Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Mar 3, 2022 28 tweets 10 min read Read on X
How is the war in Ukraine going? Today they confirmed the death of Russian General Major Suhovetsky. He's unsurprisingly a paratrooper. So let's discuss the role of paratroopers in Russian military doctrine. That'll shed a light on the course of this war and why Russia lost it🧵 Image
Paratroopers hold more legendary status than any other troops in Russia. They are elite force comprising the Reserve of the Supreme High Command. They are supposed to lead the offensive, being dropped behind the enemy lines and holding the ground before the rest of the army comes Image
Except they aren't used this way. If you look at this picture you'll understand why. It's just to easy to shoot them all in the air before they reach the ground. That's why in pretty much every conflict - Afghanistan, Karabakh, Georgia, Chechnya they were used as regular infantry Image
Since WWII there were only three cases when Russian paratroopers were actually dropped on the enemy from the air:

Hungary 1956
Czechoslovakia 1968
Ukraine 2022

Ergo, paratroopers act as paratroopers only when they don't expect resistance from another regular army Image
Paratroopers aren't that strong. The firepower of an "elite" paratrooper regiment is way weaker than that of regular, "non-elite" infantry regiment. They can't defeat an army. But they aren't supposed to fight against an army. They are supposed to suppress mutinies and rebellions Image
The entire concept of VDV, Russian paratroopers makes total sense if we consider that they are not so much soldiers as the riot police. They don't need to fight other regular armies, they need to suppress disorganised mutinies and protests Image
Since paratroopers are the shock troops of regime, they absolutely need to look scary to scare off any mutineers. Their entire legendary status is one huge psyop. That's not a secret, really well-trained forces such as those of GRU consider these guys to be fraudsters Image
For this reason paratroopers absolutely need to be very tall. Physical fitness is not enough, you need to be very big. Why? Because they need to be scary. Because their main weaponry is purely psychological. People should see these big guys and realise resistance is meaningless Image
Hence the entire "legendary" status, well-developed mythology and iconography. There's no other troops with so developed symbolics, such as paratroopers. Consider this one where Elia the Prophet gets a blue paratrooper beret Image
Tons of songs, visuals etc are dedicated to paratroopers, more than to any other troops. Why? Again, because VDV are psyop troops and they are powerless without a thoroughly developed mythology. Thus government heavily invests in building this mythology

2nd of August is the VDV day. So every year ex-paratroopers (or whoever decided to west the light blue vest and beret) jump into the public fountains Image
... harass civilians Image
.. and the police. Regular people (or soldiers) would get long prison terms for beating up the cops. But not the paratroopers. They are shock troops of the regime and the regime gonna maintain their badass status. They are so badass because they have full support of the state Image
That's why "elite" paratroopers comprise the Reserve of the Supreme High Command. It's not a reserve for a big war. Nope. It's a reserve for suppressing mutinies within Russia or in neighbouring countries. And that's largely done through psyops. Thus they work hard to seem scary Image
When Russia decided to suppress the insurrection in Kazakstan last year, it sent there its glorified riot police - the paratroopers. See the light blue stripes on their vests? Only VDV wears it Image
Let's be honest, Kremlin sees Ukraine as a rebel province. The very existence of this country is mutiny. And if you need to suppress a riot, you send the riot police. So Putin sent there paratroopers and they were completely routed. Because they didn't expect organised resistance
Russian paratroopers were used as paratroopers only during the suppression of "fascist revolt" in Hungary 1956 and in Czechoslovakia 1968. Why? Because they knew they're not gonna face another regular army there. So they can unleash their psyop without fearing any consequences Image
When Putin invaded Ukraine he thought he's suppressiing yet another Eastern European mutiny. And sent his riot police expecting Ukrainian army to run or surrender. But it didn't. And once it didn't his entire special operation modelled after Whirlwind 1956 or Danube 1968, failed Image
Paratroopers were supposed to take control of the main cities and logistical clusters, so the occupation of the country by the army would go smoothly. But Ukrainian army opened fire and they failed. And after that initial failure the entire plan was broken Image
The most dramatic example of this failure were Russian vehicles stuck in the early spring mud. You see they are trying to put tree logs under its wheels to get it out. Sounds good, doesn't work Image
Putin expected Ukrainian army to surrender. Unexpectedly not only the army but even regular civilians whom government gave guns started attacking Russian supply lines. Russia didn't plan for war and simply pushed forward with just one army echelon, so supply lines are unguarded
As a results those columns that pushed forward run out of fuel and simply get stuck on the roads and in the fields. That's the most plausible explanation for this Russian column simply staying in the field and being filmed by civilians
Putin's Blitzkrieg failed because it wasn't a Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg is a war operation against an enemy who fights. But Russia launched a special operation expecting Ukrainians to surrender. That's why they sent forward their glorified riot police. Of course, they were beaten Image
They sent only one echelon of troops by land. They wanted to occupy a defenceless country and didn't care about covering their supply lines. Of course they were cut off and now thousands of Russian vehicles are stuck with no fuel Image
Putin's plan failed and that's why he started escalating the violence. Here you see a student dormitory of Kharkiv university after a Russian bombardment
Or residential districts of Kyiv
The only question is whether Ukrainians will be able to stand their ground until the imminent economic collapse of Russia. It will happen much sooner than most expect, gonna write about it tomorrow in a more detailed way. In any case, Putin's plan of a special operation failed
It failed for two reasons. Firstly, after 2014 Ukrainians rebuilt their army and state for the imminent clash with Russia. Secondly, when Russia finally attacked, Ukrainians didn't fall for an empty psyop and didn't get scared. And if you don't fear, psyop doesn't work. End of🧵 Image

