France agrees to deliver French-made CAESAR 155mm wheeled howitzers to Ukraine

Defense News – Global Security army industry

France agrees to deliver French-made CAESAR 155mm wheeled howitzers to Ukraine

April 23, 2022


According to information published by the French newspaper website “Le Figaro“, on April 22, 2022, the French President Emmanuel Macron has unveiled that France will deliver state-of-the-art CAESAR 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.


Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
French army CAESAR 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers. (Picture source Army Recognition)


Citing information from the newspaper website “Ouest France” published on April 22, 2022, during an interview, the French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will deliver CAESAR 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer as well as MILAN anti-tank guided missile weapon systems to Ukraine.

According to French Sources, 12 CAESAR 155mm howitzers will come for the military inventory of the French to be delivered to the Ukrainian armed forces. After the announcement on April 21, 2022, by the United States of new $800 million military aid for Ukraine and the help provided by many European countries, France wants to show its support for the Ukrainian government in its fight against the Russian forces which have invaded the country since February 24, 2022.

On April 12, 2022, Army Recognition reported that France and Italy delivered a few dozen Milan anti-tank guided missile weapon systems to Ukraine between February 28 and March 3, 2022.

For the past few days, Russian forces have launched a large offensive in eastern Ukraine and continue to carry out bombardments throughout the country. Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to declare a battlefield victory by May 9, the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany.

The main goal of the Russian armed forces is to size the Donbas region and southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian President Zelenskyy also said that Russia has increased the movement of troops in the direction of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city, as well as the Donbas and the Dnipropetrovsk region. The Donbas region is made up of the two pro-Russian self-declared republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.

The CAESAR is 155mm wheeled self-propelled fully designed and developed by the French company Nexter. This new artillery was presented for the first time to the public in June 1994 and was ordered by the French army in September 2000 and delivered late in 2022.

Since CAESAR entered into service, this outstanding artillery system has become combat-proven during external combat operations in Afghanistan, Mali, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, the Sahel region, the Middle East, and East Asia. The CAESAR has served under severe real conditions of engagement (wind, dust, night, snow, the mountain in winter, jungle, deserts of sand and rocks, during extreme temperature, etc.) and showed its great combat capabilities as an artillery support weapon.

The 6×6 wheeled self-propelled howitzer CAESAR is armed with a 155 mm/52 caliber cannon mounted at the rear of the truck chassis. The cannon inherits the long tradition of cannons by Nexter (ex- GIAT Industries), with the French-made TRF1 155mm towed howitzer and the AUF1 self-propelled howitzer on tracked armored chassis. It can be also mounted on 8×8 military truck chassis to increase mobility in all-terrain conditions.

The 155mm/52 caliber of the CAESAR can fire a wide range of ammunition: among others, LU family (HE, Illuminating, Smoke and Practice) filled with insensitive or conventional explosives, the BONUS (Anti-Tank, smart), ERFB NR (Explosive Extended-Range Full-Bore), as well as the new KATANA 155mm, guided artillery ammunition. It has a firing range from 4.5 to 40 km and a high level of accuracy with the LU family. In direct firing mode, the maximum range is 2 km.

US military is already using lessons from the war in Ukraine for training soldiers: report

Insider

US military is already using lessons from the war in Ukraine for training soldiers: report

Sarah Al-Arshani – April 16, 2022

US Army soldier fires an AT4
A US Army soldier fires an AT4 anti-armor weapon during an exercise at the Vaziani Training Area in Georgia, August 7, 2019.US Army/Spc. Ethan Valetski
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine featured a disinformation campaign and attacks on civilian areas.
  • The US is already using those lessons in army training for possible future wars, The AP reported.
  • US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said the whole military is trying to learn lessons from Ukraine.

US Army trainers are already using lessons from Russia’s war in Ukraine to train soldiers for potential future conflicts with adversaries like Russia or China, The Associated Press reported.

“I think right now the whole Army is really looking at what’s happening in Ukraine and trying to learn lessons,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told The AP.

According to The AP, this month’s training at National Training Center involves role-players that speak Russian. The scenario’s focus is on enemy forces that use social media to create propaganda about US troops as well as forces that use missiles in their effort to take over cities.

Wormuth told The AP that the crisis in Ukraine shows how important the information domain is going to be for US forces.

