Ukraine

Absent

And twice is the only way to live.
Jan 25, 2023
1,594
1,552
118
Country
Switzerland
Gender
The boring one
On the dam side, consequences seem roughly even for the russian and ukrainian sides of the war. Which makes the act absolutely stupid. The only asymetrical benefit that could be gained from it is symbolic and diplomatic, if it succesfully gets pinned on the false side.

 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
10,805
5,730
118
Country
United Kingdom
On the dam side, consequences seem roughly even for the russian and ukrainian sides of the war.
I'm not seeing that. The Russians, anticipating a counteroffensive, now have much less 'front' to defend. Defensive sides always benefit from fewer options of approach for the attackers.

That strategic aspect outweighs any potential benefit for the Ukrainians or downsides for the Russian command.
 

Ag3ma

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2023
2,358
2,018
118
On the dam side, consequences seem roughly even for the russian and ukrainian sides of the war. Which makes the act absolutely stupid. The only asymetrical benefit that could be gained from it is symbolic and diplomatic, if it succesfully gets pinned on the false side.

The result is much worse for Ukraine in one sense, because it's Ukrainian territory and infrastructure that's been wrecked.

Militarily, given Russia appears to largely on the defensive in this phase of the war, it would be mostly to the benefit of Russia because it cuts off routes of potential Ukrainian attack. This both reduces Ukrainian options and also potentially enables Russia to transfer troops to other threatened areas of the front.
 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
11,221
7,000
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
I'm not seeing that. The Russians, anticipating a counteroffensive, now have much less 'front' to defend. Defensive sides always benefit from fewer options of approach for the attackers.

That strategic aspect outweighs any potential benefit for the Ukrainians or downsides for the Russian command.
Good point, though the Ukrainians had to have anticipated this was a possible Russian Move and made plans with that in mind.

Another thing that comes to mind is the fact you can't blow the dam twice and it won't take very long for the downstream water to recede again( couple of days? A week or two?). Which means any Russian advantage to blocking Ukrainian troop movements is limited and by all accounts, no large scale Ukrainian movements have occurred yet. It's still probing attacks.

This move would have been FAR more effective if Ukrainian forces were massed downstream of the dam when it blew, but that's not an option now. Unless of course, they did it as a punitive measure against the Ukrainians downstream.

I'm inclined to believe Russia was responsible because they apparently controlled the dam before this happened and would have had ample time to rig demo charges on it.

The other possibility is of course, Russia pulled a Russia and just didn't bother maintaining it and operated it incorrectly until it broke. It would be perfectly in line with how they've maintained and operated their military for the last 30 years.
 
Last edited:

meiam

Elite Member
Dec 9, 2010
3,288
1,615
118
Good point, though the Ukrainians had to have anticipated this was a possible Russian Move and made plans with that in mind.

Another thing that comes to mind is the fact you can't blow the dam twice and it won't take very long for the downstream water to recede again( couple of days? A week or two?). Which means any Russian advantage to blocking Ukrainian troop movements is limited and by all accounts, no large scale Ukrainian movements have occurred yet. It's still probing attacks.

This move would have been FAR more effective if Ukrainian forces were massed downstream of the dam when it blew, but that's not an option now. Unless of course, they did it as a punitive measure against the Ukrainians downstream.

I'm inclined to believe Russia was responsible because they apparently controlled the dam before this happened and would have had ample time to rig demo charges on it.

The other possibility is of course, Russia pulled a Russia and just didn't bother maintaining it and operated it incorrectly until it broke. It would be perfectly in line with how they've maintained and operated their military for the last 30 years.
iirc Russia mined the crap out of the dam a few months back.

The most damning scenario I could see for Ukraine would be if Russia placed demo charge on the dam but Ukraine infiltrated it and set them off before the offensive begin to make sure it didn't happen when they had their troop downstream. From what I understand, Ukraine has embraced non centralized command structure with lots of group operating semi independently, one of them might have decided to do it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
11,221
7,000
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
iirc Russia mined the crap out of the dam a few months back.

The most damning scenario I could see for Ukraine would be if Russia placed demo charge on the dam but Ukraine infiltrated it and set them off before the offensive begin to make sure it didn't happen when they had their troop downstream. From what I understand, Ukraine has embraced non centralized command structure with lots of group operating semi independently, one of them might have decided to do it.
Also possible for sure.

