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QFT
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12 Nov 2022, 3:47 pm

While a lot of people talk about Russian army being unprepared, it never occurred to anyone the actual reason why. And no, that reason has nothing to do with anything that on the news today. It has to do with the situation that lasted from 1970-s all the way till today.

You see, in Russia they have mandatory army training for everyone ages 18 and 19, with exemptions given to university students and people with medical conditions, and the like (and this has nothing to do with Ukraine, it was the case throughout the duration of Soviet Union, at least). However, in Russian army they have a thing called dedovshina, where more experienced soldiers are abusing less experienced ones. As a result, everyone is trying to avoid the army (again, nothing to do with today: its been the case for decades). The ways of avoiding it are numerous:

1) They bribe doctors to give them false medical diagnosis that would exempt them from the army. Some people are very creative, and are bribing the doctors from the time their sons are 2 year old, so as to create a fake medical history by the time they reach army age

2) They live in the area other than where government thinks they live. For example, by default, it is assumed that they live with their parents. But, instead, they are living with their grandparents. So when army comes looking for them in their parents residence, they aren't anywhere to be found. Now, there is a counter-effort to this. In particular, the government pays some people to report the army-age men that they see living in their residences. So then people get even more creative and move them between places just to hide them

3) They might go abroad to avoid the army

While each of those techniques by itself is used only by a minority of people, if you add them all up, then basically most people are avoiding the army one way or the other. Case in point: among my mom's friends and relatives, everyone avoided army except for one person. Ironically, that one person actually had a legitimate medical reason to avoid it. But he chose to go to the army out of his own wishes, which his family regrets since he ended up being killed by said dedovshina. Everyone else that my mom knows avoided the army.

Now, back to the Ukraine. So, the answer to the question as to why they didn't receive training is very simple. It is assumed they received training at the army, back when they were 18 and 19. After all, by law, everyone goes to the army training at those ages. Well, except that in practice most people *don't* go to the army (see above). And thats why they assume they were trained when they weren't.

If you take a country like America where army is not mandatory, then its only natural to train them. But if you take country like Russia where it is mandatory, then no point in training them, is there? Well, except that in Russia they avoid army, which is why that assumption that they all went to the army is what failed them.

But the main point I want to make is this has nothing to do with events at Ukraine. Instead, the whole issue of avoiding army lasted several decades, starting from 70-th till now. The unprepared army at Ukraine is just a consequence of that, seemingly unrelated, issue.



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12 Nov 2022, 4:29 pm

I kinda skimmed over your long post...so maybe you answered this and I missed it but...

What the fig do you mean when you say "in a country where military service is mandatory there is no point in training your army. Is there?"

What difference does it make if they force you into the army or not in a particular country? You still have to train your army.

They have mandatory military service in both Switzerland, and in Israel. And those two nations have armies among the most competent, and well trained forces on earth.



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12 Nov 2022, 4:43 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
I kinda skimmed over your long post...so maybe you answered this and I missed it but...

What the fig do you mean when you say "in a country where military service is mandatory there is no point in training your army. Is there?"

What difference does it make if they force you into the army or not in a particular country? You still have to train your army.

They have mandatory military service in both Switzerland, and in Israel. And those two nations have armies among the most competent, and well trained forces on earth.


In Switzerland and Israel they actually WENT to their mandatory service. In Russia they AVOIDED it (by faking illness, etc).

Lets put it this way:

1) In America they don't have mandatory training. So they train them right before the war. They come trained

2) In Switzerland and Israel they do have mandatory training. So they don't train them before the war. But they are trained anyway: they received their training back when they were 18 and 19

3) In Russia they have mandatory training too. But they all cheated their way out of it. SO they are not trained. Yet they aren't giving them any training because they ASSUMED they are trained (due to said mandatory training) yet their assumption is wrong since they cheated themselves out of it

So in "1" and "2" the assumed training matches actual training. In "3" it doesn't. When assumed training doesn't match actual training, thats when you have a problem.



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12 Nov 2022, 5:08 pm

Ok. Makes sense now.



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12 Nov 2022, 8:04 pm

4) Some of the money earmarked for military equipment, retention, and training gets diverted toward maintenance and upkeep of billionaires' properties (i.e., dachas, yachts, foreign investments, et cetera).

