The last few days have seen no real breakthroughs in the Ukrainian conflict, yet with Russia not planning that there would be, this comes as no surprise. There are however enough other matters to give us an idea of what the future may bring.
Tanks a Lot.
Russia has made good use of the tanks it has deployed in the conflict to date, and notwithstanding the losses that Moscow has suffered, their limited use has been both justified yet judicious. What we have not seen however are the apparently endless lines of tanks seen in other wars and other than a couple of dubious photos, the Armata, flagship of Russian Army has been conspicuous by its absence, but there is more to this than meets the eye.
No Tanks, Thanks.
This conflict has highlighted a trend that we have increasingly seen over recent years regarding the deployment of the most destructive and yet most expensive equipment fielded by land armies. Moscow has been criticized for both holding onto the older yet modified T-72s and not already having put the Armata into mass production. Rather than this being a weakness, Russia is now looking at land war as a whole in a very different light to how it did only a few years ago, realizing that with short-range missiles, be they man-portable or vehicle-launched being as capable as they are, these not only jeopardize armor, but also perform other tasks that tanks previously did.
Bang for your Buck.
What has been prevalent has been an absolute superiority in the use of artillery and Grad rocket deployment. These two systems have been the backbone of Moscow’s operations as the Russian army has slowly made its way westwards, the Ukrainians suffering more every day as not only weight of fire but the manner in which it has been used proved time and again that not only is the Russian Army strong, but it knows how to use that strength to maximum effect. Some have criticized the fact that NATO armies use a wider range of arguably more effective munitions, yet not only have existing Russian products done the job, but as with Syria, there will already be changes under way to remedy any shortfalls that Moscow believes are apparent.
Your Bucks went Bang.
On the other side of the coin, it now appears that the Ukrainians are having subtly different issues. In spite of the western world running something similar to the Berlin Airlift in their efforts to arm Washington’s pet puppet, Kiev’s men are now running short of ammunition for their own artillery. It is well-known that fuel and manpower are at critically low levels, but with munitions now in short supply, at this rate, they will only have rocks to throw at the Russians in coming months if this situation continues.
The Independent, a UK newspaper this week confirmed the above points, reporting this week that in terms of artillery, Russia is twenty times stronger than its Ukrainian counterparts, forty times stronger in ammunition and twelve times more powerful in range. Not only that, Kiev’s Smerch and Uragan missiles are all but used up and few Grad rockets still remain. Russia has an absolute superiority in this field, being able to hit targets accurately at tens or even hundreds of kilometers distance.
Whilst apparently effective against tanks, the anti-tank missiles supplied to the Ukraine by the West are useless against Russia’s omnipresent artillery pieces. All of these factors are also governed by the fact that Ukrainian airspace is effectively off limits to its own air force, Russian aerial losses being very low indeed.
With the situation being as bad as it is, all this adds up to many Ukrainians who should not even be soldiers being put at the wrong end of things, this leading to depression, desertions and even suicides. According to some sources, even the best soldiers are on their chinstraps after two or three days, yet the only solution Kiev has to offer is to request more munitions from the West. Make no mistake, as a result if this, behind all the hype in the headlines, it is Kiev rather than Moscow that is gaining the hatred of millions of Ukrainians.
There have been a number of tales claiming that Russia is ‘making hay whilst the sun shines’ in the sense that it is only making progress due to the Ukraine suffering a lack of weapons and once this is somehow magically remedied, Kiev will send the Russians packing. Some are also saying that the weaponry being supplied is of vastly superior quality to that used by Russia, above all regarding specialist artillery munitions. There are however very large problems with these arguments. The first is that Russia seems to be doing just fine with what it has whilst the Ukraine appears to have achieved very little in spite of the western world turning the country into an arms dump. The second is that some if not all of the missiles that have been supplied are not only older, less-effective models, but that there have been numerous issues regarding they being defective, the more wry observers noting that the West is using the Ukraine as a place to dump arms. The third and critical issue is the one listed above, that being a shortage of skilled manpower. As Kiev’s fortunes fade by the day, not only to people not want to join, so many that did now wish that they had never done so. With no weapons and so few wanting to pull the trigger, it’s hardly a surprise that Zelenskiy is in the mess that he is.
Serbia and Hungary.
With Montenegro and Bulgaria not permitting a flight over their countries with Sergei Lavrov on board and the continued criticism of Hungary due to it not taking measures against Russia, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the EU is slowly attempting to cut off those who do not dance to its tune. This may cause both countries difficulties insofar as they will become an ‘island’ surrounded by hostile states that are part of an even more belligerent empire, yet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić telling German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that Belgrade will not be pressured by either Berlin or Brussels, in spite if the country eventually wanting to become an EU member state. He is on record as saying that:
‘Serbia still remembers how the international community imposed sanctions against it. I consider this approach ineffective. Belgrade has a completely different position on this issue. Serbia is in a difficult position: the EU must take into account that Serbia and Russia have a long-standing special relationship.’ With Budapest also sticking to its guns, all is not well in Eastern Europe.’
Helping the Helpless.
As any observer will be aware, Zelenskiy now appears to dedicate his entire bunker-ridden existence to asking everyone else to help him and his failed politics. A British mercenary who trains Ukrainian troops, Matthew Robinson, told The Times newspaper this week that Kiev’s forces are lacking pretty much everything a soldier needs as well as being critically short of manpower. Again the hand is outstretched, yet with other sources claiming that European nations have given up to ten percent of their inventories to the Ukrainian cause, it does beg the question as to when capitals are finally going to stop throwing good [sic] weapons after bad.
No Help for Helpers.
This week has seen the Donetsk authorities pass the death sentence on three mercenaries, two of them British. After Liz Truss actively encouraged her citizens to fight for the West’s lost cause, her government appears not to have lost hope for these losers. For eight years, London has refused to recognize the Donbass Republics, so quite how the British regime hopes to liberate these two down-and-outs is very much open to question, yet Dominic Raab, the UK Deputy Prime Minister has stated that he will liaise with Kiev regarding the matter. Quite how Zelenskiy et al are supposed to have any sway at all on other republics when their country is collapsing around their ears will be interesting especially when there are at least eight thousand Ukrainian prisoners of war being held in Donetsk which Kiev can do nothing about.
Joke of the week has to be on Sleepy Joe, he now telling his ever-more disgruntled population that the results of Washington’s leveraging are actually Moscow’s fault. With gas prices going up nearly as fast as Wall Street is going down, the wet dream of so many lawmakers is now raining on everyone’s parade. Quite how long such a farcical position can be held is anybody’s guess, but as things get worse for the consumer, they are hardly likely to get better for the White House.
Zelenskiy still has his eyes on the prize, yet fails to realize that Russia in now in a win-win situation. Every day for Kiev is one step closer to oblivion, an exhausted army neither having the weapons not will to continue resisting. All the Ukrainian president can now do is beg for ammunition that nobody wants to fire, Kiev attempting to blackmail a world that cares less for his plight every day.
A new war has proven that not only has Russia risen from the ashes, but now rather than basing itself on ‘quantity over quality’ as before, is now an excellent example of ‘quality and quantity’, having huge reserves of resources, manpower, but most importantly acumen. The West however wants to blame decades of its own bad politics on Putin, VVP apparently the new taxman in Washington. The last seven days have been like so many of late, yet there are not many more weeks remaining before the Ukraine becomes a late country…