Friday, June 3, 2022

100 Days, And A Mouthful Of Ashes


And loving metrics in a hazy conflict, the media and Putin fanboys are all agog with the news that Russian control now encompasses 20% of Ukraine territory. (They forget that most of that 20% was Crimea and the Soviet puppet "breakaways" in the east they already held before the war began on 2/24 this year, but we'll spot them the difference anyways, just to be sporting.)

So, at that rate, this war will last another 400 days beyond the first 100.

That's also overlooking Russian losses and retreats, but acknowledging the obvious facts there upsets the fanboys to the point of flinging feces from their monkey cages, so we'll spot them that too.

Meanwhile, Russian losses amount to about 10,000 troops/month, by reliable accounts. To take the territory they were certain was already ON their side. More each month than we lost in Iraq and A-stan combined, in 20 years of trying. Three times more men than we lost in all of Vietnam in a decade. And out of missiles, running out of artillery shells, and burning through hard military assets Vlad couldn't replace in another ten years of trying, with a Navy and Air Force largely MIA for weeks, in a land war against an opponent with pretty much neither one. 

So in 12 more months, Russia will perhaps achieve a Pyrrhic (Mariupolic) "victory" over the whole of Ukraine, at a cost of nearly the entire initial invasion force, 150,000 men out of an initial estimate of 180,000, against an army it outnumbered on paper 10:1, but which it only attacked initially at 0.8:1, with a Russian Potemkin army composed of incompetent and unwilling conscripts led by drunken officers and fueled by gun-decked capability and maintenance reports, running now on mothballed tech left over from the 1960s, because it's all they have left to throw at the problem.

Yeah, that's going to do so much better against a Ukrainian ad hoc army that gets better equipment and more experience by the day, over the next 400 days, i'n'it?

Go, Vlad. Bleed yourself dry, only to achieve the capture of scorched earth, at a cost of a quarter of your entire national army, including probably 50-75% of all available actual combat forces, most of your war-making equipment, and beginning the next ten years of a partisan guerrilla insurgency in Ukraine that will make the last Russian foray to A-stan, or the British rule in Northen Ireland, seem like church picnics in comparison, while Russia is forced to genocide most of the surviving populace within Ukraine, and the 7M expats live on, with a seething hatred of Vlad and all things Russian that will outlive his own great-grandchildren.

While uniting NATO like it hasn't been in 50 years, increasing it in size and scope, and putting the entirety of it right back on Russia's borders from the Black Sea to the Arctic Ocean, exactly as Vlad didn't want.

Sanctions work both ways, but Russia spends the next century or two as the Iran of Europe. They couldn't feed themselves once from 1900-2022, but now that they're burning Ukraine to the ground, they're looking at not being able to feed themselves next year, or the five years after that, until the famines have done their job, and their entire population decreases appreciably. Along with that in the West, and the rest of the world. Famine hits the Turd World even harder, because when food gets scarce, the poorest are the ones who do without, not the well-off.

But watching millions starve and threatening global thermonuclear war is a small price to pay for being a worldwide pariah state, right?

Well-played, Vlad. Well-played indeed. Keep banging your head against that wall.


markshere2 said...

Nicely phrased!

Anonymous said...

Putin might have won IF the Ukrainians were as disaffected as his "intelligence" agencies said they were, his army was as good as his generals said they were, and his mercenary buddies the Wagner Group and the Chechens said they were. Except his lackeys and minions were all LYING to him.

The mercenaries did not destroy and assassinate their targets, the army, air force and navy didn't perform, and worst of all, the Ukrainians for the most part fought back, and fought back hard.

Putin's Operation was very special, just like the short bus.


ga6 said...

Waiting for China to head North all the way to the Siberian gold fields and the wave in the general direction of Moscow.

Anonymous said...

Yep. I’ve wondered the same thing. China has too many men and Russia has too many women. It would seem to be inevitable, and now’s the time with Slo Joe in office.

Pat H. said...

The Russian Federation (RF)is as follows:

1. The RF didn't "annex" Chrimea, they recovered Russian territory that had been given away by Stalin and then endorsed as part of Ukraine by Soros, Nuland, and NATO in 2008.

2. NATO had agreed to not add countries that were former Combloc countries if only the old Soviet Union wouldn't go to war. The US government and NATO violated that treaty saying to the new RF, "neener, neener" you can't do anything about it.

