How Ukraine Quickly Achieved Air Superiority Against Russia

The definitive study so far of Ukraine air tactics in 2022 against Russia offers many insights.

Kudos to Justin Bronk (LSE alum), Nick Reynolds and Jack Watling from the Royal United Services Institute in London.

In a nutshell (and with a nod to what to expect in future “robot” wars) humans using creative mobility can completely eliminate technological “superiority”.

Russia rapidly deployed three times as many “modern” aircraft than the Ukrainian air force had in its entire badly aged inventory. And then it flopped.

I’m resisting the urge to yell “wolverines 1984” now, or drag you dear reader back into lectures about Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Chad… even 2003 Baghdad, but there’s lots of history here for anyone curious.

The 1984 movie “Red Dawn” used over-the-top violence to capture almost perfectly mouth-frothing xenophobia of the racist Ronald Reagan. Historians suggest now that the Cold War would have ended far earlier without Reagan’s alarmist doctrine. In fact this movie delivers John Milius’ (Apocalypse Now screenwriter) comic book vision back then of Russia’s best troops and finest technology quickly failing against barely-trained irregulars (“wolverines”).

LSE Professor John Kent points out that Cold War money poured by the US government into “propaganda” (not so much to influence the communist world but US domestic opinion) has never been properly covered except by a few non-main stream authors. But I digress…

The Russians in charge today apparently weren’t curious enough, or maybe even believed some of the Reagan-era nonsense about themselves.

Here’s the kind of report paragraph that brings it all home, and really stands out.

From early March, the VKS lost the ability to operate in Ukrainian-controlled airspace except at very low altitudes due to its inability to reliably suppress or destroy increasingly effective, well-dispersed and mobile Ukrainian surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems

Ukrainian distributed mobile defense measures forced the expensive Russian flying machinery into a choice between two bad options.

In fact, it’s worse: Russia flew into checkmate, which meant no good choices at all.

Ukrainian fighter pilots jumped into action to give cover for ground radar and missile teams that needed time to adjust and disperse. Russian ground troops meanwhile (as if emulating a dim Nazi General Rommel) overextended themselves in an unforced race to occupy Kyiv. The ground troops were taking heat so Russia’s air force stupidly diverted itself from air-defense targets into to cover their own ground forces.

Boom.

Ukrainian mobile missiles (Buk) came online to seal the door above and drive Russian aircraft into low-altitude, which was basically a trap. Even Putin’s alleged best regiments fell into it and ended up devastated.

Further analysis in the report:

Numerous MANPADS provided to Ukrainian troops and later mobile air-defence teams meant that low-altitude Russian fixed-wing and rotary penetrating sorties beyond the frontlines proved to be prohibitively costly during March, and ceased by April 2022.

High altitude access was suppressed by Ukraine’s early efforts so that its low altitudes became a fish-in-barrel killing exercise.

Insert picture of Rambo in 1988 Afghanistan here.

But seriously, this shouldn’t have been much surprise. Operative words for Russian military performance? Corrupt, rushed and blind. Putin now looks like the Elon Musk of military strategy.

After Russia lost control of airspace in April, suffering extremely expensive attack losses against the inexpensive mobile Ukrainian defenses, a war tone was set meaning dominoes started to fall one direction.

Russia had lazily expected large numbers of “smart” or “advanced” machines to bring it a “technological advantage”. Instead Ukrainian human ingenuity and hard work (augmentation instead of automation) flipped technologists on their head, literally.

Insert image of 1987 tank in Chad with a popped turret.

Again analysis from the report paints what Russia saw next, begging whether it was a predictable picture.

Without air superiority, Russia’s attempts at strategic air attack have been limited to expensive cruise and ballistic missile barrages at a much more limited scale. These failed to achieve strategically decisive damage during the first seven months of the invasion. However, the latest iteration is a more focused and sustainable bombardment of the Ukrainian electricity grid, blending hundreds of cheap Iranian-supplied Shahed-136 loitering munitions against substations with continued use of cruise and ballistic missiles against larger targets.

Russia’s overconfident technologists lost control of battlespace, walked into lose-lose choices, and ended up desperately trying to throw lightweight punches down at anything they could still find. Sound like they’re building a resume to be the next CEO of Tesla.

Although this looks and operates just like a Tesla, it’s actually a Russian missile. Such “high technology” strikes meant to intimidate Ukrainians came days too late to hit targets if hitting anything at all.

Drones? From Iran?

Bringing big bombastic Russian bears down to deploying discounted delicate drones shows Ukraine correctly and cleverly controlled the combat chessboard.

From airplanes to tanks, strategy to tactics, Russia has been looking desperate (firing Generals) trying to find someone to tell them how and what to think about choices handed to them — looking for someone who can’t possibly exist in Putin’s coin operated dictatorship, an independent or creative thinker.

For this big Russian invasion airforce to basically immediately find themselves in a dead end and unable to defend (go up and lose down, go down and lose up) is symptomatic of far bigger problems of leadership. The war has a very 1980s feel to it now as parades of suicidal machines quickly get themselves blown up.

