War in Ukraine


TeDaDeS

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Ukraine appears to still deny is was their rocket, while US confirmed it was. I assume it was Ukrainian but who knows, maybe it’s an easier sell for future peace.

I read Moldova was hit and tried to find a source, but that article (not the one I linked) could have framed it like: Moldova hit by blackout after Russian rocket attack. While this attack could obviously have been the one on Ukraine and not on Moldova itself.
 

TeDaDeS

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2 people dead in Poland, at the border with Ukraine, apparently because of Russian missiles.
Poland is of course a NATO member (and UE, and Schengen, etc.).
Glups.

Russia says it wasn¡'t them. USA says they can't confirm it was Russia. Poland keeps holding crisis meetings.
While it was confirmed it was a Ukrainian air-defense missile, it somewhat doesn't make sense.
Air-defense rockets are designed to self-destruct when not hitting their air-target. What is the chance 2 rockets fail, fly off and hit Poland. Not impossible, just very unlucky.
It does still make sense to not escalate from NATO-side, so to not blame Russia directly while privately they can still use it as leverage against them. So if that would be true, in both case (either Ukrainian or Russian) the reaction would be the same.

update:
It's a single rocket. I don't know why some sources report two or why the Ukrainian president stated that Moldova was hit with a rocket. Possibly it's translation errors missing the nuance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cAwCFdLi-E
 
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pyrat

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Air-defense rockets are designed to self-destruct when not hitting their air-target. What is the chance 2 rockets fail, fly off and hit Poland. Not impossible, just very unlucky.
Not sure, but I've heard Russia has used S-300, which are in theory ground to air, to hit ground targets when short of better weapons. I don't know if Ukraine may be doing the same,
and maybe just confused a modified S-300 with a regular one, or used what they had against an incoming missile but failed, or it self-destructed too late and still killed people.
If it was Ukraine planting a false flag attack on Poland to get the NATO to fight Russia, and then denying it, it is so silly it's unbelievable. They could have found thousands of
more plausible scenarios, and not waste a scarce air defense missile.
But if it was Russia, then the target seems very little interesting (unless there were weapons in transit hiding in those grain silos), but besides, how did they do it ?
If it really was a S-300 and it had to be fired from less than 150 km, then Belorussia, the sea or Russian positions are all too far.
Or can S-300 be launched from planes ? I don't think so...
Or then again it wasn't an S-300 and the debris found is planted to confuse the public, or it was an S-300 stored there that another missile destroyed, or...
I think we the public will never know. And @netcat is right, it doesn't matter. Most likely, whoever it was, it wasn't on purpose.
It does still make sense to not escalate from NATO-side, so to not blame Russia directly while privately they can still use it as leverage against them. So if that would be true, in both case (either Ukrainian or Russian) the reaction would be the same.
Well yes. But i regret a little the discourse "whoever it was it's Russia's fault". There's no shortage on terrible things that are Russia's fault, no need to add any one if you don't think Russia fired the missile.
And Poland has given Ukraine weapons, and logistics, and received millions of refugees, so two Polish people dead is not to downplay like nothing happened.
I'd like both sides to say they're sorry, more than blame each other.
But then I'd like no war, and all...
update:
It's a single rocket. I don't know why some sources report two or why the Ukrainian president stated that Moldova was hit with a rocket. Possibly it's translation errors missing the nuance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cAwCFdLi-E
Maybe it's a confusion because ther ewere two people dead ?
 

TeDaDeS

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Not sure, but I've heard Russia has used S-300, which are in theory ground to air, to hit ground targets when short of better weapons.
I think Russia modified those rocket and they aren't as good at this task I think. I'm not aware Ukraine has modified S-300 rockets and why they would be in that part of Ukraine and not near the Russian border were the fighting is at.

Well yes. But i regret a little the discourse "whoever it was it's Russia's fault". There's no shortage on terrible things that are Russia's fault, no need to add any one if you don't think Russia fired the missile.
And Poland has given Ukraine weapons, and logistics, and received millions of refugees, so two Polish people dead is not to downplay like nothing happened.
I'd like both sides to say they're sorry, more than blame each other.
But then I'd like no war, and all...
I agree, I think Zelensky is going to Poland to visit the site. I assume he'll apologize if he's sure it's Ukraine's fault.

