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Ukraine continues to frustrate Putin’s hopes for a swift victory

45 Comments
By ELLEN KNICKMEYER

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Ukrainians have built up over the past eight years of battling Russian-backed separatists in the country's east.

In which official figures put civilian casualties among Russian speakers at 3,393.

Which means that more civilian casualties have been caused by the Ukrainian side against the Russians than in the other way around.

Russia’s military still has a strong hand.

Wait a minute, I thought that the Russians were all 17 year-old conscripts with poor morale, low pay and substandard equipment. I thought that they had run out of food, fuel, ammo and all their tires are flat and half their generals are dead... apparently.

How could they possibly still have a strong hand when there are only 150,000 Russian soldiers dealing with over 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

-21 ( +12 / -33 )

If the Russians try to take Kiev, those Javelins should make swift work of Russia's T-72s or any other armour or vehicles, and the Stingers will do the same with any Russian helicopters that dare fly over the city.

Pray that the weapons from the US, Germany, etc. arrive on time. The Ukes also need snipers on rooftops. The Russians will be paying a heavy price!

17 ( +26 / -9 )

There’s just no reason for this war. It’s pointless and stupid.

33 ( +36 / -3 )

Moscow is demanding that Ukraine formally embrace neutrality, thus swearing off any alliance with NATO

This is the most counterintuitive demand ever. Ukraine was never in NATO and yet Russia invaded them. What’s the difference in the status quo then and now?

Russia to Ukraine: Don’t join NATO or we will invade you.

Ukraine: Ok, we will not.

Russia: Good, then we will invade you and you cannot fight back.

Russia to NATO: Shut up while I rape this country.

29 ( +35 / -6 )

losses of this level cannot be sustained or hidden from the public in russia. how far is this going to go? putin cannot achieve full occupation at this rate, and zelenskyy is a hero alive or will be a martyr dead; a thorn for putin either way.

he looks iller and iller by the day on tv--his eyes are pure evil now. with stories of ukrainian forces taking back parts of kherson and other southern areas, putin will find it increasingly difficult to encircle kyiv, especially given that kharkiv still isnt under RU control. in utter frustration, i think he may move to tact nuking kyiv and occupying territory up to the dniper river and call it a day, essentially recreating a west/east germany situation and installing a puppet in the east/southeast as his buffer zone. a tact nuke is so close to red line for nato, but i still dont think nato will respond given the full nuk threat from RU.

he will then be able to tell his populace that the nazi elements have been eliminated and chem weapons labs that were a threat to russia have been destroyed.

OR people high up will finally wake up, and there will be an internal incident where putin will have his ceausescu moment.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Wait a minute, I thought that the Russians were all 17 year-old conscripts with poor morale, low pay and substandard equipment. I thought that they had run out of food, fuel, ammo and all their tires are flat and half their generals are dead... apparently.

That is basically true, which is why they are trying to get Syrians to take their place in the fighting, theRussian army just isn’t capable of it. They do have an endless stockpile of artillery and bombs, which means that despite their incompetence and inferiority to the Ukrainian military they can still kill lots of civilians by just indiscriminately lobbing that stuff at cities, but that is all they are capable of.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Disgusting that so many people have been brutally killed and millions of lives grievously harmed in this war for Putin's latest attempt at glory. Curious which former SSR gets invaded by Russia in Putin War 2. I expect the Kremlin propaganda keyboard armies to drop some hints soon, perhaps once again saying there are Nazis in that country that need to be purged, and NATO is forcing Russia into war, because NATO (i.e.'other-guys') are warmongers and Putin and Russians are peaceful victims. But the keyboard army members are just following orders, the age old defense used by those who have committed war crimes.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

A failure for Putin. A disaster for Ukraine and Russia.

There is no up side to this except a more united NATO spending much more on defense than before and a diminished ability of Russian forces, with a better picture for the world of Russia's lack of ability to conduct large wars for a prolonged conflict.

