... But then they retreated back to Belarus (no Ghost of Kyiv needed).
A few million Ukrainians go together on the streets of Kyiv to tell Viktor Yanukovych that they wanted closer ties to The West, rather than being anchored to a sh*thole like Russia? Technically, that began in 2013 though, so I'm guessing that wasn't what you were referring to.
So, you must be referring to Russia fomenting conflict in Donbas? Or were you referring to Russian terrorists shooting down a civilian airplane?
So sad. You can't dispute what I say, so label it "propaganda". That may be a compelling argument for the voices in your head. But, please provide a counter-argument that doesn't sound like it's coming from a four year old on the playground.
Let's start with a simple yes or no question: "Did Russia's 35th combined arms army try to encircle Kyiv in the first week(s) of the invasion?"
Now the hard part. Support your answer with facts.
If the advance to Kyiv was a feint, no wonder so many potential conscripts are fleeing Russia. What modern, well-trained and equipped military would sacrifice so many men and so much equipment on a feint against an inferior foe.
In 2014 a corrupt and conflicted head of state resigned. He later tried to un-resign. Faced with a man who didn't know whether he was coming or going, the legislature removed him and held elections.
Everything going to plan. Russia's plan has been to show the world how incredibly inept their military is, which will ultimately weaken NATO, as countries realize it doesn't take a multinational alliance to defend against a Russian attack. If Ukraine can hold back the Russians, than surely countries like Germany, Poland, etc. can do it on their own.
Interesting reports coming out about Putin's mobilization order. The propaganda from RU has been that Russia is just going to call up a small number of combat veterans or reservists with very specific combat training and that the max number is 300k. Reports are that the actual order has provisions that allow for up to a million to be called up and nothing in the order limits the call up to any specific level of training/combat experience. On the ground, it looks like most of the push to actually get men into uniform is coming in the provinces with ethnic minorities in the south (Chechnya, Dagestan) and way out east (Buryatia, Sakha). This is obviously done because Russia's center of power is in Moscow and the Kremlin leaders are all white and see the ethnic minorities as half breeds to use as cannon fodder. But the problem will then be when thousands of these soldiers start coming home in coffins and, if they survive, with missing limbs and other horrific injuries. These distant provinces will start seeing rebellions against Moscow. And Moscow will not have the ability to respond to any armed insurrection because the entire RU armed forces are committed to Ukraine. This could be catastrophic if oil and gas producing regions rebel. MOst of RU's oil and gas production is in western and eastern Siberia with a fair amount of production in the arctic seas to the north. If a few oil and gas producing provinces rebel against RU and cut off oil revenues, Russia will simply run out of money and the war will be over.
Because they're untrained cannon fodder who will use up resources that could otherwise go to competent components of the Russian military (if there are any) or do think giving a punch of convicts guns is going to be a good thing for the Russian military. Furthermore, these are people that were otherwise benefiting what's left of the the Russian economy. They're now going to be sitting in some freezing foxhole all winter hoping the next round from a HIMAR isn't headed their way. I'm sure sending a bunch of people who had consciously decided NOT to join the war effort to the front line will radically improve the morale of units (that's sarcasm).
But, since you seem to be an expert, could you explain (and please, be specific) how seconding a bunch of prisoners and pensioners to Ukraine increases Russia's combat effectiveness?
Did you already forget how Russia retreated from Kharkiv? Russia IS retreating. Sorry TASS didn't report on it.
The 60,000 dead and wounded Russian soldiers already paid a huge price for Putin's war.
Here's a little common sense for you - they are not "good" for Ukraine. The fact that Russia is desperate enough to call them up though is a good sign for Ukraine, because it indicates Russia is getting frustrated and increasingly desperate.
Russia would obviously support the independence of their eastern provinces, just like they support the independence of the eastern regions of Ukraine. I'm sure a quick referendum in Buryatia or Sakha would settle the matter.
That word....fleeing,...is big right now. Russian soldiers simply fleeing from this war, guys fleeing Russia to get out of this draft.
At what point does somebody tell Putin nobody cares about Russia, nobody was attacking it so stop with his BS. What nazi's, hahahaha!!!! The guy is crazy and needs to be dumped before he does something that gets all of Russia totally destroyed. There are nukes pointed at Moscow right now.
I think it is also "good" in the sense that the mobilization will inevitably put more internal pressure on Putin to show results. He's going to have to spend more time managing unrest in his own country rather than keeping focus on the war in Ukraine. The "annexation" of the Donbas region may provide some rational for an expanded war effort, but as Roy suggests, how well will it sell in Russia's eastern federal districts?
But his military's problem isn't just the number of soldiers but also the inferiority of their weaponry compared to what the west is supplying Ukraine. When their "upgrade" is buying Iranian drones, you know they're having issues keeping pace.
Looks like Russia lost it's 18th Ka-52 attack helicopter today. They started the war with around 100, but it's not clear how many of those are still operational due to poor maintenance. Don't tell Russia, but alligators can't fly.