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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2023 1:48 am 
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I read that Ukrainian forces have broken through the first line of Russian defences in the southeast. Just a small puncture for now, it took that long to demine. They're having to do it by hand, one at a time, in the dark, because the Russians can still shell demining vehicles to pieces. Hoping this leads to more rapid progress.

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2023 10:10 pm 
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Something about 30 year old, long since written off, American missiles being used to destroy choppers being protected by the best of modern Russian AA systems seems to bode ill for the Russians. Especially since there are over a thousand of the ATACMS missiles sitting around, all of more recent production and type, that are similarly worthless to the US because they've been formally written off as well.

Mind you, Russian AA systems will be trading at a marked discount going forward.

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2023 12:24 am 
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I know this is old news, but I have to ask.

Putin totally had the Wagner Group leadership killed, right?

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2023 4:50 am 
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It seems the way to bet. Not that they didn't have other enemies that can get cute; but when a bomb shows up on a Russian plane flying from Russia to Russia the first folks to consider would be the Russian government.

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2023 7:52 am 
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Looks to me like Putin let Prigozhin walk away after the attempted not-exactly-coup just so that he could kill him when he didn't see it coming.

Anyway, it's October, which I guess means it's going to be too cold to fight soon? The Middle East just exploded again, so Ukraine's allies are going to be distracted. Not to mention the mess in the House of Representatives. I think things are going to get rougher for Zelensky.

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2023 12:28 pm 
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Oh was it a bomb? I though the plane had been shot down by a missile or something.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:25 am 
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It's finally happening, the GOP is holding Ukraine aid hostage to what passes for their policy ideas these days. Screw refugees more, or Ukraine doesn't get the money.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2024 1:06 pm 
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Not quite; they don't really care about the border except as an excuse, and Ukraine doesn't matter. Frankly, the border mess is entirely of Republican creation; and the last thing they want is to ever approve a 'fix' (as they openly admitted when such a result was described as a win for Biden).

That aside, it looks like F16s will be a bit delayed while the training of ground crews continues. Which isn't too shocking, those particular fighters ate up a lot of maintenance hours when new; and they aren't all that new any more.

And it looks like we may see Jake Sullivan trying to block the transfer of impounded Russian funds to Ukraine's war effort; because heaven forfend Ukraine might win. That might require him to deal with Russia imploding. Better Russia wins a Pyrrhic victory that keeps them from rebuilding for the next war until Sullivan has moved on.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2024 12:14 am 
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I mean, it goes without saying that everything the GOP does is posturing, they have no other plays anymore. But they're still willing to hand Eastern Europe over to Putin for...whatever appendage swinging stunt they're trying to accomplish. Ukraine is absolutely screwed if they don't come up with the money by spring.

The politicians and the public have a shiny new war in the Middle East to distract them, so Ukraine's looking pretty dire right now. I don't think Europe could pick up the slack even if they wanted to.

And that's not even mentioning the possibility that Trump gets reelected later this year.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2024 8:38 pm 
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Oh, Europe could. Poland by itself can outproduce Russia (it's got a manufacturing base about a tenth bigger and no sanctions to worry about); so if it comes to that 'Europe' could turn Russia into a grease stain without really straining itself by underwriting Ukraine. Will they? Even if it means abandoning free riding on the US defense spending? I suppose we'll see.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2024 2:18 am 
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Does Europe have large enough stockpiles of weapons and ammo that they could give them to Ukraine by March and not miss them? If they made a commitment to funding Ukraine on their own tomorrow, it would take them a while to ramp up production.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2024 6:27 pm 
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Oddly enough, that would be utterly unimportant. Russia has already decisively lost the shooting war; it's physically impossible for it to conquer Ukraine, or defeat its army, with what's left of Putin's army and industry before Europe tools up. So once Europe makes the firm political decision that they will spend the money and tool up, it's all over but the shouting. Ukraine will hold until their depots are full, and then what's left of Russia's forces will be worn down to nothing.

Besides: a moderate supply of long range missiles, all available, would drive the Russians right out of Crimea and Southern Ukraine. Cripple a few harbor facilities, destroy one bridge, and the Russians face the stark choice of leaving or starving to death; and as we've seen there's nothing Russia can do to defend those targets from that kind of attack. That kind of loss would be both politically and economically crippling to Russia (Black Sea trade would cease); and may well force the end of the war by itself.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2024 9:02 am 
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Well, Europe had better reverse their policy of not giving Ukraine any long range missiles then.

(And is Russia getting chips for their smart bombs from China on the down low?)

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2024 10:12 pm 
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From what I've read, more of the important chips come from the west via the black market. The low grade stuff that is essentially equivalent to 20-40 year old western tech was probably made in China in the first place, so it may not be easy to tell...

Rumor, which is to say Politico, is saying that Ukraine will be getting Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs from the US starting tomorrow. Long story short, the GLSDB has the same range as the artillery rocket fired from a HIMARS or M-270; but the warhead is a 250 pound bomb with reasonable armor piercing ability. Supposedly it can be programed to punch through a meter of dirt, then a meter of reinforced concrete, and then explode; which pretty much means that anything the Russians might have in range can be destroyed. Probably not the proverbial game changer, but given enough of them it would seriously increase the cost of operations for the Russians (who are already stretched pretty thin).

On the one hand it's an open question how many rounds Ukraine will get; on the other, the rockets are cheap and there are already tens of thousands of the bombs in inventory (and they're fairly cheap too). Most importantly, the contract was signed and paid for a while ago; so the Republican congresscritters in the House can't interfere with these deliveries. And according to SAAB, they can be fired from the HIMARS and M-270s Ukraine already has; so launchers won't be a problem.

Oh, and they've never been used in combat; Ukraine is the first customer getting them after testing. I imagine they'll be willing to fill out customer satisfaction survey cards under the circumstances.

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 11:02 pm 
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Ok, so only half the Republicans in the Senate were willing to openly kiss Trump's backside on c-span; and a bill with some $50 billion for Ukraine (more or less) has passed. Now comes the hard part: finding three Republicans in the House (where 14 are already retiring) willing to pass on said kissing in order to get a discharge petition done.

Not that it's a free 'no' vote for all of the Republicans. There's a bunch of money for Israel in the bill too; some Zionist type major contributors will not be happy with their Republican congresscritter if it doesn't come to the floor and pass. So I imagine it's going to be interesting to watch the show.

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