Massive Russian Advantage, Moscow Victory Parade

In a rare public appearance, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an inspirational speech to Moscow attendees at the annual Moscow Victory Parade over WWII Hitler Germany.

“Those who want to split us from the inside have not succeeded. That is our great unwavering strength. We are fighting for the well-being and security of the Homeland. We are protecting Russia’s independence. Those who defeated Nazism have shown us an example of courage for all ages. Glory to our army, to our Russia! For victory!”, Putin concluded his speech.

Moscow Victory Parade

Russia has a massive advantage over Ukraine in numbers of fighting men, armored vehicles and artillery, and military aircraft. The Russian military industrial complex is huge, employing a vast proportion of Russians in its various factories and design bureaus. Due to western sanctions, some Russian factories are finding it difficult to maintain production:

Russian military technology is dependent on imports. Whilst the specifications for Russian warships may be notable on paper, there is no guarantees that without technology and materiel from the West these platforms will function as intended, or that their domestic substitutes produce the same quality. Mission computers, semiconductor components and radars are all areas in which Russia is particularly behind. Rising demand for the precision strike missiles that equip these warships will also face hurdles due to their reliance on western components; fighting in Ukraine will have depleted these stocks already, and it is unclear whether Russia is able to replace these weapons in good time.

Russian Naval Modernization

Russia is attempting closer military ties with China in the attempt to overcome certain technological bottlenecks it is experiencing with multiple weapons systems. Unfortunately for both Russia and China, neither nation is at the forefront of technological innovation for most critical areas of precision engineering and precision manufacturing. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has come at a particularly bad time for China, making its own planned invasion of Taiwan far more complicated and costly than it needed to be.

Mass Layoffs in Russian Defense Factories

Meanwhile, in Russia’s war factories, mass employee layoffs loom — just at a time when production needs to be geared up to compensate for heavy losses in Ukraine.

A Russian facility responsible for the production of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) has been shut down due to import restrictions and Western sanctions. This is because, as noted by employees, “almost nothing Russian” is used during the critical state of production when electronic components are used. 

JP via SpinStrangenessCharm

Employees at shut-down defense factories are encouraged to sign up to fight in Ukraine for the Russian invading force. The alternative is to go on unpaid leave. Across the Russian defense industries, factories are shutting down for lack of foreign technological components that are vital to the function of most weapons systems. This is true not only for electronic components but also for components that require precise machining tolerances.

The surreal world of Kremlin backfighting in the absence of real world information feedback… policies built on fantasies. The depth of corruption is almost unfathomable in its decadent dysfunctionality.

Putin’s Ukrainian Invasion: Tactical Update

Although 75 days have passed since the first Russian troops invaded Ukraine, the Russian Aerospace Forces have failed to achieve air dominance over the battlefield.

According to the Pentagon, the Russian military is now averaging between 200 and 300 combat sorties every day. However, most Russian long-range strikes have taken place outside of Ukrainian air space because of the potent Ukrainian air defenses — which are aided by timely intelligence shared by the U.S. and NATO.

The Ukrainian Air Force, bolstered by shipments of spare parts from friendly countries, is still flying combat sorties despite its numerical and qualitative inferiority compared to its Russian adversaries.

As of Monday, the Ukrainian military is claiming the following:

Source

More:

  • 25,650 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
  • 2,764 armored personnel carriers destroyed
  • 1,970 vehicles and fuel tanks
  • 1,145 tanks
  • 513 artillery pieces
  • 377 unmanned aerial systems
  • 199 fighter, attack, and transport jets
  • 185 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
  • 158 attack and transport helicopters
  • 94 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
  • 83 anti-aircraft batteries
  • 41 special equipment platforms, such as bridging equipment
  • 12 boats and cutters
  • four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems
  • Source

The Established Order in Europe Has Been Shaken

Most importantly, the war has shaken the foundations of the established power distribution in Europe, and – pending Ukraine’s victory – may reorder it for decades to come, shifting Europe’s core from the West to the Center of the Continent. A rebuilt and successful Ukraine, with its population of some 44 million and wealth of natural resources and fertile agricultural land would shift the center of Europe’s gravity – regardless of whether or not it joins the EU.  A free and successful Ukraine would all but ensure a rapid implosion of the Lukashenka dictatorship in Belarus and, aligned with Poland, Romania, Finland, and the Baltic States would give the Baltic-Black Sea intermarium unprecedented economic and political influence. With the combined population of some 120 million for the intermarium, this new configuration would fundamentally shift the overall power balance in Europe. Last but not least, it would compel Russia to come to terms with the reality of its post-imperial status. It would force it to address the fundamental question of what the “normal” Russian nation-state should look like.  

A New Europe

Russia comprises a massive land mass, imparting an oversized psychological impact on anyone who contemplates the nation’s huge geographical and cartographic proportions. But Russia is not, in fact, a real country. It is instead a hodgepodge of disparate territories poorly integrated into a corrupt and disjointed “whole.”

After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Russia had the opportunity to become a real country. It had the chance to utilize its massive energy and mineral wealth in underwriting the modernization of the impoverished and backward slap-dash quasi-empire. But former Soviet opportunists never had any intention of allowing Russia to be a real country, with a free people allowed to speak their minds without penalty or with actual justice in the courts and freedom from abuse at the hands of authorities. That was never going to be.

Meanwhile, back in a secure bunker at an undisclosed location, the president of Russia is trying to come up with a combination of plays that will allow him to keep his position and his life, while keeping most of the truth from as many of the Russian people as possible. It doesn’t seem to matter that he himself is being deprived of most of reality just as surely as the average Russian serf.

In other parts of Russia, kidnapped Ukrainians are being transported to cities deep inside Russia in the attempt to permanently instill a Russian identity in place of their natural Ukrainian identity. This is being done in the hopes of at least partially mitigating an ongoing Russian demographic collapse. But not all Russians agree with this demented plan:

…ordinary Russians have formed a vast human chain and are passing people, including Mariupol survivors, from city to city until they reach the border.

It comes as Vladimir Putin prepares to watch Russian military’s annual Victory Parade in Moscow’s Red Square and while his troops continue to make a final push to subdue Mariupol’s last defenders.

A month-long investigation by i has shown that Russia is dispersing Ukrainians along a network of remote camps in former Soviet sanatoriums and other sites stretching along the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok.

Success for those heading for the border is at the mercy of the Russian guards and depends on their mood, after a journey that can take days and is fraught with impossible obstacles.

i has revealed how a Kremlin decree has ordered regions across the Russian Federation to prepare to accept people from the war zone and how they are being dispersed to camps in Siberia, the Arctic Circle, the North Caucasus and even the Far East, with at least 10 people arriving at the remote Kamchatka Peninsula on Russia’s Pacific coast.

“People around the world are against Russia. It’s sad, but it’s understandable,” one activist in the country said. “But there are good people everywhere and we are doing what we can.”

A Few Good Russians

Russian troops in Ukraine continue to display low morale and poor discipline as fighting in many areas has stalled out against Ukrainian resistance. A senior US defense official claimed that Russian troops in Donbas are failing to obey orders from top generals.[6] Russian forces deployed to the Zaporizhzhia area reportedly are experiencing very low morale and psychological conditions, complain about the ineffectiveness of operations in the area, frequently abuse alcohol, and shoot at their own vehicles in order to avoid going to the frontline.[7] This is consistent with reports made by the Ukrainian General Staff that the extent of Russian losses is having widespread impacts on the willingness of Russian troops to engage in offensive operations.[8]

Understanding War 9 May 22
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