Western Intel Joins Push for More Arms for Ukraine

The new narrative emphasizes Ukrainian losses and Russian superiority in guns

Editor’s note: There’s is a synchronized offensive to pressure DC into delivering more support uniting Kiev and the Western media — and now Ukrainian and Western intel agencies working in concert. There has been a small avalanche of articles like this recently that emphasize how grim things look for the Ukrainains if they don’t receive Western arms soon. What sets this one apart is that Western and Ukrainian intel indirectly helped wrote it. (The article retells the findings of an intel report that was basically written to explain why Ukraine needs American rocket artillery and now.)


Source: The Independent

Ukrainian troops are suffering massive losses as they are outgunned 20 to one in artillery and 40 to one in ammunition by Russian forces, according to new intelligence painting a bleak picture of the conflict on the frontline. [That’s normally called “ammunition expenditure”. 40-to-1 is huge. I wonder if this isn’t an exaggeration given the incentives.]

A report by Ukrainian and Western intelligence officials also reveals that the Ukrainians are facing huge difficulties responding to Russians shelling with their artillery restricted to a range of 25 kilometres, while the enemy can strike from 12 times that distance. [Apples and oranges. Comparing howitzers to guided missiles.]

For the first time since the war began, there is now concern over desertion. The report, seen by The Independent, says the worsening situation in the Donbas, with up to a hundred soldiers being killed a day, is having “a seriously demoralising effect on Ukrainian forces as well as a very real material effect; cases of desertion are growing every week”.

At the same time, as the Russians capture territories in the east, and consolidate their control over the seized cities of Mariupol and Kherson, the bargaining position of the Ukrainian government is being weakened by acute disparity in the numbers of prisoners being held by each side.

The total number of Russian soldiers being held by Ukraine has fallen to 550 from 900 in April after a series of exchanges. Moscow meanwhile has more than 5,600 Ukrainian troops in captivity, the figure enlarged by the surrender of 2,500, including members of the Azov Battalion, in Mariupol.

This difference in numbers between the two sides is being revealed as both Kyiv and Moscow hold highly-publicised trials of prisoners of war.

Ukrainian courts in Kyiv and near Kharkiv have convicted Russian soldiers on war crimes charges, handing out lengthy sentences. Iryna Venediktova, the country’s prosecutor general, said on Wednesday she has filed eight more cases.

Two Britons, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, who were captured serving with Ukrainian forces in Mariupol are on trial in the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, where prosecutors say they face the death penalty for “terrorism” and being “mercenaries”.

Russian state media announced on Wednesday that more than 1,000 Mariupol prisoners have been transferred to Russia for “investigation.” Politicians in Moscow and the separatist republics have threatened to carry out “Nuremberg-type” trials of the Azov prisoners who they accuse of being neo-Nazis.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, making a visit to the frontline in Donbas on Monday, demanded the Kremlin hand over the Mariupol prisoners. Negotiations are ongoing, he said, but “they are unfortunately in the hands of the Russian Federation, which cannot be trusted”.

The intelligence report says: “Russians insist on a one-to-one prisoner exchange. This means that under the status quo, 4,500 Ukrainian prisoners may be in Russian jails until there is a peace deal. Moscow is likely to use this as a lever to internally destabilise Ukraine unless there is social protection for their families and clear communications.”

The assessment was compiled before the announcement by the British government that it will supply a small number of M270 multiple-launch rocket systems, but after the reported US supply of Himars truck-based mobility rocket systems.

Britain is sending only three of the systems for the time being, and Washington has sent four. Ukrainian officials say they need much more to halt the Russian advance, let alone reclaim lost territory, and that it will take time to deploy the systems to the frontline while the Kremlin continues its fierce offensive in the Donbas.

“We are, of course, very grateful to our allies for their support,” said one Ukrainian official. “The new weapons are welcome, but when they announce they are sending military aid to Ukraine, the Western government should perhaps clarify to their public the quantities involved.”

Reporting on the ground backs up claims of rising Ukrainian losses due to Russian firepower. The Independent last week witnessed losses being inflicted on the Ukrainian military and the lack of long-range firepower to fight back; one soldier interviewed in Lysychansk has since been killed and another three injured.

The intelligence report states: “It is plain that a conventional war cannot be won if your side has several times fewer weapons, your weapons hit the enemy at a shorter distance and you have significantly less ammunition than the enemy.”

It continues:

“The tactical situation on the Eastern front is as follows… the Ukrainian side has almost completely run out of stocks of missiles for MLRS of Smerch and Uragan types, which made it possible to effectively deter Russian offensives in the first months of the war at distances of 60 to 80 km.

“Today, the maximum range of fire of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is 25 km. This is the range at which 152/155mm calibre artillery and the Grad MLRS units remaining in service can fire.”

“At the same time, the enemy strikes at concentrations of Ukrainian forces from a distance of 300 km with Iskander tactical ballistic missiles, 70 to 80 km using the Smerch MLRS and Tochka-U, from 40 to 60 km using MLRS Uragan.”

[That they’re run out of Smerch and Uragan rockets could be true, but it also sounds suspiciously like an argument tailor-made to force US’ hand into delivering more M270.]

