Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Hartley

If you look at the long term needs of both Russia & Ukraine, then it makes sense to split Crimea in two. Ukraine needs North Crimea, as its Western peninsula dominates approaches to Odessa, likely to be Ukraine’s only major port. The Russians need South Crimea for Sevastopol, as it is one of their few ice free ports.

Tony Dawson

Lateral thinking there but that still rewards Russia by them retaining land they stole 8 years ago.

John Hartley

This is one of those situations where geography dominates politics. Russia cannot relax if Ukraine has Sevastopol. Ukraine cannot relax unless its approaches to Odessa are safe. Unless you want perpetual war, or threat of war, then partition is the only long term solution.


Agree with you with regards to partition of Crimea. Politically also good face saving compromise for Russian Nationalist faction as they get to keep Sebastopol which holds a mythological place in Russian Imperial history.

Partition as proposed by @Hartley also gives Ukraine security for it major grain ports in the Western Black sea that includes Odessa.

Supportive Bloke

Classic case of overplaying a poor hand by Mad Vlad.

National boundaries cannot be redrawn because it suits another country and it is a terrible precedent to reward aggression.

If, as now seems certain, Ukraine gets F16’s – the Danes are up for it and US has 1000’s as well as the ones that are coming out of service around NATO, Mad Vlad will be pushed out of there super fast. Even backfilling the UKAF with upgraded Soviet stuff will change the balance in the air.


Just as its *not* a naval war , its also not a combat air war. Even slow helicopters are highly constrained near the front lines from the low level missile threat.
Fighters are forced to operate below 3000ft from the medium and high level missiles

F16 fighters require western maintenance contractors at Ukraine airbases, same for western attack helicopters
Experience from Iraq and Afghanistan shows that once the contractors leave , flying stops

Supportive Bloke

I’m not sure I totally agree.

The Afghans were deliberately not trained to maintain the airframes so that there was a degree of control over where they went to. Just as critical parts stocks were deliberately removed or destroyed.

The Ukranians have a traditional wa Ealing’s engineering base. Yes, I agree that US won’t want to share the manuals for some bits of an F16 – mostly targeting, radar and comms. However, the other bits are relatively obsolescent being, at their core, 1970’s kit.

The only reason that the air war is as you describe is that the Russians don’t have an LGB stockpile and so can’t ground or air laze targets. Never mind GPS / GLONASS guidance. So they can’t fly high. They can’t fly real low because of small arms or cannon. But at height conventional bombing is just WWII stuff.

The lack of naval engagement from Russian is down to Harpoonski (Neptune) or Harpoon.


Golly gee Scooby what about Kosovo, that was taken from Serbia.


Yes. Also applies to Diego Garcia which was part of British colony of Mauritius, but as payback for the US ballistic missiles in UK subs, the boundaries were redrawn just before independence so it could effectively become a US military enclave.
You could say might is right as it’s the only ‘rule’ that matters. The others are for the little countries


Good point.

And I think Ukraine should have her nukes returned – you know, the ones that she gave up back in the 90s.

If you look at the long term needs of both Russia & Ukraine, then it makes sense to ensure both have nukes.

Unless you want perpetual war, or threat of war, then partition is the only long term solution.

Have you really forgotten Russia’s desire to get a land bridge all the way until Transnistria? Has history ever shown that Russia can be appeased?

I don’t think Ukraine should trust Russia as far as one of her flying T-72 turrets.


The Ukraine never had nukes. When the USSR dissolved all the nuclear weapons became Russia’s responsibility.


Not strictly correct . The delivery systems ( bombers and missiles) belonged to and were controlled by Ukraine.
The actual warheads ( like any nuclear power) can only be armed- launched by the centralised command system. Which still was in Moscow.

Ukraine had one of the USSR ICBM missile/space rocket design bureaus and production plants. Most recent design was the Topol M
Theres a lot of evidence, with no customers from Ukraine or others, that rocket engine technology was transferred to North Korea as they made an unexpected leap in capability


it is correct.

Go away.


After the disintegration of the USSR, Ukraine found itself in possession of the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal. There were 176 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers with some 1,240 warheads on Ukrainian territory. This force consisted of 130 SS-19s, each capable of delivering six nuclear weapons, and 46 SS-24s, each armed with ten nuclear weapons. An additional 14 SS-24 missiles were present in Ukraine, but not operationally deployed with warheads. Several dozen bombers with strategic nuclear capabilities were armed with some 600 air-launched missiles, along with gravity bombs. In addition, as many as 3,000 tactical nuclear weapons rounded out an arsenal totaling approximately 5,000 strategic and tactical weapons. ‘
They were paid to hand them over to the west for disaasmbly and to secure the nuclear material
Moscow had ‘nothing’ to do with them, although they paid Ukraine for return of some Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers


Is not a united front, just your view against the rest.
You are just the pariah, the oddball, the misfit.

Last edited 1 year ago by Caldicott

Oh dear , another alternative reality not based on the facts. It was only 20 years back and verification is easy to find

 Those documents provided that Ukraine would transfer all strategic warheads on its territory to Russia for elimination and, in return, would receive security assurances, compensation for the commercial value of the HEU, and Nunn-Lugar assistance [more funding] to help with the disposal of ICBMs, ICBM silos, bombers and other infrastructure on Ukrainian territory. ‘


Has history ever shown that Russia can be appeased?

That’s interesting. Give some examples.


The mexican state of Tejas was never returned either, but time heals most grievances



John Hartley

Take todays politicians out of it & ask “what are the long term needs, that if satisfied, will prevent further wars?” Putin’s imperial dream of USSR/Warsaw Pact MK2, will die with him, but basic geography remains.


Putin’s imperial dream!!!!!!!!!!