5) The Russian Black Market in military goods is highly profitable.  I recently purchased a genuine Russian-made spotter's scope at the Divisoria for 1000 Philippine pesos (~$17.89 US).

The Russian government is more crooked than the hind leg of a dog.


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13 Nov 2022, 12:54 pm

Had to look the word up to see if it essentially meant some form of hazing, and it does: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dedovshchina

Crazy tradition to abuse/torture/rape/kill young soldiers. Wtf? How does this make a better military? Why is this allowed to happen at all? Some twisted drunk sadists at the top figure service is mandatory so there's an endless supply of young men to rape & murder? That's seriously F'd up. No wonder people avoid military service in russia.

QFT wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
I kinda skimmed over your long post...so maybe you answered this and I missed it but...

What the fig do you mean when you say "in a country where military service is mandatory there is no point in training your army. Is there?"

What difference does it make if they force you into the army or not in a particular country? You still have to train your army.

They have mandatory military service in both Switzerland, and in Israel. And those two nations have armies among the most competent, and well trained forces on earth.


In Switzerland and Israel they actually WENT to their mandatory service. In Russia they AVOIDED it (by faking illness, etc).

Lets put it this way:

1) In America they don't have mandatory training. So they train them right before the war. They come trained

2) In Switzerland and Israel they do have mandatory training. So they don't train them before the war. But they are trained anyway: they received their training back when they were 18 and 19

3) In Russia they have mandatory training too. But they all cheated their way out of it. SO they are not trained. Yet they aren't giving them any training because they ASSUMED they are trained (due to said mandatory training) yet their assumption is wrong since they cheated themselves out of it

So in "1" and "2" the assumed training matches actual training. In "3" it doesn't. When assumed training doesn't match actual training, thats when you have a problem.


Ummm, okay.. that's sort of an explanation. But does the russian military not have records of who actually attended training and who didn't? You'd think if a 30 year old is rounded up for service that they'd be able to look up his service record and see that he's never attended training nor had any military experience at all and would require a certain minimum level of training to be competent on the battlefield.

I tend to think that they just don't care. At all. That the West's assessment of russia's military strategy is correct: Soldiers are disposable cannon fodder. Just keep throwing more bodies at the problem and if they die, send more, and then more after that no matter how many die - eventually they might make progress, and if they don't, just send more bodies. That seems to reflect reality more than "We assumed they were trained," when they know damned well they were never trained.


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13 Nov 2022, 3:11 pm

They assume you were once in the Army at 19 or whenever for a year or two. So when they call you back into the army when youre 29 they assume that youre already trained, and ready to fight. So they dont bother training you again.

Okay.

Kinda like the US education system in which youre required to graduate the 12th grade with an ability to read on an 8th grade level (folks assume you can read on a 12th grade level if your a HS grad, but theyre lucky if you can read on an 8th grade level). :lol:

But sounds like the Russian army is even worse than that.



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13 Nov 2022, 3:22 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
They assume you were once in the Army at 19 or whenever for a year or two. So when they call you back into the army when youre 29 they assume that youre already trained, and ready to fight. So they dont bother training you again.

Okay.


Wtf?

Did you not read any of the op or my question?

Op said people avoid military service and thus have no training.

You would THINK that a military would have RECORDS of who they trained, who served, and who's never been trained or served.



Or is this simpler: russian military just says "You SHOULD HAVE been trained at age 18/19 for 2 years, not our fault you didn't go.. so, now head to the front line and die if you don't know how to stay alive."

That makes more sense than anyone absurdly assuming people were trained that clearly were not and they have no record of training.


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13 Nov 2022, 3:59 pm

QFT wrote:
While a lot of people talk about Russian army being unprepared, it never occurred to anyone the actual reason why. And no, that reason has nothing to do with anything that on the news today. It has to do with the situation that lasted from 1970-s all the way till today.

