Putin’s Determination

“The crisis is not merely that Russia is invading Ukraine; it is that Russia is invading Ukraine in particularly reckless, destructive, and catastrophic ways. It is as if Vladimir Putin is an obsessed and abusive lover, determined to destroy what he cannot possess.

35 thoughts on “Putin’s Determination”

  1. Nice article from the Deep State Neocon Uniparty mouth piece.
    YMMV. Outside of the ISS, I wonder how many ethnic russians live in LEO.

    1. You do realize that we know what ad hominem fallacies look like, right? And this is the worst kind, where you merely say it’s bad without even an understanding of what the source actually is.

      1. How dare anyone speak ill of NRO?

        Between this and the nonsense in the other thread, I have to ask, have you been paying attention these past six years?

  2. I think Roscosmos is in serious trouble. They’re going to lose virtually all their commercial launches due to Western sanctions and their crazy nationalistic demands and paranoia, and China certainly isn’t going to give them any launch business.

    The Russian military, meanwhile, is going to have far more important spending priorities. They’ll be focused on conventional forces due to the massive loss of equipment and poor state of the air force and tactical missiles stocks. Combine that with an overall implosion of the Russian economy, and thus defense spending, and their manned spaceflight fun fest will be at the bottom of their priority list. Unless of course Biden insists on subsidizing them.

    A lack of launches means a production halt, and that means their workforce will likely end up doing something else. Reopening production will face an uphill battle, especially when all the potential customers have switched to other launch providers.

    If you can’t take Kyiv, you can’t put a man on the moon. Their current ISS crew, or perhaps their upcoming crew, might be the last Russians to fly in space for decades.

    1. The Russians do not need to storm Kiev when a siege would save men and money. It might not even take any more time.

      1. I’m not sure the Russian will succeed in that. The Ukrainians have the equivalent of six armored divisions and 14 mechanized brigades that they haven’t even used yet.

        They’ve already reportedly destroyed over 200 Russian MBTs and captured many more, including T-80’s. According to a pre-war army-technology.com article, the Ukrainians have 720 upgraded T-64’s and 3600 T-72s. The Russians, in total, have three or four times more tanks, but how many can they actually put on a Ukrainian battlefield in a reasonable time frame? And we haven’t really seen an armored battle yet.

        The Ukrainians revamped their military and adopted NATO doctrines, whereas the Russians seem to be following standard Soviet doctrine. Are the Ukrainians keeping their massive armored forces back as a “fleet in being”, while using missiles and friction eat Russian air and ground forces? Are they waiting to pounce on Russian forces that get south of Kiev in a hammer and anvil attack?

        And you know top US commanders have to be in deep consultation with Ukrainian commanders, making sure that they maintain social distancing and mask requirements and respect LGBTQ rights.

        1. “Two doctrines, both alike in dignity,
          In fair Ukraine, where we lay our scene,
          From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
          Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”

        2. And you know top US commanders have to be in deep consultation with Ukrainian commanders, making sure that they maintain social distancing and mask requirements and respect LGBTQ rights.

          God, I hope not.

          Are there ANY people at the top levels of the US military who are worth anything? If so, who are they?

      2. Bothering with Kiev at all seems a mistake. But maybe they can’t maneuver well enough under current conditions to bypass Kiev. I’m reading about mud and bad tires (Chinese and poorly maintained) right now (annoying that I can’t credit who linked to it, but I think it was someone here, Rand or a commenter?). If this is a general thing (at least in northern Ukraine, southern Ukraine near the Crimea is much drier), they might not be able to get off the roads for some time. What a thing to discover a week into your big invasion!

        1. It was Trent Telenko (who has probably commented here, but it’s been many years). I haven’t talked to him in years, but he is (or was) a big space/NSS guy.

        2. On the tires issue, I think that was a brilliant piece of deduction, and it’s certainly standing up to the predictive test.