Brig. Gen. Curt Taylor said that the goal is to train brigades on how to use all their tools in combat to wage a coordinated attack, including countering misinformation online.

Russia has used disinformation online and on state-sponsored media to disrupt the narrative that Ukraine is the aggressor in the invasion. Using actual images from the war, propaganda machines give a different explanation of what happened.

Another part of the training will focus on dealing with an enemy that’s willing to use missiles to strike civilian areas, The AP reported.

Russia has attacked hospitals, and apartment buildings, among other civilian buildings. Ukraine, alongside numerous other countries, has accused Russia of war crimes in the targetting of civilian areas.

“We’ve got to be prepared for urban combat where we have an adversary that is indiscriminately firing artillery,” Taylor said.

Stridsvagn 122: The Powerful Tank From Sweden That Russia Hates

1945

Stridsvagn 122: The Powerful Tank From Sweden That Russia Hates

By Brent Eastwood – April 4, 2022

Stridsvagn 122

Swedish soldiers with the Wartofta Tank Company, Skaraborg Regiment in a Stridsvagn 122 main battle tank conduct the defensive operations lane during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, June 7, 2018. U.S. Army Europe and the German Army co-host the third Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr Training Area, June 3 – 8, 2018. The Strong Europe Tank Challenge is an annual training event designed to give participating nations a dynamic, productive and fun environment in which to foster military partnerships, form Soldier-level relationships, and share tactics, techniques and procedures. (U.S. Army photo by Gertrud Zach)

Sweden’s Stridsvagn 122 Main Battle Tank Comes to Focus After the Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Sweden is not the first country you think of when it comes to armored maneuver warfare. But they do have a main battle tank, based on a German Leopard import, that serves the Swedish army well. The Stridsvagn 122 has some enviable characteristics for the Scandinavian country that is now taking the possibility of joining NATO seriously since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. New Swedish conscripted troops are being trained on the Stridsvagn 122, which shows the Swedes are executing home defense in a more earnest fashion.

Ukraine Jumpstarts Swedish Stridsvagn 122 Readiness

The Swedes began planning their own combat training activities late last year as the Russians increased their military build-up on the Ukrainian border. They started removing some of the rust from their armored maneuver battalions that hadn’t trained on the Stridsvagn 122 in years.

Get Those New Soldiers Trained on the Tank

For example, the Swedish Gotland Regiment had not trained in a live-fire exercise with the Stridsvagn 122 since 2000. That’s an astonishing lack of training and shows that the Swedes have been neglecting realistic military maneuvers for new troops. So, it took the War in Ukraine to wake up the Swedish army.

The Swedish Army also began supplementing the Stridsvagn 122 with new ammunition recently. In a $27 million deal, the Swedes just ordered new Israeli M339 tank projectiles that are manufactured by Elbit Systems. It’s a step up for the Stridsvagn 122 that needed to happen.

According to Yehuda Vered, the general manager of Elbit Systems, “The M339 not only meets the requirements of the Swedish army but will significantly improve the accuracy and firepower of the Swedish main battle tank Stridsvagn 122 when operating on the battlefield and hit different types enemy targets,” he told Boyko Nikolov of BulgarianMilitary.com on March 21 of this year.

Good Thing It’s Based on German Technology

The Stridsvagn 122 entered the Swedish military in 1996 and by 1998 there were 180 tanks. It’s based on the Leopard 2A5 Main Battle Tank. That was a good move by the Swedes to pick such a tried-and-true platform. The significant benefit of the Leopard 2A5 is that it provided the Stridsvagn 122 with modern armor on the hull and turret. It also borrowed from the French a top-notch survivability system that can sense an infrared anti-tank missile and fire infrared decoys to spoof the incoming missile.

Internal Controls Have Been Modernized

The 68-ton Stridsvagn 122 is known for digital fire controls and an encrypted radio and internal comms system. The tank commander has his own computer terminal. The driver has a video monitor and there is a state-of-the-art navigation system.

Top of the Turret Armor Is Improved

The Swedish main battle tank has improved armor along the top of the turret which is a weakness for many tanks when anti-tank guided missiles use a deadly downward trajectory attack angle. The fire control system has been modernized as well over the original Leopard platform.

Stridsvagn 122 – Nothing Wrong With Its Engine or Firepower

It retains the twin-turbo diesel engine from the Leopard with a hefty 1,500 horsepower. There is a 120mm smoothbore main gun. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun is included.

