Category Archives: Uncategorized

(Reuters) Ukraine says Russia plans to simulate accident at nuclear power plant

(Yahoo) Ukraine says Russia plans to simulate accident at nuclear power plant. Quoting,

(Reuters) – Ukraine’s defence ministry on Friday said Russia was planning to simulate a major accident at a nuclear power station controlled by pro-Moscow forces to try to thwart a long-planned Ukrainian counteroffensive to retake territory occupied by Russia.

This is anticipated in (2/19/2023) Russia to use Dirty Bombs in Ukraine?  Quoting,

Prior Russian assertions have not been followed by Russian use of radiological weapons. This results in opinion of the current assertion as propaganda without material consequence. This may be a grave error. We watched with concern when Russians occupied the Zaporizhzhia reactor hall, anticipating they might stage a containment breach.

“Simulate” may indicate a controlled release, rather than a  containment breach, which would inevitably contaminate Russian land.

 

 

 

(CNN) Out of Date Article, Events from Spring 2022; “Ukrainians claim to have destroyed large Russian warship in Berdiansk”

Out of date article. The Saratov was sunk  on 24 March., 2022. The whole article , dateline  9:58 PM EDT, Thu May 25, 2023 , refers to events from spring 2022 as if in the present:

(CNN) Ukrainians claim to have destroyed large Russian warship in Berdiansk. Quoting,

In a statement, the armed forces said: “In the Azov operational zone, according to updated information, a large landing ship “Saratov” was destroyed [in 2022] during the attack on the occupied Berdiansk port. Large landing ships “Caesar Kunikov” and “Novocherkassk” were [also] damaged. Other losses of the enemy are being clarified.”

….

Russian military troops first occupied Berdiansk government buildings on February 27, [2022] three days after Russia’s invasion began.

Mariupol still eludes Russian control despite being surrounded and mercilessly pummeled, block by block, by Russian firepower.

Further west, Ukrainians have been fighting to take back the city of Kherson, as well as pushing Russian forces from the northeast of Mykolaiv, forcing them to reposition south of the city, a senior US defense official said Tuesday.

 

Kinzhal/Patriot Intercepts; Treason, Fraud, or Design Flaw?

The Patriot PAC-3 interceptor missile can target incoming ballistic missiles, which have a highly predictable trajectory. It is also capable against much slower maneuverable aircraft, though the older PAC-2 is better. It has little chance against a maneuvering hypersonic target, and only a little more against a violently maneuvering target at high supersonic speeds.

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is claimed to be highly maneuverable in all flight phases, including terminal, where the PAC-3 in Ukraine has intercepted 7/7.  Mooted theories:

The Kinzhal is just an air-launched 9K720 Iskander, for which the same claims of maneuverability have been rumored since 2006. This is a long time for a missile to conceal flight characteristics from technical collection. Questions:

  • Was the Iskander/Kinzhal ever maneuverable in the terminal phase?
  • If so, did the missile lose this ability?

Imagine you are the pilot of a 1950’s era jet fighter. A late example is the F-104 Starfighter. These planes were much heavier than their prop predecessors, acquiring the vernacular reference “metal.” Jet engines of this era  produced much less thrust than modern examples. Since wings produce drag that reduces speed, and small wings have less drag, these aircraft had very small wings and tail.

You innocently decide to perform a barrel role. You neglect that the direction in which the aircraft points is a little different from the direction of travel. As you roll, the nose describes an innocent little circle. The circle widens as centrifugal force acts on the fuselage that cannot be countered by the tiny wings.

A moment later, your plane becomes a flying dumbbell, broadside to the wind. The g-force causes your head to impact the instrument panel with crushing force. That’s the end of your story. What happened to the plane is inertia coupling, caused by a maneuver that cannot be described as violent.

Now consider the Kinzhal. Unlike your plane, it doesn’t have separate wings and tail; only tiny fins smaller than either. The problem is magnified. The missile is expected to perform violent maneuvers, chancing turbulent flow around the fins. When that happens, the missile is toast, though the analog of inertia coupling can happen without this, resulting in toast. For intuition, think of a shopping cart with bad wheels.

This is a nonlinear control problem, and all such problems are hard. A  robust solution with those tiny fins would advance the state of the art. The designers may have been forced to adopt and advertise a solution which is not robust with respect to:

  • Manufacturing tolerances.
  • Substitution of materials, resulting in different weight distributions.
  • Adaptation of the Kinzhal to air launch, also resulting in different weight distributions.
  • Atmospheric variations of temperature and density.
  • Something that worked in development that could not be reliably replicated in production –  possibly due to specification creep.

A legitimate solution is to disable the feature. The in-character response  of the Russian military establishment is to bury the shortfall in internal propaganda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(CNN) Russia accuses Ukraine of mounting ‘sabotage’ attack across border

(CNN) Russia accuses Ukraine of mounting ‘sabotage’ attack across border. Quoting,

The Freedom for Russia Legion – a group that has claimed responsibility for an apparent incursion inside Russian territory – has one ambition. As “Caesar” says in a video statement he recorded with his comrades before joining a cross-border raid into his motherland: “Russia will be free.”