          I think there’s one important aspect left out though, regarding Russian successes in the south. Most of Russia’s forces for the Ukraine operation came from their far east. This is a lot less true of their Crimea-based forces. Those Crimea-based forces are doing far better than Russian forces elsewhere, and I suspect there’s more to it than the mud conditions being lesser in the south.

          What I’m thinking is that it’s mainly the Russian forces from Russia’s east that are having the most equipment problems. Those equipment problems (many of them, not just tires) stem from Chinese-supplied items (like comms). And whom, exactly, is the only plausible enemy in far eastern Russia? That would be China. And these equipment issues seem overwhelmingly present in Russia’s far east, though not elsewhere to anywhere near the same degree.

          Russia also massively modernized and expanded (thanks to $$$ from the West) its nuclear forces. It was reported a few years back that the Chinese helped, especially with electronics.

          I do not believe in coincidences. Perhaps, just maybe, the Russians are soon to get a Siberia-sized dose of Karma.

          1. Could be the longer travel means more opportunities for things to break and small maintenance issues pop up when things go from infrequent use to going to war.

      3. A siege requires moving forces into position to effectively block access to an area. You see that big convoy that’s supposedly heading toward the capital? Have you noticed that is isn’t moving very much, if at all? The ground off of the highway is soft enough for vehicles to get bogged down. Tanks don’t do well in mud, and neither do heavy vehicles. That means the vehicles are stuck to traveling on the highways. As they try to advance, their logistics trail becomes longer (“amateurs talk tactics; military professionals talk logistics”) and more vulnerable to attack. No resupply means not fuel, no ammo, and no food for the troops.

    2. I never believed, as some of you insisted, that Russian industries were “hollowed out.” But they will be hollowed out now. And if they *were* already hollowed out, then Russia must soon be scraping the uterine lining of its economy. We’ll see.

      1. The Russians no longer seem able to get new large weapons systems into anything resembling mass production. That goes for tanks, planes and ships.

        The Russian nuclear submarine force, for example, now numbers only 35. Most are Soviet-era units whose average age since commissioning is north of 30 years. 10 of these units are currently in the midst of lengthy refits and are not deployable. That resources are still being expended to refit so many elderly subs suggests Russia has no expectation of being able to replace many of them with new units anytime soon, if ever. Russia has commissioned only eight new nuke boats since 2000 with a ninth now undergoing sea trials.

        1. And the US nuclear submarine force now numbers only 71, which, when you consider the US has a global force projection blue water Navy and the Russians are a regional power only slightly stronger than France and the UK should put that into perspective. This is similar to the space program comparison. The Russians mainly have R-7 and we mainly have SpaceX. they have greedy”oligarchs” and we have… I dunno. Pronoun-crazed race-baiters? Which is worse?

  3. Whatever Putin thought he could do, it’s at least worth remembering the conquest of Iraq (far weaker than Ukaine) by the US (far stronger than Russia) took around 6 weeks, counting from invasion day (Mar 20) to Mission Accomplished day (June 1).

    I wish this hadn’t happened, as it can only make the world a worse place. Maybe having Germany and Japan rearm will turn out to be a good thing. But, y’know… I also worry that, some ways down the road, the bill for this, rather than falling on Russia, will be paid by the US taxpayer.

    1. To the best of my recollection, the US did not have any big failed attacks in the attack on Iraq.

      Whereas from what I can tell, Russia tried a decapitation strike in Kiev that utterly failed.


      And while the US had some problems with sand-storms, I don’t remember any major failures that were strictly equipment related (tires).

      If Putin gets a 9mm retirement package and Russia gets booted out of Ukraine, this will make the world a better place, rather than a worse one

      1. I think people expected Ukraine fighters to run away from Russians like Iraqis ran away from Americans. Ukraine defenders are fighting for a cause they believe in. Kind of like Viet Cong or Taliban. How did that go for Americans?

          1. A fool does not survive in his position as long as he has. Nor in his previous position at the KGB. So, unless he has slipped unnoticed into dementia, I think we can rule “fool” out.

        1. To be fair, neither of those countries wants to go to war with the USA again either. Sometimes winning isn’t all that great.

