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  1. #1576
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    This video shows updated satellite photos of the airbase that was hit in Crimea. It was definitely hit by multiple rockets/missiles, as you can see the craters left behind.
    Nah, it was obviously caused by a carelessly dropped Winston king size.

  2. #1577
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Russia begins conscripting Mariupol residents


    Russia has begun mobilizing Mariupol residents to fight against the Ukrainian military, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko reported on Thursday. “Yesterday, we received confirmation that Mariupolites have started receiving mobilization orders to fight in the war on the side of Russia. People are frightened and want to leave for Ukrainian [-controlled] territory,” Boychenko reportedly said at a press briefing.


    Boychenko also noted that Russian “filtration camps” are still being run in Mariupol, and that residents are not allowed to leave the city.

    https://meduza.io/en/news/2022/08/11...upol-residents

  3. #1578
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    Russian Economy Contracts Sharply as War and Sanctions Take Hold

    The Russian economy contracted steeply in the second quarter as the country felt the brunt of the economic consequences of its war in Ukraine, in what experts believe to be the start of a yearslong downturn.

    The economy shrank 4 percent from April through June compared with a year earlier, the Russian statistics agency said on Friday. It is the first quarterly gross domestic product report to fully capture the change in the economy since the invasion of Ukraine in February. It was a sharp reversal from the first quarter, when the economy grew 3.5 percent.

    Western sanctions, which cut off Russia from about half of its $600 billion emergency stash of foreign currency and gold reserves, imposed steep restrictions on dealings with Russian banks and cut access to American technology, prompting hundreds of major Western corporations to pull out of the country.

    But even as imports to Russia dried up and financial transactions were blocked, forcing the country to default on its foreign debt, the Russian economy proved more resilient than some economists had initially expected, and the fall in G.D.P. reported on Friday was not as severe as some had expected in part because the country’s coffers were flush with energy revenue as global prices rose.

    Analysts, though, say the economic toll will grow heavier as Western nations increasingly turn away from Russian oil and gas, critical sources of export revenue.

    “We thought it would be a deep dive this year and then even out,” Laura Solanko, a senior adviser at the Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition, said of the Russian economy. Instead, there has been a milder economic decline, but it will continue into next year, putting the economy in a shallower recession for two years, she said.

    Russia, a $1.5 trillion economy before the war started, moved quickly in the days after the invasion to mitigate the impact of sanctions. The central bank more than doubled the interest rate to 20 percent, severely restricted the flow of money out of the country, shut down stock trading on the Moscow Exchange and loosened regulations on banks so lending didn’t seize up. The government also increased social spending to support households and loans for businesses hurt by sanctions.

    The measures blunted some of the sanctions’ impact. And as the ruble rebounded, Russia’s finances benefited from high oil prices.

    “Russia withstood the initial sanction shock”and “has been relatively resilient so far,” said Dmitry Dolgin, the chief economist covering Russia at the Dutch bank ING. But, he noted, unless Russia manages to diversify its trade and finances, the economy will be weaker in the long term.

    Retail trade declined about 10 percent, the statistics agency said, while wholesale business activity fell 15 percent.

    Michael S. Bernstam, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said the data released on Friday were in line with other reports from Russia. He, too, expects the economy to deteriorate in the second half of this year, and then again in 2023.

    As the war drags on, many countries and companies will look to permanently end relationships with Russia and its domestic companies. Businesses will have trouble getting replacement parts for Western-made machines, and software will need updates. Russian companies will need to rearrange their supply chains as imports seize up.

    The prospects for Russia’s energy industry, central to the country’s economy, are deteriorating. The United States and Britain have already banned Russian oil imports, and the country’s oil output will fall further early next year when the full impact of a European Union ban on imports comes into effect. Russia would need to find customers for roughly 2.3 million barrels of crude and oil products a day, which is about 20 percent of its average output in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency.

    So far countries including India, China and Turkey have absorbed some of the lost trade from Europe and the United States, but it’s unclear how many new buyers can be found.

    Reliance on Russian natural gas is also being reduced. In the final week of June, total European Union gas imports from Russia were down 65 percent from a year earlier, according to a report by the European Central Bank. Some of these declines were forced on Europe because Russia has been cutting its supplies of gas. But European countries have ramped up efforts to find alternative sources and are, for example, quickly developing infrastructure for additional imports of liquefied natural gas.

    The economy will suffer as the “exhaustion of inventories of investment imports, enforcement of the E.U. oil embargo, higher financial pressure on households and their higher dependence on the state” take their toll, while the ability of the central bank and government to provide monetary and fiscal support is limited, Mr. Dolgin of ING wrote.

    Shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, inflation in Russia soared as households scrambled for goods they expected to become scarce. In July, inflation was running more than 15 percent, according to the Russian central bank. Already, though, there are signs inflation is slowing down, and as a result the central bank has slashed interest rates to 8 percent, lower than they were before the war.

