Ukraine War, 26 November 2022
How shall I start this one….?
Ah yes, here it is: war is hell.
That’s why it’s always the best idea not to start any.
….is just a reminder for all those who can’t stop complaining about me not writing any of my reports/summaries/updates for the last four days. And for those who can’t stop complaining and posting knee-jerk reactions ‘in response’ to my ‘anti-Israel’ commentaries in the Part 3 of my analysis of the air war.
And while I’m at that, here a slight expansion of my usual disclaimer: you’re reading this entirely at your own risk and I’m not going to accept liability for any damage caused by logic, reason, facts — or sarcasm.
Nine months since the start of this war, it’s becoming clear just what a colossal mistake NATO did when thinking this war is going to solve itself on its own, sooner or later, and there’s no need to boost Ukrainian capability to defend itself and defeat the Russian invasion, pronto. I.e. why the idea of fighting to profit, instead of fighting to win (as proven already in Afghanistan, Iraq and few other places) — is such a blunder.
…even when ‘just’ failing to deliver advanced air defence systems to Ukraine: as a consequence of the latest spate of Surovikin’s Missile Offensive, Ukrainian infrastructure has suffered so much damage, that millions of people are without electricity, water, and heating — and that for days already, and then at ambient temperatures around 0 to -5°C.
Ironically, there’s at least a sort of solution for the issue with water supply: many citizens of Kyiv, for example, are collecting snow outside. But, electricity and heating….?
Direct reason is another major cruise-missile strike on the Ukrainian power grid and other infrastructure, from 23 November. According to Ukrainian sources, up to 10 Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers were involved, releasing more than 70 cruise missiles. Over 50 of the latter were claimed shot down by Ukrainian air defences, but those that did get trough have knocked out electricity in nearly all of Ukraine and much of neighbouring Moldavia. Worst of all, this time the damage was so massive, that most of Kyiv remains without electricity ever since.
Moreover, this attack not only knocked out the power grid, or water supply, and heating, but also hit the gas production facilities in the Kharkiv Oblast. Unimportant? Well, if you don’t know that Ukraine is meanwhile covering a significant portion of its gas needs through self-production — then yes, sure: ‘unimportant’…
Overall, the only thing Surovikin didn’t target yet are huge underground gas-storage facilities in western Ukraine. That is: the part of related installations that is on the surface.
Except for immediate repercussions, the wholesale destruction of the Ukrainian infrastructure is going to have long-term effects upon the economy: this was massively shrinking alone because of the war, but is now going to shrink even more. Unemployment is rapidly spreading. Dozens of hospitals have been knocked out, or if not: looted, etc.
Meanwhile, the ‘story of the day’ is an article along which the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and the USA reached a deal: the Chinese demanded the USA to prevent Poland from supplying MiG-29s to Ukraine, in exchange for making sure Putin and his Dirlewangers wouldn’t deploy nuclear weapons.
Hm… alone reading about Beijing being ah-so-very-much-concerned about 30-years-old MiG-29s….really, while sounding ‘perfectly plausible’ to many, to me this sounds like nonsense. At least I’m not entirely sure that this has happened exactly that way. Finally,
a) not sure it’s a good idea to start giving in to Chinese ‘ultimatums’, and
b) if truth, then it’s ‘quite interesting’ (not to say: embarrassing) to see our glorious politicians giving in to the PRC-regime, but not giving in to the idea of enabling Ukraine to score a decisive and ‘quick’ victory in this war.
WE MUST DO SOMETHING…
But hey: ‘we’, here in the West, are all doing our utmost to support Ukraine, aren’t we?
Therefore, here another topic from the rubric, ‘We must do something (just not the right thing, please)’: Scholz has offered to deploy one of German PAC-2/3 SAM-systems in eastern Poland. Should protect Poland, so Scholz — and, while at that, many are now demanding the system in question should protect some of skies over western Ukraine, too.
Seems, the people in question do not understand that no 10 Patriot SAM-systems could’ve averted those Ukrainian S-300s from hitting a village and killing two people in Poland, on 15 November. Not only that SAMs fly very fast (5V55 at speeds up to Mach 5.5.), thus leaving too little time for reaction (even more so if deployed under the stress of combat), but: for SAMs to ‘work’, they have to be well-positioned. Ideal for intercepting such missiles would a position ‘in between’ the incoming missile and its ‘target’. Somebody tell me please, how to deploy a German PAC-2/3 SAM-site in between a border village in Poland, and Ukraine…
But wait, it’s getting better: not only that Merkel is now insisting that the Russian invasion on Ukraine was ‘no surprise’ (hear-near; guess, she didn’t consult the Director of the BND before making that statement?), but even IF (or, should I say: when?) Germans would deploy any PAC-2/3 SAMs to Poland, or deliver their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, nobody said these would remain operational for any longer. As suspected by several journos since longer, it turned out German MOD has forgotten to deliver spares for the few Panzerhaubitze 2000s they’ve sent to Ukraine, and this is one of principal reasons why next to none of these are in operational condition, nowadays. Of course, the answer from the German MOD is: we do not know anything about this. Because, every decent bureaucrat knows that if he/she stick the head deep enough into the sand, then nothing bad can happen. Foremost: who would have thought, eh….?
