Ukraine Crisis

ffreeloader

Well-known member
In an article in Stars and Stripes US veterans returning from Ukraine are reporting the fighting and technical capabilities of the Russian army. It seems the Russians are just as technically capable as the US army and are not fighting with obsolete WW2 weapons as some here have claimed. Veterans are reporting that some US volunteers are doing almost almost anything they can to get out of fights as they are not familiar with the style of fighting. None are saying no mas but things are not as they expected them to be.

 

annabenedetti

Well-known member
Wesley Clark led NATO's Kosovo campaign as the alliance's supreme allied commander in Europe to end Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic's bloody crackdown on the region's ethnic Albanian community in 1998. Clark, a senior fellow at UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations, talked to RFE/RL's Georgian Service about what Ukraine needs from the West in order to have a chance of beating Russia.

RFE/RL: What's your assessment of the military situation right now in Ukraine? Has Putin achieved any of his objectives?

Wesley Clark:
In Ukraine he's achieved really nothing, and there's nothing to boast about. And this is why he was flat in his remarks on the anniversary of the end of World War II, on May 9. He had really nothing to boast about. Kyiv's free, Kharkiv is being pushed, the Russians are out of artillery range in Kharkiv. The Ukrainian offensive is moving in the northeast, and the Donbas is mostly holding. We are going to reach the critical point as the ground dries out.

In Donbas, if the Russians can get across a couple of these big rivers, then maybe they will hit more open terrain where [the] maneuver warfare that was characteristic of World War II [will] come in handy. The Russian method of advance is to break through the Ukrainian defense by destroying villages. They know these villages provide the hard points for Ukrainian anti-tank and antiair defense, so they're just going to pulverize them with artillery. And at some point, as I said, when the ground dries out, they may be able to bypass these villages and move around them across the open fields.

For the Ukrainians, they've got to be reinforced to fight this kind of warfare. They still don't have the tanks they need; they don't have enough artillery; they don't have fighter aircraft; they don't have ground attack aircraft; they don't have attack helicopters. And so, you can imagine, if there was a Russian breakthrough, and an armored column went 50 kilometers deep, someone has to find it, control it, and attack it, maneuver against it. And that means you need a different type of force than what's been successful thus far.

I know the Ukrainians are trying hard. I hear lots of promises of support. But as I keep track of what's being given, what's arrived, how effective it is, it's still insufficient, in my view. It may be enough to hold a stalemate, but let's be honest, the objectives of the United States are to provide Russia [with] a strategic failure and to weaken Russia so that this doesn't happen again. Well, if the fighting stops and Russia controls everything it controls right now, that's hard to say that's a strategic failure. They've basically got the whole southern coast of Ukraine, plus major parts of both the Luhansk and Donetsk oblast. And they've done 500 billion to a trillion dollars' worth of destruction. So, if that's the success that we've had, that's not much of a measure of success. Ukraine needs to be further reinforced. It has the fighting capacity, and the determination to force the Russians out; it does not have the means.

And here's the other thing we have to understand: Russia does have a domestic military industry. Now maybe we're crippling it with sanctions, I don't know about that but that's what I hear is that there have been some problems because that domestic defense industry relies on some Western technologies that they don't have enough of. However, Ukraine doesn't have that much of a domestic defense industry and most of the equipment it's getting is being brought hundreds of miles, first by air, and then through rail and convoy transport. That's going to be increasingly difficult. So I don't want to hear any premature celebrations about how well Ukraine's doing. This is a fight that could be lost. It can only be won by Ukraine with much more support from the United States and other Western European allies.

RFE/RL: What type of military assistance does Ukraine need right now to win?

Clark:
First of all, you have to defeat the Russian artillery. If you can defeat the Russian artillery right now, they'll never make a breakthrough. If, when they're pounding cities, you can pound the Russian artillery and destroy it, the cities won't be destroyed. So that's the first thing. The second thing they need, is, to do that, they need intelligence support. Maybe they get that for themselves through counterbattery radars; they probably don't have enough of them. Maybe they get some of that from overhead drones. They probably don't have enough of them. But mostly it's artillery. Lots and lots and lots of artillery, with the ammunition; hundreds of rounds of artillery fired per artillery tube per day.

Next, they need air [capability]. Why? Because they need the rapid immediate response that comes from attack helicopters and air-to-ground assets. They don't have these. Ukraine's maybe flying two or three sorties, or individual air missions a day. They need to be able to fly 50 a day, they need to be using their air power to keep the Russian air power off. They need better air defense. The air defense was dense enough around Kyiv that it kept the Russian airplanes away, but across a 300-kilometer front in Donbas there's not enough air defense there. They need anti-ship missiles. I hear promises of these missiles going in, but they're not there yet. There are still numerous Russian ships, they're still able to fire their Caliber missiles. Why should a Russian ship be allowed to sit 200 or 150 kilometers offshore and fire a missile and be like a sanctuary and not be attacked?

