Russia invades Ukraine - 4 - from 14 March 2023

Continuing the discussion from Russia invades Ukraine - 3 - from 23 Oct 2022 - #10055 by Benny40.

Previous discussions:

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This is so heartbreaking (/s/)


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Quoted from Benny 40 in the last version of this thread.

“And 10k posts in yet another thread. Hopefully the next thread ends on a brighter note. Currently the war is a slog of pure attrition, a numbers game playing with relative suffering. Gone is the exchange territory for time play, Ukraine looks to have decided to fight to hold everything. With the fog of war, it’s not possible to know if holding Bakhmut is the right or wrong play. It is a gamble, I hope one that pays off. They are probably at the point where having gone all in they can’t withdraw without massive losses.”

It appears that the UAF has gambled that the best way forward is to keep on attriting RUAF here and now, rather than wait for a counter-offensive opportunity. Right now the RUAF are losing huge numbers of troops, their morale as well as their ammunition, are low and they are not achieving the success they crave. If UA waited a couple of months to strike the RUAF would be in a stronger position relative to UA. It is a tough strategy, but l can see why they would gamble on going this way.


Here is a roundup from Noel before I head out


The Russian makes a good point there, without electricity a whole bunch of industry shuts down.

Charging drones becomes harder. Manufacturing becomes harder - ammunition, missiles, fortifications, roads, etc. Fuel becomes scarcer and needs to be rationed.

Hitting the power generation capabilities does have strategic value but you have to trade that off against turning a whole population against you by doing it.

Another reason why this looks like just a land grab by Russia, rather than any of the mooted reasons (regime risk, risk of spread of democracy, NATO, etc.)

If they really wanted anything else but territory and mineral assets they wouldn’t make that trade off. They’d be looking instead to find ways to keep the people of Ukraine onside while waging war against the army.


It appears there is shell hunger on both sides now and ammunition hunger on the Russian side which bodes really well for Ukraine.

The difference in artillery accuracy which we’ve seen in lots of photos in the old thread means that 1 Ukrainian shell is probably worth 3 Russian ones… so if Ukraine is getting 70k shells a month once production ramps up that’s 200k odd shells that Russia will have to produce for battlefield parity

At ~$1k a shell (assume a floor of maybe $300 taking margin out) that’s not insignificant. $60-200m a month alone. The guided munitions are an order of magnitude more expensive.

This will quickly turn from a stockpile battle into an economic battle. Once that switch flicks, the war is over and Russia will lose. Comprehensively.

Xi meeting both Putin and Zelenskyy is the beginning of the end of this war


I don’t believe a wide offensive across the board as suggested, but plenty of desception being used by Ukraine on where an actual offensive may start.


Interesting description of trench shelters. Thread includes background from WW2 Anderson shelters and recent widespread Swiss shelters.

Also has video of Ukrainian production:

This is what I was after a while back for a picture of what long term front line trenches would look like.

My assumption is that any such shelter could easily have adequate battery charging and communications for Android Tablet computers and LED lights just using 70W Power Over Ethernet POE from 4 wire CAT 5 cable to a router 100m away connected to several such shelters and itself attached to single phase (domestic) mains power via 30m or more to a power distribution board which can be attached via another 50m or more to a 3 phase generator without much involvement from “Engineering” - just plugging in domestic or industrial external extension cables.

A battery charging point for use by Drone Army and others would be located at a mains outlet, not necessarily at a shelter. This would include charging anything that isn’t plugged in, including personal equipment, drones, and portable uplinks and downlinks for drones.

Likewise directly attached RF communications equipment both for tactical networks and for Drone Army uplinks and downlinks would be located at mains outlets, not necessarily near shelters.

Those that are used for transmitters could be rotated to different outlets (and different generator networks) as frequently as necessary due to shelling that results from RF direction finding. Likewise the corresponding mains outlets and their extension cables could be moved from one part of a trench network to another.

Further extensions, with support from Engineering, could include fuel pipeline to simplify refueling the generator (and fuel for heating and cooking) and connections to larger field generators and local grid.

A Drone Operator/Forward Observer (DO/FO) with a high bandwidth low latency connection to a nearby downlink could still be in a shelter 300m or so from it and arbitrarily far from any uplinks and other RF transmitters that are likely to get shelled.

Launch teams for drones that need to be launched near the front could be based at separate shelters from DO/FO with nearby drone and catapault storage and a variety of VTOL and other launch points nearby to rotate among. They could also be responsible for moving RF transmitter uplinks when necessary (as well as sometimes “launching” or replacing the batteries on portable battery charged uplinks, but not remaining near them during operation).

Recovery teams for drones that need to land at less easily observed locations and with nets further back from the front might not need the same sort of shelters. They might need transport to carry recovered drones directly to launch teams or to postal service pickup points for the field postal service to do so. Also transport for Removable Data Devices (flash drives) to ingestion nodes for delayed Processing Exploitation and Dissemination (PED) for much higher volumes of surveillance data recorded than can be transmitted to downlinks. The ingestion nodes would recycle them back to Launch teams via postal service and logistics/maintenance depots.

So above is my conception of what the enhanced electronics available from Jetson Orin would be enhancing and what would need to somehow pack up and become mobile when the DA unit is detached from a static front line force and attached to a motorized or mechanized and/or armoured maneuver force while remaining fully interoperable with personnel and TTPs for either.

BTW thread also has a cute video mocking Russian engineers Trust Me, I’m An “Engineer”

PS Don’t trust me, I’m not an engineer, nor a soldier. Do need careful scrutiny and feedback on above: @FuriousGeorge , @elfm, @Benny40 , @barry_day , @megahertz, anybody?

Edit add:

Above is intended to be CONOPS for ground elements of:

  1. Largest numbers of cheap drones engaged in continuous ISTAR along artillery war front lines that are limited by endurance and battery power to staying close to downlink antenna near front which has a high bandwidth link to nearby drone operator. These would typically be low altitude, both loitering and scanning. Enhancements would enable handoff between RF links if they are moving along the front.

Aim is keep personnel away from RF transmitters and visible Launch and Recovery points that coud be targeted as much as possible while increasing tempo of operations.

  1. Could also be relevant to some One Way Attack drones for same reasons. Though I would prefer these to be operated via relay from ISTAR drones that guide them to the targets instead of by separate operators near the launcher.

  2. Also for launch as close to target as possible for longer range winged drones that go deeper to reach target of an engagement so that they can reach it as quickly as possible, even if they have adequate comms for operators to be away from front lines.

I would envisage the same drones and personnel as for item 1 accompanying a tank force for screening and laser guided extension of tank fire to 8km.

Intermediate enhancements would include hub concentrators with satellite connections instead of operators at front lines, connecting to operators at rear - especially for tank force.

Other alternatives would include relayed communications via high altitude drones with sufficient power.

Point of this post is to visualize the most difficult “front line” situation without enhancements. So as to consider enhancement that replaces the operator in the shelter with a front haul network link to a satellite connection and/or an airborne relay.

Need to understand what the power and communications currently available are likely to be.

This would appear to be a smart move, Russians have force and arty concentration at bakhmut, probe the rest of the line and find where the defenses are weakest and the morale is lowest.


Does anyone know if Starlink is still geoblocking?

A lot is going to depend upon the CONOPS that will be employed.
Low altitude or high? Loitering or scanning? There’s a lot that goes into determining how to package a solution that requires a good understanding of the desired CONOPS.

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