Russian Troop Movements Reported Near Ukraine

When Will Russia Invade Ukraine

  • Wed 16th Feb

    Votes: 19 6.7%
  • Before 22nd Feb

    Votes: 54 19.1%
  • By St David's Day (1 March)

    Votes: 90 31.9%
  • By St Georges Day (23 April)

    Votes: 21 7.4%
  • By August

    Votes: 9 3.2%
  • By Christmas

    Votes: 6 2.1%
  • Some time in 2023

    Votes: 15 5.3%
  • Before Hell Freezes Over

    Votes: 68 24.1%

  • Total voters
I imagine it is just a gap fill to get them something they are familiar with until the long term (western) solution is delivered and trained up on.
There are three obvious tranches of kit, depending on the time required to train Ukrainians.
1) Warsaw Pact era kit. Old, but they can use it immediately.
2) Old NATO kit. Mostly obsolete, but lots of it about, but does require training. Some of the older,simpler stuff like towed artillery is already appearing.
3) Current, complex NATO kit. Long lead times for training, but a quantum leap above most current Russian equipment.


When all this Soviet era kit is supplied to Ukraine, particularly the systems that fire rockets and missiles, is there still anyone manufacturing the obsolete ammunition for them or is there a limited stockpile of it that will eventually run out and leave the weapon system useless?

Its probably worth remembering that the kit itself is being expended in large quantities. I expect that the limited ammo stocks of some one-off systems will be matched by the limited life expectancy of the fire units themselves.

Expending large amounts of hardware (ships, tanks, arty, bridging kits, etc) is a feature of warfare that we seem to have lost sight of ourselves for fifty years or so. Today I'm not sure what sort of warfighting we expect to do ourselves when some of our keys systems are down to double digits or even less.


Oh dear, how sad. When Russia does fire they go big :nod:

Caught fire.




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When all this Soviet era kit is supplied to Ukraine, particularly the systems that fire rockets and missiles, is there still anyone manufacturing the obsolete ammunition for them or is there a limited stockpile of it that will eventually run out and leave the weapon system useless?
The problem is that nobody is scaled for 24/7 wartime production. War stocks exist as a finger in the air for 'what we might need if' and can vary from next to nothing (Germany, with 20 year old plus ex GDR MANPADS etc) to USA who are constantly on guard to fight someone and something.

The UK has supplied large numbers of NLAWS and now older Brimstone which were probably nearing the end of their shelf life anyway. But these things are produced against resupply contracts which anticipate training use (most of which is from life expired war stock). Their manufacture involves a lot of skilled manual operations because it is not worth tooling up for something you are going to produce in batches of a few hundred at a time (at most) over a period of weeks or months compared to something that is going to be produced in tens or hundreds of thousands at speed such as car engines.

So you can't simply turn on a tap and expect missiles to come out if it. Finland, expecting and tooled up for a war with Russia, probably has substantial war stocks. It is unlikely that Russia has the capacity to produce missiles at scale particularly given sanctions and worldwide shortages of electronic components. They have also been consuming stock at a fairly prodigious rate.

But then you have to consider what they are being fired against. There are only so many Russian aircraft. If you assume 3:1 missiles to aircraft, as long as you have the 3 you can defeat the enemy. So it's not so much a matter of resupply as will there be any targets to shoot at?


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Afghan National Army helos sent to Ukraine.

'Excess Defense Articles'

( Apologies if this is old /already posted)


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I agree with @Graculus - we need another thread. Stand by.

But most of what we’ve donated should have been off the vehicle park years ago. If someone offered me AS90 I’d punch them for the insult.
Possibly a Ukraine Forum with theads various for current events, reparations, rebuilding, agriculture and poopoo heads?
When all this Soviet era kit is supplied to Ukraine, particularly the systems that fire rockets and missiles, is there still anyone manufacturing the obsolete ammunition for them or is there a limited stockpile of it that will eventually run out and leave the weapon system useless?
North Korea.
There's huge amounts of Warsaw Pact munitions left in rotting munitions dumps throughout the Third World. Most of its probably for sale, but probably unsafe to touch.
I was thinking about stolen Ukr grain the other day. Is there any recourse from other countries buying the stolen grain?

I have thought about this too. The West/NATO etc can't take the value of the grain stolen from the frozen funds to reimburse Ukraine yet but I suppose it could be a part of any reparations due. I have heard a figure of 600 billion dollars in frozen Russian funds - I expect the repair and compensation bill would come in considerably higher when this vile episode is done with.
How ever to that I would add look at Zhukov during the first phase of the assault on Berlin, I.e the attack on the seelowe heights, no finesse or manoeuvre there, pure battering tactics that almost failed, same during the assault on Berlin itself. SVatutin) to name a few, even though Vatutin died in Nov or Dec 43 killed funnily enough by Ukrainian partisans.

Attacking a fortified position (Seelowe heights) or a city leaves little room for manoeuvre so you have to go head on at it. It is not just a "Russian" thing. The Germans did the same at Stalingrad. With little room to manouevre Montomery went head on at the German defences either side of Caen.

