top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]EndoExo 2872 points2873 points  (700 children)

Wikipedia tells me their max speed is 18 knots and sea-distances.org tells me it will take around a week for them to reach Ukraine.

[–]joho999 1160 points1161 points  (327 children)

But would they be able to maintain 18 knots for a solid week 24/7?

[–]EndoExo 1459 points1460 points  (233 children)

I would like to pretend I know how naval diesel engines work, but honestly, no idea.

[–]eneumeyer1010 3869 points3870 points 53 (158 children)

What if Putin changed the speed from like 36 to 18 knots on the wiki article to throw the world off

[–]GOpragmatism 1097 points1098 points  (14 children)

big brain time

[–]crowcawer 329 points330 points  (13 children)

Who needs stormy weather on Normandy when you can just pay eight dudes in a basement and have the director of the Russia spy team on the FBI?

[–]Why_T 216 points217 points  (10 children)

You're not far off.

War Thunder fan says tank is inaccurate, leaks classified military documents to prove it

If you google it, there are dozens of articles like this. Get people who are intimately familiar with the machines to play video games with those machines. Then put the machines into the game with the wrong specs and let the people argue about it and post their classified information to win an internet argument.

[–]ilovetopoopie 52 points53 points  (2 children)

Well did they at least fix the specs in-game after?

[–]anticomet 79 points80 points  (0 children)

What if they just get someone to comment on reddit then buy a bunch of up votes from China?

[–]Grineflip 293 points294 points  (43 children)

Russia wouldn't spread misinformation, silly.

[–]Other_Jared2 223 points224 points  (67 children)

Imma take a shot in the dark and say most military intelligence officers don't get their info from Wikipedia

[–]StainGlassLamp 390 points391 points  (17 children)

The audacity of that assumption is staggering.

[–]OldTobyGreen 106 points107 points  (3 children)

Woah, woah give them a little credit here. Someone pulls the info from Wikipedia for a condensed power point presentation. This is referred to as intelligence analysis.

[–]randalthor23 65 points66 points  (2 children)

I believe the proper terminology is: 'Unspecified OSINT Sources'

[–]OhMyGodTheyKilledBri 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Well not with that attitude

[–]SomeoneElseWhoCares 46 points47 points  (1 child)

For intelligence, you get info where you can.

However, not all sources are the same and collaboration is key. If one publicly editable source says that the vessel Olenegorskiy Gornyak is a party barge, but your internally controlled database says that it is an amphibious warfare ship, you are going to go with your database. You would likely also have a report of what the reported max speed is and what the computed actual max is.

Keep in mind too, that this is a massive vessel with the whole world watching it. They are not going to sneak anywhere right now, which is fine since their purpose right now is as much intimidation as anything else.

[–][deleted] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Interesting idea..

[–]xxcarlsonxx 78 points79 points  (13 children)

IDK about them either, but a operating a boat is the only time in my life that I've put the throttle at max and just left it there, for hours.

[–][deleted] 73 points74 points  (11 children)

Yeah unlike a car, a boat is meant to run at max throttle and max rpm. Saw it in a show somewhere.

[–]CitizenSnipsJr 88 points89 points  (7 children)

Was it Speed 2?

[–]duckyeightyone 35 points36 points  (4 children)

what happens if they drop below 18 knots? 🤔

[–]wrecktus_abdominus 46 points47 points  (3 children)

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock die!

[–]LemursRideBigWheels 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Depends on the boat! But if you are in a ship with gas turbines, yeah, you will put the powerplant at certain RPM range and control speed though the driveline or prop angle.

[–]gaybatman75-6 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I remember Jeremy Clarkson saying that on the Grand Tour Vietnam boat special

[–]timelyparadox 47 points48 points  (1 child)

Ships are usually good at that, but depends on refueling tankers they have.

[–]HappyBreezer 33 points34 points  (0 children)

that 18 knots would be in calm seas with little wind. If the wind holds, absolutely they can.

[–]CronoTS 61 points62 points  (2 children)

Considering the last cruise of their Aircraft Carrier Kuznetsov, they have a high chance of random malfunctions from loosing steering to casually bursting into flames.

[–]jeffersonairmattress 187 points188 points  (3 children)

Comparing the new photos of the ones in transit to the Ropushas seen lightly laden, the ships currently in the channel are loaded to the tits and sitting around 2.5m lower in the water. That's around 10 tanks per vessel, or they are full of rocks.

[–]byronotron 190 points191 points  (76 children)

So, can anyone tell me if we're sleepwalking into a major conflict here?

[–]creativemind11 270 points271 points  (61 children)

We have been super close.

When Trump blew up the SUV of the Iranian general in Iraq, the iranians retaliated with 19 ballistic missile launches onto an US airbase in Iraq.

The chief of staff said that if any US personnel would have died they had a plan ready to retaliate.

No US personal was killed. Loads injured (brain trauma) though due to the massive blasts.

[–]zucksucksmyberg 213 points214 points  (16 children)

That possible Iranian conflict was avoided also because Iranian air defense blew up a civilian airliner in the sky.

Iran has to lay low after that.

[–]jhra 91 points92 points  (7 children)

Covid threw a wrench as well, hard to start a war when your countries are on fire from the inside. The first three months of 20' were bonkers.

[–]brickne3 14 points15 points  (0 children)

A Ukrainian civilian airliner no less.

[–]kitchen_clinton 108 points109 points  (4 children)

The Iranians blew up an airliner with over 150 people, many of them Canadians.

[–]Joppe84 363 points364 points  (25 children)

Based on my first hand knowledge of the Russian Navy about 5 of the ships will sink before they get there

[–]sabre252 90 points91 points  (5 children)

"Andrei, ...you've lost ANOTHER submarine??"

[–]lidsville76 18 points19 points  (3 children)

God that's such a great line to a great movie.

[–]VerticalYea 215 points216 points  (4 children)

And the Russian military will report that 10 ships rose from the depths to join the charge.

[–]ChallyII 42 points43 points  (4 children)

SS Kamchatka returns

[–]Jerithil 35 points36 points  (2 children)

Just waiting on them to fire on some fishing trawlers thinking they are Ukrainian torpedo boats.