Maybe it's a confusion because there were two people dead ?
Not sure, maybe, but also two explosions are reported. I find it strange that there can be so much confusion except everyone is just directly reporting on shaky reports.
 

Confuzzled

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The 'fog of war' is is both irritating and frustrating, but it is just normal journalistic uncertainty and/or inaccuracy amplified. We won't know anything approaching the truth until a couple of generations of historians have analysed things, and secret archives are opened up after an appropriate number of years.

From my point of view, the hypothesis that it was a mistake in entering target coordinates doesn't appear to be regarded as a valid possibility any more: but I don't understand why. If you go directly south from the location the missile(s) hit by the same number of degrees of longitude as Lviv is south of Kyiv, you land almost exactly on a railway station in the west of Lviv called Rudno (Рудно) (search for "Rudno, Lviv" in OpenStreetMap), which is on a reasonably critical set of tracks, and could plausibly be the Russians attempting to do the same as the Ukrainians and destroy the logistics routes for carrying war materiel. Who knows. It might even be true.

In general, I'm concerned that the Russian tactics of destroying electricity and gas infrastructure might work, in terms of forcing Ukraine to a position where it is no longer possible to fight. I'm also concerned about the messages coming from the USA that they are running out of spare materiel (surplus ot the USA'/sNATO's requirements for fighting WW III ) to send to Ukraine, and have challenges in ramping up armament production. Russia is capable of absorbing huge losses - it is not hyperbole when Russian point out the sacrifices they made in the Great Patriotic War (known as WW II to others) - reckoned as 20 to 27 million deaths. As long as the current Russian government maintains its authority, the fight can continue pretty much indefinitely. I see no prospect of overthrow of the Russian government. This might be a bleak or pessimistic view, but I believe it to be accurate. The Russians can fight for longer than 'the West' has the will to support Ukraine for, which Putin is counting on.
 

pyrat

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The 'fog of war' is is both irritating and frustrating, but it is just normal journalistic uncertainty and/or inaccuracy amplified. We won't know anything approaching the truth until a couple of generations of historians have analysed things, and secret archives are opened up after an appropriate number of years.
ACK
From my point of view, the hypothesis that it was a mistake in entering target coordinates doesn't appear to be regarded as a valid possibility any more: but I don't understand why. If you go directly south from the location the missile(s) hit by the same number of degrees of longitude as Lviv is south of Kyiv, you land almost exactly on a railway station in the west of Lviv called Rudno (Рудно) (search for "Rudno, Lviv" in OpenStreetMap), which is on a reasonably critical set of tracks, and could plausibly be the Russians attempting to do the same as the Ukrainians and destroy the logistics routes for carrying war materiel. Who knows. It might even be true.
But if it really was an S-300 the point is that they don't have enough autonomy to reach Przewodów from wherever the Russians or the Belorussians are able to fire from.So I heard, I don't know. Even with wrong coordinates it would fall short before getting there.
Now, if it wasn't an S-300 but something longer range, then it might be...
The other option is that some Ukranian soldiers might be Russian spies and try to fire an Ukranian S-300 from Ukraine to Rudno and mistake the coordinates, firing to Przewodów. But I think that's going out on a limb...
I think the simplest explanation is still Ukranians trying to defend against Russian missiles and launching an S-300 that reached Poland by mistake.
But we won't know the truth...

In general, I'm concerned that the Russian tactics of destroying electricity and gas infrastructure might work, in terms of forcing Ukraine to a position where it is no longer possible to fight. I'm also concerned about the messages coming from the USA that they are running out of spare materiel (surplus ot the USA'/sNATO's requirements for fighting WW III ) to send to Ukraine, and have challenges in ramping up armament production. Russia is capable of absorbing huge losses - it is not hyperbole when Russian point out the sacrifices they made in the Great Patriotic War (known as WW II to others) - reckoned as 20 to 27 million deaths. As long as the current Russian government maintains its authority, the fight can continue pretty much indefinitely. I see no prospect of overthrow of the Russian government. This might be a bleak or pessimistic view, but I believe it to be accurate. The Russians can fight for longer than 'the West' has the will to support Ukraine for, which Putin is counting on.
Well, the point is they have to fire from far away, and the missiles cost a lot of money. They're probably spending more money on their bombs than what the destroyed equipment costs. Of course destroying it causes more harm than just the cost of the destroyed equipment, but doesn't seem very sustainable. Just as the west can run out of weapons or production capacity so can the Russsians.