This was anticipated on 8/22/22 in (CNN) Russian security service accuses Ukraine of Darya Dugina’s murder; Dawn of the Russian Insurgency? Quoting,

The quality of the second argument in comparison to the first is evident. The rationalists may have a hand in some other recent actions within Russia. They  need only their new name: The Insurgency.

The Freedom for Russia Legion, Russian Volunteer Corps, and associated groups are inspirational to ethnic secession.  In the near term, the Balkans will become restive, awakening old   memories and yearnings.

 

 

F16 for Ukraine, loss rate?

Tanks for Ukraine, NFG?  proposes that Western tanks might have an unacceptable loss  rate. A loophole due to Russian incompetence allows for negation of  the logic, with successful deployment.

The same question arises for the F16, a non stealthy 4th generation aircraft in the process of replacement by NATO. The estimate is that the loss rate will be fairly low. Ukraine will get better use out of the F16 than is widely anticipated.

Unfortunately, elaboration is not advisable.

AI for Dummies, in Bite-Size Pieces, Part 1

(WaPo) A curious person’s guide to artificial intelligence claims to offer “Everything you wanted to know about the AI boom but were too afraid to ask.” It’s a decent lexicon and taxonomy. This is for readers who would like to scratch a little deeper.  Since I have worked in AI, the  explanations I will provide are well intentioned approximations. Perhaps the reluctance of academics to relax rigor is why such explanations are uncommon.

Deferring  the beginning of the AI story, we start with the juicy middle. You want to know about neurons. The neurons of AI are inspired by, but rather different from those of your brain, simplifications based on  common features of all biological neurons. An individual neuron cannot think; billions of them apparently can.

What does an individual neuron do? A useful simile that might make specialists  cringe: It resembles an odd kind of voting machine:

  • One type of constituent – typically another neuron, can only vote yes, or abstain.
  • The other type of constituent neuron can only vote no, or abstain.
  • Votes are individually weighted for importance. The weights are determined during training.
  • The votes are summed. If the weighted sum of votes exceeds zero, the motion passes, in which case the neuron sends a “yes or no” to some of the billions of other neuron of a thinking machine or chatbot.
  • If the motion does not pass, the neuron sends an “abstain” to some other neurons.
  • Typically, a “yes-for” or “yes-against” result is signified by the number “1” and a “abstain” by “0”. The sign of the weight on the input of the recipient neuron determines “for” or “against.”

In biology, a neuron is a living cell, an actual thing. In AI, it can be an actual electronic circuit, or an abstract simulation as lines of computer code. The first is experimental. Simulation is standard practice.

Next, a little history.

Ukraine’s Long Awaited Counter Offensive; Why the Delay?

This blog has three reputations: a modest and obscure domestic,  a more serious one with foreign allies, and a distinct appreciation by adversaries. With an adversary that has a dysfunctional intelligence apparatus, intel9 may have unrealistic weight. On a very few occasions, it has been suggested that a line of inquiry was not helpful to our common goals. I know which side I’m on.

In other words, I don’t want to tell the Kremlin what they might not know. I can still guide you to a reference by which you can, with some digging, inform yourself.

Operation Neptune, better known as D-Day, was the largest amphibious assault in history.  Although the Ukrainian assault will be primarily land-based,  there is a remarkably precise correspondence between the problems of  D-Day planners, and those of Ukraine.

Follow all the links. Buried in the jumble  is the issue of perfect correspondence with a Ukraine dilemma, the reason for delay. You will recognize it by careful correlation with what is already public knowledge.

Happy digging!

American Exceptionalism: A Speech for Today, for America, Ukraine & Europe

In spite of  our current domestic paroxysms, we can still be exceptional. Let JFK remind us of the true meaning of national greatness. In 1963, at the height of the Cold War, he visited the Berlin exclave of West Germany. Surrounded on all sides by the Iron Curtain of the Warsaw Pact, how could this island of freedom survive?

 American commitment was paramount, expressed by John F. Kennedy’s 1963 speech in Berlin:

“Ich bin ein Berliner”

The struggle of Ukraine is the direct descendant of that divided Europe. Our commitment remains paramount today.

(CNN) Kyiv denies involvement in alleged Kremlin drone attack

(CNN) Kyiv denies involvement in alleged Kremlin drone attack.

TERCOM, terrain contour matching cruise missile guidance, became widely known during the 1991 Gulf War. In conjunction with separate terminal guidance, near zero CEP was feasible, while rendering cruise missiles immune to air defense systems. This remains almost true today. In the April 2018 missile strikes against Syria, non-stealth cruise missiles advantaged mountainous terrain to avoid detection by S400 installations, with complete avoidance of interception.

The terrain between  Ukraine and Moscow, part of the East European Plain, is not advantageous to this technique.  But small plastic drones are much stealthier than all but the newest cruise missiles. This admits two possibilities:

  • Ukraine has developed terrain mapping and air defense knowledge of Moscow routes to an extremely detailed degree, flying at near-zero altitude.
  • The drones were launched from inside Russia.

A false flag operation is discounted in this case. The Russians responded with surprise and confusion.

If Ukraine is responsible, which is not established, this was the equivalent of the  Doolittle Raid. Putin will likely employ his double on May 9, which will not go unnoticed by his inner circle.