Western media have finally change course. They are now admitting that the much promoted Ukrainian counter-offensive has failed. In fact, the acknowledge that it never had a chance to win in the first place.
That makes it difficult for the Biden administration to get Congress approval for $24 billion in additional ‘aid’ to Ukraine. It does not make sense to pay for a cause that is evidently lost.
The Polish President Duda has also acknowledged that the counter-offensive has failed. Relations between Warsaw and Kiev have gotten worse and Polish interests will not allow for more support or active intervention.
Nothing has come from the ‘peace conference’ which Saudi Arabia arranged on Ukraine’s behalf.
Despite the onslaught of bad news the Ukrainian army is still trying to take Russian positions in the south and east of Ukraine. But it simply does not have enough in men and material to break through the lines.
Even if they would manage to get a local breakthrough there are not enough reserves to push for the necessary follow up. Just one of the NATO trained brigades has still been held back. All others have been mauled in their various deployment zones.
In the northeast around Kupyansk the Russians have started their own offensive which has the Ukrainians on the run. Ukraine has ordered the evacuation of the area:
A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the Ukrainian city of Kupyansk and its surrounding areas, as Russia intensified shelling of Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region and claimed to have captured Ukrainian positions near the city on Thursday.
But Kupyansk is a Russian city and people refuse to leave.
The Russian campaign is slowly speeding up.
As the Ukrainian Strana.news reports (machine translation):
Also in Ukraine, it is recorded that from Kupyansk to Bakhmut, Russia has increased the number of attacks.”Over the past month, the total number of attacks in the Kupyansk, Limansky and Bakhmut directions has grown significantly. In July, during the week there were 6-6.5 thousand attacks, during the last week-9 thousand attacks, ” – said the representative of the National Guard Ruslan Muzychuk.
According to him, the Russian Federation does not experience “shell hunger”.
Aviation is also actively used, and over the past few weeks, more than 50 air attacks have been taking place every day, and sometimes more than 80.
That is bad news for the Ukrainian side which lacks the reserves to counter the Russian onslaught. There are also less weapons coming in from the West. F-16 fighter jets will be delayed for another nine months due to training issues. Tanks and other material are in short supply.
Strana also report of an interview with a knowledgeable Ukrainian soldier (machine translation):
Continuing the topic of the situation at the front, an interesting interview was given by a Ukrainian sniper fighting near Bakhmut with the call sign “Grandfather”. On the air of political scientist Yuri Romanenko, he was introduced as Konstantin Proshinsky (this is a pseudonym).The fighter spoke in detail about his vision of the situation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Russian army.
1. Mobilization. In his opinion, it is conducted incorrectly. Recruits are sent to the front who have never been trained, and they are often over 50 years old and with a whole bunch of diseases.
2. No rotation. The soldier says that “the same brigades” are fighting at the front, and people are not taken out of the front line for six months or more. Whereas by Western standards, they can be kept in a war zone for no more than three months.
3. Behavior of mid-and high-level commanders. According to Proshinsky, many of them are trying to arrange a “mini-Stalingrad” on the positions, forcing them to go into frontal assaults on well-fortified Russian positions.
4. The Russian Army began to fight better.
5. Proshinsky believes that Russia has not yet used much of what it has against Ukraine.
The soldier thinks that the Russians will not move from their positions and that a stalemate peace like in Korea would be the end result.
I believe that to be wrong.
Russia’s aim is to liberate at least the four regions that it has claimed for itself. For political reasons it can not stop before that is done.
Should the Ukraine continue to fight after that, Russia is likely to set new aims and take more land.