nato Scott Ritter Ukraine

Scott Ritter: The Fantasy of Fanaticism

Despite what some “defense analysts” may be telling Western media, the longer the war continues, the more Ukrainians will die and the weaker NATO will become.
Main square of Severodonetsk, Ukraine, February 2018. (Visem, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Scott Ritter / Consortium News

For a moment in time, it looked as if reality had managed to finally carve its way through the dense fog of propaganda-driven misinformation that had dominated Western media coverage of Russia’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine.

In a stunning admission, Oleksandr Danylyuk, a former senior adviser to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and Intelligence Services, noted that the optimism that existed in Ukraine following Russia’s decision to terminate “Phase One” of the SMO (a major military feint toward Kiev), and begin “Phase Two” (the liberation of the Donbass), was no longer warranted. “The strategies and tactics of the Russians are completely different right now,” Danylyuk noted. “They are being much more successful. They have more resources than us and they are not in a rush.”

“There’s much less space for optimism right now,” Danylyuk concluded.

In short, Russia was winning.

Danylyuk’s conclusions were not derived from some esoteric analysis drawn from Sun Tzu or Clausewitz, but rather basic military math. In a war that had become increasingly dominated by the role of artillery, Russia simply was able to bring to bear on the battlefield more firepower than Ukraine.

Ukraine started the current conflict with an artillery inventory that included 540 122mm self-propelled artillery guns, 200 towed 122mm howitzers, 200 122mm multiple-rocket launch systems, 53 152mm self-propelled guns, 310 towed 152mm howitzers, and 96 203mm self-propelled guns, for approximately 1,200 artillery and 200 MLRS systems.

Oleksandr Danylyuk in 2015. (YouTube, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

For the past 100-plus days, Russia has been relentlessly targeting both Ukraine’s artillery pieces and their associated ammunition storage facilities. By June 14, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that it had destroyed “521 installation of multiple launch rocket systems” and “1947 field artillery guns and mortars.”

Even if the Russian numbers are inflated (as is usually the case when it comes to wartime battle damage assessments), the bottom line is that Ukraine has suffered significant losses among the very weapons systems — artillery — which are needed most in countering the Russian invasion.

But even if Ukraine’s arsenal of Soviet-era 122mm and 152mm artillery pieces were still combat-worthy, the reality is that, according to Danylyuk, Ukraine has almost completely run out of ammunition for these systems and the stocks of ammunition sourced from the former Soviet-bloc Eastern European countries that used the same family of weapons have been depleted.

Ukraine is left doling out what is left of its former Soviet ammunition while trying to absorb modern Western 155mm artillery systems, such as the Caesar self-propelled gun from France and the U.S.-made M777 howitzer.

But the reduced capability means that Ukraine is only able to fire some 4,000-to-5,000 artillery rounds per day, while Russia responds with more than 50,000. This 10-fold disparity in firepower has proven to be one of the most decisive factors when it comes to the war in Ukraine, enabling Russia to destroy Ukrainian defensive positions with minimal risk to its own ground forces.

Casualties

This has led to a second level of military math imbalances, that being casualties.

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior aid to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, recently estimated that Ukraine was losing between 100 and 200 soldiers a day on the frontlines with Russia, and another 500 or so wounded. These are unsustainable losses, brought on by the ongoing disparity in combat capability between Russia and Ukraine symbolized, but not limited to, artillery.

In recognition of this reality, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg announced that Ukraine will more than likely have to make territorial concessions to Russia as part of any potential peace agreement, asking,

“what price are you willing to pay for peace? How much territory, how much independence, how much sovereignty…are you willing to sacrifice for peace?”

Stoltenberg, speaking in Finland, noted that similar territorial concessions made by Finland to the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War was “one of the reasons Finland was able to come out of the Second World War as an independent sovereign nation.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on June 22 discussing the alliance’s Madrid summit at the end of the month. (NATO)

To recap — the secretary general of the trans-Atlantic alliance responsible for pushing Ukraine into its current conflict with Russia is now proposing that Ukraine be willing to accept the permanent loss of sovereign territory because NATO miscalculated and Russia —instead of being humiliated on the field of battle and crushed economically — is winning on both fronts.