In the port of Odesa, for example, there are millions of tons of grain waiting to be exported that the world desperately needs, and the Russians have this bottled up. With the right unmanned aerial systems and long-range anti-ship missiles, the Black Sea could be opened up.

And then if there are Russian submarines out there, that's a different matter, but that also could be dealt with through something like a NATO zone, if necessary, for humanitarian purposes. So they need these things. They probably also need more armored vehicles, because if the Russians do break through, they're going to have to maneuver forces against the breakthrough elements.

RFE/RL: Are you convinced NATO countries are supplying the arms Ukraine needs in a timely fashion?

Clark:
I know there's concern about following the legal procedures by both the Ukrainians and the Americans, because we don't want diversion of assets and people making excessive profits off these things. And as they're selling them, there have to be legal procedures. But somehow, these procedures have to be expedited, streamlined, to enable Ukraine to get the reinforcements it needs. When the Russian forces were driven back from Kyiv at the end of March, it was clear that we had a few weeks to get reinforcements in. OK, those few weeks are over. Most of the American howitzers are in there, maybe some of the other assets from other allies are in there. But that [only] is enough to replace Ukraine's losses.

To be successful in rejecting Russia, we need much more. It's got to be expedited. And if we have an opportunity for Ukraine to kick Russia out of Ukraine, out of Donbas, and out of the southern part of Ukraine, that window is July and August. It will take Russia until December to mobilize significant forces. China won't be able to help much until Xi Jinping gets his third term. So, for now, there's a window of opportunity for Ukraine, if Ukraine moves, and if they get the materials that they need to move.

RFE/RL: Is it fair to compare Milosevic with Putin, especially given the fact that the Russian leader has access to nuclear weapons, something that Milosevic did not have?

Clark:
Well, I think that all manner of pressures are in play. But ultimately, in the case of Milosevic in Yugoslavia, what he discovered was that he couldn't avoid the NATO air attack. He couldn't shoot down the airplanes and he couldn't outlast it. And so, ultimately, he had to find a way out. Now what we have to show to Mr. Putin is that he's not going to succeed militarily on the ground in Ukraine. And then these other pressures come in on him and convince him he's got to find a way out.

It was not so different in Kosovo. Actually, during the summer of 1998, France and Germany both said that, yes, they weren't going to do anything through NATO unless there was a UN Security Council resolution. And Russia, of course, said, 'Of course there wasn't going to be a Security Council resolution on this.' And so, some 400,000 Albanians were forced out of their homes in the summer of 1998. But Russia was wrong. And Milosevic was wrong. France and Germany did agree to the campaign once it was clear what Milosevic was up to. And so, it is the exact same thing here.

Russia has miscalculated when it thinks that the West is being weak. The West is resilient, it's strong…. So Putin had a 12-year plan; in the United States and Europe, people were looking at [their] families and homes and how they get their children educated. It's an entirely different mindset. And this is an old, old issue with democracies…. But it's so hard for these people like Putin, or maybe President Xi [Jinping] in China, to understand and accept that…. But it all comes together with incredible strength when challenged. This is the lesson that we want the world to understand.

Vazha Tavberidze is a Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow working with RFE/RL's Georgian Service. As a journalist and political analyst, he has covered issues of international security, post-Soviet conflicts, and Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations. His writing has been published in various Georgian and international media outlets, including The Times, The Spectator, The Daily Beast, and IWPR.
 

Idolater

"Never believe anyone who is not cross-examined."
... the objectives of the United States are to provide Russia [with] a strategic failure and to weaken Russia so that this doesn't happen again. ...
Our objective is to get them to stop. So that WWIII stops. This is how WWI and WWII started, one European country invading another European country. Then, all the alliances starting complicating things and that's where we're at right now, we have alliances, and we're not acting on them with the aggression that they did leading up to both WWI and WWII. So that's good, but the objective is singularly that Russia just stops. That's what would have ended both WWI and WWII before they broke out, and that's what we need Russia to do now. Just stop. Through whatever means, just get them to stop.
... And then if there are Russian submarines out there, that's a different matter, but that also could be dealt with through something like a NATO zone, if necessary, for humanitarian purposes. ...
Famous last words.
... To be successful in rejecting Russia, we need much more. It's got to be expedited. And if we have an opportunity for Ukraine to kick Russia out of Ukraine, out of Donbas, and out of the southern part of Ukraine, that window is July and August. It will take Russia until December to mobilize significant forces. China won't be able to help much until Xi Jinping gets his third term. So, for now, there's a window of opportunity for Ukraine, if Ukraine moves, and if they get the materials that they need to move. ...
And this doesn't have to be militarily, it can be diplomatically.
... It's an entirely different mindset. And this is an old, old issue with democracies…. But it's so hard for these people like Putin, or maybe President Xi [Jinping] in China, to understand and accept that…. But it all comes together with incredible strength when challenged. This is the lesson that we want the world to understand. ...
The objective is not to teach lessons here, it's to get Russia to stop.
 

marke

Well-known member
Babylon will burn in one hour.

