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With All Due Respect to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, We Will Not ‘Shut Up’

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba recently delivered an unusually blunt criticism of Western analysts. Those who have argued Ukraine’s summer offensive has been “too slow,” the foreign minister exclaimed, should “shut up.” While Kuleba’s agitation is entirely understandable, the U.S. Administration has an obligation to unemotionally view the war as it genuinely is, not as we would wish it to be, and make decisions based on U.S. interests—which are not always identical with Ukraine’s interests.

Ukraine Drone Attack. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Ukraine Drone Attack

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba recently delivered an unusually blunt criticism of Western analysts. Those who have argued Ukraine’s summer offensive has been “too slow,” the foreign minister exclaimed, should “shut up.” While Kuleba’s agitation is entirely understandable, the U.S. Administration has an obligation to unemotionally view the war as it genuinely is, not as we would wish it to be, and make decisions based on U.S. interests—which are not always identical with Ukraine’s interests.

Situation Assessment

The hard truth is that a sober analysis of both Ukraine’s three-month summer offensive and an assessment of the war overall leads to the conclusion not simply that the offensive is going “too slow” but that it appears unlikely to succeed. Arguably, it won’t matter how much time Kyiv is given, how many weapons it is provided, and how much ammunition the West delivers: completely evicting Russia from the territory it illegally seized appears to be a militarily unattainable aspiration.

To reiterate, whether one considers Kuleba’s emphatic arguments, Zelensky’s emotional appeals, or commanding general Valerii Zaluzhni’s persistence, it is imminently understandable why Ukrainians wish to militarily eject the invader from the east. There is therefore no condemnation of Kuleba, even when he accuses analysts of “spitting in the faces” of his troops. 

Looking Ahead

Washington should instead look beyond the emotional statements and examine the combat realities currently at play, basing its policies on ensuring America’s national security interests and economic welfare. Our current policy of giving Ukraine what it wants “for as long as it takes” does neither.

Without a change in policy, Washington’s approach is poised to condemn tens of thousands of additional Ukrainians to unnecessary deaths and reduce more Ukrainian territory to dust.

Russia initially captured about 22 percent of all Ukrainian territory in the first few weeks of the war. In a masterfully conducted surprise offensive in the fall of 2022, Ukraine wrested back a large swath of that land, leaving Russia occupying an estimated 17 percent of the country. But after a full year and a half of war and the expense of a six-month-in-the-making offensive, Russia still controls about 17 percent of Ukraine. 

More critically, Ukraine has lost a conservatively estimated 200,000 soldiers killed and wounded, including tens of thousands who have had limbs blown off and an unknown – but likely massive – number of troops with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Continuing the war isn’t merely a matter of sending yet more cash to Kyiv and another batch of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and Howitzers. Without trained and experienced troops, no amount of equipment and supplies will turn the tide.

Many in Washington, it must be admitted, are happy to listen to Kuleba and Zelensky, providing a never-ending flow of weapons and ammunition – irrespective of how many Ukrainian men die in the continued attempt to win the war – because doing so “harms” Russia. If Ukrainians want to keep fighting, the thought goes, who are we to deny them the means? 

Moral Component

There is certainly a moral component to the question of supporting a war that almost certainly cannot be won. It is troubling to know there are some in the West who remain content knowing thousands of someone else’s sons and daughters will be sacrificed in the vague hope of weakening Russia. There are also practical reasons the United States should change course and adopt a new reality-based policy.

After the first 18 months of this war, the U.S. has contributed over two million artillery shells, thousands of tanks and other armored vehicles, and tens of thousands of anti-air and anti-tank missiles. Whatever slack there was in our inventories has long since evaporated. Though we have started the process of expanding our industrial capacity to produce more arms and weapons, it will be years before we catch up to demand. The fact is, we will have to diminish our own military capacity to provide Ukraine with what it needs, harming our own national security.

Second, the longer the war goes on, the longer the risk of unintended consequences remains viable, such as one side or the other making a mistake, miscalculation, or simple error in judgment that expands the war.

