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Russia’s Brutal War in the Donbas Proves Ukraine Can’t Win

Artillery
Artillery at war. Image Credit: Swedish Military.

Methodical and Relentless: Russia’s war Donbas likely to continue through the summer – The General Staff of the Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) on Monday confirmed that President Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops have withdrawn from Lysychansk. In the face of Russia’s superiority “in artillery, aviation, MLRS, ammunition, and personnel,” the General Staff reported, “the continuation of the defense of the city would lead to fatal consequences.” The UAF, the General Staff spokesperson continued, would nevertheless “be back and we will definitely win!”

They are almost certainly wrong, however, and it is time to face an increasingly unavoidable reality: In all likelihood, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will continue to suffer loss after loss, surrendering more territory to the Russians. If Kyiv and the West continue ignoring combat reality long enough, Ukraine may suffer an outright military defeat. Based on the public statements by senior Kyiv and Washington leaders, however, one might be forgiven for thinking Ukraine was actually winning.

U.S. retired general Ben Hodges said in late June that he is “convinced that the Ukrainian army will be able to push the Russians back to their Feb. 24 positions by the end of this year.” Last Friday, Zelensky reiterated Ukrainian Armed Forces would continue fighting, saying that step by step, “we will drive [Russia] out of our sea, our land, and our sky.”

But that is almost the opposite of what is actually happening on the battlefield.

Despite what the Ukrainian president and American general say, there is no valid military basis on which to support the hope that Ukraine will win its war. Consider the situation that has unfolded in the eastern part of the country.

As I outlined in detail at the outset of the Battle of Donbas in mid-April, Russia started with substantial advantages in manpower, tanks, personnel carriers, artillery, rockets, and combat aviation. Russia has exploited its advantages over the past two-plus months grinding down the Ukrainian defenders. Many in the west routinely describe Russia’s progress as “tiny advances” and “plodding,” but when viewed over time, the more accurate terms should be: methodical and relentless.

Ukraine War

Now a 1945 Contributing Editor, Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and regular guest on various news programs to discuss the war in Ukraine. Here is Davis breaking down the latest for Fox News.

Since April, Russia has captured major towns and cities such as Izyum, Rubizhne, Kreminna, Poposna, Zolotoe, Severodonetsk, and as of Sunday, Lysychansk.

In some ways, however, the biggest setback for Ukraine hasn’t been the loss of territory so much as the loss of its best-trained and experienced troops. Russia has been imposing up to 1,000 total Ukrainian casualties per day in the Donbas. Reports suggest that Ukrainian troops evacuated Severodonetsk and Lysychansk by rubber boats. Because the Ukrainian General Staff waited too late to order the evacuation, their forces left without their equipment, abandoning large quantities of tanks, personnel carriers, and most critically, artillery pieces.

The sum total of all heavy weapons delivered or promised by the West to Ukraine has been only a small percentage of what’s actually needed but will not likely be enough to offset the substantial losses Ukraine suffered in its recent defeats, much less enable a counteroffensive in mere weeks from now. A senior Ukrainian military official admitted that even before the twin defeats in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the UAF had lost approximately 50% of its pre-war stocks of heavy weapons. Even the arrival of a few modern Western rocket launchers will not come close to replacing these losses.

Russia, meanwhile, also suffers losses in the Donbas fight, but likely at a lower rate for two key reasons. First, they learned from their initial debacles of the invasion in February in which they made large scale advances with armor that were not adequately supported. Now, Russia prioritizes heavy bombardment, rockets, and air strikes and only brings in ground forces to fight Ukrainian troops when Russian commanders believe their enemy has been sufficiently ground down.

Second, Russia enjoys at least a 10 to 1 advantage in artillery and rocket ammunition – and a dramatic advantage in air sorties over the Donbas – and the Kremlin’s troops are able to hit the Ukrainian troops with a far greater density of bombs. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the “artillery war in Ukraine’s east is seemingly never-ending,” noting that “the shelling is constant — wounding and killing and driving those soldiers cowering in trenches and foxholes slowly insane.”