Decisively.

That the secretary general of NATO would make such an announcement is telling for several reasons.

Stunning Request

First,  Ukraine is requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom.

In short, to keep Ukraine competitive on the battlefield, NATO is being asked to strip its own defenses down to literally zero.

More telling, however, is what the numbers say about NATO’s combat strength versus Russia. If NATO is being asked to empty its armory to keep Ukraine in the game, one must consider the losses suffered by Ukraine up to that point and that Russia appears able to sustain its current level of combat activity indefinitely. That’s right — Russia just destroyed the equivalent of NATO’s main active-duty combat power and hasn’t blinked.

One can only imagine the calculations underway in Brussels as NATO military strategists ponder the fact that their alliance is incapable of defeating Russia in a large-scale European conventional land war.

But there is another conclusion that these numbers reveal — that no matter what the U.S. and NATO do in terms of serving as Ukraine’s arsenal, Russia is going to win the war. The question now is how much time the West can buy Ukraine, and at what cost, in a futile effort to discover Russia’s pain threshold in order to bring the conflict to an end in a manner that reflects anything but the current path toward unconditional surrender.

The only questions that need to be answered in Brussels, apparently, is how long can the West keep the Ukrainian Army in the field, and at what cost? Any rational actor would quickly realize that any answer is an unacceptable answer, given the certainty of a Russian victory, and that the West needs to stop feeding Ukraine’s suicidal fantasy of rearming itself to victory.

Enter The New York Times, stage right. While trying to completely reshape the narrative regarding the fighting in the Donbass after the damning reality check would be a bridge too far for even the creative minds at the Gray Lady — the writing equivalent of trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. But the editors were able to interview a pair of erstwhile “military analysts” who cobbled together a scenario that transformed Ukraine’s battlefield humiliation.

‘Military Analysts’

They described a crafty strategy designed to lure Russia into an urban warfare nightmare where, stripped of its advantages in artillery, it was forced to sacrifice soldiers in an effort to dig the resolute Ukrainian defenders from their hardened positions located amongst the rubble of a “dead” city — Severodonetsk. [Ukraine forces withdrew from the city  Friday.]

According to Gustav Gressel, a former Austrian military officer turned military analysts, “If the Ukrainians succeed in trying to drag them [the Russians] into house-to-house combat, there is a higher chance of inducing casualties on the Russians they cannot afford.”

Gustav Gressel in Berlin in February 2020.  (Politikwissenschaftlerin, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

According to Mykhailo Samus, a former Ukrainian naval officer turned think-tanks analyst, the Ukrainian strategy of dragging Russia into an urban combat nightmare is to buy time for rearming with the heavy weapons provided by the West, to “exhaust, or reduce, the enemy’s [Russia’s] offensive capabilities.”

The Ukrainian operational concepts in play in Severodonetsk, these analysts claim, have their roots in past Russian urban warfare experiences in Aleppo, Syria and Mariupol.  What escapes the attention of these so-called military experts, is that both Aleppo and Mariupol were decisive Russian victories; there were no “excessive casualties,” no “strategic defeat.”

Had The New York Times bothered to check the resumes of the “military exerts” it consulted, it would have found two men so deeply entrenched into the Ukrainian propaganda mill as to make their respective opinions all but useless to any journalistic outlet possessing a modicum of impartiality. But this was The New York Times.

Gressel is the source of such wisdom as:

“If we stay tough, if the war ends in defeat for Russia, if the defeat is clear and internally painful, then next time he will think twice about invading a country. That is why Russia must lose this war.”

And:

“We in the West…all of us, must now turn over every stone and see what can be done to make Ukraine win this war.”

Apparently, the Gressel playbook for Ukrainian victory includes fabricating a Ukrainian strategy from whole cloth to influence perceptions regarding the possibility of a Ukrainian military victory.

