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Fallout continues for Russia after Georgian invasion
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, October 02, 2008

Apparently Russia didn't do as well as it has been touted to have done in the invasion of Georgia:
What I learned in briefings from defense and diplomatic officials — many of them bright young people in their early 30s — is being confirmed by reports filtering out of Russia. Georgian Deputy Defense Minister Batu Kutelia told me that 1700 Russian soldiers were killed, as compared with 167 Georgians, and that 17 Russian combat aircraft were shot down, including a TU-22 strategic bomber.

While these numbers cannot be completely confirmed, observers saw the Russian armored armada bogged down in mountain passes, exposing it to accurate long-range rockets. The Russians admitted losing four aircraft, including the bomber; sources in Moscow claimed the count was much higher. The loss of the $200 million TU-22, piloted by a 53-year-old reservist who bailed out and was captured by Georgians, exposes stunning Russian weakness. The TU-22 was being used for reconnaissance. Contemporary armed forces use pilotless drones for reconnaissance to minimize risk to personnel and costly equipment.
There is no question that Russia had its forces deployed and poised to invade South Ossettia. You don't roll that number of troops that quickly unless you are. However, against the force it confronted, if Joel Sprayregen's numbers are accurate, they are indeed too heavy and do expose some "stunning" Russian weaknesses.

If I had to guess, I'd guess the numbers probably fall somewhere in the middle. However, even if they lost 10 aircraft (to include a strategic bomber) and 1,000 troops, that's a very heavy price to pay against the Georgian army and Georgian air defenses. Imagine the toll if they had been faced with a larger and more competent foe.

Additionally, Russia's strategic goal wasn't achieved:
"The main task of the Russian invasion-to cause a total state failure and fully destroy the reformed Georgian army, making NATO membership impossible-has not yet been achieved."
The collapse of the Saakashvili government was the aim and the hope was to see it replaced with a much more pro-Russia regime which would seek military ties with Russia and not NATO.

Finally the financial result of this little Russian adventure, despite Putin's attempt to lay blame on the US for their financial woes, has been devastating:
"Investors are fed up with rampant militaristic nationalism, red tape, corruption and anti-investor sentiment in Putin's Russia. Some have decided to head for the door and take their money with them."
Putin and company live in a new world now where they can no longer pretend that their actions don't have consequences beyond some diplomatic repercussions. Hopefully they'll digest this lesson and decide that sort of action is not the way to go in the future. Thankfully they're getting the full course when it comes to consequences for their actions. Whether they learn from it or not, however, remains to be seen.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Sounds like they hadn’t learned much since rolling in and out of Afghanistan. While the Georgians, despite their obvious disadvantages, benefited from our training.
Written By: Keith_Indy
It’s all Bush’s fault, you know.
Written By: hanmeng
URL: http://
As long as the Soviets Russian are allowed to ’bury’ the casualty figures, just like the good old days, you can expect their army will continue to act like the good old Soviet army, that includes their willingness to lose a disproportinate number of men and equipment to ’win’.

I’m not sure what makes everyone think that the ’new’ Russian army is going to be head and shoulders above the old Soviet one in capabilities and quality.
Slapping new markings on your uniforms and vehicles should not be considered military improvement, and exactly what do you think happened to all those old Soviet officers?
There’s no new generation (yet), they’ve dressed the same old tart up in a new frock.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
It’s amazing that the "sub-Prime debacle" in the US (coupled with the Georgia pushback) has driven the Russian stock market down to half it’s previous value.

This will probably have greater impact than would have been seen if the US had just put economic sanctions on Russia, which would have had a greater Russian pushback.

At last, there is some "silver lining" to the "sub-Prime debacle".
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Their salvation to this point has been their oil and the cash flow it brings.
The EU may be in worse financial trouble than the U.S...
Russians won’t be able to depend on that flow of cash for long.

What will Putin do when things truly begin to look worse than the old Soviet situation?
After being spanked in Georgia, will he risk another "wag the dog"?
Written By: Greybeard
The Soviet army had many of the faults of the Tsarist army, and it looks like that unfortunate (for them) tradition continued on into the new Russian army. It probably won’t change significantly until the Russian people decide they won’t be treated like moronic, bestial cannon fodder anymore.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Tsar Putin I has to know his 20 year old commie crap is crap, but think of what he has going on.

He’s busy becoming tsar so he needs an outside enemy and the genocide he’s trying to finish in Chechnya isn’t really news-ready. It’s too raw and disgusting and cruel.
He also has to worry about China. Sure they’re acting like buddies now, but think about it, China’s population is getting bigger, younger and maler (they’re aborting their female kids because everybody wants a son) while Russia’s is getting older, smaller and drunker. So he can’t use them as the bogeyman or they’ll become a real enemy. One that will kick his butt and take some territory.

Sure China wants to mess with us so they’ll buy Russian stuff, but they still can only threaten people they can walk to. Look at a map, they’re sick of trying to take out Vietnam and the rest of Indo-China, they’ve been trying for thousands of years. They were already going after Vladivostock a few years ago, there are also a lot of Chinese immigrants moving into the area.

Add in that China has mostly been attacked from the west (i.e. Russia) so they’re historically a little leary of that area (the reason for the Great Wall) and it has to make Putin a little nervous.

So what’s a budding dictator to do? Try to retake the old SSRs, intimidate the EUnuchs, make noises about the Great Hegemon (us) and hope China doesn’t decide they need a little lebensraum.

Nope, Tsar Putin has problems.
Written By: Veeshir
URL: http://
Putin lied, Russians died.
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://

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