By Ahmed Adel,
Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher
September 14, 2023
The head of the medical service of the Far-Right unit Da Vinci’s Wolves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Alina Mykhailova, spoke about the difficult situation and, even more surprisingly, admitted to huge losses on the front.
“We are suffering great losses. There is no romance in this. What is happening at the front now is something you will not read in the news,” she said in an interview with Ukrainian media on September 12.
Mykhailova added that for the first time in her life, she was ready to give up absolutely everything and talk to anyone so that her battalion would survive. She also admitted that there is no prospect of a Ukrainian victory in the near future.
“The population is very calm with statements that today or tomorrow there will be victory. It will not happen today, nor tomorrow, nor, unfortunately, in a year,” Mykhailova, who is also a deputy in the Kiev City Council, concluded.
Since the beginning of June, the Ukrainian military has been conducting a counteroffensive in Donetsk, Artyomovsk and Zaporozhye with NATO-trained brigades and Western military equipment. However, they have achieved no success.
Although Mykhailova did not give a casualty figure, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently revealed that the counteroffensive has stalled and led to over 75,500 Ukrainian casualties – shocking for only four months of active combat. Many American and European journalists and military experts also argue that Kiev’s counteroffensive failed and noted the effectiveness of Russian defences.
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley pointed out on September 10 that Ukraine may only have about 30-45 days of fighting left. However, despite this small timeframe left in the regular fighting season and the huge losses suffered by Kiev, the US and NATO are not fazed and continue to send more military shipments and money into the financial blackhole that Ukraine has become.
The Ukrainian military will be unable to advance any further from their already paltry gains once the season changes. Ukraine and the West have exhausted their ammunition stockpile, and they cannot get supplies quickly enough. Effectively, the Ukrainians cannot do much at this point, even if they want to.
Despite the Ukrainians not being able to do much at this point, as affirmed by Mykhailova, it did not prevent Milley from falsely claiming, “There’s still a reasonable amount of time, probably about 30 to 45 days’ worth of fighting weather left, so the Ukrainians aren’t done. There’s battles not done… they haven’t finished the fighting part of what they’re trying to accomplish.”
The West wants to see the offensive continue even though it has very evidently failed. For this reason, the US continues to increase aid even further, and the indications are that the West will continue this or at least try to sustain it.
US President Joe Biden has provided Kiev with $43.7 billion in military aid since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Recently, the US announced a new security package worth $600 million for Ukraine, which will include ammunition and anti-aircraft equipment.
By providing such equipment, Washington hopes to coerce Kiev to continue the offensive for another 30 days, perhaps even through the winter. For this reason, there has been a huge uptick in rhetoric about Ukraine supposedly breaking Russia’s first line of defence and making slow but steady gains. None of this corresponds with reality.
In the US, most people do not support the current policy of sending more money down the drain in Ukraine. Considering the 2024 presidential election, the Biden administration is under domestic pressure from a chorus of voices calling for a focus on domestic issues. This could be part of the West’s attempt to transfer responsibility for the failure of the counteroffensive to Ukraine itself.
The US has brazenly admitted it worked with the Ukrainians to plan the offensive for months, arming and training the military. Now, the West is criticising Ukraine for its failures.
As US elections are looming and Ukraine cannot win the war, the Biden administration needs to shift the blame and is pinning it directly on the Eastern European country. This demonstrates the confused nature of US policy as, on one hand, it is encouraging Ukraine to continue fighting by sending more weapons and money, but at the same time, narratives are being concocted to explain to US voters why billions of dollars have been wasted on a lost cause. Meanwhile, as Mykhailova highlighted, “there is no romance,” nor any victory for Ukraine through this war.
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