Ukraine will be the first battle won in the world that is being born

Ukraine will be the first battle won in the world that is being born

While a live genocide is taking place in Palestine that has lasted for more than a month, sponsored and militarily fueled by the United States, Ukraine, Washington’s other putative daughter, struggles into oblivion. November has made public a series of statements that show the putrid and terminal state in which Kyiv finds itself, just waiting for a last rite that without a doubt will have repercussions beyond its borders.

On the first day of this month, the head of the Pentagon, General Lloyd Austin, speaking at the Senate hearing on additional funds, stated with extraordinary forcefulness that Ukraine could not win the conflict with Russia without the support of Washington. In this way, something known by the military for a long time that Western political leaders have tried to hide, became clear. Simply put, Ukraine’s military effort depends almost exclusively on the contribution the United States makes to sustain it.

To make the assertion more evident and perhaps thinking that there could be some doubts about it, just three days later, on November 4, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre warned that the United States government “is running out of funds to finance arms shipments to Ukraine.” In something that might seem laughable if thousands of human lives were not at stake, the spokesperson stated that they are going to begin delivering “smaller aid packages” to expand the capacity to support the Kyiv regime “for as long as possible.”

It is worth remembering that on October 20, the White House asked Congress for a new aid package for Kyiv worth $60 billion. However, past Thursday, November the 2nd, the House of Representatives approved a bill that provides more than $14 billion in emergency aid for Israel, but in which Ukraine is not mentioned. The explanation came from Republican Congressman Mike Johnson, new leader of the House of Representatives, who highlighted that Israel’s needs are more “urgent” than those of Ukraine.

All this occurs when the Minister of Finance of Ukraine Sergei Marchenko informed the public that his country faces a deficit of 29 billion dollars by 2024. Without the help of its Western allies, this obstacle will be difficult to overcome. Marchenko assured that he saw a lot of “fatigue” and “weakness” among Ukraine’s partners, adding that Western officials “would like to forget” about the military actions, although hostilities “are still ongoing, on a large scale.”

Adding data to support the situation, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valeri Zaluzhny, admitted in an interview for the British magazine The Economist, that Russia was in a better position in the armed conflict. He described the current situation on the front as “a stalemate” in terms of the level of technology.

Zaluzhny’s interview caused not only discontent and demoralization in Ukraine, but also widespread terror among some of its allies. On the contrary sense, President Zelensky asserted that his country was not in a stalemate with respect to Russia. He stated that what was happening was that Moscow had total air superiority that forced them to take care of their military. He then outlined a proposal to overcome this situation, based on the delivery by the West of the promised F-16 multipurpose fighter aircraft.

Adding “more fuel to the fire,” the next day, November 5, the former advisor to the head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine, Alexei Arestovich, signaled his agreement with Zaluzhny by stating that Ukraine could not – under current conditions – defeat Russia in the battlefield. In support of his position, Arestovich said: “The enemy is more powerful in economic, military, mobilization and organizational terms, and our partners, on whom we depend, are not interested in defeating the Russian Federation.”

The interesting thing about this statement is that on the one hand, it was the first time that the idea that the failure of the operations depends exclusively on the contribution of the West in weapons and financial resources was publicly refuted from Ukraine, by incorporating the large deficits in terms of human resources and organization in which external help does not have a major influence. On the other hand, in this statement the dependence on the West to sustain the actions is explicit, as General Austin had already pointed out.

This debate, which covers the country’s internal news, is part of an electoral dynamic ahead of next year’s presidential elections. But Zelensky closed down any possibility in this regard by saying that elections cannot be held in a situation in which Martial Law prevails.

Although it was rumored that the new defense minister Rustem Umerov, linked to former president Pyotr Poroshenko, would have submitted a request to dismiss Zaluzhny, such information was denied by the advisor to the Presidential Office Sergei Leschenko, who characterized it as “fake news.” However, the damage was already done when it became clear that a sector of society wants Zaluzhny to leave.

In this regard, the Presidential Office issued harsh public criticism of Zaluzhny, but the president did not make the decision to dismiss him. Zelensky must have taken note of Zaluzhny’s excellent relations with NATO military commanders and especially with the US defense secretary. However, we must understand the negative dimension of what it means for any country when the head of state and the head of the armed forces publicly issue contradictory opinions, particularly when referring to the situation of the conflict in its warlike aspect. The New York Times noted that such a situation is an expression of “an emerging rift between military and civilian leadership at an already difficult time for Ukraine,” especially because “the fissure [between Zelensky and Zaluzhny] comes as Ukraine is struggling in its effort to of war, militarily and diplomatically”.

This controversy was once again the reason for Arestovich to intervene in order to continue “rubbing salt in the wound.” It is no secret to anyone that the former advisor has expressed his aspiration for the presidency. In some way, that explains its permanent appearance in the media and on social networks. In this context, his apparent interest in mediating the brawl is explained, which evidently undermines the fighting spirit of the armed forces. Arestovich has called on Zelensky to “show common sense” and resolve his disagreements with Zaluzhny. Likewise, he has let him know that “the key to changing the position of the opposition, of the Americans, of the whole world, of the Army and of society” is in his hands, taking advantage of telling him that they are not the ones who criticize him and urge holding elections, those who generate instability in the country “but yourself, with your ineffective policies that undermine the faith of citizens in victory, the feelings in the Army, the trust of partners and allies.”

Some of the most influential Western media has been joining this controversy. For example, “Time” magazine, which has now become – openly – a strong detractor of the Ukrainian government, published an article in which it describes Zelensky as a person who lives on the margins of reality. The assertion is surprising knowing that this news outlet is strongly linked to the CIA, the main foreign intelligence agency of the United States.