These Russian advantages have proven decisive in allowing Putin’s forces to capture large swaths of Ukrainian territory in the Donbas. It is important to acknowledge, however, that these advantages still exist. The Slavyansk/Kramatorsk grouping of Ukrainian troops appears to be next in the Russian firing line, as both are already being relentlessly shelled. Military fundamentals imply strongly that Russian troops will continue their methodical drive west.

The idea that by next month the UAF could both halt Moscow’s offensive and then launch its own counteroffensive has no realistic basis. It is therefore time to consider the unthinkable: Ukraine may not be able to stop the Russian offensive and could lose the war.

Overwhelming numbers of Ukrainian citizens tell pollsters they do not want Zelensky to trade territory for peace. That sentiment is certainly understandable; any people who were the victims of unprovoked invasion would detest the idea of surrendering any of their land to the aggressor. But the leadership in Kyiv and its Western backers must now face the sobering realities that diplomacy and a negotiated settlement may be the only way to prevent even more Ukrainian territory from falling to Russia.

Today Kyiv still controls Kharkiv, Odessa, and still large portions of the Donetsk region. If the fighting continues, however, it is possible that by the end of the summer, some or all of those territories could fall to Russia. As anguishing as it may be for Kyiv to negotiate with Russia from its current disadvantaged position, it could well prove to be the best chance Ukraine has to maintain control over the majority of its territory over the long term.

No one but the Ukrainian people and government can make such a choice, but the harsh reality is that the more the UAF keeps fighting, the more likely it is that Russia expands its territorial control.

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 @DanielLDavis

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.

60 Comments

60 Comments

  1. aldol11

    July 5, 2022 at 11:17 am

    crock of *hit

    • Joe Tierney

      July 5, 2022 at 12:27 pm

      In denial, much?

      • Hascold The Lukewarm

        July 6, 2022 at 7:10 am

        With around 20 large ammo depots blewn up in past days, Russia is about to run out of shells. Shelling is only thing they do on land.

        The article is worth 15 roubles.

    • Ivan Yerginoff

      July 5, 2022 at 1:14 pm

      100% They might have taken some of Donbas, but that doesn’t mean The War is over for Ukraine. Quite The Opposite. Bidet has increased The Aid Packages Signifcantly. The European NATO Countries are also stepping up crucial deliveries of NATO Artillery Systems.

    • Bruce W. Cobb

      July 8, 2022 at 12:17 pm

      I respect LTC Davis’ opinion. He makes a lot of good points but I still disagree with his conclusion. First, while I agree that Russia has a great advantage in material to include munitions, why are Russian troops using handheld rocket launchers manufactured in 1989? What’s next, any WWII munitions? Zelensky should call for a million plus Ukrainians to join the Territorial Defense Forces. We can get them armed to start an insurgency, find gaps in the Russian lines and penetrate them to destroy as much Russian troops and material as possible.

    • rosemerry

      July 15, 2022 at 2:34 am

      “No one but the Ukrainian people and government can make such a choice” You pretend that they are in charge, and not the USA∕UK,NATO?????? Ze is a free agent, truthful and realistic???

  2. abraham lincoln

    July 5, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    So, Daniel Davis was “Alex” all along.

    • Ivan Yerginoff

      July 5, 2022 at 1:19 pm

      It sure reads like that!

    • Eric

      July 19, 2022 at 5:13 pm

      LOL now it makes sense.

  3. Terry

    July 5, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    Ka-ching! Made his rubles for the day.

  4. Scott Slotterbeck

    July 5, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    So Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania should just surrender now.

    Just give Putin the old Soviet empire back, and I’m sure he’ll stop.

