The 40-Mile Convoy

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The 40-Mile Convoy

#1 Post by silverscreenselect » Mon Feb 28, 2022 10:33 pm

I've been reading a lot about a Russian convoy that, according to various reports, is anywhere from three to 40 miles long and is headed toward Kiev. And from the pictures I've seen, these vehicles are heading down what we would consider in the U.S. backcountry highways, which can accommodate about one large vehicle wide at a time. So, there have got to be a lot of vehicles of all sorts. I would think that this convoy would present dozens, if not hundreds of tempting targets for rockets and missiles, not counting drones and aircraft. I would think that the Ukrainians would be slowing this convoy down with some strategic strikes if, for no other reason, to boost morale. But I haven't seen a whole lot of discussion about this. So, are they waiting for it to get closer (reports say it's "near" Kiev)? Or don't they have any enough firepower in that area to devote to such an attack? Or do they think that it's not worth the risk? Or has the size of the convoy been magnified by Russian propaganda?
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#2 Post by Beebs52 » Tue Mar 01, 2022 10:20 am

We wondered about that yesterday as well. Surely it's not carrying anything nuclear?
Well, then

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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#3 Post by silverscreenselect » Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:29 am

According to US defense officials, the 40-mile convoy hasn't moved for hours due to resistance, fuel and food shortages, and possibly a strategic pause to decide what to do next.

A stopped convoy is easier for ground troops to defend from close-by RPGs and similar weapons, but it also gives potential attackers more time to make plans.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#4 Post by Beebs52 » Tue Mar 01, 2022 12:03 pm

Could EU donated jets, assuming they're accessible, drop bombs? Link to show ramp up not that hard. EU is not NATO per se, right?

https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2022 ... ds/362505/

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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#5 Post by Bob Juch » Tue Mar 01, 2022 1:39 pm

Beebs52 wrote:
Tue Mar 01, 2022 12:03 pm
Could EU donated jets, assuming they're accessible, drop bombs? Link to show ramp up not that hard. EU is not NATO per se, right?

https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2022 ... ds/362505/
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#6 Post by silverscreenselect » Wed Mar 02, 2022 12:49 am

More word on the 40-mile convoy. It's not 40 miles of nose-to-tail vehicles but a number of smaller convoys strung out over 40 miles. Progress has been slow due to destroyed parts of the roadway and broken-down or destroyed vehicles. There are some tanks and armored personnel carriers but most of these are supply vehicles. In the event of a lengthy siege, they would be needed to ferry supplies back and forth from depots in Russia or Belarus.They are also a lot easier to damage or destroy than tanks or other armored vehicles. The word is that the Russian troops in the convoy were given two days worth of rations and they've been on the road for five days now.

Say what you will about whether we should have invaded Iraq or not, but the conduct of the actual invasion was practically a textbook case of how to conduct the type of warfare the Russians are now trying to duplicate.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#7 Post by Bob Juch » Wed Mar 02, 2022 5:04 pm

From a friend of mine. He was a tanker in Vietnam. He enlisted in the U.S. Army from Canada.

Now I’m no politician; I don’t even follow politics that much, but as a former soldier, I follow military events. This is one of the most significant military events since the Cuban Missile Crisis when the world was on the threshold of WWIII.

Well, at the moment, my friends, I feel that we, the world, have just taken a step over that threshold. We are closer now than ever. We have another Hitler to contend with.

At the moment, Feb. 3, 2022, Putin is screwed, is the way I see it. An army needs supplies and obviously Russia is having a problem with supplies. Tanks are running out of gas. Russia’s money reserves are dwindling fast, especially with sanctions. They really can’t afford a war. Putin’s people are rising against him. The world is against him. China is smiling as they watch Putin self-destruct and turn Russia into a country of little importance.

I think, and this is my gut feeling, Putin believed he would roll into Ukraine, take it because he knew no one would stop him, then keep going. He knows no one wants WWIII; the U.S. and its allies have just had 20 years or so of desert warfare. We know that wars do not work anymore.

He and his people, let’s not forget the ordinary Russian going to the store for food are in terrible times. The people will suffer as they always do—innocent families with children.

As a former tanker, I see this 60 K convoy of vehicles and tanks lined up and just sitting there. I see things as a regular soldier. He knows what’s going on, only what he can see around him. He doesn’t know the big picture of what’s going on in the grand strategy. He only knows what’s happening about twenty feet around him.