The tank is made for the frontlines and to excel in tank-on-tank warfare, plus it is able to survive against improvised explosive devices and anti-tank mines.

Bottom Line

There is much to admire about the Stridsvagn 122. Leopard tanks are known for reliability and survivability. There is ample firepower. The fire controls, navigation, and internal and external comms are up to date. The new Israeli projectiles will help even more.Stridsvagn 122

A Swedish leopard 2 tank (Strv 122) on exercises, taken in Sweden, February 16th 2006. Taken with a canon 350D.

But the Swedes need to beef up the numbers of troops who are qualified to operate their main battle tank. They must increase the operational tempo and practice realistic training in all weather and in night and day conditions. They will need to show they can complete live fire and maneuverability exercises, ideally against “red team” opposing forces that can be comparable to the rehearsals that tank forces in NATO countries execute.

If they can conduct this type of training, the Stridsvagn 122 will be the main battle tank that can better accomplish home defense missions for the Swedes.

Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.

Voice of the people: Truth and facts can be become of matter of life and death

The Ledger

Voice of the people: Truth and facts can be become of matter of life and death

The Ledger – March 29, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via video conference in Moscow, Russia, last week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via video conference in Moscow, Russia, last week.
Truth and facts can be become of matter of life and death

Reporting from journalists has indicated that as much as 60% of Russians do not believe that Vladimir Putin has attacked Ukraine and is bombing and killing Ukrainian citizens. This means that we should not count on the Russian people to remove Putin from power.

A Russian child in Ukraine was told by parents back in Russia that this attack and killing of Ukrainians is not true. Russian state media has conditioned its citizens to believe its version of invasion.

Hard to believe? Here in America, tens of millions of our citizens believe the last presidential election was stolen from the incumbent. Latching on to the Big Lie cost the lives of a number of people during the insurrection at our Capitol Jan. 6. In addition, the same lack of truth and facts puts dozens of public officials in harm’s way from the supporters of the Big Lie.

Some elements of our media are in the same business as the Russian state media, spreading misinformation to advance their causes. The truth and facts can be become of matter of life and death, especially with regard to the life of our democracy.

Daniel W. Brasier, Lakeland

Russia ‘losing more ground’ as Ukrainians ‘reclaim towns and positions near Kyiv’

Yahoo! News

Russia ‘losing more ground’ as Ukrainians ‘reclaim towns and positions near Kyiv’

Ellen Manning – March 25, 2022

Ukrainian soldiers search for bodies in the debris at the military school hit by Russian rockets the day before, in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, on March 19, 2022. - Ukrainian media reported that Russian forces had carried out a large-scale air strike on Mykolaiv, killing at least 40 Ukrainian soldiers at their brigade headquarters. (Photo by BULENT KILIC / AFP) (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Ukraine has managed to reoccupy towns and defensive positions up to 21 miles (35 kilometres) east of Kyiv, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). (Getty)

Russian forces are losing ground in Ukraine, allowing the country’s own forces to reclaim certain key towns and positions just 20 miles from Kyiv, according to the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Ukrainian counter-attacks and issues with Russian supply lines are both allowing Ukraine to retake towns and defensive positions up to 21 miles (35km) east of Kyiv, the MoD said in an intelligence update.

After invading Ukraine a month ago, Russia has so far failed to capture a single major city.

Despite warnings that the war could see a quick Russian victory, its armoured columns are moving much slower than expected, with forces taking heavy casualties and running low on supplies.

The MoD shared its latest intelligence update on Twitter. (Twitter/MoD)
The MoD shared its latest intelligence update on Twitter. (Twitter/MoD)
Russian invasion of Ukraine - territory believed to be controlled by Russia. (PA)
Russian invasion of Ukraine – territory believed to be controlled by Russia. (PA)

Read more: Moscow ‘plotting to seal off Crimea’ to stop ‘panicking Russians’ from fleeing

In its intelligence update posted on Twitter on Friday (25 March), the MoD said: “Ukrainian counter-attacks, and Russian forces falling back on overextended supply lines, has allowed Ukraine to reoccupy towns and defensive positions up to 35 kilometres east of Kyiv.

“Ukrainian forces are likely to continue to attempt to push Russian forces back along the north-western axis from Kyiv towards Hostomel Airfield.

