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Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:05 PM

Why has the Crimean Bridge, also called the Kerch Strait Bridge, not been blown up?

The Crimean Bridge, also called the Kerch Strait Bridge, or colloquially the Kerch Bridge, is a pair of Russian-constructed parallel bridges, spanning the Strait of Kerch between the Taman Peninsula of Krasnodar Krai and the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea.[d] The bridge complex provides for both road and rail traffic, and has a length of 19 km (11.8 mi),[e] making it the longest bridge Russia has ever built,[17][f] and the longest bridge in Europe.[18][15][19]

Having been considered since at least 1903, planning for the bridge began in 2014, after the Russian annexation of Crimea. In January 2015, the multibillion-dollar contract for the construction of the bridge was awarded to Arkady Rotenberg's Stroygazmontazh. Construction of the bridge commenced in February 2016;[a] the road bridge was inaugurated by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 15 May 2018 and opened for non-truck cars on 16 May and for trucks on 1 October.[7][20] The rail bridge was inaugurated on 23 December 2019 and the first scheduled passenger train crossed the bridge on 25 December 2019. The bridge was opened for freight trains on 30 June 2020. A record traffic was recorded on 15 August 2020 and amounted to 36,393 cars.[21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_Bridge






This bridge is the main, no - make that the ONLY, railroad and highway link connecting Russia and Crimea.

Its strategic importance in conveying troops, equipment and supplies into Crimea and then on to southern Ukraine is simply immense.

Why is it still standing?

Surely, Russian air and missile defenses can't possibly be so impenetrable that this bridge cannot be destroyed, right?!?

EDIT ADDED:
A poster down thread suggested that this bridge might be out of range of Ukrainian jets or missiles.
If that is the case, does that mean we, the US and NATO, are afraid to give Ukraine missiles that _could_ reach this vital link?

Is it the case that we are afraid to give Ukraine missiles that would allow them to strike Russia itself? Hence they only get anti-tank weapons and short range stinger anti-aircraft missiles?

That said, isn't Crimea internationally recognized as sovereign Ukrainian territory? So, at least a portion of this bridge could be attacked since it indeed inside Ukraine, right?







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Reply Why has the Crimean Bridge, also called the Kerch Strait Bridge, not been blown up? (Original post)
bluewater Mar 2022 OP
Abnredleg Mar 2022 #1
bluewater Mar 2022 #4
Chin music Mar 2022 #10
uponit7771 Mar 2022 #12
dutch777 Mar 2022 #2
relayerbob Mar 2022 #3
bluewater Mar 2022 #5
Chin music Mar 2022 #14
Iggo Mar 2022 #65
Swede Mar 2022 #9
Chin music Mar 2022 #16
bluewater Mar 2022 #22
Chin music Mar 2022 #25
bluewater Mar 2022 #28
Chin music Mar 2022 #29
Mariana Mar 2022 #66
Swede Mar 2022 #23
Chin music Mar 2022 #26
bluewater Mar 2022 #19
relayerbob Mar 2022 #39
bluewater Mar 2022 #50
relayerbob Mar 2022 #53
bluewater Mar 2022 #55
relayerbob Mar 2022 #57
relayerbob Mar 2022 #40
dalton99a Mar 2022 #6
Sneederbunk Mar 2022 #7
bluewater Mar 2022 #13
Sneederbunk Mar 2022 #17
Chin music Mar 2022 #21
bluewater Mar 2022 #24
NutmegYankee Mar 2022 #27
Quixote1818 Mar 2022 #31
Sneederbunk Mar 2022 #32
bluewater Mar 2022 #34
Chin music Mar 2022 #35
relayerbob Mar 2022 #41
uponit7771 Mar 2022 #15
Chin music Mar 2022 #20
Chin music Mar 2022 #18
MineralMan Mar 2022 #8
bluewater Mar 2022 #11
MineralMan Mar 2022 #30
bluewater Mar 2022 #33
MineralMan Mar 2022 #36
bluewater Mar 2022 #37
relayerbob Mar 2022 #43
bluewater Mar 2022 #44
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2022 #38
bluewater Mar 2022 #42
relayerbob Mar 2022 #45
bluewater Mar 2022 #48
relayerbob Mar 2022 #52
bluewater Mar 2022 #54
relayerbob Mar 2022 #46
bluewater Mar 2022 #47
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2022 #49
bluewater Mar 2022 #51
dumbcat Mar 2022 #56
bluewater Mar 2022 #58
iemanja Mar 2022 #59
bluewater Mar 2022 #60
iemanja Mar 2022 #61
bluewater Mar 2022 #62
iemanja Mar 2022 #63
roamer65 Mar 2022 #64

Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:11 PM

1. Because the Russians consider it Russian Territory

And any attack on it would be a huge escalation.