    Last month, the bank said that business activity had not slowed as much as expected, but that the economic environment “remains challenging and continues to significantly constrain economic activity.”

    The bank forecast that the economy will shrink 4 percent to 6 percent this year, much less than it originally expected right after the start of the war. That 6 percent figure also matches the latest

    The economy will have a deeper contraction next year and not return to growth until 2025, the central bank said on Friday. The bank forecast that inflation would be 12 percent to 15 percent by the end of the year.

    In coming months, supply chain issues will present challenges, as businesses constrained by sanctions try to alter their supply chains to replenish stockpiles of finished and raw goods.

    “I don’t think the Russian economy is doing well at the moment,” Ms. Solanko said. But the idea that sanctions and the departure of companies from Russia would cause the economy to rapidly collapse was never realistic. “Economies just don’t vanish,” she said.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/12/b...onomy-gdp.html

  4. #1579
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    Live Updates: Ukraine Estimates Sharply Higher Russian Casualty Toll in Crimea Blasts

    A senior Ukrainian official suggested on Friday that the casualty toll from explosions at an air base in Crimea this week was far higher than previous estimates, further contradicting a Russian account about damage at a site that has been a vital jumping-off point for Moscow’s military operations since its invasion of Ukraine began in late February.

    The official, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the minister of internal affairs, said that 60 pilots and technicians had been killed and 100 people wounded when a series of explosions rocked the Saki field on Crimea’s western Black Sea coast on Tuesday. He said the conclusion was based on video evidence and intelligence data, but he offered no further details.

    There has been no independent confirmation of the toll, and most experts have focused on estimating the damage to Russian military equipment. Satellite photos released by Planet Labs, a satellite imaging company, appear to show at least eight wrecked war planes and three blast craters in areas where planes were parked near the runways.

    Officials previously said that at least one person had been killed and more than a dozen wounded.

    The Russian authorities have said that munitions stored at the site exploded, and denied that any aircraft were destroyed.

    Russia launches Ukraine invasion-10ukraine-briefing-satellite-photos-top-superjumbo


    Mr. Gerashchenko dismissed the Russian account as a “blatant lie” and compared the explosions to the political and military damage caused to Moscow by the sinking of Russia’s flagship in the Black Sea, the Moskva, in April. That attack, by Ukrainian Neptune missiles, was an embarrassment to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

    “Judging by the way the cars were damaged by the explosion, shrapnel and fire, there is no chance that any plane made of delicate, thin magnesium and aluminum alloy remained intact,” Mr. Gerashchenko said of the Crimea explosions.

    A British military intelligence report said on Friday that at least five fighter bombers and three multi-role jets had been “almost certainly destroyed or seriously damaged” in the blasts, which it said had resulted from the detonation of up to four uncovered munition storage areas.

    A senior Ukrainian official has said the blasts were an attack carried out with the help of partisans, resistance fighters who aid the Ukrainian military on Russian-occupied territory. But the government in Kyiv has been reluctant to specify how the explosions happened, or to elaborate on whether it was responsible.

    Even so, the attack appears to follow a pattern of bold Ukrainian strikes against an enemy that was initially deemed to far exceed Kyiv’s military strength.

    The explosions are all the more galling for Russia, because Crimea — which Moscow annexed in 2014 — has largely escaped fighting since February and the base was far from any recognizable front line.

    In an overnight speech, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine chided officials for disclosing details of attacks carried out by its forces, or from bragging.

    “War is definitely not the time for vanity and loud statements,” he said in the remarks, which made no reference to the air base explosion. “The less concrete details you give about our defense plans, the better it will be for the implementation of those defense plans.”

    Correction: Aug. 12, 2022
    An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of an adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs. He is Anton Gerashchenko, not Geraschenko.

    Russia-Ukraine War Live Updates: Latest Crimea News - The New York Times

  5. #1580
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Russian Court Places TV Protester Ovsyannikova Under House Arrest

    A Russian court on Thursday placed former state TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who denounced President Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine live on air, under house arrest until October.


    On Wednesday, investigators detained Ovsyannikova, 44, and charged her with spreading information about the Russian armed forces deemed false by the government.


    The mother of two faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.


    In March, Ovsyannikova, then an editor at Channel One television, made global headlines when she barged onto the set of its flagship Vremya (Time) evening news, holding a poster reading "No War".


    The house arrest is not connected to that particular protest, however.


    It is linked to a one-woman protest in mid-July near the Kremlin, when Ovsyannikova held a poster that read "Putin is a murderer, his soldiers are fascists".


    Three "blood-soaked" toy dolls were laid on the ground in front of her.


    At Moscow's Basmanny district court on Thursday, she was placed in a cage surrounded by several policemen.


    She held a sign that read "May the dead children haunt you in your dreams".


    Her lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov wrote on messaging app Telegram that "even" the Soviet Union's most brutal serial killer Andrei Chikatilo was not guarded so closely.