Samus likewise seeks to transform the narrative of the Ukrainian frontline forces fighting in Severodonetsk. In a recent interview with the Russian-language journal Meduza, Samus declares that:

“Russia has concentrated a lot of forces [in the Donbass]. The Ukrainian armed forces are gradually withdrawing to prevent encirclement. They understand that the capture of Severodonetsk doesn’t change anything for the Russian or the Ukrainian army from a practical point of view. Now, the Russian army is wasting tremendous resources to achieve political objectives and I think they will be very difficult to replenish…[f]or the Ukrainian army, defending Severodonetsk isn’t advantageous. But if they retreat to Lysychansk they’ll be in more favorable tactical conditions. Therefore, the Ukrainian army is gradually withdrawing or leaving Severodonetsk, and upholding the combat mission. The combat mission is to destroy enemy troops and carry out offensive operations.”

The truth is, there is nothing deliberate about the Ukrainian defense of Severodonetsk. It is the byproduct of an army in full retreat, desperately trying to claw out some defensive space, only to be crushed by the brutal onslaught of superior Russian artillery-based firepower.

Mykhailo Samus on March 27. (YouTube still)

To the extent Ukraine is seeking to delay the Russian advance, it is being done by the full-scale sacrifice of the soldiers at the front, thousands of people thrown into battle with little or no preparation, training, or equipment, trading their lives for time so that Ukrainian negotiators can try to convince NATO countries to mortgage their military viability on the false promise of a Ukrainian military victory.

This is the ugly truth about Ukraine today — the longer the war continues, the more Ukrainians will die, and the weaker NATO will become. If left to people like Samus and Gressel, the result would be hundreds of thousands of dead Ukrainians, the destruction of Ukraine as a viable nation-state, and the gutting of NATO’s front-line combat capability, all sacrificed without meaningfully altering the inevitability of a strategic Russian victory.

Hopefully sanity will prevail, and the West will wean Ukraine off the addiction of heavy weaponry, and push it to accept a peace settlement which, although bitter to the taste, will leave something of Ukraine for future generations to rebuild.

Scott Ritter
Scott Ritter

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

30 comments

  1. Another great post by Ritter – he has pretty much called it from the beginning

    “Therefore, the Ukrainian army is gradually withdrawing or leaving Severodonetsk, and upholding the combat mission. The combat mission is to destroy enemy troops and carry out offensive operations.”

    Hmm, does anybody see a bit of a contradiction here? How can one “uphold a combat mission” to “destroy enemy troops and carry out offensive operations” by “withdrawing or leaving” a place …. must be a new military tactic …. Or is it that ole’ he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day …

  2. Finally Robert Scheer stands up for Ukrainian truth with the best
    Ukraine commentator in America, Scott Ritter – a US Marine censored
    On Twitter(just like that “Putin lover Donald Trump).

    If Americans had watched Oliver Stone’s 4 hours of Putin Interviews
    (Also heavily Censored) and Putin’s 2/21/22 and 2/24/22 speeches,
    Perhaps the Regressive left might have awakened from their NAZI
    Love affair with Ukraine sooner.

    As Warren Zevon put it, “it’s never too late for love”

    End the warmonger regressive leftist delusions Uncle Scammers!

    1. You know there are numerous interviews on this site by Scheer with Stone about Putin, right?

  3. We always appreciate the on-the-ground insight from Scott Ritter. , Always thought Russia would have the upper hand in this invasion, as they should and deserve, and look forward to Scott Ritter to keep us truthfully informed.
    [Scott, I have another question you may have insight into: has Vladimir Putin a physical disability that is a factor in his immediate future?]

  4. A large ego comedian beggar is not the best leader for Ukraine. The Russian steam roller will squash Ukraine in time. Russia is a huge country likely with huge arsenals. Kiev abused and bombed Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine since 2014. What were they thinking? Neo nazis with larger than thought influences? Short term thinking that annoyed a very large country with vast resources of war that it learned from WW2 and dealing with many years of deceptions from the west, mostly from usa manipulations. Ukraine, a corrupt country seemingly governed by bluster. And international begging. Not good signs of any kind of strong foundations. Likely why African leaders turned their backs on Zelenskis recent address there.

  5. Ukraine may not have much of a wheat crop this year, but the US is reaping plenty of what it has sown in that country since 2014—when the war really started. Thanks for the penetrating analysis, Mr. Ritter.

  6. It should have been evident from the start. The Russians are fighting for their security. The Ukrainians are fighting for eventual membership in NATO to upset that security. It’s callous of the West/US to continue this their greatest disaster that not only affects the people in Ukraine but millions of others in the world.

    1. Wow. Your first two sentences sum it up perfectly! I keep going back to the fall of the Soviet Union for my explanations!

  7. Considering that this whole situation is the culmination of NATO’s attempt to recreate the Afghan War of the 1980’s to destabilize the Russian Federation as that war destabilized the Soviet Union. It poetic justice that the tables are being turned.

  8. Stop it, Scott. Russia started the war. I know it’s complicated but there is no motive for Ukraine to start this war.

    Use your head instead of your investment in your anti-MIC POV. I hate the MIC too, but no way Ukraine “started this war.”

    1. You’re short sighted, Tom. You should have understood that the war started in 2014, not 2022. The Ukrainian army had massed 60,000 troops in the Donbas with the intention of defeating the Ukrainian separists prior to Russia’s invasion. Essentially, the war was started by that conflict and the movement of NATO east. And don’t forget Russia suggested a new defensive treaty for all of Europe that also included Russia. It were rebuffed,

      1. @robert sinuhe
        He’s not short sighted, he’s an ugly American. He claims to to anti-military/industrial complex and the other PC things to which to be opposed, but he’s either hypocritical or he’s dishonest.

    2. NATO has been plotting this war since, at least, 2008. The Ukraine has been shelling the Dombas since 2014 causing , according to the UN Monitoring Mission on Human Rights., some 13,000 deaths between April 2014 and 2019. when the report was issured . One must ignore these facts to claim that Putin not The Ukraine “started this war.”

    3. Maybe the US started the war when it backed the 2014 coup of a democratically elected Ukraine president and subsequently installed a puppet while funding neo-Nazi military regiments that have terrorized ethnic Russians in the Donbass ever since. That’s on top of allowing NATO to expand east, contrary to promises made to past Russian leaders. If JFK would not stand for missiles in Cuba, why should Putin allow them in Ukraine?

    4. no Tommy…nazi USA started the war—Russia has humiliated amerikans now in Syria and Iraq—you humilited yourself in Afghanistan…..how long have you been a moron?
      ukies have murdered 14,000 Russians in Donass since 2014
      “amerikans love big because they feel so small. amerikans have always been genocidal enjoying kiling from afar. Philip Slater
      it is disgusting that you align with nazis

    5. Ukraine and Russia were peaceful until 2014 maidan USA backed coup that instantly recognized Ukrainian nationalists:nazis and started bombing Russian speaking Donbas. The deal offered yanukovitch who agreed to early elections and had his forces stand down,was much better than euro deal for Russian people per Dennis kucinich. Snipers from Ukrainian nationalist controlled by right sector/svoboda shot yanukovitch police and protestors. Build up of arms and training of troops by USA and nato expose this as a proxy war against Russia with unfortunate Ukrainians as fodder. In case you have doubts look to our own congressional acts that John conyers et al promulgated to prevent arming azov batallion. Don’t you dare tell me Russia started this. They negotiated Minsk to try and mitigate. We have English and French speaking Canada that mostly get along. After Afghanistan Iraq libya(Obama’s admitted biggest failure) Syria (we aided moderate rebels aka Al nusra) its the height of ignorance and arrogance to blame Russia . We should be trading with Russia and teaming up in space. Instead in a case of insanity and nuclear chicken we now antagonize the dragon. Americans can’t handle the truth. The rot really got going with Kennedy asssination and Vietnam war

    6. Tom, the 2014 US Coup/regime change of the elected Russian friendly government, changing it for an un-elected Neo-Nazi anti-Russian government started this War.
      And you’re right. There is no motive for Ukraine to fight this War except as the proxy sacrificial lambs in the US Tug of War with Russia over Ukraine.

