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Old 25th October 2022, 12:28 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Interesting post (you probably meant the Kerch Strait bridge, not the Kerch Street bridge).

Does this mean that the October 8 attack on the Crimean Bridge was done by Russia, perhaps in order to have a pretext for massively striking Ukrainian power stations with cruise missiles and Iranian drones?

Does Bellingcat have anything on the September 26 attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines?
Of course the attack was by Ukraine. Why shouldn't Ukraine have attacked the bridge? Ukraine never authorized its construction and Russia used it to support the occupation of Ukrainian territory. It's a legitimate target of war. Russia has used it to transport tanks and military supplies onto Ukrainian territory with it. I'd also note the attack occurred in Ukraine, on the Ukrainian side of the bridge and at an hour of the day to minimize civilian casualties. Not a level of restraint the Orcs have demonstrated.
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Old 25th October 2022, 01:57 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Of course the attack was by Ukraine. Why shouldn't Ukraine have attacked the bridge? Ukraine never authorized its construction and Russia used it to support the occupation of Ukrainian territory. It's a legitimate target of war. Russia has used it to transport tanks and military supplies onto Ukrainian territory with it. I'd also note the attack occurred in Ukraine, on the Ukrainian side of the bridge and at an hour of the day to minimize civilian casualties. Not a level of restraint the Orcs have demonstrated.
Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, explicitly denied ordering the attack on the Crimean bridge:
Quote:
The president made the remarks during an interview with the Canadian broadcaster CTV, aired on Wednesday.

Asked to comment on the “spectacular attack” on the bridge, as the broadcaster put it, Zelensky said Kiev was not involved.

“We definitely did not order that, as far as I know,” he told the reporters.
(https://www.rt.com/russia/565053-zel...bridge-attack/, 20 Oct, 2022)
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Old 25th October 2022, 02:28 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, explicitly denied ordering the attack on the Crimean bridge:

(https://www.rt.com/russia/565053-zel...bridge-attack/, 20 Oct, 2022)
I see three realistic possibilities:

Zelensky is lying.
Putin ordered an attack on his own vanity project.
A group of Ukrainian partisans did it without orders or knowledge of the Ukrainian government.

You could add on crazy stuff like, it was accidental somehow, or Turkey did it.
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Old 25th October 2022, 02:46 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Early on in the war Russia accused the Ukrainians of using chemical weapons, which they didn't. It's a propaganda lie designed to make people in Russia think that Ukraine is so horrible it'll use WMDs.

Meanwhile, Russia still hasn't taken the nuclear option off the table.
I heard part of a report today mentioning a possible Russian "false flag" operation. I can certainly see Putin sacrificing some of his own troops to "justify" a response. What really chilled me is hearing about reports of two possible retaliatory (nuclear) targets. One being a science center in Kyiv, and the other a mining facility elsewhere in Ukraine.
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Old 25th October 2022, 02:54 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
(you probably meant the Kerch Strait bridge, not the Kerch Street bridge).
(yes. It's the same word in German, Straße, for "road", "street" and "straight" (a natural naval passage)

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Does this mean that the October 8 attack on the Crimean Bridge was done by Russia, perhaps in order to have a pretext for massively striking Ukrainian power stations with cruise missiles and Iranian drones?
No, it does not mean that.
It's a possibility, but in the absence of evidence, "coincidence" is a perfectly plausible explanation and prefered.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I think you might be underestimating how Machiavellian Putin can be. He may have some experience in manipulating the masses (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second...ings_in_Russia).
I see no good reason for Putin to go Machiavellian here, by shooting himself in the foot. In an active war, no pretext is required to fire a salvo at the enemy's infrastructure. Just do it.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Does Bellingcat have anything on the September 26 attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines?
They worked for months on the missile prorammers story. I don't think their resources are endless.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Bellingcat seems to be good at finding out what is really being done by the Russian "Security Services" (see for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellin...lny_and_others).
They may or may not eventually come up with some investigative results on the pipeline destruction. If they will, it may take a long time or not. I do not have any insights into Bellingcat's pipeline (pun intended).
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:31 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I see no good reason for Putin to go Machiavellian here, by shooting himself in the foot. In an active war, no pretext is required to fire a salvo at the enemy's infrastructure. Just do it.
I actually believe there is a "good" reason why Putin might have ordered a very secret attack on the Crimean bridge: protecting his public image in Russia.

He may want to appear as a reasonable and humane leader, a kind of father of the nation, who "obviously" needs to punish these "horrible Ukrainian terrorists".

Attacking the energy infrastructure of Ukraine with Iranian help may have been essential for Russia from a strategic point of view, but Putin may need to protect his reputation in Russia, at a time when some people are beginning to complain because of the conscription. Also, it may be psychologically important for him to be able to portray the Ukrainians as vile terrorists in order to motivate conscripted people, sent into the military.

