By Charlie Kimber
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West gloats as Russian forces lose in Ukraine

This article is over 1 years, 7 months old
Ukrainian military advances are a result of Western arms supplies and the demoralisation of Russian troops 
Issue 2822
US troops in Bulgaria as part of Natos intervention in Ukraine Russia war

Nato, in particular the US, has poured troops, arms and funding into Ukraine (Picture: Flickr/ Nato)

The Ukrainian military has routed Russian forces in the last few days, taking large swathes of territory in the north east of the country. The attack hurled back Russian troops and took 3,000 square ­kilometres of Ukrainian land.  Russia responded last Sunday with missile and artillery strikes on power plants in the areas where it had been defeated.

The Ukrainian assault, which defence minister Oleksii Reznikov described as a “snowball rolling down a hill”, is the biggest setback for Russia since it invaded in February. The defeats show the lack of ­commitment by Russian troops to the war. There are repeated reports of soldiers running away or surrendering and handing over their weapons with hardly any real resistance.

But Ukrainian successes also ­underline how the West has armed Ukraine with the most modern weaponry. The vast armoury of long-range missiles and artillery—including from Britain—has transformed the war. It’s enabled Ukrainian forces to bombard Russian positions well behind the frontline.

Reznikov told the French daily Le Monde, “Our army chiefs have conceived a plan in accordance with the weapons we have received from our partners. We started by using the Himars mobile artillery systems from the US to cut off enemy supply lines and destroy fuel and weapon depots,” he said.

The new advances have led to more demands for weapons. The mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, told the German government that Western weapons were crucial to continued military success. He urged leaders to speed up a shipment of German battle tanks.

“In order to better protect and equip our soldiers, Ukraine urgently needs more arms deliveries right now,” Klitschko told the German tabloid Bild, calling for supplies of Germany’s Leopard tanks. Ukraine’s offensive coincided with a meeting last week of the Western imperialists’ Ukraine Defence Contact Group at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

It was chaired by US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin. Austin said the US and Nato would be supporting Ukraine for the “long haul”. He also announced yet another £500 ­million in military aid. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky will soon address virtually a conference of US arms makers in Texas. It will be attended by representatives from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and others.

The pushbacks on Russia will lead to splits in its ruling groups. Ramzan Kadyrov, the repressive leader of Chechnya, which has supported Vladimir Putin by sending troops, criticised Russia’s military for the retreat. He said if their strategy did not change, he would speak to the “leadership of the country”. 

“Mistakes were made. It might not be nice when you tell someone the truth to their face, but I like ­telling the truth,” he said. There is a huge danger that, facing humiliation, Russia’s ­leaders may again consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons to stop the retreats.

And to hold on to other bits of territory they have grabbed. Putin’s invasion was always a reactionary manoeuvre. But the US and its Nato allies will now seek further advances as part of their agenda of spreading their power.

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