Young Master Smeet

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  • in reply to: Russian Tensions #240720
    Young Master Smeet

    Truescotsman: So let’s compromise. Next time I watch one of his videos and he mentions Ukrainian deaths I’ll provide a link. BTW, the figure he states is 250k.

    Challenge accepted. There is no harm in the none expert trusting authoritative sources, but sources need to be able to demonstrate their authority.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240694
    Young Master Smeet

    Speaking of statistics: UN verified civilian deaths : 8,006 civilians dead, 13K injured. Mark that down, not Nazis, bystanders (OK, that is similar to the pacification of Mosul alone, but then, this is just the verified figure).

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240689
    Young Master Smeet

    I’m not going to re-watch a bunch if his videos to find the figure for you lot just to say what a load of crap it is.
    That’s not how this works: you can provide timestamped links to Youtube, if you were confident in your sources. Remember, last time I chased a source of yours from a video, he was quoting a Telegraph article, which is not an entirely reliable resource. At present, I’m afraid I’d rate your word as low credibility on any subject matter, based on that alone.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240665
    Young Master Smeet

    Yes, no one seems to be discussing the terms on which aid is being sent: if Ukraine is being turned into a debt satrapy of UK, US et al, what is the difference to it being conquered by Russia?

    This article:
    What are the conditions for EU‘s €18 billion for Ukraine? shows that a lot of ‘structural reform’ is demanded. (Interestingly, apparently these long term loans are practically interest free).

    Yes, there is the prospect of seized Russian assets being given to Ukraine, and reparations if they win against Russia, but it does seem that the Ukrainian state is now entirely paid for by foreign powers…

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240650
    Young Master Smeet

    Moon of Alabama

    Has some interesting thoughts on casualty rates:

    The war started in eighths week of 2022. There were thus 44 weeks in the rest of the year. With 300 dead per week the number of Russians killed until the end of 2022 was 13,200. (These numbers likely included the number of Wagner mercenaries killed but probably not those of the Donbas militia.)

    The BBC then counts 2,400 killed in January and 1,700 in February.

    They estimate, from Russian sources, about 160K Ukrainian casualties (they keep saying killed, but I don’t think this can be confirmed kills).

    I think the BBC count will be low, due to the way it is compiled, and Russian MoD has every reason to exaggerate.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240644
    Young Master Smeet

    This comment won’t age well.

    In many ways, I hope it won’t: Ypres’ bulge lasted 3 years or more: I kind of expected Bakhmut to fall weeks ago, but I occasionally here non-Ukraine sources saying Russian’s have been pushed back here and there, and their forces continue to resist encirclement. The battle has already lasted longer than Stalingrad.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240634
    Young Master Smeet

    Yes, Stalingrad had horrendous casualty rates (and the defenders lost more men than the attacker. As, it seems Paulus told Hitler: “18,000 wounded without the slightest aid of bandages and medicines.” the loss of supply would be critical to high fatalities. Both sides had over a million men in that theatre alone (and, of course, the Axis had men from several countries).

    And, importantly, the Germans ended up being encircled, which will have led to a great many more deaths than otherwise (this perhaps explains why Bakhmut has taken longer to fall than Stalingrad, the lessons have been learned).

    Perhaps Stalingrad is a poor example, and Bakhmut is about to join Ypres as a long lasting bulge in the line.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240573
    Young Master Smeet

    Apologies, I’m in a bleak mood. ISTR the Vietnamese NLA worked out that maiming soldiers was more effective than killing them. Sending home angry men unable to work imposes a burden on your opponent. So, if more Ukrainians are dying than Russians of their wounds, then that spells doom for Russia, as they’ll have to live with the burden of the wounded (on top of paying all the war widows). Maybe True Scotsman is telling us the Russians are going to succeed themselves to death.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240470
    Young Master Smeet

    Slightly interesting angle in RT today on Zelensky’s long view[/url].

    It is unlikely that President Vladimir Zelensky expects to win militarily. But it seems that he genuinely believes that he will succeed in turning Ukraine into something like Israel – a paramilitary state living with a sense of constant military threat.

    Normally, I’d put health warnings on anyone invoking Israel in a debate, and I will raise a light flag here, since Zelensky himself is Jewish that a hostile author may be trying an anti-semitic tarry brush. That said, however, the basic logic is sound: a rump Ukraine permanently depended on foreign funds, serving as an advanced local outpost and permanently at war is not just a viable, indeed, likely outcome.

    The only way for that not to happen would be complete occupation by Moscow, which would lead to Russia being bled by geurilla war for the rest of all our lives.

    Now, to the article referenced in TS’s Youtube link (it saves time, btw, to reference articles, they can be skim read rather than listen to someone blather for an hour and a half).

    Firstly, the source is a comment piece in the Telegraph, a conservative nationalist paper – its stance will be the need to protect UK defence and talk up arms production (looking at today’s papers, it does seem to have a different focus than the Times, which says Russia is losing 2,000 troops for every hundred yards).

    Thus this seems a key quote from today:

    One major fear is that governments are so keen to support Ukraine that they are “giving away everything”, the official added.


    Business leaders want cast-iron guarantees of orders, for perhaps decades to come, before they agree to undertake the multimillion-pound work to transform their production lines to meet demands.

    (The West’s cupboard may soon be bare as it arms Kyiv to the hilt; Analysis, Telegraph, 16/02/2023)

    So, I’d take a little pinch of salt on all this, as the Telegraph avers, arms manufacturers want guaranteed sales to justify the investment in production:

    The last time ammunition production lines were operating for “just-in time” supplies was over two decades ago when Western governments were fighting wars in the Middle East.

