If you are reading or listening to Western media outlets, they are painting a dire picture for Russia’s military in Ukraine. Here’s a sampling of headlines over the past four weeks:
Here is a true gem from the Daily Mail published on 14 March:
- Putin’s forces may only be able to keep up the fight for another 14 days, defence sources say as increasingly-desperate invaders launch more devastating strikes on Kyiv this morning
Forbes weighed in on March 15 suggesting that Russia’s tank force was being decimated:
- The U.S. Department of Defense estimated that Russia was losing about 50 vehicles per day. On March 8 they put the Russian losses at “8% to 10% of military assets.” By Sunday they put the total vehicle losses at 184 tanks and over 380 other armored vehicles (a total of 564). Saying that this is more than 8% of Russian forces suggests they believe the grand total is much less than 10,000.
Not to be outdone in promoting hysteria, The Guardian insisted on March 22 that Russia was doing a Jackson Brown, i.e., Running on Empty:
- Russian forces have only three further days of fuel, food and ammunition left to conduct the war after a breakdown in their supply chains, Ukrainian military commanders have alleged. . . . The report from the Ukrainian armed forces general command was said to be consistent with evidence that the Russian advance had stalled, and that they had reverted to using “indiscriminate and attritional” artillery attacks on civilians.
At what point will the American people and Europe wake up and realize they have been fed a steady diet of bullshit about what is actually happening on the ground in Ukraine. I have made this point in earlier posts–why do we not see any western reporters on the frontlines with the Ukrainian forces reporting on these magnificent triumphs? Because it is a chimera–i.e., an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts.
The most recent victory declaration from Ukraine touts “victories” in pushing back the Russian horde from Kiev. This assumes that Russia’s objective over the last three weeks was to capture Kiev and hang Zelensky from a bridge.
Let me suggest an alternative explanation. Russia’s encirclement of Kiev over the past three weeks was intended to pin down a significant portion of what remains of Ukraine’s military forces so that Russia could carry out offensive operations in the east and the south. Mission accomplished.
Some of the Russian units that were deployed around Kiev are now moving east towards Kharkiv. Russian forces have destroyed the Ukrainian neo-Nazi entity that controlled Mariupol. Russia now controls Mariupol. Let me put this in simple strategic terms–Russia has eliminated any possibility of Ukraine being able to use the Black Sea for ship borne imports or exports. Ukraine is now cut off in the south.
Russia’s next focus will be on the Ukrainian forces that still exist in the Donbas and Kharkiv. Eliminating them is the likely next objetive.
One comment regarding Russian casualties. If Russia had suffered massive losses, the wounded and dead would be flooding back into Russia. There is no way that Russia could hide such losses, if real, from parents, siblings and spouses. Field hospitals just inside the western border of Russia would be filled to overflowing. And decimated units would be pulled from the fighting to refit and rebuild. NONE OF THAT IS HAPPENING.
Instead, Russia continues to maintain large reserves on its western border and the units that carried out the invasion remain intact. At the same time, Russia controls much of the air space in Ukraine and continues to hit Ukrainian bases and fuel depots in the extreme western portion of Ukraine.
The propaganda effort in the west has been very effective in persuading masses of Americans to believe Ukraine has a chance at beating Russia. But this belief is not tied to any facts from the battlefield.
I know some analysts and pundits believe that Russia’s use of sophisticated missiles that are precision weapons, is a sign of Russian desperation. But I see it differently. First, it gives the Russians a real battlefield to prove their capability. Second, the use of these missiles has exposed NATO’s inability to defend against them. Third, hitting logistic centers and fuel disrupts NATO efforts to help Ukraine restock, rearm and gather more troops. Fourth, these strikes keep the West worried about Western Ukraine while ignoring what will happen in the Cauldrons created in the east.
This is not the first time that the U.S. military has misread the intelligence about enemy plans. Remember TET? The Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army unleashed a massive, countrywide offensive in January 1968 that shocked U.S. military commanders and the American public. While U.S. and South Vietnamese military forces ultimately quashed the attack, it was done at a terrible cost and played an important role in building anti-war support in the United States.
We should know in the next few weeks if Russia is a spent force or if western media has been deceiving itself and the public it is supposed to serve. I have seen no evidence that Russia is struggling or bogged down. It is moving deliberately, decisively and forcefully. Just ask the survivors of the Azov battalion (if there are any).