“In the south of Ukraine, Russian forces are still attempting to circumvent Mykolaiv as they look to drive west towards Odesa, with their progress being slowed by logistic issues and Ukrainian resistance.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has continued to claim the invasion is going to plan, but as well as unflinching opposition from Ukrainian forces, he is also said to face issues on home turf, with widespread protests in Russian cities and the risk of being ousted in a coup led by his own security services.

Watch: Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko says he cries ‘every day’ at destruction Putin has caused. https://s.yimg.com/rx/martini/builds/42201637/executor.html

Exiled Russian human rights activist, Vladimir Osechkin, said information from an unnamed source within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) suggested unrest is growing within the service.

Osechkin, who is wanted in Russia for his work exposing abuse in Russia’s prisons, told The Times Putin is being blamed for Russia’s inability to claim Ukraine, and senior figures are beginning to become disillusioned with the war over increasingly oppressive sanctions brought in by the West which are biting at the lives of ordinary Russians.

Ukraine’s Mariupol says Russia forcefully deported thousands of its people

Reuters

Ukraine’s Mariupol says Russia forcefully deported thousands of its people

March 19, 2022

FILE PHOTO: A view shows a damaged residential building in the besieged city of Mariupol

(Reuters) – The city council of Ukraine’s Mariupol said Russian forces forcefully deported several thousand people from the besieged city last week, after Russia had spoken of “refugees” arriving from the strategic port.

“Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents were deported onto the Russian territory,” the council said in a statement on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.

“The occupiers illegally took people from the Livoberezhniy district and from the shelter in the sports club building, where more than a thousand people (mostly women and children) were hiding from the constant bombing.”

Reuters could not independently verify the claims.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said busses carrying people it called refugees from Mariupol began to arrive to Russia on Tuesday, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported last week. The ministry was not immediately available to comment on the Mariupol city council’s claims.

Some 400,000 people have been trapped in Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, for more than two weeks, sheltering from heavy bombardment that has severed central supplies of electricity, heating and water, according to local authorities.

The Russian TASS news agency reported on Saturday that 13 busses were moving to Russia, carrying more than 350 people, about 50 of whom were to be sent by rail to the Yaroslavl region and the rest to temporary transition centres in Taganrog, a port city in Russia’s Rostov region.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said this month that Russia had prepared 200 busses to “evacuate” Mariupol citizens.

RIA Novosti agency, citing emergency services, reported last week that nearly 300,000 people, including some 60,000 children, have arrived in Russia from the Luhansk and Donbas regions, including from Mariupol, in recent weeks.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said this month that more than 2.6 million people in Ukraine have asked to be evacuated.

Reuters could not immediately verify those reports.

Mariupol, a key connection to the Black Sea, has been a target since the start of the war on Feb. 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched what he calls a “special military operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and the West say Putin launched an unprovoked war of aggression.

As Russia has sought to seize most of Ukraine’s southern coast, Mariupol has assumed great importance, lying between the Russian-annexed peninsula of Crimea to the west and the Donetsk region to the east, which is partially controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by William Mallard)

