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Eacaraxe

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There's a reason why the Swedish main battle tank for about 30 years looked like this.
Dude, the Strv 103's design had absolutely nothing to do with Swedish neutrality. They needed an AFV that could fight effectively on native terrain, which meant an amphibious vehicle with low specific ground pressure and sufficiently low profile, to fight effectively in wetlands too flat to go hull-down in and too marshy for defensive earthworks. But, with a sufficient weight-to-power ratio and gun depression to remain mobile in uplands without cresting ridges. They attempted multiple turreted designs but none fit Sweden's doctrinal needs, and when a turreted MBT was created that fit them (Leopard 2) they adopted it instead.
 
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RhombusHatesYou

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That leaves... the US, or an unidentified other party (well, or Ukraine I suppose). The US has a great deal to gain. Cripple Russia's ability to deal with the sanctions, and their future revenue sources, with Europe feeling the pain instead of America.
Estonian nazis. IT JUST MAKES SENSE.
 

Satinavian

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The popularity of conscription in countries like Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Finland is due to the unspoken contract around it, that the only time conscripts would be called upon to fight is in direct defense of their own country against a foreign invasion.
Sweden is not special here. Many countries that have/had conscription also coupled it with the assumption (sometimes evenn explicit laws not only unspoken contracts) that the only time conscripts would be used would be direct defense of their country.

And why not ? Conscrips suck for every other use anyway.
 

Terminal Blue

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Dude, the Strv 103's design had absolutely nothing to do with Swedish neutrality.
Why would you need a tank that can fight effectively in native terrain?

You're pretending that "doctrinal needs" are separate from the geopolitical factors that create those needs in the first place. Military equipment is designed in response to the most likely anticipated future conflicts. The Strv 103, as you correctly point out, was designed to fight in Sweden against a hypothetical invasion from the Soviet Union. Which was a possibility because Sweden was a neutral country and thus not a member of NATO.

Moreover, there's a lot of unusual and very deliberate features of its design which can't be explained by terrain alone. It has a dedicated rear driving position, for example. It has a reverse speed the same as its forward speed. I bring it up because it's an interesting example of design specialization taken to a relative extreme, and while specialization is a double edged sword and not always conducive to long-term success, I think it's incredibly interesting and revealing for it.
 
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Silvanus

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Little snippet from a news segment broadcast in occupied Donetsk, meant to show the vote counting going along smoothly.

Pausing the image shows quite clearly blank ballots (you can see the tick boxes marked "Yes" and "No", blank) getting put right in the pile marked "Yes", as the counter states "yes" for each one.

This reminds me of that really shoddy propaganda video they made a little while ago that was purportedly showing a neo-Nazi's belongings, except the document (if you zoomed in) was signed "signature unclear".
 

Dalisclock

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Little snippet from a news segment broadcast in occupied Donetsk, meant to show the vote counting going along smoothly.

Pausing the image shows quite clearly blank ballots (you can see the tick boxes marked "Yes" and "No", blank) getting put right in the pile marked "Yes", as the counter states "yes" for each one.

This reminds me of that really shoddy propaganda video they made a little while ago that was purportedly showing a neo-Nazi's belongings, except the document (if you zoomed in) was signed "signature unclear".
Is anyone shocked by this? It was clearly a farce from the get go. The Kremlin will declare victory no matter what and nobody other then Russias Sycophants and Vatniks will take it remotely seriously.

Though it would be amusing if NATO countered : "Hey Russia, we took a referendum of our own and according to our totally unbiased and honest vote, 90% of Russians voted to remove Putin from Office and dismantle Russia's Nuclear Arsenal."
 
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Dalisclock

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Germany had committed to doing so... over an extended timescale that may have outlasted the war. Russia cutting the supply accelerated it, but was also entirely within Russia's control-- they could resume. Now they can't. At least not immediately.

Not counting Russia out, mind you. I can see motivations there too. But they look clearer on the American side right now.
So not to disparage the idea of sabotage, but what about the prospect of a no shit accident? Russia doesn't have an incredible reputation for either safety or maintenance to be honest and I honestly wouldn't be shocked to learn someone was skimping on proper repairs, maintenance and/or using poor operating principles.

I mean, fuck, they blamed the loss of the Moskva on basically that.
 
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Silvanus

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So not to disparage the idea of sabotage, but what about the prospect of a no shit accident? Russia doesn't have an incredible reputation for either safety or maintenance to be honest and I honestly wouldn't be shocked to learn someone was skimping on proper repairs, maintenance and/or using poor operating principles.

I mean, fuck, they blamed the loss of the Moskva on basically that.
An accident on one of the Nord Stream pipelines, during such a period or international turmoil, would be... unlikely and suspicious, but pretty possible.

On both pipelines, within a day of on another? The chances of that being entirely coincidental are vanishingly small.

Admittedly not zero.
 

