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Subject: Lithuanian/Polish/Ukrainian Increased Cooperation
singularity    11/19/2009 12:37:06 PM
Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine are forming are forming a three way international peacekeeping brigade called LITPOLUKRBRIG. According to the Telegraph (UK newspaper), the strength may range from 2,000-5,000 soldiers. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/6589547/Lithuania-Poland-and-Ukraine-create-a-joint-military-brigade.html). According to RIA Novosti (Russian newspaper), this is the second combined battalion between Poland and Ukraine and the paper claims other countries can apparently join the agreement. It appears that Poland and Lithuania are attempting to integrate Ukraine further into NATO and Europe, despite (and perhaps because of) the hesitation by France,Germany and some others. I think further integration/alliances between Ukraine, Poland and the other Central and Eastern European countries offers increased protection against Russian influence or even attack. This got me thinking about this scenario: What would occur if Russia and Ukraine have another spat over gas deliveries and Ukraine attempts to kick out the Russian fleet from Crimea? If this escalated to an armed conflict (non-nuclear), and Poland, Lithuania (and perhaps Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia and Latvia) came to the aid of Ukraine against Russia (which would probably have the support of Belarus), what would their odds be? I am assuming the other NATO members such as US, France, Germany do not interfere because they are either tied down or do not want to protect countries freedoms because of the chance of losing Russian "business". How long could these countries last? Could they take Kalingrad and deny the Russians a foothold? How long would it take for these countries to develop nukes (Ukraine had some stationed on its land before it disarmed).
 
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Nocturne       11/30/2009 10:54:00 AM
about that hedgehog thingy again.
I am sure russians have a lot of mobile bridging equipment from the good old days. And apart from Vistula and maybe several other rivers ( i am not sure i dont have the widths  of polish rivers in front of my eyes ..or bank steepness) there wouldnt be much problem. Tactic is simple throw the 10 bridges launch recons oveer them if they are getting fire retreat. Make advance on 1-2 bridges with the least of resistance. i think they would find some gap on the first day they try to bridge some river ( it depends on what size hedg. are u suggesting and how are u suggesting to defend or not to defend the gaps in between).I know thats easier said than done..but i see those hedgehogs as mobile force having ability to engage or disengage at their choosing (fast). The problem that without constant flow of supplies they would have that mobility gaps would start to develope and so on. Plus u cant drop the possibility that the russians would reach other rivers faster that retreating polish..maybe even via airdrop. or overrun the ammo dump locations when bulk of hedgehog will start moving to engage some russian breaktrought in other direction. I am not sure how many man polish army could commit at the start of the war at these hedgehogs. 100k? 150k? along how many kilometres front line? 800km? 1000km? in what depth? 20km? 30km?. Without beeing mobile as hell they wont even be in time to attack soviet bridging effort. And if they cant keep constant line of supplies they wont be mobile.
I am not trying to say that your hedgehox theory is bad but just considering the chances it can work. Maybe polish army should steadily retreat towords the north-western corner of poland fighting just the holding actions..laying ambushes. in the north west they would have Baltic sea from one side and germany from another. The army might be saved that way from encirclement and destruction, shorten the front line, get  supplied via Baltic sea and maybe give time for political decisions( for example maybe Germans decide to move in into polish theritory...they wouldnt directly attack russian but they wold just stand with the big sign 'We are germans' and russians probably wouldnt be mad enough to attack)

and about russians not attacking plainly.. yeah i agree certain political and economical conditions have to be met in these days to wage any war.
just one funny fact about russian inderect schemes:
Russian pilot who crashed Su-27 in Lithuania in 2005 had the lastname : Troyanov...:D
what can i say ..russian fighter crashes in Lithuania..with guy named TROYAnov...stuff happens
 
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singularity       11/30/2009 1:44:53 PM
In the early phase of the war, how much damage could a single Patriot battery the Poles are receiving do to the Russians (assuming the US lets the Poles use the battery). If there were actually two or three batteries (or more imitated copies), would that change the dynamics of an attack? I feel if there were 4-5 batteries along with a large number of GROM manpads and antiaircraft guns (for any lower flying bombers/strike fighters) it would cause the Russians to rely much more heavily on artillery and ground forces than air even after the Polish air forces are nullified especially since the Russians have not developed a stealth fighter yet.
 