Russian military slog in Ukraine a ‘dreadful mess’ for Putin

Associated Press

Russian military slog in Ukraine a ‘dreadful mess’ for Putin

Ellen Knickmeyer – March 18, 2022

FILE - A Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces member holds an NLAW anti-tank weapon, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)
FILE – A Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces member holds an NLAW anti-tank weapon, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - Cars drive past a destroyed Russian tank as a convoy of vehicles evacuating civilians leaves Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)
FILE – Cars drive past a destroyed Russian tank as a convoy of vehicles evacuating civilians leaves Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - A Christian worshiper prays in front of pictures of fallen soldiers at the Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church in Lviv, western Ukraine, March 6, 2022. The memorial is dedicated to Ukrainian soldiers who died after 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)
FILE – A Christian worshiper prays in front of pictures of fallen soldiers at the Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church in Lviv, western Ukraine, March 6, 2022. The memorial is dedicated to Ukrainian soldiers who died after 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - A Ukrainian serviceman takes a photograph of a damaged church after shelling in a residential district in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka, File)
FILE – A Ukrainian serviceman takes a photograph of a damaged church after shelling in a residential district in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka, File)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - Apartments damaged by shelling, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Marienko, File)
FILE – Apartments damaged by shelling, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Marienko, File)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - Relatives and friends attend a funeral ceremony for four of the Ukrainian military servicemen, who were killed during an airstrike in a military base in Yavoriv, in a church in Lviv, Ukraine, March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)
FILE – Relatives and friends attend a funeral ceremony for four of the Ukrainian military servicemen, who were killed during an airstrike in a military base in Yavoriv, in a church in Lviv, Ukraine, March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - Khreshchatyk, one of the main streets in Kyiv, Ukraine, empty due to curfew, March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
FILE – Khreshchatyk, one of the main streets in Kyiv, Ukraine, empty due to curfew, March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - An elderly woman is assisted while crossing the Irpin river on an improvised path under a bridge, that was destroyed by Ukrainian troops designed to slow any Russian military advance, while fleeing the town of Irpin, Ukraine, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)
Russia Ukraine War The Grind
FILE – An elderly woman is assisted while crossing the Irpin river on an improvised path under a bridge, that was destroyed by Ukrainian troops designed to slow any Russian military advance, while fleeing the town of Irpin, Ukraine, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The signs are abundant of how Ukraine frustrated Vladimir Putin’s hopes for a swift victory and how Russia’s military proved far from ready for the fight.

A truck carrying Russian troops crashes, its doors blown open by a rocket-propelled grenade. Foreign-supplied drones target Russian command posts. Orthodox priests in trailing vestments parade Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag in defiance of their Russian captors in the occupied city of Berdyansk.

Russia has lost hundreds of tanks, many left charred or abandoned along the roads, and its death toll is on a pace to outstrip that of the country’s previous military campaigns in recent years.

Yet more than three weeks into the war, with Putin’s initial aim of an easy change in government in Kyiv long gone, Russia’s military still has a strong hand. With their greater might and stockpile of city-flattening munitions, Russian forces can fight on for whatever the Russian president may plan next, whether leveraging a negotiated settlement or brute destruction, military analysts say.

Despite all the determination of Ukraine’s people, all the losses among Russia’s forces and all the errors of Kremlin leaders, there is no sign that the war will soon be over. Even if Putin fails to take control of his neighbor, he can keep up the punishing attacks on its cities and people. Ukraine’s president said Russia is trying to starve Ukraine’s cities into submission and that Putin is deliberately creating “a humanitarian catastrophe.”

“His instinct will be always to double down because he’s got himself into a dreadful mess, a huge strategic blunder,” said Michael Clarke, former head of the British-based Royal United Services Institute, a defense think tank.

“And I don’t think it’s in his character to try to retrieve that, except by carrying on, going forward,” he said.

Putin’s forces are waging Russia’s largest, most complex combined military campaign since taking Berlin in 1945. His initial objective, which he announced in a television address on Feb. 24 as the invasion began, was to “demilitarize” Ukraine and save its people from “neo-Nazis” — a false description of Ukraine’s government, which is led by a Jewish president.

Fatefully, Putin underestimated the national pride and battlefield skills that Ukrainians have built up over the past eight years of battling Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east.

At the start, Russians thought “they would install, you know, some pro-Russian government and call it a day and declare victory,” said Dmitry Gorenburg, a researcher on Russia’s security at the Virginia-based CNA think tank. “That was sort of Plan A, and as near as we can tell, they didn’t really have a Plan B.”

Russia’s first apparent plan — attack key Ukrainian military targets, and make a quick run to Kyiv, the capital — failed immediately. It was foiled by Ukraine’s defenses along with the countless mistakes and organizational failures by a Russian force that had been told it was only mobilized for military drills.

Clarke, the British researcher, related accounts of Russian troops selling communication equipment and fuel out of military vehicles to locals during the weeks they waited on Ukraine’s borders.

With no friendly population to welcome them, Russian forces reverted to tactics from their past offensives in Syria and Chechnya — dropping bombs and lobbing missiles into cities and towns, sending millions of men, women and children fleeing.

Putin’s forces are in position to capture the besieged port city of Mariupol. Overall, Russians appear to be fighting with three objectives now: to surround Kyiv, to encircle spread-out Ukrainian fighters in the east and to break through to the major port city of Odessa in the west, said Michael Kofman, an expert on the Russian military and program director at CNA.

