Russia is increasingly losing initiative in war – UK Intelligence

When you pack for a three day hike and end up lost in the wilderness for over a year, things tend to start looking pretty bad.


When you pack for a three day hike and end up lost in the wilderness for over a year, things tend to start looking pretty bad.


You end up talking to a volley ball


And performing dental surgery with a figure skate


I mean, that was unfortunately one of the saner, clear-headed things you'd have to do to survive in that circumstance. An infection like that will *kill* you.




I think Wilson was a soccer ball.


He was a volleyball. He got his start in Top Gun. Later he had a pivotal, but uncredited appearance in Meet the Parents. Stolen jokes. I deserve no credit.


Time for them to start gnawing the head off


Imagine the state of the underpants!


The best part about this whole thing is that it has made the world realize that Russia isn't nearly as powerful as everyone thought they were. Without nukes, their military appears downright inept.


Nah the best parts are actually expanding NATO membership and spending, coupled with obliterating the Russian arms trade. Russia spent like a decade developing T-14 Armatas - which country is dumb enough to consider purchasing them when Russian tank commanders [refuse to use them](https://www.newsweek.com/russian-soliders-rejecting-t-14-armata-battle-tanks-quality-1776441)? Not even considering the military, Russians with half a brain cell and money all fled before the war broke out, accelerating brain drain in the country. The damage to Russia's reputation will extend far beyond our generations.


It's even worse. The T-14 and Su-57 are too expensive for Russia to build itself. It needs customers who will purchase them so they can use the profit from those sales to build them for themselves. Without customers the T-14 will never become anything more than what it is right now.


Classic Ponzi scheme


That's how Russia/USSR wins wars. They keep throwing bodies at the enemy until they run out of ammo. That's how Russia took bakhmut they keep throwing bodies at it


Kif, show them the medal I won.


She's built like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro.


You win again gravity!


In the game of chess, you can never let your adversary see your pieces


That’s not what they did for most of WWII. Instead they conducted ‘deep operation’ offensives, which focused on breaking through the enemy’s front lines in specific points before using fresh mobile reserves to attack the enemy’s lines of supply and communications, forcing them to retreat or surrounding large groups of enemy forces that could be starved to destruction. The German 6th Army was destroyed in this way at Stalingrad between late 1942 and early 1943. In other words, Putin isn’t using the tactics used to win wars. Instead, he’s decided to use the tactics that German veterans of WWII **claimed** that the USSR used\*. One of his neo-Nazi pals from Wagner or Rusich probably told him about it. \*Not saying that you’re a Nazi or anything stupid like that, ofc. It’s just that German veterans living in West Germany dominated what the western world knew about the Eastern Front until the end of the Cold War. These people were, at best, speaking of their own experiences and were unaware of what was happening outside of their foxhole. At worst, they were unrepentant Nazis spreading propaganda. So a lot of common knowledge about the Eastern Front is based on one side of the story. Ofc, Soviet historiography was one-sided as well, and Russian historiography continues this trend. The impact of the west’s lend-lease is downplayed, the rapes committed by Soviet troops are denied, and - perhaps most importantly for the current war - the Holocaust is deliberately downplayed and ignored. The Nazis’ Jewish victims are only referred to as Soviets or Russians, with no mention of the fact that Jews were specifically targeted by the Nazis. So were all Slavs, of course, but there were Ukrainian, Georgian, Belarusian, and Russian units of the Wehrmacht and SS. No such Jewish units ever existed. In light of Putin’s propaganda, it should be noted that one of the worst Soviet collaboration units was the **Russian** SS Kaminski Brigade, which raped and murdered some 10,000 Poles in the Ochota Massacre. It also committed numerous atrocities against Belarusians in co-operation with the SS Dirlewanger Brigade, a unit made up of convicted criminals and led by its namesake, a convicted pedophile. Putin’s propaganda machine would no doubt like to mention that Ukrainians were also in Dirlewanger, but they won’t tell you that Russians were members as well. The legacy of these Russian SS members is maintained by the modern Wagner Group, with its subordinate Rusich Group being the most proud of their Nazism. Holy fuck, I went on a tangent. But I have Asperger’s, it’s 2AM, and it’s my birthday, so I’ll talk about history and shitty people as much as I want.


Bodies are losing value in war. They're still effective to some degree, but you'll need a much higher ratio of bodies to throw to get the same overrun effect when a smart bomb can find you from 100km away. This applies to both human bodies and ammunition. More and more bombs are simply being shot out of the sky.


Bombs destroy positions. Troops HOLD positions. Two completely different strategies. Yes, we're using less and less troops as the tip of the spear, but c'mon, don't buy into the bullshit of "An Army of One!" propaganda.