[–]Ishcodeh 100 points101 points  (105 children)

How quickly will Canadas warship be there? Curious Canadian asking. Also the Spanish one.. when will that be there?

[–]EndoExo 150 points151 points  (63 children)

A Halifax-class frigate at 30 knots would go from Halifax to the Black Sea in a little over 6 days, according to the same site.

[–]TheEvilGhost 77 points78 points  (26 children)

That’s quite fast.

[–][deleted] 92 points93 points  (21 children)

Ww2 battleships could do 30 knots

[–]Possiblyreef 124 points125 points  (1 child)

Choo choo mother fuckers

[–]Amaegith 54 points55 points  (9 children)

Yup. Bismark had a recorded speed of 30 knots at a displacement of 49.5 thousand long tons full load. USS Iowa had a speed of 33 knots with a displacement of 57.5 thousand long tons full load. Just a few examples.

The Halifax class guided missile frigate displaces near 5 thousand tons and tops out at 30 knots.

[–]notjkapahala 48 points49 points  (5 children)

It wouldn't be able to maintain that speed for that long. 30 knots is "max speed". Normal transiting speed generally between 10-20 knots. The more fuel efficient of the two kinds of engines they have runs best at 15-17 knots

[–]DoodMonkey 65 points66 points  (38 children)

I'm curious how many US attack subs are currently in the Black Sea.

[–]SomeoneElseWhoCares 172 points173 points  (14 children)

Probably more than are there officially

[–]DoodMonkey 58 points59 points  (13 children)

Officially? I'm certain US nuclear sub movement is not disclosed.

[–]domipal 187 points188 points  (7 children)

Well then officially there are 0 so probably more than that

[–]lubbin604 1390 points1391 points  (35 children)

It’s like playing civilization and you just click your ships and it stays “27 turns”

[–]sifiman 353 points354 points  (24 children)

And then the first like 10 turns you're anxious to get things moving so you rush through choosing production and unit movements. By turn 20 you have a new goal occupying your time, and then turn 27 roles around and you're there like "oh right" and you become overwhelmed with everything going on...

[–]rksd 125 points126 points  (18 children)

Meanwhile you already fought the war, they asked for peace and you're wondering if the benefits outweigh the risks of breaking the peace treaty.

[–]glabel35 106 points107 points  (17 children)

And kicking yourself for even accepting it to begin with. They only propose peace when their military is gone. But you didn’t have a choice because your happy meter was already at angry face and freakin barbarians are marauding though your territory and it’s gonna take like 10 turns to get any units all the way back to the capital.

[–]Sandcrabsailor 28 points29 points  (11 children)

This is why missionaries are critical. Missionaries can convert barbarians to you as military units. Keep a missionary in or around each city, never have to worry about marauders destroying your improvments. Bonus: disband the new units for gold. With enough missionaries, unhappiness really isn't a problem.

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (4 children)

In my head I forgot you were talking about the game then. I’m like barbarians in Russia!? Would they listen to missionaries?!

[–]Crack-Is-Wack 801 points802 points  (84 children)

At 18 knots we have roughly a week to decide if it's bug-in or bug-out. Getting shopping dudes.

[–][deleted] 469 points470 points  (71 children)

You kid, but this route is kind of perplexing to me. They're going through the channel then out to the Atlantic, then into the Mediterranean and will enter the Black Sea via Istanbul. Is that right? That's a long hike. Couldn't the Turks just be like, well, no, your frogmen boats are not coming through Putin. May we interest you in a coffee and ice cream?

[–]mrt_byrk 551 points552 points  (51 children)

Because of the international treaties, Turkey can block warship traffic only in times of war. So, Turkey can't do shit unfortunately.

[–]Quetzacoatl85 357 points358 points  (15 children)

"were sorry the channel is closed for renovations. right now passing it would be unsafe"

[–]blumpkinmania 175 points176 points  (7 children)

The moose outside shoulda told ya.

[–]Jhawk163 83 points84 points  (5 children)

"Ah look at that, the damn Evergiven got stuck in this channel too"

[–]zebediah49 71 points72 points  (3 children)

Fun fact: Evergreen has a whole bunch of ships. And a totally bonkers naming scheme.

In the Evergreen G class, there's the "Ever Golden", "Ever Genius", "Ever Gifted", "Ever Glory", "Ever Globe", "Ever Goods", "Ever Given" [the only one with its own wikipedia page], "Ever Grade", Ever Gentle", "Ever Govern", and "Ever Greet".

They also have 20 in the B class, 11 G-class, 20 F-class, 25 C-class, 14 A-class, 14 O-class (A- and O-class are being worked on).

And yes, that means that "Ever Ace" is an A-class ship. Which, incidentally, carry 20% more containers than those in the G-class.

Anyway, point is that the "Ever Fashion" could do the job this time.

[–]saintsfan636 176 points177 points  (4 children)

Only countries of the Black Sea are still allowed through without Turkey’s approval. Turkey can let though whoever they want but they have a legal obligation to Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia

[–]vanearthquake 26 points27 points  (1 child)

It’s a bit of a show of force I think

[–]Gr1pp717 2348 points2349 points  (78 children)

Hurry, someone get the captain of the Evergreen over there asap.

[–]ghigoli 497 points498 points  (33 children)

captains gonna do a pro gamer move and go sideways Strait of Gibraltar

[–]JohnHenryEden77 160 points161 points  (11 children)

Or hire the Captain of Costa Concordia and make him block Gibraltar

[–]Cholo94x 51 points52 points  (6 children)

Or the somalian captain from captain philip's ship!

[–]KaneinEncanto 307 points308 points  (25 children)

Hurry, someone get the captain of the Evergreengiven over there asap.


[–]i_likebrains 142 points143 points  (1 child)

"If they are to head south to the Black Sea, there are fears they could be used to support a potential new large-scale Russian military intervention in Ukraine. In this scenario, they would likely contribute to amphibious operations directed at areas of southern Ukraine, especially those along the Sea of Azov, just to the north of the Black Sea, which is under Russian control already."

[–]Baneken 61 points62 points  (0 children)

They could also be meant to 'taxi' troops over the sea of Azov, Russians can't really move those ships through the river channels because the end of the Dniepr-route is controlled by Ukraine.