You see, in Russia they have mandatory army training for everyone ages 18 and 19, with exemptions given to university students and people with medical conditions, and the like (and this has nothing to do with Ukraine, it was the case throughout the duration of Soviet Union, at least). However, in Russian army they have a thing called dedovshina, where more experienced soldiers are abusing less experienced ones. As a result, everyone is trying to avoid the army (again, nothing to do with today: its been the case for decades). The ways of avoiding it are numerous:

1) They bribe doctors to give them false medical diagnosis that would exempt them from the army. Some people are very creative, and are bribing the doctors from the time their sons are 2 year old, so as to create a fake medical history by the time they reach army age

2) They live in the area other than where government thinks they live. For example, by default, it is assumed that they live with their parents. But, instead, they are living with their grandparents. So when army comes looking for them in their parents residence, they aren't anywhere to be found. Now, there is a counter-effort to this. In particular, the government pays some people to report the army-age men that they see living in their residences. So then people get even more creative and move them between places just to hide them

3) They might go abroad to avoid the army

While each of those techniques by itself is used only by a minority of people, if you add them all up, then basically most people are avoiding the army one way or the other. Case in point: among my mom's friends and relatives, everyone avoided army except for one person. Ironically, that one person actually had a legitimate medical reason to avoid it. But he chose to go to the army out of his own wishes, which his family regrets since he ended up being killed by said dedovshina. Everyone else that my mom knows avoided the army.

Now, back to the Ukraine. So, the answer to the question as to why they didn't receive training is very simple. It is assumed they received training at the army, back when they were 18 and 19. After all, by law, everyone goes to the army training at those ages. Well, except that in practice most people *don't* go to the army (see above). And thats why they assume they were trained when they weren't.

If you take a country like America where army is not mandatory, then its only natural to train them. But if you take country like Russia where it is mandatory, then no point in training them, is there? Well, except that in Russia they avoid army, which is why that assumption that they all went to the army is what failed them.

But the main point I want to make is this has nothing to do with events at Ukraine. Instead, the whole issue of avoiding army lasted several decades, starting from 70-th till now. The unprepared army at Ukraine is just a consequence of that, seemingly unrelated, issue.


It's true i believe, from reading there is terrible abuse in Russian military service but i think in the rest of your analysis your confusing things a little

Russians have to do military service at 18 like many countries including Israel. Even France used to have it until about 25 years ago i believe.

After their military service of a few months, they can choose to either join the Russian army, become reservists or just ordinary civilians.

If they join Russian army, they join professional full-time army of around 700,000. If they become a reservist, they go back into civilian life to be bus drivers or plumbers etc.. but also go on a list of around 20 million to be called up in serious war.

Putin called up 300,000 reservists to be "retrained" in sep to be ready by the end of the year, that's why you saw on the news many thousands of Russians on this reserve list fleeing abroad to escape this callup.

This was men on the reserve list who probably either didn't like the war or just liked their small monthly pay cheque & didn't mind having to play soldiers once every few weeks as a weekend warrior (to quote 1st Rambo movie :lol: ), not ordinary unmotivated conscripts (think Vietnam situation).

Russia made the same mistake as Donald Rumsfeld in invading a large country with a small force.

Russia thought they could overthrow the Ukraine gov quickly with the kiev thing back in feb. They invaded the country with 200,000 professional full-time soldiers.

Of course, the gov did not fall and they got a lot of military help.

Iraq had practically no anti air defences allowing the US to bomb the republican guard with 50-year-old planes vertically, so the Iraqi army quickly collapsed under such pressure.

Ukraine by contrast had some sophisticated air defences including soviet s300`s and some portable stingers and other capable things, so the Russians couldn't use their big bombers like the US did in Iraq.

They could only use artillery and stand-off missiles. Stand-off missiles are good for blowing up buildings but no good with advancing troops or tanks as the blast radius from a missile is smaller than 40 large bombs on the head from a B52.

To make things harder for the Russians with 200,000 men they quickly ran out of steam advancing on multiple axis , allowing Ukraine to mobilise around 700,000 men to counter them.

I`m not sure the details as they sound a bit crazy but there is some truth in it. The professional Russian army has some kind of contract system where when you come to the end of your contact you can simply leave. By the end of summer many of these soldiers came to the end of their contracts & left leaving the Russians seriously undermanned.

This was picked up by western intelligence who noticed in the large Kharkov region there were hardly any Russian AF there, just mainly pro Russia local militia. The Ukrainians were able to just punch a hole in this weak defence easily, the Russians were massively outnumbered and simply retreated without a fight.

In the recent Kherson retreat again, the Russians were massively outnumbered and faced being driven into the sea if the Ukrainians were able to deliver tens or hundreds of thousands of men to charge into them. so they retreated to the other side of the river to form a natural barrier.

