Ukraine

Agema

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People have probably already heard about the Ukrainian strike on Russia's Saky airbase in occupied Crimea.

There's a pretty incredible before-and-after satellite photographic slider here;


Satellite images were taken 4 hours before the attack, and then the next day. They confirm 8 Russian aircraft were destroyed in the strike. This vitally shows that Ukraine is able to utilise long-range missile artillery, and is able to bypass Russian air defence.
That's pretty expensive: 8 Russian fighter jets is probably about $100-200 million.

Although Ukraine has not confirmed a missile strike: there is a suggestion that it was partisans or special forces who may have got close enough to fly explosive drones into the ammo/fuel stores.
 
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CM156

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That's pretty expensive: 8 Russian fighter jets is probably about $100-200 million.

Although Ukraine has not confirmed a missile strike: there is a suggestion that it was partisans or special forces who may have got close enough to fly explosive drones into the ammo/fuel stores.
Maybe it just exploded out of the blue.
I don't think Russia can rule out that possibility.
 
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Agema

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Maybe it just exploded out of the blue.
I don't think Russia can rule out that possibility.
Russia certainly seems to be suggesting that.

However, I still have severe doubts about whether it is better for Russia to argue that it accidentally lets stores explode taking out 8 very expensive pieces of hardware than it is to admit Ukraine blew them up. I mean, seems to me that telling the world that they are so half-arsed that important things like their flagships and air bases randomly explode is even worse than crediting their opponents with a successful strike.
 

Dalisclock

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Maybe it just exploded out of the blue.
I don't think Russia can rule out that possibility.
Of course the irony is that doesn't reflect well on them either. Having an accident that takes out like 8 planes on an airbase suggests you've got some serious issues on the ground unrelated to enemy actions.

"Well, what you see happened was we had a bunch of oil soaked rags sitting next to the open flames and the leaky fuel lines and our guys are used to tossing coins into the running jet engines because they're drunk and bored most of the time......"
 

Silvanus

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Russia certainly seems to be suggesting that.

However, I still have severe doubts about whether it is better for Russia to argue that it accidentally lets stores explode taking out 8 very expensive pieces of hardware than it is to admit Ukraine blew them up. I mean, seems to me that telling the world that they are so half-arsed that important things like their flagships and air bases randomly explode is even worse than crediting their opponents with a successful strike.
As far as I know, the current Russian gov line is that no planes were destroyed at all. They admitted an explosion occurred but claimed it only damaged some storage.
 

Agema

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As far as I know, the current Russian gov line is that no planes were destroyed at all. They admitted an explosion occurred but claimed it only damaged some storage.
Well, to be fair, they've probably got so much old equipment mothballed that when the war ends they'll have just as many tanks and planes as when they started.

They just have to hope their people don't look too hard and notice that they're the 50-year-old models instead of the 20-year-old ones.
 

Silvanus

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Inmates in Russian prisons are routinely tortured, raped, and extorted, with the knowledge and permission of authorities. Attested by both ex-inmates and direct footage.

This is the reality of the ultra-violent despotism that propagandists and fantasists would have us believe is fighting to defend the rights of the people in the Donbas. Even as they forcibly conscript those very people they purport to protect.
 
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The Rogue Wolf

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Maybe it just exploded out of the blue.
I don't think Russia can rule out that possibility.
Of course the irony is that doesn't reflect well on them either. Having an accident that takes out like 8 planes on an airbase suggests you've got some serious issues on the ground unrelated to enemy actions.
Neither! That footage was faked by the Imperial West in an effort to douse the patriotic morale of mighty Russian soldiers! Those warplanes are right now dropping bombs on childr- uhh, I mean, evil Ukrainian Nazis in Russia's heroic march to wipe out imperialism!
 