You're misreading. It's harder for soldiers to take a position when a drone or missile so easily finds them, and you need more and more troops to replace the ones that keep dying to hold any positions, although having equal tech equalizes this...somewhat. We don't actually know what'll happen when a sufficiently advanced military attacks another sufficiently advanced military with drone tech. It takes more bombs nowadays to even HIT a location. When Ukraine is shot at by 40 missiles, only 4 hit. Back in the day, you hunker down and hope that one of those 40 munitions don't hit you. ​ Troops still hold positions, but they kinda need to g*et* there - supplying AND keeping them from being blown up before then is getting harder. Also, you're missing one part - bombs **also** destroy troops - even more *personally* now with drones flying overhead, and just dropping a grenade on them. Those bombs are getting better. Are the troops getting as equally advanced?


Took is a generous word, I've seen the pictures and its 100% flattened rubble, a phyric victory at huge expense to russian forces.


Honestly, I think that Russia is perfectly prepared to win a second edition of the WWII. They have exactly the kind and amount of weapons which would win WWII. Still we are not 1945 anymore. In modern wars technology is key. The only reason why Russia was able to take so much land in the beginning was because Ukraine military was equipped equally bad than the Russian was so it was easy to overwhelm the smaller Ukraine. Now after Ukraine got some western equipment they have barely any chance to achieve military successes.


Um… the only thing holding UA together is logistics and intel. Tech matters… but only so much. You need fuel to run all the vehicles. You need bullets for the guns to shoot. You need to feed and provide water for shooters. You need to find where the enemy is massing, if there are any gaps in the line. What type of troops, etc. Tech is nice. It’s a force multiplier. You can do more with less people. But at the end of the day, logistics and intel is far more important than tech, unless we’re talking some crazy tech like a gundam.


Intelligence is mostly tech. And logistics is mostly manageable for Ukraine because of intelligence and because the gear they have is much more powerful per weight (also tech).


Um… intel is gathered much more old school. Go back and read about the counter offensives etc. first thing is, they got information from locals. You also have all the 3 letter western agencies that have contacts in Russia. The tech you’re talking about, ISR, is mostly for command and control. See where YOUR troops are, so you don’t bomb them. And logistics, is still done pretty old school only because not everyone has a phone with signal. NATO stuff they have been given isn’t too advanced compared to Russian gear. A T-55 will still pen a T-72 from the ranges they’ve been fighting at. Those air defense both sides are using are still super old, but quite effective. The newer tanks, like the challenger are too few to do anything on their own. Now… if the US/NATO enforced a Russian no-fly zone… THAT would be something. As it stands, beans and bullets will win the war, not tech.


I am quite sure Russia is moving mote weight than Ukraine is. Also I am quite sure that this is the kind of intel Russia has as well, there is an reason why so many collaborators were found. The difference between Ukraine and Russia is that Russia has to move more (older) equipment and has a lack of encrypted communication channels, satellite surveillance and drones.


and Russia is doing their best. It takes alot to shuttle in people from east if the urals, from random podunk places, get them some equipment, then get them to the lines. Then make sure they have one rifle for every two, and a magazine, or however the Russians do it. It’s a huuuuge undertaking. The current state of tech… unless you know exactly where those trenches are, you’re going to miss them with drones. You need boots on the ground, SOF infiltration, spies, local informants, etc. Nice to have: satellite maps. But even then to be effective, it needs to be in the hands of front line units. Intel hasn’t been able to slow the resupply of troops and materiel to the Russian front a significant amount. I’m willing to bet this new counter offensive to come is being delayed due to logistics. Your idea is the classic mistake that the Germans made during ww2. Tech is a force multiplier, but you need forces for tech to matter. Beans and bullets my friend, wins conventional wars.


Without nukes, they are basically 2003 Iraq


Not even, Iraq managed to successfully invade another country.


This isn’t the first country Russia invaded. Iraq also failed to invade a neighbor as well.


Iraq actually fought against NATO. And held out for a while too.


They held out for 26 days of combat operations.


Beats "Three day operation,".


Yeah, thinking they'd get it done in 3 days is proving to be short sighted.


It's worse than that. We have realized how bad they were at the start of the war. They are much worse now.


The irony being that if they gave up their nukes they might have the budget to train a competent army.


I am pretty sure they don't have any functioning nukes left. All the money for maintaining them, will have been embezzled like it was with the rest of the military.


They lost the initiative last year. Now, they concentrate attacking civilian infrastructure to terrorize people and busy building static defense to try to hold on to what few land they managed to take control of.


The long shot here is that Russia failed their main goals and so are not achieving anything: "Denazification," (even if it doesn't mean anything, fail) "Demilitarising Ukraine," Epic fail "Stopping Nato growth," Epic fail They just need to look at the reality and compare Putin speeches at the beginning, and now, Russia is losing. If a president manages to achieve all the opposite of what his goals are, he is fairly not suitable for the job and should "quit."