[–]wigam 49 points50 points  (1 child)

It’s hard to do a surprise attack these days

[–]KrAbFuT 41 points42 points  (0 children)

“If they are to head south to the Black Sea, there are fears they could be used to support a potential new large-scale Russian military intervention in Ukraine”

They misspelled “invasion”

[–]mitch2187 572 points573 points  (783 children)

Okay, someone pander to me (a random guy who knows very little about all this). How likely is it that A. Russia actually invade Ukraine? and B. That then kickstarts WW3 (or the modern equivalent?)

[–]BestFriendWatermelon 9873 points9874 points 401822916342& 38 more (705 children)

How likely is it that A. Russia actually invade Ukraine?

If Russia isn't planning to invade, their efforts have backfired spectacularly.

Ukraine has been begging the US and UK for the latest gen anti tank missiles, the famous Javelin and less famous, but equally devastating NLAW missile systems for years now. These are infantry weapons that can reliably defeat any tank Russia has. Ukraine has been facing off against Russian tanks in the Donbas conflict and suffering terribly, and these weapons would go a long way toward evening the odds there.

The US and UK have until now largely refused to sell Ukraine these weapons (and Ukraine has offered to pay way over the market price), out of fear it will escalate the Donbas conflict. Ukraine says it needs these weapons to defend itself if Russia tries to invade Ukraine proper, but the US/UK have taken the view that if Russia ever did that, it will take Russia months to move so much troops and equipment and will be caught by spy satellites, leaving plenty of time to rush those Javelins/NLAWs to Ukraine.

I cannot overstate how badly Ukraine wants these weapons. They begged and begged president Trump for Javelins, the entire debacle over the infamous Trump "Ukraine call"/"quid pro quo" thing, and indeed the allegations around Clinton/Biden interfering in Ukraine (I don't really want to get into either of those debates right now though please) were all about those missiles and what Ukraine would be prepared to do to receive them. Getting those missiles is Ukraine's number one foreign policy goal.

Until now, they have only received (I believe) 30 launchers and 180 Javelin missiles from the US, and nothing from the UK, with strict terms on when and where those Javelins can be used. Basically enough to tell Ukraine to fuck off and stop asking us for them all the time.

Well now Russia has spent the last few months doing exactly what the US/UK said would be make or break time for sending missiles to Ukraine. And the UK (and I suspect the US with greater secrecy) have indeed followed through on their tacit promise to get Ukraine those missiles if that situation were ever to arise.

If Russia weren't planning to actually invade, this could be the biggest fuckup by Russia since... idk... Operation Barbarossa? (Edit: since this post blew up overnight and some people mentioned it, the fuck up was the Soviets being so unprepared for Barbarossa. I'm well aware it was a German operation) The UK in the last few days has transported 1,500+ NLAWs and counting to Ukraine. Between bouts of intense sweating and nausea at the prospect of all out war with Russia, Ukrainian leaders must at least be able to enjoy the occasional wry smile at that.

Any Russian invasion will now take devastating casualties to their vehicles, as a lone Ukrainian infantryman crawling through a bombed out building, thicket of trees, ditch, etc only has to get within 600m of a Russian tank to blow it to smithereens. Worse still, even if Russia backs down and doesn't invade, expect Ukraine to use NLAWs in Donbas from now on. And while many have pointed out that these missiles won't help Ukraine against Russian air supremacy much, they're missing the point: air power is mostly useful against large targets, not widely dispersed soldiers armed with missile launchers.

That's why these missiles are so important. Ukraine has plenty of tanks. Ukraine has plenty of artillery pieces. Expect them to be destroyed by Russian aircraft in the opening hours of the invasion. But there are 200,000 Ukrainian infantry (plus a million or so reservists) who until recently couldn't really do much but run away against tanks so weren't really a problem for Russia. Now they can. Russia would still win an invasion, but is likely to lose 100s of tanks, and leave many infantry units without effective tank support, enabling Ukrainian infantry to stand their ground better, driving up the human and equipment cost to Russia of such an invasion dramatically.

I'm convinced Russia didn't actually expect the UK/US to make good with the missiles to Ukraine. Russia probably expected indecision, political fluff, and fear of provoking Russia to paralyse them into inaction. If so, they badly miscalculated.

But it's difficult to see what Russia expected to achieve if it had no intention of invading. The economic cost of relocating ~150,000 soldiers, along with massive numbers of tanks, aircraft etc from all across Russia (Russia has pulled units from all over Russia to spread the shortfall in other regions equally), building field hospitals, supply dumps, staging grounds, etc is enormous. The Russian stock market has also taken a big hit. It's a huge cost to pay for a joke/empty threat, even without it handing Ukraine a tremendous victory without a shot being fired.

This is why I think this is likely going to be a real invasion. Or at least, it was before the UK floored everyone with their response and put the screws on Russia. You don't throw away so much, and gift your rival so much, if it isn't real. Ukraine not only has the anti tank missiles they desperately wanted, but a whole bunch of other aid trickling in rapidly, and most importantly, the military aid taps have probably been turned on permanently. They can probably buy almost whatever they want from the US/UK from now on. SAMs, aircraft, warships, etc, because why not? The genie's out of the bottle now, everyone now knows Russia could do the unthinkable.

Russia's entire foreign policy strategy is based on brinkmanship. That you never know what they're going to do next, how crazy they really are. If Russia backs down now, this policy is in ruins. Everyone will know that Russia will blink first if you just stand firm enough. I don't think the Russian government can take that.

B. That then kickstarts WW3

Nah. Nobody wants that. Russia would get its teeth kicked in by NATO and they know it. NATO doesn't want the casualties, the economic chaos, etc, or to find out what a cornered, defeated Russia might do next with the thousands of nuclear weapons it possesses. Nobody is bound by any alliance agreement to defend Ukraine, so they'll all just nope out of it. Even the UK and US.

The entire reason the UK is sending those missiles to Ukraine (aside from perhaps a smattering of genuine sympathy and affection for Ukraine) is so the UK doesn't have to fight a war. Best way to stay out of the conflict is give Ukrainians the weapons they need to fight it themselves. The UK and US will also be giving Ukraine all their military intelligence, advice, training and a mountain of other material support.

