Real World shit…
By now, everyone knows the Russians have started their movement into South Eastern Ukraine with their nonsense claims on those regions and Ukraine in general. Right now, it’s the two south eastern provinces… and there is a ton of questions galore about what comes next.
From the perspective of holding what you take, the 190k+ troops he allegedly has available will have its work cut out for them if he tries to go for the whole of the country. Its really not enough to do so and keep it- technology and weapons are far different now than when the area was claimed/held all those years ago.
In theory, some folks think he has enough to GET to the Polish Border. I disagree for several reasons- notable among them being a march to the Ukie/Polish Border requires the Ukie Military to collapse fully and the population not being willing to fight.
Just no way- and I will explain
While I do not think the Ukranians can stop an invasion, I also do not believe they will collapse. This is home ground, this their lands… and there is NO LOVE for the Russians. Among my friends I talk about this with, at least two think the Ukie Troops will collapse like a house of cards under the onslaught. I agree that they are outclassed on the Firepower and Aviation fronts… But there is a level of “Oh you Think So” that will be prevalent among them. No one gives them a chance in hell among the talking heads… and as a former grunt, I can tell you the one thing that will fire them up… being told no one thinks they can do shit.
They are gonna know they can’t stop them…. But then, they also know if they make them bleed bad enough, it may give subsequent resistance a chance to stop them… or even push ‘em back a bit.
Remember, taking ground is one thing… but to claim it, you gotta hold it.
On the second point, the population being willing/not willing to fight…
Any push past the River Dnieper runs the risk of being an overextension… 190k is a large number of forces… but at this point, they would be going into far more hostile territory past that point. You gotta remember, the Soviet Union did a whole resettlement thing with pushing Russians *into* their border countries while pushing *OUT* natives. It happened to a degree in the Baltic States and it happened in Ukraine too- though mostly on the eastern side of the country and not as a whole… And that area it was done in, is on the Eastern Side of the Dnieper River.
Think on that a minute…
It is this built in Russian population, (which was planted years ago…) that is helping to serve as a basis for Vlad claims of protecting the Russian Speaking folks there… and his manufactured (somewhat) stories of oppression of Russian Speaking Peoples for a partial justification.
Dude… this was all set up YEARS ago, though I don’t think Russia ever expected to not be controlling that area when it was done. And the Russians are not the only ones guilty of it. The Germans did it too under Adolf… and well, I won’t discuss the shenanigans the US did with our native peoples.
But yeah… Eastern Third of Ukraine has partial support in place among the residents. It’s a big part of how he managed Crimea and almost managed Donbass; the Ukrainians managed to stop him on that last part… but it was a bit closer than one might think. To think they might have the same support past that river is crazy talk.
There are numerous geopolitical maps out there that key in on the predominate language of an area… and in the Eastern Third, Russian is a pretty common thing for speaking. And many who do also claim kinship with Russia versus Ukraine.
Once you get past the Dnieper, this paradigm changes the other way… And folks are more pro-government (within reason). Add in a large number of veterans in their populous and trained persons were WERE military at one point, the prospect of Native Resistance goes up. And Effective Native Resistance at that.
One of the more neutral news sites I read had an article where several veterans of their military were interviewed, with an emphasis on their thoughts with the Russia situation. Almost universally, the vets indicated they’d go back in to the Army to fight if able or pick up weapons at home and resist if not. As one put it… “Why wouldn’t I shoot Russians? This is my home, not theirs… and how often can one mix business with pleasure?” (no lie- the sentiment was stated (my words are wrong but they do relay the content of what was said))
And I am pretty sure they weren’t the only ones.
So any push past that river…. Will have more to worry about than just Government Forces. And 190k troops…. Is not enough to make a push and secure what was taken. Its just not… especially in areas where the population just isn’t that into you (At a minimum.)…
ALL that said, its my thoughts that Vlad will likely go after the eastern Third as early as the Weekend, depending on how this “peacekeeper” force he’s sending into the Provinces goes… Past the Eastern Third, he is going to need far more troops than he has, for the reasons stated.
What About Nato, you ask? Can’t/Won’t they get involved?
Well, that’s complicated, as you might expect. And not just on a political level.
Anything NATO has within the area (with the exception of the Poles!!) is simply not capable of slowing down an invasion. The Polish Army is very capable, and they have a large reserve. But mobilization takes time…. And if the end goal is Poland too, they are going to be hard pressed. They have the manpower- it’s the airpower they need help with and Air can/will complicate response. In theory…
Force-wise, NATO can’t stop him from doing much were he to go for all Ukraine because World War politics….and if he tried to go for Poland, we can hurt him. Bad…. But NATO isn’t going to be able to contribute much in Ground Troops cause of the across the board Drawdowns of land forces.
But what about Reforger?
Sure… what about it? We can send all the manpower we want… but we do NOT have POMCUS available in Germany anymore. Haven’t for a few years, actually.
What CAN be done is making it expensive, manpower and equipment wise…. Through the use of Tactical Air and SpecWar in their hit/run/sabotage roles as well as guerilla/partisan activity
Though from an Air Perspective, there may not be enough available to even do more than contest air. The assets simply are not there outside of what the Poles have as well as rushed over US assets. We cannot get enough in the area fast enough to do MORE than that- though the longer it takes for Vlad to move, the more we *can* get there.
Nato for the most part let their Airpower degrade (dude, the Germans use to have a PROUD military…) as much or more than their ground forces… Exceptions being the French (a so-so capability or so its said) and the Polish (they remember live under the Red Banner and don’t like it much…). The Baltic Three also have robust (for their size) militaries but they aren’t scary- though any occupier is going to have a metric shitton of problems.
Remember, all the warfighting plans for NATO/WP were based on everyone having assets to contribute. Right now…. The most we can hope for is contested airspace. At least initially.
Our pilots overall are better- we get more flight hours than Russian counterparts do and that will be the bigger edge. IF it came to that and that is a BIG if as it means it is now no longer a Small War thing but now a World War Issue.
Reforger isn’t possible right now. Assets for it would have been needed to be moving two months ago… if the shipping hulls were available. And if the hulls were available, one had better hope Big Army and Big Navy is willing to pitch some of the rules preventing fast loading of ships.
And that is a topic for another day… cause as I read up on all this, y’all cannot believe how mad I got.
Its for sure that more is going to happen over there. What past what’s going on as of this morning is the big question. I just know it looks like (based on Moscow Rhetoric/theater) that the Eastern Third is getting taken…. And the prospect exists for more.
Time will tell… and for those who remember the Doomsday Clock, I am pretty sure that sucker just moved…. And in the wrong direction.