    During a closed-door hearing, the court ruled that Ovsyannkova be placed under house arrest until October 9.


    "I even don't know what to say. Good that it is not jail? Certainly good," Zakhvatov said.


    "But it is still sickening."


    Criticism of Putin's decision to send troops to Ukraine on February 24 has been virtually outlawed in Russia.


    French President Emmanuel Macron has offered Ovsyannikova, who worked for Russian state TV for 19 years, asylum or other forms of consular protection.


    Earlier this year prominent Putin critics Ilya Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Murza were put in pre-trial jail for denouncing Moscow's Ukraine offensive.


    The criminal probe against Ovsyannikova was launched after two Moscow courts ordered the journalist to pay fines for discrediting the Russian army on various occasions.


    In the months following her TV protest, Ovsyannikova spent time abroad, working for Germany's Die Welt for three months.


    In early July, she said she was returning to Russia to settle a dispute over the custody of her two children.


    Since her return, Ovsyannikova came out to support opposition politician Yashin in court and published anti-government posts online. She was briefly detained by police near her home in mid-July.

    Russian Court Places TV Protester Ovsyannikova Under House Arrest
    - The Moscow Times

  6. #1581
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    Russia 'Starting to Fail' in Ukraine War as Heavy Losses Mount: Wallace

    Ben Wallace, the U.K.'s defense minister, said Russian President Vladimir Putin's war effort in Ukraine is "starting to fail in many areas" and Russia will never fully occupy the country after seeing heavy losses in equipment and troops.Wallace made the comments Thursday to reporters at an international donors conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Western nations pledged sustained military aid for Ukraine. Over five months into the war, Wallace said Putin has lost his gamble that Western nations would tire of backing Ukraine. Instead, Wallace said, "Our appetite is increasing towards helping Ukraine."

    Denmark's Defense Minister Morten Bodskov announced at the conference that 26 countries agreed to donate 1.5 billion euros in military assistance to Ukraine.

    Already, the European Union has donated 2 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine. That's on top of the 2.3 billion pounds the U.K. has given and the $9.8 billion from the U.S.
    Despite the already generous support, Wallace said the renewed commitment demonstrated that the international community was steadfast in thwarting what he called "Putin's ambitions in Ukraine." He said that determination is paying off.

    "(Russian forces) have failed so far, and are unlikely to ever succeed in occupying Ukraine," he said. "Their invasion has faltered and constantly been re-modified to the extent they are really only focusing in parts of the south and in the east."

    Wallace said that's "a long, long way away" from the three-day operation originally planned by the Kremlin to overwhelm Ukraine's government in Kyiv. After initial setbacks, Russian forces have turned their attention to Ukraine's south along the Black Sea coast near the occupied Crimean peninsula. Additionally, Russian forces have made gains in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.

    The number of Russian military personnel killed or wounded in the war has remained imprecise, but the Pentagon estimates that Russia has seen 70,000 to 80,000 casualties in less than six months.

    Equipped with advanced Western weapons, Ukraine's military has reported success in striking Russian military targets as it makes a push to reclaim occupied land near the southern city of Kherson.

    Speaking at the conference, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said he couldn't disclose details on how the military support would be used but said he was pleased with the agreement reached with donor countries on long-term support.

    "I am glad that we all have common sense that there is no time for fatigue," he said.

    Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.

    https://www.newsweek.com/russia-star...allace-1733083

  7. #1582
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    You didn't answer my question about your bullshit.
    The same reason why Putler does not allow a "Free Press".

    No questions allowed!

    At least Putler has his reasons. What reasons does OhOh have? Pure stupidity.

  8. #1583
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    The number of Russian military personnel killed or wounded in the war has remained imprecise, but the Pentagon estimates that Russia has seen 70,000 to 80,000 casualties in less than six months.
    Putler started a war that he alone can not finish.

    A human rights group that monitors the treatment of inmates at Russian penitentiaries says hundreds of men at a prison in the North Caucasus region of Adygea have agreed to be sent to fight in Russia’s war against Ukraine as a result of aggressive recruiting.
    The founder of the organization Gulagu.net, Vladimir Osechkin, told RFE/RL on July 11 that two sources told him that some 300 inmates at Correctional Colony No. 1 in the town of Tlyustenkhabl had been recruited by the private military company Vagner, which has ties to the Kremlin and is involved in the war in Ukraine.

    Rights Group Says Hundreds Of Prisoners In Russia's North Caucasus Recruited For War In Ukraine


    Vladimir Putin sending prisoners to their deaths as ‘cannon fodder’ in Ukraine war

    Russian criminals are reportedly being offered 200,000 roubles - just over £2,800 - and an amnesty if they travel to deadly frontline but they must survived six months to get their reward

    Vladimir Putin sending prisoners to their deaths as ‘cannon fodder’ in Ukraine war - World News - Mirror Online

  9. #1584
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    Quote Originally Posted by HermantheGerman View Post
    At least Putler has his reasons.
    Better protection than allowing a "suspect" shooting themselves, in the back of the head, twice.