It's clear Putin in his arrogance and his government through corruption and incompetence botched the whole war up to now by failing to be prepared for Ukraine`s counter measures.

Its unclear if his mobilisation will change anything but events up to now will certainly damage his popularity.


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13 Nov 2022, 7:43 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
They assume you were once in the Army at 19 or whenever for a year or two. So when they call you back into the army when youre 29 they assume that youre already trained, and ready to fight. So they dont bother training you again.

Okay.


Wtf?

Did you not read any of the op or my question?

Op said people avoid military service and thus have no training.

You would THINK that a military would have RECORDS of who they trained, who served, and who's never been trained or served.



.


Calm down. Jeeeze!

In the US an employer might assume that if you have gotten through highschool that you must be able to read on a highschool level. A prospective employer isnt gonna go into your history of public school report cards to learn that you can read beyond the eighth grade.

Similarly the Russian powers at be might assume that just because youre more than 19 that you are already a veteran who doesnt need training. And not bother to research the details of your biography to learn about your non service.



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13 Nov 2022, 9:38 pm

Dedovshchina (literally: reign of the grandfathers) is a very real issue in the Russian army and has been since the days of the tsars. Think of it as an extreme form of hazing. It is difficult to generalize, because it varies from place to place and unit to unit. High ranking officers abuse lower ranking officers, who in turn abuse those below them, and so on down to the first-year conscripts at the bottom of the totem pole. People are humiliated, intimidated, forced to act as servants, tortured, or even killed in this system. Anyone with a brain would try to get out of mandatory service if only to avoid dedovshchina.

That being said, I feel like this would be a problem for the Ukrainian Armed Forces as well. Ukrainians have served the Russian military for centuries, and a culture of abuse in the armed forces would not just go away overnight with independence. I struggle to find sources to confirm this, but I find it hard to conclude otherwise. Military hazing is hardly exclusive to the former USSR, regardless. Hopefully Ukraine has it less bad than Russia. Russia is so infamous through its history for officers viewing conscripts (especially non-ethnic Russian conscripts) as expendable.


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14 Nov 2022, 10:23 am

I see the Dedovshchina thing as a by product of a generally top down culture.

Russia doesn't strike me as a place where anyone lower in power can speak up to authority. It strikes me as a place where people in power abuse it and see it as their right.

Back in the Tsarist days, peasants avoided conscription by knocking out their two front teeth because you had to be able to bite open the pouches of gunpowder to load a rifle back then.

If it weren't for the glory that comes from empire, the Russian state would have imploded years ago. They can go, "well we are poor but at least we have an empire" so as long as you are ethnic Russian it gives you someone to look down on.

My take is modern war requires less soldiers and a lot more jobs that are really best for full time professionals. Once you train someone to fly drones it makes sense to pay that person enough to keep flying drones because they build skill and they aren't dying on front lines. Its similar with logistics as logistics is absolutely necessary yet its best left to people with skillsets more in line with a Wal Mart/Amazon like background.

Combine that with corruption and its a recipe for disaster. Without the nukes Russia would have collapsed long ago.



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14 Nov 2022, 10:48 am

roronoa79 wrote:
That being said, I feel like this would be a problem for the Ukrainian Armed Forces as well. Ukrainians have served the Russian military for centuries, and a culture of abuse in the armed forces would not just go away overnight with independence. I struggle to find sources to confirm this, but I find it hard to conclude otherwise. Military hazing is hardly exclusive to the former USSR, regardless. Hopefully Ukraine has it less bad than Russia. Russia is so infamous through its history for officers viewing conscripts (especially non-ethnic Russian conscripts) as expendable.
Ukrainian army reformed dramatically after 2014.
A report on this written shortly before the full scale invasion: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/u ... -invasion/
They had to survive the Donbas conflict with very limited resources, so they really improved command and organization.

One more thing: parts of Ukraine were never ruled by Moscow until WWII. When Lviv wasn't Galician, it was Polish, and when it wasn't Polish, it was Austrian. There were no "centuries" of Russian rule in their case and traditionally, Ukrainians have freedom-oriented political culture, similar to Polish.
It was a struggle to unite this nation with its more russified parts but Putin's agression helped a lot. Nothing unites like a common danger.


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