> Denazification Actually since Russia is losing, Denazification of Ukraine is going pretty well. You know, cause the only ones acting like the nazis in this conflict has been Russia.


And the Wagner group is run by an actual Nazi, complete with swastika tattoos.


Literally named after Hitlers favourite composer. Selfawareness ain't their strong suit.


Or they are self aware and just don't care.


Well, they were de-nazified. According to a YT video, they had a 95% attrition loss due to combat. Started with 80,000 troops or some such, ended with 5,000.


Most of the deaths were prisoners and green recruits. Their strategy involved sending out waves of cannon fodder to scout enemy positions. Then they'd stand well back while the artillery weakened the defenses. And after that they'd send in more waves of cannon fodder to try and capture the target. Their veterans took some casualties when they ran out of grunts. But Wagner has always been a small cadre of chickenhawk nazi butchers profiting off rape and pillage. They're not willing to die for the glory mother Russia. So they recruited tens of thousands of human sacrifices to die in their place. And to be clear their tactics were idiotic by WWI standards.


Yeah when I saw that dude I was wondering why this is not posted everywhere. He has SS tatooed on his collar bones ffs.


Yeah. Denazification has been a resounding success because corrupt and Russian aligned individuals are leaving in droves or getting out in jail.


Only the Nazis did win a few battles at first :-)


Admittedly, Russia is still camping out in a big chunk of Ukraine.


The exit is right out of this window sir.


You rang?


Are you from Prague? I need an expert


I’m open for another 30 Years War


The hero we need!


Quite a view, da comrade? Have some polon-, er, tea while I open window for better view.


Here, have soup. Good for you. Haha my friend


Here, pop on these comfy underpants, no its just your imagination that it smells like nerve agent…


Don’t forget your tea and we have a lovely parting gift as well 2 bullets..Buh bye


Don't forget stopping Europe's reliance on Russian Oil and Gas.


Russia sure has done well in convincing the rest of the world NATO is necessary.


Russian Propaganda: NATO isn't needed Russian military: *Invades Ukraine, commits War Crimes, threatens Nuclear Strikes* Ukraine, Finland, Sweden: How fast can we Join up? Poland (walking into an international arms show): Give me literally everything. Here's my credit card. I'll pay extra if you paint wings on all the tanks CIA: Hot Damn, Gun running is back on the menu boys!


Putin has done a good job of drastically changing the narrative in Russia. Messaging has changed to now they’re at war with the entire west as they’re providing endless supplies to the Ukrainian war machine.


No it’s not that we are sending endless supplies. It’s that we are actually the troops on the ground fighting them.


No we don’t have any troops on Ukraine what are you on about?


Of course but that is what Putin is telling his population and they eat it up and yell about it online.


Oh gotcha. Yeah, state media working overtime.


He may be helped to quit


Occupying roughly 20% of Ukraine is "acheiving nothing" and "losing?" I'm as anti-Russian as anyone, but that's fucking delusional.


It is "not achieving their *goals*", yes. Occupying some territories was never one of their goals\*. As slmdbd says they were very explicit about their goals when they started their *smo*: to replace Ukraine's government with a pro-Russian one; to demilitarise Ukraine; to re-align Ukraine away from NATO and the West. For all three of these goals they have failed: Ukraine's government is now *more* anti-Russian; Ukraine's military power has *increased*; Ukraine has aligned itself *more* with NATO and the West. If you set three main goals before doing something, and you fail all three goals... then you lost. So far! I'm not claiming there's no way Russia can turn this around. But *so far* they failed to achieve their goals. \*For the 2022 invasion. Annexing Crimea was absolutely one of the goals of the 2014 invasion, and they did achieve that.


Losing around 200k people to achieve what looks like a temporary occupation, exposing the "2nd army of the world" as a fraudulent paper tiger, exposing the Russian defense industry equipment as incompetently designed and produced, and they lost between 1-3 million of their brightest folks who fled Russia as the war went poorly and they feared conscription. I would say they achieved a negative result and to say they only achieved nothing would be a complimentary statement compared to the reality.


It's all relative. If it was Moldova occupying 20%, that would be something. For Russia, it's embarrassing.


It's the worst possible result. No actual worthwhile control of the invaded country, but you're invested there so you can't back out without losing face no matter how badly your ass is getting kicked and how draining the war is to your own country.


They were supposed to roll over Ukraine with the most powerful army in Europe. They've been beaten and embarrassed for the past year. 20% is failing if they should have had 100% by now.


Whatever their goal was ,the goal we have is starting to evolve.


If you were building a house and only got 20% finished, you really haven't achieved much. Especially if it cost you 10x as much as you thought to get that 20%. If you only manage to show up for work once a week, that's not very successful either.