Another thing: when an attack is entirely fake, it may be much easier to conduct a (fake, of course) inquiry, with apparently very quick results, and project an impression of great competence and efficiency.

Last edited by Michel H; 25th October 2022 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:36 PM   #287
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It is more that it was an excuse for an already-planned series of attacks.
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:38 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I actually believe there is a "good" reason why Putin might have ordered a very secret attack on the Crimean bridge: protecting his public image in Russia.

He may want to appear as a reasonable and humane leader, a kind of father of the nation, who "obviously" needs to punish these "horrible Ukrainian terrorists".

Attacking the energy infrastructure of Ukraine with Iranian help may have been essential for Russia from a strategic point of view, but Putin may need to protect his reputation in Russia, at a time when some people are beginning to complain because of the conscription. Also, it may be psychologically important for him to be able to portray the Ukrainians as vile terrorists in order to motivate conscripted people, sent into the military.

Another thing: when an attack is entirely fake, it may be much easier to conduct a (fake, of course) inquiry, with apparently very quick results, and project an impression of great competence and efficiency.
Nice story, bro.
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:46 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Nice story, bro.
Aside from the fact that attacking Ukraine's civilian power infrastructure is strategically counter-productive, Michel's analysis seems pretty insightful to me.
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:50 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Nice story, bro.
Quote:
Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within (Russian: ФСБ взрывает Россию, FSB blows Russia up) is a book written by Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky.[1] The authors describe the Russian apartment bombings as a false flag operation that was guided by the Russian Federal Security Service to justify the Second Chechen War and bring Vladimir Putin to power. The story was initially printed by Yuri Shchekochikhin in a special issue of Novaya Gazeta in August 2001[2] and published as a book in 2002. In Russia the book was prohibited because it divulged state secrets, and it was included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials.[3]
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowing_Up_Russia).

We know, of course, what happened to Litvinenko later (no, he wasn't decorated).
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:56 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Aside from the fact that attacking Ukraine's civilian power infrastructure is strategically counter-productive, Michel's analysis seems pretty insightful to me.
If the Ukrainians see that, every time they "liberate" a village or a town near Kherson, one of their power stations is destroyed or badly damaged, they might get discouraged, and reflect:"Do we have the right to do this to our mothers, to our children, to our relatives? What's the point, really?".
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:57 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Of course the attack was by Ukraine. Why shouldn't Ukraine have attacked the bridge? Ukraine never authorized its construction and Russia used it to support the occupation of Ukrainian territory. It's a legitimate target of war. Russia has used it to transport tanks and military supplies onto Ukrainian territory with it. I'd also note the attack occurred in Ukraine, on the Ukrainian side of the bridge and at an hour of the day to minimize civilian casualties. Not a level of restraint the Orcs have demonstrated.
Jesue effinb Christ, saying Ukraine was wrong in attackeing that bridge is like saying the US was wrong in attacking Japanese bases after Pearl Harbor....
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:58 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Aside from the fact that attacking Ukraine's civilian power infrastructure is strategically counter-productive, Michel's analysis seems pretty insightful to me.
What is your reasoning for saying that it is strategically counterproductive?

I can think of several but the depend on context.

Even the Russians must know that even heavy strategic bombing doesn't force surrender. But it is probably diverting Ukrainian resources.

Or were you thinking about the Western response which is to increase aid to Ukraine to counter this?

Or something else that I have missed?
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Old 25th October 2022, 04:00 PM   #294
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I love the Oh, I am so not supporting Putin but posts here.
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Old 25th October 2022, 04:23 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, explicitly denied ordering the attack on the Crimean bridge:

(https://www.rt.com/russia/565053-zel...bridge-attack/, 20 Oct, 2022)
He may have simply given mission type orders to attack Russian military targets on Ukrainian soil or, in this case, over Ukrainian water.
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Old 25th October 2022, 05:02 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Aside from the fact that attacking Ukraine's civilian power infrastructure is strategically counter-productive, Michel's analysis seems pretty insightful to me.
Insight into what?
I can believe the concept of false flag attacks, but would consider the Kerch Straight bridge as about the worst possible target, because it is of actual high value - logistically and, perhaps even more so, psychologically. Seeing it touched looks too much like Putin, personally, can be touched. It's his baby.

Michel H brings up another (claimed) false flag target from Putin's past: A few apartment blocks. Excellent targets: Killed enough innocent people to enrage the nation and bring it in line behind the Führer while not having any symbolic value whatsoever: Losing anonymous apartment blocks with faceless proletarians is nothing to the Führer, it doesn't touch his image.

