I’d seen this news earlier. WaPo put it all in one article, linked below
While eating supper with hubby this evening and chatting about current events – I wondered aloud how it was that Zelensky was still in power? How is it the Ukrainians haven’t run this man out of town? But then I wonder why it is Trudeau is still leading Canada as well?
In the very early days of this military action I’d hoped for diplomacy. And it looked for a short time that Zelensky might have been willing to take this road. But, then he took this sharp U turn and things became bizarre and deadly for Ukrainians.
The Ukrainians are still fighting back, but they are
running out of ammunition and suffering casualties at a far higher rate than in the initial stages of the war. Around 200 Ukrainian soldiers are now being killed every day, up from 100 late last month, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky told the BBC on Friday— meaning that as many as
1,000 Ukrainians are being taken out of the fight every day, including those who are injured.
The overall trajectory of the war has unmistakably shifted away from one of unexpectedly dismal Russian failures and tilted in favor of Russia as the demonstrably stronger force.
Ukrainian and U.S. hopes that the new supplies of Western weaponry would enable Ukraine to regain the initiative and eventually retake the estimated 20 percent of Ukrainian territory captured by Russia since its Feb. 24 invasion are starting to look premature, said Oleksandr V. Danylyuk, an adviser to the Ukrainian government on defense and intelligence issues.
“The strategies and tactics of the Russians are completely different right now. They are being much more successful,” he said. “They have more resources than us and they are not in a rush.”
“There’s much less space for optimism right now,” he added.
As troop fatalities mounted, the surviving soldiers felt “more motivated to hold our position,” Tihonenko said. To retreat after their comrades were killed defending the town, he said, would have felt like treating their deaths as insignificant.
But eventually, t
he defensive line was no longer effective, the two men said. With more than one-third of their force killed, the remaining soldiers had no choice but to pull back.
“Sometimes you feel down,” Tihonenko said. “But then you realize war is war — and you have to finish it.”
the odds against
the Ukrainians are starting to look overwhelming, said Danylyuk, the government adviser.
“The Russians are using long-range artillery against us, often without any response, because we don’t have the means,” he said. “They can attack from dozens of kilometers away and we can’t fire back. We know all the coordinates for all their important targets, but we don’t have the means to attack.”
Ukraine has now almost completely run out of ammunition for the Soviet-era weapons systems that were the mainstay of its arsenal, and the Eastern European countries that maintained the same systems have run out of surplus supplies to donate, Danylyuk said. Ukraine urgently needs to shift to longer-range and more sophisticated Western systems, but those have only recently been committed, and in insufficient quantities to match Russia’s immense firepower, he said.
Russia is firing as many as 50,000 artillery rounds a day into Ukrainian positions, and the Ukrainians can only hit back with around 5,000 to 6,000 rounds a day,he said. The United States has committed to deliver 220,000 rounds of ammunition — enough to match Russian firepower for around four days.
The Russians have meanwhile adapted their tactics in ways that have let them take full advantage of their firepower by remaining at a distance from Ukrainian positions, pounding them relentlessly, then taking territory once the Ukrainians have been forced to retreat.
The Russians are also doing a better job of combining their arms, of using close air support and deploying dismounted infantry, said Rob Lee, a former U.S. Marine now with the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Russia has not released casualty figures since March. “But when you look at what’s happening, I’d be shocked if the Russians are sustaining casualties anywhere close to what the Ukrainians are right now,” Alperovitch said.