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Ukraine Wants to Drive Russia from its Soil. Is That Really Possible?

Ukraine Sniper Rifle
US Military sniper rifle. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Ukraine’s Desire to Drive Russia from its Soil is Understandable – but Geography & Combat Realities Will Extract a Steep Price if Kyiv Tries – Ukrainians have been appropriately encouraged by the impressive tactical defeat President Volodymyr Zelensky’s defenders inflicted on Putin’s initial invasion and their staunch defense to date in the Donbas. The U.S. and NATO countries have been sending Kyiv massive amounts of arms and ammunition, and now increasingly sophisticated heavy weapons, leading some to hope the Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) will soon transition from defense to offense and drive Russia from Ukrainian soil

While that hope is entirely understandable, moving from offense to defense in wartime is far more complex than appears on the surface, and will take much longer than many realize.

If Zelensky’s troops try to rush the transition and move too quickly to the offensive, the results could be catastrophic. But policymakers in both Kyiv and Western capitals need to understand even in the best case, geography and combat realities will impose a hefty price tag on attempting to switch to the offensive – and will not offer anything close to a guarantee of success, regardless of the cost or timeframe. 

It may seem simple to go from defense to offense. Many conclude that if the West provides the Ukrainian army with a sufficient number of new tanks, artillery pieces, and long-range air defense missiles, Ukraine can then move to the offense and drive Russia from Ukrainian territory. The logic seems reasonable: if the UAF successfully repulsed Russian armor north of Kyiv and has thus far resisted Moscow’s attacks in the Donbas, Ukrainian troops are obviously better, and thus with enough new kit, they can be just as successful on the offensive.

Unfortunately, there are factors at play that make that transition far more complex than appears.

Why Ukraine Successfully Repelled Russia’s Initial Attacks

It is essential to understand the fundamental reasons why Russia’s initial attacks north of Kyiv failed and why there haven’t been any breakthroughs so far in the Battle of the Donbas.

Putin’s first mistake was at the strategic level when he split his limited forces into four axes of advance instead of massing his combat power on one decisive objective. Especially in the Kyiv axis, that meant Russia had insufficient force to wage the urban fight.

However, possibly more important, is that fighting in the constrained environment of a city gives nearly all the advantages to the defenders. UAF troops could fight from high-rise buildings, firing down with anti-tank missiles from above, where tank gunners may not be able to elevate their guns to return fire. The defenders could sneak up on Russian armored vehicles from near point-blank range, around buildings, hitting the enemy in its vulnerable rear or flanks. One of the advantages of armored firepower is that gunners can accurately engage targets upwards of two miles away – but in urban terrain, they can only fire as far as they can see, which could be less than 100 yards. 

In the Battle of Donbas, the defenders again have significant advantages. Ukraine has spent eight years constructing an elaborate series of reinforced bunkers, trench lines that protect fighters from direct fire of Russian weapons, minefields that constrict armored movement, pre-sited artillery targets on kill zones, and mutually reinforcing defensive positions many miles in depth. As with the fight in Kyiv, Russian troops have to contend with these many Ukrainian advantages, and since the initial thrusts into the country, Russian troops have not succeeded in making significant breakthroughs.

What Ukraine Hopes to Accomplish in Donbas

Right now the UAF is trying to hold its ground in the Donbas, prevent any penetration of the lines by Russian armor, and extract maximum price in blood on every Russian attempt at attacking the Ukrainian positions. Kyiv’s first objective is to ground the Russian attack to a standstill, deprive it of its striking power, and degenerate the offensive into a stalemate. Before any offensive can even be contemplated, Ukraine first has to sap Russian offensive strength.

Once the threat of Russian penetration of the Ukrainian lines has been contained, Zelensky’s forces must create new combat units that can go on the offensive in the future. His current troops are already stretched thin and if they successfully turn the Donbas into a stalemate, Ukraine’s troops will be a spent force.

The UAF is already taking daily casualties from relentless Russian shelling, and if this continues for months, the psychological toll it will take on the force will not be minor. So to have a chance at going on the offensive, Ukraine will have to form new mechanized formations.