    The bottom line is, Putin will not stop until we force him to. We must give Ukraine an air force, and more equipment. They need to regroup and make Russia pay dearly for every inch of soil. This throwback to Stalin must not be allowed to continue. Stop buying anything from Russia. Or China. Especially from China.

    If you don’t think those two countries are not acting in concert, you’re not paying attention.

    • Jim

      July 5, 2022 at 1:00 pm

      “So […], Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania should just surrender now.”

      No.

      But unrealistic assessments of events in Ukraine could result in the loss of further Ukrainian territory.

      Ukrainians have a choice: sue for peace, now. and make the best of it or lose more and more territory, men, and material.

      Save Odessa now and preserve access to the Black Sea.

      Obstinate refusal could leave Ukraine a rump state.

      Is that success?

      • The dude

        July 5, 2022 at 5:13 pm

        What makes you think Putin will stop after agreeing to his (ridiculous) terms?

        He is as untrustworthy as they get… Waste of time. Reading Alex’s essay is a waste of time as well…

        • Jim

          July 5, 2022 at 10:04 pm

          Because Putin isn’t winning easily, Odessa may be a bridge too far, Russia currently doesn’t have troops in Ukraine sufficient to hold half the country (logistics stretched), let alone attack other countries or even western Ukraine.

          The Russians aren’t 10 feet tall, but they are beating Ukraine’s army.

          The dude, do you want to see Ukrainians die like cannon fodder, because that’s happening now.

          But pushed by “pound sand” diplomacy (hurling insults from the ramparts), who knows what will happen.

          Putting one’s head in the proverbial sand doesn’t help either.

        • Ingamarie

          July 17, 2022 at 6:33 pm

          I’m a bit shocked to see how many commentators know more than the retired general…..and urge the Ukrainians to fight on….even in the face of defeat.

          Must be great to know from the safe fortress of America what the world needs to do….but living in a small country like Canada, i can just imagine the patriotism of resisting American military might, should the U.S. of A. decide we owed it something.

          Even if Russia or China agreed to give us a financial hand.

    • Tianzuo Gai

      July 5, 2022 at 1:18 pm

      If that’s what you want, you’ll pay for it. The United States always thinks it will win. Why is it so sure? In fact, the United States will also fail. It has failed at home, and then it will fail abroad. You need to prepare for failure.

      • Steven

        July 5, 2022 at 7:22 pm

        Agreed.

    • Frank Blangeard

      July 6, 2022 at 10:09 am

      The United States is still buying uranium from Russia to run the many reactors that still produce electricity for the U.S. Uranium was specifically excluded from the sanctions for that reason.

    • James

      July 8, 2022 at 9:24 pm

      “Stop buying anything from…China. Especially from China.”

      To which I can only say…LOL!!!

  5. Fred

    July 5, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    A sobering assessment. However, in many a conflict over the years, history has seen many, many similar assessments proven to be, ultimately, wrong. I very much hope that you are wrong.

    There’s much more some European countries could do in terms of ‘lethal aid’ (Germany, I’m looking at you), and they should.

    Personally, and on a different tack… Younger generations may be rattled by Mad Dogs threats of nuclear armageddon. But, for those of us of a certain age, it’s nothing new

    I think that it’s high time NATO countries put to bed the hysteria about MAD and grew a proverbial pair.

    • Ivan Yerginoff

      July 5, 2022 at 1:18 pm

      It’s unfortunate that The US and NATO didn’t have The Foresight to arm Ukraine “To The Teeth” with Modern Armor and Artillery. Putin would have thought Twice about invading. After 2014, even Hellen Keller would have seen this coming.
      If POTUS Trump was in The WH, Putin wouldn’t have tried this. The only thing I fault Trump for was not secretly arming The Ukrainians.