Revelation 18
King James Version

1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.​

 

Hoping

Well-known member
Putin makes another smart move. He withdraws Russia from the WTO and WHO both of which are corrupt. Wish our barbarian politicians were that smart.

Do you figure they will be much less corrupt now that pres. Putin is gone?
 

Hoping

Well-known member
Where is "Babylon"?
Good question.
Peter called Jerusalem "Babylon" in I Peter 5:13.
That is, if the letter was actually written from Jerusalem.

I consider the term "Babylon" to be just a slur for any town full of the uncircumcised of heart.
Others think it refers to Rome.
But I have no idea on what they base that conclusion.
 

Idolater

"Never believe anyone who is not cross-examined."
Not much to say to unsubstantiated claims that Putin is dead.

He may be dead, but that is unsubstantiated. He certainly appears to have been very ill recently judging by his appearance. Let's hope.
I don't hope for that at all. How on Earth would you be sure that the devil we don't know's going to be any better than the one we do?
 

annabenedetti

Well-known member

36 experts agree: Stay the course in Ukraine


Russia’s egregious violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and numerous war crimes — from the indiscriminate bombardment of hospitals, schools and residential areas, to use of cluster and vacuum bombs, summary executions, widespread rape, mass deportations, including of children, and torture — have engendered strong popular support in the United States and other Western countries for Ukraine. The Biden administration and bipartisan leadership in Congress have risen to the challenge through close coordination with allies and partners in implementing punishing sanctions on Russia, supplying major weapons to Ukraine, strengthening NATO’s force posture on its eastern flank, and supporting the bids by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Quick passage of the Lend-Lease Act and a $40 billion assistance package (that provides, among other things, $6 billion in military aid to Ukraine) provides a much-needed boost to Kyiv’s efforts but must also include stringent oversight to ensure proper use.

Putin’s war on Ukraine may be 5,000 miles from Washington, but it directly threatens critical American interests and deliberately risks a global food crisis. Putin’s war on Ukraine is a direct attack on international law and the global order which enshrines sovereignty, territorial integrity and the peaceful resolution of disputes and has given the world 75 years of prosperity and the absence of great power war. What’s more, Putin’s aggressive designs may not end with the subjugation of Ukraine. If successful there, he might be tempted to seek to restore Moscow’s influence throughout the entire area once controlled by the Soviet Union. That would pose a direct threat to NATO allies in the Baltic region and elsewhere in eastern Europe, allies to whose defense the United States is committed under the security guarantee in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine’s soldiers are not asking NATO to fight their battles for them, but they do need American and NATO weapons and economic assistance to prevail. It is in America’s national interest to see Ukraine emerge from this war as a truly sovereign and democratic state, in charge of its own foreign policy, militarily strong, territorially secure, and economically viable.

The United States and Europe must avoid the urge to encourage Kyiv to negotiate a cease fire that falls short of Ukraine’s goals and could consign millions of Ukrainians to Russian control; after all, Putin denies the legitimacy of a unique Ukrainian identity, and Russian forces have already committed countless war crimes against them. Moreover, the Ukrainian side has tried to engage in good-faith negotiations, but got nowhere because Putin has shown no interest in serious negotiations. Western pressure on Kyiv to begin negotiations or accept a cease fire that the Ukrainians do not want would likely harden the Kremlin’s attitude and prolong the fighting.

The United States should instead continue to exert leadership in the Western effort to provide Ukraine the weapons it needs, to impose additional sanctions on Moscow, and to bolster NATO’s military presence on its eastern flank. This includes sending Ukraine in a timely fashion more advanced weapons, such as long-range fires, high-altitude air defense systems and anti-ship missiles.

It also means intensified economic pressure, including measures to cut Russian revenues from oil sales either through a phased-in embargo by the European Union (EU) or, alternatively, EU price caps or tariffs on Russian sales backed up by U.S. secondary sanctions. Finally, it means traditional U.S. freedom of navigation exercises in the Black Sea, and a careful look at a multinational military escort of cargo ships to and from Odesa to ease the mounting global food shortage.

No one wants direct confrontation with Russia, but helping Ukraine to defend its land and freedom is in the West’s security interest. While the United States and NATO must certainly take into account Russian nuclear capacity, they should respond calmly and not be intimidated.

This unjustified war has a clear aggressor — Russia — and a clear victim — Ukraine. The West should aim to see that the Kremlin’s aggression fails and that Ukraine prevails on the battlefield or achieves an outcome that Kyiv can accept.
 

Idolater

"Never believe anyone who is not cross-examined."
It wouldn't be suprising to hear there was a coup and Putin was removed from power and if that were to happen, Russia could withdraw from Ukraine. Above all, this is a war that Putin wanted.
It's possible. But Russian society produced this man, and they've refused to depose him. What would make you think we'd be any better off with another of their spawn?
 

User Name

Greatest poster ever
I don't hope for that at all. How on Earth would you be sure that the devil we don't know's going to be any better than the one we do?
It's possible that whoever replaces Putin could end up being worse than Putin. It's possible that whoever replaces Putin could end up being better than Putin. Let's hope!
 
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