This forum is comedy gold.



Ukraine is the size and position it is now because Lenin Stalin and Khrushchev expanded the borders. Poland after WW1 conquered the former eastern region beyond the Curzon line (decided on ethnicity) drawn at Versailles conference, Stalin got it back
Versailles also rejected Ukrainian nationalists claims for their own country ( bigger than the current recognised borders), much like they did the northern Arabian peninsular people

Last edited 1 year ago by Duker

Ukraine never had the command and control systems for those nukes, so whilst they had them they couldn’t use them.


Its around 150km from the nearest point on Crimean peninsula to Odessa.

You might be thinking of the peninsula that is near the mouth of the Dnieper river

John Hartley

Yes, but a lot of anti ship missiles have a 150km, or greater, range.


And what about the people who live on the Peninsular who have never wanted to be a part of Ukraine. I first traveled to Crimea for business in 2008, even back then they hated being Ukrainian. As one man put it he went to bed a Soviet citizen and work up the next morning as a fxxking Ukrainian.

John Hartley

Those who want to be Russian, move South, those that want to be Ukrainian, move North. You could get the UN, as they have done in previous conflict resolutions, to look after the property swap & people relocation.


They can move the entire Black Sea Fleet – or what is left of it – to Novorossysk and leave Sevastopol In both cases, they cannot freely exit/enter the Black Sea in wartime, and the Black Sea remains a sea with three NATO coastal Nations.


Yes. It is a cul-de-sac. Russian can’t do anything about it. But it has such strategic depth it doesn’t NEED to do anything about it.


Yes , 3 Nato nations with Black Sea coastline , but Turkiye is more ‘middle ground’ than the other 2 regarding Russia.
The entry rules also restrict other Nato navies


Or better yet give Crimea it’s independence from Russia and Ukraine, then give them a time frame to decide which country they would prefer to join or remain independent.


Not sure why the Russian Navy doesn’t mount submarine-launched cruise missile attacks. No real threat from Neptune or Harpoon in that scenario AFAIK. While there aren’t any of the huge Kursk types in the Black Sea, there are at least a few of the smaller diesel-electric Kilo class “boats” that also fire Kalibr cruise missiles. This may be as few as four per boat, but nevertheless.

Last edited 1 year ago by Will

The author is not completely correct in this claim
All major shipping companies bar the Chinese have suspended their operations to and from Russia’

Turkiye based vessels ( and others ) still trade with Russian ports, in fact theres a huge jump as Turkiye doesnt have the european and others trade sanctions

Julian Edmonds

The West has unfinished business from 1989-1991. More than 30 years on, we are still facing the same old enemy, with the same arsenal of nuclear weapons, and many of the same people still in charge of them.

It will not do to leave Putin in power, to rebuild, rearm, and strike more powerfully and effectively another day.

It will not do for him to be replaced in a palace coup by someone from the same mould.

It will not do for Russia to be “humiliated” like Imperial Germany, leaving resentment to fester for another generation and a new national leader to emerge with even greater power.

Nothing less will do than the complete, absolute and total destruction of Putin and his system of government. And the imposition by the West of a decentralised constitution which prevents any future national leader for amassing the power that Hitler and Putin had.

That’s what made Japan and (West) Germany the most successful countries of the post war period.


You wont be around to see it as that will take nuclear war ! Silly man


You clearly don’t understand the hellish mess Russia was from the fall of Communism until to Putin took over and cleaned the country up. Russians don’t want to go back to that.

Russia and Ukraine have never had democracy, they never will become democracies, even after the Orange Revolution Ukraine kept the same form of government, they elected an oligarch to replace the overthrown oligarch, the current President before the war was a corrupt as his predecessor and was owned by Ihor Kolomoisky who picked him for president.


The decision to go to war was terrible for the Russian Navies standpoint, their 2 most powerful Ships are undergoing 5 year refits to modernise their weapons, sensors etc. The Kirov Class Missile Cruisers even with their 1980’s era systems are still far superior to the Slava class Cruisers like Moskva especially in terms of Point Defence, range (as the Kirov Class is Nuclear powered). Now this refit is probably never going to finish due to all the Sanctions that Russia is under. A really dumb move…very much reminds me of what happened with Germany in the 1930’s when the Navy wanted to have a minimum number of U-Boats before any war started and Hitler didn’t give them anywhere near enough time

Supportive Bloke

The biggest problem with the Kirov’s is being careful how and where you sink them to avoid nuclear contamination.

Hitting then would be easy as they are vulnerable to a wide range of NATO weapons. That said it could be sunk by the bows off.

To paraphrase some Russian Bloke ‘the Kirovs are are large convenient targets’ FIFY.


Are you suggesting an open conflict with Russia which involves Nato sinking of its naval vessels could occur without nuclear weapons and their radiation effects being used by both ?

Supportive Bloke

Say a Kirov was local to Ukraine and that the Ukranians wanted to sink her with the effective missiles they have.

What happens next?

Bobs Baradur

A cutting out expedition by a Ukrainian Lord Cochrane ?
The old ways are best, away boarding party.

Rob N

It is thought that Moscova was lost in part to her terrible state of maintenance – and she was the FLAGSHIP. So it is highly likely that the rest of the Russian navy will be in a simikar state. They may have capable ships on paper but they may well be paper tigers. There was lots of talk of Russia rebuilding its military but the truth is it still relies on old Soviet kit that it can no longer maintain. Perhaps Putin has spent all his money on a few flash projects of dubious benift.


Flagships in Russia are often the biggest ship just because it is big and that matters in a country where size appearance matters and also because have more extensive communications and space.
Black Sea frigates have more modern systems than the Soviet era in Moskva.