      • Joey

        July 6, 2022 at 4:07 pm

        We did arm/train Ukraine for almost 8 years. The Ukrainians prepared for war for 8 years by fortifying the Donbas. This is why it hasn’t been a walk in the park for the Russian military. Russia’s justification for this war is precisely our involvement in Ukraine in the first place. What would be the United States’ reaction if Russia was arming/training anti-American militants in Mexico with heavy weaponry? I’m sorry. American foreign policy has been incoherent for 20 years. One policy disaster after another.

      • Eric

        July 19, 2022 at 5:23 pm

        Trump instructed his administration to withhold military aid for Ukraine. Trump didn’t care about Ukraine, he cared about getting dirt on his political rivals.

        “Trump instructed administration to withhold military aid for Ukraine days before call with president: report
        BY ZACK BUDRYK – 09/23/19 10:41 PM ET
        The Hill”

  6. Joe Tierney

    July 5, 2022 at 12:36 pm

    Sad reality – Ukraine is actually in a no-win situation. As the author notes, Ukraine is in a very weak bargaining position – so why should Russia want to negotiate now – unless Ukraine’s people and leaders are willing to give Russia all it wants – total control of the entire country.

    So the war will continue until Russia gets all it’s after, and Ukraine will cease to exist as a free country.

    This was all so unnecessary – NATO and the US refused to even consider halting expansion eastward, and Russia’s legitimate interests have been totally and stupidly ignored. The architects of the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal are now architecting a catastrophe of far greater global proportions and sealing the ignoble fate of the Western-dominated world order.

    Jackasses!

    • PulSe

      July 5, 2022 at 2:39 pm

      Slava Ukraini!
      Putin’s Russia is a cancer upon the earth and any of Putin’s apologists are also a cancer upon the earth.

    • Steven

      July 5, 2022 at 7:24 pm

      Not Jackasses. They are called Democrats here.

  7. TG

    July 5, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Difficult to say what’s going on. Are the Russians on the verge of breaking the Ukrainian army through a grinding war of attrition? Or perhaps, the Russians are exhausting themselves while Ukraine raises and trains and equips a fresh army of over a million men in the west, which they can throw at the Russians in just a few months time? We’ll see, sooner or later.

    But here’s another thought: the western elites that (my guess) control the Ukraine, could care less about the Ukrainians ‘winning.’ The object of the Ukrainian military strategy is to bleed the Russians. It doesn’t matter how many Ukrainians die, it doesn’t matter if the Ukraine is reduced to a bombed out wasteland, it doesn’t matter if the Ukraine can or can not regain lost territory, just bleed the Russians of men and material and resources. By that metric, the Ukrainians would indeed seem to be ‘winning,’ and calls for Ukraine to stay the course, completely on-strategy.

  8. cobo

    July 5, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    “If Kyiv and the West continue ignoring combat reality long enough… *NATO* …may suffer an outright military defeat.” And then NATO no longer has a reason to exist, and it needs to give back all the money pledged to it by the American taxpayer – all talk no walk.

    • Steven

      July 5, 2022 at 7:25 pm

      The American working class, as always, gets screwed.

  9. David Chang

    July 5, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Stanford Professor Pamela S. Karlan make a wrong statement since beginning.

    NATO have to do the job for justice and peace.

    God bless people in the world.

  10. Stefan Stackhouse

    July 5, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    It is pointless to talk about Ukraine “winning” until they first succeed in stopping the Russians. This they have not yet done in the Donbas (although they apparently have in the north and south, at least for now). With additional depletion of Russian ordnance and troops, and additional shipments of weaponry from the US and NATO, there is hope that the Ukrainians could still stop the Russian advance entirely and stabilize the line. I suspect that this will happen, but not for a while.

    Rolling the Russians back to the border for an unambiguous “win” is an altogether different proposition. I doubt that the US and its allies have the industrial capacity to produce weaponry at the scale that would be required for this to happen. I am also doubtful that they are willing to be THAT generous (it would cost an unimaginable fortune). There is also the big question: how far can the Ukrainians push back the Russians without Putin feeling that he is backed into a corner, and the threatened nukes start to fly?

