It is not the end of the world by any stretch, but the missile attack on Ukrainian barracks at Desna (I wrote about it first in my Chasing Squirrels piece) hurt Ukraine and is a strong reminder that Russia can and will target military centers where Ukrainian troops are massed or foreign weapons are being received and put into action. It is so bad that even Volodomyr Zelensky admitted that a large number of troops were killed.
Check out the video of Zelensky and Desna (the immediate aftermath of the strike):
Russia is still pulling its punches rather than erase the base at Desna from the earth. Why? The pro-Ukrainian analysts in the west are likely to claim that Russia is running out of missiles and growing weaker with each passing day. I believe that Russia is sending a lethal message but is not yet prepared to slaughter the Ukrainian force. The troops at Desman are not the neo-Nazi element. I believe the Russian generals are hoping to kill enough to demoralize and keep enough alive to rebuild eventually cordial relations with the Ukrainians who have not bought into the Nazi propaganda.
Bottomline–if Zelensky is acknowledging this reality (after pretending all week that Ukraine was victorious in Avostal) then he may be awakening to the reality that things are going Putin’s way.