(I find the idea believable, with significant likelihood even, that the FSB, with Putin's knowledge if not direction, was in fact behind the 1999 attacks, but am not aware that this has been proven to a good standard of evidence, so that's why I put "claimed" in parentheses.)
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Old 25th October 2022, 05:09 PM   #297
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
What is your reasoning for saying that it is strategically counterproductive?

I can think of several but the depend on context.

Even the Russians must know that even heavy strategic bombing doesn't force surrender. But it is probably diverting Ukrainian resources.

Or were you thinking about the Western response which is to increase aid to Ukraine to counter this?

Or something else that I have missed?
Taking out electricity on a large scales disrupts the enemy's industrial, logistical and informational capacities and is a cost effective move: It probably is more expensive to ramp up air defense while repairing all that damage, plus the cost of lost productivity, than the missiles cost, especially with those simple drones now being so damned cheap.

However, Russia is probably using up too much of its bombing resources on targets with too little a direct, tangibe military ops impact: They'll eventually run out of modern, hard to shoot down missiles, while the Ukrainians learn better and better to counter drone strikes.
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Old 25th October 2022, 05:16 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I love the Oh, I am so not supporting Putin but posts here.
Well, it's a change from the I'm definitely supporting Putin posts.
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Old 25th October 2022, 06:34 PM   #299
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There is a dichotomy in reporting in Kherson. Russia is supposedly building up defences while at the same time evacuating. The defences on the shortest route to Kherson have been holding up
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Old 25th October 2022, 06:36 PM   #300
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I don't see the dichotomy.
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Old 25th October 2022, 07:11 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
There is a dichotomy in reporting in Kherson. Russia is supposedly building up defences while at the same time evacuating. The defences on the shortest route to Kherson have been holding up
I presume they are evacuating non combatnets and support troops, leaving only he actual combat troops.
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Old 25th October 2022, 08:01 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
If the Ukrainians see that, every time they "liberate" a village or a town near Kherson, one of their power stations is destroyed or badly damaged, they might get discouraged, and reflect:"Do we have the right to do this to our mothers, to our children, to our relatives? What's the point, really?".
The Russians are the ones doing "this" to their mothers, children, etc.

No, the Russians do not have the right to do that.

Stopping them from doing so is the point, really.

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Old 25th October 2022, 08:42 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
If the Ukrainians see that, every time they "liberate" a village or a town near Kherson, one of their power stations is destroyed or badly damaged, they might get discouraged, and reflect:"Do we have the right to do this to our mothers, to our children, to our relatives? What's the point, really?".
Yes that's the intention of the Russian terrorist bombing strategy but it has not worked nor will it work. Instead of making the Ukrainians second guess themselves it merely helps them focus their anger at the Russian bastards that continue to seek their deaths.

The kind of Russian terror bombing strategy practiced in Syria or Chechnya does not work when they face an enemy that can fight back, something the Russians have not done in a long time. This war the Russians have found out that you can't bully someone into submission if they are winning against you.
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Old 25th October 2022, 09:20 PM   #304
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Russia getting its ass kicked by the Schitt's Creek of Democracy.
... or the arsenal of democracy beating the arse of democracy.
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Old 25th October 2022, 09:22 PM   #305
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
... or the arsenal of democracy beating the arse of democracy.
... or the arsenal of democracy beating the arse of autocracy.
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Old 25th October 2022, 11:01 PM   #306
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
If the Ukrainians see that, every time they "liberate" a village or a town near Kherson, one of their power stations is destroyed or badly damaged, they might get discouraged, and reflect:"Do we have the right to do this to our mothers, to our children, to our relatives? What's the point, really?".
If Russians see that Ukraine will just keep killing their sons, they might decide to stop sending their sons. Power stations can be repaired. Dead sons stay dead.
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Old 25th October 2022, 11:16 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I presume they are evacuating non combatnets and support troops, leaving only he actual combat troops.