It is known that Russia has been significantly harmed after a year and a half, suffering egregious levels of casualties and the destruction of tens of thousands of military vehicles and planes. Our security, therefore, will not be at risk in the least once this war is ended, by whatever means; if Russia could not bring to heel more than 17 percent of its neighbor, what possible argument can be made that a 31-member alliance with nuclear weapons couldn’t crush—or better yet, deter—any Russian attack?

We should not be afraid of criticism, even from our friends overseas, in accurately assessing our existing foreign policies. If a sober analysis reveals we have been pursuing outcomes that are not realistically attainable or beneficial to our national and economic security, it would be wise that we change course. 

Author Expertise and Biography

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.” 

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.



  1. Brett

    September 7, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    I’m surprised Daniel Davis wrote a 4th article – his normal modus operandi is to publish three articles in rapid succession wherein he tries to pretend he is providing an objective analysis instead of repeating Russian propaganda.

    As in all his articles, Davis is wrong and all of his conclusions are suspect. Washington analysts (among whom Davis wishes to pretend he is) certainly have a right and a responsibility to provide an analysis of the war. But ‘too slow’ is absolutely an unfair criticism. How fast is it SUPPOSED to be?

    Obviously there is no answer to that. Everybody in Ukraine would like it to be as fast as reasonably possible. Using more forces and more equipment could potentially speed things up, but that would increase the rate of loss which Davis is consistently insisting is too high to begin with.

    All of his arguments amount to a demand that Ukraine begin negotiations immediately. That was his demand in February 2022, that was his demand in August 2022, that was his demand in February 2023, and that has been his demand through August and into September 2023.

    The question, then, is “Is Ukraine in a better position NOW than they were THEN for negotiations?” Since the answer is clearly ‘yes’, and it does not appear that they are on a track to result in a worse position for negotiations, they should continue on in the manner they have been with broad support from the American people and our elected representatives.

    Russia can end this war at any time by withdrawing their forces from illegally occupied territory. The United States as a founding member of the United Nations and a participant in the Minsk Accords has a duty to help provide security to Ukraine.

    When Daniel Davis claims that our duty instead is to ignore every other nation and our national interest in maintaining strong bilateral relations with our trade/security partners it amounts to treason.

    Davis doesn’t need to ‘shut up’, but he’s wrong to call the Ukrainian advance ‘too slow’. What he OUGHT to do, though, is seriously reflect on his positions – if he’s been consistently wrong to this point, why should we believe he’s correct now?

    Clearly, we should not.

  2. ericji

    September 7, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    “All due respect”. Ha ha. Did Col Davis really write that? Inverted cliche.

  3. Brett

    September 7, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    In order to avoid an overly long response I wanted to call out two mischaracterizations that are emblematic of Davis’s dishonesty.

    First, he claims that Russia held 22% of Ukrainian territory and now holds 17%. Russia held 24.4% and now holds 16.5%. Ukraine has reclaimed 50% of the territory occupied by Russia since the invasion. Davis treats territory captured by Russia since February 2022 the same as territory occupied in 2014 to imply that Ukraine has been ineffective at ‘moving the front’. That is a mischaracterization of the highest order!

    And of course, the area that Russia is illegally occupying is larger than the area of some NATO countries! While NATO moves to PREVENT the seizure of ANY territory instead of a footing to RECLAIM conquered territory, dismissing that type of land-grab is callous to say the least. After what Russia did in Bucha and other occupied areas, nobody wants to see what Russian occupation for 6 months would look like.

    Davis also claims that ‘conservatively’ 200,000 Ukrainians have been killed and wounded. Where does that figure come from? U.S. estimates are that 70,000 Ukrainians have been killed and 100,000-120,000 have been wounded. I would hardly call that a ‘conservative estimate’. It’s also very misleading to treat killed and wounded the same. Many people who are wounded have returned to combat. By using the word conservatively he IMPLIES that the casualties are significantly higher and by lumping killed and wounded together he IMPLIES that that entire figure has been taken out of combat.

    Davis knows better. He is deliberately conflating the two numbers to support his desired narrative, not the truth. It’s important that people call him out on this.

  4. John

    September 7, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    No matter what the discussion, horrible Russian vs horrible Ukrainian losses, the war will continue with no end in sight. Ukraine will receive the weapons it should have received 12 months ago. Russias artillery will improve, so will its drone production.
    The West has failed to go into war production mode in its unwillingness to face reality.
    It needs to strengthen its nuclear deterrence. Nuclear JASSM-ER needed ASAP.

