Russian Troop Movements Reported Near Ukraine

When Will Russia Invade Ukraine

  • Wed 16th Feb

    Votes: 20 7.0%
  • Before 22nd Feb

    Votes: 54 19.0%
  • By St David's Day (1 March)

    Votes: 90 31.7%
  • 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: 16 5.6%
  • Before Hell Freezes Over

    Votes: 68 23.9%

  • Total voters
    284

HE117

LE
Off topic.
Deepcut.
Back on topic.
I think that is a bit below the belt GR..
The suicide rate at Deepcut was no different to any of the other training establishments, however nobody was going to jump in and defend the Loggies, because.. they were just Loggies!

The backround to Deepcut goes much further back and was entirely predictable. Think amalgamating Guards with the Kingos to get a similar level of inanity!
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
It's my understanding that the West had fallen for the old "It's just an exercise" ploy and as the forces were moving away from the IGB they were not unduly concerned.

IMHO the real master stroke in 1968 was diverting the fuel stockpiles in Czechoslovakia out of the country to provide fuel for the "exercise", thus ensuring that the invading units had full tanks for the off and confining the Czech army to barracks.
It was recognised as unusual activity, mainly not involving exercise areas. My old boss was watching it. What the Int side decided is a separate question.
 
Were they though? Whilst a "stronk" action, it was hardly a quick and unexpected one, those elements being necessary for a classic "coup de main"

Whilst the usage in the late 18th Century of the term precluded the use of artillery, wouldn't the coup de main of today be a heavy, targeted, airstrike on high-value, symbolic assets, very early in the war special operation?
Yes, they were. They were working under the belief that Ukraine would just roll over and let them take over again. Remember Putin thought this would be a 3 day operation, now it appears as a result of being fed spectacularly duff intel.

The only other poster who believes that Kyiv was a feint is Emcon….
 
Well...that's going to be popular

I bet the eastern European members of the EU and NATO are absolutely delighted to see what worth some of their western "friends and allies" put on the lives of their fellow Slavs, and presumably by extension them.

This can't end well long term for the EU. European unity my arrse. As for any idea of a future EU military organisation, after this, no way would anyone to the east want to fight to defend german, french or italian interests, why would they.
 
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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.
Agree, but Zhukov compounded the fact by throwing his own time table out of sync when the heights were not captured at first attempt and threw in a tank army which snarled up everything and produced a very target rich area for the Germans, even when they were massively outnumbered.
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).
I can not and will not debate that, Russian Recce units were very, very good at what they did, and as you rightly pointed out Maskirovka was an art form almost to Ivan.
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.
Again, that is not disputed, but 3Rd Gds Tk army attacked a much reduced German force which really did not have the power to even delay them, so a breakthrough was the only result by that stage.
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.
Soviet maneuver warfare in late ww2 was basic and elementary, if the Germans pulled some slight of hand it confused them no end (Hienrichi pulling back and confusing the lead elements of Rokossovkys 1st echelon NE of Berlin).
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.
Not at all, no mention of bad soldiers, just bad tactics and such like, some Soviet soldiers were very very good at their trade craft, they learned the hard way, and from a force that was very capable, But they did have their fair share of biffs, at all ranks.
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.
Thank Christ the Russian army of today is not the Soviet army of then, and I agree 100% with you.
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.
That is a fair assessment with the caveats I have put in, even their talented commanders were still at heart more than happy to bludgeon their way forward, all be it with a dash of inspired maneuver warfare here and there.
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.
Did not say they were either, just that they were not as adept as some think even at the end, and it was all but over, they had learned a lot, but still at heart were not scared of just reverting to type and paying a high butchers bill.
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.
Very long and fun to get into, The Soviet & Russian armies are two different beasts, one was very basic but became good at what it did, and from what I remember in BAOR was reckoned to be very tasty at it's style of warfare.
The other as we have seen is not, and at best is a collectives of undisciplined thugs lead by at best low level achieving commanders and yes men.
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... :)
Thank you for taking the time, you do make some good points & I agree with a fair few, but as you said, the real story goes a lot deeper in the ability of Siviet troops during WW" & what we see now in Ukraine.
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




 

Wader 2

Old-Salt
Whilst the usage in the late 18th Century of the term precluded the use of artillery, wouldn't the coup de main of today be a heavy, targeted, airstrike on high-value, symbolic assets, very early in the war special operation?
Russian Air Power has been noticeably incapable of demonstrating air superiority let alone supremacy. The 1968 operation in Czechoslovakia saw the Soviet Air Force sow, and maintain a window curtain around the whole country thus preventing NATO from observing their transport movements.
In contrast here they have not been reported as using any ECM. Certainly NATO surveillance assets would not be affected by chaff screening but it could have confused UKf at a critical moment.
 