He’s stopped in his tank like a sitting duck which is what he is. Tankers don’t like that. They want to move. Sitting there, you have time to think, and too much thinking for a soldier is not good. I’m glad I’m not sitting in one of those Russian tanks worried about an ambush and thinking and thinking and thinking. Morale is going to get pretty low.

When they finally will move, it will be with a vengeance. A tanker on the move is dangerous. You saw on the news that a tank swerved onto a civilian car and ran over it, nearly killing the driver. That’s a tanker’s mindset once he gets moving.

Just think. A 60k long convoy of vehicles just sitting there. A couple of swoops from an allied fighter jet and it’s all twisted metal and death stopping Russia in its tracks. Ever heard of the Falaise Pocket in WWII? That’s what it would be like. BUT, and it’s a big but; if this is done, WWIII has started then, and the crackpot has his finger on the nukes.

Right now, I feel he’s bluffing with nuclear weapons. “Come after me or sanction me more, and I will demolish you with nuclear war.” It’s a bluff. Or is it? With a guy like that, we can’t tell. Putin is like the worst bad guy ever in a movie. I just thought of that.

Unfortunately, Ukraine is suffering immensely, and while we can supply them with arms, foot, and weapons, we can’t help them militarily. Like Czechoslovakia in WWII, they are on their own. As a Canadian, I see Canadians leaving for Ukraine to join forces and help them out on the news. Two ex-soldiers from the Canadian Armed Forces are heading there, I saw on the news. I’m sure there’s a lot more.

What will happen now? Unless there is some way to smash that Russian convoy, slowly but surely, Russia will take Ukraine. As I said, I’m not a big picture guy, but I know how those Ukrainians are feeling waiting for an attack—determined but fearful. Waiting is tough on a soldier. I know how those Russian tankers are feeling in their tanks. Anxious, nervous, and thinking a lot. I had that feeling in Vietnam in the driver’s seat of an M48A3. I just wanted to get moving. Combat is much better than sitting there waiting for it.

Russia, or at least Putin, hates Ukrainians with a passion. Ukrainians joined the German SS in WWII by the thousand to fight against Russia. They had their own foreign legion in the S.S. I knew a guy that belonged to it. He hated Russia with a passion, so that’s one of the reasons anyway that Putin hates Ukraine.

They say a no-fly zone will help. I don’t know. I hate watching the news these days. There’s no good news anymore. How much can humankind take? I hope we are just getting over the war with COVID, but now we’re facing real war.

We are never going to learn. Humanity has been warring with each other since the beginning of time and will always be fighting each other to the end of time. It’s in our DNA; we are natural-born killers. We love to fight, whether it be in a bar, on the battlefield, or in Costco, smacking each other around for that last package of toilet paper.

Talk about a no-fly zone. I’m sure there is a no-fly zone around Earth if there are aliens, and they stay away from us. “THERE ARE A BUNCH OF CRAZY BASTARDS DOWN THERE!”
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#8 Post by Estonut » Wed Mar 02, 2022 10:12 pm

silverscreenselect wrote:
Wed Mar 02, 2022 12:49 am
More word on the 40-mile convoy. It's not 40 miles of nose-to-tail vehicles but a number of smaller convoys strung out over 40 miles. Progress has been slow due to destroyed parts of the roadway and broken-down or destroyed vehicles. There are some tanks and armored personnel carriers but most of these are supply vehicles. In the event of a lengthy siege, they would be needed to ferry supplies back and forth from depots in Russia or Belarus.They are also a lot easier to damage or destroy than tanks or other armored vehicles. The word is that the Russian troops in the convoy were given two days worth of rations and they've been on the road for five days now.

Say what you will about whether we should have invaded Iraq or not, but the conduct of the actual invasion was practically a textbook case of how to conduct the type of warfare the Russians are now trying to duplicate.
I saw where a drone took out a Russian missile launcher. I also saw a report that said the road the convoy was using was a little country road, with a total width barely accomodating the largest vehicle. I guess there was no pass along the route where the Ukrainians could take out the first vehicle and strand the rest behind it?
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#9 Post by silverscreenselect » Sat Mar 05, 2022 9:08 am

Not on the subject of the 40-mile convoy, per se, which is increasingly turning into a mess for the Russians. But they have occupied a fair amount of territory in southern Ukraine, including some smaller cities. I've seen footage this morning (it's now late afternoon in Ukraine, so there was an entire day for protests) that civilians in these cities are in the streets waving Ukrainian flags and protesting. In one clip, a man waving a flag jumps on a Russian armored vehicle that's passing through.

