The forces of Ukraine appear to be achieving some success in their so-called ‘counter offensive’ at certain points along the front lines of the Kherson region in Ukraine’s south. Is this critical for Russian plans? I would say not. It is being achieved at the cost of much war materiel and many lives of the conscript territorial units of their army, while Russia continues to preserve its own forces by judicial withdrawal from heavily contested positions and even managed to extract units from potential Ukraine encirclement of one small town yesterday.
Moreover, the Military Summary channel reports the introduction of heavier, more professional units of Ukraine at points on this line. The question arises, does this signify a coming to an end of Ukraine’s ability to raise new or further strengthen depleted units of its territorial forces? Or even to attract more foreign fighters? Is Ukraine burning itself out against Russia’s stubborn, steady, and conservative tactics, which simply await such a signal of the bottom of the barrel being reached?
And it is not that Russia and its allies are unable to fight a different kind of battle strategy. The Wagner forces have fought well in the Donbass arc in recent weeks, liberating many towns and cities and steadily advancing to the west while also heavily reducing Ukrainian forces. Their turn now for rotation and refreshment has come and they are being replaced by Kadyrov’s refreshed Akhmat special forces to begin a new push to drive Ukraine out of Donbass completely in coming weeks.
In the south, there are also reports of train-loads of tanks and troops streaming across the Crimean bridge from Rostov-on-Don, units of the new army corps ready to do something – and it is fairly obvious what that will be – to extend the liberation of those southern areas and cut Ukraine off entirely from the Black Sea region.
So, while it looks on the surface that Ukraine is holding and even advancing in places, which they need to do before the critical date of September 8 – that date being sold, for reasons not entirely clear to me (and which are of little importance anyway), as crucial for their continued backing by western sponsors – any such small gains are going to be offset by huge losses, perhaps even before that date arrives.
Outsiders, perhaps seeing something of the direction of flow, keep urging concessional talks be held to end the affair. They obviously have no idea as to what is at stake here, or they would not waste their breath with such suggestions. And meanwhile, on that subject, Kremlin spokespersons can indulge in some banter when asked about whether Russia has anything to discuss with Zelensky, replying, “Of course, about how our conditions will be met.” Although that is not really banter. It is the sole grounds on which any discussions must be held at some point. Those conditions having not changed one iota since stated, and presented to the west, back in December 2021. Long before the first Russian retaliatory shots were made.
Although some local discomfort may still be felt for a while, and a lot of people are still yet to die in the process, all is well with the world. Nothing is in doubt. Everything will be accomplished. Europeans will huff and puff, freeze and starve, unless and until they come to their senses. The US will be driven out of Europe. NATO will be outlawed and disbanded. The European Union and its entrails will become defunct and disappear. Sovereign nations in Europe will once again operate independently – largely demilitarised. Nazism will be for ever defeated – at least in the Greater Eurasian landmass.