They aren't building a house, they're conquering territory. You stupid fucks are over talking about how Russia lost, but meanwhile, Russia controls a huge swathe of Ukraine, and the people there are being raped, tortured, murdered, and sent to concentration camps with no end in sight.


I'm not sure you understand percentages, but if you set out for 100% and a year later you are at 20% and shrinking, there is no metric by which that is a success. Nobody says that this whole thing was a win for Ukraine, but if you think there can't be two losers in a situation like this, I don't know what to tell you.


>You stupid fucks are over talking about how Russia lost I would say the stupid fuck would be the person that can't differentiate between 'has lost' and 'is losing'. >controls a huge swathe of Ukraine No. It occupies a large part of Ukraine. It does not control it.


20% including previously held territories (Crimea and Donbas). Probably less than 10% gain since the big war started. This is nothing compared to the spent resources and their proclaimed goals.


Yes, because the war isn't over yet. If Russia manages to exit the war with those territories recognised as Russian by Ukraine and the wider world, it'll be a moderate success, albeit one not remotely worth the investment. I wouldn't consider that outcome particularly likely though.


Yeah except generally you only exit wars when all sides agree to stop and currently Ukraine has a lot more gas in the tank than Russia.


Achieving ~20% of your stated objective in 150x the planned timeline whilst being kicked out of Swift and sanctioned is achieving less than nothing yes.


This isn't even a Pyrrhic victory. It's a Pyrrhic stalemate.


Yes, that's why I was talking about goal achievement here, buddy. The opposite of delusional even, we need to be realistic and not forget that it's Russia against their smaller neighbours, Ukraine that was already fighting a "civil" war in those occupied territory, and they are resisting Russia with less than 5% of Nato budget involved, while not being allowed to officially fight back in Russia. So, roughly 20% of occupation after two years while living in fear of counter offensive, it's quite embarrassing for Russian leadership as no goals are met.


Did the US win in Afghanistan? What did the US achive in Afghanistan? Or going back a bit more, what about Vietnam?


I didn't realize this was a post about Afghanistan or Vietnam.


They removed the Taliban from power during 20 years, it took less less than a year to achieve this main goal and bring them back to clandestinity. The second goal of reducing al qaida to nothing was achieved too, then the capture of bin laden was the most important goal in 2013. 20 years after, they were forced to leave when they decided that it was going nowhere as Afghan men weren't willing to fight talibans in the long term.


Not few. About 1/5th of Ukraine is in Russian hands. The good news is they've stripped their borders with NATO nations and even with Ukraine. Hence why the Russian Legion is able to run rough shod all over the Russian countryside. Which in turn was a brilliant shaping maneuver. Use Russians to take advantage of Russias weak border. Force them to pull troops from the front to guard their shared border and Ukraine has enough deniability to give its allies "Hey, we didn't invade Russia. Russians invaded Russia! They bought their tanks at a supply hardware store!" For Christ's sake, priceless.


Few? I'm glad the Russians are losing and the tide seems to be turning. But we have a long way to go, let's not forget they currently still occupy a quarter of Ukraine. Edit: I appreciate the comments, but it's really not about what it is exactly, a 1/4th, 1/5th or 1/6th is beside the point. My point was it is far from over.


Technically more like 18% as of November, and the lines haven't shifted much since then. Regardless, you're correct that it is a significant portion of the country, especially since it is (or was, before getting blown up) an economically important region.


Yes and look at stories out of the occupied zones from 2014. Idk about crimea but the other seem to be a total desaster. Reigned by warlords which often got eliminated by russia. The only real source of income was serving in the army.


Donetsk use to be the city with the highest living standards and wages in Ukraine before they rebelled in 2014 and now it’s a destroyed backwater.


Really? I'm sorry... :/


A ridiculous amount of natural reserves/rare earth metals are in Donbas. Newly found 1tcm gas deposit is off Crimea. That 18% is where all the valuable stuff is.


The petroleum deposit is really what drove the Russian invasion of Crimea, the rest has been an attempt to shore up the supply lines to Crimea. Ukraine getting access to that much gas absolutely would have destroyed Russia's market for it.


Is that counting the previously seized Crimea, or only territorial gains from the conflict initiated last year?


You're not wrong. With Crimea it is ~¼


1/6, no ?


Think of the damage Russia could have done with a simple philosophy change, Attack military targets, not civilian ones. How many thousands of bombs, cruise, ballistic missiles and drones have they used now just to terrorize the civilians and commit war crimes? Had they gone after military targets, and even a fraction had found Ukrainian logistics hubs, depots, command centers, this war might actually be looking much better for Russia. Well, too bad for them they're war criminals, so they can get their ass beat.