All these death's and all this destruction for one Russian mans ideals.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

Putin and his mass murderer Mob got exactly what they deserve!

Invading a country and thinking you will easy get the victory???

Ha!

Now you Russian mass murderer Mob...you will pay a high price for that!

And even, if you win this war...you lost already all over the world and you will feel that for the next hundreds of years!

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Russia had one chance: a blitzkrieg. That didn't work out. Heard they're now digging trenches, WWII-style. We'll see how this war of attrition works out: Russia is fighting a war of 40 years ago with outdated weapons and troops who were lied to to get them there while Ukraine is growing stronger by the day.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

However this war ends, we have been accorded the privilege of being able to witness true heroism, something increasingly rare in this day and age. Watching them stand up to Putin's bullying tactics, I feel nothing but admiration for these brave men and women.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

What was pooptin thinking a video game in real fighting its not that easy

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Arm the Ukrainians to the teeth so they can drive out the invaders.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Putin was stupid not to have NKVD/ FSB Battalions behind these troops threatening to kill them if they didn’t move forward. Would have been more successful had a more robust incentive been given to the troops. But flattening entire cities will suffice.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I don’t believe that Putin mentioned Ukraine to Xi in Beijing in early February because he most likely believed that it would be a quick military action over within a week. It was supposed to end so quickly that there would be little time for the rest of the world to react.

However, the initial air assault on the airport near Kyiv was of capital importance and it failed. The Russians were not able to fly in and occupy the capital. Instead of a swift decapitation, it has become a long-haul fight now in its fourth week.

Mean and while in the US, any conversation which involves Russia and China working together automatically assumes that those two are involved in a military alliance directed against the US.

The Biden administration has a chance to negotiate peace but doesn’t know how. When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

The US problem is that it has no solutions to any global problems which are non-military. The US now has a very limited toolkit: threat of sanctions, sanctions, or the threat to use the military. Diplomacy does not exist anymore.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

In which official figures put civilian casualties among Russian speakers at 3,393.

Some Russian-speakers consider themselves to be patriotic Ukrainian.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

There are some good things happening due to this conflict.

NATO is much more united.

EU is much more united.

More spending on the military to protect Europe from future threats

Less reliance on US to defend Europe.

Finland might now join NATO.
14 ( +19 / -5 )

The Biden administration has a chance to negotiate peace but doesn’t know how. When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

The can only be negotiated by the combatants. The Invader Russia and the invaded Ukraine. The US speaks only for the US and has no authority to negotiate on behalf of the people of Ukraine. That is Zelensky's job.

The US problem is that it has no solutions to any global problems which are non-military.

Since when is it America's duty to solve the worlds problems? Do you consider them the leaders of the world with such a responsibility on their shoulders? It sounds like it.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

NATO is much more united.

All Kabuki. Germany is pissed right now but won’t show it.

EU is much more united.

See above

More spending on the military to protect Europe from future threats

From aliens? The only threat to Europe is nukes and their own citizens when these sanctions hit back.

Less reliance on US to defend Europe.

Wait and see if a European military is agreed to.

Finland might now join NATO.

Maybe but wiser heads will prevail I’d guess.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Less reliance on US to defend Europe.

My favorite from the list.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Russia is bogged down in Ukraine, fighting a war without a cause. Now’s a perfect opportunity for Japan to recover the four little islands taken by the Russians at the end of WW2.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I don’t believe that Putin mentioned Ukraine to Xi in Beijing in early February 

the whole point of the trip was for xi to convince puts to wait until the games were over.

Nukes won't ever be launched no matter how despirate Putin is. Putin knows that will be suicide. Putin won't make it until the end of summer. He will be taken out by one of his own.

i hope youre right, but nato isnt even willing to move migs to ukraine so ukrainian pilots can fly them. would a tiny nuke over kyiv draw anyone in proper against putin? he knows that no one will move against him because of the nuke arsenal, but a tact nuke is a serious red line and unknown.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't think most Russians want this War so the Soldiers aren't giving 100%.

