89 Comments
Apr 21Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Thanks for the recent updates. As always you are the voice of sanity - at least where the war is concerned! I wonder if the shocking consequences of the recent huge delay in supplies to Ukraine has had a salutary effect on European "decision makers"? I remain convinced, as I have since the beginning, that the critical location in the war is actually the ZNPP at Enerhodar. There has already been a dummy run false flag hit on the plant. Even a suspicion of a radiation leak would scare the "decision makers" shitless. In the happy event of a reversal of Ukraine's fortunes and a significant repulse of Russian forces I cannot see how Putrid could resist the temptation.

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300 Km from the Russian border and surrounded on two sides by occupied territories such action would need good wind forecasting.

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Not a show-stopper though - and recall who would be making the decision.

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author

The Russians already blew up the Kakhovka Dam... so yes: nobody can say they would never blow up Enerhodar....

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Dear Tom,

Looks like the USA will soon pass the bill to send more supplies: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-house-vote-long-awaited-95-billion-ukraine-israel-aid-package-2024-04-20/

What do you think, how long will it take for new supplies to reach the battlefield and have an effect?

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Probably the Pentagon anticipated this decision and already moved the munitions to the best place for a quick delivery so could be as soon as a week after Biden's signature in Ukraine, then longer to reach the battlefield.

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I hope… but so far the deliveries are so slow :(

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Two more hopes :)

Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that he hopes the U.S. will be able to send aid shipments "with that longer-range ATACMS" as soon as possible.

"I hope once the President signs ... that these materials will be in transit by the end of the week"

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-volodymyr-zelenskyy-preparing-major-russian-spring-offensive/

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🤞

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If there is any kind of a useful lesson from this war then:

- 'passing bills', 'announcing' etc. is one pair of boots; while

- actually delivering the stuff in question to Ukraine - an entirely different pair of 'stilettos'.

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21Liked by Sarcastosaurus

True but without the first step happening there will certainly be no reaching the last step.

The West and US delivery performance has been dismal but there are signs some European countries are stepping up their engagement, hopefully this will turn into increased deliveries of key items; shells, air defence, artillery, mortars and so.

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Meanwhile in March there were voices of first deliveries of ammo from Czech initiative to frontlines are about to start in April this year. Seems like this never happened and was postponed to June this year?

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Apr 21Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Some add to Ru sensitive losses: an early warning system for nuces - the Container - with 3000km range, placed in Mordovia, Ru was hit by 7 UAVs 2 days ago.

There are satellite pics proving damages.

Possible attack on this system fixed in Ru nucs doctrine as possible reason to hit back the atrackerwith nucs.

So it definitely pains, terms of repairment are unknown

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Thank you very much. It is so interesting to get explained how the Russian's think their war. How they go about.

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What if the „idiots“ in Berlin are not idiots but cynical strategists aiming to protract the war as long as possible? The rationale being: If Russia keeps on fighting this way for another few years, they will have lost an entire generation of men (aka troops) and drained their arsenal completely. Would take them ages to recover from that, not mentioning the domestic political consequences (hard to imagine that Putin could survive such an outcome). Then, Russia won‘t be a threat for a very long time. At least not by itself.

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21

Ukraine is 4 times smaller than Russia and is losing men at the same rate. It is very unlikely for Russia to will have lost its population first, unless the way this war is fought changes.

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That is the „cynical“ part of such a strategy. The goal might be to kill as many Russian troops as possible, no matter how many Ukrainians have to die along the way. And since there are reports out there claiming that the current loss ratio is 1:4, this strategy might even make perfect sense, although horribly inhumane!

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21

The loss rate is close to 1:1.

45K confirmed Ukrainian KiA from ualosses.org and 15K MiA

against

50K confirmed and 85K estimated Russian KiA by Mediazone

They say that the Ukrainian casevac is better than the Russian, thus WiA to KiA should be about 3:1 for Ukraine against 2:1 for Russia. Which amounts to equal total (WiA + KiA) losses of about 240K on each side.

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There are claims from UK Intelligence and others that Russia is recruiting up to 30,000 per month to replace losses which is orders of magnitude above your numbers.

From Ukraine point of view, Russians too badly wounded to fight are just as useful as KIA.

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Do you have your own estimate?

30K * 25 = 750K ?

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1:1 or even 1:2 is unbeleivable UA-RU losses ratio:

1. Alone by Bakhmut Wagner losses were at 20k men, reported and confirmed by Wagner back in 2023.

2. Ru population is much less active in internet as 100s time smaller Ukraine, so statistics based on social media is nothing else, but false

3. Mediazone doesnt count DPR/LPR losses. They have even mentioned it in their descriprion. Minimal estimated losses there are by 100k

4. Number of MiA in Ru is enormous: how do you think all these 10000s fragmented bodies clear seeble on every second footage count?