The report continues:

“This creates a situation of absolute inequality on the battlefield, not to mention the complete dominance of enemy aircraft in the air, which can only sometimes be corrected by the use of the Stinger and mistakes of Russian pilots.”

The assessment warns that the Russians are fully aware that a relatively small number of Western weapons have been sent and the delivery into combat positions is slow. “The Russians are seeking to utilise their advantage in the time they have by using their artillery to try and break through Ukrainian defences in the Donbas,” it says.

It stresses that Javelin and NLAW anti-tank systems supplied by the US and UK have proved effective in the battlefields around Kyiv and Kharkiv and remain so in the Donbas. Switchblade attack drones have also inflicted significant damage on the Russians.

However, it points out that anti-tank weapons “cannot counter Russian artillery and rocket launchers”.

“The enemy is encircling Ukrainian forces concentrated in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk,” it says. “It has become extremely difficult to defend these two cities, since the enemy exercises 80 per cent fire control on the roads transporting supplies.”

9 Comments
  1. Agarwal says

    If the Ukrainians are counting on American and British MLRS to turn the tide, it is already a foregone conclusion that they will be disappointed. To say that this is not a specialty of western militaries it to put it very mildly. If the Ukrainians really wanted to turn around growing western apathy and inconvenience at high inflation, they should focus on civilian atrocities. The story at Bucha had a huge effect on western sensibilities.

    People expect soldiers to die in a war, if a lot of soldiers die on one side it is typically seen to signify that that side is close to losing. But atrocities against civilians are another matter. This is basic war information management and the Ukrainians certainly know this.

    I personally see these stories about Ukrainian losses as preparing western opinion for Ukrainian territorial losses and maybe even military collapse. Otherwise if the pivot in news is too extreme and sudden, regular westerners will lose faith in their governments and intelligence services. Similarly the Ukrainian side’s admission of significant casualties for the first time is likely in order to prepare Ukrainians for the loss of territory and potentially an unfavorable negotiated settlement.

    1. Abraham Lincoln says

      Pro empire what happened? You just had about 10 plus pro empire articles on how Russia is going to lose and is not really advancing anywhere and it is Russia suffering massive deaths and injuries to its soldiers and that Russia is running out of soldiers.

      This website is now like MSNBC and CNN etc,. total lying garbage.

  2. Agarwal says

    An article in today’s Guardian is an example of what I am taking about:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/10/ukraine-casualty-rate-russia-war-tipping-point

    There is only a peripheral mention of Ukrainians’ request for more weapons. The article focus in on Ukrainian losses full stop, with it also being dropped that Russia is likely suffering far fewer casualties now than Ukraine (no doubt from a source in the British MoD), and that Ukraine’s military may not be able to withstand even a few more months of this. More than anything this looks like preparing the western (in this case British) public for a Ukrainian loss.

  3. Danram says

    The problem is that Russia has no capability to exploit a breakthrough created by its artillery. Its infantry has been absolutely shredded and they have very little trained infantry left. Ditto with their armor. So the Ukrainians just keep their heads down, weather the artillery barrages, and then kill the Russian infantry when it tries to advance. The “Popasna breakout” occurred three weeks ago. Once the Ukrainians get about 60 or 70 western MLRS systems in place and they’ve learned how to use them, the Russian military effort inside Ukraine will collapse, slowly at first but then faster than most expect. Russia has concentrated 50% of its entire remaining army around Sievrodonetsk and yet they still can’t manage to close one tiny pocket about 40 km wide. Soon it will be a completely spent force.

  4. Tom says

    Putin sucking USA into a deadly trap.

    With Russia and China about to launch a surprise attack on Alaska and the West Coast of USA, America will have no weapons to defend the coast.

    1. Tom says

      Once Russia and China establish a “beach head” on the Wet Coast it will be impossible to stop their advance inland — Is the US military going to use nukes stop their advance — hell no.

      Traitor Joe Biden will order the US military to stand down.

      America your future is now in the hands of a treasonous treacherous traitor.

      1. Danram says

        LOL!!! Looks like somebody forgot to take his meds this morning.

  5. SteveK9 says

    Yes, it is obvious what the motivation is here. Their problem is that the short-lived attention span of modern Americans, means they have already lost interest in Ukraine. Because who rules Ukraine has nothing to do with them … which is true. They don’t like high gas prices, and if a Ukrainian surrender caused gasoline prices to crash, I’m sure they would vote for that. The whole ‘Putin price increase’ by Biden is going nowhere. He is the one that wanted a fight. So, now he has one.

  6. Danram says

    Right now, the two sides are pretty evenly matched. Russia is making gains in central Donbas and maybe some slight gains to the northeast of Kharkiv. Ukraine is making gains west of Izyum and in the south around Kherson. On net, the amount of new territory gained in the last two weeks is probably about equal to the amount lost for either side.

    The difference is that Ukraine is getting stronger while Russia is not. Ukraine has hundreds of thousands of new soldiers currently in training and is receiving a steady flow of superior western weapons. Even if it isn’t happening as fast as the Ukrainians and many others would like, it’s happening.

    Russia, on the other hand, is facing a severe manpower crunch and is having to bring 60-year old T-62 tanks out of mothballs.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see how this will end.

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