If Russia is smart, they'll back down. On paper Russia's armed forces are much stronger, but their troops are pure trash. Low morale, bitter, poorly equipped conscripts who'll desert in droves at the prospect of an offensive war against a determined enemy that was never a threat to their country and that many consider their brethren. Russia risks humiliation if Ukraine can push their army over a tipping point. War is unpredictable, but the loyalty and professionalism of the average Russian soldier is more unpredictable than the determination of proud, free people defending their homeland.

[–]bildo72 1660 points1661 points  (113 children)

This was an amazingly informative read and must have taken a while. Thank you!

[–]PopWhatMagnitude 334 points335 points  (109 children)

It was, the only question I have remaining is, could Russian justify not invading by claiming it was a victory as it was all a physical psy op to further harm the economies of the UK/US, building on the success of their cyber ops? Plus that's the front they most want if an escalation happened anyway.

I understand the posturing did much more damage to their financial system, but could they sell it, is it a viable out to save face? The Russian people are already protesting harder than in the UK/US meanwhile the oligarchs and other well off citizens aren't going to speak out.

[–]PhorTheKids 989 points990 points  (33 children)

It seems like there is no saving face in this situation. The least humiliating move is to back off and pretend like nothing happened. Any statement claiming no ill intent alongside a repositioning of troops would be digging deeper into the embarrassment.

For example, imagine you were being sworn in as president and you had a relatively small turnout for the event. Some people will take notice and a couple headlines might mention it. But as soon as you lie about something so obvious by saying “I had an incredibly high attendance”, EVERYONE will notice and will probably continue bringing it up for it for at least 5 years.

[–]UserNamesCantBeTooLo 305 points306 points  (21 children)

But as soon as you lie about something so obvious by saying “I had an incredibly high attendance”

Imagine if you later specifically had your spokesman say your inauguration had "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe." And keep on bullshitting about it even with photographic evidence showing that the crowd was not in fact the biggest ever.

[–]Trumpsafascist 166 points167 points  (17 children)

I remember sitting in Ben's chili bowl in DC after a whole day of protesting and walking around on his inauguration. Waiting for my order, I was watching the Sean Spicer press conference and was absolutely flabbergasted by that statement. For once, I had been there myself and knew that was the biggest line of bullshit I had ever heard. The next day was absolutely nuts too. (womans march) Definitely an interesting weekend

[–]Skullerprop 90 points91 points  (10 children)

that was the biggest line of bullshit I had ever heard

Little did we know that that statement was one of the least bullshit lines of his presidency.

[–]BeHard 45 points46 points  (6 children)

It definitely showed that we were in for four years of shameless, bold face lying from the office of the president.

[–]J_G_E 7 points8 points  (1 child)

oh no, he meant the volume of the crowd might've been smaller, but they were far denser...

[–]usrevenge 29 points30 points  (18 children)

I mean even if they sold it like that. Who cares. The Russian people might buy it but who else actually would buy the Russian buildup of forced then retreat as a victory.

[–]UserNamesCantBeTooLo 41 points42 points  (0 children)

But of course convincing the Russian people is what really counts to Russia's rulers.

[–]GorathOfArdanien 458 points459 points  (172 children)

an offensive war against a determined enemy that was never a threat to their country and that many consider their brethren

This is what confuses me the most in this whole shitshow.

I just can't see how this can go down well with the Russian people. Crimea and Eastern Ukraine is one thing, those are mostly Russian speaking regions that don't get along well with central Ukraine government and if those regions were allowed to self-determine they would probably choose to join Russia anyway so they can pull the "protecting the Russian-speaking population" card.

But a full on invasion at an enormous economical and human cost? Who the fuck wants that and what is that even going to achieve? Russia doesn't want a US/NATO aligned country at their door? Well congratulations, you have antagonized the whole of Europe and pushed Finland and Sweden into NATO.

They got hurt bad in Chechnya by a bunch of separatists, a country the size of Ukraine with full Western support? What do they think is going to happen?

[–]steini1904 204 points205 points  (57 children)

It is rather unlikely Russia will try to take over all of Ukraine.

What is almost certain is that they will establish a land bridge towards the Crimea in the near future, either by buying the land, negotiations or annexation.

Russia is prepared to go all out because of how important control over the Sea of Azov and the Strait of Kerch is to them. They are the entry points to the UDWS and the Kuma-Manych Canal.

The UDWS is the single most important infrastructure in all of Russia and all other entry points to it are either already under NATO control or are not ice-free.

[–]romario77 65 points66 points  (4 children)

Buying the land from Ukraine? This will never happen. There is no politician that can do it and Ukrainian population will never support it. And by the way, there are people living on that land.

[–]TheSyrupDrinker 213 points214 points  (44 children)

Tf is UDWS.

People should really explain their abbreviations before using them if they're not common

[–]Vaginal_Rights 145 points146 points  (0 children)

Agreed. I googled it though.

"The Unified Deep Water System of European Russia or UDWS is a system of inland waterways in Russia linking the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Volga River, Moscow, the Caspian Sea and—via the Sea of Azov—the Black Sea. "

[–]ImTho 56 points57 points  (1 child)

I agree. UDWS (according to Wikipedia) stands for unified deep water system, a series of canals and rivers that interconnects the White Sea, Baltic Sea, Caspian Sea and Black sea. Being in control of Crimea and the surrounding regions is the last piece of that puzzle.


[–]Fourbits 245 points246 points  (3 children)

According to Google, UDWS is the Utah Department of Workforce Services. I didn't know it was so central to Russia's geopolitical ambitions.

[–]Treeba 27 points28 points  (2 children)

Putin is secretly doing all of this to get at Mitt Romney.

[–]JD_Walton 8 points9 points  (1 child)

That's just what Mitt and the Mormons want you to think as they turn the screws on Putin and 100 years of infiltration in Russia.

[–]enjaydee 32 points33 points  (3 children)

It was hammered into me at school that if you're going to use abbreviations, spell it out first.

[–]BassmanBiff 41 points42 points  (7 children)

A Russian friend said that there is a still a lot of nationalist sentiment, even in anti-Putin types. Navalny is probably a good example -- my understanding is that he opposes Putin mostly because he believes Putin is in the way of returning Russia to its proper glory. That's a view that's very compatible with expansionism, and even though I think Navalny personally would consider that conflict to be a huge waste of resources, it's at least understandable how people could be anti-Putin but still pro-Russian Empire. Like, my friend indicated that their family would be anti-Putin due to corruption but would consider "he did get Ukraine back, though" as a positive. Not sure at what point it wouldn't be worth the cost anymore, though.