Russia lost two attack helicopters in three minutes Monday, picked off in rapid succession by Ukraine’s air defenses, Kyiv’s military authorities said.

Inability to learn, assess, analyze and adapt meant Russian strategy looked dumber by the month, as I had predicted here before. Ukraine leaders by comparison have been demonstrating thoughtful and even humanitarian adaptation.

It’s like watching a Ukrainian queen of the chessboard make quick wins against Russian pawns as they foolishly attempt to surround her.

Wolverqueens. Source: Twitter

Perhaps next I’ll write about how Putin’s favorite bridge was cleverly blown up. I see a small detail that nobody has been talking about.

WWII British Soldiers Successfully Deployed God and Sugar to Defeat Nazi Disinformation

It’s really a footnote to stories about Nazi Germany losing the war in 1942, yet refusing for years to quit… by brainwashing their youth into suicide missions.

Basically the Nazi children (Hitler jugend) were indoctrinated with fear and hate. Then they were forced into the unjust war their fathers already had lost, told they would be killed if they refused or surrendered.

A British soldier recounts what that looked like:

Sandy also spoke about encountering Germany’s child soldiers. He explained: “The other thing that we experienced at that time were the soldiers – German soldiers. They were 12 and 14-year-olds because everyone else was up on the Russian front. Some of them used to start crying because again they had been told that they would not be taken prisoner, that they would be killed.”

The tactics used then were oriented around establishing trust through two methods. British soldiers began feeding both a hunger for foundation/faith and for food:

“Women and kids were down in the air raid shelters. Hitler had already indoctrinated them and told them they would never be taken prisoner – that British troops would kill them. They wouldn’t come out of the air raid shelters. We used to shout down but they still wouldn’t come out.” However, their breakthrough came when the unit’s Roman Catholic padre, a Fr Costello who could speak several languages, persuaded the children and their mothers into the open. “You put a bar of chocolate in their hands and it alters the whole war – as far as the children are concerned,” he said.

As William Wordsworth wrote in his poem The Rainbow “the Child is Father of the Man”.

It’s Official. Tesla Has Reduced Driver Safety

You may recall that Elon Musk was a CEO fired from PayPal for his gross incompetence. Somehow he kept all his equity anyway, which is where his wealth comes in so suddenly.

I mean PayPal was successful because they eliminated him, but more importantly he was only successful because he no longer had any technical say.

Let that sink in as a good example of how broken the tech market is that a malicious valueless actor eliminated from operations let alone competition gives himself the highest reward.

With his sudden wealth Musk went out, bought a million dollar sports car and promptly crashed it.

Again, you’d think incompetence would be a giant red flag here.

Instead, as we all know, he survived his car crash to viciously grab the wheel of a sports car company named Tesla and fired or forced out anyone of competence, including it’s founder.

Driverless? A giant lie. Safety? A giant lie. Investigations into mounting failures? More and more lies.

Tesla, like PayPal and that million dollar sports car, was being crashed. Yet somehow (e.g. allegedly stuffing the board and maybe even the books) investors again bestowed high rewards and Musk ran off again.

Experts have discussed for years just how bad Tesla engineers are at their job. It’s a function of working at Tesla, exposed for excessive workplace safety violations and even pervasive racism.

Now we have data that Tesla drivers are bad, arguably becoming the worst on the road.

People love to hate Tesla drivers, who may have replaced BMW drivers as the most loathed on the road. Founder Elon Musk’s antics haven’t helped… Jerry looked at data on Tesla drivers to see who they are and how they drive. Here’s what we found: Tesla drivers scored worse than 98% of all drivers in acceleration safety…

Ring any bells?

Elon Musk’s life lesson from being a failure at driving was to lower everyone else to his mistake — normalizing less safety.

Rewarding Musk the first time was a mistake because he bought a car to stomp on the accelerator and crash it with abandon.

Rewarding Musk again was even worse because he has tried to fundamentally change the risk on public roads by emphasizing, even encouraging drivers to stomp on his accelerator to cause widespread crashes with abandon.

Tesla deaths have grown increasingly to be far higher than any other EV brand, by a huge margin.

Here’s just one of the latest examples, where initial reports say high acceleration coupled with brake failures caused serial deaths.

…a Tesla driver surnamed Zhan was parking a Model-Y, which suddenly lost control and travelled at high speed for two kilometers, hitting two motorcycles and two bicycles and resulting two deaths and three injuries…

It takes off like a rocket before crashing into pedestrians, cyclists and a building.

Almost like someone was testing how to destroy China by remotely hitting the accelerator in all their Teslas, if you know what I have been warning about nearly a decade now.

From there it’s not hard to see how rewarding him again led Musk to buy Twitter just to… stomp on its accelerator and crash even more lives with abandon.

It all reads to me now like serial fraudster Frank Abigale except he doesn’t get caught. He gets a foreign investment fan club.

How many more times will his incompetence be exposed — how many more losses from his unforced and avoidable crashes — until Musk is finally held accountable?

