Thomas C. Theiner Profile picture
Sep 21, 2022 25 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Why are russian propagandists and the Kremlin so afraid of ATACMS missiles... is it a fear of striking deep into russia? is it a fear of striking symbolic targets?

No, it's all about logistics. A thread 🧵:

russian military logistics are a disaster: no forklifts, no pallets, too few trucks, bad maintenance, corruption, incompetence, no movement control units - without access to a railroad russia can't supply its troops.

For more about this topic - see:

The only way for russia to somehow keep its logistics alive are railroads. For russia no access to a railroad equals failure of an operation:

attack towards Kyiv from the East - no railroad = no supplies, troops starving, tanks without fuel, no ammo - disaster, then retreat.
The moment Ukrainian troops arrived outside Kupiansk, russian troops fled from Izyum, as without the railyard at Kupiansk there was no chance to supply the Izyum salient.

With the flight from Kharkiv russia is now down to two fronts:

• East: Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts
• South: Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Crimea oblasts

Let's look at the main railroads in the East first (colored blue): Kupiansk, the main rail hub for the Luhansk sector, has
liberated by Ukraine. Debaltseve and Ilovaisk, the main rail hubs for the Donetsk sector, are in GMLRS range (yellow circles).
This forces russia to unload trains 100+ km from the front and truck supplies the rest of the way, but
russia doesn't have enough transport units for
this. This shortfall in transport capacity has already led to russia being unable to pursue offensive operations in the Donetsk sector.
The logistic situation is even worse for the Luhansk sector, where distance are longer and roads worse. I believe these problems will force
russia to retreat further in Northern Luhansk.

ATACMS wouldn't change much in this front sector. No russian air bases are within Ukrainian territory and most russian depots have been HIMARSed already.

But things are very different on the Southern front.
The Southern front: colored in blue the main supply lines and in yellow GMLRS ranges, which force russia to unload trains far from the front.

Now we're gonna have a closer look at the three locations in the purple pentagons:
• Volnovakha
• Kerch
• Syvash

The railroad from Donetsk to Volnovakha (colored in orange) is unusable. It's in 120 mm mortar range (yellow circles) and in L119 105 mm howitzer range (green circle). Where the railroad is closest to the front it is even Javelin range - no train can pass here. Not one.

This means the ONLY way for russia to supply its 70,000 troops on the Southern front is by rail over the Kerch bridge. russia neither has the trucks nor the drivers to supply its Southern front by road. There is only one lifeline and it runs over two bridges and if ATACMS
takes these two bridges out - russia can't hold the South.
Especially with winter fast approaching - because soon russia will not have to transport food for 70,000+ troops, millions of liters of fuel, 100s of tons of ammo, spares and supplies to the South every day, it will
also have to supply 100s of tons of heating material every day. russian forces in Kherson on the right bank of the Dnipro are already running low on ammo, fuel, food, spares, replacement tanks, etc. because the bridges over the Dnipro have been taken out by GMLRs. But those
are just 20,000 troops and trucks have to drive only 100 km to pick up supplies - imagine what happens when it is 70,000 troops, 400+ km of distance from rostov-on-don and it is winter.

This is why russia's dictator and his goons are so scared of ATACMS.
The Kerch railbridge (in red) is a 227 m tied-arch bridge... two ATACMS and she is gone, as attacking ATACMS weigh almost a ton and hit with Mach 4; and then they detonate 215 lb og high explosive.
The bridge will not survive. Even if she would not collapse into the sea, no
train can cross her after that without risking to drop into the sea with the remnants of the bridge.

And ATACMS will not miss - officially their CEP is 9 meter... but it's actually under 2.
And don't worry: the Kerch bridge isn't in russia.
Tuzla island in the middle of the Kerch Strait is, like Crimea, part of Ukraine. The internationally recognized border between Ukraine and russia is nowhere near the bridge.
Ukraine is just hitting targets inside Ukraine.
Hitting the Kerch railbridge would devastate putin's ability to wage war in the South of Ukraine. Hitting the Kerch railbridge would also be highly symbolic, showing all russians putin is a loser. Yes, he could retaliate... but nothing he can do would improve the disastrous
military situation he is in.
But if the White House is not willing to sign off on an ATACMS strike on the Kerch railway bridge - at least they must allow a strike on the railway bridge at Syvash. By far not as useful as a Kerch strike and not symbolic at all, and this bridge
could be fixed in a few days. Ultimately it is a strike on the railway bridge in Kerch that putin and his gang of genocidal war criminals fear most - that is why they are so shrill about it. They know how this would devastate their war and occupation of Southern Ukraine,
AND they know they can could not retaliate. The only retaliation open to them would be to use a tactical nuclear weapon... which would see all of them either die in nuclear war or be hung from their neck as war criminals.
The shriller the shriek, the more they show how afraid they are of the US and Ukraine calling their bluff and blowing up the Kerch bridge.

Once ATACMS are on the battlefield, russia has to abandon its four airfields and all its Black Sea fleet bases in Crimea.
And russia can't land a single ship in Crimea or along the Ukrainian Azov Sea coast to resupply its forces, because those ships would be ATACMSed immediately.

I said in May that M142 HIMARS and GMLRS would change the course of the war - and they did.

And russia never retaliated. Now ATACMS can change the course of the war - even more than GMLRs.

russia fears ATACMS - but here is no reason for us to fear russia. Ukraine deserves ATACMS, Ukraine needs ATACMS - to deny Ukraine ATACMS is to aid russia.

Send ATACMS now!
PS: Sorry for the low quality graphics - but I am not good at that stuff.
PS 2: russian air defense - not gonna do anything when ATACMS comes. They are technically 30 years behind.

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