Colors of Blue and Gold


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Online Richard Smith

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #88 on: January 11, 2023, 09:35:52 PM »
Not coincidental in the sense that President Obama delegated Ukraine policy to Biden. Which doesn't make the Hunter Biden-Ukraine thing look any better of course. It definitely stinks that a Ukrainian oligarch gave the Vice President's son a lucrative job.

But aside from that, Obama was focused more on Iran, Syria, and Cuba in his second term and largely delegated Ukraine to Biden. Obama resisted bi-partisan calls to send weapons to Ukraine while Biden supported arming Ukraine.

Obama I think primarily focused on securing the Iran Nuclear Deal, which meant he needed to work with Vladimir Putin because Russia is on the UN Security Council. The Iran deal also affected Obama's Syria policies.

Long story short, there's nothing obviously bad about Biden's involvement with Ukraine as Obama's VP. But Hunter Biden's job with the Ukrainian energy company still looks like a clear conflict of interest and it shouldn't have happened.

And what could Biden accomplish on his last day as VP in Ukraine?  So important he had travel there.  He was on his way out.  He had no power or authority to do anything more on behalf of the US government at that point.  He was to become a private citizen the next day.  This stinks to the heavens.  He is a corrupt bureaucrat whose family has made millions peddling influence.  Has he committed a crime or treason?  Maybe.  If so, he has a lot of company among our current establishment in including Pelosi and McConnell.

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #88 on: January 11, 2023, 09:35:52 PM »


Online Jon Banks

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #89 on: January 11, 2023, 10:12:17 PM »
Kherson would not have been hard to keep supplied, if it was not being effectively attacked by Ukraine. So, yes, the Russians were driven out of Kherson.

That's debatable. I mean, it's possible that the Russian Generals felt that the 20-30,000 troops they had on the west side of Kherson would be of better use in other parts of the Theater where they had manpower shortages a few months ago. I wouldn't rule it out. The manpower shortages are the reason Putin called up 300,000 conscripts around the time of the Kherson withdrawal.

But it's also possible that the Russians told the truth. That they withdrew because the supplying their troops on the west side of the river became too difficult once Ukraine was given long-range artillery systems.

Either way, we know based on reports in the Western Press that Ukrainian offensives in the Kherson region mostly failed. Kherson was nothing like the northern offensives. The Kherson region is mostly flat Plains. Very few areas for troops to hide from drones and artillery. So the Ukrainians suffered heavy losses in their failed ground attacks in Kherson.

Wounded Ukrainian soldiers reveal steep toll of Kherson offensive
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/07/ukraine-kherson-offensive-casualties-ammunition/

"Russia’s Orlan drones exposed Ukrainian positions from more than a kilometer above their heads, they said, an altitude that meant they never heard the buzz of the aircraft tracking their movements.

Russian tanks emerged from newly built cement fortifications to blast infantry with large-caliber artillery, the wounded Ukrainian soldiers said. The vehicles would then shrink back beneath the concrete shelters, shielded from mortar and rocket fire.

Counter-battery radar systems automatically detected and located Ukrainians who were targeting the Russians with projectiles, unleashing a barrage of artillery fire in response.

Russian hacking tools hijacked the drones of Ukrainian operators, who saw their aircraft drift away helplessly behind enemy lines."




The Ukrainians took an even larger slice of territory back near Kharhiv. Was this territory on the wrong side of a river?

No. The Russians simply were severely outnumbered by Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region. Different circumstances there.


How are the Russians going to hold the Crimea when it's not on the wrong side of a river but on the wrong side of a strait, with just one long bridge across it, and a narrow and vulnerable land bridge connection? That will be a neat trick.

Crimea is a peninsula with a large naval base, air bases, anti-aircraft defenses, etc. And most Russians have long viewed Crimea as part of Russia. Meaning, it's a non-starter for Putin to give up Crimea they way he gave up Kharkiv and Kherson City.

Most Russians support peace talks but reject return of Crimea, poll finds
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/13/russian-poll-peace-crimea/

"Seventy-eight percent of Russians said it would be unacceptable to return Crimea to Ukraine, while 66 percent said the same of the eastern Donbas region, which remains occupied by Russian forces and their Ukrainian allies."


Soledar is strategic because of it's tunnels?

Bakhmut and Soledar are strategically important because they happen to lie on the Ukrainian side of the front where it ended up being established when Ukraine managed to stop the Russian offensives this year.

Soledar and Bakhmut are important logistics hubs for Ukrainian military in eastern Ukraine. Losing those towns/cities makes it more difficult for Ukraine to launch a new offensive in the East. It puts them on the Defensive.

Of course, I could be wrong but if those cities are so unimportant, why has Ukraine sacrificed thousands of troops to hold them? It makes more sense to withdraw from areas that aren't worth defending and can easily be taken back later. But instead, we've watched Ukrainian forces suffer massive casualties defending the Bakhmut-Soledar region over the last few months. Seems like it's more important to Ukraine than you think.

Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #90 on: January 12, 2023, 02:17:41 PM »

No. The Russians simply were severely outnumbered by Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region. Different circumstances there.

Why is it that it's the Russians who find themselves severely outnumbered. Or more accurately, the number of Russians willing to fight were severely outnumbered by the number of Ukrainians willing to fight. Why is it that since mid-summer 2022, it's the Ukrainians who make the big gains, capturing hundreds of square miles at a time, with minimal artillery support, with minimal casualties, while the Russians can only gain a few yards a day, and need massive artillery to do that, while taking heavy casualties.

Where is the equivalent Russian victories in the last six months comparable to the Ukrainian victories to the east of Kharkiv and at Kherson? Answer, there are none. Why? Because Russia is losing the war.

What is the glue that holds the Russian army together? It's not the Wagner group. It's the mud. And the mud is not going to last forever. In 2023, we will see the sort of advances from Ukraine that they had in September, when there was no mud to bog down the Ukrainians.

Why can Ukrainians hold on the the far side of a river, like at Bakhmut, but Russians can't, like at Kherson?

Crimea is a peninsula with a large naval base, air bases, anti-aircraft defenses, etc. And most Russians have long viewed Crimea as part of Russia. Meaning, it's a non-starter for Putin to give up Crimea they way he gave up Kharkiv and Kherson City.

Most Russians support peace talks but reject return of Crimea, poll finds
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/13/russian-poll-peace-crimea/

"Seventy-eight percent of Russians said it would be unacceptable to return Crimea to Ukraine, while 66 percent said the same of the eastern Donbas region, which remains occupied by Russian forces and their Ukrainian allies."

Doesn't matter. Holding the far bank of a river at Kherson is child's play compared to holding Crimea. You have to have a way to get supplies into an area to hold it. You have to, or it cannot be held.

How can Russia possible get supplies into Crimea? Only one of two ways:

1. The narrow corridor, called the "Land Bridge" that is just to the north of the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainians should be able to cut that off, possibly capturing a good hunk of the Russian army with it's back to the very shallow Sea of Azov.

2. Across a wide strait to the east, with only one bridge across it, and that bridge is not like the multiple bridges of Kherson, just a few hundred yards long, but many miles long.

If they can't supply an army on the far side of a relatively narrow river, with many crossing points, how are they going to do so across this wide strait?

It's not going to matter if Putin and the Russian people feel they must hold Crimea. If they can't hold it that can't hold it. The Russians will have a far easier time holding the Ukrainian stripe of territory along the Russian border in the Donbas region. That is much easier to supply. Crimea is not going to be so easy.

Soledar and Bakhmut are important logistics hubs for Ukrainian military in eastern Ukraine. Losing those towns/cities makes it more difficult for Ukraine to launch a new offensive in the East. It puts them on the Defensive.

I don't buy the notion that suddenly seizing a thousand square miles of territory in a few days, with few casualties, is of little military import. While seizing, what, five or ten square miles of territory, over a period of weeks, while losing far more casualties, is somehow of much greater import? Nope, I don't buy it.

Of course, I could be wrong but if those cities are so unimportant, why has Ukraine sacrificed thousands of troops to hold them? It makes more sense to withdraw from areas that aren't worth defending and can easily be taken back later. But instead, we've watched Ukrainian forces suffer massive casualties defending the Bakhmut-Soledar region over the last few months. Seems like it's more important to Ukraine than you think.

Why?

1. Because the Russians, making World War I like infantry frontal assaults on trenches, are suffering a lot more casualties than the Ukrainians.

This is not the way to win this war. The way to win the war is to make a sudden decisive breakthrough, that allows your forces to advance many miles in a day, with far fewer casualties, like the Ukrainian September offensive east of Kharkiv. That's the formula that the Russians have not been able to follow since last spring.

2. Because the Russians are hoping for some sort of victory, that can fool the Russians into thinking that they might be able to win the win. Which might inspire hundreds of thousands of Russians to start volunteering for duty at the front. As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians volunteered last February. This is a fools' hope. But, why give the Russians any air?

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #90 on: January 12, 2023, 02:17:41 PM »


Online Richard Smith

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #91 on: January 12, 2023, 02:35:38 PM »
The US is at $110 billion and counting in this endless war.   Old Joe has indicated that more funding will be needed soon.  No end in sight.  No clear objective or exit strategy.  It could go on for years or decades until Ukraine is a pile of rubble.  Sound familiar?  Someone is getting rich.  The Dems don't want any accounting for the money.  Nothing to see there.  Meanwhile the streets of US cities are overrun with homeless and crime.  The education system is broken.   The airports are crumbling and in disarray.  But the money is flowing to Ukraine with no limits.

Online Jon Banks

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #92 on: January 12, 2023, 03:26:58 PM »
Why is it that it's the Russians who find themselves severely outnumbered.

Because Ukraine has drafted all their male citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 while Russia has largely limited their conscription to current military reservists or members of their military who were close to the end of their contracts. Until Putin conscripts all of Russia's male population, Ukraine's advantage is manpower. Russia's advantages are artillery and tanks.

