At last. After six months of surrendering territory, Ukraine is on the move and Russia is retreating. Right? Not so fast. Ukraine tried and failed to penetrate the Russian lines around Kherson. That fizzled and Ukraine suffered enormous casualties. Russia did not.
But wait. Ukraine has now unleashed a new offensive in the north around Kharkov and has made some gains. Gee, what a coincidence. The same week that the United States with NATO convened a Ramstein Conference to assess Ukraine’s progress in the war, a gigantic triumph is being trumpeted on the internet. Russia, finally, is really, really on its heels and on the verge of surrendering the Donbas to the marauding Ukrainian troops. At least that is what Ukraine and its NATO allies are saying and the press is happily pushing that meme.
Now, back to reality. The Russian allied forces that faced the brunt of the Ukrainian attack are not the Russian army’s front line troops. It is a mixture of Donbas militia and Russian national guard. When faced with a Ukrainian force that has more troops it should not be a surprise that the outgunned militia and police would retreat and surrender territory. A tactical retreat is sound military strategy.
But what kind of territory? We are talking rural villages and small cities. These are not critical industrial centers. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I encourage you to read the analysis from Andrei Martyanov, The Saker and Moon Of Alabama:
This entire operation has one point–persuade Washington and NATO that Ukraine still has a chance to succeed. But this means ignoring the fact that Kherson, Mariupol, Luhansk and most of Donetsk is still controlled by Russia and Russian allied forces. It also ignores the fact that Ukraine’s concentration of forces in this narrow area (see the maps highlighted by The Saker) creates a ripe target for Russian air, rocket, missile and artillery forces to hit.
My suggestion–hold your water and go lay down on the fainting couch. This is not the German Army at the outskirts of Moscow. This is not Von Paulus rolling into Stalingrad for certain victory. If calling this a tactical defeat makes you feel warm and fuzzy, shout away and cheer Ukraine. What is not being shown, yet, are the horrendous casualties the Ukrainians are suffering.
If this really was a decisive triumph why are foreign journalists being kept from the front line of the attack to record the impressive Ukrainian victory? It is one thing to spin propaganda out from the safe confines of Kiev. It is a whole different ballgame to go to where the battle is taking place and recording what is actually taking place. The dog ain’t barking:
‘The dog that didn’t bark’ is an expression from a Sherlock Holmes mystery. It was an important clue that led to identifying the criminal. It seems that the killer entered and left the estate grounds one night but without the guard dog barking an alarm at the intruder’s presence as expected. From this non—event Holmes reasoned that the dog must have known the killer and that clue led to solving the case.https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2004/08/the_dog_that_didnt_bark.html
Where are the barking journalists with their film footage of triumphant Ukrainians? Let us see what the weekend brings.