the main Ukrainian forces, originally 60 ,000 men that are surrounded in Donbas, will surrender, effectively ending the shooting war. Russians are moving troops from Kiev and Mariupol to Donbas to “heat up the cauldron” as they put it. Ukraine never took any initiative and never regrouped. It is as if they have no military leadership at all. It could be that the mad nazi Zelensky refused to let them regroup from Donbas in order to give easily fooled militarily completely uneducated westerners the impression on non-defeat, hoping to drag NATO into WW3. It could be that all Ukrainian generals a crazy nazis. Now Zelensky has arrested two of his generals as “traitors”..

    Imagine that Ukraine in over 5 weeks only managed to make one single attack on Russian territory! They could do nothing at all against the challenging amphibious invasion from Crimea. They sat put and let themselves be surrounded in Donbas. An extremely mismanaged war for the by far largest army in Europe (next to that of Russia’s). Ukraine started the war with more soldiers than the UK, France, Germany and Italy combined. And they have been mobilized since May last year. Still, they could achieve nothing. Perhaps the Russian attacks have been so overwhelming that nothing could be done? Several dozen command and control centers have been bombed, perhaps the Ukrainian head was cut off already the first couple of days.

    Here is something which is hard for westerners to understand. Russia negotiates with its enemy while waging war. These are not peace negotiations, they are war negotiations, agreeing upon how the war will be conducted, where humanitarian corridors will be set up and as now that Russia backs off from Kiev in a local semi-ceasefire. NATO always only wages total war with no negotiations, and demands unconditional surrender and the execution of the enemy’s head of state, i.e. war to the last man followed by permanent political chaos and civil war during endless occupation. Russia doesn’t wage war that way They are in it to destroy the enemy’s military and secure the safety of the local Russian population..

  • Andrew_W

    LocalFulff
    “Perhaps this week the main Ukrainian forces, originally 60 ,000 men that are surrounded in Donbas,”

    There were 3 battalions in Mariupol, I don’t know what you base your claim of 60,000 men surrounded in Donbas on. Perhaps you could share your source.

    “It is as if they have no military leadership at all.”
    Ironic given that Russia appears not to have appointed a theater commander.

    “It could be that the mad nazi Zelensky”
    On what do you base your claim that Zelensky is a Nazi? Source please.

    “Now Zelensky has arrested two of his generals as “traitors”..”
    I understand that these generals had links to Russia’s FSB and had put their links to Russia above their allegiance to Ukraine. If so they are traitors and should have been arrested.

    “Imagine that Ukraine in over 5 weeks only managed to make one single attack on Russian territory!”
    As far as I know they have a 100% success rate in their attacks on Russia, could they have launched more attacks on Russian territory? Certainly, at this stage it’s not the priority.

    “Ukraine started the war with more soldiers than the UK, France, Germany and Italy combined.”
    In terms of active military, prior to the Russian attack Ukraine had 209k, France 203k, Germany 183k, Italy 165k and the UK 148k.

    “In order to give easily fooled militarily completely uneducated westerners the impression on non-defeat,”
    I and other sensible westerners are basing their assessment of the situation on the analysis of people with vastly more military experience and military seniority than you. General’s who’ve commanded real armies in real combat.

    “And they have been mobilized since May last year.”
    A fiction straight from the Kremlin, this time it’s one of their lies that they obviously don’t believe themselves. Ukraine didn’t mobilize until after the Russian invasion. Zelensky’s big mistake was believing Russia would not invade.

    “Here is something which is hard for westerners to understand. Russia negotiates with its enemy while waging war. These are not peace negotiations, they are war negotiations, agreeing upon how the war will be conducted,”
    I don’t think anyone seriously thinks Russia is committed to the negotiations as peace negotiations, including the Ukraine government which has made it clear that they don’t believe anything the Kremlin says.

    “They are in it to destroy the enemy’s military and secure the safety of the local Russian population..”
    No, they’re in it to expand the Kremlin’s power over Russia’s neighbors. That’s how autocrats think, they always seek more power over more people. Most in the West know this, and know the dangers of politicians havingunfettered power, something most Russian’s don’t appear to understand.

  • Cotour

    Andrew W on the nature of authoritarian power: “they always seek more power over more people. ”

    Robert Malone on Global Fascism:

    https://twitter.com/Resist_05/status/1510186250757902337?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1510186250757902337%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com%2F2022%2F04%2Fglobal-fascism-dr-malone-uses-plain-talk-break-world-economic-forums-globalist-agenda-video%2F

    And where does the justification to think and take action in the real world in such terms come from?

  • wayne

    Enemy at the Gates (2001)
    “Those Who Retreat Will Be Shot”
    https://youtu.be/L8fWp-i-BGA
    3:58

  • wayne

    “Axis of Evil”
    Christopher Hitchens warns about Vladimir Putin
    (excerpt)
    March 8, 2005 University of Western Ontario.
    https://youtu.be/83OY6De6Ob4
    9:15

  • Andrew_W

    I bet it’s going to be a mission to persuade the Russian troops leaving northern Ukraine to go back into eastern Ukraine.