As someone tweeted the other day…

One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.

Scottish Embassy Guard in Berlin Caught Spying for Russia

You might wonder who in the world right now would be caught spying for Putin.

Well have I got some 2020 news for you.

The buried lede in this sad story is that a greedy homophobic British Embassy guard working in Germany discovered… Russia happily milked his hate for cash.

Despite living beyond his means, 800 euro in cash was found at his home in Potsdam in Germany when he was arrested in August last year. Prosecutors alleged he had wanted to hurt the UK and the British Embassy where he had worked for eight years. He was also said to have been angered at the flying of the Rainbow flag.

If the pride flag flushes out such traitors then I say fly it all day every day.

In 2019, just to set some context, the White House occupant attempted to place American embassies under the Russian dictator’s ban on pride flags.

US diplomats have been finding creative ways to show support for LGBTQ+ Pride month after the White House banned them from flying the rainbow flag. […] Earlier this month an unnamed diplomat told the Washington Post there was a “category one insurrection” against the rainbow flag ban.

And you just know Russia loves to stick its fingers into any kind of insurrection. Perhaps the Embassies should have made embassy uniform badges into rainbows just to watch who ran to Putin’s side.

Even More Florida Teslas Spontaneously Erupt Into Fire

I’ve warned before that Tesla is unsafe by design. Here’s yet another example of the incompetent and malicious engineering culture of Elon Musk that intentionally puts society in danger.

The North Collier Fire District told the station that it has had to cut into four Teslas in the past week to put out fires.

Four in a week! That’s one more per week than the number of Teslas catching on fire when there isn’t a hurricane in Florida.

Multiple Cars Damaged in Miami Tesla Dealership Fire

I’d ask who could have seen Tesla fires coming after a hurricane, except for the very widely reported car safety news about a decade ago in 2012:

Fisker Karmas Catch Fire After Being Submerged By Hurricane Sandy Flood

Let me just point out right now a lot of Karmas caught on fire and yet very few of them were made.

It was a design flaw.

The same design flaw reported in 2018 Maseratis.

The torrents of salt water reportedly caused car batteries to explode and fuelled a roaring inferno that swallowed the sports cars in seconds.

There aren’t a lot of Maseratis on the road either. These are rare cars.

And what do you think Tesla engineers did in response to year after year of alarming reports of fire risk from water? Apparently they were paid to stick their head in the Florida sand and wait for the same disaster to happen again because of a known flaw in their own design.

So here we are reading about four similar fires the past week alone AT MASSIVE EXPENSE TO TAXPAYERS.

Other cars do not have such high rates of predictable failures and fires due to design flaws compared with Tesla, for a very simple reason that I’ve pointed out before.

Nonetheless people continue to throw around speculation as to why Tesla is in the news today, doing their best to believe it can’t be because Tesla engineering is the worst.

Some would like to argue for example more fires is a function of Tesla putting more cars on the road, but I’ve easily debunked such dangerous theories before.

It not only is probably factually proven false, it is immoral logic that contradicts Tesla themselves (their CEO boldly claimed in 2013 he would quickly deliver the safest car on the road, which today still sounds as absurd as it did then).

Or to put it another way, California has far more Teslas on the road than Florida yet a rate of fires in Florida is higher now. It’s NOT just a function of how many cars there are.

One death is too many, and every fire should be prevented, which everyone except the seemingly incompetent Tesla engineers seem to be able to grasp. What’s really going on here has been easily visualized for years and it’s getting worse for Tesla.

Source: tesladeaths.com

That data is from a year ago, such that the Tesla death bar has since exploded even higher to 320 while the others have stayed at basically none!

Their unusual failure rate is yet another reminder Joshua Brown being killed by his “rare” Tesla in Florida was a tragic foreshadowing, not an exception.

What’s thus overlooked far too often is that the other car makers, despite lots of cheating and games, do tend to care about safety and be far better engineered than Tesla by design because heavily regulated.

Tesla is directly opposed to regulation, especially safety regulations, and has become renowned as the worst quality car on the road.

The CEO of Tesla (in a strange throw-back to Ford’s namesake breeding violent racism) has demonstrated zero concern for human life, which make his products obvious outliers in a usually regulated industry.

In related news, German sales of Tesla have crashed while other EV cars are selling more than ever. Here’s an example of exactly why:

…eight months old, only 30,000 kilometers on the clock – and already a case for the scrap yard. Manfred Bley (66) was driving his Tesla taxi on the Langenhorner Chaussee at 1:40 p.m. with no passengers when smoke suddenly erupted from the dashboard.

This owner (lucky not to be killed by Tesla) says he is “a bit disappointed” that the engineering he paid a premium to own turned out to be just toxic garbage destroying the planet.

To be clear, Tesla demonstrably sold FAR FEWER cars than other EV manufacturers in Germany yet it still shows up as the ONLY spontaneous combustion disaster.

Ignored design flaws, unregulated engineering, incompetent management… a worsening Tesla death and disaster curve has unfortunately been not hard to predict.

Source: tesladeaths.com