By David Sole
The Ukrainian government continues to throw its military forces into battle with the Russian Federation army despite the increasingly unfavorable situation. The world awaits a so-called “Spring Offensive” by Ukraine that has been much talked about to see if it can turn the tide in this bitter conflict.
The losses of Ukrainian troops in the past year of war are staggering. Pro-Ukrainian western media give the figures at well over 100,000 killed or wounded. Russian losses are usually exaggerated greatly, sometimes given as up to 200,000 casualties. However, more objective reporting has given the Russian losses at 16,000.
Recent reports reveal that Ukraine is sending in poorly trained raw recruits to shore up its frontlines. National Public Radio broadcast interviews on March 28 with Ukrainian soldiers who were being given only days of basic instruction compared to normal combat preparation of up to 2 months.
Ukraine has lost its most experienced and trained fighters who were trained by the U.S. and NATO from the 2014 right-wing coup until the 2022 Special Military Operation by the Russian Federation. Most of the heavy equipment built up by Ukraine in those years has also been destroyed in heavy fighting.
Undertrained personnel cannot be expected to operate even the limited amount of sophisticated military hardware being rushed in to shore up Ukraine’s capabilities. And coordinating troops and armor on the battlefield in combined arms fighting tactics inevitably will suffer in any new offensive.
Intense fighting continues around two cities, Bakhmut and Avdiivka. Both have been controlled and heavily fortified by the Ukrainian military in its standoff with the ethnic Russian population which established the Donetsk People’s Republic in opposition to the coup. Both cities are now almost totally surrounded by Russian forces.
The pro-Ukrainian, Washington D.C. based think tank, the Institute for the Study of War estimated as of March 29 that Bakhmut is now 65% controlled by the Russian Federation….