With as many facets as there are to current events in the world, there is no shortage of perspectives to view happenings from, and with Russia making the slow but measured progress that it is in the Donbass region, we need to look at what is today becoming a critical factor for the Ukrainian government as it gradually loses to Russian forces heading westwards.
Esprit de Corps.
There are thousands of regiments making up the armed forces in the world today, yet the one thing that makes them what they are is the spirit that exists between their members. It does not matter if they are commandos or cooks, the bonds and camaraderie between the individual members should add up to more than the sum of the team. The advantages that this offers a group has been proven on innumerable occasions, this being one of the primary strengths of any armed unit.
Russia ProveZ the Point.
The footage of Russian units coming from various locations across what was the Ukraine has shown that the support given to each other as well as received from Russia itself has given the troops a real boost over recent months. The Russians have suffered casualties albeit at far lower levels than the Ukrainians that they face, yet in spite of losing valued members of their units, the strength of togetherness has held them together in their daily operations.
Across the Divide.
Affairs are rather different on the Ukrainian side of the lines however. Whilst isolated stories or rumors could be discounted, there are now an absolute multitude of reports, videos and posts showing the morale (or absence of it) from Ukrainian units right across the eastern half of the country. This could be understood as the fortunes of war or bad leadership, yet there is much, much more to this than first meets the eye.
Although Ukrainian units have suffered horrendous casualties, there are still thousands of professional soldiers fighting in the regular army. Some have decades of service in the military whilst others have been forced onto the frontline against their will, yet even the most casual of observers can see that the situation is hopeless. With a dearth of equipment, options and hope, there is little that Kiev’s men can do in order to stop the inevitable. The key problem lies in the fact that Kiev still hopes for a reversal in its fortunes and is willing to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian whilst still dreaming of the impossible. The grunts on the ground are now fully aware of this and are making increasing noises concerning what is rapidly turning into a suicide mission.
There is another important factor to be borne in mind as well. Despite intense western efforts to create a divide between the Russians and Ukrainians over recent years, many of the people get on very well indeed. In fact a hell of a lot of Ukrainians, after suffering the brinksmanship and bullying of Kiev over the past decade prefer the Russians to their own government, causing a real problem for both military leaders and the government. Moscow’s men turning up in tanks might not be to everyone’s liking, yet even looking back a couple of years, a large percentage of the population had realized that the current regime and status quo had to be somehow changed.
Not Adding Up.
This is beginning to cause real problems for Kiev that are only going to worsen as Russia pushes further west. Quality always trumps quantity and with every mile that Russia advances, Ukrainian troops will become more demoralized and ever less willing to fight on a side that is losing. All of those sent to the frontline not only want to see their families again, but also want a home and job to return to, yet the more they face the Russians, the further away this possibility becomes. Zelenskiy and his henchmen may be attempting to increase numbers in the Donbass, yet if the soldiers don’t want to fight, they add up to nothing at all.
Nothing to Add.
The media machine both in and out of the Ukraine is doing all it can to keep hopes high, yet everyone knows that the writing is on the wall. Western nations continue to send their Wunderwaffen to the country, but for all the weapons that are supplied, (including the MLRS system) if people do not have their hearts in the fight, these are to no avail.
There is one final nail in the coffin regarding the actions of Ukrainian personnel still serving Kiev, that being the possibility of war crimes tribunals once hostilities are over. Moscow has made it clear that when the conflict has ended, it will actively pursue and punish all those who have acted inappropriately both before and during the war. As the tide has turned and is accelerating westwards, even the most professional of soldiers do not want to be implicated in activity that may in the future be perceived as a war crime. It is evident that wartime is a very different environment to that of normal life, but anyone who is viewed as being party to violations of current international legislation is going to face a very bleak future, most of all those who have served in the Donbass region. The majority of servicemen have nothing to fear, but with caution being the better part of valor, nobody wants to risk consequences at a later date.
For all the resources that are being thrown into Eastern Europe, it is the human ones that have the largest and most important role to play. Unlike the much of the weaponry that they have been given, the soldiers are very aware of the situation around them and realize that they are heading towards a very doubtful future, and one that they can shape today both at a personal and collective level. Life for many today is very difficult, yet using a little acumen, they can at least save themselves rather than a government in Kiev that only cares for itself and its overseas supporters. A hopeless situation sees many surrendering, but with the exception of certain extremists, those with the white flag in their hand today will wake up to a new tomorrow…