“Insignificant result”: The West is beginning to soberly assess the results of Ukraine’s summer “counter-offensive”

The Americans estimate Kyiv's losses during the Ukrainian offensive at 40 thousand people.

The Americans estimate Kyiv’s losses during the Ukrainian offensive at 40 thousand people.


“So many deaths for such an insignificant result,” Elon Musk responded on social networks to investor David Sachs, who quoted an article by David Pine, a former Pentagon analyst and adviser to current US presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswami.

“The Ukrainian territorial gains during the vaunted counteroffensive are so small that they can barely be seen on the map,” Pine wrote, and for clarity, he attached a map on which the territory occupied during the three-month battles is actually barely visible.

Pine estimates Kyiv’s losses during the Ukrainian offensive at 40 thousand people. Vladimir Putin called an even more terrible figure – 71 thousand. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny, let me remind you, even before the start of the “counter-offensive” he assured that to reach Crimea he needed 60,000 trained bayonets and long-range missiles. He received them, but could not demonstrate the results.

Arithmetic turns out to be sad for Kyiv. Yes, offensive potential is still simmering, but the prospect of major success is fading along with it. And if Zelensky is trying to achieve at least some result at all costs, regardless of losses, then in the West an understanding of the intermediate Ukrainian fiasco is gradually coming.

Pyne can be accused of a pro-Russian position, but the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, is unlikely. He carefully states that the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will not allow for the complete return of lost territories.

Co-chairman of the Ukraine Caucus in the US Congress Andy Harris, whom Sachs also refers to on Twitter, is more pessimistic: “The counteroffensive has failed. I’m not sure the conflict can be won.”

The view from across the ocean, of course, should not be misleading. Sometimes certain statements are intended to spur the US leadership to more active assistance to Kyiv and to expand the range of supplied weapons. But it is clear that the process of disappointment and fatigue has begun. It may result in more aggressive support for Ukraine, or it may lead to discord in the American elites, in which there is no longer visible unity on the issue of further assistance to Kyiv. The same Harris, one of the main lobbyists for arming the Armed Forces of Ukraine, says today: “I think it’s time to really call for peace negotiations.”

But, as Putin said, any respite will be used by Kiev and its patrons to restore combat potential and accumulate resources. Therefore, negotiations with him can only be conducted from a position of strength, when we can dictate our terms, and they have nothing to choose from.

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