Austrian military expert Tom Cooper, who regularly analyzes the situation at the front and is known for his ironic remarks about the Russians, published another report for November 26.

TSN.ua provides a translation of Cooper's report.

Hello everybody!

How do I begin this review…?

Well, war is hell.

That is why it is always best not to start anything.

… just a reminder for those complaining that I haven't written any of my reports/recaps/updates in the last four days.

And since I've stopped there, I'll add my slightly extended warning: everything you read below is entirely at your own risk, and I will not be held responsible for any harm caused to you by logic, opinion, facts - or sarcasm.

Strategy

Nine months after the start of this war, it becomes clear what a colossal mistake NATO made, believing that this war will resolve itself sooner or later, and there is no need to strengthen Ukraine's ability to defend itself and defeat the Russian Federation, immediately.

That is, they began to understand that fighting for profit, and not for victory (as was the case in Afghanistan, Iraq and several other places) is a mistake.

As a result of the latest series of missile strikes by Surovikin, Ukrainian infrastructure suffered such damage that millions of people were left without electricity, water and heating - for several days, in temperatures ranging from 0 to -5°C.

Ironically, at least the problem with water can be solved: residents of Kyiv, for example, collect snow for this purpose.

But what about electricity and heat...?

The direct reason is another powerful attack by cruise missiles on the Ukrainian energy system and other infrastructure, inflicted on November 23.

According to Ukrainian sources, up to 10 Tu-95MS bombers were involved, which fired more than 70 cruise missiles.

More than 50 of the latter were shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense, but those that did pass cut off power to almost all of Ukraine and most of neighboring Moldova.

In addition, this attack not only disrupted the power grid, water supply, and heating, but also damaged gas production facilities in the Kharkiv region.

Does not matter?

Well, if you don't know that Ukraine covers a significant part of its gas needs at the expense of its own production, then yes, of course: "it doesn't matter"...

In general, the only thing that Surovikin has not yet targeted is the huge underground gas storage facilities in western Ukraine.

In addition to the immediate immediate consequences, the complete destruction of the Ukrainian infrastructure will have long-term consequences for the national economy: it was already significantly reduced only because of the war, but now it will be reduced even more.

Unemployment is spreading rapidly.

Dozens of hospitals were destroyed or partially destroyed.

Meanwhile, the "story of the day" became the article according to which the PRC (People's Republic of China) and the USA agreed: the Chinese demanded that the USA prevent Poland from supplying Ukraine with MiG-29s in exchange for Putin and his cronies not using nuclear weapons.

Hmm… I'm just reading that Beijing is very, very concerned about 30 year old MiG-29s… Really, while that sounds "quite plausible" to many, it sounds like nonsense to me.

At least I'm not entirely sure that's how it happened.

a) not sure that it is a good idea to submit to Chinese ultimatums;

b) if true, then it is "quite interesting" (if not to say: shameful) to watch how our glorious politicians yield to the PRC regime, but do not give in to the idea of ​​giving Ukraine the opportunity to win a decisive and quick victory in this war.

"We have to do something"

We in the West are doing everything we can to support Ukraine, aren't we?

Another topic from the rubric "something must be done (but in no case not what is actually necessary, please)": Scholz proposed to deploy one of the German PAC-2/3 air defense systems in eastern Poland.

We have to protect Poland, which is why Scholz and many others are now demanding that the system in question also protect part of the sky over western Ukraine.

But wait, things are getting better: first, Merkel now insists that the Russian invasion of Ukraine "was not a surprise" (I wonder if she consulted with the director of the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst, Germany's federal intelligence agency - Ed.) before making this statement?), and secondly, even if (or should I say when?) the Germans deploy any PAC-2/3 air defense systems in Poland or deliver their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, no one has said that they will be suitable for using.

As several journalists suspected, it turned out that the German Ministry of Defense forgot to deliver spare parts for several Panzerhaubitze 2000s they sent to Ukraine, which is one of the main reasons why almost none of them are currently operational.

Of course, the answer of the German Ministry of Defense is: we know nothing about it.

Because every decent bureaucrat knows that if he sticks his head deep enough in the sand, nothing terrible will happen.

Again "war is hell" - now also for the German bureaucrats...

But Rishi Sunak's government comes forward and is going to save the day.

They write that they plan to supply Westland Sea King helicopters to Ukraine.

(sighs)

Again, I don't know where to start, but let me try.

There is no doubt that Ukrainians will quickly learn to maintain and operate this type: Sea King is a 50-year-old technology.

But there is another question: which option is it about?

The photographs in this article show the Sea King AEW.Mk 2. AEW stands for "Airborne Early Warning".

As you can see from this "big bag hanging from the side of the helicopter", this version is equipped with a Searchwater LAST surveillance radar and is used to warn of approaching enemy aircraft… or cruise missiles.

At first glance, it sounds quite logical.

The first thing to think about is that these helicopters will help protect Ukraine from additional strikes by Russian aircraft.

The problem: Like all helicopters, the Sea King AEW is slow — and it is, despite its large size — and easy to detect when its radar is working.

In addition, the range of the Searchwater radar is much smaller than that of the R-37M air-to-air missile.

In other words: the interceptor pilots of the VKS will be happy to hit them from a safe distance.

Alternative ideas range from the Commando (used for assault) to the "vanilla" Sea King HU.Mk 5s used for transport and utility purposes.

I think that the last option will be provided most likely.

It is worth noting: this is one of many random decisions that only add to the problems in the issue of supplying spare parts for Ukraine.