  10. #1585
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    U.S.-provided anti-radiation missiles have helped take out some of Russia’s most dangerous weapons systems in Ukraine in recent days.

    But the missiles, only recently confirmed to be in the hands of Ukraine’s air force, are just one part of a complicated strategy to expel Kremlin forces completely from the country, a Ukrainian fighter pilot told The Hill.

    The pilot, who identifies himself by his call sign “Juice,” said the country’s air force has recently used the anti-radiation missiles to suppress Russian air defense systems.

    Their presence in Ukraine was confirmed for the first time Monday by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, who said the missiles have been included in several recent lethal aid packages from the United States and make existing Ukrainian capabilities more effective.

    “It’s a great support for us. Actually, it’s one of the most advanced weapons that we have at the moment,” Juice said, but stressed that the missiles are only “one part of the complex mission.”

    Though Department of Defense officials have not identified the specific anti-radiation missiles or the amount sent, CNN reported that the munitions are AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, which can hit targets more than 30 miles away.

    “They are very expensive and we have a limited number,” Juice said, adding that they have to be selective in their targeting, taking out the Russian army’s “most dangerous” long-range missile systems.

    The U.S. anti-radiation missiles are thought to be involved in the destruction of at least five Russian anti-aircraft artillery systems, four S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems and a Pantsir-S1 missile system, the Kyiv Post reported Monday.

    Such battlefield successes are key in breaking through intense, yet stagnant, fighting along what is considered a 2,000 kilometer (1,243 mile) front line, dividing Ukraine from the Russian-occupied territory in the east and south.

    But the nation needs more help, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has continued to push for the international community to step up its support. The aid is critical for Ukraine’s armed forces to push Russia back by destroying its supply lines and breaking down its will to fight before winter, when conditions could change the battlefield and the geopolitical stage, he warns.

    To that end, the Pentagon has signaled it is preparing to scale up its collaboration with Ukraine’s air force — a critical component in the country’s defense — to include U.S. service members beginning to train Ukrainian pilots on advanced American fighter jets.

    “There are real questions about what would be most useful in terms of assisting the Ukrainian Air Force and improving its capabilities. It’s not inconceivable that down the road, Western aircraft could be part of the mix on that, but the final analysis has not been done,” Kahl said in a briefing with reporters.

    Even as Ukrainian ground troops put to effective use American-provided High Mobility Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and multiple launch rocket systems — celebrated for their ability to disrupt and destroy Russian military supply lines — Juice said that he hopes the U.S. will help with the needs of the air force.

    “I totally understand that HIMARS and Howitzers, UAVs, all of that are critically important for our armed forces,” he said. “But we are still saying that the air force, in modern war, is too important, too critical. And we need to improve our capabilities.”

    Alex Gorgan, a Ukrainian infantry officer who launched a private initiative that is training Ukrainian pilots on Western aircraft, seconds that, calling Ukrainian pilots “priceless”.

    Gorgan said it is impossible for Ukraine to retake occupied territory from the Russians without quickly building up its air force capacity.

    Gorgan launched his initiative, called the Training Center for Pilots of Advanced Military Aircrafts, alongside Andrey Vavrysh, CEO of SAGA Development, and in coordination with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

    Gorgan said the idea for this initiative came while fighting in the trenches of eastern Ukraine in March, under intense shelling from Russian forces.

    “I thought ‘oh my god, we need this specific airplane, A-10 Thunderbolt, which gives close air support for infantry,’” he recalled.

    “But the United States cannot give the plane because we don’t have pilots, but we don’t have pilots because we don’t have planes, so we have to break this circle. The weakest point of this circle is the ability to have previous study,” he said.

    Gorgan’s initiative focuses on using flight simulators to begin training pilots on the A-10, as well as other advanced aircraft Ukraine hopes to receive.

    U.S. lawmakers have identified pilot training as key to beginning the process of delivery of advanced war planes.

    A proposal by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), included in the House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act, aims to provide $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots to use American planes.

    The list of needs, demands and hopes are long.

    Ukrainian officials have long called for American-made F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.

    The Ukrainians also view attack helicopters as critical in carrying out a robust defense — Juice brought up Boeing’s AH-64 Apache helicopters, though conceded it is unlikely, and that they would settle for the Bell AH-1 SuperCobra or Bell AH-1Z Viper.

    “Of course I’m not a helicopter expert, but in general I know their needs and all these helicopters are the platforms for modern aiming systems, reconnaissance and modern precision missiles,” he said.

    “We could provide the very precision attacks without any civilian casualties … exactly, precisely, to target, and from large distances to be safe from the enemy’s air defense.”

    The Ukrainian air force has long been in touch with the U.S. Air Force, and since the start of the invasion, Juice said, the Americans have provided not only advice in those first few critical weeks, but also friendship.