It was recognised as unusual activity, mainly not involving exercise areas. My old boss was watching it. What the Int side decided is a separate question.
Can't imagine we (NATO) would have reacted militarily even if the Soviets had sent us their complete plans by diplomatic bag in advance. Just like the present fun and games -- we knew an attack was going to happen but decided not to oppose it with direct force.
 
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.

The way I read the article, the author is saying Russian "strategists" are now claiming Kyiv was a "feint" to draw Ukraine's attention away from their (alleged as their original intent) main effort in the East.

The author of the article are proposing that the current effort in the East is the "real feint" to mask an atempt to create Novorossiya all the way to Moldova. [Note: senior general's comments of about a month ago]

Personally, I see the Kremlin being compelled to constantly revise its objectives and timelines as the situation on the ground unfolds.

And my biggest disagreement with the author is not with his analysis per se but with what seems to be a poor grasp of the realities faced by the Ukrainians. The author seems to believe Ukraine has a choice about where it concentrates its forces and thinks perhaps they have made the wrong choice: better to pull forces out forces from defending the East to launch a counter-attack in the South. In theory, that is very true, that is an alternative choice. But can Ukraine afford to just give up the East, the Donbas, to try to stop the Novorossiya objective that Richard Spencer believes to be the ultimate prize for the Kremlin? Is Richard Spencer a better strategist than all the talking heads in Kyiv?
 
Can't imagine we (NATO) would have reacted militarily even if the Soviets had sent us their complete plans for attacking Czechoslovakia by diplomatic bag in advance. Just like the present fun and games -- we knew an attack was going to happen but decided not to oppose it with direct force.
 
(Queen sacrifice; Nezhmetdinov vs Chernikov (1962) )

How on earth does that evidence, or help your defence, that the advance on Kyiv was a feint?

Russian "strategists" now suggesting the rush advance on Kyiv was a feint are doing what Russians always do: changing the historical narrative to fit the political agenda and align with national pride.

Russia's attempt to deliver regime change in double quick time was an embarrasing failure. Both the supposed airborne assault then the armoured encirclement. A truely embarrasing failure. So let's rewrite it as a deliberate feint. Somebody will surely believe it!!!
 

TractorStats

Old-Salt
In Zelenskyy's case, it really was a moment of "cometh the hour, cometh the man". When he was elected, most folks (and I include myself) thought he was just some comedian who was elected by a fluke because of the corrupt voting system in Ukraine. Then the Ivans invaded and Zelenskyy stood up to display his titanium nuts.

I believe that his much-quoted response of: "I don't need a ride, I need ammunition" is gonna be up there with Churchill's: "We will fight them on the beaches" speech in years to come. Or even up there with the statement from some Brit Admiral or some such, who, disappointed that the shortage of potatoes meant that he only had a piece of fish and mushy peas for his dinner, said: "I see no chips!".

Zelenskyy has been a rallying and absolutely inspiring leader. In years to come there'll be statues of him in various Ukrainian cities, of that I'm sure.
I have read various things on the internet alleging he is 'corrupt' and 'has millions stashed away outside Ukraine' and that 'he is just the puppet of powerful people who got him into power' but I have to say if any of that were true why wasn't he on the first private jet out of there? He was offered the chance and he had good reason to fear for his life as well as his wife and children. The bloke didn't do any of that and he must be under terrible strain the whole time but he is showing himself to be an inspiration to everyone. Churchill had many personal flaws and was utterly ruthless with it but held the nation together and defeated a terrifying enemy by sheer force of will. Like him, I think Zelensky will deserve his place in history.
 
