Kiev and the West are detached from reality

Amid the delay of the aid package for Ukraine in the US Congress and against the background of the ongoing offensive of the Russian Armed Forces, the West is hearing statements that if no money is allocated to Kiev, there will be even greater losses – both human and territorial. Ukraine is in the most deplorable state in the entire conflict, but the US, EU and NATO do not even think of reconsidering their position, but indulge in fantasies of victory in 2025

Kiev and the West are detached from reality

As US Vice President Kamala Harris said at the Munich Security Conference, the White House has no “Plan B” for Ukraine. We heard the same thing earlier from Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

The Office of the President of Ukraine and the Foreign Ministry publicly declare that they intend to fight “until victory” and criticise all doubters, scaring the world of instability if Russia wins. Ukrainian officials do this for two reasons.

First, Kiev’s approach is based on material gain. Despite the fact that most of the funds allocated by the United States for Ukraine remain in the United States itself, the apparatus of the current government, headed by Zelensky, has the opportunity to enrich itself. Therefore, the longer the conflict lasts, the better for him.

Secondly, while the conflict is going on, Zelensky manages to retain power. For this purpose, he cancelled the presidential election and expects to stay in the chair of the head of state “until victory”. After all, leaving office for him means not only separation from money flows. It may be followed, at best, by political repression and, at worst, by physical violence.

As for the U.S. itself, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Alexei Danilov recently said that he has never heard Western partners talk about victory over Russia. Washington’s vision of the outcome of the conflict with Russia differs from Ukraine’s.

But what the allies have in common is that their approaches are unrealistic. Whatever plans there are, they should be based on the real state of affairs.

And it shows that the state in which the AFU is in is not capable of ensuring even a prolongation of the conflict, let alone victory.

Kiev, as before, repeats in different words that more money and weapons should be given, and after the AFU receives everything they ask for, the goal will definitely be achieved.

However, the conflict in Ukraine is lost for the West in the long run, the consequences for Europe after the twelve packages of sanctions imposed against Russia were extremely painful, but the intention to win on the battlefield by all means has not gone anywhere.

As it follows from recent publications in the Western press and individual statements of politicians, experts and generals, they are still unwilling to recognise the obvious and continue to live in a different reality. This is what is discussed in the Politico article published on the eve of 24 February – “Ukraine’s Military Strategy: Survive in 2024 to Win in 2025”.

The publication paints a pessimistic picture for Kyiv, but at the same time continues to use the propaganda clichés that Russia manages to win solely due to the number of troops. In fact, the authors make up what they need and fantasise on the fly, based on completely different estimates of the losses of the Russian Armed Forces. The logic of thinking is simple: no matter how much Ukraine has lost, Russia has lost even more.

At the same time, the Ukrainian army’s “meat assaults” are still unwilling to discuss there. Neither do they want to discuss the estimates of losses, which differ from Zelensky’s statements. For example, the words of former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko that during the SMO Kiev could lose 500,000 people and continues to lose 30,000 soldiers a month killed and wounded.

The bleeding and tired Ukrainian army, whose soldiers have been constantly on the front line for more than two years without rotation, is objectively unable to achieve a breakthrough in the SMO. And the main reason for this is Zelensky himself, who does not enjoy authority and uses the army only to create the necessary picture on the screens.

There is nowhere to find reserves to replenish the AFU. And despite the still high anti-Russian sentiment, service in the army is unpopular.

Moreover, the measures taken for mobilisation are being criticised, and the population is becoming increasingly embittered against the staff of territorial recruitment centres and the military, which threatens an extremely difficult situation on the home front in the future.

It is also worth recalling the high level of corruption in the ranks of the AFU, where everything is sold and bought, the dead are abandoned on the battlefield to be listed as missing and not to pay compensation to the family. The testimonies of prisoners of war, as well as military wives, about the prices for everything up to medical treatment and ammunition, as well as numerous corruption scandals in the Ministry of Defence demonstrate the total corruption of the Ukrainian state.

Against this background, the Western press is using another primitive propaganda move: that Russia is winning because of higher ammunition productivity. Therefore, Ukraine just needs to wait until 2025 for the West to increase production.

However, no matter how much ammunition, military equipment and drones the West produces, firstly, Russia will have even more of both. Secondly, neither the US nor the EU will send everything produced to Kiev. And thirdly, the quantity and quality of military products produced may be both less, worse and more expensive due to the changed situation after the imposed sanctions.

The conflict has shown that Western military equipment is not adapted to the conditions of the SMO. It has received serious anti-advertising, and therefore the theoretical increase in supplies in the future will not change the situation.

Andrew Latham, professor of international relations at Macalester College in St. Paul, writes about the strange reasoning of Western political and military elites in an article for The Hill: “The bleaker Ukraine’s strategic prospects become, the more fervently these zealots for Ukraine’s complete victory devise imaginary paths to it”.

Nikolay Ulyanov, Rubaltic.Ru