In the not-too-distant future, Biden may have to hang up his walker and Zelensky may be looking for a job in California, supposes Stephen Bryen, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and at the Yorktown Institute.
There is no doubt now that Bakhmut will soon fall to the Russians. How soon? Probably a few days and no more than one week.
Efforts by Ukraine to provide counterattacks have not borne fruit, and all efforts have been stopped by Russian paratroopers and Wagner PMC fighters, along with generous amounts of Russian artillery.
Meanwhile, the Russians themselves are refocusing on the newly created Ukrainian brigades that are supposed to lead the counteroffensive. These are the brigades that have been stuffed up to their ears with Western hardware but lack well-trained troops.
Such brigades also face complex, perhaps impossible, logistical challenges, since the Western supplies require spare parts, repair centers and in many cases different types of ammunition. Even the Leopard II tanks supplied can’t all use the same ammunition.
More worrisome for Ukraine’s army is the lack of replacement supplies if their coming offensive drags on. Simply put, there are almost no supplies around. The US is mostly out of ammunition and has been stripping stockpiles in South Korea and Israel – something that has alarmed Israel’s generals, who think a hot war with Iran is only weeks away.
At the eleventh hour, Ukraine is trying hard to recruit more soldiers, sometimes using rough tactics to dragoon young men. Such troops can’t possibly be trained in time. Practically speaking they are, at most, cannon fodder.
But the Ukrainians want to look credible to their American masters, so not only do they grab young people from street corners or in front of popular watering holes such as McDonald’s, but they beat them up if they resist.
The same is happening to any Ukrainian journalist who tries to write anything the so-called democratic government of Ukraine does not like. Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime has arrested political opponents or chased them out of the country, or worse. And these days Ukrainian special operations groups are assassinating journalists and commentators in Russia and elsewhere who oppose Ukraine.
The Russians will attempt to systematically destroy Ukraine’s new brigades. With larger forces, better tactics, and more air power, air defenses and ground equipment, the Russians could very well defeat the Ukrainian army and force regime change in Kiev.
Biden, who is running for re-election, does not want any status quo change until he is re-elected.