Russia invades Ukraine

Cloud Strife

Member
Joined
25 Feb 2014
Messages
861
Sweden however treated everyone identically, NATO aircraft would be chased off with the same reaction as Warsaw Pact ones.

There was another side to this, of course. Sweden used the same neutrality to get away with things such as acting as a gunrunner, even when it was against Swedish law. The Swedish authorities turned a blind eye to their arms companies export weapons to anyone and everyone, including blacklisted nations. Even state-owned companies were doing it, and the 'neutrality' was a complete farce.

So their fierce protection of neutrality was also about business...
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Annetts key

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2021
Messages
1,225
Location
West is best
From the Ukraine Railways and the Russian Invasion topic…

G7 to discuss action to break Russian blockade of Ukraine grain exports

Meetings in Germany will look at alternative routes to ports as ‘44 million people march towards starvation’
www.theguardian.com
www.theguardian.com
Urgent measures to break the Russian blockade of grain exports from Ukraine’s ports, including by trying to open routes through Romanian and Baltic ports, will be discussed by G7 foreign and agriculture ministers at meetings in Germany.

The grain exports blockade is fast becoming one of the most urgent diplomatic and humanitarian crises in Ukraine. On Tuesday, the US president, Joe Biden, said the US was working on solutions “to get this food out into the world so that it could help bring down prices.”

G7 foreign ministers are meeting in the Baltic Sea resort of Weissenhaus north-east of Hamburg, and the agriculture ministers in Stuttgart.

Cem Özdemir, the German agriculture minister and a Green party member, has for months been looking with the EU at alternative train routes through Poland and Belarus to Baltic ports, but the different train gauges between Ukraine and Poland, a pre-existing backlog of traffic and the shortage of suitable rail wagons all count against this option.
There's lots more in the article about the obstacles to transporting grain by rail.

If the western countries were so inclined, as Russia has not declared war, they could put together a convoy of commercial ships protected by western military ships. This could then at least enable trade via Odessa.

I don’t think there is much chance of Russia attacking a western navy ship or a commercial ship protected by western navy ships. The last thing Putin wants is to involve a western military especially a N.A.T.O. member.

Western naval operations may however be needed to clear any sea mines.
 

Gag Halfrunt

Member
Joined
23 Jul 2019
Messages
414
The escorts would have to be Turkish, Romanian or Bulgarian ships that are currently in the Black Sea. Turkey has exercised its right under the Montreux Convention to close the Bosporous during a time of war to naval vessals whose home bases are outside the Black Sea. If Turkey re-opened the Bosporous it would have to allow Russian warships to enter too.

Bringing the thread back on-topic:
The Southwestern rail service trundling back and forth between Kyiv and Borodianka, a small town 35 miles north of the Ukrainian capital, has played a number of roles in recent years.

Before 24 February, when Vladimir Putin launched his war, it was a busy commuter route for those who worked in Kyiv but preferred the price and pace of suburbia, bringing people to and from sleepy satellite towns such as Irpin, Bucha and Vorzel.

In early March this year it was spoken of in more ominous terms, as the destruction of the rail bridge over the river between Irpin and Kyiv heralded the terrifying advance of Russian forces.

The names of Borodianka, Bucha, Vorzel and Irpin will long be associated in the public memory with mass graves, torture and suffering. This week, however, as the service resumed its route over the hastily rebuilt bridge, completed in just a month, the train has become a symbol of hope, and even national renaissance.
 