A lot of this stuff we probably won't know for years, at least until the war is over.
 

Ag3ma

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2023
2,358
2,018
118
From what I understand, Ukraine has embraced non centralized command structure with lots of group operating semi independently, one of them might have decided to do it.
That's unlikely. It's an outrageously huge decision for a decentralised cell.

I'm sure decentralised cells still work with remits. it's one thing to harass and disrupt the opposition, another thing entirely to blow up major infrastructure which might severely risk their own side's operations. I think they'd have asked permission from high up at minimum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock

Seanchaidh

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 21, 2009
5,172
3,010
118
Country
United States of America
Russia stopped using it to apply preassure to Germany.
It would be kind of weird for them to keep sending gas to Germany while Germany was not paying them for it due to sanctions.

Depends, UK doctrine in the 80s (in preparation for an attack by the Soviets, oddly enough) stressed obstacles being created well in advance, not to stop an ongoing attack, but to encourage a future attack to go by another route.
As water drains, flooding tends not to be a great way to achieve this.

I think the issue is that it sounds plausible even when something thinks about it a lot. Even the most amateur student of warfare will have surely noticed the usefulness and extremely common tactic blowing up bridges to prevent travel (the dam is, of course, also a bridge). Flooding terrain to block passage is a little rarer for obvious reasons as it's often hard to accomplish, but also a well established principle (the Netherlands employed it).

Another general principle is blow shit up whilst you can, because wait too long and you mind find someone's started the attack and disabled your explosives before you set them off. Whole battles and campaigns have turned on whether people managed to blow up a bridge or not.
The Russians themselves are saying the counteroffensive is already underway.
Both of your reasoning is depending on the idea that Ukraine has some kind of decisive local advantage which the Russians would be desperate enough to want to harm their own infrastructure and defenses to mitigate. Outside of the most optimistic pro-Ukrainian propaganda, it doesn't seem very plausible.

Whereas you've repeatedly denied the neo-Nazi nature of Wagner.
You haven't really shown that the PMC itself is ideological as opposed to mercenary, whereas Azov as well as other groups incorporated into AFU definitely are ideological. Just because you want to equate two things doesn't make them equal, nor you more principled for having equated them. Even with lots of repetition.
 

Ag3ma

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2023
2,358
2,018
118
Both of your reasoning is depending on the idea that Ukraine has some kind of decisive local advantage which the Russians would be desperate enough to want to harm their own infrastructure and defenses to mitigate. Outside of the most optimistic pro-Ukrainian propaganda, it doesn't seem very plausible.
They don't depend on that at all: there doesn't need to be an actual local advantage, there just needs to be the possibility of one. Ukraine, by reports, has 50-60,000 newly equipped and trained troops behind the lines ready to throw into action. Some of them could have appeared at the dam and launched an attack in fairly short order.

Once a force has blown up a bridge, they have much less defending to do. Firstly, it obstructs an offensive because it's very hard to cross the river, and secondly it makes operations on the other side of the bridge (even if they do get across) extremely difficult because it becomes much harder to supply the forces, with further risk of being cut off and destroyed by counterattack as their retreat is compromised. As Russia has moved to a defensive stance, it gives Russia every motivation in the world to reduce potential lines of attack into its occupied territory and reduce risks.

The second argument is that Russia would be unwilling to damage infrastructure - really, to harm its own people. This is completely inconsistent with Russia's actual behaviour over the years. Or the Soviet Union's. Or Tsarist Russia before it. It's even in Russia's own rhetoric, Putin and others, about the hardiness of their people and willingness to go through suffering to win, the example of scorched earth in their "Great Patriotic War" to deny the invading Germans. The Russian / Soviet (because Putin is nothing if not a Cold War dinosaur) elites' view of their people as expendable peasants has never really gone away.

Also, the people who will be suffering the most, who already have suffered the most, are Ukrainians. Sure, Crimean agriculture will be short on water for a few more years, but it's already collapsed anyway after Ukraine blocked the flow. Russia has made it absolutely plain that the lives of Ukrainians mean vastly less to them, as evidenced by the smashing of civilian infrastructure, rampant looting, torture and murder within occupied territories.