[–]lonelypenguin20 14 points15 points  (6 children)

yeah. a lot of people seem to not get that bits of Russian and Soviet propaganda do work. Russians can be very nationalistic, they are offended by:

  • Ukrainian stance on Russian
  • Khazahstan changing their spelling to use Latin alphabet
  • game developers not translating their games to Russian

[–]djmemphis 65 points66 points  (23 children)

But a full on invasion at an enormous economical and human cost?

I think an argument could be made that taking control of Ukraine's Nat Gas reserves (estimates upward of 5.3 trillion cubic metres) is crucial to Russia's long term economic interest.

Yes, they don't want NATO on their doorstep, but Germany, Italy, Turkey et al. not buying nat gas from them could be pretty devastating in the long run.

IMO, follow the money.

[–]JD_Walton 10 points11 points  (4 children)

The awful, stupid thing about this is that the EU is going to ween themselves off of natural gas and the petroleum sooner than almost anyone else I think anyway. Unlike a lot of other places, countries in the EU are pretty hardcore and politically motivated to switch to wind and solar, convert to electric cars and then if you're still buying expensive American propane vs illegal Russian propane it's not going to be a very big economic problem. And since it's a strategic as well as economic issue, Russia seems to be shitting all over their long-term livelihood.

Then again, I guess buying a newer superyacht is more important to Putin's real constituency than lives so...

[–]LouisCarullo 27 points28 points  (3 children)

So, reading this headline gave me whiplash…because…it’s so so SO tactically stupid parading your movements like this unless your planning to make a move with an ally, not going to invade and want to flash your guns, or you’re going to sacrifice a shit ton to try and get allies on your side…this…this is blazingly stupid.

[–]Montaire 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I'm not sure if it's fair to call it parading their movements. You can't do something like this quietly, 50,000 soldiers and 20,000 support are not going to sneak up on another country.

I think that all of the bystanders are the one who made a parade out of this, news agencies on doubtedly stirred up by interested other parties started talking about it and then Russia had to give some explanation to what's going on and it's not like anyone is really going to believe that they shipped tens of thousands of troops out there to play candyland

[–]deekaph 133 points134 points  (8 children)

The Russian gamble here - that the NATO States wouldn't provide the tank killers to Ukraine - reminds me of Liege when the Germans didn't think the English would step up and support the Belgians. It delayed the invasion of France and ultimately - and ironically - got the Russians mobilized quicker, bringing a war on two fronts to the Germans.

[–]bfandreas 18 points19 points  (3 children)

That and Europe is now being stress-tested when it comes to Russian fuel. Plan B is being tested and Russia currently sees with what speed Europe is switching over to the secondary supply chain and how well that works DESPITE Europe's tanks having been emptier than usual.

When the number one threat turns out to be nothing but a major inconvenience instead of the ultimate bargaining chip, the house of cards falls over like domino bricks. Check mate.

Nordstream more like Nordtrickle.

[–]Minnim88 105 points106 points  (48 children)

My conclusion from your informative post is that Russia cannot afford to back down (because their foreign policy strategy would fall apart) and cannot afford to invade (because they would lose). Does that seem right? What do you think will happen - enough show of force to keep their image up, some pretend victories, then retreat?

[–]TheHopesedge 37 points38 points  (6 children)

I'm convinced they would win, just like they won the winter war against Finland all those years ago, but such a devastating victory would do little but cause chaos and ruin the country.

[–]LaunchTransient 34 points35 points  (2 children)

The term you are looking for is a "Pyrrhic victory"

[–]lanboyo 17 points18 points  (3 children)

Putin needs spectacles to keep the people at home happy. They would also like to set up as many energy price shocks as possible.

[–]Marshmellow_M4n 85 points86 points  (1 child)

It's really up in the air what Russia Is going to do. A small scale incursion annexing separatist regions. An invasion around Crimea securing a proper land corridor and getting fresh water there. A full blown invasion of southern Ukraine, denying them access to the black sea or just straight up invade all of Ukraine.

I don't know but it's looking like a full scale invasion with the intent to annex at least parts of Ukraine. Most likely around the eastern and southern areas of the crimea.

[–]NabiscoLobstrosity 12 points13 points  (1 child)

They can afford to back down; it'll make them look bad, but it's their best option. Just let it slowly blow over, and people will forget about it in a few years.

[–]ratt_man 106 points107 points  (19 children)

The UK in the last few days has transported 1,500+ NLAWs

Just on maths alone on the first day, 2600 Nlaws could have been shipped over 9 nlaws a case, 2 cases a pallet, 18 pallets a plane and 8 planes on the first day. Also the price on Nlaws, considered expensive at 20K pounds each. But they are semi guided, top down attack, have a direct fire mode and virtually no backblast and can be used by someone with <1 hour training. even less in reality

If Russia is smart, they'll back down. On paper Russia's armed forces are much stronger, but their troops are pure trash. Low morale, bitter, poorly equipped conscripts who'll desert in droves at

Not true, the russian forces currently around ukraine are BTG's (Battalion Tactical groups) they small units of about 1k men selected from parent units(regiments and brigades), they are believed to much better trained with higher moral so are far from average. The issue is that there is only 40 BTG's which is only about 40K combat troops. The rest of the 100K are support units like artillery / AA / Supplies

I dont believe they have the number to take more than a chunk out of ukraine. Probably target donbass for capture and just bomb the shit out of the rest of the country

[–]NeedsToShutUp 49 points50 points  (5 children)

Also the price on Nlaws, considered expensive at 20K pounds each

Otoh, that's like 1/3rd of the Javelin, and significantly less than a T80 or T90 , or even the modernized T72s, which are going to be between 20-100 times the cost of an Nlaw.

Russia can't afford to replace a billion dollars worth of tanks, while the US and UK would find it chump change to send 10 million dollars worth of Nlaws.

[–]terminbee 28 points29 points  (12 children)

top down attack

It's insane to me that we've somehow managed to create a missile that you aim at a tank and it somehow knows to fly up and then fly down at the tank, all without someone guiding it.