  • Andrew_W

    Cotour, politicians in the liberal democracies don’t have unfettered power, they might fool all of the people some of the time but there’s always that vocal opposition asking the questions, something Putin and other actual autocrats don’t have to deal with.

  • pzatchok

    Andrew_W

    Just because the infantry can do everything including low level air defense doesn’t mean they are as efficient, fast, effective, or even want to do every job a dedicated unit could do better faster and more effectively.

    The battle ships original mission might be pretty much over(direct ship to ship combat) but that does not mean the ships can not be upgraded to cover other new missions.

    Tanks are the same. No one wants a tank to tank battle to happen but when it does a tank is best at taking out another tank. They can do it faster and cheaper than aircraft and carry more anti armor rounds than the infantry could.

    Aircraft can not take and hold the ground. Tanks can take the ground but not hold it. Infantry holds the ground in the end.

  • Andrew_W

    “a dedicated unit could do better faster and more effectively.”
    “but that does not mean the ships can not be upgraded to cover other new missions.”
    Tank I’m defining as a MBT: a heavily armored vehicle, usually tracked with a large caliber gun main armament primarily intended to penetrate the armor of other MBT’s, most ATGW’s are now top attack, they cheat by going around the tanks heavy frontal armor.
    I can easily see the tank being replaced by more agile vehicles carrying vertical launched ATGM’s, able to fire them off rapidly with the missiles able to largely self home on their target, or be guided by small drones, precisely hitting targets behind obstacles, at far greater ranges than tanks can.

    “and carry more anti armor rounds than the infantry could.”
    How about mechanized infantry?

  • Cotour

    “Cotour, politicians in the liberal democracies don’t have unfettered power, they might fool all of the people some of the time but there’s always that vocal opposition asking the questions, something Putin and other actual autocrats don’t have to deal with.”

    True to a degree, but everyone has to answer eventually one way or another whether they be an autocrat or a Democrat. You keep your eyes on Putin he is “Unfettered”.

    The Ying and the Yang of it all:

    * I am big and powerful but move slowly, and I will crush you.

    * I am small and fast and can make you bleed the death of a thousand cuts.

    Putin for example is big and powerful but he is disorganized, slow and his men are not inspired. He needed for it all be over in a week. I heard a Russian Oligarch say that Putin expected the Ukrainians to welcome him and throw flowers as he invaded to save them from the Nazi’s. And that did not happen, apparently that upset him. Putin in the aggregate has outraged the world.

    Ukraine on the other hand is small and has limited resources, but their people are fighting like hell for their freedom and their lives. The world loves the underdog, and that is without doubt the Ukrainians. And they are being very effective.

    Makes a difference, ask the Vietnamize. There are costs to every move and counter move and who ever can hold on longer than the other usually wins.

  • wayne

    Cotour-
    Going tangential here–>

    Elon Musk now owns 73,486,938 shares of Twitter, roughly 9.3% of the stock.

  • Cotour

    If you can’t beat them, buy them!

    Then change the corporate vision and fire every young (or old) Millennial or irrational Liberal Leftist who demands America be destroyed who stands in your way of reinstalling actual free speech and a more objective philosophy back into the conversation.

  • pzatchok

    Andrew_W

    Look at Russia right now.

    They have some of the best MBT’s in the world but can not afford to equip them with night vision and modern targeting systems.
    Those missile systems your talking about that the infantry could be using are expensive. Far more expensive than a tank round. The cheaper systems like LAW and RPG’s are direct fire weapons and not top down weapons and thus need to be used much closer to the target.

    I am counting mechanized infantry into infantry. Even with those nice Javelin missiles they take almost a minute to reload and are a two man system. They are just too heavy and large for one man to run with.

    As for defeating the top down missiles.
    Israel already has a system to do this. They use it on APC’s and helicopters now to stop RPG’s. And its cheap, small and light. It has a small weakness but that is worked around.

  • Andrew_W

    “They have some of the best MBT’s in the world but can not afford to equip them with night vision and modern targeting systems.”
    Their incompetence is not a useful guide. Night vision & targeting systems should cost a lot less than a tank.

    “Those missile systems your talking about that the infantry could be using are expensive. Far more expensive than a tank round. The cheaper systems like LAW and RPG’s are direct fire weapons and not top down weapons and thus need to be used much closer to the target.”
    But once you figure in the price of the tank? If the modern tank costs $10,000,000 and carries 40 rounds each worth $6000 that’s a package costing $256,000 a round, about the same as that Javelin, the NLAW costs around $30,000 each and is top attack, effect out to 800m. In a tank vs tank battle on average you lose a tank for each tank kill, in a tank vs infantry armed Javelin battle or tank vs Infantry armed NLAW battle are the tanks going to eliminate 40 Javelin’s or 85 NLAW’s for each tank lost?