From this perspective, Croatia's decision to donate all of its 14 Mi-17s to Ukraine (note the Mi-17s, no Mi-8s, and this in exchange for surplus Sikorsky UH-60s from the US) made sense.

The only surprise in this case is how the glorious President of Croatia (and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces) Zoran Milanović did not spoil this idea with another bold intervention...

In general, to summarize, we can say that NATO "continues to wage this war" without a plan.

With no idea how to end it.

Because, you know, the idea of ​​providing Ukraine with enough air defense systems to defend itself, immediately, and then with enough heavy weapons to drive Putin's invaders out of the country, quickly end the war, and therefore end the suffering... No, it's " quite impossible": so much so that no one in the West would ever think of it.

Air war

Russian aviation carries out about 150 sorties per day, but lately strikes on ground targets have become rare - mainly due to bad weather.

And you know, all these winged "miracle weapons" do not fight so well when the weather is bad, and their crews are also very poorly trained.

So, Su-25s are actively shot down as soon as they linger over the front line for a few extra seconds.

Ukrainian aviation will reduce to a dozen helicopter departures per day.

As for fighters, even the usual number of 12-16 strike sorties cannot be achieved.

This is also due to bad weather, but also for other reasons, which I will write about separately.

Another sad fact in connection with this: it turned out that on November 11, in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian Air Force lost a Mi-8 of the 456th brigade - together with the crew, which consisted of a squadron commander.

Most likely, shot down by a Russian MiG-31 or Su-35S with a long-range R-37M air-to-air missile.

I write "most likely" because I do not know the exact situation.

As usual, the Ukrainians do not talk about this, and the "higher authorities" in Moscow are also silent - they destroyed the entire aviation of the Armed Forces 14 or 15 times a long time ago.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainians are actively penetrating behind the front line and are adjusting artillery strikes against Russian air defense systems from there.

In other words: the life of Russian air defense systems today is really not easy.

Not only are their intended targets very hard to hit, but those "satanic drug-addled LGBT cyborgs" on the other side won't let them get away, even if they're hidden far behind the front lines.

Battle for Donbas

Eastern Ukraine today resembles a "sea of ​​dirt".

Snow is falling, but the ground has not yet frozen, so dirt is everywhere, from Svatovo in the north, through Bakhmut to Donetsk and Vugledar in the south.

And this is deep, sticky mud that makes any movement difficult.

In addition, low cloud cover makes Russian military UAV operations almost impossible, in turn exposing all the weaknesses of the very core of the Russian military: its artillery.

Without UAVs, Russian artioerists again have to "climb that oak tree to better see the target."

Moreover, it turns out that over the past 10 years or so, Russian artillery systems have not had much development... Somewhere since Putin came to power.

Svatovoye district - without major changes.

The Ukrainians advance little by little - the Russians get scared, shell the entire territory with artillery, then everything repeats itself again.

In fact, the news of the week that is slowly trickling out of Russia is that the USSR lost Makiivka in combat against the 80th Airborne Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine about a week ago.

At first it was said that this "disaster" was caused by 11 defectors, but later it turned out that the entire 1823rd battalion of mobilized reservists assigned to the 150th motorized rifle division refused to fight and fled the battlefield.

"Bad" is not only the fact that the entire battalion fled, its positions were lost, and the reserves were thrown into the battle to prevent a full breakthrough of the front line - but here's the thing: contrary to numerous Ukrainian reports that circulated earlier, it seems as if now the Russians are really forced to use something like "blockades" - to stop the escape of the first line troops.

Now they really shoot at the fugitives and use similar methods to control their own troops.

By the way, Makiyivka was where a group of 12 Russian soldiers tried to surrender, then one of them came from behind and opened fire on Ukrainian soldiers who were trying to capture those who were trying to surrender.

The video sparked endless discussions on the Internet (although the situation was obvious and completely simple from the beginning).

But don't worry: all Putin fans know that this was a deliberate war crime by the "Ukrainian Nazis".

Apparently, the fact that the Ukrainians are defending themselves against Putin's aggression is a "war crime", not to mention the destruction of two more Russian BTGs in that clash.

Bakhmut.

After a few days of hiatus, Surovikin, loyal to Putin, this week continued to spend his cannon fodder on additional, completely pointless attacks.

Most of this city had meanwhile been completely destroyed by constant shelling and airstrikes;

defenders hold their own without too much trouble (indeed, we've been getting more and more videos from this area lately);

but providing food, water, electricity, etc. to the remaining civilians (including up to 300 children) is a growing problem.

Further south, Russian assaults to the north and south of Avdiyivka, as well as in the Pavlivka-Vugledar-Marinka triangle, did not stop last week.

Now it is impossible to say for sure who controls Pavlivka.

It's funny to me to read comments in which Russian military "experts" complain that small groups of Ukrainian soldiers regularly penetrate the front line of the USSR.

Here are these Ukrainians: they act with tactical sophistication, avoid frontal attacks, penetrate until they destroy another Russian position... Don't they know that they have to line up in neat rows, openly, and then let the Russians kill them easily and lose this war for days are numbered

Earlier, the military expert explained whether other countries can supply weapons to Ukraine unofficially.

Read also:

  • The Russians shelled Kurakhov with artillery — there are casualties (photo)

  • Britain confirmed the transfer of Brimstone 2 laser-guided missiles to Ukraine (video)

  • In Melitopol, the occupiers are looking for partisans and have announced a reward for information - the mayor

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