What it Takes to Create a New, Offensive Force

To have a viable chance at driving Russian troops from their territory, Ukraine will need to field at least 75 battalion tactical groups (BTGs). Those have to be built from scratch, and that includes every aspect of an organization, from the tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, motors, logistics trucks, medical supplies, headquarters elements, communications gear, and large quantities of ammunition, fuel, food, and water.

That will require a minimum of 60,000 new soldiers to man the 75 BTGs, plus another 20,000 to 30,000 for infantry and replacements. It will also require the West to provide all necessary kit, vehicles, spare parts, and sustainment for the gear. Then the Ukrainian soldiers will need to be trained, somewhere in the Western part of Ukraine where they are safe from attack. The training will start at the individual trooper level in basic combat skills. 

Then the soldier will have to train on his specific job (whether tank driver, artillery gunner, or missile system operator, for example), followed by crew training, platoon operations, company-level training, and finally at the BTG level, where all aspects of combined arms training must be learned. 

This process can’t be shortchanged or minimized, if the UAF hopes to be able to win. And that training will take time. Probably six to nine months of intensive training (otherwise they would need a minimum of a year). At this point, the UAF command in Kyiv will be in a position to start planning an offensive. To consider what chances this new formation would have, however, we must also consider what the enemy would be doing during these six to nine months.

Putin Ukraine Russia

Russian anti-tank weapon. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russia’s Likely Counter-Preparation

During the same period as the UAF were forming units and training them, Russia will have switched from the offensive to the defensive. They will have brought up engineer support, started digging defensive positions, building fortifications and barriers, tank traps, and other activities designed to impede offense operations. They too will be bringing up additional reserves to backfill combat losses and would be training their own units, including how to conduct defensive mobile warfare.

Once Ukrainian forces had developed sufficient offensive capacity, then they then be in a position to finally launch their offensive. Here, however, the Ukrainian command authority would have to deal with a completely new set of difficulties. Up to this point in the war, the Ukraine side has had the inherent advantages of fighting from terrain that favors the defender. However, going to the offensive will mean abandoning those advantages and incurring the risk imposed on the attacking force.

The UAF would have to leave the defensive positions that have protected them so well since the war’s start, and move into the open. They would then be just as vulnerable as the Russians were in their February attack. As challenging, the Russians would have had many months to build defensive works, rehearse counter-attack routes in-depth of its frontlines, bring up newly trained crews of their own, and would no doubt have stockpiled war stocks of all classes of supplies to allow them to fight for a long time.

Additional Challenges Ukraine Would Have to Mitigate

Compounding Ukraine’s task is that, unlike Russia’s February assault, the UAF will be attacking with largely new, inexperienced troops – and it will have suffered potentially 40,000 or more casualties (Kyiv doesn’t publish any friendly casualty figures, but a fair assumption is that Ukrainian losses are close to Russian casualty numbers). 

Also, having to equip its BTGs with gear given by the West, Ukraine will have a tough time maintaining the various kit, as some would be from British sources, others from American, German, Polish, and other contributing countries – each bit of kit needing unique supply chains, specific types of spare parts, replacement engines (a common requirement in armored ops), different ammunition types, and mechanics skilled in repairing the various types of vehicles.  That hodge-podge of equipment and logistical requirements imposes a far larger burden on the Ukrainian forces than is commonly realized.

Unless there are major changes in the disposition of the two sides six to nine months from now, Russia will still be at full strength with its air defense capacity while Ukraine will be operating in a degraded (but still capable) state. The Russian air force will still be able to engage from long range, out of danger from most of the Stinger Missiles NATO has provided Ukraine, and Russia will still have an advantage – possibly a major advantage – in rocket and heavy artillery systems. What would that mean, then, for Ukraine’s chances in the offensive next year?

Ukraine

Russian Air Force Tu-22M2M fighter-bomber.

Likely Outcomes of Future Ukraine Offensive

Ukraine’s chances to create a successful new offensive capacity, from scratch, during wartime while concurrently defending against a grinding Russian offensive in the east, is not high. It normally takes years to produce a quality offensive force, under peacetime, without external pressures. Trying to form such a force in months, under the worst conditions imaginable, is incredibly difficult.

