Zelensky's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad D.C. Snubfest
Zelensky’s war appears to be on the brink. After a letdown stint at the UN assembly in New York, he’s now in Washington on the last leg of his begging journey to ensure the continuation of the war.
Unfortunately so far, it’s not going very well. The much hoped-for and vaunted ATACMS appears to already be kaput:
One of the key focus points of this trip, we were told for several weeks, was that Biden was set to announce the ATACMS transfer to Ukraine in person with Zelensky, which would have made for a big, symbolic moment of solidarity, demonstrating the U.S.’s continued resolve and commitment to the much-talked-about long term prosecution of the war. Even Jihad Julian is despondent:
Foreign Policy states that every U.S. agency allegedly agreed to send the missile, but it was left up to Biden as the last call:
A congressional aide, who spoke to Foreign Policy on the condition of anonymity, said that all U.S. agencies had agreed to send the U.S. Army Tactical Missile System. “If it doesn’t happen, it’s because [President Joe] Biden himself said no,” the person said.
Instead, things are souring, and nothing is going as planned for Zelensky. Recall that recently someone had asked about Ukraine’s red lines vis a vis their paymasters in the U.S. Some observers continue to naively believe the U.S. is some impervious and untouchable force—as it likes to portray itself—which isn’t afraid of any Russian red lines.
On the contrary I persist in informing people there are serious red lines behind the scenes which the U.S. itself fears to cross. That’s because there remain many pressure levers that Russia itself has not yet exercised, and which could easily make life for the U.S. much more difficult, both militarily, economically, and geopolitically in Europe.
House Speaker McCarthy has now nixed Zelensky’s hoped-for address to Congress:
Now a series of furious negotiations are are being hashed out, with establishment congressmen desperate to get Zelensky some sort of guarantee. However a large contingent of mostly Republicans are playing spoiler:
Not to be overshadowed, the biggest development of all was that a sudden unexpected rift between Ukraine and Poland threatened to scupper the war entirely. Fed up with Ukraine’s antics over the grain debacle, the Polish PM made an uncharacteristic declaration that Poland will no longer supply weapons to Ukraine:
He even garnished it with an additional threat, to make himself clear:
Mr Morawiecki later followed this up with a televised statement that represented a further intensification of the seemingly growing divide.
"I am warning Ukraine's authorities," he said.
"Because if they are to escalate the conflict like that, we will add additional products to the ban on imports into Poland.
"Ukrainian authorities do not understand the degree to which Poland's farming industry has been destabilised. We are protecting Polish farmers."
And that’s after the Polish president himself shockingly called Ukraine a “drowning man” who can pull you under along with him:
This was followed by a series of quick ‘clean up jobs’, which saw Polish spokesman Piotr Müller massage Morawiecki’s statement into: “The Polish authorities are supplying Ukraine with previously agreed upon weapons”—which sounds like he’s saying previously agreed upon only, but no further new ones.
Meanwhile Polish ex-PM Szydlo spilled the truth by saying the quiet part out loud:
And Polish deputy-PM Kaczyński stated: "Poland will continue to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, but there was no clause in our agreement that we would liquidate Polish agriculture due to the protection of Ukraine".
A Polish “Confederation Party” member even presented a mock bill to Ukraine, showing everything Poland has provided:
The bill that the Polish party "Confederation" presented to Ukraine for payment yesterday, after Zelensky's brilliant speech at the UN (in zloty):
✔️Military aid - 14 billion
✔️Humanitarian aid - 4.3 billion
✔️Financial assistance - 1.6 billion
✔️Assistance to Ukrainian refugees - 71.4 billion
✔️Private assistance from Poles - 10 billion
TOTAL: 101.3 billion zlotys, or $23.5 billion
Are we waiting for Zelensky to write a check? 😂
“Zelensky may convince the US Congress to allocate more money for the fighting. But this may be his last victory. He may receive a reduced package and be sent away. And he is unlikely to return.
There was no real breakthrough during the counteroffensive, and Ukraine used up most of its strategic reserves. This included the loss of Western weapons and many NATO-trained soldiers.
Reports say that Ukraine is losing more than a thousand people a day, sometimes around two thousand, and that doesn't add up to much. The United States and some of its NATO partners have made it clear that they do not approve of Ukraine's military tactics, although much of it has been driven by NATO computer modeling and strong intelligence support."
But the Ukrainian delegation persists. Comically, spokesman Yuri Ignat is already looking past F-16s and talking about receiving the F-35:
"We also have to think about the future, not about one F-16. There are F-35 aircraft, there will also be a new model Gripen," he said at a briefing at the Ukraine media center, which was broadcast on YouTube.
Ignat said that at the moment Ukraine considers it a priority to receive fourth-generation F-16 fighters from the United States, in second place in the list of priorities - fighters of the same generation JAS 39 Gripen in service in Sweden.
All this being said, I do believe most of the issues will be ironed out for now, but they represent a clear direction for the conflict. For instance, the fracas with Poland likely has something to do with posturing for the upcoming Polish elections this October. PM Morawiecki needs to appear strong and show he’s valiantly defending Polish interests so he can be re-appointed.
Similarly, the U.S. congressmen are likely putting on a bit of an act to show the American people they are doing their ‘due diligence’ in making sure every American dollar is accounted for in Ukraine, but ultimately the deal for more funding will likely go through.
