A Russian invasion of Ukraine: Just how far would Russia go and what would Russia's war aims be?

WolfBear

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If Russia will invade Ukraine in the near-future, as appears to be likely but not 100% guaranteed, just how far would Russia go (as in, just how deep inside of Ukraine) and what would Russia's war aims be other than preventing Ukraine from joining NATO? For instance, would Russia be content to have a neutralist regime led by someone like Yuri Boyko rule over eastern, southern, and central Ukraine while leaving western Ukraine in the hands of pro-Western Ukrainians, who would in any case be extremely likely to mount an extremely fierce insurgency against Russia? In other words, are we going to see a partition of Ukraine, with two rival Ukrainian governments and with one of these governments being propped up by Russian bayonets? I would presume that such a situation would also see a mass exodus of pro-Western Ukrainians to Western Ukraine and of pro-Russian and neutralist Ukrainians to Russian-occupied Ukraine, no? In other words, something similar to what previously occurred in Vietnam back when it was temporarily divided in 1954 after the end of the First Indochina War, with pro-Western and anti-Communist Vietnamese moving to South Vietnam and pro-Communist Vietnamese moving to North Vietnam.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 

WolfBear

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I have now gotten some information about this from a German newspaper:




First, Putin can go for the south. Then, if the West will refuse to make concessions to him, Putin can go for the northeast. Then, if the West will still refuse to make concessions to him, Putin can go for Kiev. And ultimately the final front line will be located slightly to the west of Kiev.
 

Rusty Shackleford

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Personally, I think this could end in a multitude of ways, but some things will remain a constant.

The first is that an all-out Russian invasion will see the Russian Military defeat Ukraine and from their annex and occupy the ethnically Russian areas and have them set up as autonomous regions for later full annexation.

Beyond that Russia's goal in Ukraine beyond its ethnically Russian speaking areas will be to ensure the remaining ethnically Ukrainian state remains a buffer between them and NATO.

The biggest problem with that idea however is that while the U.S. might not commit to fighting Russia they wouldn't really need to, the Ukrainian government could invite in NATO troops to occupy the rump state that's left.
 

Chiron

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Putin's goal is to ensure Ukraine does not join NATO. Ukraine is not Georgia, and a bitchslap like 2008 to send a clear message is not enough.

If Putin decides to go in, he goes for it all and straight up annexes the place as an autonomous republic of Russia sending a clear message to all the other former SSRs that dealing with NATO is bad for your health.
 

Butch R. Mann

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If there is going to any major fighting in Ukraine then it's going to be in the Donbass region. I reckon at some point Ukraine will feel confident enough with their Baryaktars and Javelins, along with USA promise of support to make a major push against either Donetsk or Lugansk. Russia will then push forward their IADS assets forward and 6-12 battalion combat will spearhead assault to cut off the Ukrainian vanguard, followed by Novorussia troops pushing other Ukrainian forces away from artillery range of Donetsk (or Lugansk). Then the situation will revert back to frozen conflict. There will be also some new sanctions.

The other scenario of full scale invasion is simply neocon fear mongering bs without basis in reality.
 

WolfBear

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The other scenario of full scale invasion is simply neocon fear mongering bs without basis in reality.
You might think that, but when Putin (ghost-)wrote a 5,000 word essay about the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians several months ago, then frankly, I'm not so sure about this.
 

WolfBear

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I really hope my country doesn't just let Russia roll in there and do what it wants, but given who's in charge... :cautious:

Or is your country Canada? If so:

 

Zachowon

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We have a mix of if the US will or will not send troops. It is al over the place
 

Zachowon

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The US will not send its own troops to fight in Ukraine. That I can guarantee you.
Why is that?
Besides our horrid president saying so?
He also said the A-stan pull out was good
 

WolfBear

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Why is that?
Besides our horrid president saying so?
He also said the A-stan pull out was good
The Afghanistan pullout was good since it put our troops out of harm's way. We gave the Afghans 20 years to prepare. If they couldn't fight the Taliban for even two weeks afterwards, then, well, us staying there for a longer time period was not going to make any difference.
 

Zachowon

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The Afghanistan pullout was good since it put our troops out of harm's way. We gave the Afghans 20 years to prepare. If they couldn't fight the Taliban for even two weeks afterwards, then, well, us staying there for a longer time period was not going to make any difference.
We gve up the most defensible base to use a horribly defensible airport.
You always pull military out lat
 

History Learner

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We gve up the most defensible base to use a horribly defensible airport.
You always pull military out lat
This isn't an Afghanistan thread, and it's already been pointed out to you numerous times that Bagram is a rather long distance from Kabul anyway.
 

History Learner

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Zachowon

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This isn't an Afghanistan thread, and it's already been pointed out to you numerous times that Bagram is a rather long distance from Kabul anyway.
Bagram is still easier to keep forces at and defend and allow evac to be shuttled
 

History Learner

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Bagram is still easier to keep forces at and defend and allow evac to be shuttled
Except anybody you're trying to evacuate has to evacuate through a 100 mile stretch of road occupied by the Taliban. The agreement Trump signed with them stipulated we wouldn't hang on to Bagram, so breaking that agreement results in the Taliban shutting down said route and now no one can evacuate. While the Taliban take advantage of the fact you've got a few thousand troops trying to defense a 10-14 mile perimeter to set up MANPADs and blast out of the sky any transport aircraft.

Congratulations, you now have five figure POW counts for the Taliban to leverage with us. Regardless, again, this isn't an Afghanistan thread.
 

WolfBear

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Personally, I'd say annex the Blue areas and a demilitarized buffer with the rest.
The blue areas don't want to be annexed either, other than perhaps Crimea and the Donbass. More prudent to turn the blue areas into a nominally neutralist Ukrainian state led by Yuri Boyko.
 
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