Kofman cautions that much of the information on the war is coming from Ukrainians or from their American or other allies. That makes the partial picture skewed and a full picture impossible.

A senior U.S. defense official on Friday said the Russians have launched more than 1,080 missiles since the start of the war and that they retain about 90% of the combat power they had arrayed around Ukraine at the beginning of the invasion.

The U.S. assesses that the airspace over Ukraine remains contested, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the military assessments. The Ukrainian air force is continuing to fly aircraft and employ air and missile defenses..

“Just look at the map, and you just look at how little progress the Russians have been able to make,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said recently.

The math of military conquests and occupation may be against Putin in Ukraine.

Estimates of Russian deaths vary widely. Yet even conservative figures are in the low thousands. That’s a much faster pace than in previous Russian offensives, threatening support for the war among ordinary Russians. Russia had 64 deaths in five days of fighting during its 2008 war with Georgia. It lost about 15,000 in Afghanistan over 10 years, and more than 11,000 over years of fighting in Chechnya.

Russia’s number of dead and wounded in Ukraine is nearing the 10% benchmark of diminished combat effectiveness, Gorenburg said. The reported battlefield deaths of four Russian generals — out of an estimated 20 in the fight — signal impaired command, he said.

Researchers tracking only those Russian equipment losses that were photographed or recorded on video say Russia has lost more than 1,500 tanks, trucks, mounted equipment and other heavy gear. Two out of three of those were captured or abandoned, signaling the failings of the Russian troops that let them go.

Meanwhile, Russia needs to limit its use of smart, long-range missiles in case they’re needed in any larger war with NATO, military analysts say. On Saturday, the Russian military said it has used its latest hypersonic missile for the first time in combat, claiming that the Kinzhal, with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles), destroyed an underground warehouse storing Ukrainian missiles and aviation ammunition.

When it comes to the grinding job of capturing and holding cities, conventional military metrics suggest Russia needs a 5-to-1 advantage in urban fighting, analysts say. Meanwhile, the formula for ruling a restive territory in the face of armed opposition is 20 fighters for every 1,000 people — or 800,000 Russian troops for Ukraine’s more than 40 million people, Clarke notes. That’s almost as many as Russia’s entire active-duty military of 900,000.

On the ground, that means controlling any substantial chunk of Ukrainian territory long term would take more resources than Russia could foreseeably commit.

Other Russian options remain possible, including a negotiated settlement. Moscow is demanding that Ukraine formally embrace neutrality, thus swearing off any alliance with NATO, and recognize the independence of the separatist regions in the east and Russian sovereignty over Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Russia’s other options include an unrelenting air campaign in which it bombs and depopulates cities as it did in Chechnya and Syria. U.S. officials also warn of the risk of Russian chemical attacks, and the threat of escalation to nuclear war.

“Unless the Russians intend to be completely genocidal — they could flatten all the major cities, and Ukrainians will rise up against Russian occupation — there will be just constant guerrilla war” if Russian troops remain, Clarke said.

——

Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.

Photo shows destroyed Russian military helicopters on airfield attacked by Ukrainian forces at night

Business Insider

Photo shows destroyed Russian military helicopters on airfield attacked by Ukrainian forces at night

Sinéad Baker – March 17, 2022

A satellite image taken on March 16, 2022 showing destroyed Russian helicopters on tarmac at Kherson airfield.
A satellite image taken on March 16, 2022 showing destroyed Russian helicopters on tarmac at Kherson airfield.Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
  • A satellite image shows Russian helicopters destroyed at Ukraine’s Kherson International Airport.
  • Ukraine’s military said the attack happened Tuesday. It is not clear how many helicopters were hit.
  • Ukraine said earlier this month that it destroyed 30 Russian helicopters in a different attack.

A satellite image shows destroyed Russian helicopters at a Ukrainian airport after an overnight attack.

The image, taken on Wednesday by a Maxar Technologies satellite, shows the aftermath of a Tuesday strike by Ukrainian forces at Kherson International Airport in the south of the country.

Ukraine’s military said it hit the airport on Tuesday. It is not clear what kind of weaponry was used in the attack, or how many helicopters were destroyed.

CNN reported on Tuesday that at least three Russian military helicopters were destroyed.

There is no indication of whether there were any casualties in the attack.

Ukraine previously said that it destroyed 30 Russian helicopters on a Kherson airfield on March 7.