I think the most important part of the hedgehog strategy would have to be a buttload of portable antitank and antiair missiles (manpads) that would attack any area of assembled armor and do something to prevent close air support and stop any mobile bridges. I think if the Russians are forced to combine waterway bridging with coordinated air support, artillery and tank/infantry tactics, then the logistics of resupplying the forces would become larger problems especially if a guerilla-like insurgency develops with IED and rocket attacks on the convoys. That's probably around the time that they will start relying on infantry more (with greater corresponding casualties). Either way I don't see the hedgehog waterway strategy working for much longer than a month and the total defense (before a total occupation/ corresponding insurgency) lasting longer than 3-6 months (when you need something closer to a year or two to really get the civilians back home protesting to get their troops back).
 
What about defenses in Ukraine? The scenario wouldn't make too much sense with Russia just invading Poland (and doesn't leave too much room for strategy with the current state of the Polish armed forces although the situation could be a little more balanced ten years from now), but I think there is a slightly greater chance there would be a problem in Ukraine that might escalate into a regional conflict. If Lithuania is involved I feel that the Belarussians would probably be tied up with them for some time. (Actually now that I think about it, that would also make for an interesting scenario. If Russia is fighting the Ukrainians/Poles,  what could the Lithuanians do to hold out against the Belarussians)
 
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Godofgamblers       11/30/2009 10:52:03 PM

about that hedgehog thingy again.
I am sure russians have a lot of mobile bridging equipment from the good old days. And apart from Vistula and maybe several other rivers ( i am not sure i dont have the widths  of polish rivers in front of my eyes ..or bank steepness) there wouldnt be much problem. Tactic is simple throw the 10 bridges launch recons oveer them if they are getting fire retreat. Make advance on 1-2 bridges with the least of resistance. i think they would find some gap on the first day they try to bridge some river ( it depends on what size hedg. are u suggesting and how are u suggesting to defend or not to defend the gaps in between).I know thats easier said than done..but i see those hedgehogs as mobile force having ability to engage or disengage at their choosing (fast). The problem that without constant flow of supplies they would have that mobility gaps would start to develope and so on. Plus u cant drop the possibility that the russians would reach other rivers faster that retreating polish..maybe even via airdrop. or overrun the ammo dump locations when bulk of hedgehog will start moving to engage some russian breaktrought in other direction. I am not sure how many man polish army could commit at the start of the war at these hedgehogs. 100k? 150k? along how many kilometres front line? 800km? 1000km? in what depth? 20km? 30km?. Without beeing mobile as hell they wont even be in time to attack soviet bridging effort. And if they cant keep constant line of supplies they wont be mobile.

I am not trying to say that your hedgehox theory is bad but just considering the chances it can work. Maybe polish army should steadily retreat towords the north-western corner of poland fighting just the holding actions..laying ambushes. in the north west they would have Baltic sea from one side and germany from another. The army might be saved that way from encirclement and destruction, shorten the front line, get  supplied via Baltic sea and maybe give time for political decisions( for example maybe Germans decide to move in into polish theritory...they wouldnt directly attack russian but they wold just stand with the big sign 'We are germans' and russians probably wouldnt be mad enough to attack)




and about russians not attacking plainly.. yeah i agree certain political and economical conditions have to be met in these days to wage any war.

just one funny fact about russian inderect schemes:

Russian pilot who crashed Su-27 in Lithuania in 2005 had the lastname : Troyanov...:D

what can i say ..russian fighter crashes in Lithuania..with guy named TROYAnov...stuff happens

Good points, nocturne. You raise the level of conversation every time you post.

 

Yes, the hedgehog strategy is ultimately nothing but a thorn in the Russians' side. Polish forces should be in heavily wooded areas for cover along river banks. Obviously, the Russians have bridging equipment but that is anticipated. The waterways will be laden with obstacles on the banks and in the water in the form of tank traps, mines etc to delay Russian bridging attempts. Polish forces should be SEAL like commandos, capable of rapid movement across water, bridging techniques and camoflauge, sniper techniques in that terrain. As Singularity has rightly observed they should be equipped with portable anti tank and AA capabilties as we can assume the Poles will be outnumbered and will not enjoy air superiority.

 

 Ultimately they will be crushed through attrition. But I think it is a given that in any conflict with the Russkis, everything is just a matter of time. They can be positioned all along the (1) North South axis of the waterways and allow the Russians to pass through but remaining as a constant threat behind Russian lines as long as posible, or (2) they could only be stationed in the South. Thus, Russian forces will be allowed to advance south. bypassing the hedgehogs, while the main Polish force would remain in the North, falling

 
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Godofgamblers       11/30/2009 10:58:48 PM

In the early phase of the war, how much damage could a single Patriot battery the Poles are receiving do to the Russians (assuming the US lets the Poles use the battery). If there were actually two or three batteries (or more imitated copies), would that change the dynamics of an attack? I feel if there were 4-5 batteries along with a large number of GROM manpads and antiaircraft guns (for any lower flying bombers/strike fighters) it would cause the Russians to rely much more heavily on artillery and ground forces than air even after the Polish air forces are nullified especially since the Russians have not developed a stealth fighter yet.


