The War In Ukraine Shifts Decisively In Russia’s Favor

Volodomyr Zelensky got the bad news in Vilnius — notwithstanding lip service from some of the NATO members — the United States and Germany are refusing to let Ukraine join the club out of fear of broadening the war with Russia. Make no mistake — NATO is at war with Russia, but the West is cognizant of its military weakness and is not willing as an organization to risk taking steps that would provoke direct fighting between Russian and NATO forces.

A frustrated President Volodymyr Zelensky launched a furious broadside against Ukraine’s NATO allies Tuesday as they began a summit still unsure how to advance Kyiv’s membership bid.

Zelensky, who will come to Vilnius during the two-day summit, denounced as “absurd” the reluctance of some NATO leaders to provide a clear timetable for Ukraine to join the alliance.

“Uncertainty is weakness. And I will openly discuss this at the summit,” Zelensky tweeted. The alliance backs Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s 16-month-old invasion, but several members — notably US President Joe Biden — oppose giving Ukraine a timetable for membership.

However, France and the United Kingdom, acting independently of NATO, made a foolish and dangerous promise — they are going to provide Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles that can strike inside Russian territory. We have reached the point in this war where the West is struggling to come to grips with the fact that its gift of tanks and weapons to Ukraine have been a total bust and panic is setting in.

I encourage you to view the Wall Street Journal video that Andrei Martyanov posted (I can’t figure out how to post it in Word Press). At least two American Generals (retired) who have been some of the most ardent cheerleaders and spinmeisters for the Ukrainian offensive are admitting grudgingly that the operation is a bust. That is putting it mildly. The Ukrainian troops, along with their equipment, are being smashed.

Russia is no longer crouching in a defensive posture. It launched its own counter offensive and is enjoying success in pushing Ukrainian forces back:

🔹Fighting continues on the frontline. In the #Starobelsk direction, the RF Armed Forces were able to advance in the area of the Zhuravka Balka and the vicinity of #Torskoye, and also foiled a massive attack near #Dibrova. In the #Bakhmut sector, Russian troops conducted a counterattack near #Kleshchiyevka and also repelled an enemy attack in the vicinity of #Berkhovka.

🔹 Fierce clashes are taking place in the #Vremyevka sector. Ukrainian marines are trying to advance in the area of #Priyutnoye and Grushevaya Balka, where they had previously managed to gain a foothold in plantations. At #Rabotino, the enemy unsuccessfully attacked north of the settlement, losing armoured vehicles supplied by the West.

🔹 In the #Kherson direction, Russian units continue to fight Ukrainian saboteurs who have landed on the islands and under the #Antonovsky Bridge. According to some reports, a railway bridge was blown up north of #Alyoshki.

I anticipate that Russia will intensify its attacks on Ukrainian positions at key locations along the 800 mile line of contact in the next two weeks. While NATO is scrambling to provide Ukraine with actionable intelligence to try to damage the Russian capabilities, Zelensky and his Generals confront a harsh reality that first class intelligence is useless if you do not have the manpower or equipment to make a major dent in Russian defenses. Ukraine’s military grows weaker with each fruitless attack.

I agree with Andrei that the promised escalation by France and the U.K. is likely to provoke a Russian response. It is one thing to covertly provide more sophisticated lethal weaponry to Ukraine. Recall that the Soviets did it to the Americans in Vietnam and that the United States did it to the Soviets in Afghanistan. Both the Americans and the Russians quietly agreed to live with those actions without risking escalation into a direct conflict. They continued to have normal diplomatic contacts and negotiated arms control agreements in spite of the covert proxy wars. Each side knew what the other was doing but each side also took steps to try to hide their actions.

What France and the U.K are proposing is an open provocation and, if carried out, represents a direct attack on Russia. Putin and members of his national security team have signaled clearly that there will be a response. This means we are entering a very dangerous phase in this war because the frantic desperation of the West is leading it to entertain military operations that will elicit retaliation. Russia is not going to consent to being a punching bag. At some point I anticipate that Putin will order the Russian military to start shooting down sophisticated U.S. and NATO ISR drones and disrupt, if not eliminate, the Elon Musk’s Starlink network. Russia also is likely to attack and destroy Joint and Tactical Operation Centers in Ukraine as part of its overall effort to degrade Ukraines ability to carry out offensive operations.

Russia reportedly hit Odessa’s port yesterday (Monday) with a missile strike as a prelude for ending the grain deal and asserting its control of the Black Sea. That will be a blow to Ukraine and Turkey and there is little the West can do in response without creating a casus belli for Russia to hit targets where NATO advisers are located.


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