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Ukraine - Superthread

Cole's notes: Biden... you coward:

The moment has arrived: Biden must give Ukraine all it needs to win​

Biden should listen to Antony Blinken. His secretary of state has spotted a pattern over the past year: Kremlin warnings of retaliation and direct confrontation rarely amount to much in practice. The Russians huff and puff – but mostly bluff. Putin is not entirely stupid. He knows he’d never win a fight with Nato, let alone survive nuclear warfare.

Another pattern is apparent: Biden’s chronic indecision. Protracted humming and hawing last year delayed supplies of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Patriot batteries, longer-range high-altitude missiles, and M1 Abrams battle tanks – all of which were eventually delivered. European allies such as Germany used White House waffling to excuse their own foot-dragging. These prevarications may have needlessly prolonged the war.

The F-16 U-turn, confirmed at last weekend’s G7 summit in Hiroshima, paves the way for training Ukrainian pilots and the provision of “fourth-generation” jets by Nato allies. Yet it’s a typical Biden fudge. The US itself has not committed to supply planes. If it does, it’s unclear whether they will be the latest F-16 models equipped with the latest weapons.

You know when Canada is the first to give AIM-9 AAMs… 😔

As of 2022, NASAMS 3 is the latest upgrade; deployed in 2019, it adds capability to fire AIM-9X Sidewinder, IRIS-T SLS and AMRAAM-ER missiles, and introduces mobile air-liftable launchers. NASAMS has proven interoperability with longer range systems such as Patriot.[8]


43 missiles apparently

Or roughly one salvo from one battery.

Unit costUS$381,069.74 (Block II)
US$399,500.00 (Block II Plus)
US$209,492.75 (training missile)
(All as in 2019[2])

16 to 20 million bucks or about the cost of 2 CV90s as bought by the Czechs.

Couple of interesting short videos on Ukraine from former CIA dude Andrew Bustamante.

I will argue that China is selling munitions they make that are a similar standard to what Russia sold them, not just old Russian gear.

As for the proxy argument, I will argue that this not really a proxy war, as we have a nuclear power that directly attacked it's neighbour. That neighbours allies are supporting it in the same way that the Allies supported the UK in the early stages of WWII. Russia never intended to attack the US or it's proxies directly in Ukraine, as I don't see Ukraine in March 2022 as a "proxy" for the US or even the west. The LPR and DPR were Russians proxies from 2014 onwards. I don't think Russia believed that Ukraine in March 2022 was a proxy of the US.
Russia has apparently pulled out of the conventional forces in Europe treaty.

According to Wikipedia they pulled out back in 2015 :unsure:

2015 indefinite total withdrawal of Russian participation[edit]​

In March 2015, the Russian Federation announced that it had taken the decision to completely withdraw its participation in the Treaty. Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov said Russia would be unlikely to return to compliance because the accord, "created when the Warsaw Pact was still in existence, is “anachronistic” and “absolutely out of sync with the present realities.”"[17]
Russia has apparently pulled out of the conventional forces in Europe treaty.

Excited Stephen Colbert GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Interesting piece by Gwynne Dyer on who would be the best replacement for Putin when/if he is deposed.

Dyer: Wagner Group leader best choice to replace Putin
Let us suppose the current Russian regime collapses, with or without a Ukrainian military victory to give it a final shove. Who would be the least objectionable candidate to take over in Moscow?

Author of the article: Gwynne Dyer • Special to Postmedia News
Published May 28, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read

Let us suppose the current Russian regime collapses, with or without a Ukrainian military victory to give it a final shove. Who would be the least objectionable candidate to take over in Moscow?

What we should look for, in this exercise, is not necessarily the kindest individual, but the one with the firmest grasp of reality. What makes the current regime so dangerous is the fact most of its members are, to a greater or lesser degree, unhinged, as quickly becomes evident when you review their public statements.

Start with President Vladimir Putin. Not only did he launch his invasion of Ukraine last year in complete ignorance of the victim’s ability and willingness to resist – he expected three days to crush the Ukrainian resistance and then a victory parade in Kyiv – but from the start he saw them in purely stereotypical terms.

At first, the Ukrainians were Nazis (including even the Jewish ones, like Zelensky), and so bound to fail because they were evil. When they thwarted his invasion, they were American puppets without motives of their own, and Putin’s attack only failed because he was really fighting all of NATO.

By last September, he was claiming the West is trying to “dismember” Russia and turn it into a collection of weak mini-states. He was forced into what looked like an unprovoked attack on Ukraine by the forces of “outright Satanism,” as he put it when annexing four provinces of Ukraine last September.

His reality is infinitely flexible, and can be restructured at need so he is never wrong. A lot of the people around him have the same reflexes, and are willing to invoke even the supernatural to justify their actions.

Russia’s mission in Ukraine is to “stop the supreme ruler of Hell, whatever name he uses — Satan, Lucifer or Iblis,” said Dmitri Medvedev, Putin’s faithful sidekick for two decades. (Medvedev stood in for the boss as president in 2008-2012 while Putin was getting around the constitutional ban on more than two consecutive presidential terms.)

Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen leader of one of Russia’s private armies, agrees: “Satanic democracy is when children are taken from traditional families and transferred to same-sex families. I see degradation and Satanism in this.”

They’re all delirious, and none more so than Nikolai Patrushev, Putin’s closest adviser. Patrushev followed Putin as the head of the FSB secret police and now chairs the Security Council.

Earlier this month Patrushev gave an interview to Izvestia in which he focused on the Yellowstone supervolcano in the western United States. He referred to (imaginary) research which said it might erupt soon. If it does, he said, it would mean “the death of all living creatures in North America is inevitable.”

Ah-ha! Now it becomes clear.

"Some people in America insist that Eastern Europe and Siberia will be the safest places on Earth in case of a possible eruption,” Patrushev said. “This seems to be the answer to the question why Anglo-Saxon elites are aching to capture (the Russian) heartland.”

This is what passes for strategic thinking in Moscow today. So, which of these moral and intellectual giants would you like to see take over from Putin when the time comes? None of the above? Well, then, how about Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group private army?

He’s a thug, to be sure, but you’ll never hear him spouting the kind of fake geopolitical nonsense the others talk, nor the mystical pseudo-religious stuff either. He knows how to run both a business and an army. And most importantly, Prigozhin has credit as a patriot for capturing Bakhmut, but no implicit obligation to fight the war until the end.

The soldiers and secret police around Putin hate him, because he’s from entirely the wrong background, but if Putin goes, so will most or all of them. Does he see himself as a pretender to the throne? Well, he is just withdrawing his entire private army from Bakhmut for a couple of months of rest and retraining. Somewhere near Moscow, perhaps.

Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist based in London, England
Interesting piece by Gwynne Dyer on who would be the best replacement for Putin when/if he is deposed.

Gwynne Dyer still around WOW!

I remember watching "WAR" as a young teenager. It was the first time I saw modern tanks on TV and talk of a future war between NATO and the Warsaw Pack. I was hooked. Watching it again 5 or so years later and I was not as impressed by Mr Dyer.

But his piece today is interesting. I did think before about Prigozhin. But I just think he is just drunk all the time.