And destroying the infrastructure or even freezing or starving the Ukranians is not the best solution. Then the Russians still have to invade, and once in the territory they destroyed, it'll be the Russians who will have to bring fuel, electricity and do the repairs to infrastructure.
If it was just a good strategy, they would have used it before. The general they have now, the one that destroyed Aleppo, may like this strategy, but I don't think the strategy makes so much sense to invade a country as it did to stop a revolution in the country you're already controlling. It's half a military strategy and half a psicological strategy to force Ukraine to negotiate, give away some land and wait until Russia rearms and takes the rest. But Ukranians already lived trhough that in 2014, and now they know it doesn't end well.

The Russians have many more soldiers to sacrifice than the Ukranians, but even without a coup d'etat, it appears that Russian troops motivation is nowhere near WWII levels. For Ukranians it might be similar as then.
I can't tell for sure, I only get news form one side, and they're likely to be half news and half propaganda. But I think the situation is bad for both sides.
 

Confuzzled

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They're probably spending more money on their bombs than what the destroyed equipment costs.

I'm not sure about that: the Iranian Hesa Shaed 136/Russian Geran-2 drones are cheaper than the missiles the Ukrainians are using to shoot them down.
 

pyrat

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I'm not sure about that: the Iranian Hesa Shaed 136/Russian Geran-2 drones are cheaper than the missiles the Ukrainians are using to shoot them down.
Well, I'm no expert. I think the missiles are very expensive, the suicide drones are cheaper but they fly lower and slower so they could be shot down with fire from old-fashioned antiaircraft turrets or even a machine gun if you're very lucky.
The problem is Ukraine is big and has targets all over, so they can't probably have turrets everywhere. Ground to air missiles have more range and can be integrated with radar stations covering larger areas, but yes, they're expensive.
 

Confuzzled

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Well, I'm no expert. I think the missiles are very expensive, the suicide drones are cheaper but they fly lower and slower so they could be shot down with fire from old-fashioned antiaircraft turrets or even a machine gun if you're very lucky.
The problem is Ukraine is big and has targets all over, so they can't probably have turrets everywhere. Ground to air missiles have more range and can be integrated with radar stations covering larger areas, but yes, they're expensive.
Could - yes. Practical - no. As you point out, you'd need anti-aircraft guns pretty much everywhere in Ukraine, and they would not be very effective, because the drones are small, and as a result of flying low, present a fleeting target - this was a problem for the British in WW II dealing with German V-1 bombs - they flew faster than mobile anti-aircraft batteries could traverse.. They also don't care about being hit, unlike pilots.
One point of weakness is their navigation. I believe they use GLONASS, so if that can be jammed, or the signal overridden with one that gives false information, the drones could be diverted off-target. Putting cheap GLONASS/BeiDou/Galileo/GPS jammers in the vicinity of critical infrastructure could be a useful thing to do. I expect it has already been tried, but failed to work.
 

pyrat

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Could - yes. Practical - no. As you point out, you'd need anti-aircraft guns pretty much everywhere in Ukraine, and they would not be very effective, because the drones are small, and as a result of flying low, present a fleeting target - this was a problem for the British in WW II dealing with German V-1 bombs - they flew faster than mobile anti-aircraft batteries could traverse.. They also don't care about being hit, unlike pilots.
One point of weakness is their navigation. I believe they use GLONASS, so if that can be jammed, or the signal overridden with one that gives false information, the drones could be diverted off-target. Putting cheap GLONASS/BeiDou/Galileo/GPS jammers in the vicinity of critical infrastructure could be a useful thing to do. I expect it has already been tried, but failed to work.
Sure, you're right.
But I wonder if it would be cheaper to just let the bombs fall and replace the equipment instead of intercepting them.
Of course the problem is you never know whether the bomb will reach a machine or an appartment with people.
Reuters ran a story suggesting the purpose of the bombing is depleting Ukranian air defences so than further on russia can
support land operations from the air. Of course the targets must be valuable to cause Ukranians to spend air defences to protect them, but
once they run out of air defences, Russians can invade with air support.
 
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