So Russia has needed to be more economical with their manpower than Ukraine. In order to defend Kherson, they moved thousands of troops from the north to the southern front. That left areas of Kharkiv inadequately defended so the Ukrainians took advantage of the gaps in Russia's defenses in the northern region.


Holding the far bank of a river at Kherson is child's play compared to holding Crimea. You have to have a way to get supplies into an area to hold it. You have to, or it cannot be held.

How can Russia possible get supplies into Crimea? Only one of two ways:

1. The narrow corridor, called the "Land Bridge" that is just to the north of the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainians should be able to cut that off, possibly capturing a good hunk of the Russian army with it's back to the very shallow Sea of Azov.

2. Across a wide strait to the east, with only one bridge across it, and that bridge is not like the multiple bridges of Kherson, just a few hundred yards long, but many miles long.


3. The naval port of Sevastopol. Russia's Black Sea fleet is based there. (https://www.britannica.com/place/Sevastopol)


Crimea is a pipe dream for Ukraine. It's part of Russia for the forseeable future. I see no circumstance where Putin/Russia withdraws from Crimea.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 03:29:56 PM by Jon Banks »

Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #93 on: January 13, 2023, 12:57:47 AM »
Because Ukraine has drafted all their male citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 while Russia has largely limited their conscription to current military reservists or members of their military who were close to the end of their contracts. Until Putin conscripts all of Russia's male population, Ukraine's advantage is manpower. Russia's advantages are artillery and tanks.

This works because Ukrainians support the war. Many could have fled but have not. Many escorted their families out but then returned when they did not have to. Napoleon said that "Morale is to Material as Three is to One". And the Morale of the Russians in 2023 is clearly not the same as their morale in 1941, or 1812. Or to the morale of the Ukrainians in 2023. Not even close.

So Russia has needed to be more economical with their manpower than Ukraine. In order to defend Kherson, they moved thousands of troops from the north to the southern front. That left areas of Kharkiv inadequately defended so the Ukrainians took advantage of the gaps in Russia's defenses in the northern region.

Russia is not being economical with their troops at Bakhmut nor Soledar. They just want something to make a weak claim that they are making real progress.

Oh, by the way, since the Wagner Group announced that they have taken all of Soledar, they have bombarded Soledar another 93 times and counting.

3. The naval port of Sevastopol. Russia's Black Sea fleet is based there. (https://www.britannica.com/place/Sevastopol)

Doesn't matter. A fleet, like an army, has to be kept supply. Time magazine reported that if the land communications to Crimea are all cut off, the Russian fleet based there will have to sail to Georgia.

Crimea is a pipe dream for Ukraine. It's part of Russia for the forseeable future. I see no circumstance where Putin/Russia withdraws from Crimea.

We were told that Ukraine lasting a month once Russia attacked was a pipe dream. President Zelenskyy announced they must reclaim the Crimea before there can be peace. Zelenskyy has some street cred with me. Unlike those who hold that Russia must inevitably prevail, I think he knows what he is talking about. I think it can be done. Retired U. S. military officers think this can be done, so long as we maintain our supply of material and support. They think that if the thing is pressed, Ukraine will prevail. I say, in the words of Lincoln, "Let the thing be pressed".

I think the notion that Russia is going to magically turn things around, erase 30 years of mismanagement of their military at the snap of the fingers, is a pipe dream.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 02:18:07 AM by Joe Elliott »

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #93 on: January 13, 2023, 12:57:47 AM »


Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #94 on: January 13, 2023, 01:03:39 AM »
Question:

Will the Russians replace Putin in the near future?

Answer:

No, not a chance. Not by those who want to replace him. They want the loss of the war, the loss of Crimea to occur under Putin's watch, not theirs. But if Crimea falls, his time is nigh.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 02:19:33 AM by Joe Elliott »

Online Jon Banks

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #95 on: January 13, 2023, 03:44:58 AM »
This works because Ukrainians support the war. Many could have fled but have not. Many escorted their families out but then returned when they did not have to. Napoleon said that "Morale is to Material as Three is to One". And the Morale of the Russians in 2023 is clearly not the same as their morale in 1941, or 1812. Or to the morale of the Ukrainians in 2023. Not even close.

Many Ukrainians oppose the war. Not all Ukrainians support the Zelensky government. Not all have been willing to fight against Russia.

It's a young nation that experienced an eight year civil war before Russia's 2022 invasion.

As for morale, it's a mistake to assume that morale isn't high on the Russian side as well. Soldiers on both sides believe they're fighting for a good cause (however misguided the Russian soldiers may be).

"Russian mobilization has worked," he maintained. "It is not true that their problems are so dire that these people will not fight. They will. A tsar tells them to go to war, and they go to war. I've studied the history of the two Chechen wars — it was the same. They may not be that well equipped, but they still present a problem for us." - Head of Ukraine's military
https://www.businessinsider.com/ukraines-top-general-no-doubt-russia-will-try-again-kyiv-2022-12

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #95 on: January 13, 2023, 03:44:58 AM »


 

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