  5. El Steverino

    September 7, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    Moral component? Why should anyone consider the morality of fighting to the last Ukrainian to “weaken and degrade” (Lloyd Austin’s words) Russia’s military? These aren’t OUR boys dying over there! It’s brave, heroic Ukrainian boys and dastardly, cowardly Russians who are doing all the dying. Why would anyone want to stop that, particularly when there is so much money to be made by keeping it going?

    You’re whistling to the wind Lt. Col. Davis. This war is going to continue until the Russkies grind the Ukrainian population into dust. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is going to take a whole lot longer. The Ukrainians are having to resort to drafts, forbidding military age males from leaving their recruiting district, and giving the Army full discretion on how to get more troops. They’re giving the new “soldiers” three weeks of basic training and sending them into the meat grinder at the front.

    Don’t beliee me? Go look at the BBC’s report on the status of Ukraine’s grave yards, or the reports from Bahkmut where Ukrainian soldiers have said that the government’s plan seems to be to exterminate it’s own people.

    Morale component! HA! There’s gold in this here war!

  6. Duane

    September 7, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Could not agree more with this unemotional, logical analysis of where things stand in Ukraine. For all the Ukraine fanboys pounding the table for more US military aid to Ukraine, they conspicuously do not care about the massive human cost to Ukraine of continuing to fight an unwinnable war against Russia. Russia may look weak, but they are extremely far from quitting the field in the face of the Ukrainian summer offensive.

    Ukraine does not exist to be the stand-in for NATO in an effort to degrade Russia – not at an unsustainable cost of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian casualties, not to mention the horrible impacts on Ukrainian civilians caught in the war zone. Ignoring the human cost to Ukraine is immoral.

    This is not to say that Russia wins or should win. Maintain the damaging sanctions on Russia until they withdraw from Ukrainian soil. No more tacit acceptance of Russian conquest by NATO. The Russians must pay dearly.

    In the next 2 years the US and NATO have to dedicate our resources, and rebuild them, to dissuade any imperialism by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. We are now seriously depleted in military materiel, and that only heightens the risk that China will see western weakness as an invitation to attack their neighbors. That is what usually happens – bad guys don’t attack those whom they think can defeat them.

  7. Robert Shirey

    September 7, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    As usual, Col. Davis is right on the money, however, this will not stop his detractors from spewing ad hominem attacks. The proxy war fan boys need to step up and volunteer for the front lines !

  8. Jared S.

    September 7, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    Absolutely agree. Russia is an invader, but Ukraine should instead adjust its strategy instead of always whining about outside events. And the U.S., while an ally, should only help within reason.

  9. TheDon

    September 7, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    Sounds dismal.
    Anyway, Zelenski should be required to hold free elections for arms.
    Ukraine needs new strategy, as does US.
    Apparentlt, the only reporter with guts is Tucker Carlson.


  10. TheDon

    September 7, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    Soon we may be in WWIII.
    Time to start building and preparing storing fuel, and increasing troop levels.

  11. Simon Beerstecher

    September 7, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    Total denial of the battlefield facts.
    First and Second lines of defence penertrated.
    Russian arty being hammered and outfought.
    The whole mechanism of Russias defensive lines is creaking.
    Davies get a life and read the writing on the wall.Another push and the whole pack of cards is likely to fall.
    Russia just cannot compete with a revamped Western Military supply and manufacturing chain.
    End of.

  12. Gary D Jacobs

    September 7, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    LoL, Davis.

    Ukraine took it too far… but considering how stupidly Russia is fighting, and considering how much of a defeatist hack people like Davis are…Ukraine has a right to be upset.

    It’s true Ukraine is taking casualties. And everyone wishes there would be more progress by now.

    That said, the way Russia is fighting so stupidly ahead of its prepared defenses, and counter attacking everytime they lose a town like Robotyne…makes it far more advantageous for Ukraine to take its time decimating Russian troops and artillery.

    Ukraine didn’t just breach Russia’s first major defensive line on the heavily guarded approach to Tokmak, they also breached the second—and seemingly strongest—of the lines.

    What was once a slow, plodding advance picked up a great deal of steam, and made sudden rapid gains between lines 1&2.

