The latest shooting in Texas has pretty much thrown war in Ukraine to the back pages of the paper.
Are the refugees cheerful and warm in their beds? Is the Ukrainian military winning the war? Is Russia scrambling to retain territory? How goes the war?
Let me give the reports that are lacking in the MSM (granted I do not watch all channels at all times so you may have heard some of this before)….
The reports are the Russia is controlling most of Eastern Ukraine….
Russia continues to make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine and now controls 95% of Ukraine’s Luhansk oblast, which makes up the northern half of the Donbas region.
The pro-Kyiv governor of Luhansk said Friday that Ukrainian forces might be forced to retreat from the near-surrounded cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, the last hold-outs in the region.
“We will have enough strength and resources to defend ourselves. However, it is possible that in order not to be surrounded we will have to retreat,” said Governor Serhiy Gaidai.
As the war grinds on in the east, Ukrainian officials are starting to admit that their military is facing a dire situation and are pleading for the US and its allies to send more advanced weapons.
Ukrainian volunteer soldiers told The Washington Post that they felt abandoned by the government in Kyiv as they were fighting in the east. In a video posted on Telegram, Ukrainian volunteers said they weren’t properly trained and didn’t have sufficient equipment or support to fight on the front lines.
A behind the action report…..
In a new article titled “Ukrainian volunteer fighters in the east feel abandoned,” WaPo reports that contrary to the triumphant narratives the western world is being spoon fed, many troops in eastern Ukraine have been surviving on one potato per day and deserting their posts because they feel their leaders have turned their backs on them and they’re being sent to certain death.
“Stuck in their trenches, the Ukrainian volunteers lived off a potato per day as Russian forces pounded them with artillery and Grad rockets on a key eastern front line. Outnumbered, untrained and clutching only light weapons, the men prayed for the barrage to end,” The Washington Post reports, citing multiple named sources.
“Ukrainian leaders have projected and nurtured a public image of military invulnerability — of their volunteer and professional forces triumphantly standing up to the Russian onslaught,” the article reads. “But the experience of Lapko and his group of volunteers offers a rare and more realistic portrait of the conflict and Ukraine’s struggle to halt the Russian advance in parts of Donbas. Ukraine, like Russia, has provided scant information about deaths, injuries or losses of military equipment. But after three months of war, this company of 120 men is down to 54 because of deaths, injuries and desertions.”
There have been many reports at the ineffectiveness of the Russia military…..they may be accurate to a point…..
With his forces sustaining heavy losses in the fighting in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the age limit off military service. Russians and foreigners older than 40 will be allowed to sign up as contract service members, CNN reports. Tass, the state news agency, said that the Duma approved the measure Wednesday and that Putin signed it into law. The age range for enlistees until now has been 18 to 40 for citizens and 18 to 30 for foreigners. Russia said the change is intended to add technical specialists, per the BBC.
A filing with the legislation said that specialists are needed to operate high-precision weapons and other military equipment and that they’ve acquired the needed experience by age 40 to 45. The recruits could include medics, engineers, and communications experts. Analysts estimate the number of Russia’s professional contract soldiers at more than 400,000, in an active military of 900,000. Russia also drafts troops. The government first said conscripts would not be sent into combat in Ukraine but later conceded that some have been. Conscripts are among the POWs held by Ukraine.
US recruits for the armed services have to be at least 17. The Army’s upper age limit is 35, the Marines 28, and the Navy and Air Force 39. The British Army takes recruits 16 through 36, per the BBC. The range for officers is 18 to 29, though older specialists are accepted. Israel requires military service for everyone starting at age 18—32 months for men and 24 months for women. Russia also has a service requirement of one year for men 18 to 27, though many of them receive student or medical exceptions.
A good indication that things are not going well with the invasion of Ukraine.
The American Conservative asked an important question….”Do we really know who is winning in Ukraine?”
Who is winning the Russo-Ukraine war?
Ukraine is defeating Russia. With a little more Western assistance, Ukraine will defeat Russia. With increased and sustained aid, Ukraine will defeat Russia. Ukraine and Russia are locked in a potentially lengthy stalemate. Ukraine is giving way as Russia slowly achieves its objectives in the east. Ukraine is losing and Russia will eventually conquer the entire country.
The answer depends on who you listen to.
Yet the answer matters. Western preferences—for Kiev to defeat, even humiliate Moscow—might be coloring assessments of the state of the war and warping expectations for the future.
Russia’s attack was unjustified and criminal, causing needless death and destruction in Ukraine, and sacrificing Russian lives for no good reason. The U.S. and Europeans share the blame, having spent decades ignoring and dismissing security complaints from Moscow, a decision that turned out to be foolish, even reckless. However, that does not excuse Putin’s murderous aggression. Nor are Ukrainians his only victims; Vladimir Putin’s decision has sent shockwaves across nations and continents.
Do We Really Know Who Is Winning in Ukraine?
For me winners in this war are the arms industry…the Congress keeps shoving cash at them and also wants to up the budget so they can get even more taxpayer money.
A group of US arms makers and aerospace firms is urging Congress for a 2023 military budget that exceeds inflation by 3-5% and to pass the bill before September 30.
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), a trade group for defense firms whose members include Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, sent a letter to the leaders of the appropriations and armed services committees.
In the letter, the AIA called for Congress to pass to authorize the spending before the start of the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1 for the federal government. The group said this was necessary to signal “resolve in the face of Russian and Chinese aggression.”
President Biden has asked Congress for $813 billion for military spending for the 2023 fiscal year, which represents about a 4% increase from 2022 without taking inflation into account. Inflation is currently over 8%, so the increase the arms makers are looking for would be a massive one.
“Three to five percent growth above the inflation rate is the level of investment required to support America’s global force, maintain our competitive edge over adversaries, and catch up technologically in areas where we are falling behind,” Eric Fanning, the president and CEO of the AIA, said in the letter.
After Biden asked for the $813 billion, hawks in Congress almost immediately began demanding more. Earlier this month, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said that the Biden administration was willing to work with Congress to increase the already massive budget.
“Where inflation will be in September, let alone this time next year, we don’t know, but we want to work with Congress on the ‘23 budget to make sure we have the purchasing power for this program,” Hicks said.
So you tell me who is winning.
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