The Ukraine War-Related Chris Capelluto Commentary Thread

I don’t know how accurate these videos are, but I’m so lacking in knowledge about these kinds of things that almost anything would be an improvement for me. I’ve watched the videos, but I think that at least in order to fully the understand the one on corruption, I’d have to go over the video a few more times and probably do some outside studying. Anyway, here’s the one on corruption:

This video is on the Russian armored personnel carrier, the BTR-80, and I think it tries to be fair (in spite of the title):

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I know absolutely buggerall about military stuff, but I find this sort of thing interesting from a technical/intellectual viewpoint. The design decisions they make for these extreme conditions, and the tradeoffs involved, are quite instructive.

As for the corruption - well, I’d say that’s a weak point that we all need to guard against. Corruption can ruin any civilisation, however technologically advanced or “enlightened”. It’s the reason I spend a lot of keyboard time railing against it here on fm. It’s really very sad to see a once-great culture (or at least one that had a lot of promising good points) become mired in third-world sleaze. For a rather brief period in history, Russia was a focus for European scientific, engineering, and cultural progress. And now it isn’t.

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Thanks for looking at them! I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested.

While I’m saddened by what the Russian government is doing, I very much agree with you that what has happened and is happening to Russia is also sad.

You probably know a lot more than I do, but this guy’s videos have given me some sense of clarity (or at least lessened blurriness) about the hardware aspect, and how hardware and people interact in war. I spent some time in the military (albeit a long time ago, and I never went to war), but these videos are demonstrating to me just how ignorant I was the whole time.

As for the corruption, I think I was able to follow most of it in that video. I’m from Louisiana, which is known for having a history of political corruption, so one might think I would have an advantage, but again, I don’t think I was aware of the sophistication and scope of that sort of thing. To me, he did a great job of explaining it.

Again, thanks for looking at the vids. I figured there was a good chance they’d finally disappear without being viewed. :slight_smile:

They’re likely to last longer if you don’t post them in Temp (just sayin’). :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks, and I mean that, but I didn’t figure too many people would be interested in that kind of thing, even in the Ukraine invasion thread (in fact, maybe especially in the Ukraine invasion thread :slight_smile: ).

But next time I see one or more of this guy’s vids that looks pertinent to that war, I’ll post it/them in the Ukraine invasion thread. I dunno, maybe they’ll all boo and hiss, but I’ll post them in that thread.

This guy seems to know what he’s talking about. Lately, though, he’s not doing as much on-the-spot, at-the-moment stuff as he did before.

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It’s baked in already. This sort of thing has been going on in Russia since the postwar years at least, and probably a long time prior to that. Solzhenitsyn documented the way the security forces used the law to pillage private property in the 1950s. Reversing corruption is difficult to impossible once people accept it as normal.

I tend to watch the videos with a “maker” or engineering aspect to them, or historical stuff. People making trebuchets and crossbows and suchlike, or the design of armour, or how armies were fed back in the day. Also interesting to watch documentaries about how famous battles were won or lost, although I know absolutely nothing about the practicalities of military matters.

I do have a soft spot for Russian technology - not just military hardware but electronic kit and machinery in general. It’s often both innovative and elegant. The clunkiness of it - it often seems to be engineered to survive a nuclear war - is an interesting contrast with modern designs, which fall apart after you’ve used them three times or pressed the power switch a bit too hard.

I found the corruption one rather less interesting because it was all so drearily familiar. The way it’s done in Russia reminded me of the everyday scams that people run in Elbonia, and the 1MDB scam in Malaysia (which just happened to be a bigger version of Malaysia’s perpetual scams), and the petty corruption in Matt Wanksock’s “PPE” contracts. I really think the world is heading down a very dangerous path at the moment; corruption is rampant everywhere, and most people seem completely unconcerned (or even support it). The presenter’s comment about the Russian belief in corruption being somehow “necessary” was an interesting observation. I’ve seen something like this in Elbonia - corruption is so ingrained that people start to think that it should be left alone because maybe it has some function.