    But if all goes well, things should slow down for a bit. And that’s not a typo—if things go well.

    We’ve seen this time and time again, where Russia would rather lose troops out in the open in vain attempts to regain lost territory than reinforce their defensive positions.

    This is Russian doctrine, maybe because it was easier for commanders to sacrifice lives in militarily futile gestures than it was to inform Stalin/Lenin/Putin and Daniel Davis that they had lost ground.

    In any case, we know Russia has moved reinforcements from both Kherson and Luhansk to try and stem the Ukrainian advance. In case anyone was wondering how they would use those troops, apparently it’s not to reinforce their defensive lines.

    Instead, they’re back to sending them out in the open to get shredded by Ukrainian artillery, drones, and dug in Ukrainians.

    These tactics have certainly managed to slow down Ukrainian advances, but at a stupid cost, thinning out their defenses behind these main lines and making Ukrainian victory ultimately more likely.

    There’s a reason Ukraine took two months to breach the first line, and only a week to breach the second line.

    It’s in Ukraine’s interest to simply sit pretty and let Russia come to them rather than trying to ferret them out of their defensive lines.

    Which brings us back to Davis and this comment by Ukraine. Davis has been wildly off base with 90% of what he has posted. And he isnt alone.

    The Russian Devil deserves its due by using a massive amount of mines, and making a NATO style advance near impossible for Ukraine. Especially without proper air support.

    Once Ukraine switched to attrition, and once it became clear how stupidly Russia would fight…the metrics for judging success should have changed.

    It’s like a boxer using body blows to wear down the opponent. It isnt as flashy as a knockout to the face…but it does the job.

    Case in point: Ukraine continues to shape the battlefield by eliminating the greatest danger to Ukrainian forces.

    It’s not mines, actually it’s artillery. And Ukraine’s claimed artillery kills this week have been downright gaudy.

    Last night Ukraine claimed to have destroyed 37 artillery guns and five MLRS rocket launchers.

    That means that over the past three days, Ukraine has claimed to have destroyed 111 artillery guns and 12 MLRS launchers.

    The reason minefields are so deadly is it allows Russia to funnel advancing Ukrainians into kill zones, narrow lanes where artillery can easily zero in and wipe out anything inside. That forces anyone advancing to hurry through lest they get caught in the barrage, and that haste often leads to the kinds of mistakes that get vehicles destroyed and people killed.

    Take out the artillery and Ukraine can advance with less resistance as combat engineers clear wide lanes with less fear of attack.

    The Ukrainian spearhead can occupy Russian trenches without facing relentless barrages. And Ukrainian artillery can operate more freely without fear of Russian counter battery fire. Though suicide drones are certainly an ongoing challenge. The Russian Lancet is actually pretty good for them

    Bottom line: the next month will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    Either way, Daniel Davis will be the last person I look to for an accurate assessment.

  13. NavyMike

    September 7, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    I knew that Davis’s usual observations about Ukrainian were behind the curve; but, imagine getting this upset about something that was said 7 weeks ago.

    Try to keep up, Davis!

    Do they actually pay him for this detritus?

  14. Sofronie the Monk

    September 7, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    Dear Dan,

    For Ukrainians it’s not about “weakening Russia”, but about their very survival as an independent country and people. This is why they are fighting and sacrificing themselves, this is why you don’t see Ukrainian soldiers deserting but Ukrainian civilians poisoning Russian soldiers and killing Ukrainian collaborators. So they couldn’t care less about the interests of some in the West as long as those interests lead to being helped in that struggle. If you’re drowning and someone pulls you out of the water, you really don’t care if they did it for the photo op or out of the kindness of their heart – you got to live. Likewise for the Ukrainians.

    PS I’m not saying you’re being paid for this, but if you are, I hope it’s in rubles. According to the propaganda, they’re worth their weight in diamonds these days.

    Tamerlane, Cheburator, Gordon, the floor’s yours. When’s NATO crumbling? This week or next?

  15. JR

    September 7, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    It’s naive to think that Russia would be pacified by abandoning Ukraine and that it wouldn’t embolden China.

    Tone deaf Daniel Davis thinks himself as an analyst when he completely presents as a propagandist.

