Sunday, August 09, 2015

It Should Be the Battle of Kursk

The Donbas has been under a widely violated ceasefire most of this year as Russia has consolidated their gains since last year. But the front has at least been static. If Ukraine hasn't exploited this time gap, shame on them.

Yeah, start thinking about that:

Ukraine recently held strategy meeting between the president and the top generals to come up with a plan to deal with the increasingly unstable situation with Russia. Peace talks with the Russian backed rebels are going nowhere and the Ukrainians feel they have to prepare for another Russian ordered rebel offensive.

Ukraine should be several months into laying thick minefields and obstacles, building defensive lines in depth, building artillery bunkers with buried land lines for communication, rigging choke points like bridges for destruction, and registering every inch of ground for artillery fire along the paths of Russian invasion.

And build up a mobile armored reserve to counter-attack.

And if they are bold enough, prepare to bombard Sevastopol bases in Crimea with missiles and aircraft; and mine the waters at the port.

This should be a repeat of the Battle of Kursk--inflicted on the Russians this time. Putin clearly needs more dead Russian soldiers coming back to Russia for burial to get him to back off capturing Ukrainian ground.

But no, rather than being many months into carrying out a plan, Ukrainians are trying to come up with a plan now. Amazing.

UPDATE: And by now we should be able to help them with electronic warfare:

Since 2014 when Russia began threatening and invading its European neighbors (especially Ukraine and the Baltic States) NATO has learned a lot more about Russian post-Cold War EW (electronic warfare) capabilities. The fighting in eastern Ukraine (Donbas) led the Russians to use a lot of their most modern electronic warfare equipment. ...

At the request of Ukraine NATO has provided a growing electronic warfare support effort and there has been, not surprisingly, little publicity about the result.

The key to Russia's defeat is more dead Russian soldiers going back to the motherland.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Russia returns to the scene of the 2008 crime:

Late on 10 July, Russian troops placed new demarcation signposts along the administrative boundary between the annexed territory of South Ossetia, which was removed from Georgia's jurisdiction by force in the war of 2008, and Tbilisi-controlled territory.

Crucially, a further 1.5km into the Georgian territory was added overnight. The new "border" is now a de facto occupation line, just a mile away from a major highway linking Georgia's eastern and western regions

Not only did this "land grab" disrupt the lives of villagers, whose households ended up overnight within the Russian-controlled territory, a kilometre-long section of the BP-operated Baku-Supsa oil pipeline also now lies outside of Tbilisi's reach.

Russia denies involvement, claiming their hand puppet South Ossetia did it.


UPDATE: Georgia is upset:

"The enemy is testing our patience on a daily basis," President Giorgi Margvelashvili said on Monday.

Defence Minister Tina Khidasheli said Tuesday that the government had a duty to "help local residents on the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible".

Russia doesn't care if Georgia is upset. Georgia had best send in bulldozers to tear down that fence or in a few years if will be a a ditch and wall with machine guns and minefields.

Back in Ukraine:

Ukraine vowed Tuesday to use all weapons at its disposal to withstand an alleged new pro-Russian rebel advance that added urgency to a goodwill visit by Britain's defence secretary.

I beg to differ. Ukraine is not prepared to use all weapons at its disposal. If Ukraine is willing to keep the fight localized to the Donbas region while Russia digests their Crimea meal, not all weapons are being prepared.

As I've written, if Kiev was really determined, they'd bombard Russia's Crimean military bases and attempt to mine the ports if Russia renews their offensive in Donbas.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday, there is reporting that Russia is having a go at Mariupol:

Ukraine on Wednesday reported intense battles with pro-Russian insurgents near the last major government stronghold in the former Soviet country's separatist east.

A military spokesman in Kiev said clashes north of the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol had killed one soldier and injured three.

Ukraine should order their Russian-occupied Crimean ports closed, announce the ports will be mined to enforce this, and attempt to mine the approaches. Let's see what cruise ships want to dock there, eh?

UPDATE: This seemingly deserves its own post, but given how incredible it is, I'll just note it here.

Did Ukraine catch Russia planning a dirty bomb attack to justify Russian overt aggression against Ukraine?

I'd really like to hear more stories on this to back it up. I didn't think even Putin is capable of this level of madness.

Although to be a pretense for war, Russia doesn't have to detonate the bomb. Just find it and blame it on Ukrainian "fascists."