The valiant Defenders of Ukraine

I agree, Ukraine gets the credit. The guts, their heart and yes their planning. Doesn’t hurt to have satelites and awacs and sigint given to you though.

Someday, I would like to see NATO have a discussion of why we did this. Was our goal to destroy the Russian military? To save Ukraine? Why in some countries does support seem to be lagging? By prolonging this war, we have managed to kill thousands of Ukrainian’s and Russians. I would like to know what we are trying to achieve.

But Ukraine has shown a fighting spirit that I didn’t expect. They deserve to be free and Russia deserves to be free of Putin.

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Why is pretty obvious. NATO and the US does not want a nuclear war. A Russia/NATO war would give Russia the excuse to use nuclear weapons. Whereas if Russia loses to sufficiently supplied, trained and motivated Ukrainians, Russia has only itself to blame.

Which is insane reasoning but it is the diplomatic reasoning the world seems to have settled on.

We, the West, for once had clean hands with respect to Ukraine. It was a victim of aggression and the West felt both a duty to help and a self-interest to protect itself against a nakedly aggressive Russia.


In virtually all conflicts Russia has been involved in over the past 30 years the vast majority of forces opposing them were using Soviet made technology and Soviet style military training and this also includes Ukraine during the 2014 conflict.

Since then Canada, the US and the British have been training the Ukrainian forces in modern combat techniques and strategies and in the case of Canadian military trainers training Ukrainians to move in small groups and do fast attacks and basically do a shoot and scoot which the Ukrainians have used to great effect. Even more impressive is the fact that the Ukrainians are using Soviet and Russian tanks, equipment and vehicles to greater effect than the Russians are.

Because of western training the Ukrainians have had fewer losses and better overall strategies and allowing battlefield decisions to be made on the spot rather than waiting for the bosses back in HQ to tell them what to do and how to do it.

Overall the Ukrainians have taken what they’ve learned and made it their own.


I would also add that when the history of this war comes out, there will be a few key points.

  1. Ukraine’s senior political and military leadership where honest enough to take real and hard lessons from the debacle of 2014. They predicted the Russians would be back and prepared accordingly. This probably saved their nation.

  2. Both the Russian and Ukrainian Armies are offspring of the Soviet Army. The Russian Army believes it IS the Soviet Army. This is a fatal weakness. The Ukrainian high command knew just how Soviet-style Russian Generals think and prepared to be that sort of general’s worst nightmare. Hence the focus on disrupting command and logistics, two weak points of the Russian system.

  3. It is documented that the Ukrainian Army was able to accurately predict Russian plans by assuming Russia would act like the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

  4. Given the chance, the Ukrainian peole decided to stand and fight. They tuned into a ‘nation-in-arms’ in a way not seen in Europe since 1945. They have proved the adage of better one volunteer than three pressed men. They

  5. Zelensky could have caused a panic by running but he chose to stand and fight. By reports he has let his generals general and confined himself to politics and international relations. This is always a good thing for generals.

  6. The Ukrainian Army has been a dynamic organization. It took the best of western training, created an NCO corps from scratch and adopted a mission-orders culture that has served it well. It kept the best of its Soviet parent, preserving the large amount of Artillery Soviet units had; it also maintained the Deep Battle tradition. It added its own Ukrainian twist by adding a very sophisticated fire-support app for its units that has a response time of seconds; this beats the US Army in fact. It also accommodated the largest mobilization of troops seen in Europe since 1945 in good order.


From Austria:


Great video. Interesting that kh becomes CH in German. I never see this in war histories though. Guess the victor gets their spellings :grinning:

Also in his examples of what could happen, he doesn’t mention German victories. Is that pretty much considered forbidden?

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Why is pretty obvious. NATO and the US does not want a nuclear war. A Russia/NATO war would give Russia the excuse to use nuclear weapons. Whereas if Russia loses to sufficiently supplied, trained and motivated Ukrainians, Russia has only itself to blame

I’m not disagreeing about the why but about the when. Before this started no one was thinking Russia was going to struggle like this. All predictions were a quick occupation of Kiev. Were they all wrong? Or was it an elaborate ruse.

My thinking is that nato was caught flat footed in their predictions and responded quite slowly but then they went all in like you said. I think the keys were the fights at Kiev and then Mariupol that those convinced nato that there was time to get the military supplies rolling. The credit for this goes to the Ukrainians for maintaining their cool and standing up to the initial onslaught.

Honorable mention to Russians for totally not planning for this either.

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I agree. Nobody expected the Russian Army to be THIS bad, nor the Ukrainians to be this good. Sure, they had taken training and had experience in a low-level war in Donbass, but that is a different thing than a complete national invasion. Afghanistan also benefited from the same help and it didn’t help them in the end.

If you look back forty years, it was known that the Soviet Army was top-heavy and had no NCO corps. Sure, not great, but they did win the Great Patriotic War with that so its not a total strike-down. It was known their exercises were tightly scripted and centrally controlled. Read useless. That’s more serious. Intelligence officials quietly know the Soviet Army was more paper tiger than it let on. But is was still large enough to be very, very dangerous.

What wasn’t known that the modern Russian Army had half-defeated itself through poor maintenance, corruption and poor logistics. That was turned against them by Ukraine who had an understandable ability to get into the Russian military mind and use it against the Russian Army. Add to that the fact that the Russian solider’s heart is not in this fight. The numerous examples of abandoned yet functional equipment are not due to superior Ukrainian tactics but due to the Russian Army’s poor morale. They don’t want to be there. That’s halfway to defeat already.