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Response to Abnredleg (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:12 PM

4. Why hasn't Ukraine destroyed it?

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Response to Abnredleg (Reply #1)


Response to Abnredleg (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:29 PM

12. We're not talking about NATO destroying but Ukrainians who are already firing into Russia

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:12 PM

2. It has been surprising that more bridges have not been blown and roads cratered

I am sure the Ukrainians must hate the thought of blowing up their own infrastructure as it will be slow and costly to replace later but making roads available to RU mobile forces is a serious mistake. Would love to know their thinking given they could have bottled up the original RU advance into the country much earlier and much further from most major population centers.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:12 PM

3. Far from Ukrainian forces

This is a large bridge that will be hard to cut, and in any case, Ukraine has no missiles capable of reaching it, would be a stretch for a jet, of which they don't have enough to spare for a suicide mission. And yes, their air defenses would be plenty capable of downing any sort of air atack at that range, with anything Ukraine has.

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:16 PM

5. "Ukraine has no missiles capable of reaching it" Are we afraid of giving Ukraine missiles that could



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Response to bluewater (Reply #5)


Response to bluewater (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 08:29 PM

65. Okay, that's enough.

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:25 PM

9. Ukraine hit Rostov with a ballistic missile in the early hours of this war.

I'm sure they have reasons for not destroying these bridges, but not having the hardware is not one of them.

https://euromaidanpress.com/2022/02/25/ukrainian-forces-launch-missile-attack-on-russias-military-airfield/

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Response to Swede (Reply #9)


Response to Chin music (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:35 PM

22. "Plus there are water pipelines on that bridge that feed russian troops in Crimea."

Why would cutting off the water supplies to Russian occupiers in Crimea, an integral part of Ukraine, be a bad thing?



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Response to bluewater (Reply #22)


Response to Chin music (Reply #25)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:39 PM

28. OH! I misread what you wrote. Sorry!

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Response to bluewater (Reply #28)


Response to bluewater (Reply #22)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 08:38 PM

66. Would it also cut off the water supply to the civilian population? nt.

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Response to Chin music (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:35 PM

23. Also when this happened it was pointed out that Rostov has a nuclear reactor.

So they can fuck up Russian territory if Russians fuck up their territory in regards to destroying a reactor.

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Response to Swede (Reply #23)


Response to Swede (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:32 PM

19. Honestly, I can't see any reason not to cut this vital supply link.

And since Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine, a portion of this bridge would be inside Ukrainian territory and attackingit would not be an escalation.

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Response to bluewater (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:16 PM

39. I'm sure that has never crossed anyone else's mind.

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #39)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:49 PM

50. So attacking the Crimean Bridge would be considered an escalation by Russia?

And the US and NATO are, well, "reluctant" to defy Putin's threats of "consequences"?

That's the only reasonable explanation I can think of for why this vital supply link for Russia has not been destroyed then.

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Response to bluewater (Reply #50)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:05 PM

53. See my other response to you, in another sub-thread

And, of course, it would. They built the bridge and have claimed Crimea as theirs. So, yes, using NATO troops to destroy Russian stuff in Russia (from their perspective) would give them the oppotunity they want to tell their people they are fighting NATO.

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #53)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:20 PM

55. Your insistence that NATO can't train Ukrainians sufficiently is noted.

I disagree with the premise, but there we are.

I believe that there are Ukrainian Armed Forces members trained in their own sophisticated missile and air-defense systems that could be trained over weeks, or even a month if necessary, to be able to operate such NATO equipment.

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Response to bluewater (Reply #55)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:33 PM

57. It takes several months, assuming we had a suitable weapon system

Which, actually, we don't. We use air power, not land based missiles? Why? Because we have no nearby enemies. We would probably use a B2 with GPS guided bombs.

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Response to Swede (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:21 PM

40. Millerevo, not Rostov

VERY much closer, and a much larger target. Also, we have no idea how many more SS-21s they have. When they recapture Mariupol, then they may be within range, but likely will require multiple missile hits to knock a section of the bridge down. And they must account for that fact that many missiles will simply miss the bridge entirely. All of this is very much easier said than done.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:17 PM

6. Give the Ukrainians a couple of short-range missiles

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:22 PM

7. Ukrainians are not fighting outside of Ukraine.

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:30 PM

13. CRIMEA is an integral part of Ukraine.

So, at the very least, a portion of this bridge is IN Ukraine.

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Response to bluewater (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:31 PM

17. Not since 2014.

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #17)


Response to Chin music (Reply #21)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:36 PM

24. Exactly.

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:37 PM

27. Ukraine doesn't recognize that.

Half the bridge is Ukrainian territory.