Were they though? Whilst a "stronk" action, it was hardly a quick and unexpected one, those elements being necessary for a classic "coup de main"

Whilst the usage in the late 18th Century of the term precluded the use of artillery, wouldn't the coup de main of today be a heavy, targeted, airstrike on high-value, symbolic assets, very early in the war special operation?

Are you arguing against the terminology being used or discussing the 'true' intent of Russia's advances on Kyiv?
 
I have read various things on the internet alleging he is 'corrupt' and 'has millions stashed away outside Ukraine' and that 'he is just the puppet of powerful people who got him into power' but I have to say if any of that were true why wasn't he on the first private jet out of there? He was offered the chance and he had good reason to fear for his life as well as his wife and children. The bloke didn't do any of that and he must be under terrible strain the whole time but he is showing himself to be an inspiration to everyone. Churchill had many personal flaws and was utterly ruthless with it but held the nation together and defeated a terrifying enemy by sheer force of will. Like him, I think Zelenskyy will deserve his place in history.
My bold.
Pedantic I know, and I agree.
 
Can't help thinking Russia threatening to treat Azov as terrorists rather than PoW has something to do with it. The logic is pretty simple... you're going to get shot one way or another; up against a wall or going down fighting, taking as many of them with you as you can. Doesn't seem like a difficult decision to me.
Yes, in the long run, saying you will treat PoWs as terrorists may be counterproductive. Now, the already motivated Ukrainians have yet another reason to fight to the last man standing. No point surrendering when your opponent gas told you in advance that you are likely to be executed anyway.
 
Agree, but Zhukov compounded the fact by throwing his own time table out of sync when the heights were not captured at first attempt and threw in a tank army which snarled up everything and produced a very target rich area for the Germans, even when they were massively outnumbered.

I can not and will not debate that, Russian Recce units were very, very good at what they did, and as you rightly pointed out Maskirovka was an art form almost to Ivan.

Again, that is not disputed, but 3Rd Gds Tk army attacked a much reduced German force which really did not have the power to even delay them, so a breakthrough was the only result by that stage.

Soviet maneuver warfare in late ww2 was basic and elementary, if the Germans pulled some slight of hand it confused them no end (Hienrichi pulling back and confusing the lead elements of Rokossovkys 1st echelon NE of Berlin).

Not at all, no mention of bad soldiers, just bad tactics and such like, some Soviet soldiers were very very good at their trade craft, they learned the hard way, and from a force that was very capable, But they did have their fair share of biffs, at all ranks.

Thank Christ the Russian army of today is not the Soviet army of then, and I agree 100% with you.

That is a fair assessment with the caveats I have put in, even their talented commanders were still at heart more than happy to bludgeon their way forward, all be it with a dash of inspired maneuver warfare here and there.

Did not say they were either, just that they were not as adept as some think even at the end, and it was all but over, they had learned a lot, but still at heart were not scared of just reverting to type and paying a high butchers bill.

Very long and fun to get into, The Soviet & Russian armies are two different beasts, one was very basic but became good at what it did, and from what I remember in BAOR was reckoned to be very tasty at it's style of warfare.
The other as we have seen is not, and at best is a collectives of undisciplined thugs lead by at best low level achieving commanders and yes men.

Thank you for taking the time, you do make some good points & I agree with a fair few, but as you said, the real story goes a lot deeper in the ability of Siviet troops during WW" & what we see now in Ukraine.
All good stuff but there's a dedicated history section for this.
 
Do we have anything else to send?
 
I wonder if the Independence class littoral ships the yanks have just bought and are binning would be any use in the Black Sea.
The engines dont work properly. They have 2x gas turbines and 2x diesel and for some reason when they run them altogether as designed it wont work properly so they can only run 2 engines which means they only make about 14 Kt's best speed which renders them pretty much useless, hence them being binned while replacements are ordered
 
That has been noted.

It was also a risk factor on the Cold War with an assumption that Soviet troops could push their early warning radars much further west.

Had the Finns been in NATO in the 60s it would have required Soviet AD to extend its SAM defences much further north.
I'm noting the expected voices against US involvement.
 
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