Nearing the inevitable Sad Consequences
Despite the tremendous propaganda campaign still ongoing in most of the mainstream media and sponsored social media advertising “news,” the war is not going well for Ukraine. Ukrainian armed forces casualties have risen to unsustainable levels. “Fighting to the last Ukrainian” is looking more like reality than a foolish Biden Administration political boast of Ukrainian commitment to the American and NATO proxy war to weaken and destabilize Russia and bring about a Russian regime change suitable to Neo-con American interests. Various casualty estimates—from Macgregor and several others--of Ukrainian KIA and missing are running as high as 500,000. Amputees exceed 50,000. The Ukrainians are literally running out of manpower. The Ukrainians are having to draft—often with extreme coercion--teen-agers, women, and men in their 60s. One 70-year old Ukrainian tank crewmember was captured by the Russians. Civilian casualties have been relatively light for an intensely artillery centered war. According to the United Nations September 2023 report, just short of 10,000 civilian deaths have occurred, and nearly half of them have been in the Russian ethnic oblasts of Donetsk and Lugansk. Ukrainian artillery continues deliberate shelling of civilian business and residential areas there.
Ukrainian General Staff propaganda, which is subject to U.S. political influence, has wildly exaggerated Russian casualties. The best estimates, including, some pro-Ukrainian sources outside Ukraine, run less than 50,000 dead. In my own estimate, I do not see how it could be much more than 40,000, even with some costly recent battles for Avdeyevka in Donetsk oblast, which the Russians have now almost completely encircled. This has been an attrition war fought largely with artillery, and the Russians have better than an 8-10 to one advantage in equipment and even more so in ammunition and the industrial capacity to sustain its superiority. Moreover, the Russians have near complete air superiority and arguably the best air defense systems in the world. Nevertheless, 40-50,000 dead is painful, despite the vastly greater pain inflicted on the Ukrainians. It is painful enough, moreover, to keep Putin cautious about moving too fast or too far.
By the way, what most Americans know about Putin is propaganda invented by Hillary Clinton, the CIA, and British MI6 and disseminated throughout an obliging American and British media. Demonizing Russia and Putin has been useful for justifying defense budgets and for electing shallow politicians with little knowledge or insight in foreign policy or the reality of our national security concerns at home and around the world. I am all for having a strong American military, preferably the unchallengeable best in the world, with the industrial capability to sustain it, but I don’t like being lied to by politicians. Reality and truth justify right decisions and right actions. Adding a lie to help the facts usually winds up anointing lies as facts, and that is the beginning of being swallowed up by lies. Demonizing peoples and foreign leaders is an especially dangerous and unworthy foreign policy.
The current situation is that the Russians have an overwhelming advantage, and Ukraine is nearing political and possible military collapse.
According to usually reliable Russian ethnic sources in Ukraine, followed by Alexander Mercouris of the Duran, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is desperate for American and NATO support for the war and needs a scape goat for the disastrous consequences of sacrificing the Ukrainian Army to an unwinnable attrition war of artillery. He has asked Ukrainian Army Chief of Staff Valery Zaluzhny to resign. Zaluzhny has refused to resign and sent back word to Zelensky that the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian Army supports him against Zelensky. I have no doubt Zaluzhny and Zelensky have been in conflict for many months over strategy. Zelensky has been a virtual puppet of the Biden Administration dependent on U.S. financing. The Zelensky strategy has been to do whatever resulted in the most U.S. financial support, but this was a costly strategy in Ukrainian lives. In fact, it is a moral outrage, for which the Biden Administration is highly complicit.
This purported exchange strongly suggests an imminent struggle for power and regime change. The Biden Administration objective is to avoid any blame for the failure of Project Ukraine. They are ready to throw Zelensky under the bus. Zaluzhny has an impeccable record as a soldier and officer, and both he and most Ukrainian Army officers and soldiers probably harbor deep resentment against the Biden Administration/Neocon inspired Zelensky strategy of pouring Ukrainian soldiers into Russian artillery traps. Several other possibilities have been named as possible replacements for Zelensky in U.S. and British media. The most disagreeable to prospects of peace and freedom in Ukraine would be Lt. General Kyrylo Budanov, Chief of Military Intelligence.
The general consensus of honest analysts is that there are two main causes for the War in Ukraine. First is the American and NATO push to make Ukraine a member of NATO, which had been strongly objected to by the Russians since 2008 and before. Second, which is much more important than the Western media usually conveys, is the conflict within Ukraine between ethnic Ukrainians and ethnic Russians.
Only 60 percent of those living within the pre-2014 borders of Ukraine consider Ukrainian their native language. About 18 percent consider Russian their native language, and about 22 percent consider both Ukrainian and Russian their native language. Almost all Ukrainians are at least moderately conversant in Russian. About 62 percent of Russian and Ukrainian vocabulary is lexically similar. The 40 percent who consider themselves Russian or Russian-Ukrainian are concentrated in the nine southern and eastern oblasts of pre-2014 Ukraine. Election maps strongly reflect this division. Before the United States started interfering in Ukrainian elections through the CIA and State Department, most Ukrainian voters favored Ukrainian neutrality.
