The only front in which Ukraine has been consistently winning is in the MSM’s headlines. They are now trying to keep at least this victory ongoing.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky and his chosen Commander-in-Chief General Valery Zaluzhny have gone out into a PR offensive to try and rally the fading internal and external support for their war effort.
Their parallel efforts come as it surfaces that Zelensky and Zaluzhny have different and even opposing views. While the experienced military leader wants Ukrainian forces to turn immediately to a defensive stance – to keep the Russian forces from shattering the frontline and making huge territorial gains, the political leader insists on pointless attacks on random parts of the front that is putting Kiev’s forces through the ‘meat grinder’ without any successes to show for it.
Zelensky sought to rally his troops even as the outside world ‘expects instant successes’.
Kiev’s failed months-long offensive moved the vast frontline very little in the past year, spurring criticism and impatience among some of Ukraine’s Western allies.
“‘We live in a world that gets used to success too quickly. When the full-scale invasion began, many people around the world did not believe that Ukraine would survive’, Zelensky said in his nightly video address. ‘Glory to all those who do not retreat, who do not burn out, who believe in Ukraine just as they did on February 24, and who has been fighting for unwaveringly’.
[…] Zelensky said his troops have succeeded in diminishing Moscow’s military strength in the Black Sea, which he said with greater support from Kiev’s allies could lead to Ukraine’s ultimate victory over Russia.”
Trying his best to find some positive developments to celebrate, he stated that the Black Sea has become a crucial theatre in the war.
He stated that Ukraine’s increased air and sea drone attacks on Russian military targets there ‘have damaged ship and naval repair yards in the port of Sevastopol, and struck other targets’.
Needless to say, not only those attacks have had a much-diminished efficacy in the last weeks, but they also do not add a single square kilometer of regained territory.
Zelensky added that Moscow uses its fleet in the Black Sea to launch long-range strikes on Ukraine, but also as an ‘important springboard for projecting power into the Middle East, Europe and the West’.
“‘When we ensure even more security to the Black Sea, Russia will lose any ability to dominate in this area and expand its malign influence to other countries’, Zelensky said.”
The extent of the damage that Ukraine has done in recent months to the Russian Black Sea Fleet remains unclear.
“‘Ukraine’s success in the battle for the Black Sea will go down in history books, although it’s not being discussed much today’, Zelensky said.”
None of this, however, changes the fact that Russian Federations forces have changed the dynamic of many points on the frontline and gone in the offensive with significant successes in the key areas of Avdiivka and Kupyansk.
Meanwhile, Commander in Chief was the object of a long profile in The Economist magazine, in which he tried to sell Ukraine’s lack success in its counteroffensive as an inevitable by-product of modern warfare realities.
It was his first public comprehensive assessment of the campaign, Valery Zaluzhny said the battlefield reminds him of a great conflict of a century ago.
The Economist reported:
“’Just like in the first world war we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate’, he says. The general concludes that it would take a massive technological leap to break the deadlock. ‘There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough’.”
The military leader admitted that he mistakenly thought that military losses would bring Russia to ‘stop the war’, and also reminded the western audiences about how inadequate the NATO tactics have show themselves to be when applied to this conflict.
“An army of Ukraine’s standard ought to have been able to move at a speed of 30km a day as it breached Russian lines. ‘If you look at Nato’s text books and at the maths which we did, four months should have been enough time for us to have reached Crimea, to have fought in Crimea, to return from Crimea and to have gone back in and out again’, General Zaluzhny says sardonically. Instead he watched his troops get stuck in minefields on the approaches to Bakhmut in the east, his Western-supplied equipment getting pummelled by Russian artillery and drones. The same story unfolded on the offensive’s main thrust in the south, where inexperienced brigades immediately ran into trouble.
‘First I thought there was something wrong with our commanders, so I changed some of them. Then I thought maybe our soldiers are not fit for purpose, so I moved soldiers in some brigades’, says General Zaluzhny. When those changes failed to make a difference, the general told his staff to dig out a book he once saw as a student. Its title was ’Breaching Fortified Defense Lines’. It was published in 1941 by a Soviet major-general, P.S. Smirnov, who analyzed the battles of the first world war. ‘And before I got even halfway through it, I realized that is exactly where we are because just like then, the level of our technological development today has put both us and our enemies in a stupor’.
[…] General Zaluzhny describes a battlefield in which modern sensors can identify any concentration of forces, and modern precision weapons can destroy it. ‘The simple fact is that we see everything the enemy is doing and they see everything we are doing. In order for us to break this deadlock we need something new, like the gunpowder which the Chinese invented and which we are still using to kill each other’, he says.”
General Zaluzhny admits that a long war favors Russia, which has a population three times and an economy ten times the size of Ukraine.
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