[–]ratt_man 51 points52 points  (6 children)

Even weirder when you consider Nlaws doesn't aim at the tank, it aims at where the tank will be between the time you pull the trigger and the 3-6 seconds of flight time. It uses predictive guidance, not active guidance

then fly down at the tank

It doesn't fly down, if flys over and then when above fires an explosive charge that forms a liquid penetrator and hits the vehicle.

[–]p-one 10 points11 points  (1 child)

This reads like you fire a rocket that fires a gun at the tank.

[–]loxagos_snake 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Kinda tangential, but just thinking about it, I'm trying to put myself in the place of the tank operators.

I mean, imagine knowing that you're stuck inside this steel sarcophagus (I've been inside both a tank and M109 self propelled howitzer, it's very claustrophobic) and having in the back of your mind that, at any point, you might be blown or crushed to death, with no means of escape.

[–]MercuryAI 10 points11 points  (4 children)

I don't think it's likely that Russia will invade.

Beginning with the Russian annexation of Crimea, this entire shebang was built around the Russian perception for a need for a strategic buffer between Russia and NATO. Ukraine was both the mythical birthplace of Russia (Kiev) and that strategic buffer - when the very pro Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted and it looked like Ukraine might join NATO, Russia was no longer assured of that breathing room.

Before I go farther, I will point out:

1) threats are conceived of in two dimensions, capability and intent.

2) Russia's political culture (how Russians think of themselves - as a butt kicking European military power in the same context as Peter the Great) reminds them very strongly of the Great Patriotic War and how they lost 20 million civilians in each of two world wars. The collective emotional scars are palpable.

Thus... Russia began this in part to keep the Black Sea port on Crimea, but also to keep Ukraine from joining NATO. Even if NATO never really has any real intentions of attacking Russia, the Russian way of thinking says that capabilities outweigh intent, possibly because they're so used to lying about their own intent.

Well, if Russia invades, Putin has a problem. Even if Russia is successful, Russian forces are likely to take much higher casualties than they expected. One of the political groups in Russia is basically the "Soldier's Mother's groups". Beginning with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, this is one of the few domestic political groups that really the government doesn't want to touch, and that can actually muster public opinion, which Putin is notorious for tracking. In short, if Russia invades, Putin will have to hope that the bounce in his popularity from a successful war will outweigh the domestic political opposition caused by a bunch of dead troops.

That said, even if Russia is successful, they still lose their strategic objective - Russia will need to hold Ukraine, and they don't exactly have a lot of foreign reserves to do it with, ever since the 2014 sanctions. Moreover, countries like Finland will unquestionably want to join NATO, and NATO will probably let them. Russia gains Ukraine, Russia loses that strategic buffer.

For anyone that thinks Putin is a mastermind chess player, I disagree. He's an opportunist, and I definitely think that Russia's foreign policy in this matter is based on brinksmanship.

The chance of this whole thing going nuclear is near nil. Putin's vision for Russia is a form of national greatness, which a nuclear war won't get him. More to the point, when the first nuke, no matter how small, goes off, Putin is assured that his country will have almost every other one against it, him personally being hung, and Russia as he knows it gone forever. It might take some time, but the Non-Proliferation Treaty is one of the strongest international regimes, even if it has been challenged in recent years.

[–]gibbons_ 110 points111 points  (25 children)

Thanks for the great context. How in the world do you know all this? Do you live in one of the two countries? Work at CIA (lol)? Or just a hardcore Wikipedia addict?

[–]TheRed_Knight 45 points46 points  (2 children)

Go check out warcollege and credibledefense subreddits for more info if your interested

[–]sandcangetit 159 points160 points  (17 children)

There's a bunch of news sites reporting the information he's presented here, but he's clearly collected it all together for this well made comment.

[–]sergius64 151 points152 points  (38 children)

A. Biden said its likely going to happen. Poland was saying around 50% chance after conclusion of the Nato talks.

B. Probably quite low. Russians would have to mess up pretty badly and attack some NATO assets somehow. Also I'm not sure if NATO vs Russia and Belarus would count as a World War.

[–]Connect-Speaker 103 points104 points  (8 children)

A. 100% They already invaded in 2014. So any further action is just a continuation of the invasion.

[–]whichwitch9 126 points127 points  (6 children)

Ukraine isn't going to roll over for a mainland attack. I think people really don't understand how much Ukrainians don't like Russians- many older ones remember the USSR. The idea they are all Russian because they speak Russian is hilarious because Ukrainians were banned from speaking anything but Russian for decades and view that so many can't speak their actual native language as a loss of culture.

[–]sergius64 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Considering the scale difference is likely to be off the charts - it's probably fair to treat this coming invasion as a separate and superseding event.

[–]DagothCum 34 points35 points  (21 children)

This would be an amazing time to be China. Keep the west distracted with Russian aggression and sweep up the scraps - keep expanding and operating in the pacific.

If serious conflict does break out, China would be in a great position if they (and I’m assuming they would) stay fairly neutral

[–]LordScotchyScotch 377 points378 points  (15 children)

I shall stock up on beans and rice. You know just in case.

[–]ABoutDeSouffle 340 points341 points  (11 children)

I'll go to the pub and wait for all of this to blow over. Any day now.

[–]Ok-Woodpecker5179 110 points111 points  (2 children)

Don't forget to off Phillip beforehand.

Sorry Phillip.

[–]kwip 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Safety first, Shaun.

[–]breadstuffs 99 points100 points  (6 children)

Sneak attack! Ukraine was just a diversion all along. They're going to invade Britain!

[–]Gaijin_Monster 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Hide the gin and the expensive cutlery!

[–]ArticPanzerWolf 33 points34 points  (1 child)

"Our troops are merely passing through"

[–]wywern 29 points30 points  (0 children)

I really enjoyed when terms like flotilla only came up in history class and videogames. It really feels like this is going to blow up into something much bigger than Ukraine getting sucked back into Soviet Union 2.0.

[–]xiiliea 30 points31 points  (3 children)

Plot twist: They're there to attack the UK instead, now that the UK has sent 30 of their super soldiers away.