Pray for heavy rains to create the mud that is needed to make life living hell for the Russians. They are also expending tremendous energy on citizens and non military targets, a total tragedy but an obvious strategic blunder. Time is not on the Russians side militarily.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

PaulToday  06:18 pm JST

There are some good things happening due to this conflict.

Agree 100%. However the price for achieving that is that the world must now watch a huge massacre of civilians, as Russia starts using is great arsenal because the Ukranian resistance to the invasion has been far more than expected.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Putin must have thought his ally still in the white house!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Things are increasingly looking very bad for Putin. Although it is impossible to know precisely, it certainly seems Russian morale is falling while that of the Ukrainians is rising. The longer Ukraine holds out the more foreign weapons systems they will possess, and the much harder it becomes for Putin to achieve his military and political goals. The question is will Putin know when to take the offramp or will he go down in flames, and if he does go down will he lash out?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Members of the UK government have said more than once they knew of the attack in November of last year and had put plans in place if it happened. It seems likely if the UK government had an idea of an invasion the Chinese also did.

No doubt in my mind. With MI6 and the help of the all seeing NSA, I’m sure they knew.

The big question is what they did with that info. Seems to me they just ran an MSM campaign without any serious diplomacy to stop it. I don’t think they wanted to stop it.

It’s telling that a country who went through the Blitz would not do what it takes to stop the Russias invasion.

Thankfully Russia is not carpet bombing cities and just wants his 5 or 6 demands realized. Give it to him if it stops this. First everyone needs to understand that NATO is NOT a force of peace and justice unless you forfeit your independence to the neoliberal cabal.

As evidence, the UN has recently confirmed 700 civilian deaths in Ukraine. The US and NATO were killing that number every week(minimum average) in Mosul alone during the entire siege which lasted from October 2016-July 2017, under both Obama and Trump.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

I don't think most Russians want this War so the Soldiers aren't giving 100%.

They don’t. Russian soldiers have resorted to shooting theirselves in the leg to avoid fighting. Using whatever Ukrainian ammunition they can find because they’re worried about what happens to them when they get back to Russia.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

The Russians are doing fine.

There is no possible outcome to this where Russians are ‘doing fine’. putin is done, and millions of Russians will suffer because of his lunacy.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Russia is bogged down in Ukraine, fighting a war without a cause. Now’s a perfect opportunity for Japan to recover the four little islands taken by the Russians at the end of WW2.

Ain’t gonna happen. No time. No way.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Watch this awesome video put out by the British "The Sun" News about the war in Ukraine, Highway to Hell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YGwXnfV-0E

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It’s telling that a country who went through the Blitz would not do what it takes to stop the Russias invasion.

Archaic reference. Mostly in the realm of legend and soon to be mythology.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Frustration is not confined to the people of Ukraine sacrifices to save there country from a tyrant.

What young Russians think about Putin?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAmzPeDoE3Q

3 ( +5 / -2 )

People escaping from Mariupol are saying how much they hate Ukraine

No they aren’t. If they love Russia, they don’t need to escape.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The US speaks only for the US and has no authority to negotiate on behalf of the people of Ukraine. That is Zelensky's job.

Then the US should not involve itself with the affairs of Ukraine. Stay out of Europe. It cannot help.

Regardless of its role in the world and even if it wanted to advocate peace, the US has no tools or leverage but to sanction or take military action. This administration is incompetent.

Biden told Xi what the “implications and consequences” will be should Beijing provide material support to Moscow in the war in Ukraine.

Xi responded “all sides need to support dialogue between Russia and Ukraine” and “the US and NATO should also have dialogue with Russia to address the crux of the Ukraine crisis and ease security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.”

