Under Vladimir Putin’s leadership, the Russian Federation has been trying to conquer and undermine the regime in Kyiv, Ukraine, since 2014 with the Russian takeover of the Crimea peninsula in that year.
In April 2014, armed pro-Russian separatists seized government buildings in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. They proclaimed the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) independent states, starting the Donbas War from 2014 to 2022.
This conflict was predominantly a proxy war funded by the Russian government with Russian military equipment, soldiers and mercenaries fighting in Ukraine.
Despite Ukrainian’s heroic resistance to the naked Russian imperialism and conquest of their lands, they have put up a strong defence and a fight that nobody expected.
There was a robust common consensus that the lead of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a former comedian and Netflix star, would abandon his nation.
The same way Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the leader of Afghanistan from 2014 until the overthrow of the Afghan government by the Taliban in 2021.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy truly surprised everyone by holding his nerve and staying in Kyiv, and fighting for his nation; it can be argued that it was his bravery and the commitment of the Ukrainian people has made this war the equivalent of the American Revolutionary War and Spanish Armada being the defining moment of the new Ukrainian nation taping their national identity separate from Russia.
This was where Vladimir Putin was wrong and made a giant misstep not invading the nation in 2014+ United States and its allies were bogged down fighting the war in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Vladimir Putin allowed the Ukrainians time to plan and prepare to fight Russia.
War of Attrition
The consequences are that the Russians performed terribly during the war in terms of the performance on the battlefield, which is not surprising with Russia’s long history of disastrous wars in the first year.
We now see solutions with the Russians traditionally fighting wars: throwing bodies at the enemy until the problem is solved; this was how they fought and lost in World War I and how they thought and won in World War II.
While the Russians advanced into Eastern Europe and Germany during the Second World War, the Germans successfully managed to kill the Russians in a ratio of one to Five, and the Germans still lost.
In the words of Arthur Wesley, the Duke of Wellington and the Victor of Waterloo, Ukrainians cannot afford to fight a war of attrition, ‘Hard pounding, gentlemen: but we shall see who can pound the longest’.
Unfortunately for the Ukrainians, they don’t have the staying power typically historically; nations with the most resources, materials and manpower will win the war.
If they keep winning and still have the logistical support of European nations and the United States of America, Ukrainians may win the war regarding raw resources.
Unfortunately, they don’t have the numbers to fight a war of attrition; they have to fight a war of movement with blitzkrieg-style tactics to ensure Russians cannot use swarming tactics and drown them in men.
During the winter and spring months in Ukrainian lands and Russia, they become muddy, and moving tanks in those conditions becomes challenging. If the Ukrainians are forced to fight a war of attrition, they will lose because the Russians can fight a war of numbers.
Ukrainians may use Ulysses S Grant’s strategy, which he used to defeat the Confederate States of America and fight a war of exhaustion, not attrition.
What this means is defeating the political will to fight Russia. Ukrainians don’t have the capacity, the ability, or the possibility due to inflict harm on Russia by attacking their factories and other means of production, say.
The war will be won or lost on the Russian’s willingness to fight and the Ukrainian’s ability to keep their casualties low. The geopolitical analyst Peter Zihan argued that the Ukrainians would need to kill the Russian soldiers in a ratio of one to five or one or eight to defeat Russia.
War of Numbers
Many casualties during the war are hard to come by; the numbers vary from 150,000 to 200,000, with the casualty estates of civilian and military targets being unclear. What is clear is that at the moment, there are 8.2 million Ukrainian refugees in Europe.
This crisis and all the deaths will worsen before the war ends. An estimate of the total casualties as of 11/05/2023 is that Ukraine has suffered 124,500-131,000 total casualties, including 15,500-17,500 killed in action and 109,000-113,500 wounded in action.
The numbers have been predicted to be much higher regarding combat and civilian casualties due to the Russians and Ukrainians having interests in misrepresenting the combat deaths to maintain morale.
It’s not viable truly trust information coming from both governments due to being in a state of war.
Russian military as of 2023 stands at 1,330,900, with Ukrainian military as of 2021, Ukraine’s Armed Forces, now numbering 246,445.
However, these have been supplemented recently by over 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers trained by Europeans and Americans.
What this war may come down to is who blinks first and who can take the most pounding; the Russians under Vladimir Putin will not give up because Putin doesn’t care how many people must die to win the war.
As for the Ukrainians and their political leaders are fighting for their very survival; they have no choice but to fight until they are no longer able.
This war may last for years provided Ukrainians keep outperforming the Russian army and the European alliance keeps on supplying Ukrainians with the materials, logistics, skills and other means so that Ukrainians can keep fighting the war, with the highest price being the blood of their fellow Ukrainians.
Ukraine war, already with up to 354,000 casualties, likely to last past 2023 – U.S. documents link
Former Afghan presidents mark the anniversary of Taliban rule link
Volodymyr Zelensky link
Conflict in Ukraine: A timeline (2014 – present) link
Comparison of the military capabilities of Russia and Ukraine as of 2023 link
Civilian Death Toll In Ukraine At Least 8,500, But UN Says It’s Likely ‘Considerably Higher’ link
Russia-Ukraine War link
Donate To Ukraine Links
Come Back Alive link
Nova Ukraine link
The $1K Project for Ukraine link
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