But you have to look at the bigger picture as well. The Soviets were very good at reconnaissance by the end of the war, their use of Maskirovka (deception) was exceptional and the Germans never got to grips with it.
By late 1944 they were capable of switching or diverting their main effort to different axes to take advantage of German weakness or their own local superiority (which is where the later Soviet "reinforce success not failure" concept comes from, whereby all reserves and support goes to the unit which is doing well rather than diverting resources to support struggling units).

In the Spring of 1945 the Soviet 3rd Guards Tank Army under General Rybalko was diverted from is present task to reinforce another part of the front (some distance away). It halted, turned through 90 degrees and marched off in a different direction before turning again and going straight into another attack resulting in a breakthrough of the German positions.

Later this army fought under the 1st Ukranian Front command at Berlin until the 2nd May when Berlin surrendered. By the 6th of May the 1st Ukranian Front had reorganised, withdrawn from Berlin, moved south, issued fresh orders, and commenced an attack to liberate Prague and drive the Germans out of Czechoslovakia. Prague was taken by the eveing of 9th May.

Hardly the work of amateurs or incompetents. Yes, as I said, at the lower levels of command they still fought in the same old way because they were running short of manpower and did not have the luxury of well educated soldiers or the time to train them, so they suffered heavy casualties. But by the end of the war they were capable of very competent manoeuvering at the operational level.

Put aside the "they always batter their way through with heavy casualties therefore they are bad soldiers" attitude for a moment and look at the men in charge of the Soviet army. The senior commanders had survived a very hard school - those who failed or were incompetent were either killed or captured by the Germans, or else shot on Stalin's orders. Those who were left by 1944 had learned on the job and knew how to fight.

They still understood how to fight a mechanised war in the 50's through to the 80's. The invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 was an excellent example of Soviet planning using Maskirovka to conceal their intentions and the movement of 200,000 troops and 2,000 tanks into their assembly areas. On the night of 20–21 August, Eastern Bloc armies from four Warsaw Pact countries—the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary—invaded Czechoslovakia By the morning of 21 August Czechoslovakia was occupied. This took the world by surprise. My family was on holiday staying with relatives - an uncle who was in the army. I can still remember the panic on the married patch as many people thought WW3 was about to break out. The Soviet operation was so fast and well organised that the West had no inkling of what was about to happen. Interestingly, I have not found any evidence of Soviet atrocities comitted agains civilians during this operation.

So now back to my main point about why the Soviets were capable of running military operations while the present Russian army is not.

The Soviet/Russian army has always been a blunt tool at the sharp end (Division and lower), relying on brute force, heavy artillery and a willingness to accept casualties.

The difference is that in the past the Soviet commanders could reasonably expect success if they followed their doctrine and out maneouvered the enemy at the operational level (which is one reason why the introduction of the Operational Manoeuvre Group concept in the mid-80's cause so much consternation in Nato circles). Soviet Generals of the Cold War era were intelligent and particularly well educated with regard to the conduct of military operations at the operational level.

All this talent has since been lost, and with it the ability to fight a heavy metal war at the operational level.

The present Russian generals have no experience of war at the operational level, appearing to fight as uncoordinated divisions and regiments. Their use of Maskirovka is practically non-existent, as shown by their build-up prior to the invasion in February. Rater than hide or conceal their intention they they displayed the forces in position to the media to try and impress the world and cow the Ukranians into submission. They Russian intelligence services and miltary commanders either ignored, or more likely did not understand, that the technology used by the West for intelligence gathering and surveillance, meant that very little was hidden and the invasion, when it came, instead found the Ukranians ready to fight rather than taken by surprise as happened in 1968.

The Russians were so blatant during the build up that even Wikipedia had a pretty accurate orbat for the Russians up on line within a couple of days.

The point which I have been making over the past weeks is this - the Russians and Soviets have always been poorly trained and less tactically competent than the equivalent western troops found in Nato and their present battlefield performace shows this. When things go wrong they revert to type.

However, the real difference is the ability of the commanders. The present buch are not the commanders of the post war Soviet Army, nor the well trained and educated General and Staff officers of the 70's and 80's. Those are now part of history. Even the company, battalion and Regimental Afghansti commanders (those who led the troops in Afghanistan during the 80's) who were highly regarded as future senior officers and who rose to positions of influence in the 1990's have gone.

Of the current senior Russian Generals only a few served during the Cold War, and those were in relatively junior positions (deputy battalion commander or similar). I expect the majority of them are the product of the decline in the Russian military under Gorbachev and Yeltsyn, and have spent most of their careers climbing the greasy pole to success under Putin.

The present Russian commanders have showed that the old Soviet way of war has gone. They are trying to fight a 21st century war, with no viable core doctrine, a 20th century training system, and a limited understanding of the requirements for modern warfare, such as failing to ensure the logistics are up to scratch. Brute force is all they can understand as they have no operation expertise to do otherwise.