    Logistical operations, supply chains and procurement were almost set up entirely to service that market.

    It sounds to me that really, they are

    Nothing to say they can’t ramp up production, it’s just a matter of price.

    in reply to: No Indyref2 #240419
    Young Master Smeet

    Oh, and we can’t exclude the recent machinations in the Westminster Party and the change of leadership there.

    in reply to: No Indyref2 #240418
    Young Master Smeet

    Craig Murray has pretty much openly called her a Unionist asset[/url]: and he is set to publish some emails of hers with Stewart McDonald. There is the issue of her husband’s loan to the SNP (over £100k), and the £600K of donations to the SNP for Indyref that appear to have been swallowed up by the party’s regular accounts.

    All that said: I’ve never seen a politician look so happy at their resignation speech. As politicians go, I’ve always thought she was, by usual standards, very effective and straight forward, so I kind of believe her that it’s just the accumulated baggage of being in office for 8 years, and believing that the polarised opinions around her would get in the way of further progress of her cause.

    Unless she’s an incredibly good liar, I thought her anecdote about deciding to go during a long term party member’s funeral rang true.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240416
    Young Master Smeet

    While Russia’s army is much greater than Ukraine’s in total, they can’t commit everything, since they need to hold the whole of their vast territory.

    Yes, I think by the end of the year Russia might well have occupied all Donbas.

    NATO’s cupboard isn’t entirely bare, just strained relative to what the member states think they can spare versus maintaining their own battle readiness: and relative to non-total war arms manufacture: they can keep supplying long enough to maintain a viable Ukrainian army in the field.

    Yes, they may have to keep falling back on new defences, but it doesn’t look like they are headed for open rout.

    As Alan says, we don’t really know, so maybe everything will change, but the fact the most likely thing is that some sort of frozen conflict will emerge.

    From a Kremlin POV that would still be a win: they’d have proven they were willing to commit blood and treasure to defending their turf, and turn Ukraine into a ko position for the foreseeable.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240407
    Young Master Smeet

    “Recall the Iraq-Iran war lasted 8 long bloody years.”

    Recall the Hundred Years War. Erm, why?

    Because it was two states with comparable scale armies fighting trench warfare and able to resupply their armies: it is a suitable modern comparator.

    Remember, the size of Ukraine means supply lines are a key feature of the war, and Russia cannot advance too fast, unless the Ukrainian army completely collapses, which it is unlikely to do while it is still being supplied.

    Look at Artemovsk: if Ukraine manages to pull out it’s forces, Russia will face another three or four such city assaults to keep it’s assault moving.

    Yes, the possibility of sudden collapse is there.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240302
    Young Master Smeet

    True Scotsman wrote:
    No that was not the plan… Stage five: break up Russia into statelets, pauperise the population, privatise all state assets and steal anything not nailed to the floor. All this you will find written in exquisite detail in neo-con think tank white papers and RAND reports. It’s not even a secret.

    Sounds awfully like bringing Ukraine, and ultimately Russia, into the US sphere of influence.

    Rubbish. Russia has no imperial ambitions. Quite the opposite. It is at the coal face of the struggle against NATOstani(read US) imperial hegemony. If you weren’t blinkered by ideology you would know this. But you can only lead a horse to water. You can’t make it drink.

    Russia has a clear and longstanding sphere of influence policy: it’s stated war aim was to control the foreign policy of Ukraine, much as it demonstrated it’s sphere of influence interests during the NATO bombing of Serbia (which it clearly hasn’t forgotten). Likewise, it’s intervention in Syria. It’s intervention in Georgia, etc.

    in reply to: Russian Tensions #240294
    Young Master Smeet

    BBC embedded in Bakhmut report

    “We have some shortages of ammunition of all kinds, especially artillery rounds,” says Capt Mykhailo from the 93rd Mechanised Brigade, whose call sign is ‘Polyglot’. “We also need encrypted communication devices from our Western allies, and some armoured personnel carriers to move troops around. But we still manage. One of the main lessons of this war is how to fight with limited resources.”

    We get an insight into the ammunition problems as Ukrainian troops target a Russian position with 60mm mortars. The first mortar round flies from the tube with a loud bang. The second round doesn’t eject.

    Of course, they also highlight the high cost in human life for the Russians (but don’t mention the same for the Ukrainians, save that a lot of men have given their lives to hold the town).

    Just while I’m here, True Scotsman makes the below point:
    Sure, but they can’t both be right. You will probably retort that they can both be wrong. And yes, they could. But I don’t believe the Russian state is in the wrong here. As far as I understand it it is the official position of the SPGB that Russia was provoked in to invading Ukraine. If you deliberately provoke someone in to taking an action then they they take that action it seems to me that the provocateur is at fault.

    Ethically, it depends on what the provocateur wanted to achieve, and what the provoked person is doing. A nagging spouse may well provoke a person to violence, but we would condemn the violent one anyway, and see it for the abuse it was.

    In this circumstance, the provocation from the US is to try and make Ukraine part of it’s sphere of influence (or, at least, that is how the kremlin sees it) while Moscow believes it to be within its sphere of influence: Ukraine is caught between the pass and fell of mighty powers (or, again, at least, that is Moscow’s aim, to claim equality with the US and to settle this Empire to Empire).

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