      It’s taken over 2 Generations, but on September 13, 1976, The Kansas City Times published this as an Historical record,
      “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD’S BIDDING: To tell the World, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of BABYLON,” he said.” […] He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a War with Russia.”

      That 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter.
      The World is waking up to see Americans may hasten “its days are numbered” part of the 1976 Vision, and waits with bated breath.

      With the benefit of 46 years hindsight, the last 8 years of intensified FBI, Military, Intelligence and Think Tank “experts” on TV constantly, unanimously, demonizing Putin and Russia, with no dissent allowed, the People have been prepared as American comments on the War prove beyond any doubt.

      The Kansas City Times, September 13, 1976, ‘Prophet Chooses Park For Vigil’
      The Kansas City Times, ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976, ‘Prophet Plans Appeal Of Conviction’

      https://rayjc.com/2013/09/01/signs-of-the-times/

      Few will recognize “this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered” as the 1st 2 parts of the 3 part Writing on the Wall from Daniel 5 in the Bible.

      The whole World saw the Biblical Writing on the Wall for the 1st Time at the same Time, in the last months of 8 years of Republicanomics of Tax cuts for the rich, while fighting 2 Foreign Wars on BORROWED money, with the Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbour of 2008.
      It wasn’t recognized as such, ignored, and the US and the World continued with it’s profligate ways without undertaking any meaningful reform.

  9. Excellent commentary, Scott! The US Empire which is quickly sinking into oblivion like empires always do will continue to ramp up their military might around the world while they suck the American people’s resources dry until it dies, and the Empire will take millions of lives with them. The US and NATO countries have no problem supporting these empiric rules which exploits other countries natural resources, at the expense of their own citizens in order to fill their pockets with massive amounts of corrupt money from a world-wide mafia state.

    If and/or when the US citizenry opens their eyes and sees that they live in one of the most violent countries- if not THE MOST violent country in the world, with mass shootings now becoming almost a daily occurrence and a ramped up security state, under a 1-party fascist state, maybe then they will throw out the entire lot of the US Congress and the White House into the gulag. But I fear that it’s too late because of the media’s propaganda about Russia, Ukraine, along with China, Iran and all the other countries that they’re trying to exploit to stay alive. There’s no massive US protests in the streets, except for a few brave souls who get eaten up by the security state. The majority of an ever less voting class continues to vote the same characters into office who wear different clothes and have looks that are current for these times which will keep the Empire alive for a little while longer. When the Empire finally falls, those that survive will be left to live in the ruins, just like in past Empires.

    1. I would be pleasantly surprised if the American public suddenly came to its senses and threw the bums out. We in the US have a system we erroneously call democracy. It is a fake democracy whereby we vote for the same failed policies. The protests against the Iraq war is emblematic of this tendency.

  10. Russian denazification nearly complete in Ukieland—unless Washington surrenders even more ukie territory will permanently become Russia…the amerikan humiliation in ukraine demonstrates amerikan failure, immorality incompetence—as many have predicted, US empire near collapse

  11. Scott Ritter is one of the very few reliable and honest sources regarding what’s going on in this war. Good thing he hasn’t been censored yet.

  12. Ritter provides sober evaluation of military theater in Ukraine, a form of extremely simplified version of analysis that every general staff performs including Russian with help of special analytical computer systems that gather real time data from all fronts and battlefields, including their own and enemy loses of manpower and military hardware units and capabilities of the integral systems of weapons as well as real time data from vast logistics operations of supply chain (fuel, food ammunition etc., ) .

    This is what Ritter calls battlefield math.

    And the result of such analysis coming from Russian General staff is exactly the same as one that came from Pentagon analysis of Ukrainian conflict, like the one published in late March concluding that Russia won, Ukraine lost. Period. There can be no other outcome.

    Why such Pentagon conclusions in such early stage of war?

    Simple. Not only as Ritter points out, that throwing at Kiev ALL the active NATO weaponry they have short of nukes, even if they miraculously achieve impossible feat to adequately train military cadres on time before defeat becomes reality and Kiev command and control collapses, would only potentially prolong Kiev agony for few months at most.

    It is Because of Russian air supremacy over Ukraine.

    In first week of war AFU lost all strategic offensive capabilities exactly because they lost the skies to Russia having thousands of attack aircraft as well as best in the world missile and rocket artillery covering entire Ukraine to enforce it.

    By achieving air supremacy Russians prevented AFU from concentrating enough offensive power (at least 3 to 1 force advantage ) in specific segments of frontline to overwhelm Russian forces.

    That is what forced AFU troops into movements limited to perhaps hundred of soldiers at given time not to become instant target of Russian air and space force.

    And then upon arrival at the frontline AFU immediately disperse into small units to limit causalities.

    No one commander can mount any offensive with 200 men and few tanks against dug in Russians with their ATGMs and artillery support hitting targets with precision artillery guided missiles like Krasnopol from 60 miles away as recent dozens of attempts of AFU counter attacks in Kherson and Nikolaev areas learned from by swift and devastating defeats.

    It was in fact NATO planers who devised AFU strategy in case of Russian intervention that from the beginning orders AFU into the cities taking population hostage and stay inside premier fortified system of well equipped supplied and engineered defense lines in Donbas and in no way engage in maneuvers and a counteroffensive operations involving movements of any large forces for example to tactically withdraw from tactically and strategically disadvantageous positions.

    What it meant was; do not try to achieve any new topographically advantageous points in order to, straighten frontlines or to improve and shorten supply lines or retreat to be covered, defended by more artillery power within the range.

    In other words NATO strategy was; stay put or get killed moving and die as slowly as possible so more important decisive offensive on economic front can be unleashed. Prolong your own agony so to buy time for Russia to be defeated economically forcing a regime change in Moscow.

    After China, Saudis and India and 100 other nations effectively boycotted anti Russia sanctions and unequivocally supported Russia in political and economic realms such strategy of economic warfare impacting Ukrainian war became a failure as no second front of this NATO Russia war was ever seriously opened.

    Kiev regime military was left to rot in trenches waiting for death as no rescue will ever come despite desperate declaration of unending commitment and unwavering support from impotent west that can only watch and suffer from self inflicted socioeconomic wounds and collapse of political credibility.

    Zelensky may play stupid puppet of NATO, however his military advisers told him what would make strategic difference, the only difference that would make military analysts to recognize potential uncertainty of the outcome of the war namely NATO enforced “No Fly Zone” in Ukraine.

    In the moment when NATO utterly rejected establishment of “No Fly Zone” all the hope of defeating Russia in Ukraine was destroyed. Pentagon analysts quickly recognized that and called “game over”.

    Of course as NATO’s Air Force is US dominated and controlled “No Fly Zone” would have meant US-Russia nuclear war as neither side would accept massive losses in expensive equipment, ships and warplanes and highly trained personnel or oil and natgas infrastructure Russians would be able to reach and destroy in Europe as well as in US for more than few weeks. Hitting all LNG terminals and storages in Europe would have meant catastrophe for western economies and populations resulting in real regime changes .

    So instead unwilling to recognize failure of economic war, provocation became a tool as persecution of Russians in EU, Russophobia and cancel culture, Finland and Swedish NATO bid, Kaliningrad blockade, turmoil in Moldova and Armenia and Uzbekistan are examples of. NATO became barking dog incapable of biting.

    All those policies of NATO and its poodles are genocidal aimed at destroying Ukraine to save it from Russians. How American.

  13. Kudos to Scott. Have you heard Biden is providing Ukraine with an Iron Dome ? It could be USA intends to keep arming Ukraine so that it has the ability to harass the Russian army in Ukraine for years to come. Death by a thousand cuts. It is a very risky path for Ukraine because it means millions of Ukrainians may be killed. Ukraine will be better off to tell USA to FO and sue for peace ASP.

    1. Death of thousand cuts strategy could only work when Russian economy weakens.

      However Putin does not want to strain economy and runs this operation on a cheap so far self sustainable utilized at most 5% of military power in fact made the rule that all other Russian regional and international military commitments must be fulfilled like in Armenia and Syria where Russia expanded not reduced military presence. All military exercises in Asia including with China around Taiwan and South America go as planned.

