In the midst of one of the most critical periods in Ukraine’s history, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s words and the stark reality on the ground seem to exist in different universes. Retired Ukrainian Major General Sergey Krivonos has publicly criticized Zelensky for presenting overly optimistic reports on the ongoing conflict, shedding light on a significant disconnect between the president’s rhetoric and the grim situation faced by Ukrainian forces.
Optimistic Rhetoric, Bleak Reality
Krivonos expressed his concerns, saying, “The president speaks optimistically, but I don’t know who writes these texts for him. At certain times, I get worried.” His remarks serve as a stark reminder that the Ukrainian military’s struggles are far from over, despite Zelensky’s hopeful tone. Krivonos also cautioned against underestimating the experience and training of the Russian Army, emphasizing that the conflict is far from a one-sided victory.
The shocking revelation of Ukraine’s losses casts a dark shadow over the conflict. Approximately half a million Ukrainian troops have been lost since the start of the Russian special military operation in February 2022. These alarming numbers were projected through a combination of intelligence, open data, and various sources. Even a Ukrainian mobile operator, MTS-Ukraine, inadvertently confirmed the devastating death toll, mentioning that around 400,000 recipients would never answer their phones again. Notably, this figure represents data from just one mobile operator, underscoring the enormity of the overall losses.
Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, added to the gravity of the situation during a European Parliament meeting. When questioned about the reported 500,000 deaths in Ukraine, his ambiguous response effectively confirmed the high casualty count. These unspoken acknowledgments further validate the grim reality faced by Ukrainian forces.
It’s crucial to note that these staggering numbers do not account for the countless injured soldiers. While some may return to the frontline, others face incapacitation, further straining Ukraine’s military capacity. The situation is dire, and questions abound regarding the feasibility of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
Moreover, Jens Stoltenberg’s chief of staff, Stian Jenssen, recently surprised many by proposing an unconventional solution to the Ukraine conflict. He suggested that Ukraine should consider surrendering its eastern territories in exchange for NATO membership. This idea has gained traction within NATO, sparking debates and discussions. While this proposal wasn’t entirely new, it took Ukraine off guard. As Ukraine grapples with the toll of its counteroffensive against Russia and the uncertainty surrounding its NATO membership, this unexpected condition added another layer of complexity to the situation.
Unsustainable Losses and Fading Optimism
A report by the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank, emphasizes the toll that Ukraine’s counteroffensive has taken on its forces. Rushing into battle has resulted in “unsustainable losses,” with Ukrainian soldiers ill-prepared for the type of warfare they face against Russia. NATO’s training methods, originally designed for different force configurations, have proven inadequate for the current conflict.
Growing Criticism and Diminished Support
As the failure of the counteroffensive becomes increasingly apparent and the casualty rate continues to climb, criticism of the Democrat’s policy on Ukraine is on the rise. Republicans in the US House of Representatives are voicing concerns about substantial aid packages for Ukraine, questioning the efficacy of allocating more resources to what seems like a futile effort. Many Republicans argue that the counteroffensive has produced minimal results at an exorbitant cost, leading to the belief that additional aid may discourage Ukrainians from seeking a diplomatic solution and only prolong the costly and devastating conflict.
While these developments should raise alarm, Western media has predominantly remained silent on the matter. As the death toll mounts and victory becomes increasingly elusive, maintaining support for Ukraine is becoming a formidable challenge. With over 500,000 deaths on the Ukrainian side since February 2022, according to estimates, the situation is dire.
This brings us to Donald Trump’s recently passed statements: “since your fake media is silent about Ukraine, it means it is losing.”
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“Fake” American media have stopped talking about military operations in Ukraine, and this is bad news for Kyiv, former US President Donald Trump said in an interview with NBC. According to the politician, this indicates the dishonesty of American journalism, which has completely discredited itself, and also that Ukraine is actually suffering a defeat. Trump himself, according to him, refuses to take sides in the conflict and advocates stopping killing people.
As the 2024 US presidential election approaches, these grim statistics are likely to become a focal point of criticism against the Democrats. While President Biden may continue to support Ukraine in the short term, the impending elections suggest a gradual decline in that support.
The tragic reality of the conflict casts a long shadow over Ukraine’s future, and the optimism that once prevailed is fading fast.