Once that force is formed, however, it will have to engage in an offensive operation against an enemy that will have had months to prepare defensive positions, Ukraine will be attacking when its air force is weak, against a still-potent Russian air force, and with limited Ukrainian air defense capacity. The chances of this formation successfully driving out the Russian army, which presently controls hundreds of square kilometers of Ukrainian territory, is alarmingly low.

Though Ukrainian courage and willingness to fight is legendary and beyond question, in all likelihood, if Kyiv chose to form this new offensive force and launches a new operation to expel Russia, the Ukrainian troops will suffer egregious setbacks, likely make limited territorial reconquest, and in the end degenerate into another stalemate. 

In the meantime, the Ukrainian people will continue to suffer egregious military and civilian casualties, its cities will continue to be turned to rubble, and its economy will remain shattered. The war would then continue, likely years, as the cycle would repeat, where it would be Russia who would attempt to rebuild an offensive capacity and renew its attack years from now. 

Conclusion

I completely understand the desire of the Ukrainian people to expel every single Russian soldier from its territory; in their place, I would certainly have the same passion. But an objective analysis of the Ukrainian geography and just basic combat realities reveals that the chances of success for Ukraine are minimal while the chances of failure are high. Kyiv authorities would be wise to consider alternatives to continuing the fight, however unpalatable that may be.

In all probability, neither Zelensky nor Putin will engage in genuine negotiations to end the fighting until the Battle of Donbas plays out. If Russia eventually surrounds and destroys the UAF battle force in the Donbas, Putin will have significantly improved negotiating leverage. If Zelensky’s forces are able to bleed Russia’s offensive energy dry and produce a stalemate in the Donbas, then Kyiv’s negotiating leverage will increase significantly.

Ukraine Russia

Ukrainian tank firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

But the hard truth is that there is no rational basis to hope for a military victory by the Ukrainian side. The cost to try would be high and egregious, and Kyiv would be forced to reach some deal it doesn’t like in the future, but at a much higher cost than will be the case post-Donbas (which itself will be a higher price than the deal that could have been reached before the conflict). The most logical, reasonable course would be for Kyiv to negotiate in earnest with Moscow and get the best deal they can to end the war.

Finally, I openly concede that this conclusion is one that is much easier for me to reach than any leader or citizen in Ukraine. The intensity of their hatred for their invading enemy is something I can only imagine, and their desire to be free of Russia is beyond righteous.

In the end, the people of Ukraine have to decide what course of action to pursue, even if it means trying to do something with a low chance of success and a high cost of failure. I hate that they are forced to make such a dreadful choice.

Now a 1945 Contributing Editor, Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

Written By

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. William

    May 6, 2022 at 5:44 pm

    One glaring omission from this article is the fact that the Russian central
    banking system is near defaulting on its debt obligations. I recall the collapse of the USSR in 1991, and it would seem the severe economic sanctions and a complete lack of technology imports might render Putin’s Russia is a serious strategic predicament. In contrast, Ukraine and it’s banking system will at least be propped up by the west, but Russia will not have that luxury as the war drags. Something to consider as It seems Russia’s position will get weaker over time. Not sure Ukriane will have that banking and related financial constraint.

    • Ulf Larsen

      May 7, 2022 at 3:57 am

      I agree, the author gives some very good arguments on the military side of this equation, but there is more to it than that.

      Over time sanctions will only get harder, and they will not be lifted until there is a solution that is acceptable to both Ukraine and the West (NATO, EU, USA & other allies).

      Sanctions will also slow down Russian re-armament after their losses, while Ukraine will both get more & better weapons. On top of that, add the brain-drain from Russia, smart people that can, leave now, that also is not good for the economy. So how this will end is still very much an open question, but it’s not impossible that not only will Ukraine get back control over all of it’s land in the east, but also Crimea.

  2. Commentar

    May 6, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    Driving Russia from its soil ? Same as forcing Russia to give up its nuke arsenal. Have to wait for arrival of judgement day.