Right, that is all I am going to say on this - you cannot sum up the modern Russian army by saying they always fight like that. Nor can you make the assumption that the WW2 Red Army was equally incompetent.
It is a long and complex story spread over 70+ years and which involves political and social aspects as well. I have done my best to explain the history behind it, but if you want to regard the Russian army as just a bunch of savages who always fight that way then by all means go ahead.

I'm at work at the moment and have spent the last hour on this so I guess I'd better gt of my arrse and actually go and do some work now... :)

BTW, for those who might like a good, but very readable analysis of the WW2 Red Army and how it developed, I can recommend the following books:

The Russian Front: Germany's War in the East 1941-1945 by James Dunnigan
Red Storm on the Reich: The Soviet March on Germany 1945 by Christopher Duffy

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I would imagine that even the thickest of squaddies might smell a rat when told to capture any washing machines he sees in the midst of a firefight! - likewise he will probably be even more suspicious when he has to remove rations and water from his vehicle to make space to stow a washing machine :)
This washing machine / chip salvage theory is a nonstarter. Why, I ask you, would they not just take the mainboard out instead of lugging an ridiculously heavy, entire washing machine around if the goal was to harvest IC's?

Last time i had to move house with a washing machine, the damn thing put my back out and lifting it from the bottom felt like it was going to sever my fingers.

I realise that young Ivan is not often the coldest beer in the fridge but come on.
I've been reading JDP 2-00: Understanding and Intelligence support to Joint Operations (3rd Edition), alongside the texts from Cialdini and Levitin.
There is a new vector in the current war, and one that isn't considered in the JDP (3rd Ed. was 2011); namely that of the direct publication by those apparently "engaged", via social media, without Press/State/Service interference mediation.
It's quite a new take, and those three players have been quick to interleave, intersperse, their own narratives alongside the personal PoV material.

I highlighted quick in the preceding paragraph as it ties in with your point regarding the "attention span of Joe Public" - to capitalise on the value it has been necessary to churn out sometimes ill-considered and technically sub-standard material, but as we have seen in this very thread - that doesn't really matter if the message is correctly targeted. War is an ideal mechanism to trigger the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt trio, and in those circumstances leisured and careful analysis is secondary.

As the JDP put it:
"Interacting with people in ways that make sense to them is far more likely to achieve the
intended goals than acting in ways that they do not understand"

The "making sense" is novel in the news cycle - but it is the sense in the "Wisdom of Crowds". Whilst Volodymyr Zelenskyy can be viewed as a pantaloon dropping buffoon, his audience is the home audience, and his advisors are doing a brilliant job of exploiting that audience, and their "friends of friends". They'll perhaps be lecturing at Cheltenham before long ...,

Up thread there is a link to a graphic showing the Russian Troop Movements in the Ukraine according to their mobile phone activity. If accurate, then exploiting that vector is important - akin to the propaganda leaflet drops of previous conflicts, but we're not hearing much about that, and we see nothing of direct contribution for internal Russian media propagation and consumption of such content.
Good points, social media is a a very strong enabler for the old trope that a lie is halfway around the world before the truth has its boots on. Whether they be our lies or those of the opposition.

A lot of people have no idea how powerful it is in this respect and would deny to their dying day being influenced. Whilst simultaneously repeating bollocks.
All good points.

However, the reality of Sov deaths in UKr for Russia is actually about four times worse than Afghanistan.

How so?

The last census in the USSR was in 1989 and the population was recorded at about 287million people.

Since then they have lost half the population with the Stans,, Baltics, Beloruss and other component states getting independence. So the population of the RF is now about 145million. UN projections are that this will drop to about 126million by the turn of this century (virtually unique in the world). This projection did not include the recent brain drain of young educated and wealthier Russians moving out which will have a negative multiplier effect.,

So they have roughly half the population and twice the number of deaths.

If an army of toothless, screaming and wailing babushkas helped bring the Afghan war to an end that army should be four times greater now. At the moment the losses are mostly to the social dregs and the eastern scum (about whom the Kremlin gives not a single toss) but that will spread to the western cities.

This is clearly reflected in Sov actions such as trying to recruit foreign mercenaries and raising the rejoining age to over 40s.
Yers, but here’s the point, after the millions lost in the First World War, thanks to the stupidity of the allies (purely a personal view) Stalin managed to wipe out another 10 million in 5 year plans and was still capable of losing about 20 million or so more and that was from earlier demographics.
What I did see on u tube was another analysis of the “End of the Tank”, which echoed the thoughts of many on here, Poorly trained, crippling logistics and no will to win. Best case scenario would be loads of Russian squaddies packing their bags and trekking back, though I wouldn’t give much for their chances after that. Some must be be crapping themselves at the thought of a prisoner exchange
I may have mentioned this myself, that perhaps Kiev was but a distraction ...
Here's a gap through the paywall for the Times article

I disagree that Kyiv was a distraction, you don't commit that many of your high end troops to a feint like that and I disagree with the articles conclusion - it may end like that but Donbass is where Russia is concentrating its forces and same for Ukraine.