The start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive

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By VLADIMIR KORNILOV*

The long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive frustrates the West as it is stopped by the Russian army

By supplying the Kiev regime with a staggering amount of weaponry, the West intended to assure itself that the success of its military enterprise in Ukraine was inevitable, seeking to convince its public that Ukrainian fighters trained abroad with the latest tanks and NATO tactics would crush the allegedly demoralized Russian military in a matter of hours. It is now clear that something went very wrong with these calculations.

It doesn't hurt to remember that, just a week ago, retired general David Petraeus, former head of the CIA and now one of the main talking heads in the Western media regarding the Ukrainian case, had visited Kiev, and left saying that “everything will be resolved within 72-96 hours” after the start of the Ukrainian attacks. With undisguised delight, he unraveled the details of how the first Ukrainian attacks on Russia's forward positions would look, how Western-trained saboteurs would work flawlessly, how Western air defense systems would instantly overwhelm the Russian air force, and how electronic warfare would wreak havoc. in the command and control systems of the Russian army.

And so Western analysts rambled on to long-range goals from this vaunted counter-offensive. Another assiduous talking head, retired US General Ben Hodges, tirelessly repeated day after day that “Ukraine will liberate Crimea by the end of summer 2023”. Now David Petraeus is forced to admit the impossibility of these plans, placing hopes that Ukraine will achieve, at least, an interruption of the logistical supply of Crimea.

the strategists Online Westerners, fighting on their sofas against Russia, were appalled in the early hours of the start of that counter-offensive, seeing the images of downed Ukrainian tanks and asking themselves: why was it necessary to throw a dozen armored vehicles into a minefield in what they say is a “test attack”? David Petraeus had painted the picture of the first 72 hours of combat as if it were the picture of perfection: sappers, tanks, air defense, electronic warfare and… Blitzkrieg from Ukraine. And now they don't understand who sent the western armored vehicles into the minefields...

The best acknowledgment of the failed calculations of these afflicted strategists is an article by the rabid Russophobe Julian Repke in the German newspaper BILD, with the screaming headline: “Russians are fighting better than expected”. All those Hodges, Petraeus and Repke, who had long convinced the Western public that the Russian army was in a morally dire state, now find themselves amazed at how steadfastly Russian fighters repel one enemy attack after another. And Julian Repke is forced to make the hardest admission of all: “It is becoming increasingly clear that there will probably be no 'win by the end of the year'. (…) Instead, Ukraine's offensive efforts could drag on for years.” Even less want to get to Crimea “by the end of summer”.

Other ideologues of Blitzkrieg Ukrainians reach the same sad conclusions for the West. The Economist,, which until recently predicted “a decisive victory for Ukraine, which will change Europe”, repeating Ben Hodges' stories that Crimea was about to fall, has also dramatically changed the rhetoric. Its latest issue, dedicated to the Ukrainian offensive, has a cover with fingers crossed. What else would there be to help Ukraine win?

Meanwhile, an analysis of the fighting that broke out on the Zaporozhye front leads the magazine to similar conclusions, far removed from the victorious rhetoric the West boasted just a few weeks ago. Not only that, The Economist, begins to paint a chilling picture of Ukraine's total failure and Russia's victory. But in the end, it “reassures” its readers: the most likely scenario is a prolonged conflict. However, the magazine also sees serious risks in it, which concern the “fatigue of the West” and the possible change in the White House after the 2024 elections.

Stories about “Ukraine's outright victory” have evidently dwindled. Now, even the “hawks” of the West are talking about the need to make at least small territorial gains during a counteroffensive, so that Ukraine has better terms in a negotiation with Russia than the ones it has now. It is indeed a dramatic change of goals and objectives.

It is very telling that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suddenly expresses a desire to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin, even as he admits that the Ukrainian conflict is dragging on.

It is now safe to say that the Blitzkrieg Ukraine that the West had been waiting for was thwarted by the capable efforts of the Russian army. Western analysts are horrified to see billions of dollars in Western aid burning in Zaporozhye's minefields as shares of companies in its military-industrial complex collapse. Along with German Leopard tanks, the West's long-stated goal of defeating Russia on the battlefield also seems to be burning.

*Vladimir Kornilov is a journalist for the agency RIA Novosti.

Translation: Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel.

Originally published on News Front.


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