    I know that the Ukrainians want that unambiguous win, and to rid their land entirely of the Russians. I wish it could be, too. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a realistic way to make it happen – unless there is some sort of unforeseen massive collapse of the Russian military, economy, society, and government. That could happen, I suppose, but I am doubtful that anyone on our side of the border can make it happen.

  11. Ghost of Kyiv

    July 5, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    How many LTC that weren’t promoted are now seconding guessing real soldiers?

  12. Neil Ross Hutchings

    July 5, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    It is clear to me that Putin will only stop when either his military can no longer be adequately supplied, and/or when his forces reach an easily defensible position or when he is faced with the threat of direct conflict with NATO forces. No accurate data on the first point exists in the West, and statements in the MSM about Russia reaching that point soon are based solely on speculation. On the second point, I do not know military strategy or the terrain of Ukraine that well, but the Dneiper or Psil river basins seemed like obvious defensible positions when this conflict first started.

    As for NATO, Biden gave the green light to Putin to invade by stating that they would not get directly involved. NATO positioning may change if Odessa is directly threatened with Russian occupation. Strategically, NATO may not want to concede that much of the Black Sea coast to Russia or let this conflict spread to Moldova or the Transnistria. I suspect the bulk of donated high tech military equipment will make it to that region to prevent it from happening. Whereas Eastern Ukraine has little strategic importance to NATO or the U.S.

    The possibility that Ukraine might be able to mount a counter-offensive and drive Russian forces from it’s territory seems like pure wishful thinking from what limited reading I have done. Mr. Davis is correct, negotiation is the only logical option for Kyiv at this point. I believe this was always the preferred option for Zelensky, prior to the Blinken visit, but it likely will remain off the table for many months to come, or until Putin himself offers the first olive branch.

  13. Dan Farrand

    July 5, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    “any people who were the victims of unprovoked invasion would detest the idea of surrendering any of their land to the aggressor”

    To make effective decisions, it’s important to first make objective observations about reality.

    The people of Ukraine, have been at war with their own people since 2014. After the coup in 2014, the first thing the US did was pay off the Nazi’s elements who provided the muscle for the coup by giving them important posts in government: Defense, Internal Security, Dept of Justice.

    One of the first legislative efforts was to create a holiday for Stephan Banderas (Ukraines proto Nazi from WWII) and ban Russian as an official language (the native language of 48% of the people living in Ukraine). Sparking the start of the Civil war.

    US efforts continued to bring Ukraine into Nato – a clearly articulated Red line for Russia – meaning a provocation. For 8 years as the Civil war rage, Nato has increasingly trained and supported the AFU.

    There is some evidence that the AFU was planning an attack on Donbass but were prempted by the Russian attack. Who knows if we will ever be allowed to know the truth of that.

    So, if Ukraine hopes to salvage anything, they must first recognize their own role in the disaster, repent of their sins and accept the consequences of years of bad choices.

    Ditto for the foolish people of Finland – who traded a hard one (by their more grounded fathers) – well tested and effective neutrality with their larger neighbor for perpetual hostility. And all for a moment of virtue signaling.

    • Eric

      July 19, 2022 at 5:19 pm

      Russia fomented and supported a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine since 2014. None of this would have happened but for Russia’s meddling and active involvement. It was not a civil war, it was a proxy war.

  14. Tobias Kiuntke

    July 5, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    I’m not claiming to be an expert or clairvoyant but, while negotiations do seem like a reasonable assessment at this time as the correlation of forces overwhelmingly favors Russia, I believe this way of thinking is only a short term solution that addresses the current situation. Maybe that’s acceptable in some peoples minds and that’s fine, but let me point out…

    What it doesn’t do is address the next time Russia wants to expand, annex etc. from another sovereign (for whatever reason) and that’s what will happen. Considering only the last 20 or 30 years it’s not going very far out on a limb to predict that it will happen again.

