Ukrainian military fatalities is now an issue. Prior to this week, most Western military analysts bought in to the Ukrainian propaganda that Russia was bleeding troops, but Ukraine was doing fine. That dog is dead. A new friend, Stephen Bryen, just published a piece in the Asian Times that provides an honest, hard hitting assessment of the peril facing Ukraine. Stephen Bryen is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and the Yorktown Institute. He served as a senior Defense Department official in the Reagan Administration. His article is titled, Ukrainian military casualties are big trouble for Biden:
Ukraine’s heavy casualties are a signal that Washington’s de facto war with Russia is in trouble. President Joe Biden has to change direction or face a national security crisis that could end his presidency.
Ukraine may look as if it were winning. The truth is the opposite because Ukraine is running out of manpower it cannot replace. It is losing by attrition on the battlefield and, with the Russians systematically destroying its infrastructure, millions of Ukrainians have fled abroad. It is unlikely the country could recover even if the war should end tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Russia’s manpower problems are less severe. Moscow has been replenishing its supply of front-line troops through an unpopular conscription program at home that has now been extended to the territories in Ukraine that it occupies.
Ukraine finds itself in a similar position that faced the Confederacy in 1864 during the American Civil War. The North towered over the South in terms of manpower. Even though U.S. General Ulysses Grant’s forces suffered more casualties than the Southern forces led by Robert E. Lee during 1864, the North could easily replace its losses. The South could not. By April 1865, the South exhausted its ability to provide new recruits and reinforce depleted battalions and was compelled by necessity to surrender.
A similar fate awaits Ukraine. But this is not a repeat of the last year of the U.S. Civil War, where Union troops made repeated assaults on the entrenched Confederates. Russia, in contrast to the U.S. Army under Grant, is not suffering massive casualties and has barely tapped into its military reserves. Ukraine, by contrast, is exhausting its human resources and no longer can provide essential military training within its geographic boundaries.
The photos and videos of Ukrainian casualties are populating the internet. The image below, as I understand it, is a U.S. designed cemetery for fallen Ukrainian soldiers. Each square can accommodate 105 graves. It appears there are 24 burial squares and a potential of 2,520 burial sites.
The following video was posted in July 2022.
Here we are four months later and the body count is still piling up.
Most Americans are still blinded by the anti-Russian propaganda and fail to understand that Russia’s ability to sustain its military operations is robust. My friend Stephen, for example, is still locked into a Soviet-era mentality when it comes to evaluating Russian capabilities. He writes:
Russia, as is by now well known, also has serious problems both in recruiting and training soldiers, and its ability to replace weapons. But Russia also has huge war stocks it acquired before the downfall of the Soviet Union, and it is now bringing some of them to bear in the Ukraine war.https://asiatimes.com/2022/12/ukrainian-military-casualties-are-big-trouble-for-biden/
The reality is the opposite. It is the United States that is struggling to fill recruitment goals. Russia’s mobilization was misrepresented in much of the Western press as forced enlistment of “conscripts.” The majority of the “new” recruits were experienced reservists. The claim that Russian commanders are providing inadequate training is a Western delusional fantasy. Here is a clip of training soldiers to shoot and move as a team:
My friend Stephen also fails to appreciate that Russia’s defense industry is modern, efficient and working round the clock. The production of S-400 and S-500 air defense systems surpass anything created during the Soviet era. The same goes for Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities. And neither the United States nor NATO have any weapon system comparable to the hyper sonic missiles Russia is using to great effect on critical Ukrainian infrastructure and bases.
As winter sets in, Ukrainian troops will face more daunting odds. They will be more likely to seek shelter and minimize movements because of the lack of vehicles and tanks. Russia, on the other hand, will be able to concentrate fires on the fixed Ukrainian positions, which means more Ukrainian casualties.
If Russia persists with its campaign of destroying Ukraine’s ability to produce and distribute electricity, water and gas, Ukraine’s ability to supply its troops with food and ammunition with degrade substantially. In short, Ukraine faces a dark, dangerous winter.