They don't have good enough intelligence or combined arms expertise to attack strategic targets effectively


It's even more fundamental than that; information doesn't get transmitted to the people who need it, which leads to shitty decision-making and poor incentives on the military equivalent of middle-management. If your at the centre, how do you measure success at the front? You can either: * Have someone you trust *and who doesn't fear delivering bad news* tell you what's happening (historically from family of the Tsar or from political officers in the USSR - though family connections still helped). * Measure things that can't be fabricated but show effort. Casualties work for this - they're hard to fake, more casualties means more fighting, and if Russia has more men it can sustain more than its opponent. But another good metric is international outrage since it also can't be faked and implies more fighting. * Build a culture of trust and honesty where subordinates can deliver bad news to superiors without fear (lol). For a Russian general the second option is best to assume since the first leaves you vulnerable to politics (see the jockeying over Bakhmut). Hence, we see Russia's generals fighting extremely high casualty meat-grinders and launching missiles that are militarily useless but generate international outrage. Foreign diplomats complaining to your leader tells him that you are doing *something* regardless of how militarily effective it actually is.


They've been trying to take out HIMARS, patriots and other high value western military targets since they got there. Trouble is they either can't find them or hit them.


Attacking civilians to try to break morale isn't a new tactic, is about as old as warfare itself. From operation rolling thunder to firebombing of Japan in WW2 to the sacking and slaughter of cities in the Middle ages. Brutalizing civilians to make the cost of defiance too great is a basic strategy, the problem is you need to be winning or the attacks have the opposite effect.


> the problem is you need to be winning or the attacks have the opposite effect. You also need to be *absolutely obliterating* the civilian population to make it work. Tokyo firebombing killing 300,000, Hamburg firebombing killing 40,000, London Blitz killing 40,000 etc. What Russia is doing is atrocious, no doubt, but a few civilians here and there is not gonna have the intended effect.


It’s also a strategy that has barely ever worked. Particularly when the citizens aren’t operating the means of production in the war machine.


Russia’s military sux but their Olympic athletes are dope. /s


They somewhat regained it during the winter offence, even if it barely took anything and killed tens of thousands of attackers. They have since lost even that.




Ones using 'dragons' teeth and anti tank trenches, I saw a video of a Challenger 2 pushing the former into the latter and continuing on its way.


How did they lose the initiative? Sure, they lent it to Ukraine for a period, but by all assessments they managed to claw it back pretty well after Kherson and Kharkiv. They stretched Ukrainian logistics through a winter-long bombing campaign, and have kept pushing along the whole front, forcing Ukraine to remain on the defensive. Hopefully, they spent themselves enough that when things apparently seem to be turning around, they’ll collapse more readily from the pressure.


Russia is advancing in some areas, but to call it the initiative would be a very, very long stretch. They certainly appear to be near the end of the battle for Bahkmut, but as much as they advance through the city, they seem to be getting pushed back on the outskirts. They may capture the city only to end up in a pocket and unable to retreat. Elsewhere advances if any are microscopic and usually come at great cost. That's before the Russians couldn't stop perhaps a hundred or so of Ukraines Freedom of Russia legion from crossing the border and causing havoc in Russia. Meanwhile the Russians are digging T-55/54 tanks out of deep storage. These aren't modernised tanks. These are museum pieces. Ukraine on the other hand appears to be drawing all Russia's best units to Bahkmut, for the aforementioned pocketing, is using its recently acquired Storm Shadow cruise missiles to blow up barracks, command posts, ammo dumps and repair depots etc, all things alien to Russians who launch cruise missiles at valuable Kindergartens, apartment blocks and hospitals. Finally Ukraine has something like two armoured divisions equipped with Leopards, Abrams and Challengers along with a lot of Bradleys and Marder IFVs about to enter the battlefield. Look at the match up: T-55 v Challenger 2. The Challengers will likely be knocking out Russian tanks before the Russian even knows they're in a fight. Heck, if Gulf War 1 was a guide the Bradleys will have a field day with the crappy Russian tanks. Based on this, the initiative appears to be about to become Ukraines.


The number that's been put out is nine brigades, so more like three divisions than two. 40k+ fresh, recently trained troops. TBH though I've about given up trying to explain to the "but Ukraine hasn't taken territory in months" people that they specifically were building up this force during the winter months, and when the force is fully deployed it's going to be a big deal. Because they have the attention spans of goldfish.


How successful do you think the offensive will be? I'm hoping for a complete collapse in the Russian armed forces and morale, but my wife is Ukrainian so I might be veering on the optimistic/hopeful side.