 

I think the most important part of the hedgehog strategy would have to be a buttload of portable antitank and antiair missiles (manpads) that would attack any area of assembled armor and do something to prevent close air support and stop any mobile bridges. I think if the Russians are forced to combine waterway bridging with coordinated air support, artillery and tank/infantry tactics, then the logistics of resupplying the forces would become larger problems especially if a guerilla-like insurgency develops with IED and rocket attacks on the convoys. That's probably around the time that they will start relying on infantry more (with greater corresponding casualties). Either way I don't see the hedgehog waterway strategy working for much longer than a month and the total defense (before a total occupation/ corresponding insurgency) lasting longer than 3-6 months (when you need something closer to a year or two to really get the civilians back home protesting to get their troops back).


 

What about defenses in Ukraine? The scenario wouldn't make too much sense with Russia just invading Poland (and doesn't leave too much room for strategy with the current state of the Polish armed forces although the situation could be a little more balanced ten years from now), but I think there is a slightly greater chance there would be a problem in Ukraine that might escalate into a regional conflict. If Lithuania is involved I feel that the Belarussians would probably be tied up with them for some time. (Actually now that I think about it, that would also make for an interesting scenario. If Russia is fighting the Ukrainians/Poles,  what could the Lithuanians do to hold out against the Belarussians)


 
Not to sound cynical, but i think the only role of the Ukraine in this conflict would be to act as a parking lot for Russian tanks and a place for Russian troops to get some R&R.
 
The Ukraine is a vast plain with a huge Russian population.... threats would probably be enough to entice the Ukraine to allow free passage of Russian troops. Resistance would be futile and shortlived. Just my opinion.
 
I agree with your asymetrical warfare ideas for the Poles. I think the fighitng would go asymetrial very fast. The Poles have a long history of partisan warfare and i'm sure would go at it with fervor.
 
Throwing the Lithuanians into the mix wouldn't change much. Russia would still be unstoppable. And we're not even considering nukes in this scenario....

 
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The Lizard King    Nocturne   12/1/2009 1:03:44 PM

"So my thoughts that should  we be learning from Iraqies how to fight the war. Sniper rifles and roadside bombs will be weapons in our next war"

 

I would expand to include Chechens and 80?s Afghan Mujahideen.

 
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Knjaz       12/1/2009 1:23:23 PM
Can someone here at least give a _reasonable_ scenario under which Russia is starting full-scale invasion into Poland, please? The probable scenario.
As a russian, who has some understanding in geopolitics (related to Russia mainly) and some in warfare, i just dont see it happening in current situation.
 
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Nocturne       12/1/2009 8:45:20 PM
Actually i dont see invasion of Poland coming too. Its just a theaoretical discussion about the defensive strategy. So lets say Poland has a green light (safe). I would give Lithuania yellow (inavsion isnt imminent but with the plitical games of Russia u can't be to carefull) What i can is a russian full scale attack on Estonia/Latvia/Georgia and limited attack on Ukraina..thats the red light

Estonia and Latvia ...oh they are in danger they have large russian minorrities and they are stirring the water

'The view that Estonia's annexation into USSR was legitimate is reinforced by the official statements of the Russian Federation,[34] including that the USSR presence in the Baltics was legal according to international law and that the Baltics could not be occupied because there was no declaration of war.' just wiki
Before somebody says that i shouldn't use wiki as source.. i can only say that the fact that russian school books about those times are beeing rewritten is not a secret to anybody. There are numerous sources claiming that. wiki is just easiest source to find  to qoute. 

Plus numerous declarations by russian politician Zhirinovsky.
'encourages separatism within the Russian minority in the Baltic states,[7] endorsed the forcible re-occupation of these countries and said nuclear waste should be dumped there'
Zhirinovsky also took part in the 2000 and 2008 presidential elections, promising a "police state"
I am not sure if he is taken seriously in Russia because at least in my eyes he is a complete whacko. But if someone like him comes to power i am packing my bags for nearest airport or bunker

Georgia... a sincere russian peacekeeper was shot by a geaorgian.. that calls for an action. You watched the news..it doesnt need much to start again it is just the question if russians still have the reason to start or they achieved everything they wanted.