Last edited:

Ediswan

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2012
Messages
1,707
Location
Stevenage
The escorts would have to be Turkish, Romanian or Bulgarian ships that are currently in the Black Sea. Turkey has exercised its right under the Montreux Convention to close the Bosporous during a time of war to naval vessals whose home bases are outside the Black Sea. If Turkey re-opened the Bosporous it would have to allow Russian warships to enter too.
Turkey appears to have gone beyond the convention. Article 19 refers only to 'Vessels of war belonging to the beligerent powers'. Which does appear to allow some warships to pass through and not others.

https://cil.nus.edu.sg/wp-content/u...ntion-Regarding-the-Regime-of-the-Straits.pdf
 

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
4,737
Location
Maidstone
The geography / climate helps. Finland can't just wing it!
Interesting how Russia has successfully averted invasion on two occasions due to size and weather, once from Napoleon, once from Hitler, where both of them didn't really start the invasion at the right time of year, yet Putin ironically has started his invasion of Ukraine at the worst possible time, just coming out of winter, where muddy/boggy conditions have impeded their movements, and Western countries reliant on Russian energy have time to find alternative suppliers before next winter. Had they started their invasion in the autumn, while success on the ground wouldn't have been guaranteed, they could have crippled Europe far more easily.

Meanwhile Private Eye have this front cover:


1652541065055.png
 

birchesgreen

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2020
Messages
3,093
Location
Birmingham
I wonder if Putin was sold a "quick military victory in hours" by the defence military, remember the initial Russian attack was to seize that vital airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv? They'd move in quick, seize the Ukrainian capital before anyone had time to react. Didn't quite work to plan.
 

Cloud Strife

Member
Joined
25 Feb 2014
Messages
861
The Ukrainians have kicked the Russians out of Kharkiv, according to the major news outlets. This is such a huge victory for Ukraine and no doubt Putin is seething! Putin was expecting a quick and easy win but he's now facing the prospect of total defeat.

https://inews.co.uk/news/world/ukra...troops-retreat-from-northeastern-city-1630513
It is a huge victory. Not securing Kyiv was one thing, especially as it was guarded to the teeth - but failing to even encircle Kharkiv is mindblowingly poor. The city is within easy reach of Russia, and should have been a priority for the Russian forces.

Apparently the DPR has summoned women to register for the military in case of need. This is absolutely astounding, and if it's true, they must be getting absolutely desperate. The reports over the last few days are seemingly all the same - Russia makes a small advance, they suffer considerable losses, and the Ukrainian forces simply fall back knowing that they can dig in for a counter attack.

Speaking of the DPR, perhaps one of the most fascinating stories is that from a DPR soldier, who said that they were refused entry into Russia for two days when retreating from Kharkiv. If this is true (and it wouldn't surprise me!), then there's even more motivation for DPR soldiers to simply down their arms and go home.

My gut feeling right now is that Ukraine is happy to let Russian losses mount up. They don't have an overwhelming need right now to retake Kherson, Melitopol, etc, and if Russia keeps bleeding at this rate, they'll have nothing left when the counterattacks come. I haven't seen any information on what's happening in Donetsk, but it's conceivable that Ukraine will rip through the self-proclaimed LDPR if things keep going as they are.
 

TheEdge

Established Member
Joined
29 Nov 2012
Messages
4,331
Location
Norwich
The reports over the last few days are seemingly all the same - Russia makes a small advance, they suffer considerable losses, and the Ukrainian forces simply fall back knowing that they can dig in for a counter attack.

The Ukrainians are using almost textbook insurgency tactics. Its a dynamic defense, they are not trying to hold any particular position or line, they are allowing Russia to move and then hitting them at their weakest points. See the absolute devastation at the Siversky Donets river crossing.
 

dgl

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2014
Messages
1,860
They're basically taunting Russia at this point, though what that does to further increase putin's madness I don't know, good on Ukrain though for showing that they will not be pushed around.
 

DustyBin

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2020
Messages
2,500
Location
First Class
I wonder if Putin was sold a "quick military victory in hours" by the defence military, remember the initial Russian attack was to seize that vital airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv? They'd move in quick, seize the Ukrainian capital before anyone had time to react. Didn't quite work to plan.

That was clearly the plan.