Once again, ‘war is hell’ — now for German Bureaucrats, too…
Never mind, that’s unimportant. What’s important is that Germany lost 2:1 during the opening game at the Football Championship in Qatar. Ask Putin, he knows why: because of the LGBTs. Everybody knows that since Qatar ‘permitted’ the use of rainbow insignia on its football stadiums, all the males in the country went homosexual…
But hey, the government of Rishi Sunak is on the scene and about to save the situation. Through — reportedly — supplying Westland Sea King helicopters to Ukraine.
Once again, I have no idea where to start, but let me try.
By side that while there’s no doubt Ukrainians will be swift to learn to maintain and operate this type: Sea King is 50-years-old-technology. But, the question is: what variant? Photos in that article are shown the Sea King AEW.Mk 2. AEW stands for airborne early warning. As can be seen from that ‘big bag hanging on the side of the helicopter’, this version is equipped with the Searchwater LAST long-range surveillance radar and used to warn about incoming enemy aircraft….or cruise missiles.
At the first look, this is likely to sound ‘perfectly logical’. The first thing one might think about is that IF Sea King AEW.Mk 2s, these helicopters are going to help defend Ukraine from additional Russian air strikes. Problem: like all helicopters, the Sea King AEW is slow — and that while being big — and, whenever its radar is on emitting, easy to detect. Moreover, the range of the Searchwater radar is (much) shorter than the range of R-37M air-to-air missile. With other words: VKS interceptor-pilots would be happy to ‘plink’ them from safe distance.
Alternative ideas are ranging from the Commando variant (used for heliborne assaults), to ‘vanilla’ Sea King HU.Mk 5s, used for transport and utility purposes. Guess, the latter is also the most likely. Sufficient to say: this is another of so many haphazard decisions that’s only going to add yet additional problems to the issue of spares-supply for Ukraine. From that standpoint, Croatian decision to donate all of their 14 Mil Mi-17s to Ukraine (mind: Mi-17s, no Mi-8s, and that in exchange for surplus Sikorsky UH-60s from the USA) was making far more sense. The only surprise in that case is that the glorious President of the Republic of Croatia (and the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces), Zoran Milanovic, didn’t spoil this idea by another of his courageous interventions…
Overall, in summary it can be said that NATO ‘continues to vage this war’ without a plan. Without a trace of an idea on how to end it. Because, you know, the idea about providing Ukraine with enough air defence systems to protect itself, straight away, and then enough heavy weapons to kick Putin’s Dirlewangers out of the country, end the war quickly, and thus end suffering, too…. nah, that’s ‘entirely impossible’: so much so, nobody in the West would ever think about doing that.
….which is bringing me to the topic of air war…
Generally, the VKS is maintaining its rate of sorties at about 150 a day, but ground strikes became something of a rarity recently — primarily because of bad weather. And, you know, these Sukhoi Wunderwaffen aren’t really that good when operated in bad weather, even more so because nearly all of their crews lack related training. Plus, Su-25s continue suffering losses, whenever they remain over the frontline for few seconds too long.
I mean: really, who would’ve thought…
Ukrainian air force is down to operating about a dozen of helicopter sorties a day. For reasons I (still) intend to explain in my ongoing analysis of air warfare (working on that, don’t worry, but simply can’t do everything at once), but due to the bad weather, too, it simply can’t maintain even its rate of 12–16 strike sorties by fighter jets, these days.
Another sad fact in this regards: it turned out that the Ukrainian Air Force lost a Mi-8 of the 456 Brigade in the Donetsk Oblast, on 11 November — together with the crew, which comprised a squadron commander. Most likely shot down by Russian MiG-31s or Su-35S using R-37M long-range air-to-air missile.
