Armed Conflicts
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The bitter truth shows the defeat of Ukraine - People and country are in danger of annihilation if Zelensky does not negotiate with Putin

President Volodymyr Zelensky's firing of Ukrainian army chief General Valery Zaluzhny is a colossal political gamble for the Ukrainian president and appears to indicate growing desperation in Kiev.

Ex-Chief of the Ukrainian Army General Valery Zaluzhny scapegoat

The background to this move lies in the failure of last year's Ukrainian offensive and efforts to both shift blame and devise a new strategy that could promise Ukraine future victory, reports International Media, which points out:

Ukraine's defeat last year led to a rather disparaging blame game in Washington, with the US military and some Ukrainians suggesting that if Zaluzhny had taken their advice and concentrated his forces to attack on a narrow front ,instead of attacking several places at once, the Ukrainians could have won.

This is a rather strange argument, because it was precisely such attacks on narrow fronts that the Russian army tried several times immediately after the invasion, and this led to repeated disasters.

He ignores the fact that just as US satellite intelligence allowed the Ukrainians to spot local Russian gatherings and gather in turn, so does Russian satellite intelligence when the Ukrainians attack.

The real reasons for the failure of the Ukrainian offensive and the ominous future prospects

Η αλήθεια είναι ότι μέχρι το καλοκαίρι του 2023 ο ουκρανικός στρατός απλώς δεν είχε την ανωτερότητα σε ανθρώπινο δυναμικό και δύναμη πυρός που θα του επέτρεπε να διασπάσει βαριά οχυρές γραμμές επανδρωμένες από έναν πολυάριθμο και καλά οπλισμένο εχθρό.

To succeed against these odds would be a highly unusual event in military history. Nor is there any significant prospect that the Ukrainians will be able to succeed in the future.

The reason is that even if the Ukrainians receive new Western weapons within the next year, Russia will use the time to further strengthen its defense lines.

Zelensky's dismissal of Zaluzny also reflects the fact that the General has long been seen as Zelensky's most dangerous future political opponent, given his prestige in the military and his popularity with the Ukrainian people.

We don't know how Zaluzhny will react to his dismissal. Maybe he has made some kind of deal with Zelensky.

The "risk" taken by Zelensky

However, the risks for the Ukrainian President are obvious.

Although Zaluzhny's replacement, General Oleksandr Syrsky, also enjoys considerable prestige as a defender of Kiev at the start of the war, he has been accused by many Ukrainian soldiers of bowing to political pressure and sacrificing the lives of Ukrainian soldiers in what was seen as unnecessary and doomed effort to keep the city of Bakhmut last year.

There is also considerable resentment among the soldiers due to their perception that not only Zaluzny, but the Army in general is being scapegoated for last year's failure.

It doesn't help that Zelensky that after the Ukrainian defeat, he publicly reprimanded and contradicted Zaluzny for declaring that the war had reached a stalemate and that Ukraine should now go on the defensive, which was borne out by military reality and advice. of Washington.

It is also unclear that General Syrsky's appointment will change or improve another critical factor that has brought tension between Zelensky and Zaluzhny, conscription.

A striking lesson of this war is that victory depends on the combination of the latest weapons with large numbers of fighting soldiers.

In 2022, Russian defeats were largely due to the fact that they invaded with very few troops.

Ukraine's spectacular success in Kharkiv in September 2022 was largely due to the fact that on this front they significantly outnumbered the Russians.

Ukraine is running out of men

Russia has more than four times the population of Ukraine and is recruiting more of them, as well as radically improving its tactics and weapons.

The Ukrainian army has been "drained" by massive casualties and the growing reluctance of the population to serve.

The average age of Ukrainian soldiers is now 43, too old for military effectiveness.

As a result, in recent months General Zaluzhny had become increasingly insistent on the need to expand and strengthen conscription.

This was supported by the soldiers and combined with their growing anger at the corruption in Kiev and the evasion of service by the sons of the elites.

The fugitive army in Ukraine is increasing

However, moves to tighten conscription and increase penalties for draft evasion met with strong resistance from the population and politicians.

As a result of this resistance, and perhaps lawmakers' reluctance to see their own children drafted, an initial version of a law strengthening conscription was defeated in the Ukrainian parliament in January.

Zelensky has reintroduced a soft version, but it is not clear that this will be nearly enough to compensate for Russia's much larger population and resources.

The US-EU standoff and the dual threat facing Ukraine

Ukraine's military prospects have also been severely threatened by the refusal to date of Republicans in the US Congress to agree to new aid to Ukraine. Without it, Ukraine simply won't have the weapons it needs to continue the fight.

The European Union has agreed to a 50 billion euro aid package that will be critical to supporting the Ukrainian economy, but European officials have frankly admitted that Europe is not in a position to replace US military aid.

Ukraine thus faces a double threat, of having weapons without soldiers and soldiers without weapons.

If this continues, it is unlikely that Ukraine will be able to sustain a defensive war of attrition against Russia.

Moreover, even if the US Congress reaches a compromise on aid to Ukraine, this issue will not last long.

The race in the US Congress - and particularly the role of former President Trump and his supporters in blocking a compromise - naturally reflects political maneuvering as part of the US presidential campaign.

But the Republicans' stance also reflects a genuine sentiment that stretches across much of Europe and is helping to fuel the rise of populism.

The real threat to the security and stability of Western societies comes from domestic dysfunction caused in part by illegal immigration, and that what is happening in Ukraine is unrelated to these issues."

Bitter truths

Whatever one thinks of as a solution to a protracted war in Ukraine, it will require the US and EU countries to continue to agree to reinforce it for many years, which no Western government can seriously and honestly guarantee.

Moreover, even if Ukraine continues to defend itself successfully, it follows that its Russian-held territories will remain in Putin's hands not of course legally, but de facto.

The Ukrainian government has said from the start that the only acceptable outcome is Russia's complete withdrawal. Changing this position will be extremely painful and difficult.

The political turmoil in Kiev stems from the fact that everyone is trying to position themselves so that they can blame someone else for any compromise with Russia.

The danger for Ukraine is that, given the fraying of US aid, growing pro-Russian military odds and tensions reflected by Zaluzhny's firing, if Kiev waits too long to seek compromise, it may have nothing left to do. negotiated, not only because of developments on the battlefield, but because of the breakdown of political unity within Ukraine.

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