Russo-Ukrainian War Updates

Russian casualties in Makeevka strike rose to ~90 dead from initially reported ~70. The reason might be discovering of dead in debris and/or fatalities among wounded soldiers. Russian MoD stated the HIMARS that launched the strike was destroyed in a counterstrike, without any prove or evidence. Seems to me like a blatant lie, only intended to soften the blow to the MoD’s criminal incompetency among Russian public (together with the “it’s their own fault for using mobile phones” excuse).

The natural gas prices in EU are falling to $700 per 1K cubic meters. These are the results of Russia continuing to supply energy to Europe in as large quantities as EU is willing to buy. Russia shown it is unwilling to pressure the West with sanctions and is unable to achieve strategical military victories on the battlefield. This brings forth the sentiment Rasputin ultimate goal in this war is some kind of agreement with the West (ultimately, humiliating and disadvantageous) and not a military defeat of UA or economic defeat of EU.

Taiwan has widened its embargo of high-tech products to Russia and Belarus. Namely the equipment, used in nuclear, chemical and machine-building industry.

Evgeniy Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group, announced the first batch of conscripted convicts have concluded their 6-months contracts and are being pardoned and set free.

Strelkov is talking about the possibility of additional waves of mobilization that are needed to end the stalemate and produce an efficient offensive. For the first time what I know of, he mentioned the need to prepare units with commanders and equipment in order to absorb those mobilized and use them effectively. This is in contrast of his previous statements that about 1M of mobilized soldiers are needed for this war, while not mentioning that there is no equipment, no ammunition, no units that can absorb them. The results of the previous “partial mobilization” are extremely frustrating, with the Makeevka strike being the rotten cherry on top. Since September there are no visible improvements in mobilization, training, equipment or effective deployment of mobilized. Actually, there are signs of dire lack of military hardware, medical supplies, competent commanders, ammunition stocks, protective equipment, communications, armor etc., that will make any additional waves of mobilization even more ineffective and problematic. Another thing to consider in regard to additional mobilization, is that many more middle-class men will be compelled to flee the country alone or with their families. The first mobilization has already created the shortage of young professionals in Russia, especially in IT sector, which was hit most by Western sanctions this year.

US is reported to start supplying UA with ATACMS ~300km range ballistic missiles in 2023. While personally I believe the effectiveness of those missiles will be very low (most of analogous Tochka-U missiles are easily intercepted), this indicates Uncle Sam isn’t concerned any more with possible Russian response. Rasputin’s Russia will just turn the other cheek, as it did previously all along the way.

The new hypersonic Tsirkon missile was launched for the first time from an operational surface warship. Nobody is impressed any more. The talked-about Russo-Iranian deal of two squadrons of the “Egyptian” Su-35S traded for short and medium range ballistic missiles (and possibly additional Shahed suicide drones) will have much more practical impact on the war.

Viktor Murakhovsky, an independent Russian military expert published some numbers. According to them, Russia inherited about ~12 million tons of artillery ammunition from the USSR. In 2013, only ~3 million tons still remained (the rest is destroyed, decommissioned, sold, used, etc.) in Russian arsenals. Only a small number were maintained/repaired at the time. Now the situation is much worse, and the current war requires a production of new ammunition in millions. But the industry was degraded to the point it is now nowhere near this capacity. So, any commentaries about the Russian production capacities of artillery ammunition based on the number of rounds fired is extremely misleading, since those artillery rounds are largely coming from the old Soviet stocks, or from what had managed to survive the Russian MoD policies. I was also saying similar things about the cruise missiles production, which is largely relies on Soviet stocks and Iranian quasi-cruise missiles.

(Older news.) The Russian Space Agency Rosskosmos is studying the possibility of prolonging the deployment of international space station. As usual, the previous loud threats of terminating the Russian participation and leaving the station dead in space were quietly rolled back (in order to not distress the “Western partners”, I assume).

There is a photo of crudely made Russian analogue of US GBU-32 JDAM (-ER) GPS-guidance kit for 1,000-pound (500 kg) bombs, hanged from a Su-34 frontline bomber. It seems this is an extended-range version, equipped with folding wings. Reportedly it was developed in great hurry. But for what purpose exactly, I don’t know. For a very long time Russia was developing (and fielding in small numbers) GPS-guided bombs and stand-off munition. Gliding bombs, so popular in the West, have not been in favor in Russian MoD for some reason. Now, this emergently developed kit has emerged. The thing is, to use these kind of glide bombs effectively, the carrier jet needs to fly fast and high. But Russian combat aviation isn’t able to fly high anywhere near Ukrainian territories because of the still remaining threat of unsuppressed air-defence systems. Only propelled munition has a chance to work for now. So, the only possible reason I can see to develop such type of guided glider bomb is the deficit of stand-off ammunition in Russian Air Force. Old Soviet 500kg class bombs (FAB-500 series) can be used instead of much rarer and production-intensive Kh- types of air-to-ground missiles.

On another, much more speculative side of the hearsays, there is talk (from Strelkov, if I’m not mistaken) that after initial and multiple casualties among Russian high-ranking commanders on the frontlines, now the generals much prefer to stay away from their units on the frontline. Which is extremely disturbing, if true. Especially in the situation when the soldiers’ morale is already low. And in Makeevka, if I’m not mistaken, only the regiment commander’s deputy was present. If true, it is entirely possible the major portion of the blame will be put on him, as the commander in charge which was present on the grounds. Meaning, Surovikin and especially no one above him (Shoigu or, Zues forbid, the Rasputin himself) will be held responsible for any dead or crippled soldier. It has become painfully obvious, the top echelons of Russian political and military elites don’t view their Populus as actual people, but as a free (like free bear, not like free speech) and abundant farm animals, only suited to serve their corrupt and incompetent masters.


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