5. MEDEVAC Ru is as good as unfunctional, whilst Ukrainian is also not the best. You are free to find stats about Ru number of invalides (500k+ increase 2023 to 2022 alone for 31-60year old men)

https://www.svoboda.org/amp/vyorstka-v-2023-v-rossii-rekordno-vyroslo-chislo-muzhchin-invalidov/32861971.html

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Рекорд по числу мужчин с инвалидностью был связан с новыми возрастными категориями — не 31-59 лет, а 31-63 года. Причиной этому послужило повышение пенсионного возраста, в связи с чем в ту же верхнюю половину «трудоспособных» мужчин попало значительно больше людей с инвалидностью.

https://meduza.io/news/2024/03/15/dannye-o-rezkom-roste-chisla-muzhchin-s-invalidnostyu-v-rf-okazalis-svyazany-s-oshibkoy-sotsialnogo-fonda

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Seems like all ru men 59-63 are invalids))) could you show me pls respective stats of 63+ years with negative dynamics-500k?

What is Ru perfecly doing: lies and manipulations

Ps: Meduza is the same lying shitz as Konashenkov, but for western readers

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Very weak argument. In Ukraine the number of people with disabilities increased by 300 000 for the period of war - https://www.svoboda.org/a/v-ukraine-za-vremya-voyny-chislo-lyudey-s-invalidnostjyu-vyroslo-na-300-tysyach/32601856.html .

Though for objectivity I should mention that disability does not grant you deferment from mobilization in ru, while granting one in ua.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

In UA after recent amendments to legislation there were mostly no granting exemptions left for disabled men as well . Corrupted and illegitimate government officials rather send civilians with disabilities to frontlines, deprive them driver licence, administrative services than conscribe by themself into war or protecting them law enforcement personnel.

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"Close to 1:1" is an absolutely ridiculous estimate, so is the trusting the 'source' Mediazone.

"...we do not rely on photographs of bodies (even with accompanying documents) published by Ukraine as these are difficult to verify..."

Sure, difficult for them. Impossible. But easier for the Ukrainians:

dead russians are on the Ukrainian territory (come up and check the body; drones are helpful; eye witnesses, after all: ask Ukrainian troops on the eastern frontline. I did.)

Not to mention that mediazone are russians.

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This is exactly why Zaluzhny has to mobilize 500K more Ukrainian men without demobilizing anyone.

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Ukraine's mobilization is not just to replace casualties, but to allow rotation of current troops, some of whom have been fighting since Feb 2022.

And regarding casualties, Russia has mostly been fighting offensive trench warfare, and Ukraine mostly defensive. Even if they had similar values on human life, the Russians would have suffered much higher casualties, but there is vast anecdotal evidence the Russians treat their troops as expendible.

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author

....where the figures in question are based on availability of the social media.

Now, drive 2 hours out of Moscow and see what is the availability of the social media there. Then move out to parts of the Russian federation that have suffered the highest losses, and see how widespread (read: not at all) is the social media at all.

Could be, that's a bit different in Ukraine.

Moreover: the ZSU was suffering its worst losses in May-July 2022. Actual 'exchange rate' ever since is somewhere at 15:1.

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85K of Russian casualties are estimated from their increase in patrimony cases, which has nothing to do with social media or distance from Moscow. However, it may differ for professional military and convicts who own no property. 50K is confirmed by social networks.

The Ukrainian casualties seem to stay more or less constant at about 300 per week since April 2022 https://ualosses.org/en/statistics/

If the exchange rate is 15:1 why do they intend on mobilizing half a million men for ZSU, on top of all the men they mobilized during the 2 years of the war, and that with no demobilization planned?

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Lets do simple maths: 180k troops invaded back in 2022, now 470k grouping is operating in Ukraine. As of your logic: 470-180+50=340k net mobilization during 2022-24. But alone in sep-nov 2022 over 300k was mobilized and every next month additionally 25k (25*16months=400k). Not taking into account prisoners, PMCs, DPR/LPR mobs etc.

something doesn’t suit your figures…

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Hey Tom, could you create a post unrolling this statements of 15 to 1 loss ratio with proper links and reasoning please? it sounds too optimistic. Besides you yourself mentioned several times that ru loses are not enough to outpace the rate of new recruits.

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That's not mutually exclusive. If the Russians bring 30 K a month to the front and 2K Ukrainians die, Tom's statement is still valid.

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I can't - because I do not know any place posting such 'statistics'.

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Now the US House has finally passed the Ukraine support Bill with hopefully just a couple of small hurdles left Ukraine Bill is almost fifty pages long so a lot to read but there is interesting stuff, for example;

SEC. 505. (a) TRANSFER OF LONG-RANGE ATACMS REQUIRED.

As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall transfer long range Army Tactical Missile Systems to the Government of Ukraine to assist the Government of Ukraine in defending itself and achieving victory against the Russian Federation.

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SEC. 504 is also noteworthy in that it requires from the administration a comprehensive, multi-year strategic plan on defeating Russia to measure the results against.

It seems that, ultimately, Mike Johnson was not delaying the bill simply for the sake of being a Trumpist jerk, but put some serious work in it.

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I could not find anywhere what happens if they ignore SEC. 504

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Thanks Tom, interesting reading with my morning tea.

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Ukraine really is in a terrible position. From one hand they cant surrender as it would mean that they cease to exist (Russians dont even recognize Ukrainians as a separate nation, for them its a misguided Little Russia that needs to be reeducated) and from the other hand West does not see it this way and they are given only enough aid to keep the war going. Not to win this but just to keep it going.