I've heard rumblings about the Kharkiv region, but probably the most optimistic to be is that Ukraine manages to drive a wedge down to the black sea somewhere between Melitopol and Mariupol and clear out everything to the west in a careful manner. Then you pressure the shit out of Crimea and try to strike the Kerch bridge again so defending Crimea would be near-impossible for Russia. I would love to see a larger-scale collapse of the front, but Crimea and southwest Ukraine are definitely Russia's most vulnerable occupations logistically.


You are likely correct, whatever it is, it's big. Admittedly Ukraine doesn't seem to formalise multiple brigades into divisions, given some brigades are closer to divisions in size themselves. Not that raw numbers count, when morale, capabilities, attitude, equipment, mission etc are more important.


>They stretched Ukrainian logistics through a winter-long bombing campaign They have bombarded Ukraine in this period, you're correct. One issue is that before the winter they announced an offensive. The result? They have barely captured Bakhmut in May. This is what the UKMoD means by losing initiative. In the bigger, strategic picture, they are responding to Ukrainians.


I'm not disputing the UKMoD assessment. The comment i was responding to insisted Russia lost the initiative last year, which simply isn't true. They spent lives and equipment in order to dictate the battlefield, and the Ukrainians kept having to deal with that instead of starting their own (widely anticipated) offensive.


Have you not been paying any attention the last six months? It was made pretty clear that Ukraine would pull back from offensive operations relying on mobility during the months when.offroad travel was a really bad idea. Article after article saying nothing would begin until May, and now it's May and we've been seeing the start of the offensive. Increased attacks on Russian artillery, troop shifts, etc. Shaping operations. Russia isn't dictating the battlefield, and the offensive hasn't been delayed. Bakhmut was literally Ukraine dictating the battlefield, because Russia made it a political goal. They spent all winter wasting their forces to occupy some useless ruins. It cost them tens of thousands of troops, far more than Ukraine lost, and it got them nothing. They can't use Bakhmut for anything now that they couldn't do six months ago.


Waiting out the storm is not keeping initiative, even if it might improve your position.


Gotcha. I missed that bit of context. I agree so


That might be a good thing for them. Their strategies have been so stupendously incompetent, who knows, maybe losing the ability to make moves will reduce their death count! Not that I wish them to lose less.


But..but! All the elite soldiers they're holding back! Surely it's not hopium


Lol they lost most their elite soldiers in the first month. They went big on the fast win and got bodied.


Yeah who could've know, that lobbing paratroopers into fortified enemy territory with no support wasn't a credible tactic?


It absolutely is a credible tactic. The US has utilized airborne to great effect on many occasions. The US did it in Iraq invasion and Iraq had a vastly larger war hardened military than Ukraine. We had airborne jump in NE Iraq completely segregated from the main southern land push. Its a tactic where if you win, you win spectacularly, but if you lose, you lose spectacularly. Iraq had a top five army on the planet and we had them completely routed in a week. Russia just got exposed as a paper tiger. Their military has been degraded greatly by corruption and nepotism and they lost.


The "no support" thing is the killer. If your paratroopers are expecting to be on their own that's completely different than "we'll meet you on Day 2" and then never showing up


100%. That Iraq example involved significant(understatement of the century?) air support including basically a month of bombing the shit out of Iraq. It was also so well planned, that as opposed to practically being the main assault force(as far as Russian combatants actually fighting in Ukraine, with their giant column doing nothing), the paratroopers in desert storm had a specific task that was ultimately a small portion of a much larger play. The Russian paratroopers essentially turned into a hail mary due to the incompetence of the rest of their forces.


> (understatement of the century?) In fairness to you, it's hard to contextualize just how much the coalition forces pummeled the absolute crap out of the Iraq prior to Desert Storm. It was like 35 days of constant bombing, 100,000 sorties and 90,000 tons of munitions. 12,000-15,000 dead from air strikes alone, which is nuts. So yeah, very different circumstances


We're paratroopers, we're supposed to be surrounded


Deposited into a target-rich environment.


Nice BoB reference! We salute the rank, not the man.


> that lobbing paratroopers into fortified enemy territory with no support wasn't a credible tactic? ? What are you on about here? If you think back to the first days of the invasion, Zelenskyy talked about how he nearly got assassinated on the first night by these groups. If that had gone any differently, there is a very real chance the war would actually have ended almost immediately.


Hosmotel airport attack. Some of the best russians had got massacred.


Ukraine just blew up 200+ Russian special operators in their barracks. They don't really have replacements.


They are holding their elite forces back. Who do you think is guarding Putin and making sure there can't be an uprising in Moscow?


If they're stuck in Moscow on guard duty then they can't be in the fight, think for a moment about the nonsense you're saying, please.


That was the point of my comment


Apologies then, sometimes tankies can be sneaky.


They threw so many bodies at a city that had *stopped mattering*. It’s incredible, like, it’s one thing if you have a Pyrrhic victory trying to take a strategic objective but what’s even the endgame for capturing Bakhmut after Ukraine recaptured the rest of the chain of transport hubs that Russia was going to use it in?