Supposedly they are also attempting to evacuate what's left of their professional (if one can call them "professional") forces in the area and replacing them with conscripts.
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Old 26th October 2022, 12:11 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
If the Ukrainians see that, every time they "liberate" a village or a town near Kherson, one of their power stations is destroyed or badly damaged, they might get discouraged, and reflect:"Do we have the right to do this to our mothers, to our children, to our relatives? What's the point, really?".
It's possible. Not particularly plausible, though. The first major problem here is very significant, though. There's no good reason to link the two things. The second major problem is that there's no good reason to think that Russia would end its aggression and atrocities even if the Ukrainians just gave up. There's good reason for the sentiment - 'Without power or without you? Without you.'
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Old 26th October 2022, 01:40 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
It is more that it was an excuse for an already-planned series of attacks.
Yes I think that was Michel's suggestion; that Putin attacked his own bridge to get the Russian people angry and thirsting for revenge just before his planned attacks against Ukraine's civil power generation and distribution infrastructure. The cost-benefit doesn't seem right though. I doubt if the Russian public would have been shocked out of supporting Putin if he'd just gone ahead and attacked the power stations anyway. At a stretch you might argue he actually wanted to damage his own bridge to stop an embarrassing exodus of Russians from Crimea. Close the road bridge and they can't load up their own cars and flee. Leave the rail bridge running and you can resupply the military while keeping a tight rein on when and if passenger trains run. (No, I don't really think that's likely.)
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Old 26th October 2022, 01:44 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Yes I think that was Michel's suggestion; that Putin attacked his own bridge to get the Russian people angry and thirsting for revenge just before his planned attacks against Ukraine's civil power generation and distribution infrastructure. The cost-benefit doesn't seem right though. I doubt if the Russian public would have been shocked out of supporting Putin if he'd just gone ahead and attacked the power stations anyway. At a stretch you might argue he actually wanted to damage his own bridge to stop an embarrassing exodus of Russians from Crimea. Close the road bridge and they can't load up their own cars and flee. Leave the rail bridge running and you can resupply the military while keeping a tight rein on when and if passenger trains run. (No, I don't really think that's likely.)
No what I was meaning was that Russia planned a new terror campaign against Ukraine's civilians and the civilian infrastructure.

Ukraine attached the bridge and then the Kremlin decided it was a good opportunity to pretend their pre-planned attacks had anything to do with the Kerch Bridge attack. In reality it was just coincidence
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Old 26th October 2022, 01:47 AM   #311
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That is much the simplest explanation.
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Old 26th October 2022, 02:02 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
For that they need working weapons.
Not necessarily. As long as they are there and waving guns about, the Ukrainians will have to waste precious ammunition on them.

Given the way they were pushed in to the front line without adequate training or equipment, I'm fairly sure that sums up Russian tactics.
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Old 26th October 2022, 02:05 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I see three realistic possibilities:

Zelensky is lying.
Putin ordered an attack on his own vanity project.
A group of Ukrainian partisans did it without orders or knowledge of the Ukrainian government.

You could add on crazy stuff like, it was accidental somehow, or Turkey did it.
Or some Russian ultra-nationalists did it to provoke Putin into making a massive counter attack.
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Old 26th October 2022, 02:10 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Aside from the fact that attacking Ukraine's civilian power infrastructure is strategically counter-productive, Michel's analysis seems pretty insightful to me.
Is it strategically counter productive? Destroying your enemy's infrastructure to make it harder for them to make war sounds like a fairly logical strategic aim to me.
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Old 26th October 2022, 02:12 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
Or some Russian ultra-nationalists did it to provoke Putin into making a massive counter attack.
That was in the making anyway. So why bother?
Occam says: Event A happened. Event B happened. RU says they did B because of A.
It is most parsimonous NOT to assume RU actually timed B in response to A when coincidence and subseqient exploitation are perfectly likely explanation.
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Old 26th October 2022, 02:28 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
That was in the making anyway. So why bother?
Occam says: Event A happened. Event B happened. RU says they did B because of A.
It is most parsimonous NOT to assume RU actually timed B in response to A when coincidence and subseqient exploitation are perfectly likely explanation.
Quibble - The use of perfectly likely is a bit off there, given the invocation of parsimony. Rather, it'd be better to stress that such is the simplest and safest explanation because it relies the least on unevidenced variables.
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Old 26th October 2022, 02:38 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
Is it strategically counter productive? Destroying your enemy's infrastructure to make it harder for them to make war sounds like a fairly logical strategic aim to me.
*If* it's actually focused on making it harder to make war, sure. At best, this strategy is only tangentially related to that, though. Breaking the civilians' will to resist by inflicting sufficient suffering upon them that they submit is a strategy, yes. Trying to force another mass exile of refugees to weaken Ukraine and destabilize the rest of Europe is also a strategy. Neither translates well to shoring up Russian shortcomings or otherwise translating into military success when Russia's ability to even hold their ill gotten gains is seriously threatened.
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Old 26th October 2022, 05:22 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
He has been fired for that.

Bizarrely he is openly gay and HIV+ so not the demographic I'd associate wi Kremlin propagandists
A new conscript!
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Old 26th October 2022, 06:03 AM   #319
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https://deepstatemap.live/#9.5/46.8492/33.3290

Starting to see more Ukraine gains in the north again. But the map does not show much progress at Kherson yet.
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Old 26th October 2022, 07:45 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
If the Ukrainians see that, every time they "liberate" a village or a town near Kherson, one of their power stations is destroyed or badly damaged, they might get discouraged, and reflect:"Do we have the right to do this to our mothers, to our children, to our relatives? What's the point, really?".
Historically, terror bombing like this has never had the outcome you describe. The actual effect is to strengthen the resolve of the defenders, and harden the hearts of onlookers against the aggressor.
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