    • exordis

      July 6, 2022 at 12:13 am

      Given the blockade of embargoed goods from Russia through Belarus to Kaliningrad by the Lithuanians, the Russians’ next move will probably be against the Baltic States and possibly Poland as well to gain control of the Suwalki Gap, thereby gaining a land bridge to Kaliningrad.

  15. W

    July 5, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

  16. W

    July 5, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    There is no negotiating possible here, nothing to gain.

  17. Goran

    July 5, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Davis is perplexed by the notion that some people would rather die than accept subjugation, and the rest of us are perplexed with someone having that point of view, managing to climb the military ranks of any armed forces.

  18. Hungarian American Television

    July 5, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Can you All please look up when and how Crimea became part of Ukraine?
    https://english.pravda.ru/history/107129-ussr_crimea_ukraine/
    (Many other documents are available on line, yet our media never mentions them)
    Why have thousands of people died and continue to die for the US and the West inexplicably siding with and supporting a Communist Dictator’s flight of fancy?

  19. pagar

    July 5, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Not so fast ! NATO already has on standby 300,000 well-fed and well-armed troops ready to march into Ukraine for battle.

    Joe Biden will be salivating at the thought of 300,000 robocop buggers slamming straight into Russian forces in Ukraine with an almighty gungho charge.

    Armageddon is coming. Thanks, Joe ! Keep your larders stocked up.

  20. Collect your rubles, Davis

    July 5, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    Davis sounds like a broken record…how many articles pushing the same theme does he think his propaganda needs to be believable?

  21. Slack

    July 5, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    US and NATO will attack Russia by late summer 2022.

    Genius Biden reckons Putin will be too weak and impotent to fight back.

    WW3 will break out in Europe mainly due to Joe’s brilliance coupled with the arse-licking stance of eu partners or lackeys.

    Everyone will soon put aside the hundreds of mass shootings in the US that have occurred under Biden.How clever of Joe.

  22. monkfelonious

    July 5, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    BOOKMARKED. This will be a nose-rub in the future.

  23. Tim Tuttle

    July 5, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    It’s bizarre how propaganda is being used by our government and the Ukrainians in terms of how this war is going. We are supposed to be a western democracy that doesn’t lie to its own people. Not anymore.

  24. CRS, DrPH

    July 6, 2022 at 1:49 am

    Explain this away, Boris! “VLADIMIR Putin’s bid for total control of the Donetsk Oblast has been rocked after Ukrainian troops used US rockets to blow up a Russian ammunition depot.” Great videos online! I wonder how many Russian (and Chechen) soldiers got burned to death?

  25. mortenhj

    July 6, 2022 at 3:17 am

    Only way to stop Putin grinding his way all through the entire Ukraine is that US or Nato sets up a “red line” somewhere on the Ukraine map, and thereby protects the rest of Ukraine as souvereign state.

    • Publius

      July 6, 2022 at 9:53 pm

      Ukrainians themselves set some red lines at Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv – early in the war. The lines in Donbass are not holding. War is unpredictable. Ukraine managed to do a lot with old obsolete equipment and before they had the chance to mobilize, receive Western arms, and train.

      From what we see a lot of Ukrainian and Russian equipment is obsolete. Russians cannot update and upgrade, but Ukrainians are doing exactly that as we speak.

  26. David Chang

    July 6, 2022 at 5:18 am

    Only NATO trust God and abandon socialism forever, we could stop Russia to establish Europe socialism federation.

    President of France shall do it right, if he believe France under God.

    God bless people in the world.

    • Eric

      July 19, 2022 at 5:16 pm

      LOL David Chang thinks God takes sides in human wars.
      Enjoy your delusion David.
      “God’s a kid with an ant farm.”

  27. Kafantaris George

    July 6, 2022 at 6:12 am

    Not only can Ukraine win, but it must win. Folks at NATO and the West had better get it through their heads that Ukraine is where we stop Russia — and that the time to do it is now. No two ways about it either.