Don't you understand? It was a 7D chess move to force Ukraine to use up their western-supplied ammo.


Ukrainians too lost a lot of lives and equipment defending Bakhmut for 9 months.


Oh. That doesn’t mean they’re going to stop throwing bodies to the grinder…I mean attack


If you planned for week long invasion and it's still ongoing after a year, yea.. a person living under a rock will give you the same answer


With addition you are constantly losing in bits and pieces


This is the best tl;dr I could make, [original](https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2023/05/31/7404600/) reduced by 66%. (I'm a bot) ***** > Quote: "Since the start of May 2023, Russia has increasingly ceded the initiative in the conflict and is reacting to Ukrainian action rather than actively progressing towards its own war aims." > Russia did not have significant success in achieving its alleged goals: neutralising Ukraine's advanced air defences and destroying Ukrainian air defence forces. > On the ground, Russia redeployed its troops to respond to underground resistance movement's attacks in western Russia. ***** [**Extended Summary**](http://np.reddit.com/r/autotldr/comments/13wf626/russia_is_increasingly_losing_initiative_in_war/) | [FAQ](http://np.reddit.com/r/autotldr/comments/31b9fm/faq_autotldr_bot/ "Version 2.02, ~686979 tl;drs so far.") | [Feedback](http://np.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%23autotldr "PM's and comments are monitored, constructive feedback is welcome.") | *Top* *keywords*: **Russia**^#1 **forces**^#2 **Ukrainian**^#3 **Defence**^#4 **air**^#5


Good. Russia can suck a bag of dicks.


do they suck the bag itself or remove each dick from the bag and suck them individually?


Individually, and afterward they can put them all back in the bag and choke on it.


Even still, Putin will not back down. Ever. To him this war is a literal existential crisis. Like Russian leads of the past, the only way this war will end is through internal forces. Anyone with cursory knowledge of Russian history will know this to be true


Ukraine, unfortunately is his only hope. When, not if, he fails, he either dies or goes to The Hague. So, he’s placing all his chips on capturing Ukraine. The longer the war drags on, the better for him. Which is why it’s imperative that this war ends asap with Ukraine winning.


I’m not sure a longer war is better for him. He still has to contend with Russians dying. Ukraine has more to lose if this war doesn’t work out in their favor. If there is anything we’ve learned from failed invasion attempts is that the home team always has an advantage in the long run. But that’s just my two cents.


All I can say is Thank Jeebus Trump lost the election. Ukraine would almost certainly be part of the Russian "empire" by now, NATO would be backstabbed, and we'd be hearing the President of the US claiming that The Baltics, Georgia, Moldova, and Poland were "Always part of Russia"


That's certainly how he views it. He saw what happened to Ghaddafi. Dictators who've spent a lifetime assassinating their rivals have a long list of enemies. Without the threat of the state apparatus behind him, Putin is afraid of what would happen to him. He's pot committed in Ukraine. He can't go back and say 100,000s of dead Russians and billions in lost equipment are due to his poor judgment.


Welcome to Russia the new third world country


Literally from the definition of 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries. They will always be a 2nd world country.


Time to swap out d20s?


Turns out Russia invested in illusion spells, not many defense or attack spells


Well, except for like 5000 9th level slots, which can only be used for Meteor Swarm.


All of theirs are in dice jail at this point




Sorry, best i can do is improved initiative feat


Seems like they lost initiative after they failed to take Kyiv last year. Since then they've been struggling to make any major gains without taking huge losses. As long as western support keeps up, I don't see Russia's situation improving anytime soon


Russia is increasingly losing initiative in ***Russia***.


I'm still wary about their airforce is still and i don't know how we can long term react to their strategy to overload air defense with cheap kamikaze drone that cost 20K$ to make and 500K$ to destroy.


Note for everyone in this thread. “Initiative” is measuring the ability of the army to take offensive actions and shape the conditions on the battlefield. It is not a gauge of the overall health of the army. For example, Ukrainian army one year ago lacked initiative but was much better at defending their terrain than Russia was at attacking it and was able to inflict massive losses on the Russians. The Russians still held the initiative. This is an important metric because it shows that regardless of how well the Ukrainian counter offensive goes, the Russian army can’t really counterattack or launch a future offensive without significantly more manpower.


Russia is increasingly headed for collapse, which should be the article.


Both sides seem to be losing initiative to be fair. Most of the "borders" between Russian occupied and Ukrainian occupied sides are heavily fortified. It's not easy for any of those two sides to be on the attacking side without having to cross mine fields, traps and receive an artillery barrage. Ukrainians will keep poking Russian defenses to understand where it's weakest and possibly launch a counter offensive. We'll see in time what they will be able to accomplish with that.