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Kwak

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- Western and Ukrainian outlets circulated a report, likely false, of a Russian general allegedly threatening to destroy Europe’s largest nuclear facility, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), if Russia could not hold the plant.
...
This likely misreporting distracts from the very real risks of Russia’s militarization of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which may include mining the plant and almost certainly includes the unsafe storage of military armaments near nuclear reactors and nuclear waste storage facilities.[4]
Bellingcat geolocated a drone video of the Zaporizhia NPP that was shared by Russian opposition outlet The Insider on August 5. The video depicts Russian military vehicles moving in and around the plant, including military trucks and armored vehicles moving around and into the building containing the first of the plant’s six nuclear reactors.[5] Russian forces have also dug trenches in and around the plant and may have established firing positions.[6] Russian officials claim that Ukraine has repeatedly attacked the plant, while Ukrainian officials claim that Russian forces are attacking Ukrainian positions from within the plant, preventing Ukrainian return fire and essentially using the plant as a nuclear shield.[7] Russian forces have repeatedly shelled the nearby Ukrainian-controlled town of Nikopol, likely from positions in or around the NPP, since July.[8]

ISW continues to assess that Russian forces are likely leveraging the threat of nuclear disaster to degrade Western will to provide military support to a Ukrainian counteroffensive.[9]
 

CM156

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Silvanus

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Striking military targets in occupied Crimea makes sense for several reasons. Firstly, of course, we know Russia is focusing on taking control in southern Ukraine, and Crimea is strategically placed for the movement of troops and goods from Russia into the southern areas.

But also it makes it clear that the Russian invasion endangers areas they've already occupied in 2014. It makes the continuation of war a territorial risk for them. They may not simply fail to gain; they may effectively cede.
 

Agema

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Striking military targets in occupied Crimea makes sense for several reasons. Firstly, of course, we know Russia is focusing on taking control in southern Ukraine, and Crimea is strategically placed for the movement of troops and goods from Russia into the southern areas.

But also it makes it clear that the Russian invasion endangers areas they've already occupied in 2014. It makes the continuation of war a territorial risk for them. They may not simply fail to gain; they may effectively cede.
There is also the aspect that striking targets in Russian territory, although legitimate, is escalatory. Crimea, however, has not been formally ceded and is not internationally recognised as Russian territory so less inflammatory.

My suspicion is that Ukraine could be willing to cede Crimea if it obtained sufficient other objectives, such as a complete withdrawal of Russia from the rest of Ukrainian territory, including full restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over the Donbas. Crimea is well known to have a hefty Russian-majority population, and if Ukraine and Russia are in a state of enmity it is potentially more trouble than it's worth to Ukraine due to risk of discontent; plus that it was not traditionally part of Ukraine, only being transferred from Russia to Ukraine in the 1950s as an administrative convenience under the Soviets, and finally that it might be too much effort to take anyway. Formal concession of Crimea might allow Putin enough to tell his people they got something for their struggles, plus of course Russia getting the major strategic benefit of the Crimea's location, and naval port at Sevastopol.

On the other hand, that strategic position is precisely why Ukraine might be reluctant to concede it. Also, when I consider the mindset of Putin, he might not consider a formal concession of Crimea by Ukraine worth anything, because in his mind it's already his. Ukraine would be conceding nothing at all: he'd need to be at risk of losing, which would require a major battlefield defeat for Russian forces.
 

Silvanus

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A Russian paratrooper, Pavel Filatyev, has published online a 144-page account of his experience in the invasion force, before he was sent home with an infection and subsequently fled Russia. There's some incredible (and harrowing) details of the pressures they're under.

* Some soldiers were unaware until months after the invasion began that there was no war on Russian territory.

* Filatyev was present for the incursion into Kherson. He reports that soldiers had been unable to eat properly, shower, sleep regularly or change clothes for days or weeks, which resulted in frenzied looting of kitchens and shower facilities in Kherson. Looting appears to have been a result of utter desperation as basic living standards were denied to the soldiers.

* Some soldiers were deliberately shooting themselves in the limbs to get sent home.
 
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Dalisclock

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A Russian paratrooper, Pavel Filatyev, has published online a 144-page account of his experience in the invasion force, before he was sent home with an infection and subsequently fleed Russia. There's some incredible (and harrowing) details of the pressures they're under.

* Some soldiers were unaware until months after the invasion began that there was no war on Russian territory.

* Filatyev was present for the incursion into Kherson. He reports that soldiers had been unable to eat properly, shower, sleep regularly or change clothes for days or weeks, which resulted in frenzied looting of kitchens and shower facilities in Kherson. Looting appears to have been a result of utter desperation as basic living standards were denied to the soldiers.

* Some soldiers were deliberately shooting themselves in the limbs to get sent home.
So what you're saying is the special operation is 150% ahead of schedule and Russia stronk?
 
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