    Practically everyone knows zelenskiiiy poked Russia in the eye by wanting to join NATO which is the 21st century’s TRIPARTITE PACT.

    The TRIPARTITE pact invaded USSR in June 1941 and killed 27 million Soviet citizens.

    NATO has invaded and/or attacked Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yugoslavia and covertly participated in the genocidal Yemeni conflict.

    Europe doesn’t need NATO which worships war, sanctions and confrontation, is the modern Genghis horde and promotes russophobia.The stench is very unmistakable in places like ukraine and Poland which are moving to the extreme right with the passage of time.

    Ukraine has been unable or unwilling to make peace with its russian-speaking minorities in Donbass and crimea and before feb24 2022, has been taking potshots and sniping at civilians with news agencies like Reuters spewing pieces saying no genocide only trench warfare.

    In 2014, ukraine forces were employing massive heavy firepower against Donbass, but nobody said anything and was on the verge of victory until the Azov fighters were stunningly defeated at Ilovaisk in aug-sept 2014.

    Russia will never allow repeat of west-sponsored terror against the Russian minorities and will STAY in east ukraine forever.Or until kingdom come.

    • Joe Comment

      May 6, 2022 at 7:39 pm

      Commentar: Then do Russians view Putin as another Saddam Hussein, another Moammar Al-Gaddafi, and think that is a good thing?

    • Greg

      May 8, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      Russia will never allow? Russia is a failed state, with a failed army and populated by failed people. It’s primary accomplishment is as a supplier of gas and gasoline to the world, and it can’t even do that to its failed military 50 miles from its border. Nobody cares what Russia “will allow” or “will not allow”.

      • Dean

        May 11, 2022 at 8:29 pm

        The Mother’s of Dead Ukrainian men care that their Children are being used for Cannon Fodder.

        But go ahead and cheer on more deaths.

  3. Eric

    May 6, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    This seems like a fair analysis. At least in the short-term, Russia has gained some territory in the south and east of Ukraine. Ukraine could gain advantage over time. The future is not written.

  4. Pagar

    May 6, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    The ukraine conflict of 2022 is likely to see the use of nuclear weapons for first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Although there was a VERY mysterious explosion east of Basra in Feb 1991.)

    This is so because western countries are not only pouring direct fuel on the fire by massive arms shipments but also by massing large military forces near Russia.

    Worse, the global imperialist-fascist conglomerate is enforcing all kinds of sanctions and uttering more threats against Russia.

    And the fascists are showing the middle finger to Moscow by saying NATO would be adding more members.

    US used nukes on others for far lesser reasons and nukes are the best option to STOP the fascists in their tracks.

    • Joe Comment

      May 6, 2022 at 8:09 pm

      Pager: When Japan committed countless war crimes while invading all its neighbors in East Asia and the Pacific until 1945, that was a far lesser problem than some countries getting together in 2022 to defend themselves from a Russian invasion? Will you listen to yourself?

    • Greg

      May 8, 2022 at 3:42 pm

      Why yes, nukes are the best way to stop Rascists in Ukraine.

    • Allan

      May 15, 2022 at 6:26 am

      Japan committed the most appalling atrocities on their captive populations during the Second World War. That’s why in 2022 many are shocked that the Russians invasion is repeating history.

      You bandy around the word facist without knowing the real meaning of the term.

  5. Vladolph Putler

    May 6, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Oh I wanna play with the trolls, they are so CUTE! 🙂

    But first I’ll point out that this assessment of readiness of forces is based on peacetime training. And the Ukrainians are nothing if not creative.

    Besides, the author clearly is out of touch. Ukraine has already GONE on the offensive, steadily taking back territory Northeast of Kharkiv. Hundreds of dead Russians every other day, scores captured.

    Meanwhile, there are reports that the “Admiral Makarov” Russian frigate reported to have been hit and lit afire by Neptun ASM’s has sunk. Maybe, maybe not. But Ukraine is going to deny Russia access to the seas, and sink all their junk. This in addition to the 10 or so other naval vessels already destroyed by Ukrainian action. And that handsome general- Gerasimov- where is he BTW? I hear he got shot in the but-tocks while running like Forrest Gump.