In this regard, journalist and former “Fox News” host Clayton Morris wondered: “Why does a CIA-backed magazine suddenly decide to show the true and grim picture of the situation in Ukraine? To get their support or [to] lay the groundwork for something less pleasant?” Morris claimed that to write the article, “Time”had gained access to Zelensky’s inner circle and as a result, he could be portrayed as a “mentally unstable and unrealized leader.”

The article, published on October 30, comments on Zelensky and his entourage, pointing out that the excessive optimism outside of reality of the Ukrainian president, even despite the failures in combat operations, “hinders the attempts of his team to carry out new strategies and ideas.”

With extreme harshness, the publication assures that Ukraine will no longer be able to count on the human resources necessary to use all the weapons that the West has promised it. At the same time, it affirms that it also conspired against this with local officials who “steal as if there was no tomorrow.”

In the bottom line of this dispute, a disagreement between Zaluzhny and Zelensky is manifested in the appreciation that each one has of the situation on the front in the face of the failure of the counteroffensive. On this matter, the New York Times even said that the operations of the Ukrainian military failed to make “any progress”, causing – on the contrary – many victims, adding that “Ukraine is facing intensive Russian attacks in the east”, while skepticism in Europe and the US Republican party has grown.

Since June 4 (the start date of the “counteroffensive”), the Ukrainian armed forces have had 90,000 casualties (including dead and seriously unrecoverable injuries) as well as 557 tanks and 1,900 armored vehicles destroyed. To give you an idea of the meaning of this figure, it is enough to say that so far, the West has sent 595 tanks (of the 830 committed) and 1,550 armored vehicles to Ukraine.

Russia, for its part, is carrying out active defense operations, which means carrying out small-scale offensive actions in some sectors, focusing its attacks through strikes against air assets, troop concentration sites and logistics. It must be remembered that – from a military point of view – for Russia this conflict basically has the characteristics of a war of attrition that has already exceeded Ukraine’s capabilities, also affecting the United States and, above all, Europe.

In this context, manifestations of desperation are beginning to be seen in the Ukrainian elite. Thus, a call for “understanding” of the West has begun to be verified because according to Zelensky, the Ukrainian troops are defending “common values” such as democracy, attacked today by the Russian autocracy. In the collective imagination it is about installing a new bipolarity “democracy vs. autocracy”. Zelensky’s restlessness calls on the West to fight against the Russian danger that could “kill everyone” which would leave the door open to attack to NATO countries, in which case “…you will send your sons and daughters [to war]. And the price will be higher. “It is very important not to lose the will, not to lose this strong position, and not to lose your democracy.”

At the height of his frustration, last Monday, November 6, the overwhelmed Ukrainian president asked “the United States, the European Union and Asian countries” to send air defense systems to his country or “at least rent them during the winter.”

The truth is that the “counteroffensive” of the Ukrainian Armed Forces did not live up to the hopes of the West and was probably the last opportunity for Ukraine because it no longer has the resources to carry out a major operation on the front.

This whole situation is putting on the table the possibility of a negotiated solution to the conflict if there is one at this point. The Washington Post itself has pointed out that there was a possibility of diplomatically resolving the Ukrainian conflict, but it has now disappeared, since Russia has an advantage on the front and is unlikely to freeze.

Although Zelensky refuses such an idea, it has been spreading more and more. For example, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, Juraj Blanar stated unequivocally that the conflict in Ukraine has no military solution.

Even Josep Borrell, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and eternal warmonger, has had to acknowledge that the crisis in West Asia has had a strong impact on policy towards Ukraine. In a rare burst of honesty, Borrell said: “Let’s be frank, the Middle East crisis is already having a lasting impact on our Ukraine policy.” Borrell called to find a solution to the conflict in the Middle East but not forget about Ukraine because: “If Ukraine loses, we lose. We have to maintain our unanimity and our unity in supporting Ukraine.”

Indian diplomat and international political analyst MK Bhadrahumar has said: “The war in Ukraine is on autopilot.” He argues this by stating that the strategic objectives set by President Vladimir Putin in February of last year remain unchanged. But now, “Russia feels that it has taken the lead in the war and that this is irreversible.”

Although Russia has not launched a major offensive, the preparation for it is evident. However, for a month now, what happens in Ukraine will be irremediably tied to the conflict in West Asia. This situation cannot be absent from political and military assessments. The simultaneity in time of both events and many others that are occurring in various corners of the planet are related to the crisis of the West and the United States and the inability to maintain their unilateral hegemony on the globe.

It seems difficult for the United States to manage to deal with both conflicts at the same time, especially since they are not the only ones. In parallel, it must contend with China on the economic level, manage its own internal crisis, sustain the colonial power that is currently faltering in Africa and generate responses to the silent rebellion that is beginning to manifest itself in different ways in Latin America and the Caribbean on all because Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela have been able to resist and keep their flags high.

For now, the conviction seems to be spreading in the United States that Ukraine is not going to win the war against Russia, pessimism is spreading, and panic is flooding the interstices of imperial power. We don’t know yet, but perhaps Ukraine will be the first battle won in the world that is being born.

Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
A Venezuelan international relations expert, Gelfenstein was previously Director of the International Relations of the Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, his country’s ambassador to Nicaragua and an advisor for international politics for TELESUR. He has written numerous books, among them “China in the XXI Century – the awakening of a giant”, published in several Latin American countries. You can follow him on Twitter: @sergioro0701

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May 2024