  16. John Doggett

    September 7, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    Another FSB propaganda piece from the Putin shill, Daniel Davis. To give Davis’s Russian misinformation any consideration beyond an immediate dismissal is akin to swallowing an IQ lowering poison pill.

  17. Walker

    September 7, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    If showing you are morbidly stupid is important to you, by all means keep it up.

    There is not a single time that DD has been correct. Not once! Everything he says he couches in case he is wrong, but of course he always is. Then uses his possibilities to say he was always right.

    I did expect the “Spring offensive” to move much faster. But what I wasn’t prepared for was just how many mines Russia used. So that means several things. The first is that they can’t move too quickly. Which means they can’t bypass the entrenched Russian troops and go straight for the jugular. They have to clear out each tree line completely before they can move on to the next mined field. Yeah, it is a slow process. But unlike DD and the naysayers are saying they are doing a good job and actually taking less casualties than the Russians.

    The biggest issue for Ukraine at the moment making the most casualties are IEDs in the trenches.

    Yes, it is slow going and Ukraine is taking more casualties than they like. But really, there is no other choice. Unless they want to just give up their freedom and all become serfs to Russia. Now, I’m sure DD doesn’t care if this happens. He will just sit back pleased with himself and say how US saved money. But when Russia attacks a NATO country, I’m sure he will do the same yellow bellied call to just let Russia have it.

    Unlike what DD and his moronic friends will tell you. We really have no option but to help Ukraine beat Russia. The consequences of not helping Russia would be unfathomable even to DD. His absolute shortsightedness proves that he his completely outgunned by about everyone when it comes to strategic thinking.

    I listen to what DD says and I also listen to General Hodges, and the difference between them is incomparable. Gen Hodges gets it. He is spot on strategically. And then LtC Davis likes to make fun of it. Of course Gen Hodges probably doesn’t even know who DD is. DD is way out of his element. He seems to have learned all the wrong lessons and is too narcissistic to reconsider his flabbergastingly silly ideas.

  18. 0Zed

    September 7, 2023 at 8:33 pm

    Keep writing, Col. Davis. Dissenters perform a valuable service. I learn from you and the many intelligent commentators who criticize your work.

    As a much bigger power with a center of gravity so close to the conflict, Russia can make errors, recover, improve, and return to the fight. See the Winter War between Russia and Finland where the larger power, Russia, fought poorly yet prevailed against a weaker yet skilled and spirited Finnish opponent.

    Ukraine needs to make a Russian victory impossible and a protracted Russian war-effort politically intolerable in Russia. Exhausting Russian will is more feasible than exhausting Russian strength. With useful international alliances, Ukraine’s population, and size, it can do much more damage than Finland could, so let’s give the Ukrainians the tools they need for a smashing and decisive victory against Russia. I will gladly pay for it. Bur let’s also help Ukraine win a long war, too.

    At the same time, sacrificing anything of great value, including your future, in exchange for little or nothing seems foolish and cruel. Sacrificing your Army, the means for securing your future, seems foolhardy.

    Ultimately, what would it take to preserve an independent, democratic, militarily defensible and economically viable Ukraine?

  19. Jai

    September 7, 2023 at 9:07 pm

    Indeed we were well aware that Mr Davis would not shut up.

  20. Pooteen

    September 8, 2023 at 12:02 am

    Why can’t so called intelligent experts write in simple language and avoid double talk and just say it the way it is. Ukraine lost the war on Feb 24 2022. There was never ever a chance for Ukraine to go the distance against the Russians. Nato garages are emptied out so are the Americans. The weak is getting weaker and the strong is getting stronger. Now with all due respect shut up and just do the simple math. Use an abacus if you have to. Geeeez…

  21. Steve Dyer

    September 8, 2023 at 4:06 am

    Decent article, but Jesus H Christ so e of the comments in here accessing the author of being deluded or misleading whilst literally quoting Ukranian state propaganda ver Batum.

    Now try to engage brain.

    Rabotina is being called by some here a town, the simplest research shows that it’s a village whose population at its height ore war was 350 people, ofc portraying it as a town suggests a greater achievement to take. But it’s misleading in the extreme.

