Friday, 27 May 2022 — The van says…
No motivation, guns or hope. Videos such as these show that hopelessness is the rule rather than the exception across most of the Ukraine today.
Anybody who’s anybody knows that the situation in the Ukraine has gone from bad to worse to helpless over the last month. This article will look at how this is affecting the efforts of Kiev and its backers and what this will mean as we look to the future.
Quality over Quantity.
In spite of the dire economic situation of the Ukraine, in terms of the country’s size, until the start of hostilities, it did have a large army as well as a vast array of equipment at its disposal. At first glance, one may mistake this as giving Kiev considerable might in its area, but when one considers the age and conditions of the weaponry that is fielded, this gives rather more cause for concern. In 1991, the Ukraine gained independence from Moscow and with that, it inherited the Soviet equipment that was based within its borders. The nuclear arsenal is officially long gone, yet unlike the Russian Federation that has replaced or revised much of its machinery and systems, most Ukrainian gear is still from the Soviet era. As good as it was way back when, it simply does not match up to its Russian counterparts, either as individually or collectively.
In light of not only the nightmarish kit equipping some units as well as the dreams the West still holds for the Ukraine, the last few months have seen an operation unparalleled in Europe over recent decades with the aim of supplying Kiev with the weapons necessary to fight Russia. This is naturally no gift, the ‘donor’ nations offloading outdated weaponry onto Kiev for top dollar at very profitable terms for the suppliers, yet with few having received the necessary training and there being an acute shortage of new blood in the ranks, much of the arsenal that the Ukraine has been given cannot be used effectively. Furthermore, with Russia making the advances it is, an immense percentage of these weapons are captured by Russian or Donbass forces, the correct training given and it then being employed effectively against their previous owners. For all the benefits that these shipments were supposed to offer the Ukraine, it has become apparent through missiles approaching their expiry dates and artillery systems that were not well liked when in service years ago, many vendors are just selling equipment that nobody else wanted to buy.
Vain Volksturm Ventures.
The last three months have in terms of casualties been a horror story on the part of Kiev. Precise figures are hard to come by, even more so when Ukrainian forces do not even attempt to collect their dead and injured. Most of those who have become the victims of this conflict made up either the regular armed forces or were part of the neo-nazi formations for which the country has over the years become famous.
With these losses however, Kiev is now forced to make increasingly draconian moves in order that there are combat troops where they are needed. This is now being achieved through the forced recruitment of individuals who are unsuited to military life through age, physical condition or having other issues that preclude military service. Given only the briefest of training and the scantiest of weapons, this half-baked Volksturm is being sent into battle facing almost certain death or imprisonment when facing the Russians. There are now videos from both sides showing Ukrainian troops in the direst of situations, this causing such demoralization in the Ukraine that Zelenskiy has now banned these from either being filmed or posted. By being forced into battle by their leaders, poor Ukrainian souls with even poorer weapons are in most cases obliged to leave their towns and cities on a one-way ticket. There is no need to comment at this point on the effect this is having on the morale of those on the sharp end, this gradually bringing the spirit of the country as a whole to a very low level.
It makes no difference regarding men or machines if there is no system in place to ensure their movement and resupply. With Russian efforts now targeting critical points of the Ukrainian infrastructure across the country as well as the last remaining fuel stores, the ability of Kiev to move assets to where they are needed is now becoming harder by the day. This coupled with the losses that Ukrainian forces are suffering makes things ever more difficult for the country, a lack of resources, both human and material compounded with transportation woes becoming the key issues in the face of an ever-more efficient Russia.
That bring us to the crunch point. The current situation around the area of Liman has cost the Ukraine dear in every possible way. This whole area has worked out badly for Kiev, yet may be part of a far bigger plan for Russia. If Moscow maintains the pressure, Zelenskiy will send all the resources he has to defend the region, yet as bodies become fewer and equipment more scarce, this important yet not pivotal area will bleed Kiev dry of the resources it would ordinarily be able to utilize elsewhere. By playing the game in this way, Russian forces can slowly whittle away the Ukrainian army, meaning that future battles will be easier to win.
Money for Nothing.
The situation is however not quite that simple. In spite of Kiev losing equipment at a horrendous pace, the western world continues to supply whatever it can. This can be anything from rifles to anti-aircraft systems, yet an awkward reality is beginning to dawn on some nations over recent weeks. Whilst they may be very keen to get rid of bottom drawer products at top drawer prices, in the current climate, replacing these goods in their own arsenals may take years, the intervening time leaving them with huge holes in their inventories. Furthermore, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that with so much of this equipment ending up in allied hands, the West is to a very uncomfortable degree arming the very forces they claim to oppose.
There are two further matters that need to be examined, these being more openly discussed now that at any time since hostilities began. One factor is that the Ukraine was a bankrupt beggar state before the war even started. Now reduced in size as well as in ruins, from a western perspective, there is no point in selling to a customer who will never be able to pay, its armies being left under equipped as a consequence.
The other blatantly obvious concern is the fact that for all the military and media assistance being given, all belief in the Ukraine winning this war has gone, Kiev getting its ass kicked more every day. There is absolutely no mileage whatsoever in throwing good money after bad by supporting an already lost cause. Whilst a majority fail to understand the overall picture, many are aware how this all started and see no future in cutting off their own noses to put a smile on Uncle Sam’s (or Zelenskiy’s) face.
The Ukraine is on skid row. For all the talk and hype regarding the ‘Ghost of Kiev’, the Ukraine is a ghost of the country that it never really was and is more moribund with every passing day. Russia however is boxing clever, using slow tactics to ensure that as much fight as possible is knocked out of the Ukrainian armed forces under favorable conditions before moving further afield. The question of the resources that remain to Kiev is rather more difficult to answer.
For as long as the West supplies the Ukraine, it will continue to have material resources, yet with it suffering the attrition that it is, its human resources will soon reach levels as low as the morale they currently suffer. Other than western powers putting boots on the ground, this will mean an acceleration of Russian advances, yet how far Moscow wishes to push is a matter that Moscow has yet to comment upon…