    The trolls want a nuclear war? Shit Russia can’t even win a war against its weak neighbor. Ya wanna play with NATO? Ya wanna play with the Americans? Britain? Poland? That cause you a dum dum. 😀

  6. Sue

    May 6, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    I believe you have overlooked the reality of what is happening:
    Focus has been on getting ukraine soviet era weapons in addition to the Western armory

    The West is on the ground and has been for a long time — not simply training soldiers but also advising on strategies and funding the fight. This must be clearly obvious. And if you’re doubting it just think about the assembly of the 40 nations several weeks, the lend lease program, the visits from every US politician and world leader that wants a photo op. All of this is to help rearm Ukraine and outarm Russia and make Russia fear the threat of a combat war with the US and its allies

    Finally in terms of logistics and field hospitals, and training of soldiers and private armies the US has this covered. Private companies are in Ukraine assisting with fighters and the logistics that you are describing. It’s not a perfect solution, but they have help

    What remains unclear is if the US will stumble from the back into a direct and formal war with Russia. The Biden administration seems to be moving in that direction and without taking it to congress — bad idea.

    My overall point is Putin is not fighting the Ukrainians. He is at war with the US: an economic war, a social media war and a combat war. Ukraine is simply the location for the battle. I pray that America gets up to speed soon and this ends soon for the people of Ukraine who are suffering. Alot of Ukrainians are dying and if Ukraine is important strategically then we must lead the resolution rather than stumbling from the back into a mess that we have no purpose for. Leading means Biden should take this to Congress if we are staying on this course. Frightening to think of how are foreign policy is being executed. This administration does not have a decision tree for one step ahead let alone 3-5. Right now its only Ukrainian blood being sacrificed, but Biden’s decisions will change that

    • Vladolph Putler

      May 7, 2022 at 10:19 am

      I disagree. There was indeed a plan, it just worked FAR better than ANYONE had remotely even dreamed. The plan was to arm an insurgency with MANPAD systems. But the Ukrainians were not defeated militarily, so this plan was poorly focused to the reality that emerged. Thus the plan had to be rapidly changed, and it was, with a shift to conventional warfare equipment.

      Russia has been grumbling and thrashing for quite some time, insisting that they should control their neighbors. But the first thing their neighbors did when the USSR collapsed was establish independence. They are not remotely interested in the Russian form of leadership with the exception of Belarus- who even seems rather worried these days. Should Russia’s desire to bully its neighbors be respected? Realists would say yes. But that “realism” was on the pretext that the Ukrainians were too weak to deter Russia.

      Mind you, Russia has pretty much 100% control of its media. And its media (and trolls) spend quite a bit of time talking about taking territory well beyond Ukraine. Appeasement of Hitler didn’t work too well as he conquered one small neighbor then another. And the world is wary of encouraging this notion.

      Fight now and contain it. Try to limit escalation within reason, but have a plan. Which is not Biden’s to make. Many (!!!) countries are involved, and *Stoltenberg* is the one holding the reins and expected to have a plan.

      It would be *STUPID* for the US to get directly involved. At least at this point. Putin is painted into a corner politically. US or NATO involvement would clear an escape route for him through mobilization.

      If you think the US isn’t planning ahead, you simply haven’t been paying attention.

      • CK

        May 10, 2022 at 10:05 am

        Very, very well put!

  7. MAGA MAGA

    May 7, 2022 at 3:06 am

    According to a well-known person, in an interview he gave on May 3 2022, the ukraine conflict was chiefly caused by a mad and deranged rabies-infected dog barking at Russia’s door.

    Guess who’s the owner of that dog ? An 80-year-old senile.

    • What what

      May 7, 2022 at 5:56 am

      Contrary it was Putin’s regime barking at Ukraine for many years..

  8. Shifty

    May 7, 2022 at 9:14 am

    Hey, here’s a new idea for sabotage of Russia. Easy. Cost effective. Go to every petrol station, and pour cooking oil into the petrol reservoirs of the petrol station. Screw up all the cars in Russia. Cheap. Effective. Mass destruction of the transport network.