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More from @kamilkazani

Mar 22
In August 1999, President Yeltsin appointed his FSB Chief Putin as the new Prime Minister. Same day, he named him as the official successor. Yet, there was a problem. To become a president, Putin had to go through elections which he could not win.

He was completely obscure.Image
Today, Putin is the top rank global celebrity. But in August 1999, nobody knew him. He was just an obscure official of Yeltsin's administration, made a PM by the arbitrary will of the sovereign. This noname clerk had like 2-3% of popular support

Soon, he was to face elections Image
By the time of Putin's appointment, Russia already had its most favoured candidate. It was Primakov. A former Yeltsin's Prime Minister who broke with Yeltsin to contest for power. The most popular politician in Russia with massive support both in masses and in the establishment. Image
Read 20 tweets
Mar 17
In Russia, the supreme power has never ever changed as a result of elections. That simply never happened in history. Now that is because Russia is a (non hereditary) monarchy. Consequently, it doesn't have any elections. It has only acclamations of a sitting rulerImage
Obviously, there has been no elections of Putin in any meaningful sense. There have been only acclamations. And that is normal. His predecessor was successfully acclaimed with an approval rate of about 6%. Once you got the power, you will get your acclamation one way or another
Contrary to the popular opinion, Russia doesn't have any acclamation ("election") problem. It has a transition of power problem. Like Putin can get acclaimed again, and again, and again. But sooner or later, he dies. What next?
Read 7 tweets
Mar 16
My team has documented the entire Russian missile manufacturing base. That is 28 key ballistic, cruise, hypersonic and air defence missile producing plants associated with four corporations of Roscosmos, Almaz-Antey, Tactical Missiles and Rostec

The link is in the first comment Image
Our report How Does Russia Make Missiles? is already available for download

By the next weekend, we will be publishing the first OSINT sample, illustrating our methodology & approach. The rest of our materials will be made available laterrhodus.comImage
Key takeaways:

1. Missile production is mostly about machining
2. You cannot produce components of tight precision and convoluted geometry otherwise
3. Soviet missiles industry performed most of its machining manually

That was extremely laborious and skill-intensive processImage
Read 15 tweets
Feb 25
No one gets famous by accident. If Alexey @Navalny rose as the unalternative leader of Russian opposition, recognised as such both in Moscow and in DC, this indicates he had something that others lacked. Today we will discuss what it was and why it did not suffice 🧵Image
Let's start with the public image. What was so special about the (mature) @navalny is that his public image represented normality. And by normality I mean first and foremost the American, Hollywood normality

Look at this photo. He represents himself as American politicians doImage
For an American politician, it is very important to present himself as a good family man (or woman). Exceptions do only corroborate the rule. Notice how McCain defends @BarackObama

"No, he's a decent family man, citizen"

In America one thing is tied with another
Read 23 tweets
Feb 19
Should Putin just suddenly die, @MedvedevRussiaE is the most likely compromise candidate for the supreme political power. He is the inaugurated President for God's sake. Which means, the anointed King.Image
"Not a real king", "Figurehead", "Nobody takes him seriously" is just intangible verbalism. Nothing of that matters. What matters is that he is the inaugurated President, consecrated by God. Opinions are subjective, anointment is objective

It is the factImage
Medvedev may be one single person in the entire Russian establishment with a decent chance to keep power, should Putin go. For this reason, he may not even need to fight for power. The power will very probably be handed to him

He is the rightful King -> guarantor of stabilityImage
Read 8 tweets
Feb 18
On Friday, @navalny died (most probably killed) in prison. This is a good time to discuss the prospects of Russian opposition and the future transition of political power, once Putin is gone. This is also a good occasion to debunk some pervasive myths on the mechanics of power🧵 Image
First, getting rid of @navalny was probably a correct decision on behalf of Kremlin. Execution of this murder may have been suboptimal (unprofessional, etc.). But the very idea to eliminate him was reasonable and makes total sense. There is nothing crazy or irrational about it
This remark may sound as cynical or paradoxical. So let me present you another paradox, which is yet to be fully processed by the political theorists. And the paradox is:

Bloody tyrants rule longer

The Russian history may possibly demonstrate this better than any otherImage
Read 19 tweets

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