    “They are trying just to help, just by any possible way, even just a friendly conversation, ‘how are you, are you still alive?’” he says with a laugh, but adds more seriously that the pilots consider each other “brothers in arms,” referring back to a tragic training accident in 2018 when both a Ukrainian and an American pilot were killed.

    “U.S. Air Force became the real brothers in arms for us, with blood on our soil,” he said, adding that the 2018 exercise was critically important in their training as it was designed specifically to prepare against a full-scale Russian invasion — four years after Moscow had seized territory in Ukraine’s east and on the Crimean peninsula.

    “We understood that, these fallen guys, won’t ask [us not] to continue, their wish was to make this, make it happen, to continue to complete this mission,” Juice said.

    “Because the mission of this exercise was to prepare us against war with Russia.”
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  11. #1586
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Better protection than allowing a "suspect" shooting themselves, in the back of the head, twice.
    Of course, you prefer poisoning, don't you?

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    More Russian Casualties in Ukraine Than U.S. Troops in Revolutionary War

    A Pentagon official has given a "ballpark" figure of Russia's casualties since it started the war in Ukraine on February 24, in a sign of the high cost of Vladimir Putin's invasion of his own forces.

    Colin Kahl, the Department of Defense undersecretary for policy, said at a briefing on Monday: "It's safe to suggest that the Russians have probably taken 70 or 80,000 casualties in less than six months," adding, "That is a combination of killed in action and wounded in action and that number might be a little lower, a little higher, but I think that's kind of in the ballpark."

    He described the number of Russian casualties as "remarkable" given that Russia's forces have "achieved none of Vladimir Putin's objectives" since invading Ukraine.

    If Kahl's figures are confirmed, this would mean that in only six months, Russia would have suffered more casualties than the United States did during the Revolutionary War, which was fought over eight years, between April 19, 1775, to September 3, 1783.

    The total number of U.S. casualties in the conflict that secured American independence from Great Britain is estimated to be around 66,000, according to historian John Shy's 1976 book, A People Numerous and Armed: Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence. These include the wounded, as well as combat and non-combat deaths, which also comprised of those who died of disease.

    Kahl's latest estimate is a significant jump from other recent U.S. government assessments. In July, CIA Director Bill Burns said the Russians had suffered about 60,000 casualties, including 15,000 troops killed in action. This suggests that if Kahl is correct, Ukraine managed to inflict more than 10,000 casualties on the Russians in the last month.

    During this time, Kyiv has lauded the delivery of new multiple rocket systems from the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Germany.

    Among the weapons are the U.S-supplied M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) which have made a big contribution to Ukraine's war effort by targeting Russian command centers and ammunition depots.

    The number of Russian casualties in the war has not been independently verified. In its latest estimate on Wednesday, Ukraine's military estimates that 42,800 Russian troops had been killed in combat, although this is nearly triple what Western officials have stated. Moscow has not updated its death toll released at the end of March which stood at 1,351.

    Newsweek reached out to the Russian defense ministry for comment.

    However, military experts have said that the Kremlin was not suffering enough troop losses to impact its ability to hold terrain, even as Ukraine undertakes a counteroffensive on Kherson in the southwest of the country.

    Meanwhile, Russia's casualty estimate is likely to include Russian paramilitary and volunteer forces, like the mercenary Wagner Group, according to Rob Lee, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

    "Otherwise, the Russian military could not withstand that kind of casualty rate and still be fighting," he told Foreign Policy.

    Kahl also said on Monday that the Ukrainian side had suffered severe casualty numbers in what he described as the "most intense conventional conflict in Europe since the Second World War."

    "But the Ukrainians have a lot of advantages, not the least of which is their will to fight," he added.

    https://www.newsweek.com/russian-cas...ry-war-1732460

  13. #1588
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Talking of Russian reporters, this one might be declining cups of tea at the moment



    Istanbul: Ukraine used a US-supplied rocket system to destroy the military headquarters of Russian private contractor Wagner after a Russian state TV reporter seemed to give away its location by posting photos online.
    A Ukrainian official confirmed Russian media reports that the base in Popasna in eastern Ukraine was targeted by a Ukrainian missile strike using the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), with some estimating that as many as 100 fighters were killed.


    <snip>

    The attack came a few days after a pro-Kremlin journalist published several photos from what should be a secret base, writing on his social media: “I arrived in Popasna. Went to Wagner’s HQ. They greeted me like family, told me a few funny stories.”
    On top of that, the Russian reporter posted a few photos that gave out the exact location of the base.

    Russia-Ukraine war: Ukrainian rockets take out secret Wagner HQ after Russian TV ‘blunder’
    Last edited by harrybarracuda; 16-08-2022 at 06:11 PM.

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    Par the course at this point.

