When Zelensky not infrequently complains that his forces don’t have “enough” ammo and weapons, despite the billions worth of Western arms already sunk into the conflict, the assumption is simply that quantities are not coming at a fast enough rate or in adequate amounts. But recent weeks and reports from the battlefield have confirmed there’s likely a bigger, more significant factor at play: Russian strikes are wiping out Western military equipment at a much higher pace than anticipated. It’s the truth that few mainstream pundits want to admit. After all, they don’t want to express agreement with… Putin!
Russian media is reporting new estimates on Tuesday, citing the head of the Donetsk region to say Ukrainian forces have lost about 30% of their foreign-supplied weaponry and equipment on the front lines. Western headlines, previously full of optimistic pro-Kiev euphoria on repeat, appear increasingly (and reluctantly) in agreement with Russian state media headlines, ironically enough, painting a grim and desperate picture in assessing the current state of Ukrainian forces and front lines, and thus what’s also in essence NATO’s war effort.
The official cited widely in the new Russian reports, Denis Pushilin, told Rossiya-24 that “We saw how much ammunition, how much equipment Western countries sent on the eve of the counteroffensive against Ukraine.”
“What can now be said in approximate numbers: about 30 percent [of equipment] were destroyed [by the forces of the Russian Armed Forces],” he added. He said it has become clear that Western arms shipments are resupplying Ukrainian lines much less frequently than just before the counteroffensive began.
Pushilin alleged this is a further contributing factor to Ukraine’s declining morale, as “The enemy still has reserves, despite the fact that they are demotivated, unprepared, thrown to the front line. But still, for now, they have the opportunity to at least carry out attacks.”
The commentary came immediately on the heels of Presidents Putin and Lukashenko declaring Monday from St. Petersburg that Russia has taken out a ‘record’ amount of Western armored vehicles and military equipment in Ukraine. According to a Russian media summary of the remarks, “Lukashenko, citing his own data, said that Moscow’s forces had taken out at least 15 German-made Leopard tanks and over 20 US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles in just one clash.”
Putin was in agreement with the statements, pointing out that “apparently, [we] have never destroyed so much in one day” while underscoring that Ukrainian forces are “fully equipped with foreign hardware.” This will translate to continuously mounting foreign equipment losses to the degree that Ukrainian units are decimated and pushed back.
It is increasingly obvious that general morale and enthusiasm in support of Ukraine has been waning among Western populations as well. This has been on display for at least months, if not longer. Recently, Moon of Alabama pointed out that news of the conflict has for the first time retreated from the front-page reporting of the two most visible newspapers in America…
MofA wrote in reflecting on the significance [emphasis ZH]:
The failure of the Ukrainian counter-offensive and its lack of any viable way to win the conflict seems to be sinking in.
Who wants to write or read about the huge strategic mistake the Biden administration committed when it blackmailed Ukraine as well as its other vassals, especially when the beltway gang is strongly in favor of another Biden presidency. The alternative, another round of artificially Trump-ed up chaos, seems unbearable to them.
This despite further evidence that Biden’s policies and influence were always for sale, especially to foreign bidders.
This is partly because Zelensky’s loud, growing and pessimistic complaints are making it easier for his media stenographers to follow suit. Just days ago the Ukrainian leader implied in statements given to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that the counteroffensive is failing because of slowed arms and ammo supplies from Western allies. Yes, he’s remained unrepentantin biting the hand that feeds him…
“We did have plans to start it in spring. But we didn’t, because, frankly, we had not enough munitions and armaments and not enough brigades properly trained in these weapons,” Zelensky said. He also complained about training programs set up for Ukrainians to operate advanced systems, which are being sponsored and hosted in European countries under NATO guidance. Kiev has long pressed for a more expedited timeline on receiving US F-16 jets as well, but training has been “delayed” for this as well, set to begin next month.
“Still, more” – he continued of the problem – “that the training missions were held outside Ukraine. But, still, we started. And this is important.” Zelensky said these factors have been key to the stalled counteroffensive, especially that Ukraine’s forces are blowing through munitions at a very high pace to keep up with superior Russian fire.