Russia captured the city of Kherson on March 2. It was the first major Ukrainian city to be seized by Russia in its invasion, which it started on February 24.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Top ex-Kremlin official quits post after condemning Ukraine war

Reuters

Top ex-Kremlin official quits post after condemning Ukraine war

Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian economist – March 18, 2022

Russian Deputy PM Dvorkovich waits before annual state of nation address attended by Russian President Putin at Kremlin in Moscow

(Reuters) – A former Russian deputy prime minister who spoke out against the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine has quit as chair of a prestigious foundation after a lawmaker accused him of a “national betrayal” and demanded his dismissal.

Arkady Dvorkovich, deputy prime minister from 2012 to 2018, became one of Russia’s most senior establishment figures to question the war when he told U.S. media this week that his thoughts were with Ukrainian civilians.

His comments prompted a senior ruling party lawmaker to demand that he be fired and to accuse him of being part of a “fifth column” undermining Russia.

The 49-year-old had been chairman since 2018 of the Skolkovo Foundation, an innovation and technology hub on the outskirts of Moscow that brands itself as a kind of Russian Silicon Valley.

On Friday, the Skolkovo Foundation said in a statement that Dvorkovich had decided to step down. He could not be reached immediately for comment. He remains president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

Igor Shuvalov, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, said Dvorkovich had resigned, saying that he could no longer combine his duties at Skolkovo with his responsibilities at FIDE under the current circumstances.

Thousands of people have been detained for protesting against Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which officials in Moscow describe as a “special military operation” to demilitarise and “de-nazify” its former Soviet neighbour.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday delivered a stark warning to people he called “traitors” in Russia who he said the West wanted to use as a fifth column to destroy the country.

After his comments to Western media, Dvorkovich said in a statement on Skolkovo’s website that he was “sincerely proud of the courage of our (Russian) soldiers” and that Russia had been targeted by “harsh and senseless sanctions”.

But the following day, Andrei Turchak, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party, called for his sacking.

“He has made his choice,” Turchak said. “This is nothing but the very national betrayal, the behaviour of the fifth column, which the president spoke about today.”

(Reporting by Reuters)

What to know about the tiny, remote-controlled drones the U.S. is giving Ukraine

Axios

What to know about the tiny, remote-controlled drones the U.S. is giving Ukraine

Bryan McBournie – March 18, 2022

Switchblade drones are among the military support items President Biden announced yesterday in an $800 million package for Ukraine.

Why it matters: Unlike the large drones the U.S. military uses for reconnaissance and deploying weapons against targets, these tiny Switchblades are themselves the weapon.

Why are Switchblade drones called “kamikaze drones”?

The Switchblade drones are sometimes called “kamikaze drones” because they act as single-use, remote-controlled bombs.

  • They are small and easily deployed, and are intended to hit targets that are outside the line of sight. They are launched out of a tube much like a mortar.
  • Once launched, the Switchblade drone can be controlled from the ground before striking its programmed target.
  • It has a feature that allows a service member to call off the strike should the target have moved away or civilians are in the area.
  • Manufacturer AeroVironment has two different models.
What is a Switchblade 300 drone?

The Switchblade 300 drone weighs 5.5 lbs. and is small enough to be transported in a rucksack.

  • It can fly for up to 15 minutes, with a range of just over six miles.
  • It has a cruising speed of 63 mph and top speed of 100 mph.
  • It’s designed for strikes on soldiers.
What is a Switchblade 600 drone?

The Switchblade 600 drone weighs 50 lbs. and fly for more than 40 minutes, with a range of about 25 miles.

  • It has a cruising speed of 70 mph and top speed of 115 mph, and it was designed for strikes on soldiers and tanks.

It’s not clear how many of each model are being sent in the support package.

What Turkish drones are in Ukraine?

Ukraine has used Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2s to launch guided missiles at Russian tanks, missile launchers and supply trains, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

  • The Bayraktar TB2s are not considered to be particularly fast or stealthy.
  • But drones have had success against keeping Russian forces from securing air superiority.
  • The smaller, more easily deployed Switchblades are expected to be even more effective in the war.

What they’re saying: “These were designed for U.S. Special Operations Command and are exactly the type of weapons systems that can have an immediate impact on the battlefield,” said Mick Mulroy, former deputy assistant secretary of defense.