Eacaraxe

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Why would you need a tank that can fight effectively in native terrain?
Needing purpose-built vehicles to fight a defensive war isn't synonymous with neutrality, my dude.

Which was a possibility because Sweden was a neutral country and thus not a member of NATO.
No, just a NATO partner-state which makes it a free rider. Which is why the thing had a Bofors 105mm L74 that needed a purpose-designed autoloader for no other reason than to make it compatible with NATO standard 105x617mmR (i.e. Royal Ordnance L7) ammunition.

Moreover, there's a lot of unusual and very deliberate features of its design which can't be explained by terrain alone.
You are correct.

It has a dedicated rear driving position, for example.
Its upper glacis had to be designed with extreme slope leaving no room for a dedicated frontal driver position, because it was designed to fight in terrain where going hull-down was not possible. And, the rear-facing position is not dedicated to driving; like the frontal position which is driver/gunner, the rear position is driver/radio operator.

It has a reverse speed the same as its forward speed.
Not having a turret and therefore zero degrees' horizontal traverse does indeed mean the vehicle has to have an adequate reverse speed to stage a tactical withdrawal.
 

Terminal Blue

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Needing purpose-built vehicles to fight a defensive war isn't synonymous with neutrality, my dude.
Never said it was, my dude.

However, the practice of building a military doctrine entirely around being prepared to fight a defensive war is extremely common to non-aligned nations, which use their armed forces primarily for deterrence rather than power projection. It was one very small throwaway example among the many I could have used, and I'm not sure why it's so deeply offended you.

Its upper glacis had to be designed with extreme slope leaving no room for a dedicated frontal driver position, because it was designed to fight in terrain where going hull-down was not possible.
There is a dedicated frontal driver position. It is at the rear of the vehicle, just in front of the rear driver position.
 

Godzillarich(aka tf2godz)

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One suspect for the pipeline sabotage: Russian hardliners who want to make sure that their country stays the course and burn any bridges to the West.
So this wasn't Russia this was a radical group of Russians?

Honestly now thinking about it that makes the most since. The thought process I've had is basically this is idiotic for any country to do but a group of radical idiots, yeah that makes more sense they would think this is a good idea. The pipe is only 80 feet deep so it's not not impossible to hit the pipe on a budget

Keep in mind this process could also go for other groups besides russias like American, Ukrainian, German, polish, etc
 

Satinavian

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So this wasn't Russia this was a radical group of Russians?
While is pretty much confirmed that it was abotage (various seismic sensor stations recorded corresponding underwater explosions), it is not really known who was behind it.

There are some statements thrown around that one would need pretty sophisticated tech, likely submarines to precisely target pipelines so deep down and that only state actors would have been able to do it. But that is not really a proof of anything. We do know that some navies trained for underwater sabotage but that alone does not make them responsible.


I am also not sure how they ever want to proof who was behind it. But obviously that is not a reason to hold back with accusations. Those can't be proven wrong either.
 

Godzillarich(aka tf2godz)

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While is pretty much confirmed that it was abotage (various seismic sensor stations recorded corresponding underwater explosions), it is not really known who was behind it.

There are some statements thrown around that one would need pretty sophisticated tech, likely submarines to precisely target pipelines so deep down and that only state actors would have been able to do it. But that is not really a proof of anything. We do know that some navies trained for underwater sabotage but that alone does not make them responsible.


I am also not sure how they ever want to proof who was behind it. But obviously that is not a reason to hold back with accusations. Those can't be proven wrong either.
we won't know for a while but the more important thing is if we could stop that leak before it fucks with the sea to much.
 

Gordon_4

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One suspect for the pipeline sabotage: Russian hardliners who want to make sure that their country stays the course and burn any bridges to the West.
Christ if this had been a plot point in a COD title I’d have been incredulous but as always, no matter what weirdness we can dream up in fiction, reality will out weird it effortlessly.
 

meiam

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Blame on pipeline is going to be hard to attribute cause no one really benefit from that and the pipeline were probably not going to be used anymore.

Russia are the usual suspect, but if they don't want to send gas they can just cut it. Maybe they're trying to get out of legal problem, like they have contract to deliver X amount of gas but not if the pipeline is damaged? But then again so much of what Russia as done makes very little sense. Maybe practicing on a now useless pipeline with the aim of doing it on other pipeline into EU?

US/EU, why bother? No one is going to be willing to rely on Russia for gas for a very long time and EU is already ready to buy all the gas available from other supplier and will not buy Russia longterm.

Ukraine, could they actually pull it off? They have essentially no navy and they probably need every fighting man on the front line, especially any team that would be experience enough to pull something like this.

Other gas supplier (Quatar or something), super fucking risky move for very little gain.

China, I literally can't think of any reason they would do that.

Environmental terrorist, would be very dumb cause now its leaky like crazy and that's terrible for the environment (methane is way worse than CO2), plus I don't see them having the expertise necessary.