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    Ukraine Defies Russia With Attacks on Crimea, a ‘Holy Land’ to Putin

    A series of brazen attacks on Russian-occupied Crimea by Ukraine in recent days — the latest on Tuesday by an elite military unit operating behind enemy lines — come in defiance of dire warnings of retaliation from Moscow. A senior Russian official vowed last month that if Ukraine attacked Crimea, it would immediately face its “Judgment Day.”

    The Black Sea peninsula that Russia illegally seized in 2014 is more than a crucial military base and staging ground for its invasion of Ukraine. It holds special meaning for President Vladimir V. Putin, who has told his people that Crimea is a “sacred place” and Russia’s “holy land.” And by repeatedly striking at the territory, which Russia has held for the better part of a decade, Ukraine has posed a fresh challenge to Mr. Putin’s standing at home.

    On Tuesday, huge explosions rocked a Russian ammunition depot, as Ukraine tries to counter Moscow’s advantages in matériel and disrupt supply lines by ratcheting up its military tactics and striking deep behind the front. Last week, blasts at a military airfield in Crimea sent beachgoers rushing for cover, and an attack by a makeshift drone in the port city of Sevastopol on July 31 forced Russia to cancel its Navy Day celebrations.

    A senior Ukrainian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss Tuesday’s operation, said an elite unit was responsible for the explosions. And Russia’s Defense Ministry called the blasts an “act of sabotage” — a significant acknowledgment that the war is increasingly spreading to what the Kremlin considers Russian territory.

    Some pro-Kremlin commentators called on the military to make good on the country’s threats to respond harshly to any attacks on Crimea. Andrei Klishas, a senior lawmaker from Mr. Putin’s United Russia party, said in a social media post that “Russia’s retaliatory strikes must be very convincing.”

    “This is about protecting our sovereignty,” he wrote.

    Ukrainian officials did not publicly claim responsibility for the blasts, although President Volodymyr Zelensky praised those helping Ukraine’s intelligence apparatus and “special services” weaken the Russian military.

    “The reasons for the explosions in the occupied territory can be different, very different,” he said in his nightly address. But, he added, the result is the same: damage to Russia’s military infrastructure.

    Mr. Zelensky said those now choosing to leave Crimea for Russia “already understand or at least feel that Crimea is not a place for them.”

    No single action that Mr. Putin has taken in his 22-year rule provoked as much pro-Kremlin euphoria among Russians as his largely bloodless annexation of Crimea, which cemented his image at home as a leader resurrecting Russia as a great power. And in the run-up to the invasion last winter, it was Crimea that Mr. Putin repeatedly cited as the locus of an existential security threat posed by Ukraine, warning that a Western-backed effort to retake the peninsula by force could trigger a direct war between Russia and NATO.

    When Mr. Putin launched his invasion on Feb. 24, Russian forces lunged north from Crimea in a lightning operation that captured a large swath of territory in southern Ukraine, including the Kherson region, which Russian forces almost fully control. Russia is now using Crimea to provide air and logistics support to its forces in Kherson and the neighboring Zaporizhzhia region, where Ukraine has been attacking Russian supply lines and threatening a counteroffensive.

    Pavel Luzin, an independent Russian military analyst, said that Ukraine’s attacks are limiting the ability of Russia to “seize the initiative.”

    “Crimea is the only way to support the grouping of troops in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions,” he said. “Otherwise, this grouping of troops does not exist.”

    Mr. Putin, who addressed a security conference in Moscow by video link a few hours after the early-morning blasts in Crimea on Tuesday, made no mention of the attack and instead focused on a frequent argument: a Western-allied Ukraine poses an existential threat to Russia.
    Russia, he said, was prepared for a lengthy war.

    https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08...ussia-news-war

  16. #1591
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    The blasts at an ammunition storage site are near a Russian military base in Crimea.

    Huge explosions rocked a Russian ammunition depot on the occupied Crimean Peninsula on Tuesday morning, delivering another embarrassing blow to Moscow’s forces a week after blasts at a Russian air base in the same region destroyed several fighter jets.A senior Ukrainian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the operation, said that an elite Ukrainian military unit operating behind enemy lines was responsible for the explosions. Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that the episode was an “act of sabotage,” according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

    The apparent use of covert forces behind enemy lines underscored the inventiveness of Ukraine’s forces. Since the war began, they have adopted unconventional tactics in the hopes of leveling the playing field while trying to repel attacks from a much larger and better equipped Russian military.

    Although he did not confirm Ukraine’s involvement, Andriy Yermak, the head of the presidential office in Ukraine, said on the Telegram messaging app that the country’s armed forces would continue the “demilitarization” of Crimea and other captured territories until they achieved “the complete deoccupation of Ukrainian territories.”

    At least two civilians were wounded in the blasts in the northern part of the peninsula, and as many as 3,000 were evacuated from the area around the weapons depot, the Kremlin-installed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said on Telegram.