I came across a Twitter thread last week which showed how close Russian special forces came to reaching Zelensky in the first 24-48 hours of the invasion. They got within a couple of hundred metres before being stopped (I’m not sure if any of them survived the assault, most likely not). Russia lost this war when they failed to achieve key objectives in the first day or two IMO.
 

coppercapped

Established Member
Joined
13 Sep 2015
Messages
2,876
Location
Reading
Up until these events Sweden has been very strictly neutral, going back centuries unlike Finland which really had neutrality thrust upon it after the Winter War and Continuation Wars by, yup, you guessed it, the USSR. In the following years Finland was much more forgiving of Western transgressions of its neutrality and didn't really react to things like NATO aircraft in their airspace. Sweden however treated everyone identically, NATO aircraft would be chased off with the same reaction as Warsaw Pact ones.
Thank you for the clarification. I obviously wasn't clear enough in explaining that I was referring to my lack of knowledge about Finland's reactions to incursions of its airspace and I have now learned that it was more forgiving than Sweden. Thank you. On the other hand I am aware of the situation leading up to Finland's neutrality and the loss of some 10% of its landmass.

I have previously thought that if the conflict in 1939-40 had turned out slightly differently and Britain and France had offered help there could have been the odd situation of British and Finnish troops fighting alongside the Germans opposing the Red Army...

Stuff for an alternative history, methinks!
 
Last edited:

TheEdge

Established Member
Joined
29 Nov 2012
Messages
4,331
Location
Norwich
Maybe not lost, but they had no chance of winning once it became obvious that AttUkraine had a solid defence plan. I'd pinpoint the exact moment being when tanks started getting wrecked on the streets of Kyiv - there was one video where a tank went straight into a trap, and civilians just absolutely wrecked it. At that moment, you knew Russia wasn't getting in.

The Russians just didn't seem to expect resistance and even when they met it they kept acting like it just wasn't there.

You just don't send armour into any sort of urban or wooded area without discounted infantry. Those days of Shermans and Churchills trundling onto a battlefield and being indestructible are gone (and have been for a considerable time) now that any infantryman or reservist can carry a weapon that can punch through half a metre of armour. Yet there are dozens of videos of the Russians doing exactly that.

It also doesn't help that the internal design of Russian tanks is godawful and any penetration has a decent chance of igniting the ammunition
 

Annetts key

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2021
Messages
1,225
Location
West is best
Those days of Shermans and Churchills trundling onto a battlefield and being indestructible are gone (and have been for a considerable time)
Err, the first versions of the Sherman tanks were hardly indestructible. The German guns wreaked thousands of them. Yes, it was mainly the guns of German tanks and anti tank guns rather than infantry weapons.
 

gingerheid

Established Member
Joined
2 Apr 2006
Messages
1,261
Most of the world does not perceive as "defensive" NATO's meddling in Russia's "near abroad"

I always remember the "interesting" views about the Baltic states you expressed in a Rail Baltica thread, and I can see how you present a certain worldview.

However the language you use comes across as bizarre to those who don't hold that world view, and it runs counter to common sense and logic.

Most people would regard the Baltic states as being entitled to make their own decisions as independent sovereign nations. To regard their decisions as the meddling of others is to disapply the possibility of them having the capability to exercise independent thought and judgement. They did not hold that capability in the past, when they were Soviet puppet states. Much as a coercively controlled spouse may break free from their abuser, that does not mean that they may never hold that capability. They now do hold that capability, and have every right to exercise it.

Sadly, Helsinki will now be at risk of suffering the same fate as Mariupol, as Russia (and the wider world) will perceive Finland joining NATO as an act of aggression, despite Finland clearly having no intention of attacking Russia. Russia doesn't need to invade to wreck Finnish cities; a barrage of missiles could achieve it. The bear needs handling with care (rather than being poked), which is the policy that Finland has followed wisely from 1944 until now, but seems {foolishly, IMO) about to abandon.

This is straightforward nonsense. Mariupol would not be suffering the fate it is if Ukraine had been a NATO member. The only thing that might be said is that Finland and Sweden should keep the period until they actually join as short as possible.