    • Vladolph Putler

      May 7, 2022 at 10:26 am

      Exactly. You take the cooking oil, process it into Tri-nitro Toluene, pour it into shells with guidance packages, and pour them into Russian fuel depots.

      What? The Ukrainians are already doing that? How clever.

  9. Alex

    May 7, 2022 at 10:27 am

    The US is losing the war in Ukraine. The whole world is watching how Russia beats the Anglo-Saxons.

    • Greg

      May 8, 2022 at 3:14 pm

      The whole world is watching as Russian army is boldly retreating back to it’s borders. The charred corpses of it’s soldiers laying by the roadside demonstrate high professional levels of it’s troops, while abandoned intact equipment are meant to lull Ukrainians into false sense of security.

  10. Jacksonian Libertarian

    May 7, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    “You fight a war with the Army you have, not the Army you wish you had.”

    The author’s assumption that Ukraine must build tons of new combat battalions from scratch in order to go on the offense is Wrong.

    All Ukraine needs to do is expand it’s already Victorious Veteran units with new men and equipment. Expanding and promoting from within, turning Battalions into Brigades, and Platoons into Companies. Reinforcing strength instead of shoring up weakness as the Russians are doing.

    The author is also wrong about the manpower problems between the 2 sides. While the Russians face manpower problems, the Ukrainians are drawing volunteer manpower from the entire adult population including veteran service personnel of the last 40 years. The 200k man Ukrainian active forces that began this war has already been vastly expanded (it’s a secret number). We can easily assume the Ukrainian army is at least double is previous size. Every shipment of equipment from the West includes personal protective equipment (helmets, body armor, night vision, etc.) enough to arm hundreds of thousands. The UK alone has sent 87,000 helmets.

    It’s also wrong that Ukraine needs to fight the Russian Air Force any more than it already has been. Air Superiority is a strategic advantage which Russia never had, and Ukraine lacks the Stealth Air Force necessary to get it either.

    “and now increasingly sophisticated heavy weapons” says the author of 1st world logistical supplies flowing into Ukraine. The author assumes heavy weapons are needed for an offensive, but the Russians have heavy weapons and their invasion is a failure, Why? Because even sophisticated heavy weapons are a logistical nightmare, and are outdated by the even more sophisticated smart weapons which are logistically “light as a feather”.

    The author is also wrong about the ranges involved, stating that “One of the advantages of armored firepower is that gunners can accurately engage targets upwards of two miles away – but in urban terrain, they can only fire as far as they can see, which could be less than 100 yards.”. While Missilemen need to be within a couple hundred meters to use unguided RPG’s, smart weapons are one shot-one kill with a range of kilometers. When the tactical equation is “if you can see it you can kill it”, the stealthy Missileman 2 km away is superior to the big loud armored vehicles he’s fighting.

    The author assumes that the only kind of offense is the armored vehicle heavy blitzkrieg, which worked so well for the Russians – NOT.

    The new offense is infiltrating thousands of missilemen deep behind Russian lines to attack Russian supply lines, vulnerable rear areas, and command and communications. Light fast stealthy Missilemen, mounted on motorcycles, ATCs, and 4×4 pickups, operating 20 to 50 miles behind the Russian front. Like Sherman’s march to the sea, gutting the Russian rear, cutting and mining the lines of communication. Russian defenses logistically dependent on megatons of daily supplies, will be forced to withdraw just like in the North.

  11. Martin Knutsen

    May 7, 2022 at 4:36 pm

    This article is a reason why so many milblogs have to be read with an eye on their sole focus, military matters. The Ukrainians really dont have to storm the entrenched parts of DOnbas or the Crimea anytime soon, as long as they can keep on grinding the russians limited supllies while getting their own from the west. Logistics win wars, and the russians are already running out of first line equipment.
    Also, this is a text that focuses on purely tactical issues, but strategically the Ukrainians only have to hold out until about september, when the russian CIVILIAn infrastructure slams to a grinding halt due to sanctions as well as the military. So at some point the russians have to choose where to negotiate, and as long as the ukrainians are holding them to a standstill while inflicting logistical losses they will be winning, and something has got to give. Russia has already lost this war, basically, as far as I can see.