  28. Sam B

    July 6, 2022 at 8:37 am

    What looked like plodding progress at the start of phase 2 was actually a well planned fire sack, which drew in the Ukrainian troops who were then annihilated by rocketry and artillery.

    Now Russia can proceed to take the rest of Donbas, because the Ukrainian forces are quite degraded, have limited mobility, and few reinforcements.

    You ignore how Phase 1 was dedicated to establishing a landbridge from Crimea, and crushing Azov in Mariupol. The armored columns near Kiev and Kharkov were first and foremost fixing operations and feints. Russia probably hoped that they would scare Zelensky to capitulate. But that didn’t happen so they withdrew with the main task accomplished. They did take some losses, but those did not amount to any “defeat.”

    Ukraine will lose this war. Russia will take Donbas, Kharkov, Odessa, and maybe more.

    The sanctions policies of the west are only hurting their own people, and will cause political backlash.

    Like WW1, this was a war that western elites wanted. And they will regret it too.

  29. Stefan Stackhouse

    July 6, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    That was a hell of a “feint” – and pretty costly, too. When the Allies did a feint with Patton’s phony army ahead of D-Day, they had Hollywood create tank-shaped balloons for them.

  30. Stan G

    August 24, 2022 at 11:36 am

    Most of the commentators here rely on cnn in getting the Ukraine war news. I am sorry to tell you that there is about 10-15% truth in cnn reported news. I can read English, Russian and Ukrainian. And I read all kinds of news in all three languages.
    The truth is that Ukraine loses its territory every day. Yes, slowly but surely. They do not target civilians in the Ukraine’s controlled territory. Despite all you hear from cnn. That is why they advance slowly. The west gives Ukraine more and more new weapons. And all that doesn’t help. Ukrainian military even sell some of them to Russia. The latest incident was with the French Caesar self-propelled howitzer. Ukrainians sold it for $100,000. It went straight to UralVagonZavod, one of the major tank producer in Russia. Some of you keep saying about corruption in Russia but Ukraine is the most corrupted country in Europe and a totally failed state that managed to lure itself into this war by its western curators.

  31. Arthur Wellsley

    September 10, 2022 at 2:20 pm

    As at 10th September 2022 with Ukraine benefitting from the Western arms shipments and driving deep into RU stolen territory is article has aged extremely badly. As at 15th September 2022 the author’s prediction seems utterly mistaken. The Ukrainian army now seems to be using its mobility in attack to drive the invading Russians back to the pre 2014 borders in the East. The question now is can they repeat the trick around Kershon and drive Russia out of the Crimea?

  32. Gary R Bradski

    September 10, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    This article is aging like a Russian tank team, 30 miles West of Izium, in the hot sun, after sustaining a direct hit 3 days ago.

    Sons of Ukraine!

    Of Izuim!

    My brothers.

    I see in your eyes the same fire that would take the heart of Putin.

    A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of democracy, but it is not this day.

    An hour of fascists and MAGA shills when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day!
    This day we fight!

    By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!

  33. Anon

    September 11, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    Bet you feel pretty stupid now bro.

  34. Simon

    September 11, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    I think you should fire writers whose predictions are less accurate than one taken at random from twitter or 4chan.

  35. Altex

    September 19, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Oops. Wrong much? Funny thing is that it’s obvious to anyone with basic competence about warfare and rudimentary knowledge of history and economy that Russia cannot win. A country with over 150M people largely living in poverty with a tiny economy smaller than Italy (with almost 3 times the population and none of the beauty and riches), with insignificant industrial production (they import almost everything), an antiquated defense industry, obsolete army, deeply corrupt and authoritarian government cannot possibly match US and European technology and money. They can fund the entire Russian military spending (8% of US spending) in a single day without blinking. Only an incompetent or a sell-out would claim the opposite.

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