I write ‘most likely’, because the actual reason is unknown. As usually, Ukrainians wouldn’t say, while — as far as I know — the Keystone Cops either didn’t say anything in this regards, or continued declaring Ukrainian Air Force for completely destroyed…. for 14th or 15th time, meanwhile? In turn, Ukrainians are meanwhile excelling in infiltrating Russian positions and then letting their special forces guide artillery strikes on Russian SAMs — like in this case, where they guided M982 Excalibur shells to destroy two TELs of the S-300 system and their fire-control radar. With other words: the life of a Russian SAM-operator is really not easy nowadays. Not only that their supposed targets are very evasive, but those satanist LGBT-cyborgs on dope from the other side wouldn’t let them get away even when they’re hidden well behind the frontline…
BATTLE OF DONBASS
To a big surprise of so many (because nothing of this kind has happened ever before….never, never, never, you know….) eastern Ukraine of these days is reminiscent of a ‘sea of mud’. It’s snowing, but the soil didn’t freeze yet and thus mud is everywhere, from Svatove in the north, via Bakhmut all the way to Donetsk and Vuhledar in the south. And it’s deep, sticky mud, hampering all sorts of movement. Moreover, low clouds are making operations of Russian military UAVs near-impossible, in turn exposing all the weaknesses of the very core of the Russian military power: its artillery. Without UAVs, the VSRF’s artillery is back to ‘climb on that tree to see the target better’-type of guidance. Plus, it turned out that there was no major development of the Russian artillery systems over the last decade or so… something like since Putin is power. What a surprise…
Svatove area….actually, no big changes. Ukrainians are infiltrating, Russians get scared, blast the entire area with artillery, then the entire exercise is repeated again. … actually, the news of the week, slowly coming out in Russia, was that the VSRF lost Makiivka to the 80th Airborne of the ZSU, about a week ago. At first, the talk was about 11 defectors causing this ‘catastrophe’, but then it turned out the entire 1823rd Battalion of mobilised reservists assigned to the 150th Motor Rifle Division refused to fight and fled from the battlefield — and that after repeatedly being hit by multiple VSRF units, plus its CO run away, and the unit was left without supplies and ammo, too.
‘Bad’ is not only the fact that the entire battalion fled and the place was lost — or that (thin) reserves had to be rushed to prevent a complete collapse of the frontline but: contrary to countless Ukrainian reports from earlier times, it turns out that it’s now that the Russians really do have to deploy something like ‘second echelon’ just in order to stop additional units from fleeing; that they really have to start shooting defectors and applying similar methods to keep their own troops under control.
BTW, Makiivka was the place where that group of 12 Russian troops attempted to surrender, then one of them came up from behind and opened fire at Ukrainian troops trying to capture those who were attempting to surrender — as seen on a video from around a week ago, causing endless discussions on the internet (although the situation was plain obvious and perfectly simple, right from the start). But, don’t worry: all the Putin-fans ‘know’: this was an intentional war crime by the ‘Ukro-Nazis’…
….probably because it’s already a ‘war crime’ that Ukrainians are defending themselves from Putin’s aggression, just for the start — and not to talk about the destruction of another two Russian BTGs in that clash.
Bakhmut… after a few days of break, Surovikin, faithful to Putin, continued wasting his cannon fodder in additional, entirely pointless Zerg-Rush-assaults all along the frontline north-east, east, and south of Bakhmut, this week. Much of that town was meanwhile completely ruined by constant shelling and air strikes; defenders are holding out without any major problems (Indeed, lately, we’re getting ever more videos from this area to see); but a growing problem is keeping the remaining civilians inside (including up to 300 children) supplied with food, water, electricity etc.
Further south, there was no end of Russian assaults north and south of Avdiivka, and in the triangle Pavlivka-Vuhledar-Mariinka, the last week. Always with exactly the same result: think it was my last update of this kidn that I wrote, nobody can say for sure who is in control of Pavlivka. By best will, that remains valid (at least for me), until today.
That said, I do have an important message for all the Putin-fans reading this. You need not to worry. Every decent Russian knows that the ‘Ukro-Nazis’ are constantly suffering immense losses, and nowadays it’s their ‘Volksstrum’ consisting of women and old men, the ‘5th wave’ that’s constantly assaulting Russian positions… Rybar said, so. Only some 15–20 times… which is why it’s so funny to read commentary like here, where one of Russian military ex….ahem… experts is complaining about constant infiltration of VSRF’s frontlines by small groups of Ukrainian troops. Tsk, tsk, tsk, these Ukrainians: operating with tactical finesse, avoiding frontal attacks, infiltrating and roaming until they collapse another Russian position… don’t they know they’re supposed to line up in neat rows, in the open, and then call the Russians to get easily killed and lose this war in a matter of days….?
…and then, more of that ‘Volksstrum’ is on the way to the battle, for the ZSU — which, contrary to the VSRF, is constantly improving the training of its troops — has established at least two entirely new brigades, the last few weeks, including the 77th Airborne: