The knives are out in the fight over the Ukrainian throne.
Various Ukrainian media (in Russian) report of plans to fire this or that general. Andrei Yermak, Zelenski’s chief of office and the real power behind him, is currently in the U.S., allegedly to get the okay for firing the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army General Zaluzny. Other Ukrainian media are calling for Zaluzny to become the new president. Tomorrow CIA director Burns is expected to be in Kiev to tell Zelenski that his time is up and that he, Zelenski, will have to go.
It appears obvious that two competing factions are trying to outdo each other in the sphere of Western media. Zaluzhny fired his shot in the unsanctioned Economist piece, and it would seem that Zelensky backers are doing their own parallel counter-work.
Larry Johnson reminds of the larger powers who are behind this fight:
One critical point I failed to make in yesterday’s article regarding the competing narratives regarding Zelensky and General Zalushny — it looks like the Brits are backing Zalushny while the CIA is trying to save Zelensky and dump Zalushny. I base that conclusion on the fact that the Economist, a British publication with close ties to MI-6, gave Zalushny the celebrity treatment, while the Washington Post, the go-to rag for the CIA, blamed Zalushny for Nord Stream.
Fun to watch, unless you are on the frontline.
There, things are getting worse for the Ukrainian army day by day.
The Ukraine wasted so many troops for impossible endeavors, to hold Bakhmut and in its the senseless ‘counter-attack’ against impregnable Russian lines, that it now lacks the troops to hold its defense lines.
Six weeks ago the former British defense minister Ben Wallace urged the Ukrainian government to draft more young people to fill the lines:
The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40. I understand President Zelensky’s desire to preserve the young for the future, but the fact is that Russia is mobilising the whole country by stealth. Putin knows a pause will hand him time to build a new army. So just as Britain did in 1939 and 1941, perhaps it is time to reassess the scale of Ukraine’s mobilisation.
In a recent interview with the Ukrainian Pravda the Economist writer Shashank Joshi took a similar line:
Q: Are there resources to escalate trainings of Ukrainian soldiers abroad?
A: I would say that one of the biggest challenges, really, right now is, first of all, being able to mobilise more young Ukrainians, which, as you know, is a challenge, and a political issue and a social issue.
The ignorance displayed in those British statements becomes evident when one takes a look at the Demographics of Ukraine:
While there are now some three hundred thousand Ukrainian men at the age of 40 there are less than a hundred thousand men at the age of 25.
As there are so few men and women of that reproductive age there are also only few new babies. Becoming independent was a social-demographic catastrophe for Ukraine that will haunt the country for the next hundred years.
The Ukrainian army can not draft younger soldiers because younger people are simply not there. The few thousand who are still hanging out in Kiev are actually university students who’s knowledge and service will be needed over the next decades. To draft them would kill all positive perspectives the Ukraine still might have.
After the Ukrainian government, on order of the U.S., failed to make peace with Russia, the Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to ‘de-militarize and de-nazify’ the Ukraine. It then was obvious that the attrition of the Ukrainian army, not taking its land, was the main Russian plan.
The Ukrainian political and military command failed to correctly adopt to that. Instead of going into defense mode behind holdable lines it ordered its troops to attack Russian defense lines again and again. In consequence Russian losses were minimal while the Ukrainian losses exceeded all imaginations.
That this would end badly was quite predictable.
It is over. The Ukraine, and the powers behind it, have lost the war.
The Russian forces are now doing probing attacks along the whole frontline. Whenever a local Ukrainian local defense line will fail, which is just a question of time, they will break through and cover new grounds. Those drops leaking through will become a stream, then a river and a flood that will push the Ukrainian army into a full retreat.
The government of Ukraine, and its backers, can still prevent that.
But it requires to acknowledge the facts on the ground.
Calling for more younger Ukrainian people to be drafted to die is the opposite of doing that.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.