3. The RF has much more control of the breakaway eastern states than that map indicates. I have access to better maps, why don't you?

4. The RF will take Odessa and most if not all of the Black Sea coast line on either side of Odessa.

5. The RF is NEVER GOING TO LEAVE the lands they've recovered. Leaving Rump Ukraine to attempt to negotiate remaining as a money laundering state.

Anonymous said...

Correct. Aesop is wrong again. Russia holds all the aces that matter right now: oil gas wheat gold etc. Nato supports a large fragment of a poor and corrupt country that will drain Western Europe of funds for decades - much like East Germany did to West Germany for the last 30 years. And I doubt that either Ukraine, Finland or Norway will be admitted to Nato thanks to the veto wielded by Turkey and any other Nato member that wants to extract some concessions from the EU.

Aesop said...

1) You don't get to do territorial do overs". The RF endorsed Ukraine's territorial sovereignty over all lands encompassed. If Russia leaves Ukraine, they'll simply develop nukes, and then ask Moscow if they're willing to keep Crimea, and trade Moscow's fireball for Kyiv's. Ask Israel, Pakistan, or the Norks how you get respect on the current world stage. Russia is setting the stage for nuclear war, all by themselves, with their fellow Slavs.

2) Russia also signed a treaty to respect and defend Ukraine's territorial boundaries, in return for the Ukes giving up those Soviet-era nukes. They violated that agreement three times since 2000. If Putin wants a war with NATO, he's picking a poor way to prosecute it, but he's giving them a gold-plated reason to arm up, and to supply Ukraine until Hell freezes over, and in the end, welcome them into NATO too, with open arms. They may do so specifically to give Vlad a really good reason to cease and desist, and see how badly his generals are willing to send the world into flames for his white whale quest. This is geopolitical stupidity on an epic scale in Moscow.

3) The RF can barely control its own forces, and has none whatsoever over large swaths of the breakaways, even after throwing everything they had the just the two breakaways (that they've been subverting and occupying openly for a decade).

4) They haven't managed to get within 50 miles of Odessa in that same 100 days, and their Black Sea Fleet (what's still actually afloat) is deployed too far away to have any influence whatsoever on either the conflict, or its outcome.

5) Turkey wants concessions. If they become a NATO roadblock, they'll be voted out. Given their perpetual state of conflict with Russia, Syria, and the Kurds, they have nowhere else to turn. Erdogan wants gifts, not to become a pariah state himself. He'll get what he wants, and Finland and Sweden will join NATO unhindered. You don't pass up such a historical opportunity because of a petulant petty tyrant.

6) Russia can't replace the revenue they've lost from Europe with what they'll gain from China and India. The current bubble won't last, and their situation, and their currency, is riding the same bubble the rest of the world is. They haven't been able to feed themselves in forever, and never will, at least until a substantial die-off of the citizenry. That should cement Vlad's legacy with the Russian people for a long, long time to come, and pay benefits for which even his great-grandchildren will suffer.

This is like watching coked out Charlie Sheen at the height of his career meltdown, except in charge of a nuclear power. What could possibly go wrong, besides everything?

Aesop said...

No small number of people need to stop proving the truth spoken of by this man:

Anonymous said...

So are the Putin Humpers really preparing to paint a return to last year's situation as a "win"?

All that property destroyed, all those men killed, all that materiel expended for what?

To have nominal control over two "breakaway" provinces that were broken away by Soviet infiltration and largely in thrall to Vlad anyway?


Aesop said...

If you set the bar low enough, anything is possible.

Rollory said...

Add Lt. Gen Roman Berdnikov and Maj. Gen R.V. Kutuzov to the Ukrainian scorecard.

I don't see how this lasts through the fall.

Supposedly, Igor Girkin / Strelkov is now warning his viewers of the necessity of learning how to apply battlefield dressings (sounding a lot like Aesop in that regard) resulting from combat he expects _in Russia proper_. War criminal he may be but he knows what's what.

A return to the 1993 borders seems to me the likeliest scenario, coupled with a sudden coup in Moscow. "There, see, Putin's gone, and we're out! Back to normal now, yes? yes?" But they have to wait for a notable military disaster first to avoid getting blamed for losing the war.

All those people saying "of course Russia will win eventually" - if it turns out anything close to like I expect, I am going to enjoy throwing that in their faces for YEARS.

Aesop said...

"I've got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals." - Butch Cassidy

Anonymous said...