I would think that it's going to be very difficult for an occupying army the size that Russia has to effectively police these areas. I can understand during the day not wanting to try to toss a Molotov cocktail in and invite some horrible return fire in a crowd, but those Russians have to spend the night somewhere and park their vehicles somewhere. There are a lot of places for ambushes and booby traps, and once this sort of insurgency starts, the effect on morale would be enormous.

Estimates are that the Russians have already lost 5-10,000 troops out of an invading force of 150,000 to begin with, so it won't take much behind-the-lines resistance to bump those totals up significantly. Germany had an army of 13 million in World War II and they had lots of trouble maintaining order in occupied territories.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#10 Post by silverscreenselect » Sat Mar 05, 2022 11:06 am

The word now is that some 60,000 volunteer troops have arrived in Ukraine and most are being sent to the south and east. They are also getting about 15 planeloads a day of Stinger and Javelin missiles and other armaments. It's unclear how much training these volunteers have had or how well they will hold up under actual war time conditions, but it would stand to reason that a fair number of them are military veterans of one sort or another.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#11 Post by Bob Juch » Sun Mar 06, 2022 5:46 pm

According to an early Saturday report from the Ukrainian news source known as The Kyiv Independent, Ukrainian forces have taken control of the city of Mykolaiv, which has been targeted by Russian military personnel participating in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The report added that Ukrainian forces had taken possession of equipment left behind by retreating Russian soldiers.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#12 Post by jarnon » Sun Mar 06, 2022 6:33 pm

Bob Juch wrote:
Sun Mar 06, 2022 5:46 pm
According to an early Saturday report from the Ukrainian news source known as The Kyiv Independent, Ukrainian forces have taken control of the city of Mykolaiv, which has been targeted by Russian military personnel participating in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The report added that Ukrainian forces had taken possession of equipment left behind by retreating Russian soldiers.
Statement by the SBU (Ukrainian successor of the KGB):
Near Mykolaiv, the Ukrainian security forces defeated the battalion-tactical group of invaders. Most of its personnel are former Ukrainian military who betrayed our state in 2014 and switched to the side of the Russian Federation in Crimea.

Since then, the SBU has identified each traitor by name and has been waiting for an opportunity to punish them, as they were hiding in the temporarily occupied territory. Now Putin has helped the SBU bring the perpetrators to justice – he himself sent the traitors to certain death in Ukraine.
It doesn’t look like they’ll be treated as prisoners of war according to the Geneva Convention.

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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#13 Post by silverscreenselect » Mon Mar 07, 2022 10:59 am

There's been a change in the tenor of the Russian/Ukrainian peace talks going on. Of course, the main "result" of those talks was multiple "cease-fires" for humanitarian purposes which the Russians quickly violated. But now Russia has backed down from its demands of unconditional capitulation. Now, they are offering (1) Zelensky remains with some form of pro forma title like Queen Elizabeth with real power in leaders to be selected by Russia; (2) Ukrainian recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, (3) Recognition of the full extent of the "independent" republics in the East; (4) changing the Ukrainian constitution to provide for perpetual neutrality.

Of course, that's still unacceptable to the Ukrainians but it shows that the Russians recognize the war is not going well, and with it looking more likely that the Ukrainians will get some planes soon, that will make things even dicier for them. Best estimates are that the Russian fighting force in Ukraine is about 180,000 troops with nearly all of them now committed inside the country. That includes a lot of support personnel, perhaps half the total number. The Ukrainians say that the Russians have lost over 11,000 troops. That's likely an inflated number and it's unclear if they mean killed or total casualties (wounded, captured, deserted). In modern war, the ration of wounded to killed is about 3/1. So if that 11,000 is supposed to represent killed, then the Russians are already facing some significant manpower shortages, which explains their increasing reliance on bombing civilian centers. That's what Hitler did in late 1940 when he realized he couldn't beat the RAF in traditional combat or invade Britain. It also explains the reports that they are recruiting Syrian mercenaries (who probably work cheap) and may be calling up the reserves (not sure how that will go over with the people potentially being called up).