Above all, and leaving aside all other questions; this is not an example of a time where neutrality is possible, and definitely not when you have a border with them. What's an example of a time where the best thing to do with the kind of maniacal psychopath that is the Russia of today was to ignore them and hope they'll go away? There isn't one. They won't be happy and go away if we give them the Sudetenland and agree to leave things there! And what's an example of a time where it was possible to reason with that which is not reasonable? Again, there isn't one.
 
Last edited:

Annetts key

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2021
Messages
1,225
Location
West is best
Thinking about Sherman tanks reminds me that one of the important things with long running wars, is resupply of both equipment and personal. To keep supplying new equipment, you need either the industrial capacity to manufacture it, or be supplied by other countries. This includes the financial arrangements.

So one thing that Ukraine and the counties that are supplying them need to think about, is what equipment will be needed and how to train the Ukrainians on it. As it is unlikely that any substantial number (if any) U.S.S.R. based designs will be manufactured from scratch in the west.

Even if the war ends relatively quickly, the re-equipping of their forces will be needed to replace all the damaged and destroyed equipment.

So if the western countries are serious, they need to involve Ukraine in deciding what military equipment will be needed and sort out arrangements with manufacturers to get production lines in operation.
 

JamesT

Established Member
Joined
25 Feb 2015
Messages
1,512
Thinking about Sherman tanks reminds me that one of the important things with long running wars, is resupply of both equipment and personal. To keep supplying new equipment, you need either the industrial capacity to manufacture it, or be supplied by other countries. This includes the financial arrangements.

So one thing that Ukraine and the counties that are supplying them need to think about, is what equipment will be needed and how to train the Ukrainians on it. As it is unlikely that any substantial number (if any) U.S.S.R. based designs will be manufactured from scratch in the west.

Even if the war ends relatively quickly, the re-equipping of their forces will be needed to replace all the damaged and destroyed equipment.

So if the western countries are serious, they need to involve Ukraine in deciding what military equipment will be needed and sort out arrangements with manufacturers to get production lines in operation.
There are various existing NATO countries using ex-Soviet equipment, hence various suggestions about sending that kit to Ukraine and the donor country being re supplied from western sources. Though they’d need training etc. on it, this is more palatable when you’re not actively in a war.

Ukraine was producing arms as a descendant of the USSR, e.g. the T-84 tank which is an improved version of the Soviet T-84. Although our arms companies may see post-war as a sales opportunity, maybe we should be helping them rebuild their capability?
 

Annetts key

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2021
Messages
1,225
Location
West is best
The U.K. Ministry of Defence has just tweeted this:

Russia’s Donbas offensive has lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule. Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining consistently high levels of attrition.

Russia has now likely suffered losses of one third of the ground combat force it committed in February.

These delays will almost certainly be exacerbated by the loss of critical enablers such as bridging equipment and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drones.

Russian bridging equipment has been in short supply throughout the conflict, slowing and restricting offensive manoeuvre. Russian UAVs are vital for tactical awareness and directing artillery, but have been vulnerable to Ukrainian anti-air capabilities.

Russian forces are increasingly constrained by degraded enabling capabilities, continued low morale and reduced combat effectiveness. Many of these capabilities cannot be quickly replaced or reconstituted, and are likely to continue to hinder Russian operations in Ukraine.

Under the current conditions, Russia is unlikely to dramatically accelerate its rate of advance over the next 30 days.

link

To say that Russia has lost one third of their ground forces really tells you how badly they are doing considering their lack of progress.
 

coppercapped

Established Member
Joined
13 Sep 2015
Messages
2,876
Location
Reading
Thinking about Sherman tanks reminds me that one of the important things with long running wars, is resupply of both equipment and personal. To keep supplying new equipment, you need either the industrial capacity to manufacture it, or be supplied by other countries. This includes the financial arrangements.