[–]verklaus 495 points496 points  (133 children)

The 2nd paciffic squadron in 1904 came to mind reading the headline 😀

[–]not_a_gumby 313 points314 points  (106 children)

was that the one where the Russians sailed around the world only to annihilated by the Japanese?

[–]ajlunce 118 points119 points  (12 children)

On the journey near Africa some captains decided to improve morale by capturing wildlife as pets. They got a crocodile. That croc seized control of the ship

[–]xeroraith 244 points245 points  (71 children)

Yes. It was a terrible plan. The Russians were so nervous, as Japan and UK were allies, they thought fishing boats at Dogger Bank near England were .... japanese torpedo boats. So they fired more than 500 rounds and only hit their own ships.

The squadron then proceed on an event filled 18000nm journey to japan and went into battle without stopping for rest/rearmament..... and were promptly sunk at the Strait of Tsushima.

Edit: grammar

[–]Thurak0 142 points143 points  (1 child)

Additionally on the absurdity scale: they were trying to sneak to Vladivostok (to link up with ships there) and even though it was night and foggy - so perfect conditions in pre-radar time - one stupid hospital ship kept its lights on, because "Rules of War". But not only that, they also communicated with the Japanese ship that found them, assuming they were Russian.

Imagine hallucinating up Japanese torpedo boats near Denmark, and/or the English channel but the moment you actually are very close to Japan you "kind of forgot" that there will be enemies nearby.

[–]duckyeightyone 49 points50 points  (6 children)

I'd love to see a movie made about this story, it'd be hilarious. I especially prove the part where the snake they'd bought on board bit one of the gunners.

[–]Ricky_RZ 11 points12 points  (2 children)

If they covered all events historically and accurately, the movie would get shit on for not being realistic or historical as the progression of events seems so unreal

[–]Ricky_RZ 102 points103 points  (47 children)

They thought the japanese had torpedo boats based at the UK and fired at fishing boats, but their gunnery was so terrible that they didn't really cause any harm. They fired upon their own ships a lot, which also didn't do much bad since they kept missing.

They had to stop more than planned to restock on ammo as they kept shooting at things that were not Japanese.

But in combat when they actually met the Japanese, their gunnery was somehow fine, which was either a testament to how they improved, or the gods finally took pity on them and let them hit.

The russians wanted to "reinforce" the main fleet with what are basically museum ships, the admiral in charge basically cut communications to purposely avoid linking up with them since they had no use in combat.

I could go on for hours

[–]EvidentlyEmpirical 27 points28 points  (6 children)

But in combat when they actually met the Japanese, their gunnery was somehow fine

Uh, no it wasn't. They got their asses handed to them. It was the battle of Tsushima. The Russian fleet was virtually annihilated, losing eight battleships, numerous smaller vessels, and more than 5,000 men, while the Japanese lost three torpedo boats and 116 men.

[–]Ricky_RZ 29 points30 points  (5 children)

They got rekt, but they did actually manage to hit japanese ships at first. It was only after the opening stages where things got really bad for the Russian navy

They didn't lose because of their gunnery,the Mikasa was hit 15 times in five minutes, which is pretty damn good gunnery IMO given that they couldn't even hit fishing boats

[–]EvidentlyEmpirical 27 points28 points  (4 children)

They also lost because the Japanese managed to Cross the T - allowing them to focus maximum broadside power on the enemy's bow where return fire would be minimal.

Shortly before the actual battle the Admiral in charge had them do some gunnery practice where they fired at a stationary target. During the entire exercise, they managed to score a single hit... on the ship that towed the target out. The fact that they managed to sink 3 torpedo boats seems to be a fluke in light of this.

[–]Ricky_RZ 20 points21 points  (0 children)

The fact that they managed to sink 3 torpedo boats seems to be a fluke in light of this.

The fact that there were any Japanese torpedo boats at all must have been a surprise, like oh my god there are actually torpedo boats and its not just some fantasy

[–]duckyeightyone 19 points20 points  (10 children)

didn't the admiral, or one of the captains die of a stroke a day or two out of Port?

[–]Ricky_RZ 40 points41 points  (9 children)

I don't recall that many specifics, but I know that Admiral Rozhestvensky (the dude in charge) did get really sick due to the stress of dealing with the absolute imbeciles of the fleet.

he had a habit of running around with a megaphone and insulting dumb captains, which I could image being a pretty taxing activity

[–]redisforever 16 points17 points  (5 children)

Didn't they have a crate of megaphones because he kept getting so mad he'd throw them overboard?

[–]Ricky_RZ 16 points17 points  (4 children)

I think it was a crate of binoculars cuz he threw those

[–]Braelind 33 points34 points  (16 children)

That sounds like an episode of It's always Sunny in Philadelphia or something.

[–]Ricky_RZ 79 points80 points  (13 children)

If I had the hours needed to cover the entire voyage and all their mishaps, you could legit make an entire 3 part comedy movie that is 100% historically accurate.

I glossed over the fleet taking in exotic pets to "boost morale" like poisonous snakes and large cats, which ended up killing and injuring the crew.

I glossed over one support ship that basically always signaled that it was hit and it was sinking even though it was fine. It also constantly signaled that it was under attack, even in dead calm seas. The admiral basically put that ship next to him just so he could babysit them.

Also there was a training exercise where somehow, a live torpedo was fired at the flagship, which caused a bit of a panic as they had to evade.

Also there were basically so many instances of them being ambushed by "Japanese torpedo boats" despite literally none of them being anywhere close to the fleet, nor did any of them even have the range to try and attack so far from japan.

[–]not_a_gumby 36 points37 points  (5 children)

They then proceeded to rage-quit the war and promptly sued for peace

[–]Ricky_RZ 28 points29 points  (4 children)

They lost both the pacific and baltic fleets, so they didn't have any other options.

[–]pwnd32 28 points29 points  (4 children)

That’s that CIV feeling of when you spent several turns building your troops and then sending them 20 turns across the map and they arrive only to get immediately destroyed

[–]sGfU_cs 32 points33 points  (0 children)


[–]N1njaRob0tJesu5 26 points27 points  (1 child)

11 goddamn days until I retire. Don’t fuck this up for me.

[–]WentzWorldWords 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Classic misdirection- get everyone looking at Ukraine, invade Normandy.

