As the Western corporate media communicate reports of Ukrainian counterattacks, they speak about “turning” tides and Ukrainian forces recapturing territory. They ensure that you know all of Ukraine’s successes and none of their defeats. You would not be blamed if you thought that Ukrainian chances of victory or survival were improving. You may find the bravery of Ukrainian forces on the ground inspiring and that no one could beat Western hegemony no matter how much they tried. Yet are these thoughts supported by the context and the facts on the ground? Let’s investigate to find out.
According to both the Russian ministry of defense and the President of Ukraine, Ukrainian armed forces sustain up to a thousand casualties a day. Russia reports hundreds of deaths a day, while President Zelensky stated that deaths are up to a hundred and the wounded are five or six hundred. However you slice these numbers, it means that up to two battalions a day are depleted from the battlefield. With reports of Russian strategy indicating only the most conservative of tactics, and with Ukrainian firepower depleted of ammunition and heavy equipment, there is no reason to assume that Ukraine can even hope of inflicting the same amount of losses upon Russian forces. Russia is a bulldozer, not a sports car. There is no reason to expect anything else.
This reality can also be seen in the weakening of morale on the part of Ukrainian forces, to the extent to which it is having an impact on the battlefield. According to the head of the Ukrainian military, General Zaluzhny, Ukrainian ground troops are deserting their positions and surrendering in the face of the Russian onslaught. He is deeply concerned about the developments on the frontlines. As a result of similar battlefield assessments, the defense minister in Kyiv has said that, in order to stabilize the situation, the regime in Kyiv would have to “take immediate measures for the additional mobilization of citizens born in 1962 to 2004,” meaning the conscription of a few generations worth of people. The cannon fodder needs to fuel the war machine.
What about the advances in Kharkov, you may ask. If we look more closely at events in that region, we can see that the picture there is very different from what meets our eyes from the Western corporate media. We can see the reality that many villages have been retaken by Russian ground forces, and even came up to the outskirts of Kharkov city once again. Accounts have reported Ukrainian units crossing the Siverskydonetsk river to cut off the rear of Russian supply lines, yet there were no reports of the presence of Russians guarding that area anyways, and neither are there reports of Ukrainian forces penetrating further than the river.
As can be seen on the map, Russia continues to maintain positions in Kharkov Oblast and is even making certain advances there upon the city.
What also of Ukrainian counterattacks in Severodonetsk? According to activists for Ukraine, Ukrainian forces are driving Russian forces back out of the city. This portrayal, however, is gutted by the fact that Ukrainian military commanders all the way up to the general staff wanted to retreat from the city and withdraw to more advantageous positions. It was due to President Zelensky, supported by NATO, that their decisions were overruled in favor of “stand and fight” orders, meaning that they are supposed to fight from the weaker positions in Severodonetsk. This also means that Russian forces will have an easier time pounding away at their positions, slaughtering them and destroying their equipment. It is also reported that they are being reinforced from Lysychansk, which means that Ukrainian forces in Lysychansk are feeding their forces to the Russian meat grinder and lose fighting strength themselves. This reality will surely lead to more demoralization, desertion, and surrender on the part of Ukrainian forces.
Even according to this pro-Ukraine map, Ukrainian forces are outmanned and outgunned in Severodonetsk. Russian forces are preserving themselves and continue to grind them down.
Ukrainian high command and NATO are pushing Ukrainian forces to their very limits. When this limit is reached, the resulting depletion of strength and morale may lead to sudden consequences on the ground. Desertion and surrender are already becoming a reality. Imagine when the whole frontline encounters the same fate.
The Western corporate media may tell you about turning tides in favor of the regimes they patronize, yet ugly realities on the ground belie their declarations. Ukrainian officials themselves report massive Ukrainian losses of strength, allowing us to see them point towards a reality very similar to the one Russia has been portraying. They are even having discussions about the reality of their own soldiers leaving them on then battlefield as a result of the demoralizing reality there. The Western corporate media talks of Russian “pyrrhic” victories, yet reports on the ground suggest that it is projection on their parts. Would it be a “pyrrhic” victory to push your troops to hold onto territory where they become more vulnerable to the Russian meat grinder? It doesn’t take much to consider the serious consequences of this. Pyrrhic victory indeed.
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