    Anybody who remotely believes ukranian or US figures on casualties is an absolute barnpot. Look at how many mobilization waves Ukraine has done, look at forced recruitment (so much evidence of this now online)look at various changes to conscription laws and look at the steadily reducing training times. look at the maps available showing available units and reserves, ALL post to Ukraine running out of men – hence the latest stories about conscription of every remaining male and pushing for the return of people who fled the country.

    Now think just for a second about the number of 70k dead – doesn’t make any logical sense, the figure of 200k is a VERY low estimate and in fact as of November last year the head of the EU let slip that was the casualty figure back then, so god knows it’s true number but I’m guessing 400k + dead, Russia’s losses will be obviously significantly lower – for one they’ve been on the defensive – they enjoy significant artillery and air support advantages – AA too and significant advantages in training periods and supply of equipment (hell every t90 that’s been produced since November has been going to reserve units – same with the upgraded t82s and BMPs – that’s a HUGE amount of equipment held in reserve)

    People seriously need to learn to read maps, don’t just listen to a media story, check out for yourself what is being said, to the commenter on here that says Ukraine has breached the second line of defence, show the proof, show the maps, show anything that remotely can prove that. Rabotina is still actually in the grey zone, it’s Kms away from even the first line of defence, and the Ukrainian forces are actually spreading and pushing to the sides, so going essentially parallel kind of at a distance from the lines, a cursory check of the maps shows this clearly.

    But some people seriously believe that taking three months to take a village before the first layer of defence of 300 people suddenly morphs into breaking through two defensive lines in a week, reality check guys, the narrative about the Russian first line being something like 80% of the strength of defence is also stupid beyond belief, check out what was being said by analysts before the offensive, all of it stated the grey zone was a delaying zone intended to blunt the offensive for a week max, then each layer of defence became progressively a scale of magnitude stronger. Only now are we seeing the oh Russia put all the defence at the front line (which makes zero sense btw militarily) but is being used to try explain away the offensives massive failure.

  22. June

    September 8, 2023 at 4:26 am

    Daniel Davis’ argument has no basis. A modern factory needs a huge range of items, and even the Chinese don’t produce everything. Thus, it would be almost impossible for Russia to expand its military-industrial capacity under the current sanctions. Moreover, Russia does not have enough money to expand it any way. Unlike NATO and the United States, the Russian army has already exhausted all the military equipment accumulated over several decades by the USSR and uses equipment from the Second World War. Some cruise missiles recently shot down by the Ukrainian army were two month old. With a limited supply of materials, the collapse of the Russian military would be a more likely scenario. It is a fool’s errand for Russia to compete against Western automated production capabilities. If you look at the data, Ukraine is slowly or sometimes quickly winning this war over the past 18 months. Ukraine does not want to negotiate with Putin and Putin will not give up any land. Thus, Ukraine will continue to win until the collapse of the Russian army.

  23. George Gordon Byron

    September 8, 2023 at 7:21 am

    For St. Sophronius:
    1) Yours: “For Ukrainians, it is not about the “weakening of Russia”, but about their very survival as an independent country and people Answer: For 32 years since the creation of Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. these countries have not become independent and prosperous.
    you will be checked out … Zelensky! Zelensky exposed Ukraine as a “beggar” and compared it to “an actress of a German adult film” who is “ready to accept any amount from any side.” “What is Ukraine and why is it profitable to throw your money into it today? Sorry, invest. We have reached a new level of economy – it is called begging,” Zelensky says.
    2) Yours: “That’s why they fight and sacrifice themselves, that’s why you don’t see Ukrainian soldiers deserting*….
    Answer? Apparently, millions of men (from 18 to 60 years old) who escaped from Ukraine (35% of refugees) these are not deserters, but true patriots of Ukraine. However. Poland is going to extradite conscript-age refugees if there are official requests.
    3) Yours: “So they wouldn’t care about the interests of some in the West, as long as these interests lead to them being helped in this struggle. ”
    Answer: so the West does not care how many Ukrainians will die in Yona. Greetings from President Duda: Russia can be stopped “cheaply” in the Ukrainian conflict, since Americans do not participate in it. But if the US military joins the conflict, then the price for the West will already be “high”.
    4) Yours: “Tamerlane, Cheburator, Gordon, the word is yours. When is NATO collapsing? This week or next?”
    Answer: Your question suggests an analogic answer. Therefore, answer it yourself.