    The explosion occurred at a temporary ammunition storage site near a military base, he said, and the ammunition then continued exploding after the initial blast.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said that there were no serious casualties and that the explosions damaged power lines, railroad tracks and homes.

    After explosions tore through a Russian air base in Crimea last week, Russia’s Defense Ministry said the blasts had left no casualties and that no equipment had been destroyed. But videos from the scene and an assessment by local officials told a different story, while satellite imagery showed craters, burn marks and at least eight destroyed fighter jets.

    Local residents in Crimea said that the authorities there had introduced a “yellow level terrorist threat” alert and that people were being stopped and searched as they entered parks and public buildings.

    After illegally annexing Crimea in 2014, the Kremlin turned the peninsula into a heavily fortified military zone that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, often describes as hallowed ground.

    Since the invasion of Ukraine in February, Crimea has served as a key base of operations. Aircraft at Crimean bases have flown sorties over Ukraine, and ships of the Black Sea fleet based there have launched punishing rocket attacks on Ukrainian military positions and civilian neighborhoods.

    Until this month, Crimea appeared well protected from Ukrainian attacks. Even Ukraine’s most advanced weapons systems do not have the range to hit Russian military targets there, and its planes are incapable of making it through Russia’s air defenses on the peninsula.

    Then, last Tuesday, a series of powerful explosions ripped through the Saki air base in western Crimea, annihilating a good portion of the Black Sea fleet’s 43rd naval aviation regiment. That attack, according to a Ukrainian official, was carried out in part by special forces officers working with local partisan fighters.

    Russia-Ukraine War: Live Updates and Crimea News - The New York Times

  17. #1592
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Stoopid russians, should learn to dispose of their cigarette butts properly.

  18. #1593
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    I have to say from a pure military perspective, these behind the lines acts of sabotage are pretty good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    I have to say from a pure military perspective, these behind the lines acts of sabotage are pretty good.
    So they are Ukrainians posing as Russians in Ukraine and blowing up Russian assets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Stoopid russians, should learn to dispose of their cigarette butts properly.
    As long as some people like those fed the same propaganda dross every day in Russia and the few fans the murderous regime believe it

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    Russia has admitted it was sabotage actually

  22. #1597
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Russia has admitted it was sabotage actually
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Because they're afraid to say that Ukraine can now hit them from distance at will, you fucking airhead.

    Either way the insecurity this breeds is brilliant . . . sabotage from within the ranks? Sabotage from the population at large? Egads, not everyone loves Putin as Pravda and Tass keep on going on about?
    Or
    Weapons that can reach . . . fucked.

    Russians are lucky Ukraine hasn't started bombing mother Russia

  23. #1598
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    Seems to have shaken up the Rusky holiday makers in Crimea. long lines heading home. Should blow up the bridge.
    Hopefully the next sanctions will target all Russian passport holders and make them personna non grata unless seeking asylum from the puffy war criminal.

  24. #1599
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    Ukraine admits it was behind three explosions in Crimea. Here's what we know

    Ukraine was behind three explosions rocked Russian military facilities in the annexed province of Crimea this past week, including an explosion at a Russian air base on the peninsula's west coast that wrecked several airplanes, according to a Ukrainian government report circulated internally and shared with CNN by a ​Ukrainian official. ​The official requested anonymity because they were not authorized to share the information with the media.

    The report describes the Saki airbase, which was rocked by explosions last Tuesday, as a hard but one time loss for Russian military infrastructure in the peninsula, with subsequent attacks as proof of Ukraine's systematic military capability in targeting Crimea.

    The August 9 incident at Saki airbase, which destroyed at least seven military aircraft, severely damaged the base and killed at least one person​.

    Russia claimed it was a result of an accident and Ukrainian officials have so far declined to confirm on the record that they were responsible. What caused the explosions remains unclear.
    In a speech following the incident, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war "began with Crimea and must end with Crimea -- its liberation."​

    Another set of explosions were reported in Crimea this week, on August 16, this time at an ammunition depot in Maiske and at an airfield in Gvardeyskoe.

    Russian officials said the incident in Maiske had been the result of sabotage​, but they did not specify the kind of sabotage, or whom they believed was responsible.

    What do we know about other recent incidents?

    On Tuesday, a fire and smoke plume were seen rising from an electrical substation 12 miles away from Maiske's ammunition depot, according to social media footage. The cause of the fire, and smoke, at the substation remains unclear.

    The incidents both took place around the Dzhankoi area, described by the British Ministry of Defence as "a key road and rail junction that plays an important role in supplying Russia's operations in southern Ukraine."

    The attacks come at a time when nascent resistance movement in Russian occupied areas appears to have been carrying out acts of sabotage.

    Over the weekend, Ukrainian officials said that a railway bridge near the southeastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol, used by Russians to transport military equipment and weapons from occupied Crimea, was blown up by Ukrainian partisans. Melitopol has for months been a center of underground resistance to Russian occupation.