Ukraina.. Sevastopol? Russians want it back? ukrainians are willing to give it back? 300k+ russian residents. plus the russian navy.
Limited attack..alot of sabre rattling some shooting..and placing friendly(loyal) political party in place.

"Nationalist politicians, including Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, have repeatedly traveled to Crimea to show the flag and support the Russian irredentists -- many of them retired Russian military officers who periodically mount raucous demonstrations. In 2006, their protests forced the cancellation of the joint Ukraine-NATO Sea Breeze military exercises. Sevastopol was and should again be a Russian city," Mr. Luzhkov declared this past May, and the Moscow City Hall has appropriated $34 million for "the support of compatriots abroad" over the next three years. "  Wall stree Journal, 2008.

So ia m pretty sure russians will move against somebody somewhere. question is just when and where. i am putting my money on Crimea..maybe not the next year maybe not the year after..but..somewhere it will ignite.

About putting Lithuania into the equation. In overall strategic view it wouldnt change much. We have no strtagic depth. There is no place in lithuania where u could anchor a defensive line. With Kaliningrad on one side and Belarusia on the other..and possibility to be outmoeuvered from Latvian territoy ( they might get a hit simiultaneously) plus the threats of airborne and seaborne invasion. Were be little warning if any when the strike will come there is nearly no hope that we can mobilize any reserve..only that our regular army soldiers reach arms before beeing cut down in the middle of the night out of their beds or so. Those who survive would fight in the woods or urban areas. Grozny deja vu .. russian casualties and totally devasted cities.
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Godofgamblers       12/1/2009 10:10:30 PM
Knjaz, thanks for joining in. Admittedly, it is a purely hypothetical scenario.
 
But as Poland, Ukraine and Russia have traditionally been at war many times, it is not unreasonable to view it as an India-Pakistan situation whereby the next war is a question of when and not if.
 
spasiba
 
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Nocturne       12/2/2009 3:24:53 AM
Actually i dont see invasion of Poland coming too. Its just a theaoretical discussion about the defensive strategy. So lets say Poland has a green light (safe). I would give Lithuania yellow (inavsion isnt imminent but with the plitical games of Russia u can't be to carefull) What i can is a russian full scale attack on Estonia/Latvia/Georgia and limited attack on Ukraina..thats the red light

Estonia and Latvia ...oh they are in danger they have large russian minorrities and they are stirring the water

'The view that Estonia's annexation into USSR was legitimate is reinforced by the official statements of the Russian Federation,[34] including that the USSR presence in the Baltics was legal according to international law and that the Baltics could not be occupied because there was no declaration of war.' just wiki
Before somebody says that i shouldn't use wiki as source.. i can only say that the fact that russian school books about those times are beeing rewritten is not a secret to anybody. There are numerous sources claiming that. wiki is just easiest source to find  to qoute. 

Plus numerous declarations by russian politician Zhirinovsky.
'encourages separatism within the Russian minority in the Baltic states,[7] endorsed the forcible re-occupation of these countries and said nuclear waste should be dumped there'
Zhirinovsky also took part in the 2000 and 2008 presidential elections, promising a "police state"
I am not sure if he is taken seriously in Russia because at least in my eyes he is a complete whacko. But if someone like him comes to power i am packing my bags for nearest airport or bunker

Georgia... a sincere russian peacekeeper was shot by a geaorgian.. that calls for an action. You watched the news..it doesnt need much to start again it is just the question if russians still have the reason to start or they achieved everything they wanted.


Ukraina.. Sevastopol? Russians want it back? ukrainians are willing to give it back? 300k+ russian residents. plus the russian navy.
Limited attack..alot of sabre rattling some shooting..and placing friendly(loyal) political party in place.

"Nationalist politicians, including Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, have repeatedly traveled to Crimea to show the flag and support the Russian irredentists -- many of them retired Russian military officers who periodically mount raucous demonstrations. In 2006, their protests forced the cancellation of the joint Ukraine-NATO Sea Breeze military exercises. Sevastopol was and should again be a Russian city," Mr. Luzhkov declared this past May, and the Moscow City Hall has appropriated $34 million for "the support of compatriots abroad" over the next three years. "  Wall stree Journal, 2008.

So ia m pretty sure russians will move against somebody somewhere. question is just when and where. i am putting my money on Crimea..maybe not the next year maybe not the year after..but..somewhere it will ignite.

