MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Ukraine Is Still Losing So What Is Its Plan?

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2022

What then is the strategy that government in Kiev and its overlords in Washington DC are following? Why has the Ukraine not given up? Why didn’t it continue to negotiate with the Russian side?

Is their hope that their daily over the top ‘Russia is losing’ propaganda will create enough political momentum for a large scale NATO intervention?

That would end in a disaster for the NATO forces.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/04/the-ukraine-is-still-losing-so-what-is-its-plan.html#more

Russian and Donbas forces have cleared the city of Mariupol except for the giant metallurgic complex of Azovstal which is held by some estimated 4,000 men, including many from the fascist Azov battalion.

On Sunday Russia opened corridors across the front line and asked for those forces to surrender. However the Zelensky government ordered them to stay and to continue to bind Russian forces which otherwise could be used elsewhere:

Russia had given the Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol until Sunday morning to lay down their weapons or be “eliminated.” On Sunday, the forces at the plant ignored the deadline, and Ukrainian officials vowed that they would not surrender. In response, the Russian assault intensified, with missiles and bombs hitting the city and new attacks occurring near the plant, according to the Ukrainian military.

Ukrainian officials said on Sunday that the struggle was not over for Mariupol, which for two months has tied up Russian troops and resources that are badly needed elsewhere.

The Azovstal complex is a 2 by 2 miles industrial area. It can be surrounded and controlled by a relatively small force. Those within the area no longer have heavy artillery ammunition and presumably little other supplies. The Russian forces can see and bomb anything that moves on the open ground and can otherwise sit back and wait their enemies out.

I do not believe that holding on to Azovstal will significantly delay the upcoming second phase of the Russian operation which will surround and destroy the Ukrainian army on the Donbas front.

The Russian military has two huge advantage over the Ukrainian forces in the east. One is of course its air superiority. The other is the unimpeded supply line which allows it to get as much heavy artillery ammunition, fuel and food to its forces as it needs.

Without fuel the Ukrainian army can not move and without constant supply, especially of large amounts of artillery munitions, it can not counter Russian artillery which will be in heavy use against it.

This pictures of a former Ukrainian position show the devastating result of such a situation.
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Nearly all of the Ukrainian ammunition and fuel supplies have been bombed and destroyed. What is trickling in through its western borders has difficulties to reach the eastern front and is anyway not enough to supply an actively fighting and maneuvering army.

On April 16 Russia shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane that was bringing ‘western’ weapons to Odessa. Today it destroyed another ammunition depot near Lviv were ‘western’ weapons are crossing the border into Ukraine. Some bits of fuel allegedly still reach the Ukraine through trains from Moldova. But that is far from enough.

Here is a week old report on the fuel situation:

Since the beginning of the war, the number of gas stations in Ukraine has decreased three times, and private fuel consumption has decreased by about the same amount, said Sergey Kuyun, director of the A-95 consulting group.

“According to our estimates, a third of the total number of gas stations is operating, this is about 2.5 thousand stations, before the war there were 7.5 thousand. Of course, the main reason is the lack of fuel. Consumption has also decreased three times compared to the pre-war level,” he said at a closed briefing at the Media Center in Lviv on Monday.

At the same time, Kuyun noted that traders or network owners are forced to provide their most strategic and powerful facilities, located mainly in regional centers or on main routes, while peripheral stations are forced to stand idle, although there are also a lot of consumers there.

According to him, the shortage of fuel became especially aggravated after the shutdown of the Kremenchug Oil Refinery as a result of a missile attack by Russian invaders.

On April 2, the Russian invaders destroyed the infrastructure of the Kremenchug oil refinery with their shelling, and it stopped working.

The damage done daily to the Ukrainian military and military industry is huge. One can get a sense of it when one reads through the briefings of the Russian defense ministry. From today’s morning brief (here in full as some have difficulties accessing the site):

See the rest here

Be seeing you

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