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:41 PM

31. The OP is talking about logistics. The bridge should be blown to prevent Russia

from sending in more supplies, troops and tanks into Southern Ukraine.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #31)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:44 PM

32. If that is the case, Ukraine should be fighting in Crimea too.

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #32)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:49 PM

34. Indeed. I think Ukraine plans to, actually.

President Zelensky has repeatedly stated that no Ukrainian territory would ever be conceded to Russia, and that explicitly included Crimea.

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Response to bluewater (Reply #34)


Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #32)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:21 PM

41. They have to get there first

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:30 PM

15. Crimea is Ukrainian terroritory not Russian

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #15)


Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #7)


Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:22 PM

8. Yes, it could be destroyed at any time.

That it has not is part of strategic planning. Otherwise, it would already be impassible. It can be made so very quickly, however, if a decision is made to do that.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:28 PM

11. "That it has not is part of strategic planning" oh, please, that's sophistry.

Why would destroying the ONLY RAIL AND HIGHWAY LINK between Russia and occupied Crimea NOT be "part of strategic planning".

Pardon me for ignoring this line of "reasoning" going forward.

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Response to bluewater (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:40 PM

30. And yet the bridge still stands.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #30)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 01:46 PM

33. Inexplicably so.




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Response to bluewater (Reply #33)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 02:16 PM

36. No. Not inexplicable.

Like I said, destroying it right now is not part of the strategic plan. I don't know what led to that decision, but if it is decided to take the bridge out, it will be taken out. Strategic planning doesn't always make sense to people who aren't part of the planning.

Unless destroying that bridge will advance some particular goal, there's no point in destroying it. It might be useful later for some reason. So, I can't say why it's still there, but that it is means that it was decided to leave it intact for now. That is how strategic planning works. Reasons for everything.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #36)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:06 PM

37. My snarky reply reconsidered and removed.

A long and snarky reply filled with "clever" word play and devious use of rhetorical devices has been deleted as not fitting the serious tone of the discussion on the thread.

Take care.



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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:26 PM

43. No, it can't be "destroyed at any time"

How would one do that? Suicide air strikes? They have no missiles of a suitable range, no navy to speak of, and getting there on foot would be quite a challenge given far it is from Ukrainian positions. Drone rockets would barely pit the roadway, and do nothing to the railway. NATO could take it out, but that’s not going to happen.

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #43)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:27 PM

44. Excellent points.

I share your viewpoint.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:15 PM

38. That bridge has always been beyond the range of the missile mentioned above

The 'Tochka' missile used in the attack on the airfield mentioned above has an range of 70 km: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTR-21_Tochka



It's about 200km from the Ukrainian mainland that they held at the start of the war. Now, it's about 300km from any territory the Ukrainians unequivocally hold. Very likely, they haven't ground-attack missiles with that range, and, yes, the Russians will be defending it from attack by aircraft.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #38)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:23 PM

42. Why hasn't Ukraine been supplied with a missile that could reach the bridge?

I think you are replying to the wrong person. Which post are you referring to?

In any case, why hasn't Ukraine been supplied with a missile that could reach the bridge?

Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine, and at least one end of that bridge would be inside Ukrainian territory.



Is it because the US and NATO are intimated by Putin's threats to escalate?

Serious question.





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Response to bluewater (Reply #42)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:29 PM

45. Well, for starters, they wouldn't even know how to use it.

And please stop accusing NATO of being “afraid”. Ukraine will be the first to get hit with WMD. They are protecting EVERYone, by not playing into Russia’s hands.

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #45)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:42 PM

48. So, you agree the US and NATO feel Russia would view it as crossing a red-line

to give Ukraine weapons capable of destroying the Crimea Bridge?

And won't provide any such weapon for that reason, right?

Thanks for the discussion.

I think it's fair to say that "not playing into Russia's hands" and "being intimidated by Russia's threats" seem to be almost indistinguishable sometimes, with room for reasonable disagreement between reasonable people.

Thanks again and best regards.



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Response to bluewater (Reply #48)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:02 PM

52. Well, it certainly would cross that line, since NATO would actually have to man the missiles

But, no, those two statements are not even close to the same.

Putin has been trying to goad is into striking since day 1, with the expectation that he can then use that as propaganda to support his war. You have his reasoning completely backward. Their military theory is "escalate to de-escalate", in other words, keep ratcheting things up until we attack, then use nukes to terrify and split NATO on how to respond. He isn't worried about our counter-strikes, and isn't using the threats to intimidate us, but instead to goad us into pre-emptive action. Putin absolutely would use tactical nukes, it's not an idle threat, they've been practicing it for years, and believe a limited nuclear war is winnable and won't escalate to all-out planetary destruction. He is trying to do to us what Osama Bin Laden did on 9/11, goad us into attacking, and using that as a rallying point for his side. In the end, as I said elsewhere, the very first place he would use WMD is in Ukraine, to "demonstrate" the futility of our intervention. Orders of magnitude more Ukrainian civilians dead than under the current structure. This is terrible to watch, but nothing in comparison to what it could be.

