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February 07, 2023


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You've been doing a lot of deep thinking an analysis. Outstanding.

However, Russia already has a deepwater port on the Black Sea, with a city right there, a fair number of wharves, loads of room to expand down the coast, and even a highway or two into the area. It's called Novorossiysk, and is a short way down the coast from Kerch at the east end of Crimea. This port city could expand another 6 miles along the east coast to join up with the smaller city of Kabardinka, which is just a 5 mile drive from the resort town of Gelendzhik, which already has a 10,000ft runway.

So they already have the port, plenty of room to expand, a good runway, and a nice place to spend the weekend. So the ice-free port hypothesis is moot.

The location is far enough from Ukraine that spill-over risk is very slight. It's 150 miles up-coast from Georgia, and 250 miles across the water to Turkey. Seems a pretty perfect location to me.

Your points A to D make good sense if Ukraine holds it's own or a slight advantage. Point E becomes moot if they up the fight and the exhausted untrained and poorly armed Russian conscripts lose the initiative even more.



thanks for your observations, which, as per usual, are most cogent and well directed.   your observations on the black sea facilities already in place pretty much destroys most of the tiny soviets point on the need to access a deep water point.   there is, of course, the little matter of odessa and its facilities, but, as per usual, the russians would rather take than do their own developmental work.  deep down, i think they are mostly lazy bastards who enjoy their time inside a vodka bottle.

let us hope that the ukraine takes more and more of her territory back in the donbas, and that she kicks the russians out of the southwest of the country, entirely.  personally, if the ukraine can gain unfettered control of the crimea, and make nice nice with belarus and moldova in the meantime as well as securing a good position to the east of melitopol (and perhaps mariotopol), i would view it a very good win.   all the way around.

and, i think that eventually, any ground she may cede to the russians in the donbas in the present time frame, she will regain by simple historical process in the foreseeable future.  as i look at things in eastern europe i see very little enthusiasm in that area for the history those countries shared with russia, and i would remind everyone that even hungary, as big a pain in the butt as they are to n.a.t.o., finds it much more cozy in n.a.t.o. than in the soviet block.  no one, in the long term, finds being friends associates with the rooskies a very desirable position.

thank you for your very kind remarks, and, as always, i am most impressed by your feel for geography, roads and airports, location and the like as being controlling factors in looking at the reality of a situation.  your remarks in that regard are to me very interesting, and pretty much dispositive of the situation.

and, remember  .....  putin is a dick head.   slava ukraine!!



Thanks, but all I really do is look at a map and then think a bit.

Things are not going so well in Bakhmut in Donbas right now. 100 miles NNE of Mariupul. But no war is one sided; there will be good days and bad days. Not to mention media bias and filtering ...


"For months now, Russian infantry has been relentlessly attacking the town, unmindful of sky-high casualty rates, in a bid to make its first major gain in more than half a year, reported Reuters. While the western approach to the town still remains open despite constant artillery fire and aerial bombardment, the Russians have surrounded Bakhmut from three sides."
(typical Russian meat grinder strategy)


And the thing about a meat grinder is, if you have all the meat you could ever want, you can make an infinite batch of sausages. If you only have one cow, you can't, no matter how many people help you sharpen the blades in the grinder.

john jay


were i the ukrainians, i would just withdraw to newly prepared lines of defense.

get back away from them a bit, and preserve my ability to out maneuver them. this trench warfare stuff is just a way to kill people.

and, of what use i9s bakhmut in military terms.

i like our plan of ukraine attacking to the black sea somewhere to the east of melitopol, and severing the russian connection to the kherson region.

and, for god's sake, take nova kakhovka. now!!!!



This might be ... indicative:

"Russia is deploying 60-year-old T-62 battle tanks to the frontline in Ukraine to make up for their heavy losses, the Ministry of Defence said on Monday.

Even the 1st Guards Tank Army, supposedly Russia’s premier tank force, will be re-equipped with the ‘vintage’ vehicles, British defence chiefs believe.