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Well at least Louisiana’s has occasional comic relief (or it used to, and I admit that this one is apocryphal):

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Or as the majority (iirc) in an opinion poll in Thailand put it, corruption is good if I can benefit from it. :money_mouth_face:


Yes, exactly. I think the majority put up with corruption because they figure that at some point they themselves might benefit from it. They almost never do, of course, but it’s like playing the lottery - if you’re one of the lucky ones, you get really lucky.

And everyone else loses.

It’s always fascinated me how the US can be so corrupt and simultaneously so successful. It was much, much worse back in the day - definitely at third-world levels - but for some reason stuff still worked, and it worked well enough that the average person had a good life. My hypothesis is that (a) cheap oil can lubricate even the most badly-assembled engine and (b) the hoi polloi never really adopted corruption as a way of life. The corrupt few had an advantage, as they always do, but everyone saw them for what they were and didn’t seek to emulate them.

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Useless. You might as well go to flat earthers forum and try to prove that the Earth is round. Let them stew in their own juice :slight_smile:

Maybe I’ve misunderstood, but here Chris Capelluto seems to be saying that the HIMARS mobile rocket artillery that we sent to the Ukrainians is not much help, because we didn’t send enough launchers (only four, I think?). He mentions that the reason these launchers have to be mobile is that when they launch, pretty much the whole neighborhood knows about it.

In this video, I’m getting the impression from him that his view is that we’re exercising restraint in our aid-giving lest Putin escalate in response.

Pretty good amount of tech talk, much of it over my head (not complaining, just a heads-up). A little bit of footage of what appear to be government spokespersons discussing the tech aspects of these sorts of things.

You guys probably already know about this stuff, but just in case:

Also, Russia seems to be withdrawing from Kharkiv, or parts of it, but I’m not really sure what’s going on:

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I don’t feel qualified to have my own opinion about the role of HIMARS in this war, but this columnist partially attributes Ukraine’s recent successes to the introduction of that weapon:*

Rich Lowry, “Ukraine war shows military might remains indispensable,” New York Post, September 12, 2022

*I think he is also referring to similar weapons provided by other countries.

At about 14:05 to about 14:22:

Taras Berezovets, Press Officer for Ukraine Special Forces (apparently this appeared first in The Guardian):

Chris Capelluto, at about 14:24 to 14:45:

About 15:28 to 15:47:

Russia bombarded the Kharkiv [Tets-5?] Power Station, with “18 missile strikes and 39 air attacks,” according to Capelluto, which “cut off heat and water supply to millions of civilians in Ukraine.” This information also seems to come mainly from The Guardian.

Interesting take from Capelluto at about 19:29 to 20:10, in contrast with Rich Lowry’s opinion (linked earlier):

They’ve been talking up HIMARS for a long time. It’s always sounded impossibly fearsome. I guess it really works. The Russians have always loved rockets though, not sure exactly what they can do. Maybe they simply can’t disperse their forces as much.

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Yeah, I think I’d have to do some real studying–maybe of the long-term kind–to understand the importance of those kinds of weapons. Or for that matter, I’d have to study a long time even to understand what really goes on during a war, and why, and what the causes and effects are of the various things and acts involved in a war.

But I understand a little bit of these videos. Things are not quite as blurry as they were when I was just reading news reports or even news videos.

I’m still pretty ignorant about the whole thing, though, and I can’t seem to form a coherent picture of what’s going on.

The basic idea (as I understand it) is they disperse munitions over an area, pretty much destroying anything within it. When you launch a salvo of them together it can be a very wide area.

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Yeah. I get the impression that for conventional weapons, they take destructive power to a new level.

This is the first time I ever looked at artillery somewhat seriously. I used to think that, even though artillery could be very destructive, it was mostly used to scare people. And I used to think that the main factor in a war was the infantry. That sounds foolish, but I couldn’t get those ideas out of my head.

I see things differently now–at least for now.

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Hardware stuff, some of it conveyed pretty rapidly (at least to my slow, old brain), and a good deal of it above my level of understanding (especially as to the vehicle), but I think I got the big chunks. Maybe I’ll give them another viewing later, if I don’t forget.