Instead, we are calibrating our responses carefully, to cause Russia maximum pain, while minimizing the risks to Ukraine and the rest of the world. This has helped to throw their war-planning into chaos. They've already admitted they didn't think the West could unite to create such harsh sanctions, nor did they expect to see NATO close ranks. They also didn't expect us to delivery so much into Ukraine to fight his worthless army. Bear in mind, also, we had nowhere near the men and materials in Eastern Europe to have us fight a war in February. This has all bought us time to get a LOT of forces in place that were not there before.

This article sums it all up very well ... from 2015, but all the principles are exactly the same.

https://www.vox.com/2015/6/29/8845913/russia-war

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #52)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:15 PM

54. "while minimizing the risks to Ukraine" as Ukrainian cities are reduced to rubble

and the war is expected by many experts to drag on for months and most likely years.

Since you raise a point that NATO personnel would be required to destroy the bridge, allow me to repost my reply from upthread in closing:

Your insistence that NATO can't train Ukrainians sufficiently is noted.

I disagree with the premise, but there we are.

I believe that there are Ukrainian Armed Forces members trained in their own sophisticated missile and air-defense systems that could be trained over weeks, or even a month if necessary, to be able to operate such NATO equipment.


That said, let me say this now, I appreciate everyone that has participated in the discussion in this thread and have found your views informative and well reasoned.

I feel that on the larger topic of how best to end the war while containing Russia's brutality as best as possible, that reasonable people can and will have reasonable differing, and, at times, even opposing, views.

I have found that these discussion often reach a point where all parties have stated their arguments clearly and yet agreement on the best solution cannot be reached.

I feel that is important to acknowledge that moment and then to politely agree to disagree.

So, thank you very much for the discussion.

Best regards,

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Response to bluewater (Reply #42)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:30 PM

46. Also, Crimea is controlled entirely by Russia.

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #46)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:36 PM

47. Yes, Crimea is totally occupied by Russia.

And?

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Response to bluewater (Reply #42)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:43 PM

49. You're the thread starter with the questions about hitting the bridge

I assume you're reading the replies to your question. #9 " Ukraine hit Rostov with a ballistic missile in the early hours of this war." - you replied to it.

Hasn't been given a missile for better reasons than they haven't been given Mig-29s - giving them long range surface-to-surface missiles is more aggressive still, plus they don't operate them at the moment, which means you either supply the trained personnel (which would be a NATO country attacking Russian-built infrastructure), or you spend the time training them, and Russia would take it as a NATO attack anyway.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #49)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 03:57 PM

51. So, basically, yes, the US and NATO are afraid it would be viewed as an escalation? OK

That is what I have come to realize too after reading the many posts in this thread:

The US and NATO fear that aiding Ukraine with weaponry and expertise to severely damage that bridge would cause Russia to retaliate by escalating the conflict not only inside Ukraine but to other countries as well.

Understood.

The discussion of how strongly Russia should be confronted by the US and NATO is a long and ongoing one on the board, and elsewhere actually, and I feel that reasonable people can hold differing reasonable views on the matter.

Thank you for the discussion.




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Response to bluewater (Reply #51)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:32 PM

56. A very graceful end to

this phase of your discussion. Thank you for that. We don't see that happen often enough.

One of the things I love most about DU is how we can remain (mostly) very civil even when we are discussing hot and personally emotional subjects.

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Response to dumbcat (Reply #56)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:37 PM

58. Thanks. It's a complicated issue that deserves civil discourse.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:48 PM

59. Likely because no one but you has decided

It's a major war goal. I love how people on DU get so indignant that Ukraine doesn't follow their armchair war strategy.

You assume that Ukraine's main concern is winning back Crimea. They are hardly in a position to prioritize that when their major cities are under attack.

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Response to iemanja (Reply #59)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 04:57 PM

60. No, I assumed that Ukraine would want to sever a major Russian supply link

to southern Ukraine and the battles being fought there.

You are severely mistaken when you claim:

You assume that Ukraine's main concern is winning back Crimea


Please re-read my posts in this thread, especially the OP, to remove any misconceptions you apparently have about what I actually stated and to avoid making strawman arguments about things I never said.

Enjoy your evening.

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Response to bluewater (Reply #60)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 05:32 PM

61. How is it

that you've decided you know better than Zelensky and his military?

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Response to iemanja (Reply #61)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 05:39 PM

62. How are things going?

Is everything OK?



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Response to bluewater (Reply #62)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 08:07 PM

63. Is there some reason you can't answer a question?

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2022, 08:16 PM

64. Because Ukraine does not need the rallying cry of its destruction in Russia.

They need to keep Russian morale right in the dumpster.

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