In recent days, as Moscow forces have tried to take the embattled city of Bakhmut, BTR-50 armoured personnel carriers, first fielded in 1954, have been deployed in Ukraine for the first time.

It comes as the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force pleaded for ammunition for his troops around the eastern Ukrainian city."


OTOH, the Standard ran a similar story 10 months ago, but those T-62s were a decade younger ...
"Vladimir Putin is sending previously mothballed 50-year-old T-62 tanks into Ukraine after losing nearly 1,000 of the heavily armoured vehicles, say western defence chiefs.

They stressed that the T-62 tanks had been taken out of “deep storage” to be deployed into southern Ukraine where Russian troops are seeking to occupy seized territory.

But the ageing vehicles are expected to be “particularly vulnerable” to anti-tank weapons.

The decision to deploy them was said to highlight “Russia’s shortage of modern, combat-ready equipment”.


I don't know if the Standard is a reliable paper or a bs gossip rag. But I would not be surprised if every tank the Soviets ever built that could still run was kept in warehouses somewhere, just in case, instead of going to the breaker's yard. Because Russia. Are we now seeing Just In Case?


similar. bakhmut russians fighting with shovels; no tanks, no guns, no ammo. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-russia-war-putin-weapons-shortage-b2294688.html?page=2

"Russian mercenary group Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has also warned that the whole frontline was on the brink of collapsing if his soldiers are forced to retreat from Bakhmut amid “ammunition hunger”.

The mercenary group boss said that his forces fighting in Bakhmut are now being deprived of arms and ammunition to carry on in the battle, saying it could be “ordinary bureaucracy or a betrayal”."

Mercenaries fighting for Russia? Talk about being expendable.



well, they do have a lot of tanks in storage, sitting in open parking lots exposed to the weather, and rusting.  (this is where the old shibboleth of 14,000 tanks comes from.)
but, they are not battle worthy, for the most part.   and, it is not a simple matter of pouring a little fuel in, turning the engine over, and driving off to do battle.   most of them have deteriorated quite a bit, and most of them are equipped with sights that are pretty much a hazard/danger on the battlefield.
to go into battle they have to be refurbished, and sometimes parts have been cannibalized from them to service newer tanks, and some of them simply have had parts stolen out of them.   in short, they are not very refined, and lack the speed to acquire targets, before they are destroyed.  good for the minor leagues, not so hot for the bigs!!t

russia manufactures about 20 new main battle tanks a month, according to a lot of sources i read.   they can manage to refurbish about 20 or 30 of the older tanks a month.   given that they are losing about 150-200 tanks a month (ukraine claims 3500 tanks destroyed in a year, western observers who are monitoring this say about 1800 to 1900 tanks destroyed by ukraine, but these are tanks that are viewed by satellite, e.g., verified.  i go with the ukrainians.), they cannot produce enough tanks to replace their battle losses.
the areas around bakhmuts and donetsk have been sort of like shooting galleries for the ukrainians.  i have seen articles wherein they claim that 7 russians soldiers die for every ukrainian k.i.a., and they just massacre the armor.  some russian units are refusing to go onto the battle fields, for want of supplies and ammunition, and the russians just havent figured out how to go across open ground which has been mined by ukrainian artillery, courtesy of u.s. artillery shells.
the t-64 is not toothless.  but, it cannot play with the ukrainian t-72s and t-80s, supplied by the russians.
and, the wagner group guy claims that the russian lines are failing, and will fail, if the wagner group pulls out.
all in all, it does not look very encouraging for the russians.
i dont think the present regime will survive this war.   and, it appears to me that russia will lose the crimea, and its hold on moldova appears very tenuous.

putins war is not turning out to be what he wanted, and expected.   and, now, the russians are opening talking about the prospect of putin dying before the war ends.   which means, someone is likely to kill him, if he wont do himself in.
and old curse, may you live in interesting times.

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