  24. Neil Ross

    September 8, 2023 at 9:28 am

    Shut up Daniel. LOL

    Tend to agree with Sachs and Mearsheimer (and Daniel Davis), that there is now only a slim possibility for a negotiated solution to this conflict.

    Time will tell.

    Thank you for the article.

  25. theCorgi

    September 8, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Davis is right. He will not shut up. it he probably should given how poorly his predictions and suggested courses of action have fared. People don’t fall him “Dumdum Davis” for nothing.

  26. Alex

    September 8, 2023 at 10:20 am

    The comments to this article are full of dissatisfied Ukrainians. This means the article is true. Over the 30 years of its existence, the population of Ukraine has decreased from 45 million to 19 million and continues to decline. Everyone is leaving this country, infected with the plague of Nazism. Those who remain are sent to “meat assaults” on the first of several lines of Russian defense (let me remind you that the main Russian forces are on the last one). And it seems they even came close to her, but this is not certain. They left 200 thousand corpses there.

  27. Jim

    September 8, 2023 at 10:49 am

    The author writes, “If Ukrainians want to keep fighting, the thought goes, who are we to deny them the means?”

    Apparently, this is a dominant thought in one of two camps.

    The United States Vital National Security Interest is not identical to Kiev’s.

    (Vicarious thrill to power… seeing military action to carry out your personal grudges or desires is childish and dangerous… and, it’s not based in any sense of realism.)

    Kiev wants to draw Nato forces, U. S. boots, into the war… have no doubt about that… is that in the United States’ Vital National Security Interest?


    Only John Bolton and his ilk, see it that way, certainly not the average American.

    An other camp “knows to the bottom of their hearts” that Kiev can “win” if only America empties the cup board of weapons (because they assume the U. S. Vital Security Interest is identical to Kiev’s).

    The field of battle is splashing cold water all over the conceit of victory if only we keep stoking weapons into the furnace of war on the Eurasian Steppe.

    Sorry, you are lying to yourself… and it leaves you in la la land… which ultimately hurts the average American… that’s who I care about.

    Do you care more about the average American or about your vicarious desires to make Russia pay in men & blood, no matter what the cost?

    That’s the true test of Patriotism.

    Supporters of the Ukraine Project are mostly selfish to the extreme, self-obsessed with seeing their own personal vicarious desires carried out…even if those desires are detrimental to the United States of America.

    Who’s the Patriot and who is not?

  28. June

    September 8, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    Ukraine is already a security risk factor for the United States. If the United States cannot support Ukraine even without losing its troops, how can it support Taiwan militarily? It is impossible to contain China without Taiwan. Whether you like it or not, Ukraine is now vital for the security of the US.

  29. Kelvin Clarke

    September 9, 2023 at 12:26 am

    Ukrainian counter battery superiority has turned this war on its head in the last three months. Two thousand Russian artillery pieces alone plus eight hundred tanks and countless armoured vehicles in this time.
    The notion that Russia would run out of these assets is now a reality. The accelerating break out in western Zaporizhia, and lateral redeployment of emergency reinforcements are testament to this.
    There are two good months for Ukraine to hammer their punch drunk adversary. Daniel Davis will watch in horror.

  30. Алексей

    September 9, 2023 at 10:43 am

    I am surprised to see a huge number of those who believe that America is right in starting this war.
    I want to tell you, war hawks, that the West made a huge mistake by waking up the Russian bear.
    Do you think that with the resources that Russia has, the Russians will not be able to put on stream the production of new drones, new missiles and other new weapons? So you are wrong – this is already happening and will happen even more in the very near future.

  31. NavyMike

    September 9, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    Davis’s mistake is in assuming that Ukraine’s success must be measured by territory gained.

    Ukraine knows that it doesn’t have the heavy armor, or air cover, that it would need to succeed with a big push to the coast. Instead, Ukraine’s strategy is to destroy as much of Russia’s military power as it can. Ukraine has been remarkably successful, with Russia being quite happy to oblige by expending its own manpower on ill equipped/planned attacks and counter attacks.

    For example, Russia’s recent attack from Serhivka has been ground down to nothing.