      2. Just because two things are not identical doesn’t mean the two things are not similar. My point was, since it took the US (ten times stronger than Russian) 6 weeks to conquer Iraq (ten times weaker than Ukraine), then the time taken to conquer Ukraine by Russian shouldn’t be much of a determinant. And since the disparity Russia/Ukraine is only about 4x, compared to US/Iraq 100x, will Russia allow itself to fail, will it win at great cost, or will nukes fly?

        1. There is a lot of wish casting failure on Putin, which may or may not happen but when everything is a sign of failure, it prevents an honest view.

          Russian vehicles run out of gas. Terrible planning and no supply lines that doom the Russian military? Or the Russian military exceeding what was expected of them and success has lead to supply lines not being able to keep up with the rapid advance?

          I don’t know but I don’t trust the Russian Coup plotters and Ukraine coup operatives in our media.

        2. Time really not on the Russians side. They needed this to be over as quick as possible. They swung for fences and got stood up and taking gut shots now. Right now the RUSSIANS own numbers of their causalities is worse than coalition invasion of Iraq. And is most likely a factor of 10 off .

          US had time and was allowed to be methodical and slow, our issue was we were expecting more of a fight and didn’t have a plan for afterwards.

          1. “It’s 4th and 10 so the Russkies need a buzzer-beater before NATO kicks it into touch.” – Sun Tzu

  4. Assuming for the sake of discussion that Putin and his droogs are not complete idiots (because no one ever lost a fight by overestimating an opponent), what would the aim have been. Russian can only deploy the bottom quintile of its force posture into Ukraine without a guarantee that NATO won’t attack. That’s not actually enough to conquer Ukraine. So…?

    Say Russia’s actual goal was to seize Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson (the 4 Oblasts with a large Russian and largely Russianized Ukrainian population), maybe stopping at the Dnieper where it flows through Zaporizhia and Kherson, connecting to Crimea and moving the Russian border well to the east of where it was. Then say the decapitating strike on Kiev to throw the Ukrainian goverment into a tailspin until “mission accomplished.” The occupation og the 4 eastern Oblasts is proceeding nicely, but the decap failed. Now what?

    I don’t know how the picer movement against Kiev will work out, but I do know your not supposed to interrupt your enemy while they’re fucking up (if that what the Russians are doing). We’ll see. But an amistice with the Russians holding the 5 eastern Oblasts (including Crimea) is a victory for them. At the same time, the Democrats will dance around, screaming victory, use it as propaganda for the midterms and 2024. Meanwhile, Germany is rearming and the Chinese are taking notes.

    1. The Kiev offensive has also held Ukrainian forces. As the Russians advance Zelensky will have to choose whether to keep his soldiers and government in a defensive posture around Kiev, with three million civilians who need food and fuel, or to try to break out to the south or west.

    2. Actually many battles and some wars have been lost by overestimating and opponent. McLellan at Antitem (sp?) had enough troops in reserve to wipe out Lee’s forces and win the civil war in 1862,but was convinced that Lee had far more manpower that actually existed on the confederate side. Rommel was famous for bluffing. Anzio could have had a different outcome if the German forces hadn’t been overestimated.

      Over or under, as accurate as possible is needed to cut through the fog of war. Both can cost heavily

      1. McLellan underestimated his own force, rather overestimating Lee’s (it’s a nuance, I agree). In proper military planning, you don’t shrink back from what you think might possibly be a superior opponent, you prepare for the worst case, and then fight. The British used to execute timid admirals.

  5. I wrote a “What if the Ukrainians win?” post, but a page timeout ate it and I don’t feel like typing it again. It was mainly about how Antares, Atlas, and Zenit could go on with the RD-810 and 810M engines. India’s SCE-200 is based on it.

  6. This invasion is about China, Russia, Iran, and to a lesser extent India and Saudi Arabia, ending the petrodollar. The sanctions and financial ostacism play right into it. Honestly good riddance, but it was idiocy to wait 25 years and let someone else dictate the terms.

Comments are closed.