But yes, the fact that the Ukrainian leadership did not panic or flee and the Ukrainian people stood and fought convinced NATO to underwrite them. This latest offensive also has the political goal of convincing NATO to continue underwriting them. There is a (probably apocryphal) tale of the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs saying to the President after Kyiv “Mr. President, I may have been wrong about Ukraine…”

You can do miraculous things with a well-motivated population.

We’re at the point where we (NATO) need to consider switching arms factories over to Ukrainian production now that ready stocks are depleted. That’s a political decision that just got much easier to take.


Only when Germans (or Austrians) do not speak German but English. :wink:


Isn’t it because the Kh in Ukrainian (X symbol in cyrillic) vonetically sounds the same as the German CH sound? You never hear it pronounced correctly in English media, even this gentleman didn’t notice that it should be pronounced slightly differently.


Yes, but Germans are used to the “German” city names. Even when knowing better, old habits keep living. In most German media it is Kiev and Kharkow, but at least DW (EN) is trying.

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Oberst Reisner (in German and in English) : Kherson and Charkiv, maybe it is different in Ukranian how the X is spoken. After checking wikipedia (EN) it seems to be the case.

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XEPCOH and XAPKIV both start with the same letter, so it would be weird to do it differently in English. The X is a very gutteral sounds, much alike to the German CH sound, so for a German transliteration, the CH would actually be most accurate, and thus read Charkiw. For English speakers, the CH would be pronounced like they do with “chess” and thus Kh makes more sense to use as an English speaker as he will most likely pronounce it like a guttural ‘k’ sound which matches the original sound more closely. Hence for English, Kharkiv makes a better spelling.

As for Kyiv, I recommend to read up on this and why you should therefore only use the one spelling


You are right, the IPA and kyrillic x is ch in German.


Lol I didn’t know my poor understanding of German would start a big thread.

While here, anyone have an opinion on Putin’s address today? I saw 300,000 to be mobilized, annexation of at least 2 provinces and attacking Russian soil would be responded too by any means necessary. Hard to tell if this the usual bluster or a large escalation.

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That would made it legal to use conscripts because the fighting would be on Russian territory.


With the announcement of a partial mobilization announced by Putin for 300,000 conscripts (meat shields) and there is legislation being mulled by the Russian government to make illegal to refuse to join the military if you get papers with prison sentences of up to 10 years for refusal to join. It is also widely suspected by most experts that he might get up to 100,000 willing to join which is far less than he wants.

Add to that while most Russians still believe the drivel that the Kremlin is spouting through state media an increasing number of younger people are looking to exit Russia by any means possible. It’s estimated some 450,000 to 500,000 Russians under the age of 40 have fled Russia since the start of the war and with this recent mobilization it is expected up to another 200,000 will flee or try to flee the country which is getting harder to do as few countries are willing to accept Russian citizens due to the fears of sedition and possible terrorism.

On the other hand it is known that there are Russians fighting with Ukraine however nobody knows the true size of the force and where they are fighting as Ukrainian military has kept that a state secret. Russian media says it is all lies perpetrated by the Ukrainians saying that no Russian would ever choose to fight for Ukraine. It is known POWs are asked if they want to fight for Ukraine and is widely suspected that several dozen if not hundred have accepted the invitation to fight for Ukraine. Several people have reported as saying the Russians fighting for Ukraine are happy and motivated and are well equipped and trained unlike most Russian forces facing them.

Russian bases facing the Baltic states have seen increased activity in them making Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian forces going up in alert status and the international forces in all three countries on high alert as well. Some experts are thinking that Putin may try to divert attention by possibly attacking another country.

In the end nobody really knows what Putin will do next aside from the fact he has been predictably predictable so far.


Russia is making it harder to flee. Their system is definitely under stress. Young men saying they don’t want to be cannon fodder.

You’re Ukraine and Russia just declares it is taking 20% of you’re country and calling it theirs. Do you start attacking logistics across the borders? Do you blow the Kerch Bridge and cut off Crimea? Lot of ugly options for both sides. Also fall is now here and how Many major gains can still be made due to weather. I believe I saw that parts of Ukraine have already had frost although that is hard to believe.

I agree that Putin politically has been predictable and if they intend to attack in the Baltics, we will probably see it coming a mile away. The way their military has under performed so far, it seems very risky to add another enemy to the list. I think a lot of NATO is not ready but Russia seems to lack the ability to deep strike and if they fight like they do in Ukraine we have time to react. But what happens after that cannot possibly end well.

My other concern is Russia getting rid of Putin and going more hard line. I think more probable than a revolution but either could happen


Most everyone knows the vote to annex the 4 oblasts is a sham and will be crooked as hell however there are several reasons to be scared of this.

One even though the vast majority of the world will not recognize any votes of annexation by Russia a vote in favour would allow Russia to station as many troops as it wants in those territories as it would be declared Russian soil.

This would also allow Russia to do a full mobilization of forces as Ukrainian soldiers in annexed territories would be classified as invading Russian soil and therefore party to aggression instead of defence.

This is the scariest one If the territories were annexed by Russia it would allow Russia to use nuclear warheads to defend its “territory” against invaders of Russian soil. This has far reaching implications as Russia has broadly hinted at using nuclear weapons on Russian annexed soil in the past 3 days. In theory the use of nuclear warheads would trigger a NATO response as that was a set condition of engagement however Russia would turn around saying they were defending Russian soil so it then becomes a political and military nightmare with the real possibility of nuclear war at this point.

All the above are scary scenarios and all are fraught with political nightmares and the military caught in a delicate situation.


Basically, the referendums are just glorified online polls, and when (or IF I suppose :rofl:) they vote to join Russia, the logic is that Ukraine will have to pull back all its armed forces form the selected territories.

By this logic, there is nothing stopping, say, Djibouti from holding an online poll and annexing the American East Coast. The US will just have to pull back and respect it, right.

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