Just because you want to equate two things doesn't make them equal, nor you more principled for having equated them. Even with lots of repetition.
Physician, heal thyself.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
10,805
5,730
118
Country
United Kingdom
Both of your reasoning is depending on the idea that Ukraine has some kind of decisive local advantage which the Russians would be desperate enough to want to harm their own infrastructure and defenses to mitigate. Outside of the most optimistic pro-Ukrainian propaganda, it doesn't seem very plausible.
Any harm done to their defences is drastically outweighed by simply making the Dnipro impassable. That alone cuts off a potential line of attack, and allows redeployment of troops who now no longer need to defend the left bank.

You haven't really shown that the PMC itself is ideological as opposed to mercenary, whereas Azov as well as other groups incorporated into AFU definitely are ideological. Just because you want to equate two things doesn't make them equal, nor you more principled for having equated them. Even with lots of repetition.
You've been more than happy to accept images of Nazi iconography and tattoos as evidence of an ideological bent-- and Nazi iconography is rife in Wagner, from Wagner co-founder Dmitry Utkin's SS collar tattoos to the swastika variant in the logo of Rusich.

If you'd like something a bit more direct, here's a quote (on video, no less) from the co-commander and co-founder of Rusich:

Aleksei Milchakov said:
"I'm a Nazi. I’m a Nazi. I'm not going to go deep and say, I’m a nationalist, a patriot, an imperialist, and so forth. I’ll say it outright: I’m a Nazi."
 
  • Like
Reactions: CM156

Kwak

Elite Member
Sep 11, 2014
2,191
1,695
118
Country
4
Was there actually an explosion recorded, or when they say the dam exploded are they just describing the water bursting through the wall?
 

Satinavian

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 30, 2016
1,646
624
118
Was there actually an explosion recorded, or when they say the dam exploded are they just describing the water bursting through the wall?
The various seismic sensor stations say that it looks like one big explosion. They obviously can't pinpoint it to inside the dam but they say it isn't consistent with the dam crumbling after being damaged over a longer time shelling but is consistent with the Russians blowing it up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kwak

Ag3ma

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2023
2,358
2,018
118
Was there actually an explosion recorded, or when they say the dam exploded are they just describing the water bursting through the wall?
As above. Seismic recordings suggest a blast - also witnesses up to a few tens of kilometres heard a large explosion at the time.

If a dam is breached there can be wider collapse from the water flowing through, but that dam looks utterly wrecked to an extent that it's implausible it was some sort of failure due to shelling.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock and Kwak

meiam

Elite Member
Dec 9, 2010
3,288
1,615
118
Shelling would also be imprecise and leave much of the area around the dam looking like a barren landscape, which is also inconsistent with the damage recorded.

But really, shelling would be very obvious and happen over a long period of time, there would be many recording of it, the lack of footage is telling.
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
10,805
5,730
118
Country
United Kingdom
So the Counter-offensive is underway, but by all accounts is going significantly slower than the last. Several towns and villages have been retaken by Ukraine, but they have failed to retake another (Mala Tokmachka), losing several APCs and at least one Leopard tank in the attempt.

Meanwhile, today Russia chose to launch 12 missiles (6 ballistic, 6 cruise) and 2 kamikaze drones at Kyiv as soon as the African peace delegation arrived in the city-- including the Presidents of South Africa, Comoros, Egypt, Senegal, and Zambia.

All missiles were intercepted by Ukrainian air defence. But fuck, that takes a special kind of contempt.
 

Avnger

Trash Goblin
Legacy
Apr 1, 2016
2,059
1,201
118
Country
United States
So the Counter-offensive is underway, but by all accounts is going significantly slower than the last. Several towns and villages have been retaken by Ukraine, but they have failed to retake another (Mala Tokmachka), losing several APCs and at least one Leopard tank in the attempt.

Meanwhile, today Russia chose to launch 12 missiles (6 ballistic, 6 cruise) and 2 kamikaze drones at Kyiv as soon as the African peace delegation arrived in the city-- including the Presidents of South Africa, Comoros, Egypt, Senegal, and Zambia.