So Biden acts like a thug threatening China with “consequences,” while Xi is talking about finding a formula for peace. It shows the difference between the two.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

A lot of the misinformation – as opposed to intentional disinformation – being broadcast across the West can be more correctly interpreted and understood if you consider some of the implications of the statements being released by the Russian Defence Ministry.

> The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation.

The grouping of troops of the Lugansk People’s Republic with the fire support of the Russian Armed Forces liberated more than 90 percent of the territory of the republic.

Currently, the units of the Lugansk People’s Republic are eliminating scattered groups of nationalists on the southern outskirts of Rubezhnoye liberated settlement.

In the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue their successful offensive in the northern direction. During the day, they took control of Zolotaya Niva, Novodonetsky, Novomayorskoye and Prechistovka. The advance was 16 kilometers.

Ignore the rhetoric and the various factual claims, which may or may not be true. What do you notice about the specific military elements that are being discussed?

The significant element worth noting here, in my opinion, is that the main offensives are being conducted by the Republican militias. The Russians aren’t even utilizing their second-line infantry against the best Ukrainian brigades in the east, except apparently in Mariupol where the formidable Azov Special Operations Detachment has been surrounded by Russian regulars.

The Russian military is offering artillery, air, and sea support to the militias, as well as air defense, but they are not engaging their armor and infantry forces on every front. This reliance upon the militias for the ground offensive may account for what Western observers consider to be suboptimal tactics and higher-than-expected casualty rates, as well as the observation that it is mostly older, outdated T-72 tanks and APCs being destroyed.

The fact that using one’s least-experienced and least-valued forces first has been a common method of warmaking since Xerxes sent the Medes against the Spartans before sending in his Immortals at the Battle of Thermopylae appears to have escaped the Western media’s military experts. Apparently their grasp of military history and theory doesn’t even rise to the level of kids' comics.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Very questionable whether the British “knew” that Russia would invade Ukraine. What was known and widely exposed was a threatening build up of Russian military, what was at the time probable was leverage to extract concessions. What was fairly universally thought improbable was that Russia or Poo tin would be so insane as to actually invade a peaceful neighbour.

Poo tin lied and lied that they were just exercises and denigrated anyone in the west who suggested otherwise. He and his Kremlin kleptocratic cronies had already decided to rape Ukraine and murder any of its people who stood in their way.

A noose is waiting for them, preferably in the hands of the mothers of the slaughtered conscripts! A convenient balcony and let them dance the Tyburn jig.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

There is no possible outcome to this where Russians are ‘doing fine’. putin is done, and millions of Russians will suffer because of his lunacy.

Maybe in the long run, but in the short run the Ukrainians will suffer the most not to mention once he gets to Kyiv, they will level that city to the ground most likely.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

That’s an Anglo-Swedish NLAW the lead soldier is carrying, apparently the Ukrainians love them, they are light, simple to use, only require one operator, don’t need a tripod or the operator to be upright to fire, can be launched safely from within a room and don’t give away your position, perfect for ambushing Russian columns and kills Russian tanks nicely thank you!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The fact that using one’s least-experienced and least-valued forces first has been a common method of warmaking since Xerxes sent the Medes against the Spartans before sending in his Immortals at the Battle of Thermopylae appears to have escaped the Western media’s military experts. Apparently their grasp of military history and theory doesn’t even rise to the level of kids' comics.

Everyone understands the concept of cannon fodder. No need for ‘military expertise’.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Pray for the Ukrainians. They are doing brilliantly in defending their nation from barbaric invading fascists.

10,000 plus body bags sent back to where the invaders came from so far. This will multiply exponentially with the fierce resistance from the Ukrainians.

Keep blowing those Russian vehicles and tanks up, the world is on your side!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Just read the readout of the Biden Xi video call. FWIW:

*reiterated the US policy on Taiwan has not changed.

*US opposes any change to status quo

The US appears to be seeking China’s help but from media reports, Ukraine has got this and the Russians are on thin ice.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

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