  12. Cerberus

    May 7, 2022 at 11:05 pm

    Ukraine doesn’t need to go on offense. They need to simply create a devastating insurgency that extends into Russia. Russia will have to decide if they want to keep hemorrhaging vast sums in Ukraine or cut losses and save Russia from being thrust backwards 50 years. Humiliating yes, also very wise.

  13. Air battle over Nis

    May 8, 2022 at 1:05 am

    The US is imposing the ukraine war on both Europe and Russia.

    This is the work of the black hand of the deep state which controls all life in the United States.

    Under joe Biden, the US is now overseen by a bunch of geriatric 80-85 year-olds, resulting in galloping inflation, people unable to pay rents, migrants knocking on the southern border, mass shootings and worse, a jails-and-police-centered policy strangling minority groups.

    All under Biden and the olden people of the Democratic party.

    It’s time to kick out dems at the Nov 8 midterm elections and send them geriatric generation to permanent pasture.

    • Exnavynuke

      May 8, 2022 at 9:09 pm

      Uh huh. The US forced sweet, innocent Russia into invading their neighbor. Everything that has happened since is due entirely to the US’s diabolical manipulation; said manipulation being accomplished by a bunch of geriatrics with Alzheimer’s.

      A friendly head’s up: you might want to review what you’re about to post for internal inconsistencies before you actually submit what you’ve written. Or not; at least your reasoning is providing entertainment this way.

  14. Oleksandr

    May 8, 2022 at 4:46 am

    Thank you for the analysis, Daniel! As a Ukrainian, I totally get your point.

    Also, you are absolutely right that “this conclusion is one that is much easier for me to reach than any leader or citizen in Ukraine.” Everybody I talk to in Ukraine does not want the compromise peace deal. People respond with “What were these deaths and destruction for? What were Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka, Mariupol, Kharkiv for?” People’s hearts are filled with hatred and desire for revenge. I’m glad you address that in your analysis. Thank you.

    Hence, the people of Ukraine would not support any political decisions leading to some sort of compromise deal. At least in the nearest future.

    I guess it’s that ancient fight between rational (objective chances of military success) and irrational (hatred and revenge).

  15. aldol11

    May 8, 2022 at 6:09 am

    Although it is certainly true that an assault on the Russians would require an extraordinary effort from the UAF, the author discount the ineptness of the Russian army and the radar guided counter-battery m777’s which will make mincemeat of Russian artillery.

  16. Alex

    May 8, 2022 at 10:45 am

    German journalist Thomas Röper continues to publish his materials with photo and video evidence. The lies of the Bandera Nazis stop working, the CIA specialists cannot even help.

    “When we crossed the border, the Ukrainian border post was pretty much destroyed, but that’s all. There were several cars on the side of the road then, which, as our companion told us, were hastily moved across the road by the Ukrainian army to block the road. But tanks cannot be stopped by several cars .

    In addition, we did not see any damage, except for some damaged safety fences. The Russian army passed there without meeting any resistance, and in all the places where we passed, everything was intact, not a single window was broken. Life also went on as usual, shops and gas stations were open, cars were driving, people were on the streets, and so on. If someone did not know, nothing would indicate that an army had just passed through here.

    Experienced fellow journalists, such as a Dutch journalist with experience in Syria, found this very impressive. She told us that she knows her differently than she knows Syria because when the US Army advances, helicopters fly forward, shooting at anything that moves to prevent ambushes. She told me that even if no civilians were harmed, the devastation where the US Army had advanced was significant.

    This was confirmed by an American among journalists, a former US Marine. By the way, he has an interesting story, because he has been living in Russia for six years and received political asylum because he asked too many critical questions in the United States on a sensitive topic. In the USA, of course, they tell it differently, but that’s another topic.