All missiles were intercepted by Ukrainian air defence. But fuck, that takes a special kind of contempt.
But don't you know that the global south fully supports Russian imperialism? What is a little bit of sacrificing a BRICS president (and friends) for the cause?
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
10,805
5,730
118
Country
United Kingdom
But don't you know that the global south fully supports Russian imperialism? What is a little bit of sacrificing a BRICS president (and friends) for the cause?
They've been sacrificing an awful lot already, seeing as Russia's hired neo-Nazis are involved in pillaging gold from the CAR, and brutal war crimes in several other African states.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock

XsjadoBlayde

~Social Anxiety Catalysed Free-Market Alienation~
Apr 29, 2020
3,153
3,283
118
Some new podcast about the suspicious killings of Russian oligarchs since invasion begun, just the one episode out so far. Shares some people involved with Behind the Bastards also. (Am copypasting description as it is, to avoid accusations of heinous mischaracterisation 🤞)

WHAT HAPPENED TO RUSSIA'S DEAD OLIGARCHS? Since January 2022, more than 12 of Russia's wealthiest oligarchs have been found dead. One was poisoned with frog venom. One was found hanged on a handrail with his wife and children killed with an axe. Several fell out of high windows. All of the deaths are suspicious. Russia says most of them were coincidental suicides--that the oligarchs were simply depressed. I don't think so. Sad Oligarch is a modern true crime style investigative podcast series that looks into each Russian oligarch death in 2022/2023, unravelling a dark tale of Kremlin corruption and Russian political influence across the world.
On March 23rd 2022, affluent Russian businessman Vasily Melnikov was found dead alongside his family in their upscale Moscow apartment. They’d all been stabbed to death: Vasily, his wife, and their two sons aged 4 and 10 years old. The killings were brutal and tragic. In the crime scene photos one of the murder weapons can be seen. It's a Russian Special Forces combat knife...

In this episode we investigate the Melnikov family annihilation. Did Vasily kill his whole family as the Russian police claim, or is something else going on?

You can now listen to all Cool Zone Media shows, 100% ad-free through the Cooler Zone Media subscription, available exclusively on Apple Podcasts. So, open your Apple Podcasts app, search for “Cooler Zone Media” and subscribe today!

http://apple.co/coolerzone

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
 

Bedinsis

Elite Member
Legacy
Escapist +
May 29, 2014
1,384
676
118
Country
Sweden
I just found out that one of the western companies still operating in Russia is Mondelez, which owns brands such Nabsico[sic] and Cadbury. Since I don't want to contribute to the Russian war economy I will be avoiding purchasing their brands. (which for me mostly translates to not buying anything from Marabou).
Update on this (even though it is by far not the most important aspect of this war): several entities have decided to also boycott Mondelez' products (or at least Marabou's products) as a result of the Ukrainian blacklisting. These include:
The Swedish publicly owned train operator SJ.
The Swedish armed forces.
The city of Gothenburg.
All the major amusement parks, including the largest Liseberg.
Strawberry (owns and operates 240 hotels).
Ikea.
Various convenience stores.

EDIT: Oh, and I think it would be appropriate to share an article about this. In particular since the Norwegian boycott has gone all the way to the government reacting, which I only now found out:

 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
11,221
7,000
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
So the Counter-offensive is underway, but by all accounts is going significantly slower than the last. Several towns and villages have been retaken by Ukraine, but they have failed to retake another (Mala Tokmachka), losing several APCs and at least one Leopard tank in the attempt.

Meanwhile, today Russia chose to launch 12 missiles (6 ballistic, 6 cruise) and 2 kamikaze drones at Kyiv as soon as the African peace delegation arrived in the city-- including the Presidents of South Africa, Comoros, Egypt, Senegal, and Zambia.

All missiles were intercepted by Ukrainian air defence. But fuck, that takes a special kind of contempt.
Kharkiv was very much a lucky break in Ukraines favor, though the liberation of Kherson was significantly more attritive. I've been hearing that this counter offensive is expected to last most if not all of the summer to make as much progress as possible before the fall rains start. Ukraine knows that assaulting a series of layered defenses is going to be difficult and Southern Ukraine has a lot of those.