Regular readers of Boggart Abroad may have forgotten there is a war going on because it is some time since we mentioned it, all of us having become bored with refuting the claims of the gay dancer Zelensky that the Russian invaders were in disarray and Ukraine was winning. It isn't that any on us particularly like Russia or have anything against Ukraine, we just believe news reports including those put together by bunches of elderly amateurs like us, should bear some similarity with the truth. And the truth is Ukraine has been crushed, a generation of young men wiped out and the war and killing has been prolonged due to western support given to the Kiev regime.
But if you rely on mainstream media for information you might have a very different impression of how the conflict is progressing.
Throughout mainstream media earlier this week, screaming headlines reported claims by the Ukrainian government that the country's armed forces had 'liberated' Robotyne, a village of only a few hundred people with no strategic significance whatsoever. While all the usual suspects in comment threads piled in to proclaim, as they have on a daily basis since the start of the war, that a total victory for Ukraine, the ousting of President Putin and the collapse of the Russian federation were certain to happen within a few days.
The account of how Robotyne was taken, supplied by the defence department in Kiev was somewhat more more pessimistic than previous claims of battlefield successes have been, which suggests the Ukrainian government may be starting to come to terms with the reality of the situation:
Ukraine’s military said on Monday that its forces had retaken the southern village of Robotyne, a tactical victory that underlines the immense challenge Kiev’s counteroffensive faces in punching through deep and dense Russian defenses.
[T]he Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in early June has advanced only a few miles southward to reach Robotyne, in intense fighting with heavy casualties and equipment losses, and a similar distance on another axis to the east. The ultimate target of the thrust to Robotyne is the city of Melitopol, about 45 miles farther south, and more layers of Russian defenses lie in the way.
About 15 miles south of Robotyne lies the Russian-controlled city of Tokmak, a road-and-rail hub whose recapture would be strategically significant.
But satellite images show that to reach Tokmak, Ukrainian forces will have to breach two more Russian defensive lines made up of trenches, dense minefields, earthen berms and anti-tank barriers.
The Russian defence lines are several levels of sophistication higher than anything the Ukies encountered en route to Robotyne, which unofficial reports say was virtually undefended, and are not going to be easy to break through. Worse, they are on the hills following the contours of the land while the Ukraine army has so far stuck to the low lands.
To achieve a breakthrough enabling an advance towards Tomak, the counter - offensives troops, what;s left of them, would have to advance across miles of what is virtually a shooting gallery.
It has now been 3 months give or take a few days since the much hyped Ukrainian counter offensive was launched and though many “experts” in the west predicted it would deal a fatal blow to the Special Military Operation and lead to the removal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory. Unfortunately the initial action gained little; around 90 square miles of territory in June and a handful of villages of even less significance than Robotyne, and all at great cost in lives and equipment. Estimates suggest that the nation's military has doubled its number of dead since the counter offensive began.
Foreign fighters back from the front lines are now reporting a mismanaged and chaotic Ukrainian military using ill conceived tactics. Some reports from people who have been at the front line say that the units they were assigned to have lost up to 80% of their fighting men in recent months. Ukraine's military leadership has also shot itself in the foot by misusing the fleet s of tanks and armored vehicles from NATO, using them for mine clearance by sending these expensive pieces of hardware them 'straight into mine fields' in some cases. As volunteers and mercenaries from western nations note, the Ukrainians were given training on how to operate the vehicles, but no training on how to use them effectively in a fight.
As this blog has been saying for over a year, it is way past time the United Nations stepped in, instead of standing back while the Biden Administration and the NATO leadership continue to waste Ukrainian lives for no better purpose than to advance an agenda that has already failed.