The Ukrainian strategy is looking smarter all the time: avoid large scale combat and instead go after vehicles, especially when they are strung out over hundreds of miles of roads and fields. In another thread, Spock asked me if I thought armed civilians could defeat the Russians. It's becoming increasingly obvious that the Russians aren't facing a bunch of school teachers who have been handed out AK-47s. This is a fighting force (including a few thousand ex-military volunteers from various countries) who are highly trained and extremely motivated. And as each shipment comes in, getting better armed all the time.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#14 Post by Bob Juch » Mon Mar 07, 2022 3:40 pm

At the subsequent peace conference, the Ukrainians should say they want to discuss surrender terms. When the Russians start with their demands, the Ukrainians should say, "Sorry, no, we meant the terms for your surrender."
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#15 Post by kroxquo » Mon Mar 07, 2022 7:17 pm

Bob Juch wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 3:40 pm
At the subsequent peace conference, the Ukrainians should say they want to discuss surrender terms. When the Russians start with their demands, the Ukrainians should say, "Sorry, no, we meant the terms for your surrender."
Reminds me of this scene from A Bridge Too Far. The scene is based on a real encounter during the battle of Arnheim

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvvGSC3zcNs
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#16 Post by silverscreenselect » Mon Mar 07, 2022 11:46 pm

The Russians have confirmed that two major generals have been killed in the fighting so far. In the Russian army, that's a one-star general, the equivalent of our brigadier generals. Still that's a pretty high rank to have two of them up that close to the war zone that they could get themselves killed. This might indicate significant Ukrainian behind-the-lines raids, something that's very possible considering how thin the Russian lines are stretched.

In comparison, 11 U.S. generals (7 brigadier generals and 4 major generals) and one Rear Admiral (equivalent of a major general) died in Vietnam over the entire length of the war. Only one of those deaths was due to enemy ground fire.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#17 Post by Bob Juch » Tue Mar 08, 2022 9:52 am

silverscreenselect wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 11:46 pm
The Russians have confirmed that two major generals have been killed in the fighting so far. In the Russian army, that's a one-star general, the equivalent of our brigadier generals. Still that's a pretty high rank to have two of them up that close to the war zone that they could get themselves killed. This might indicate significant Ukrainian behind-the-lines raids, something that's very possible considering how thin the Russian lines are stretched.

In comparison, 11 U.S. generals (7 brigadier generals and 4 major generals) and one Rear Admiral (equivalent of a major general) died in Vietnam over the entire length of the war. Only one of those deaths was due to enemy ground fire.
They were in the front lines and killed by snipers. They had been sent to the front to solve the stalled advance. Ukrainian snipers have been taking out commanders of all ranks.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#18 Post by silverscreenselect » Tue Mar 08, 2022 9:53 am

silverscreenselect wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 11:46 pm
The Russians have confirmed that two major generals have been killed in the fighting so far. In the Russian army, that's a one-star general, the equivalent of our brigadier generals. Still that's a pretty high rank to have two of them up that close to the war zone that they could get themselves killed. This might indicate significant Ukrainian behind-the-lines raids, something that's very possible considering how thin the Russian lines are stretched.

In comparison, 11 U.S. generals (7 brigadier generals and 4 major generals) and one Rear Admiral (equivalent of a major general) died in Vietnam over the entire length of the war. Only one of those deaths was due to enemy ground fire.
The Russian general who was killed yesterday was reportedly killed by "Ukrainean military intelligence operators," which indicates a targeted strike of some sort. It's also further indication that the Ukraineans are getting detailed intelligence reports from Western sources. Word is that the Russians have had to bring their senior staff closer to the front lines due to communications problems. In addition to the two Russian generals, one Chechen general has been killed in the fighting so far as well.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#19 Post by earendel » Tue Mar 08, 2022 10:09 am

kroxquo wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 7:17 pm
Bob Juch wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 3:40 pm
At the subsequent peace conference, the Ukrainians should say they want to discuss surrender terms. When the Russians start with their demands, the Ukrainians should say, "Sorry, no, we meant the terms for your surrender."
Reminds me of this scene from A Bridge Too Far. The scene is based on a real encounter during the battle of Arnheim

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvvGSC3zcNs
Or this scene fromThe Princess Bride.
"Elen sila lumenn omentielvo...A star shines on the hour of our meeting."

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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#20 Post by silverscreenselect » Thu Mar 10, 2022 9:45 am

There's interesting aerial footage making the rounds showing a column of advancing Russian armored vehicles going through a town and being hit by an artillery barrage. Two tanks were destroyed in less than a minute and the rest of the column had to beat a hasty retreat. When the Russians do advance columns like this, the Ukraineans know what's coming and can plan the best strategic spot for an ambush.