    As analysts speculate that there is a campaign to degrade Russia's military capability in Crimea, Zelensky warned Ukrainians living in occupied areas on Tuesday to stay clear of Russian forces' military facilities.

    What do the blasts mean for Putin's ambitions?

    The explosions at Saki airbase jolted sunbathers lounging in beach-side cabanas last week, and marked the start of a series of mysterious incidents on the Ukrainian peninsula that threatens the jewel of President Vladimir Putin's revanchist ambitions.

    Western officials and analysts have since offered competing explanations about the cause.

    In any event, the Cavell Group said, the "Saki attack was audacious and highly effective in both damaging Russian reinforcements and striking a significant psychological blow to morale amongst the Russian military and civilians."

    Whatever caused the explosions, they could have significant implications for the overall conflict, especially if the attack were to have been carried out with any new long-range weapon system that Ukraine has developed.

    The UK Ministry of Defence says that the loss of combat jets represents a minor proportion of the overall fleet of aircraft Russia has available to support the war.

    But it noted that Saki is the main base for supporting the Russian navy in the Black Sea. "The fleet's naval aviation capability is now significantly degraded. The incident will likely prompt the Russian military to revise its threat perception," it said.

    It may also cause a re-evaluation of the threat to Crimea which "has probably been seen as a secure rear-area," the ministry said.

    Why is Crimea so important to Putin?

    Crimea is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is based at Sevastopol. The peninsula has acted as a launching pad for the February invasion, with Russian troops pouring into Ukraine's south from the annexed region.

    Control of Crimea assures Russia continuing access to the Sevastopol naval base, which it previously operated under a leasing deal with Ukraine that was scrapped after Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea. Surrounded by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, ships and submarines based in Crimea are just north of Turkey and can reach the Mediterranean to influence the Middle East and the Balkans.

    Crimea was forcibly seized by Russia in 2014 -- soon after Ukrainian protestershelped topple pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych -- when thousands of Russian special-operations troops wearing unmarked uniforms deployed around the peninsula in early March that year.

    Two weeks later, Russia completed its annexation of Crimea in a referendum, slammed by Ukraine and most of the world as illegitimate, and at the time considered the biggest land-grab on Europe since World War II.

    Since annexation, human-rights observers have described Crimea's descent into a police state, with local authorities and Russian security services persecuting and arresting those perceived to be loyal to Ukraine, including members of the Crimean Tatar community. A 2020 US State Deparment report described a pattern of "unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings by Russia or Russia-led "authorities"; forced disappearances by Russia or Russia-led "authorities"; torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" in Crimea.

    Even before annexation, nationalist Russian politicians often made claims to the region -- with its rich farmland and its access to the Black Sea -- part of their populist rhetoric, even though Russia was just one of a number of powers to have dominated Crimea over the centuries. One particular nationalist grievance was the Soviet leadership's decision to transfer the administration of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, when both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union.

    Putin also capitalized on those sentiments.

    "In our hearts, we know Crimea has always been an inalienable part of Russia," Putin told Russian lawmakers as he announced the annexation in 2014.
    Crimea has long been a popular spot for Russian vacationers and for the Soviet elite. In 1991, the Soviet Union's last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, was vacationing in the region when hardliners launched a coup against him.

    The full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia has affected tourism in the region. Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the Russian-controlled Crimean administration, acknowledged last month that a 40% decline in the tourism industry was expected over the summer. The Russian Tourism Association made a similar prediction in June.

    Despite Moscow's claims, domestic politics may have played a part in Putin's decision to annex the region. Despite an economic crisis in Russia, nationalistic rhetoric and Crimea's invasion saw Putin's approval ratings climb in 2014

    What's happened in Crimea after the blasts?

    The Russian road state agency on Tuesday reported a new traffic record across a Crimean bridge just days after the explosions at Saki airbase.

    "During the day on August 15, 38,297 cars drove across the bridge in both directions," the statement read.

    Local officials have downplayed the size of the lines saying they were the result of stricter controls on the bridge for security reasons and not because of an increase in outward traffic.

    "From the point of view that they are fleeing Crimea, this is a complete lie, there is no doubt about it," Aksyonov, the head of the Russian-controlled Crimean administration, told Russian state TV on Tuesday.

    On Tuesday, in reference to the miles-long tailbacks of civilian vehicles attempted to leave Crimea for Russia, Zelensky said: "The queue these days to leave Crimea for Russia via the bridge proves that the absolute majority of citizens of the terrorist state already understand or at least feel that Crimea is not a place for them."

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/17/europ...ntl/index.html

  25. #1600
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Ukraine was behind three explosions rocked Russian military facilities in the annexed province of Crimea this past week, including an explosion at a Russian air base on the peninsula's west coast that wrecked several airplanes, according to a Ukrainian government report circulated internally and shared with CNN by a ​Ukrainian official.
    Well I hope they'll be more careful disposing of lit cigarettes in future.

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