About putting Lithuania into the equation. In overall strategic view it wouldnt change much. We have no strtagic depth. There is no place in lithuania where u could anchor a defensive line. With Kaliningrad on one side and Belarusia on the other..and possibility to be outmoeuvered from Latvian territoy ( they might get a hit simiultaneously) plus the threats of airborne and seaborne invasion. Were be little warning if any when the strike will come there is nearly no hope that we can mobilize any reserve..only that our regular army soldiers reach arms before beeing cut down in the middle of the night out of their beds or so. Those who survive would fight in the woods or urban areas. Grozny deja vu .. russian casualties and totally devasted cities.
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Knjaz       12/2/2009 11:19:03 AM
Too bad my english knowledge is limiting my answer, so i will try to put is as short as i can.

First, i'd like to point out that discussing any Russian-Polish war without prehistory is, like we say, discussing "spherical horse in a vacuum space".
 
What things i really dont see possible with the current ideology (e.g. lack of it) and politics of Russia.
1) Intention to annex Poland just for territory and people? Absolutely useless idea, and also impossible. (especially for people) (179x scenario)
2) Need to create a client buffer state between Russia and threat from the West. (1939 scenario) Almost useless in current strategic situation (btw same goes for Baltic states. any mass concentration of NATO forces in Baltics, in preparation for an attack, is suicide for them)

These are simplified scenarios where Poland "sitting quiet doing nothing" and suddenly getting attacked by Russia.... invading nations just 4fun is not our national sport, lol.

3) Is more complicated the those 2. Right radicals win elections in Ukraine (this is impossible without any extraordinary incident, but scenario can be done also with current president in charge. like if he decides to stay in chair under some "special " circumstances - i understand that what i'm saying is almost unreal ) After 1-2 years of restoring army to at least any effective level (because current state of Ukrainian military can be described with 1 word - catastrophical), he decides to solve Crimean question/ or he decides to move BF out of Sevastopol before the treaty expires (scenario where treaty expires in 2017 but Russia decides to stay, can't be put here - it will be different).
Crimea revolts, which leads to Ukrainian army divisions (from the Western Ukraine. Army units from eastern Ukraine cannot be trusted in this situation) to enter and restore constitutional order. A violence starts.
<...i skip describing part where alot of ppl gues, Crimean people call for help,  Russia gives ultimatums, accepts Crimean independence and so on. It may differ. We go straight to invasion.>

So, we have Russian army in Crimea. Here's the critical point of this scenario - if Kremlin decides to move West and take eastern/central Ukraine too, seeing that after Crimean campaign there may not be a chance for that, anymore.
Lets assume the decision was made to move West and take as much as possible.

Here where we have Poland to kick in the fight. Seeing the Russian forces moving west, Poland decides to try to
pass ahead of them and secure as much of Ukrainan territory as possible (and doing so legally due to Ukrainian leadership calling them for help).
If all they will manage to secure is Western Ukraine, then there might not even be a clash between Russian and Polish armies. Thus, we, again, assume that Russian army was slowed down in the East and they having Poland secured 50+ % of Ukrainian territory. I still cant think up how invasion into South-Eastern Ukraine (Novorossiya, New Russia in translation)... if not for historical matters, of course (which i dont want to go into, cause thats whole another discussion. But to sum up - before Russia came there, there was or wild unsettled lands, or Crimean khanate.)

So, we have Poland on territory which Russia claims as its own. Poland refuses to back off, so Russia decides to force them out.

Btw, its just came to my mind - it may be (or may be not) a good move, if Polish army stationed around Kiev - to threaten their homeland from Byelorussian territory and thus force them to move out. In another scenario - forces from Byelorussia will be used to encircle Polish army in central Ukraine. BUT - here comes the question with Germany. I really doubt they will like it, and i definetly know its not in Kremlin's plans to start another european war.
Hm... even after all this i dont see Russian tanks rolling through Poland. We risk too much, we gain absolutely nothing, only losing. Especially when something will be need to be done with Western Ukraine, and the best that could be done there - do not allow it to stay independent, but, somehow, give it to Poland. Although, for that Western Ukraine first should be taken under control, otherwise there's very little chance Poland will use its chance (sry for tautology)) and annex it, under some cause (most probably protection of current population from Russian forces). Although in this part u can expect alot of undercover talks between Moscow and Warsaw.

Damn. I wanted to create a scenario where Russia invades Poland and make it also sane, but it seems i failed. Lol.

Hm.Thought a little - actually its possible to force Russia invade Baltic states too, and Poland under these circumstances. But the scenario th
 
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