Sending new weapons to Ukraine (a popular forum for discussion between US and British politicians) is a foolish and empty gesture. Why? There is no organized, intact Ukrainian military capable of taking and using these weapons. Do you want proof? I would like to remind you of the suffocating report in the Western media two weeks ago about the Russian tanks and truck columns in North Kiev being “out of order”. Some media have claimed that the column is 40 miles long and others have reported it as 40 kilometers (for the math you challenged, 40 kilometers equals 24 miles).
This is a big fat target that will consume an efficient, efficient military force. But that column sat for at least a week. A friend of mine from the Air Force who flew a mission against car columns in North Vietnam in 1970 described how he would first hit a lead car, then go backwards and then destroy everything in it. We have not seen that in Ukraine. There was no significant loss of rainfall from the wind to the Russian column. And where were the Ukrainian cruise missiles. They should have been turned on (if they existed) and there could be a lot of damage. That did not happen. Presumably there was no Ukrainian artillery barrage in the “immobile” column.
And where were the Ukrainian infantry? Ukrainian troops have received thousands of anti-tank weapons (e.g., Javelin and NLAW). The NLAW has an effective range of 800 to 1000 meters. Here is a picture:
How difficult would it be for several battalions of Ukrainian troops along the 40 mile column to fire NLAWs at Russian sitting ducks? Even then it did not happen. Why?
The explanation came from Friday’s briefing by Colonel General Sergei Rudsky (Colonel General is the equivalent of at least three star generals in the US Army):
Currently, Ukraine’s air force and air defense system are almost completely destroyed. The existence of the country’s navy became extinct.
Sixteen major military airfields were defeated, from which the AFU aviation battle was conducted. Twenty-nine storage bases and arsenals were destroyed, including up to 70% of all military equipment, supplies and fuel, as well as more than 1.54 million tons of ammunition.
Prior to the start of the operation, 24 existing ground forces structures suffered significant damage. There are no organized reserves in Ukraine.
Losses are covered at the expense of organized individuals and regional defense personnel who do not have the necessary training, which increases the risk of large losses.
At the start of the special military operation, Ukraine’s armed forces, along with the National Guard, had 260,200 army members. During the war, their losses amounted to about 30,000 people, of whom more than 14,000 were irreparable and about 16,000 were healthy.
Of the 2,416 tanks and other armored personnel carriers in the battle of February 24, 1,587 units were destroyed; 636 units between 1,509 field artillery guns and mortars; 163 of the 535 MLRS; 112 out of 152 aircraft, 75 out of 149 helicopters; 36 Bayraktar TB2 UAVs – 35;
180 of the 148 S-300 and Buk M1 air defense systems; 300 out of 117 radars for various purposes.
The devastation inflicted on the Ukrainians by Russia is enormous. If Ukraine still has an effective air force, they will challenge Russian warplanes and launch air strikes on Russian positions. I have not seen any reports of such activities in the western media.
In cities, such as Mariupol, which is under siege by Russian forces, there has been no visible effort to provide air support, artillery fire or reinforcements. There is no way out of the AZOV battalion left in a narrow enclosure of Mariupol and running out of ammunition and food. No soldier in the world lives long without ammunition and chow.
There is evidence that a growing number of Ukrainian troops are surrendering in other parts of the battlefield (hat tip to Andrei Martianov. If Andrei is not with you every day, you must add him):
The misleading, wishful thinking that plagued the Western media was fully exposed yesterday (Friday). Sky News reports that the war in Ukraine: Russia appears to be pushing back its ambitions – but the UK has warned that bombing of cities will continue. Here is how Sky News reported on General Rudsky’s briefing quoted above:
Russia’s Defense Ministry has said it will now focus on “liberating” the Donbass region. “The main objectives of the first phase of the operation have generally been achieved,” said Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian General Staff’s chief operational directorate. “Ukraine’s armed forces have significantly reduced the likelihood of war, which makes it possible to focus on our core efforts to achieve the main goal – the liberation of Donbass.” . . . Russia has hinted at more ambitions in the past, but Ukraine’s tough resistance, logistical problems and reportedly low morale could take their toll.
Here is what Rudsky actually said:
With the start of a special military operation, aircraft dominated the first two days. The offensive activities of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are conducted in different directions. As a result, Russian troops blockaded Kyiv, Kharkov, Chernigov, Sumi and Nikolayev. Kherson and most of the Zaporozhye region are under complete control. The public and independent experts wonder what we are doing in the area of the besieged Ukrainian cities. These operations are aimed at inflicting such damage on the military infrastructure, equipment, personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the consequences of which not only allow their forces to be tied up and strengthen their groupings. Donbass, but the Russian army will not allow them to do so until the DPR and LPR territories are completely liberated. Initially, we did not plan their storms to prevent destruction and to reduce casualties among workers and civilians. And while we do not rule out such possibilities, however, as individual groups complete their tasks, and they are successfully resolved, our forces and means will concentrate on the main thing – the complete liberation of Donbass.
Rudsky also issued a highly-directed warning to NATO:
We are closely monitoring the statements of the military and political leaders of the individual countries regarding the intention to provide air and air defense systems in Ukraine. In the case of implementation – we will not leave it unattended. We also hear assurances from NATO leaders that we will not intervene in the conflict. At the same time, some members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have proposed closing airspace over Ukraine. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will immediately respond accordingly to such efforts. To prevent the recovery of weapons and military equipment of the war-damaged AFU, the Russian Armed Forces are disabling repair facilities, arsenals, storage bases, logistics warehouses with high-precision weapons. At the moment, 30 of the military-industrial complex’s main enterprises have been hit by cruise missiles X-101, Calibur, Iskander and Kinzel Aviation Complex, which repair 68% of disabled weapons and equipment during combat operations.
It doesn’t sound like a whip Russian general licking his wounds. The briefing is concise, realistic and instructive. Today’s move by western Ukraine-a missile strike on an energy storage facility in Lviv and a missile strike on a military base in Lutsk-reinforces General Rudsky’s briefing that Russia will continue to disarm Ukraine as it seeks to limit civilian casualties. I take him at his word.
The demilitarization of post-Ukraine continues