This is really dark, as Putin has built his reputation on winning the war so he cant quit and USA with their "escalation management" logic will not provide enough for Ukraine to win.

Result - Ukraine will be bled white for some nonsensical policy generated in the comfy offices of the West.

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You think the Russians are in a better position ... what are they dying for, what will victory look like for them? More sanctions, repression, isolation, deteriorating living standards, more war. And if they lose, add in possible revolution(s). Either way, it's bad.

If Ukraine loses, their future will also be bad, it'll be as Russians unless they can esape. But if they win, the opportunities are enormous. Ukrainians have something worth fighting for, the Russians don't.

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Thanks again, Tom.

Reflecting on the stats for vehicle losses, is the surprisingly small number of ATGM “kills” due to scarcity or a replacement of their role by drones? The “understanding “ from the Cold War was that the ATGM was to be the great leveller and, aside from the initial success of Javelins and Stugna, the results seem very different.

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The drones have longer range. Any armor that came into the range of ATGM will fight back thus is dangerous. While the drones attack up to 5 km away with no line of sight.

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FPV are hitting tanks from 10-15km range mostly;

FPV operator could operate from well covered position;

cost of FPV is 400usd vs cost of Javelin 250k, NLAW 120k, Stugna 40k, RPG7 1,2k;

FPV could be produced “in tranches” as well, equipped with explosives also direct before launch, while ATGMs require production, transportation, distribution etc

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The most expensive part in Javelin, NLAW is a rocket. Its price is much more cheaper, something like $28-30K per piece. You messed it up with HIMARS rockets.

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For the same reasons like there are so few tank kills in this war: operating ATGMs in effective fashion in this war is far harder than operating FPVs in effective fashion. Even more so considering the latter have a much longer range.

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AFAIK Stugna units in particular can still only expect a literal handful of missiles each from production per month, so there isn't much for them to do. I recall how much more common ATGM videos were in 2022, perhaps on the Russian side as well.

With upwards of a million TOW missiles produced to date, I would have hoped to see a higher volume donated to Ukraine - but it seems they're only available with the Bradleys?

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Thank you Tom for your really in depth explanation of the Russian ATMS and versions deployed by company level. I must admit my knowledge of their systems was until this point very lacking.

It seems to me they have made a huge error in the design of their systems in that when a part becomes redundant, the whole system falls over where as Western systems have more flexibility built into them.

You probably wrote this before the news yesterday about the US support being voted through , at last.

I am hoping that the sudden push of reserve armaments to the front coincides with Putin’s spring / summer surge that will see the VKS obliterated.

Oh - I also hope you can shed some light on how the Ukrainians are using the S-200 to knock out TU-22M3 bombers at some point

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No one knows for sure… but part of me thinks there could be more to the story than the s-200s. If they had another weapon, they could easily just say that it was an s200 as information warfare. I don’t see why Ukraine would give any true info in this case, since they gain nothing.

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Actually, wrote this in the morning, 'in full knowledge' of the Congress 'releasing' that 'US aid package'....

To say I'm disgusted with idiots in question would be an understatement. And I'm fed up of all the BS-promises and lies regarding Western 'aid' for Ukraine - and that so much I do not trust anything at all until I see it Ukraine.

Therefore, for me that situation is like with all the charlatans: guilty - and not worth attention - until proven otherwise.

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Second that.

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Thanks Tom

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Apr 21Liked by Sarcastosaurus

"Personally, I would send the idiots in charge of Washington, Berlin, London, Paris and few similar places an ‘invoice’ for all the Ukrainian troops killed, and all the equipment lost since around January this year – and then in this area alone – just to show them how much have they fucked up. But, that’s me."

metoo

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Is that so hard to protect Ukrainian sky 100km behind front lines against Russian recon UAVs when they fly in high altitudes, but are slow?

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It may be more a matter of detecting all of them. We often get reports that recon drones are spotted and they sometimes take them down. But it seems not all of them are spotted.

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It is more about lack of air def ammo. As for me it is a huge mistake to allow recon UAV to fly freely far behind frontlines. But it is what it is…

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Hi Tim. Question… what areas, if any, could nato run a “no fly/no missile/no drone zone” in Ukraine with little to no risk of being shot down by SAMs or air to air missiles? Seems to me that unless there is concern of active SAM sites in Belarus, much of western and central Ukraine could be rid of cruise missiles and drones in much the same manner that the USA shot down Iranian drones and missiles over Jordan.

Putting aside the likelihood that politicians would actually do it, is it practically feasible in portions of the country without major risk?

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That ATACMS is able to bonk a core component of the orc AD network at effing Dzhankoi is kinda epic. Kinda makes a fella wonder what the area looks like if Ukraine gets a few hundred and can sustain daily strikes.

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21

Thanks Tom for the update, now that the US Aid package passed the US House maybe some ammo will be in Ukraine in a week or so lets hope anyway, from what I've read its packed and read to be moved. Another thanks Tom for the information on how the Russians command and control / snead operations work

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