Viktor Yanukovych, who had been Governor of the Donetsk oblast, which is over 90 percent Russian, from 1997 to 2002, and prime minister from 2002 to 2004, favored Ukrainian neutrality on defense issues. Yanukovych was born in Donetsk, but his father was of Belarusian ancestry and his mother a Russian ethnic. He won the 2004 run-off election 49.5 percent to 46.6 percent, but this election was protested in what came to be known as the CIA-driven. Orange Revolution. The election was protested in western Ukraine and loudly by the United States and European Union. It was then thrown to the Ukrainian courts, who ruled for another election. After some dubious accusations by his opposition, Yanukovych was defeated 52 to 44 percent by Viktor Yushchenko.
Yanukovych, however, ran again for President in 2010 vowing defense neutrality between Russia and the West and won the final runoff 49 to 45.5 percent against Yulia Tymoshenko. He was overthrown by a U.S. State Department, CIA, and British MI6 inspired coup in February 2014. Then Vice President Joe Biden, present Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, and present National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan were heavily involved. The violent coup with over 100 killed, including police and protesters killed by snipers, outraged the predominantly Russian-speaking oblasts of eastern and southern Ukraine and Crimea. This broke out in a civil war in which 15,000 were killed. At least a third of these were Russian-ethnic civilians killed by Ukrainian Army shelling of civilian areas. Two 2015 Minsk Accords were able to stop most of the fighting based mainly on two promises: some degree of independence withing Ukraine for the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts, and equal civil rights and cultural recognition for Russian-speaking ethnic citizens, which would include language, Russian history, and Russian Orthodox connected churches and their religious traditions.
The Ukrainian government never fulfilled the Minsk agreements and Zelensky officially revoked their validity and substantially escalated Ukrainian bombardment of civilians in Donetsk several days before the Russian military launched its “unprovoked” military expedition toward Kyiv. It was recently confessed by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others that the Germans, French, British, and Americans involved never intended to honor the Minsk Accords, but only used them to gain time to build up the Ukrainian Army to take back Crimea, which had requested Russian accession because of the February 2014 coup and Ukrainian violence against Russians. The Russians began the construction of their Naval Base at Sevastopol in 1772 and Sevastopol and Crimea became part of the Russian Empire in 1783. I suspect that the Russian Navy Base at Sevastopol and its dominance of the Black Sea was a major reason for the 2014 coup and present war. Crimea voted 78.2 percent for Yanukovych in 2010. Sevastopol, which is counted separately, voted 84.4 percent for Yanukovych.
The history of all this goes all the way back to 1990, when the U.S. and NATO promised Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand NATO in exchange for reuniting Germany. Gorbachev had developed a strong rapport with U.S President Ronald Reagan in the late 1980s. However, the U.S. and NATO decided it was expedient to break that promise. That was the beginning of thinking that led to the 2014 coup, which was the real beginning of the present Ukrainian war. Retired senior CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who did the daily CIA briefings for Reagan’s cabinet, has described the truth about the Ukraine War. “It is 105 percent the fault of the United States.”
The Russians are moving forward steadily but cautiously on the whole Russian-Ukrainian front. They have amassed enough men and equipment to go all the way to the Dnieper. The Russians have already accessed the predominantly Russian oblasts of Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson into the Russian Federation, although the Ukrainian Army troops still occupy considerable areas of three of these. The Russians probably intend to take Kharkov (more than 71 percent Russian) within a few months. Kharkov is Ukraine’s second largest city of 1.4 million. Dnepropetrovsk (63 percent Russian) is likely to follow.
Mykolaiv (72 percent Russian) is feasible. The big prize, which would finish Ukraine as a military threat and make them dependent on Russian goodwill economically, is the Odesa oblast (about 74 percent Russian), which includes the city of Odessa, Ukraine’s third largest city of over a million.
I do not believe Putin or the Russians want to waste lives and capital to occupy hostile Ukrainian territory for long. They will certainly keep Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia, and the part of Kherson east of the Dnieper. Kharkov will probably fall soon and then Dnepropetrovsk. But depending on the circumstances, Mykolaiv and Odesa may seem too high a cost.
But this war would not be going on except for a fanatical U.S. and NATO obsession with making Ukraine a NATO member and anti-Russian American satellite. It would not be going on, if Ukrainian government leadership had not decided on policies of cultural genocide against the large Russian and part-Russian minority. And look at the cost! The near destruction of Ukraine. Ukraine is nothing more than a U.S. dependency, and 500,000 Ukrainian soldiers are dead or missing fighting in an American and NATO proxy war to weaken Russia militarily, economically, and politically. We are not on high moral ground in this outrage.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”—Proverbs 28:13