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

ddb

Old-Salt
Useful backgrounder on the importance of Odessa from The Economist

The blockade of Ukraine’s ports is worsening world hunger .

Makes the point that, with grain elevators in Odessa already part full, the upcoming Ukrainian harvest will have nowhere to go.

The cynical part of me cannot help but wonder who is set to profit from the 53% price hike in Grain commodity prices since the Russian invasion.

When in doubt, follow the money.....

Grain as a cargo has its own ( long understood) issues. Not least inadvertent dust explosions.

eg: SOURCE

Why Grain Cooling Is Important

Once grain is dry temperatures must be reduced as quickly as possible to avoid spoilage. The main causes of spoilage in stored grain are fungi, insects and mites. Temperatures above 15°C increase the risk of insect and mite populations developing.The HGCA Grain storage guide advises grain cooling should commence as soon as the grain comes into store.

I expect someone here has practical experience.

This^, is the really worrying aspect. If or when Russia has taken the majority of the south coast incl Odessa it has the world at its knees. Eventually, Africa and the likes will pay what Putin demands and thus feed his war machine further. If something isn't done Ukr may well be royally jacked on, unless the grain can get out by road west but the Ukrainians have other, more pressing things to deal with, so who steps in?
 
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Stopping and arresting a ship of another nation on the high seas is really problematic except in limited circumstances such as piracy, slavery, or a UN-authorised arms embargo, and could otherwise be construed as an act of war; shades of the Cuban missile crisis naval blockade. France has, however, detained a Russian Ro-ro ship Baltic Leader effectively "on the high seas" in the present crisis.
Indeed it brings significant risks and challenges especially in an enclosed sea like the Black Sea...the film adaption for the Hunt for Red October even has a fantastic line that sums it up:

  • Jeffrey Pelt : It would be well for your government to consider that having your ships and ours, your aircraft and ours, in such proximity... is inherently DANGEROUS. Wars have begun that way, Mr. Ambassador.
 

ddb

Old-Salt
Seems wrong to uptick you but I agree. The question is whether Russia is pouring massive firepower into a concentrated area and Ukraine are slowly withdrawing making Russia pay for every inch of ground with massive losses which the Ukrainians will then retake once Russia is exhausted.

If Russia takes Donbass I think it will find it very hard to hold it against a determinedly hostile population and capable army if the West keeps suppling weapons. The only question is whether the EU/UN will effectively stab Ukraine in the back in return for food and energy. I think the East European NATO members will stand firm but unsure about the rest.

Yeah, I have to agree to all you have written to, I hope to god the Russians suffer hell but I worry on the "stab in the back" but yes, the Baltic nations will stand firm. Sure Poland is itching to get under way
 

kandak01

Old-Salt
Seems wrong to uptick you but I agree. The question is whether Russia is pouring massive firepower into a concentrated area and Ukraine are slowly withdrawing making Russia pay for every inch of ground with massive losses which the Ukrainians will then retake once Russia is exhausted.

If Russia takes Donbass I think it will find it very hard to hold it against a determinedly hostile population and capable army if the West keeps suppling weapons. The only question is whether the EU/UN will effectively stab Ukraine in the back in return for food and energy. I think the East European NATO members will stand firm but unsure about the rest.
Yes, but.

I think there's a good chance they'll try to occupy the Donbass and declare victory, but I doubt teh Ukrainians will accept that, unless they consider the cost in lives lost to be prohibitive by then.

War is very expensive.
For Russia, funding an indefinite occupation against the (most likely) ongoing low level insurgency in any occupied territories is likely to be unsustainable over time, esp if enough sanctions remain to strangle them slowly

The key will be whether the French & Germans keep betraying them with empty promises and lukewarm words, while handing vast amounts of hard cash to the Russians.

I'd worry about how future UKr relationships with the EU/selected western nations develop if there's ongoing frozen conflict in Donbass/Crimea against a background of perceived treachery

ETA: Mariupol took 3 months to subdue.
Odessa is far harder (more widepread catcombs etc, longer prep time, longer log supply chain for RuF etc.)- I can't see an attack to take Odessa being anything other than a disaster for RUF
 
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kandak01

Old-Salt
Which is exactly what I said in the comment above.

Grrr Boris stuff on this thread is just as irritating as the Grrr EU, Grrr France and Grrr Germany stuff
Although the support respectively by western nations, the EU, & Nato will have a key bearing on how this war turns out. The behaviour of France, Germany etc. wrt their support (or otherwise) is absolutely central to this thread, unlike the Boris grrr topic, which probably has limited bearing on the policy of UK plc. towards Russia & Ukraine
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Grr Boris for eating cake is not equivalent to Grr Germany for manifestly obstructing/delaying military support to Ukraine when every days delay is resulting in further deaths and contributing to the probability of a worse end result.

It's also the case that, whatever the domestic politics, were Johnson to go, it would be a huge boost for Moscow and a real blow to Ukrainian morale. It seems reasonable to expect the state broadcaster to cover the story properly but to balance the coverage with such wider considerations in mind, particularly in light of the massive national interest we have in Ukraine not going under, quite apart from the moral imperatives.

By the same token German/European energy policy and the ruling on payments in Roubles is funding the Russian war effort and Germany has been noticeably reticent in providing aid to Ukraine, particularly artillery which could make a real difference.

You cannot take western political issues out of any informed discussion of the current emergency in Ukraine, it is all inter-related.
 
A more positive reception for the Saxon than I expected following the sales deal. Nice to see that the Ukrainians are getting some useful mileage from them and glad that they haven't (so far) been (mis)used as IFVs.
Protection against Artillery splinters and small arms while transporting troops to the front is exactly what it was made for. Just because we forced it into being an MRAP doesn't make it a terrible vehicle.
 
Interesting bit on the Cope cages, as much use as a chocolate teapot.
It knocked out comms which looking at now and the location of the antenna base is an obvious side effect.


The thing about the cope cages is I think there might have been a misunderstanding about their use and what they are for. At least one defence commentator I follow elsewhere postulated that they might not be there as a top attack ATGM defence at all but are rather a reflection of Russian experience with urban combat in Chechnya and Syria. His theory which I must admit made a fair amount of sense to me is they are a defence against hand grenades dropped onto the turret from buildings over the tank. The slats are spaced close enough to deflect a standard F-1 or RDG-5 grenade, the height and angle of the cope cage would also lend itself to bounce the grenade away from the turret. It would also explain the home made versions using BBQ grills have been bodged onto some tanks.

Just a speculative thought
 

Londo

LE
Thanks for that, an interesting article.
I also saw in that although not read it as yet an appeal for seed potatoes for Ukraine .
Wondering what happened to the one hundred truck loads of seed potatoes that cranky woman running the SNP OK'd for shipment to Russia a couple of months ago ? In spite of sanctions .
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
This^, is the really worrying aspect. If or when Russia has taken the majority of the south coast incl Odessa it has the world at its knees. Eventually, Africa and the likes will pay what Putin demands and thus feed his war machine further. If something isn't done Ukr may well be royally jacked on, unless the grain can get out by road west but the Ukrainians have other, more pressing things to deal with, so who steps in?
Agree with your main point but too much grain for road transport and most likely too dangerous and too expensive. (Maximum 28 tonnes on one truck at a guess)?

My last word on getting cereal crops out of Ukraine...
 
Dear God, never mind the fighting, will they ever stop dribbling!?

 

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