Russian Missiles Have a 60 percent Fail Rate

U.S. intelligence believes that the failure rate on Russian missiles may be as high as 60%.  This is probably a function of two factors, their age and the Russian sense of what reliability means.  We have seen numerous instances of Russian equipment, munitions, and even food being used well past their stated expiration dates, so it would not be surprising to see Russian missiles being used that are also poorly maintained and long past their useful lifespan being employed as well.  There is every reason to believe that this neglect extends itself to Russian nuclear forces as well, which we think would give them pause to use a nuclear missile in the region, let alone light the whole world on fire with them.

The other factor is the way Russians view reliability in everything from a toaster to a ballistic missile.  While the US would cancel a weapons program with a 60% reliability rate, this would not be a concern for Russians who all but expect things to be made of shoddy material and workmanship and have a high failure rate as a matter of course.  This was a feature of life in the Soviet Union, where nothing worked as it was expected to and everything needed to be fixed constantly.

During Moscow’s big May 9 Victory Day parade rehearsal in Red Square in 2015, the Russian Government rolled out the first public viewing of their brand new T-14 main battle tank. It promptly broke down in front of the Gum department store and sat there for 15 minutes while they attempted to get it moving again. Afterward, the government said it was all done according to plan and the crewmen spilling out and working on the tank was a demonstration of an evacuation drill for the audience.

 

Russian Defence Minister Suffered a Heart Attack

Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has announced that Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu suffered a heart attack in mid-March which explains his absence from Russian state news in recent weeks. The fact that Russia has made no official announcement on this harkens back to the days of the Cold War, when Soviet leaders would disappear and after some weeks or months the Russians would first say he had the flu, then that he was severely ill and finally, that he had died.

Shoigu is the man in charge and therefore the man on whom much of the blame will fall for the Russian army’s debacle in Ukraine. It is not in the culture of the Russians for Putin to accept blame for this failure, but to blame the failure of subordinates instead.  This is a sort of tradition of the leadership style in Russia going back to the Tsars, who were considered to be infallible demi-Gods by the people.  They could be failed by those under them, but never fail themselves.

 

Nearly 50 Year Old Battle Dressings being Supplied to Russian Troops

Russia’s chronic supply problems continue, unabated.  Here is a picture from Twitter showing a combat dressing of 1978 vintage.  That’s 44 years sitting in storage somewhere.

 

Russia Appears to Be Looking For a Way to Get Out of the Mess It Is In.

The Russian army said yesterday that the first phase of the military campaign in Ukraine was over and troops will now focus on the complete “liberation” of the country’s eastern Donbas region.  This is a significant change that indicates the Russians are looking for a way to get out of Ukraine with some semblance of national h0nor still intact.

According to the Ukraine General Staff HQ, Russian troops are being told that they must finish the war in time for the annual May 9th Victory celebration of Germany surrendering to Russia.  The Western Allies had accepted Germany’s surrender on May 8th, but Stalin considered that instrument a surrender that only applied to Allied forces in the West and continued offensive operations against Germany demanding a separate surrender agreement with the Soviet Union be made by Germany

 

Did the Russians blow up their own ship by accident?

today we published a piece about the Russian naval vessel offloading arms, munitions and personnel in the port of Berdiansk.  On the evidence currently available, we wonder if the ship wasn’t destroyed by mishandling a pallet of ammunition or a fire sparking an explosion. If you doubt the Russians could have an accident like this after seeing the Russian military in action for a month, just watch this:

 

While President Biden was attending the NATO summit in Belgium a reporter asked if the use of chemical weapons by Russia would trigger a military response by NATO, President Biden responded saying, “It would trigger a response in-kind.”

A “response in-kind” would be understood as retaliation by NATO using chemical weapons as well.   Among NATO countries only the US possesses chemical munitions.  While it has been slowly destroying its stockpiles since the 1980s, the US still retains more than 700 metric tons of chemical weapons that could be in the form of missile warheads, mortar rounds, bombs or artillery shells. The vast majority of the munitions remaining are in the form of 155mm and 105mm howitzer rounds and 4.2 in mortar rounds.  These are short-range munitions that would entail bringing artillery and mortars into Ukraine to use them.

This statement by the President will probably be walked back or “clarified” by the administration within days the only way that NATO could respond “in-kind” would be to use NATO(meaning US) forces to go into Ukraine to employ chemical weapons against Russian troops or to provide them to Ukraine in order for them to retaliate, which is unlikely since US and international law forbids the proliferation of such weapons to third parties.

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