Also, Zelensky claimed today that Ukraine had captured enough usable Russian equipment to offset its own losses. I'm not sure if that's true, but there has been a lot of equipment that's gotten stuck in the mud or simply abandoned when the crews fled. There are a lot of images of farmers with tractors hauling away tanks. Much of this equipment could be retrofitted for Ukrainean use rather easily.

I'm not sure if they would want the rations that expired in 2003. By an odd coincidence, we've got some food in our pantry with that same expiration date.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#21 Post by silverscreenselect » Fri Mar 11, 2022 10:29 am

The 40-mile convoy has now largely dispersed. Many units are in the woods near their former positions while others have gone to unknown or undisclosed locations. While hiding tanks in the woods makes them more difficult for aerial reconnaissance to spot, the trees don't offer much protection against Javelin missile strikes.

Also, a third Russian major general has been killed in Ukraine (plus one Chechen) in a little over two weeks. The US lost 11 generals and one admiral in a decade of combat in Vietnam.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#22 Post by jarnon » Mon Mar 14, 2022 11:13 pm

New York Times wrote:Zelensky calls on Russian troops to surrender

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine called on Russian troops to surrender in a video address posted online early Tuesday.

“On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I give you a chance,” he said in a translation of his address shared by his office. “If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated — as people, decently.”

In his address, Mr. Zelensky said Russia had already lost 90 warplanes and that Russian troops “did not expect such resistance.”
“They believed in their propaganda, which has been lying about us for decades,” he said.

Mr. Zelensky’s call for surrender was not the first time the Ukrainian government made such a proposal to Russian troops. Two weeks ago, Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, offered Russian soldiers cash and amnesty if they surrendered.

In an address on Saturday, Mr. Zelensky said thousands of Russian soldiers had either been captured or had surrendered. Earlier this month, the Pentagon said some Russian troops had surrendered but it did not say how many had done so.

Mr. Zelensky also said he was grateful for Russians who continued to fight Russian disinformation about the war, singling out a woman who walked in on a live broadcast of a Russian state-run news show on Monday evening, holding up a sign that said “They’re lying to you here.”

The woman, Marina Ovsyannikova, worked for Channel 1, the channel whose broadcast she stormed. She was later detained and was being held at a small police station, according to OVD-Info, an activist group that supports Russians detained for protesting.

“To those who are not afraid to protest: As long as your country has not completely closed itself off from the whole world, turning into a very large North Korea, you must fight.” Mr. Zelensky said. “You must not lose your chance.”

Mr. Zelensky said that some Russian troops were fleeing battlefields and abandoning equipment.

“Today, Russian troops are, in fact, one of the suppliers of equipment to our army,” he said.

Addressing Russian conscripts and officers, Mr. Zelensky asked them “why should you die?”

“What for?” Mr. Zelensky said. “I know that you want to survive. We hear your conversations in the intercepts. We hear what you really think about this senseless war, about this disgrace and about your state.”

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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#23 Post by silverscreenselect » Mon Mar 14, 2022 11:45 pm

U.S. estimates are that between 6,000 and 8,000 Russians have been killed in the fighting. The United States lost 7,000 killed in 20 years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Russians have apparently lost at least that many in 20 days.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#24 Post by silverscreenselect » Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:16 am

New York Times wrote:
The woman, Marina Ovsyannikova, worked for Channel 1, the channel whose broadcast she stormed. She was later detained and was being held at a small police station, according to OVD-Info, an activist group that supports Russians detained for protesting.
Her attorneys now report that they are unable to locate or get in contact with her.
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Re: The 40-Mile Convoy

#25 Post by silverscreenselect » Tue Mar 15, 2022 10:43 pm

The count is now up to four Russian generals dead (plus one Chechen).

One of the things I had wondered about was why the Ukrainians weren't engaging in significant behind-the-lines guerilla warfare in the occupied areas in the south and east. There have been a number of photos and videos of unarmed protesters standing in front of Russian tanks but no Molotov cocktail sneak attacks that I'd heard of. That changed today when the Ukrainians hit a formation of Russian helicopters using the airport in Kherson, the largest city occupied by the Russians in the war. Several helicopters were destroyed and the smoke was visible for miles around.
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