So one thing that Ukraine and the counties that are supplying them need to think about, is what equipment will be needed and how to train the Ukrainians on it. As it is unlikely that any substantial number (if any) U.S.S.R. based designs will be manufactured from scratch in the west.

Even if the war ends relatively quickly, the re-equipping of their forces will be needed to replace all the damaged and destroyed equipment.

So if the western countries are serious, they need to involve Ukraine in deciding what military equipment will be needed and sort out arrangements with manufacturers to get production lines in operation.
The western countries are serious. The USA, Germany, France, the UK and others have made billions of dollars, pounds and Euros available as military grants (grants, not loans) available to the Ukraine government to spend as it thinks fit. In the case of the USA alone by 6th May this amounted to $30 billion:
  • an additional $5 billion to the Presidential Drawdown Authority (can be spent without any further congressional approval)
  • $6 billion to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative
  • $4 billion foreign military financing program
  • $8.5 billion economic assistance (as the Ukraine government's social spending has increased and tax receipts have dropped significantly)
  • $3billion humanitarian assistance.
By definition the military financing will be spent on NATO standard equipment as that is what the western countries are geared up to make. The diminishing stocks of Warsaw Pact equipment in Poland, Slovakia and so on are outdated, are being used up and will not be replaced.

Ukrainian companies will increasingly be in a position to support the equipment that has been supplied from the west in terms of maintenance, spare parts and consumables - 155mm shells rather than the Warsaw Pact 152mm for example.

I am confident that the Ukrainian military knows very well what its requirements are and will be in the years to come and Ukrainian industry will be in a position to supply a large percentage of the requirements. In terms of the 'big ticket' items - aircraft and main battle tanks for example - it is unlikely that Ukraine would develop these from a clean sheet of paper but joint ventures with western companies are entirely likely.

As I wrote in post #3,614 above, Ukraine will become a de-facto NATO member even if it is not a de jure one.

Edit: completed sentence in top bullet point! Doh!
 
Last edited:

TheEdge

Established Member
Joined
29 Nov 2012
Messages
4,331
Location
Norwich
Err, the first versions of the Sherman tanks were hardly indestructible. The German guns wreaked thousands of them. Yes, it was mainly the guns of German tanks and anti tank guns rather than infantry weapons.

It was more the point that until the development of handheld anti tank weapons later in the war the average medium tank was pretty invulnerable to the average infantryman. Unlike today where nearly every squad will have some sort of launcher.

In terms of the 'big ticket' items - aircraft and main battle tanks for example - it is unlikely that Ukraine would develop these from a clean sheet of paper but joint ventures with western companies are entirely likely.

I'm sure someone in NATO will be replacing their Leopard 2A4 or A5 with some local version of the 2A7. So it'll be Leopards, pretty much every NATO power who wants an MBT just buys Leopards. Pity the Ukrainians missed out on Holland's "Every Leopard must go!" sale. If any country has any number of 2A5s they are probably ex-Dutch machines.
 

Giugiaro

Member
Joined
4 Nov 2011
Messages
943
Location
Valongo - Portugal
Ukraine was producing arms as a descendant of the USSR, e.g. the T-84 tank which is an improved version of the Soviet T-84. Although our arms companies may see post-war as a sales opportunity, maybe we should be helping them rebuild their capability?

Suppose we want to actually help Ukraine (and Moldova to some extent) as part of our financial effort to rebuild the country. In that case, we should invest in relaunching the Ukrainian economy so that the country can stand on its own feet and not be a burden on the EU in future years. We don't exactly want Ukraine to be overly dependent on external support and supply as the Afghan government and military were on US equipment, parts and personnel.

Russia has done everything it could to cripple Ukraine, hurting it in both the agricultural, industrial, retail and tourism sectors.