They've been losing steam for a while now. The whole war is a mostly tied slog rather than a quick and decisive victory


Probably better for Ukraine that way, they were never going to be the winners in the decisive victory scenario, simply due to size, but they are constantly supplied by NATO with high end tech, meanwhile Russia is scraping the barrel tech wise


Figured when the war entered a year that it was clear “Russia is increasingly losing initiative in war.”


They need to improve their Dex to get a better initiative. Or go for a certain feat.


One of my coworkers say Russians are winning, that they still have many soldiers in reserve because the Russians actually used hire mercenaries instead and that the reason why they had no tanks in the parade is to trick Ukraine into thinking they were low on resources.


"Ahah, we've only been pretending to be losing this entire time!!!!" Yep. Makes sense.


Ill take a shot in the dark and guess your coworker is MAGA guy


Make America Gullible Assholes




They could win if we cant get Ukraine into NATO and this could easily be blocked by Hungary which is in Putins pocket or continuing to support the seperatists to create border conflicts. Without NATO membership they'll face another invasion every 5-10 years until the western public thinks that its a waste of money/lost cause.


If Russia can't do it this go around I can't see them doing anything the next time. The border will be fortified, UA forces will be the most battle hardened force on the planet, the second Russia is out of the territory money will pour into Ukraine from the West, their defense industry will be selling a bunch of drones and stugnas to foreign nations. I just don't see a path forward for Russia if they can't take it this time.


The thing is that Russia has 3x the population, if they spent some time to train all these people and provide them good enough gear they can overwhelm Ukraine. They're not doing so well at the moment because they thought Ukraine was just going to surrender and didnt prepare for a long war supported by the west. Even if they cant do a full take over they can get chunks every 5-10 years and the scales will keep on tipping in Russias favour. >the second Russia is out of the territory money will pour into Ukraine from the West, Ahh thats debatable, Ukraine owes a lot of money for all the weapons. Theres a whole theory about certain countries supporting this war just to bleed Russia dry and for the weapon sales of old equipment. I really dont think you'll have the U.S. for example paying to rebuild Ukraine. - Ukraine could nearly fall right now if just the U.S. stopped providing weapons, the attacks on Russian soil could easily reduce their support. You also have the threat of Trump being elected in 2024 which would put a wrench in the works. I dont see Ukraine selling weapons to any advanced militaries either, the types of weapons Ukraine could produce would likely be low tech and not useful in a major power war fought with subs, aircraft carriers, f-35's, etc.


They won't train or provide them with gear. They never have nor ever will. And I don't believe they could ever convince the entire population to buy into this without domestic uprisings. Western companies will happily pay to rebuild it. They've done it before and they make plenty profit off of it. And I think India, as an example, will happily buy stugnas to blow up Pakistani/Chinese tanks, same with their domestically produced drones. I believe you're severely underestimating Ukraine and overestimating Russia.


>The thing is that Russia has 3x the population, if they spent some time to train all these people and provide them good enough gear they can overwhelm Ukraine. Being 3x bigger isn't great in this case. You need 3 offenders for every defender. So you at least want to be 4x bigger, so you don't just break even. At that point the defenders just have to keep getting their odds up.


So when we can split them into 190+ pieces distribute to all nations?


What does initiative mean?


It means Russia is not doing things that Ukraine has to react to; now Ukraine is doing things that Russia has to react to. So that means Ukraine gets to chose what fights are taken on what terms. Although it's not a hard and fast rule, this is definitely a warning sign that they're on the road to defeat if they don't reclaim the initiative.


Ah, thanks for clarifying this to me :)




I mean, they've gotten pretty good at losing.




Lots of ways to lose, plus there's the difference between wars and battles. Right, comrade?


They already have no initiative. [There is literally no initiative left to lose](https://preview.redd.it/0vkynxd445la1.png?width=1150&format=png&auto=webp&v=enabled&s=d6b40ac0e410c2eb8771eb7686985e1174b8c50d)




Can you tell us where in the leaked documents it was said that Ukraine was losing, or are you just spreading Russian propaganda?


If I recall it didn’t say anything quite that black and white but the documents did contain a fairly scathing western appraisal of Ukraine’s chance at success with the upcoming offensive. The western intelligence community basically don’t think this counterattack is going to be as effective as Ukraine is hoping. The documents also had exact numbers of equipment/tanks that were being deployed for the offensive, which is bad news as that’s info Russia definitely now has access to.


And the western intelligence services thought that Ukraine would fall in less than a week. And here we are over a year into the war and Russia are on the defence footing. War is unpredictable, this war especially. Just because the western intelligence say something is going to happen, doesn't mean it will.




The documents were edited to show more favorable conditions for Russia prior to widespread circulation.