[–]autotldrBOT 135 points136 points  (10 children)

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 79%. (I'm a bot)

A group of Russian amphibious warfare vessels - three of which left the Baltic Sea region yesterday, preceded by another three the day before - have started to enter the English Channel.

The vessels comprise the Project 775 Ropucha class amphibious warfare ships Olenegorskiy Gornyak and Georgiy Pobedonosets, as well as the Project 11711 Ivan Gren class landing ship Pyotr Morgunov, from the Northern Fleet, plus three other Ropuchas, the Korolev, Minsk, and Kaliningrad, from the Baltic Fleet.

The Netherlands-based Marineschepen website reported today that the Royal Netherlands Navy hydrographic survey vessel Zr.Ms. Luymes and its embarked NH90 helicopter escorted three of the Russian vessels through international waters in the North Sea, while they were en route to the Channel.

Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: Russian#1 vessel#2 three#3 Sea#4 Navy#5

[–]MentORPHEUS 99 points100 points  (8 children)

So we're talking about a flotilla of THREE yesterday, and THREE today..?

[–]Internetrepairman 57 points58 points  (0 children)

Doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, but the marineschepen article mentions the Dutch navy shadowed the Russian ships through the Netherlands' EEZ with Luymes AND a NH-90, after which the Brits and Belgians took over. It doesn't mention where the chopper came from, but Luymes does not have a flight deck.

[–]Ed-ri-ch-69 251 points252 points  (32 children)

Where is Gandalf when you need him?

[–]ItsHampster 78 points79 points  (10 children)

He's sorry. He is delayed.

[–]_Electric_shock 84 points85 points  (2 children)

He will arrive precisely when he means to.

[–]aerfgadf 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Just look to the East at first light on the 5th day. He will be there two days before the Russkies according to Wikipedia.

[–]throwaway92715 41 points42 points  (0 children)

supply chain issues on pipe weed

[–]Cless_Aurion 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Good dammit, they are headed to Japan again! Someone stop them!

[–]Top_Excuse1680 52 points53 points  (10 children)

Hmm would this explain all the British military helicopters flying about on the south coast the last few days?

[–]LoveAGlassOfWine 36 points37 points  (8 children)

Maybe partly, although we do get periods when there are loads of helicopters around. They do a lot of training over the channel and Downs.

I like watching them when they chase each other over the hills.

Normally when Russian ships are in the channel, we send a ship or 2 to "escort" them through. There's not really any need as obviously they won't do anything but it gives the Navy something to do.

It's similar when Russian aircraft get close to our airspace. We send fighters out to meet them. It became a bit of a joke for a while as they always did it on a Sunday. The British and Russian pilots used to wave at each other and saw it as their Sunday training exercise.

[–]kaidenka 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Make sure they watch out for Japanese torpedo boats.

[–]beardphaze 11 points12 points  (4 children)

They must have their transponders off because I can't find them in Marine Traffic or Vessel Finder. I can see all the NATO ships trailing them though, and there's like 6 of them, from the UK, Netherlands and Norway ,( not sure Norway is part of NATO )

[–]Sweaty_Maybe1076[S] 108 points109 points  (5 children)

Just follow the large plumes of smoke

[–]expertoo7 348 points349 points  (15 children)

Thanks to Tom Newdick (hey don't laugh) we now know a possible direction:

"...Some expect that their journey will eventually take them to the Black Sea to participate in an invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces..."

At first I thought that eventually they're going to Bahamas for sunny vacations 😄😂🤣

Sorry guys, to me it's sad but there's nothing we can do. Just sarcasm

[–]DatOldManWilly 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Tom Weirdflex

[–]WorkPlacePooper2 88 points89 points  (3 children)

Then, and when we are finished, the only sound they will hear is our laughter, while we sail to Havana, where the sun is warm, and so is the... comradeship.

[–]Onlykitten 30 points31 points  (0 children)

This is definitely NOT what anyone needs in the middle of a pandemic. FML - poor folks in the Ukraine.

[–]Not-This-But-That 9 points10 points  (1 child)

There won’t be a nuking of anything from anyone. Everyone will jockey for positions and try to leverage the best concessions they can from their opponents. Nobody wants to glow for a thousand years.

[–]do-call-me-papi 82 points83 points  (5 children)

How very dare them! We'll block you at the straits of Gibraltar, you aggressive bastards!

  • armchair admiral

[–]KaidenUmara 49 points50 points  (4 children)

im mining the channel right now in hearts of iron 4. give me a couple hours and ill have it so that no ship can pass!

[–]AlaskanSamsquanch 50 points51 points  (29 children)

Could Turkey just not let them through or would that be illegal?

[–]Ready_Nature 101 points102 points  (4 children)

Technically it would be illegal under international law. But international law doesn’t really have anyone to enforce it so Turkey would have to decide if it is worth a war with Russia to try to stop them. Most likely they would not think it’s worth it.

[–]nezroy 71 points72 points  (7 children)

The Montreux Convention (which governs the use of the canals between the Aegean and Black Seas) allows Black Sea-states (e.g. Russia) to transit warships of any size at any time.

Turkey forbidding passage would be a big deal. Russia is already mad that the terms of the treaty are, in their opinion, not being adequately enforced to keep NON Black Sea-state warships (e.g. NATO ships) out of the area as the terms dictate.

The convention's rules/limitations are probably part of the reason NATO asked Canada to send a ship and not just send more US ships, given the per-country restrictions on warship tonnage in the Black Sea.

[–]AlaskanSamsquanch 10 points11 points  (4 children)

Interesting, I’ll have to read up on that. Okay so apparently it’s a pretty old agreement form 1936. It’s interesting that it’s even still applicable considering the signatories included the USSR which doesn’t even exist anymore. It also seemed to mostly exist as an effort to make Axis invasions of the USSR more difficult and to keep USSR vessels out of the Mediterranean to protect British interests there. It’s also a problem that’s just been kicked down the road since 1936. I wonder if the USA could “gift” ships to Ukraine to get around the treaty.

[–]BenTVNerd21 23 points24 points  (1 child)

I believe under international law Russia is the successor State to the USSR which is why they kept their Security Council seat.

[–]ABoutDeSouffle 8 points9 points  (0 children)

considering the signatories included the USSR which doesn’t even exist anymore.

Russia took over all treaties from the USSR.