You're accepting the mainstream media casualty numbers at face value? IDGAF about Putin or Ukraine, and even I have to say "Interesting strategy cotton, we'll see how it works out for him." on that one.

Those numbers are bullshit. No nation would tolerate that casualty rate. Russia might tolerate something about half that bad, but look at their casualty numbers in WWI&II. They're used to bleeding men. Just not as many as the batshit insane propaganda figures you're so gullibly crowing over.
I'd be surprised if Russia had lost even 50% of the numbers they're supposed to have lost.

Putin is using Ukraine as a training exercise, it's that simple. China isn't exactly stupid, and they're clearly unconcerned. Indeed, India and China both are tightening their ties to the supposed failed state of Russia, and happily buying oodles of their gas and oil. IDGAF about Putin or Ukraine, but the people who support raping little kids and mutilating them? They're on the side you're so gleefully cheering on. Putin is no saint, but at least he doesn't literally support mutilating little boys and girls, and raping them. The people supporting Ukraine, including "president" Biden? They do. They all do, or they defend, or are funded by, the people who do.

Aesop said...

I'm accepting nothing at face value. According to Russia, they've lost a couple of hundred guys. (As if.) According to Ukraine, they've wiped out half the Russian Army. I suspect the truth is rather midway between those two poles, and multiple militaries have a similar analysis.

Russia's lost so many tanks and APCs in the last 3 months (and obviously, the men inside them) they're pulling T-62s, obsolete 50 years ago, out of mothballs, because it's what they've got. That's a indicator. They didn't pull half their army out of the north because they were "winning", and they didn't plan on getting their asses handed to them for three months, no matter what the fanboys keep telling themselves. If you think the figures are propaganda, come up with actual sources, not gainsaying.

Putin is learning that his army's readiness claims were bullshit. This isn't a training exercise, as they've already lost more men in three months than we lost in 20 years in two wars, and Iraqw and A-Stan were not "training exercises". The idea is risible.

China is happy to see Russia bleed itself white, happy to get cheaper energy that can come overland, and happy to see what a Potemkin army they face across the Siberian frontier. Russia's not yet a failed state, just a Turd World one, with nuclear weaponry. Whether it works any better than the conventional forces is keeping the entire Russian government and defense establishment up at night, and swilling antacid by the gallon.

And people who oppose raping little kids and mutilating them are also on the side of those opposing Putin. Ignoring the fucktons of fallacious guilt-by-association your attempting, you don't also get to compound the error and cherry-pick which facts and associations you highlight, and ignore wholesale the ones that undermine such rank silliness. Nor do you get a cost-free claim like "Putin doesn't support mutilating little girls and boys" unless you think levelling entire cities, including children formerly living therein, with artillery somehow "doesn't count".

That's quite simply delusional.

Rollory said...

"happy to get cheaper energy that can come overland,"

Just a note here - the distance from Beijing to the Siberian oilfields is greater than the distance from Miami to Alaska.

Asia is big.

The infrastructure is not in place, and even for the Chinese, building something on that scale is not a quick or cheap job. China is not physically capable of making up the missing European demand and won't be for quite a while.

Aesop said...

No doubt.
My point was, I doubt the Russian energy will be shipped by sea ten times farther than that, leaving it vulnerable to a host of points of interdiction or interruption. Overland by any means is the obvious solution.
But I've pointed out that sales to China and India will not replace revenue lost from European sales, probably ever.

Anonymous said...

Aesop -

What do you make of reports that Russia is lobbing missiles into Kiev? Are we getting close to Vlad pulling out the big bang just to chalk up a 'W'?


Aesop said...


IMHO,if Russia pops a nuke, or starts lobbing chem or bioweapons, NATO goes in whole-hog, Bosporus to the Arctic, and the gamble becomes take Ukraine, and burn the world. Starting with every major Russian city. The Russian Army, at this point, couldn't handle Ukraine plus just Poland, let alone 30 more countries.
Once again, I suspect if Putin orders any such utterly insane attack, his saner generals retire him with a 9mm Q-tip, and look for a rapid and face-saving excuse to GTFO for good.

Belarus would fall and finally depart in short order as well, then Georgia, Chechnya, and Kazakhstan, and probably several lesser -stans, making the dismemberment of Russia permanent and irrevocable for the next century or more.

They would be lucky to hold their Pacific coast at that point, from internal and external mischief. China wants more, and Russia wouldn't be able to stop them short of nuclear war either.