Which begs the question: If Russia were to be successful in capturing some extent of Ukraine to claim its "Nova Russia", what sort of territory would Russia want it to be?
- Would it be a crippled, war-torn region the Russian authorities would have no incentive to invest in?
- Or would it receive a massive reconstruction investment, putting a lot of strain on the already weak Russian economy and leaving other Russian regions in the dust?
 

uglymonkey

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2018
Messages
112
I guess its not just a question of supplying NATO equipment, you would have to change the entire military infrastructure of Ukraine , from spare parks, grade of lubriciants , bullet sizes and types, its not just a question of changing over . you could rebarrel all the AK47's to NATO ammunition, but at what cost? Poland I guess is the best example of a former Warsaw pact country now in NATO. - Do the hoses fit if a NATO tanker refuels a Ukraine ship?
 

bspahh

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
1,218
I guess its not just a question of supplying NATO equipment, you would have to change the entire military infrastructure of Ukraine , from spare parks, grade of lubriciants , bullet sizes and types, its not just a question of changing over . you could rebarrel all the AK47's to NATO ammunition, but at what cost? Poland I guess is the best example of a former Warsaw pact country now in NATO. - Do the hoses fit if a NATO tanker refuels a Ukraine ship?
The background training and infrastructure will take time to update, but they don't need to modify any AK47s. They can sell them on as is.

There is a big incentive for arms manufacturers to get their latest hardware into Ukraine for their sales and marketing to third parties.
 

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
4,737
Location
Maidstone
McDonalds now leaving Russia for good:


McDonald's has said it will permanently leave Russia after 30 years and has started to sell its restaurants there.
The fast food giant said it made the decision because of the "humanitarian crisis" and "unpredictable operating environment" caused by the Ukraine war.
The company said this meant owning business in Russia was "no longer tenable" or consistent with its values.
In March McDonald's said it was temporarily closing its roughly 850 restaurants in the country.

“No two countries that both have a McDonald’s have ever fought a war against each other.” — Thomas Friedman, was well and truly disproven by Russia's invasion.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
27,120
Location
Scotland
“No two countries that both have a McDonald’s have ever fought a war against each other.” — Thomas Friedman, was well and truly disproven by Russia's invasion.
Well, it's a 'special military operation' not a war...
 

Cloud Strife

Member
Joined
25 Feb 2014
Messages
861
Well, it's a 'special military operation' not a war...

At this point, I'm genuinely wondering why Russia hasn't declared war yet. One theory is that the elites around Putin made it clear that they won't support actual war, due to the threat to their own interests.

Ukraine claims to have reached the Russian border north of Kharkiv.

In addition, the Institute for the Study of War suggests that Russia has abandoned their encirclement plan, and instead they're focusing on taking the entirety of Luhansk along with fortifying the occupied parts of Kherson Oblast. If this is true, then it's a clear sign that they have serious problems. I'm not convinced that they can even defend effectively, given that the area north of Kharkiv was (at least initially) cleared out by territorial defences and other volunteers.

In relation to Transnistria, something is also going on there. Russian forces are on high alert, while the Transnistrian-controlled forces have returned to normal. Are we seeing a second Belarus there, where the local strongmen want nothing to do with the invasion?
 

DustyBin

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2020
Messages
2,500
Location
First Class
Putin has made an announcement regarding Finland and Sweden applying for NATO membership. He actually appears to be taking it rather well, all very measured and dare I say it, sensible!
 

Chingy

Member
Joined
24 Jan 2020
Messages
111
Location
Frome
Putin has made an announcement regarding Finland and Sweden applying for NATO membership. He actually appears to be taking it rather well, all very measured and dare I say it, sensible!

I suspect he knows he hasn't got the military capability to threaten the two countries yet, what with many of his troops busy demolishing Ukraine still.

Once he's finished messing about in Ukraine, I suspect we will start to see an increased military presence on Finland's border and over in Kaliningrad.
 

Roast Veg

Established Member
Joined
28 Oct 2016
Messages
1,910
I suspect he knows he hasn't got the military capability to threaten the two countries yet, what with many of his troops busy demolishing Ukraine still.
It's a big stray from the usual Russian mock-anger and outright lies. All is not well in the Putin household.
 

Top