  • Andrew_W

    “The Trophy “Heavy” system costs around US$900,000 to mount on a Merkava Mk. IVM.[45]”

    Not cheap, but justified, next up we have ATGW’s with decoys attached.

  • Andrew_W

    Interestingly Trophy uses active radar, which would increase the tanks vulnerability to anti radiation munitions.

  • sippin_bourbon

    I think you are over estimating the cost of the Russian Tanks.
    Based on (very) quick research,
    T-72s 2 to 2.5 million USD
    T-80s, 3 to 4 Million USD
    T-90s 5 Million USD.

    M1A3 are closer to 10 M USD, however, that is also because they do have all the fancy tech mentioned above. IR, Thermal reactive armor, turbine engine, crew remote operated weapon (CROW), etc. They also had active target tracking since version 1. I do not know enough to know which versions of Russian tanks have that feature.

    Also, if you were not tracking, the USMC dropped M1s from it’s line up.

  • Andrew_W

    I’m comparing like with like, maybe Russian ATGM’s cost half that of their Western equivalent. The Israeli Trophy system does raise an interesting argument. Tanks rely on substantial armour plating for defence, if there’s an active defence system that is very reliable at defeating threats, the argument in favor of hauling many tonnes of armour around the battlefield is weaker.

  • pzatchok

    The radar that Trophy uses is so low powered and short range that it can not be detected by anything longer than 500 meters away at best.

    Think of a fancy up powered motion detector system, the whole radar portion of the system fits in your two hands.

    I do not know were you got your one tank for one tank statistic but the last time US tanks fought Soviet tanks we lost more like 1 us tank damaged vs 30 enemy tanks destroyed.

    The Ukrainians are running fully updated electronics on their own home built tanks. US targeting systems, German engines and transitions NATO standard ammo and canon., Full night vision.

    The Ukrainian military has, since Crimea was stolen by Russia, been updating it equipment to NATO standards and training their personnel to the structure and tactics of the west.

    Putin could not let this happen for any longer. Even if the Ukraine never joined NATO they would be able to fight like NATO. And this invasion by Russia proves why. Russia waited to long.

  • Andrew_W

    “I do not know were you got your one tank for one tank statistic but the last time US tanks fought Soviet tanks we lost more like 1 us tank damaged vs 30 enemy tanks destroyed.”

    I said “In a tank vs tank battle on average you lose a tank for each tank kill”
    Average that across the two armies, this isn’t a discussion about whether or not US tanks and tank crews are better than Russian tanks and tank crews, it’s whether tanks are not providing the same return on investment as other systems that could replace them.

    “The radar that Trophy uses is so low powered and short range that it can not be detected by anything longer than 500 meters away at best.”
    That’s not a rational claim, radar like other EM radiation diminishes in intensity according to the inverse square law, it doesn’t suddenly become undetectable at 500 meters, and the nature of radar – it detects a reflected signal, means it’s as easily detected at several or many times the range that it can detect small objects. Which is brighter, the torch, or the reflection from the moth in the beam?

    While you can make the argument that US tanks would suffer much lower loses if it had been the US military that had invaded Ukraine, I’d still bet that their loses to ATGW’s would be much higher than their loses to Ukraine tanks. If so that still means the advantage is with the ATGW’s over tanks in that scenario also.

    Tanks are an obsolescent weapon in the same way battleships are, relying of armour and guns over sensors and missiles, adding better sensors and missiles doesn’t suddenly make a battleship the equal of the smaller, cheaper to operate surface warships we use today, it’s just cobbling on systems to defend something that’s generically dated.

    “The Ukrainians are running . . . ” etc.
    Not relevant to the discussion.

  • sippin_bourbon

    “I said “In a tank vs tank battle on average you lose a tank for each tank kill”
    Average that across the two armies, this isn’t a discussion about whether or not US tanks and tank crews are better than Russian tanks and tank crews, it’s whether tanks are not providing the same return on investment as other systems that could replace them”

    It is not just about tank crews.
    M1 out classed the T-72.

    Battle of 73 Easting.

    M1s vs T72/T54 .
    The 9 M1A1 tanks of Eagle Troop destroyed 28 Iraqi tanks, 16 personnel carriers and 30 trucks in 23 minutes with no American losses.
    And that was just round one.

    I am curious to read about the final assessments of the T80s.

  • Andrew_W

    “It is not just about tank crews.
    M1 out classed the T-72.”

    That might just be why I said:
    “this isn’t a discussion about whether or not US *tanks* and tank crews are better than Russian *tanks* and tank crews,”

  • Cotour

    The international consequences start to roll in: https://youtu.be/-YEjj01TlfM

    Where is Questioner when you need him to interpret these things for everyone?

    Its too late now Vlad.

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