    Further, Russia’s counter attack in Klishchivka has resulted in the decimation of Russia’s 61st Naval Infantry Brigade.

    Meanwhile, all 4 BARs regiments in Robotyne are effectively destroyed. Over the last 2 months Ukraine has destroyed 2 motor rifle divisions, the 810th NIB, the 291st artillery brigade, the 12th rocket artillery brigade and 2 Spetsnaz brigades. Russia tried to plug all the gaps with its one remaining VDV reserve regiment. Many of those got chewed up before they could even reach the front. On top of all that, Wagner is as good as gone.

    Ukraine could be quite happy to hold the line and let another 3 Russian Divisions effectively commit suicide over the next few months.

    Russia may be able to play the long term numbers game, and keep throwing more men in the meat grinder; however, they are losing men faster than they can replace them and are now out of experienced, fresh units. Estimates are that they lost 25,000 men in the last month, alone.

    On the other hand, Ukraine has trained units being held back in reserve, and more in training for the long term.

    Slowly gaining ground, clearing the massive mine fields and building logistical support, as they go; and meanwhile grinding Russian forces into dust is Ukraine’s path to a military victory. There is no rush to get to Mariupol.

  32. Sofronie the Monk

    September 9, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    @Gyorgi Gordonovici Brownski: “For 32 years since the creation of Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. these countries have not become independent and prosperous.”

    Really? Haven’t we? While I can’t speak for other countries, I can certainly speak for mine and compare how it was in 1990, 2000 and 2023. Do we have problems? Sure, which country doesn’t? Are we still one of the poorest countries in Europe? Sure we are, put Switzerland under Russian influence for half a century and see how well they’ll do. We’re light years away from our Russian-imposed Communist regime. Even statistically speaking, the GDP/capita in Romania has managed to surpass that of Russia, a country VASTLY richer than ours. So yeah, we’re far, FAR better than when we were a Russian colony. Just like everyone else. And you know what’s the best thing we don’t have? Russians.

    So people who flee from the war are also opponents of Zelenski. Then why aren’t they running to Russia? None of the refugees I’ve seen or heard want to go to Russia. Hell, that’s their worst nightmare. If everyone in Ukraine is so anti-West and pro-Russia, where are the mass riots? Mass desertions? Where are all the people clamoring to be liberated and reunited with their mother country? Ah, yes: they’re at the front, dropping drones on the heads of said “liberators”.

    Meanwhile, Russia does indeed care how many Ukrainians die: as many as possible.

    @Alex: Yes, everyone’s running from Ukraine to escape the Nazis… Wonder why so many run to the West instead of Russia? Let me guess: they are being kidnapped by Westerners.

    @Алексей: Because it was the US who invaded Ukraine, Russia intervened to protect the farmers and workers. Just like they did in Poland in 1939. Nobody gives a f about the “Russian bear”, sonny. You couldn’t even scare North Macedonia into not helping Ukraine. So much for the 3 days war and the 2 weeks drive to the Atlantic.

  33. Paul

    September 10, 2023 at 4:09 am

    With All Due Respect DD, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister did not have you in mind. He was referring to misguided analysts, not rambling propagandists. He is highly unlikely to have ever heard about you, and even more unlikely to have ever read any of your stubborn attempts to fit reality into your narrow vision of it.

    You live in the west and therefore it is your right not to shut up, just like it is our right to criticize your cherry-picked facts and consistently flawed arguments.

    Instead of desperately pretending that you have been targeted by Kuleba’s fair criticism that in fact was not intended for you, you should instead consider Foreign Minister Kuleba and Ukrainians rights to the same freedom you take for granted. If we had ever listened to you then Ukraine would have been subdued in some form to your likings by now and Kuleba would have had an unpleasant meeting with the pavement under a 10th floor open window. Ukrainians would quickly have learned the high price of having opinions not to Kremlins likings, the kind of lesson the Ukrainians already under brutal Russian occupation is learning. You could also benefit from expanding your thinking a bit. Try to imagine a little about what kind of lessons learned the rest of US’s friends and allies around the world will draw from the experience if US follows your advice. And scarier, what would be the lessons US’s adversaries learn.

    Yes, it’s your right to not shut up, and we expect that you will not, but please shut up 🙂

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