    What also stood out was the poverty in Ukraine. For those who, like me, still know Russia from the 1990s, there was a feeling that they had traveled back in time to the 90s. Today Russia is a clean country with modern cities where entire districts have been rebuilt. I have linked a video that makes this clear.

    Ukraine still looks the same as the then Russia. Broken roads, dilapidated bus stops, dilapidated, dilapidated houses, a lot of old Soviet cars and so on. Even the joyless clothes of people reminds of the 90s in Russia. It touched me very much because it brought back some memories of that time and the problems of my friends at that time. But this can only be understood by those who have experienced it for themselves.

    I expected that the opponents of the Russian military operation would not talk to us, because they should be afraid of Russian soldiers. However, everything was exactly the opposite. The opponents told the Russian soldiers to their faces that they were not welcome here and that they should go home. They are clearly not at all afraid of Russian soldiers and call them names, sometimes harshly, to which Russian soldiers stoically do not react.

    Those who are afraid, we all quickly noticed, are the supporters of the Russian operation. They walked past the soldiers and unobtrusively whispered words of gratitude and something like “finally!” or “Don’t go again!” them.

    Disgruntled people also grabbed every microphone and stood in front of every camera, expressing their displeasure, while the supporters of the operation were difficult to film and interview the supporters of the operation. One of the few exceptions was an elderly woman who said she was 72 and not afraid. She almost cried with joy in front of the camera and thanked Russia.

    The fear, as I learned from whispering conversations with some of the stakeholders, is that Russia might leave again, and then they will have to expect reprisals and even worse consequences for their propaganda of Russian intervention, as they did after the Maidan. The most famous, but far from the only case was the Odessa tragedy in May 2014, when more than 40 people were burned alive in Odessa by Maidan supporters. This massacre is cynically called “Odessa barbecue” by nationalists in Ukraine and has not yet been disclosed.

    In general, the life of opponents of the authorities in Ukraine after the Maidan was not safe, political assassinations were not uncommon, and the UNHCR also mentioned this more than once in its human rights reports on Ukraine. But it is one thing to know this and read about it, and quite another when you experience this fear so tangibly. Fear was also manifested in the fact that many did not even want to be seen in the background of the picture. Most of them avoided the cameras and always walked behind the cameramen so as not to get into the frame.

    And something else was said in the reaction of people. Due to the fact that we were under the protection of Russian soldiers, people might think that we were pro-Russian. But when they heard that we were from the West, many refused to talk to us at all. Many would probably talk to the Russian media, but almost no one wanted to be in front of a Dutch, Italian or even American camera.

    Один из согласившихся настоял на том, чтобы интервью давали на английском, а не на русском, потому что боялся, что западные СМИ исказят его слова. Это был опыт, которого я не ожидал в Украине. Затем он положительно отозвался о российской военной операции.

    Where we were, life basically went on as usual. What shocked me was the fear of the people who support the Russian side. Seeing this, this anxiety of the people, it was depressing. I was also surprised by the visible poverty in Ukraine. I didn’t expect to see it so clearly. The infrastructure is still from the Soviet Union and since then little has been done, much has fallen into disrepair, especially empty factories and really bad roads stand out.

    I was pleased with the man’s answer to the question of who is more Russian or Ukrainian in the city. His answer was:

    “We don’t make any difference! Besides, so many nations live here; Armenians, Georgians, Greeks, we are all one family!”

    That’s what I wish for Ukraine to return to this: to be one big family, because it was this Maidan government that they wanted to expel from Ukraine, relying on radical nationalism.

    The Ukrainians will be able to defeat the Bandera Nazis in the same way as their ancestors once did.”

    • Exnavynuke

      May 8, 2022 at 9:10 pm

      Oh look, Alex trots out this war’s Tokyo Rose!

  17. Vladolph Putler

    May 8, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    Yup, Ukrainians defeating the Nazis again. This time they speak Russian.

    Путин хуйло! 😀

  18. CK

    May 10, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Wonder what happened to our old Alex?

    Do you think he grew some balls and quit, got conscripted, or finally walked in on Sveta?

    Let me hear your bets!

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