      There is no strain on Russian military because all the Russians who fight in Ukraine are contract professionals hired by RFAF or by private security firms like Wagner Group or foreign armed forces like from Abkhazia, North Ossetia as well as Armenia that contracted Air Force services including warplanes and helicopters with pilots.

      16,000 of applications from foreign mercenaries were rejected. There is no need for more manpower as Russian army is in constant rotation like two-three month tour, making lots of money and up to 6 months at home on one year contract. They can quit anytime but with financial penalty attached to such decision.

      After initial anxiety and propaganda lies about imminent general mobilization in Russia Putin did not call even reservists as volunteers are coming in especially that State controlled TV daily presents this intervention as a way of preventing need for another Great Patriotic war that killed 27,000,000 Russians in WWII. In fact participation in Ukrainian war was equated with elevation to higher social standing.

      There is no strain on Russian economy either. GDP contracted about 5% in 2022 so far only because western corporations shot down factories and laid off workers only to return to growth in Q3 as most of those corporations will be temporarily nationalized enabling production.

      Russian central bank reduced interests rate from 20% after February 24, 2020 to the pre war level of 11% in June with hints to be lower still while inflation of 8.9% stopped increasing in May and decreased in June due to.. guess what collapse of prices of gasoline, oil and nat gas in Russia because of sanctions that reduced volume of exports but increased foreign revenue 150% or more.

      In a brilliant move of creating PetroRuble Putin raised value of Ruble three fold from February panic levels of 150 rubles per $ to in dollar dropped to 53 rubles on FX and 43 rubles in internal Russian market today.

      Russia sells somewhat less volume of oil abroad, getting more money for it but that reduction of volume won’t last as India increased import contract volumes fifty times and China booked future oil and gas deal for next 20 years delivered via pipelines that won’t be built for a decade.

      Chinese previously being weary not be too much dependent on Russian energy now realize that they are vulnerable to hostile US naval blockade of world shipping routes and hence wants energy delivered via pipelines.

      Continued hostility of the west against Iran and Venezuela only assures crude oil prices to stay about $100 per barrel for foreseeable future according to Bloomberg analysts.

      Saudis refusal to sanction Russia , selling China oil for Yuan and continuation of OPEC+ with Russian participation amid technologically driven overall global production decline is a last nail to western economic coffin. Europa will return to 1945 cold and hungry if they won’t drop this nonsense.

      US shale oil production showed itself as giant financial Ponzi scheme ridden with huge unpayable debt taken by insolvent corporations with empty wells.

      With such support of at least 3-4 billion people market there is no way to collapse Russian economy and hence there is no way for the west to win in Ukraine. Unless they want Nuclear WWIII.

    2. @insane USA Policy
      If Zelensky tried to make peace right now, the Nazis in his country would kill him, and he knows that. They already killed a Ukrainian negotiator who offered Russia something they didn’t want offered.

  14. Refreshing to read your realistic assessment of the situation, People tend to see what they want the situation to be. rather than the reality. For all the huge amount of money and recources expended by US and NATO the only winners over the last 70 years is the MIC. On a personal note your own commitment to the truth in your career is a shining light in a dark period, so glad you did not end like David Kelly. or Robin Cook, Best wishes from an old lady born in the bombing of the second world war and who not to see a third world war

  15. Scott has intelligent writing as usual, thanks.
    ‘hopefully sanity will prevail…’ is Fantasy.
    We tend to enjoy long wars, Korea war is in its 72nd year, Vietnam War only ended when Middle class parents object to their university kids killed in jungles for nothing, Iraq and Afghanistan wars lasted 20 years only over the objections of M I complex, so, Ukraine proxy war should be a lengthy fight.
    Our government will spend, grant, gift, loan, and donate many billions ( taxpayers money) to Ukraine, but when will our government spend or help the bottom half of America’s economy??
    We have been neglected and left behind for a few decades but yet Joe wants $500 billion for G7 to improve other poor countries, just to show China that we are not broke.
    So, is USA on the list of poor nations??? What became of Joe ‘s really big infrastructure bill for America??

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