RUSSIA is advancing on nearly all fronts in Ukraine, and the West’s armament deliveries have fallen 87 per cent in 2023 compared with 2022. There has been a 30 per cent fall in the supply of artillery shells of as the US diverted supplies to Israel. In Congress, Biden’s Democrats cannot get a $61billion package for Ukraine passed since the Republicans demand, as part of the total, sums for the existential crisis on the US’s southern border (where some 2million migrants are crossing yearly) and because Biden cannot say what the war aim in Ukraine is.
Ukrainian losses amount to about 400,000 troops killed or missing while Russian estimated losses vary between 50,000 and 250,000, but figures are very unreliable. The Ukrainian ‘counter-offensive’ has been a disaster with Russia gaining more ground than Ukraine since it began.
The extent of the sudden realisation that the West has foolishly believed its own propaganda but must now recognise impending defeat is clear from the hopelessly naive Daniel Hannan in the Sunday Telegraph. On July 15 2023 he wrote: ‘Take away Russia’s nuclear weapons – for Putin is finished and his country may soon collapse.’
But on December 9 2023 he was forced to admit: ‘Putin’s Russia is closing in on a devastating victory. Europe’s foundations are trembling.’
Even where Ukraine has made ground (in the Kherson area and around Rabotino) their troops are either being decimated in Krynki on the East bank of the Dniepr or retreating again around Rabotino.
The Odessa publication Dumskaya writes: ‘The operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to maintain a bridgehead on the left bank of the Dniepr is meaningless and only leads to large losses. Marines cross the river and most are killed as they approach the shore. Those who survived and crossed over will be ironed with everything that is in the Russian arsenal. People are just constantly being thrown across the river – wave after wave. There is no talk of any further breakthrough; now the forces are being wasted simply on staying there. For what? In this regard, the ongoing attempts to throw the Marines on to the left bank are something beyond good and evil.’
Following the pattern of hopeless resistance in other battles (Mariupol, Bakhmut) Zelensky refuses the advice of his generals to retreat and consolidate and instead throws decreasingly effective troops to their deaths for the sake of ‘heroic’ media headlines. No wonder so many have died, and Zelensky is at loggerheads with the Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi with whom he no longer communicates directly. Increasingly other Ukrainian leaders such as former President Poroshenko and the Mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, are taking Zaluzhnyi’s side. The massive losses at the front have led to demonstrations in Kiev and elsewhere.
Following Zelensky’s failed trip to Washington and the frosty reception he got, he is threatened both by insurrection at home and lack of both military and political support from his Western allies.
The former CIA intelligence officer Larry Johnson, evidently still with contacts within the agency, says Zelensky has asked for security guarantees for his escape from Ukraine. The Italian publication Antidiplomatico writes that the Ukrainian leader was found a ‘safe’ successor in the person of his head of administration Andrey Yermak.
So desperate is the Biden administration to finance and arm Ukraine for the further slaughter of its citizens that the Secretary of State for Defence Lloyd Austin actually threatened congressmen in a closed committee session that if they did not authorise more funds for Ukraine, ‘we will send your uncles, cousins and sons to fight in Ukraine’. Needless to say, this disgraceful threat further turned Congressmen and women against the government.
There are already 62,000 women in the Ukraine Armed Forces and women are now working down mines, replacing the men conscripted into the army. The desperation of the Kiev Government can be seen not just in the recruitment of men up to the age of 70 and the vicious pressgangs dragging men off the streets but in this Ministerial Order which states: ‘In order to avoid suicide attempts in combat positions, new arrivals do not issue ammunition to mobilised (ie conscripts) military personnel.’
Zelensky’s former spokesman Arestovich has admitted that there are some 100 deserters per day from troops in the field: ‘100 people per day – that’s a brigade per month.’
UK will return Ukrainian refugees to fight
There are 650,000 Ukrainians of conscription age living in the European Union who fled from mobilisation after Russian troops entered Ukraine, with 190,000 in Germany and thousands in the UK.
Following my correspondence with my MP and the UK Home Office it is now clear that the UK Government is prepared to extradite Ukrainian refugees to fight. In the text of the letter from the Security Minister to my MP about extradition: ‘A requested person will not be extradited if doing so would breach their human rights, if the request is politically motivated or if they would be at risk of facing the death penalty. The dual criminality test also applies, meaning that the criminal offence for which an individual is ought must be an offence in both the requesting state and the UK.’
What is clear from this letter and in particular the above paragraph, is (1) there is no policy not to extradite; (2) since all Ukrainian refugees would not be subject to the death penalty, extradition to a country the UK is aiding in war would not breach their human rights; (3) draft dodging is a common misdemeanour to both the UK and Ukraine therefore they would be extradited.
We know that Kiev is sending to the front lines recruits with only a few weeks training, and we know from Ukrainian commanders that this is not sufficient. But the almost hysterical Ukraine-supporting British government is prepared to extradite Ukrainians to whom it has granted refugee status to fight on the murderous front lines in Eastern Ukraine.
US begins to recognise a futile war
The Council on Foreign Relations is the most influential organisation in the US when it comes to US foreign policy, and its president until June 2023, Richard Haass, has pointed to the futility of Ukraine’s sacrifices in this war: ‘Even if we give everything we need to give to Ukraine it still won’t lead to success . . . Therefore the US needs to have some very direct conversations with Ukraine and talk about reducing their emphasis on liberating land, increasingly put their emphasis on holding onto what they’ve got . . . The idea that one or two or three more years of this is going to result in success, I simply don’t see it . . . Anytime in life there’s a big gap between what you’re trying to do and your ability to do it, you either need to increase your means or lower your goals: here the only realistic option is to lower our goals.’
Were it not for the US’s perceived threats from Iran, Hezbollah, Yemen, Gaza and China the Biden administration would blindly ignore this advice, but times are a-changing and the weakness of Biden in an election year, the precarious state of Zelensky in Kiev, the massive Ukrainian losses and growing opposition to the war in Europe mean that Washington will soon be forcing Kiev to negotiate with Russia. Since Zelensky has legislated against any such negotiations, he will have to be replaced. Russia will not agree to pause the war during any such negotiations.
This article appeared in Freenations on December 14, 2023, and is republished by kind permission.