But these developments still represent a major down trend for Ukraine’s trajectory. And since this is merely a result of one failed offensive season, the proceedings are indicative of what will happen deep into next year, once Ukraine is even further along those dire straits.
Despite the funding being worked out for now, it will still likely represent far less overall, and the complete reneging on the hoped-for ‘wunderwaffen’ weapons represents a major reality shift.
As for the budget, Ukraine’s total yearly federal budget requires around $50 billion just to run the governmental services. Now that Ukraine is in a state of war and upwards of tens of millions have fled, tax receipts are catastrophically down. In previous years, I believe Ukraine was already operating under a heavy deficit where the government only received about $20-25B with a massive $20-25B shortfall.
Now it’s even far worse than that. And keep in mind, this doesn’t even count the military/war expenditures which are anywhere between $60-100B. That means Ukraine needs a total of about $100B+ or more yearly to run its state and continue prosecuting the war. This is why these $25B injections currently being debated in D.C. are basically quarterly.
Like I said, the pressure is really starting to become evident after only a few months of failed counteroffensive attempts. By next spring, Ukraine will have spent 6 months from today likely being pounded into oblivion with no hope any longer on the horizon. If the headlines are bad now, the prevailing sentiment 6 months from now will be apocalyptic.
The above Newsweek article by retired Lt. Colonel Daniel L. Davis makes one of the biggest admissions of the conflict thus far:
He’s saying Ukraine has lost an additional 50k dead just during part of this year alone, presumably accounting for Bakhmut and the counteroffensive. That means even Western sources are now admitting Ukraine lost tens of thousands in each of those. It’s still not quite reality, as Prigozhin had upwards of 60-70k dead AFU in Bakhmut alone, but they’re starting to get closer toward the truth. An admission of 50k dead—that’s not even counting the tens of thousands of maimed and irrecoverably wounded losses—just from March or so (since he said this tally is from a year after the SMO’s start, which would be late February 2023) of this year means 50k in 6 months, which is 8,333 per month or nearly 300 per day.
Thus, they’re admitting to Ukraine averaging 300 dead per day throughout this year, which would mean at least another 100-200 irrecoverably wounded and an additional few hundred regular wounded for a potential total of 1000 casualties and up per day, on average. Also, by the admission of their own numbers, they’re saying that Ukraine has suffered a ~400% increase in casualties over last year. That’s because 50k in a 6 month span this year is on course for 100k over 12 months. He stated the previous year was 17k for the year.
Even though we know the 17k figure is phony, the point is that they’re admitting Ukraine is experiencing a 5x increase in casualties this year over last year. If you extrapolate that into real figures and say that during 2022 they had 100k, then this year they’d be on course for 500k, etc. Or 50k for 2022 vs. 250k for 2023, etc.
By the way, a Ukrainian Rada deputy not only said Ukraine will have to do a “far more intense” mobilization, but interestingly that 80% of the armed forces are now mobilized who never fought before…
According to him, Ukraine will have to carry out mobilization “more intense than now” if the Russian Federation, as the Ukrainian General Staff reported previously , calls up another 700 000 recruits.
“Now we are mobilizing, reacting to what forces and means the Russians have. For example, they have approximately 400 000 military personnel. Therefore, we are responding to mobilization, replenishing our units at the forefront, forming new ones. Of course, if mobilization in Russia will be at such a pace, we will need to increase mobilization in order to be able to respond adequately,” he said.
According to Kostenko, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are 80% “or even more” composed of mobilized people who were not previously professional military personnel.
Recall the revelation from last time, where the Poltava commissar said the casualty rate for his region was 80-90% and we talked about how that could extrapolate to the entire armed forces. The fact these numbers match isn’t a coincidence.
It becomes increasingly clear that 80-90% of the entire AFU was in fact wiped out. Depending what you believe their starting number was, whether 200k or 1 million as Zelensky might have claimed, you can draw your conclusions from there as to total losses. It seems those “tongue-in-cheek” remarks about Ukraine having its entire first army wiped out, and now operating on their second or third army, were perhaps not far from the truth.
And if you don’t believe the above numbers, here’s a brand new captured AFU soldier who clearly states 95% of his unit was freshly mobilized conscripts:
But back to Lt. Colonel Davis, who ends the Newsweek article with the grim realization that Ukraine’s offensive potential is finished, and that the U.S. should now not only divest its funding/arming responsibilities onto allies, but should instruct Ukraine to shift to a defensive strategy:
There is no realistic basis, therefore, to believe that Ukraine has the capacity to attain its stated strategic objective to reclaim all its territory, including Crimea. What is realistic is to continue providing Kyiv with the military wherewithal to defend itself from further Russian incursions. This goal should be combined with shifting an increasing percentage of the burden for additional arms and ammunition to our rich European friends. The U.S. should continue to ensure the war does not expand beyond the borders of Ukraine, and increase diplomatic efforts with all relevant parties to end the war on the best terms possible for Kyiv—all of which are beneficial to American interests.
Rather than repeating over the next year and a half what has already not worked—potentially costing Ukraine yet additional hundreds of thousands of losses—it's time to try something that has a chance to succeed. In other words, it's time to acknowledge objective reality and employ policies that can work.
He’s saying that Ukraine should simply now shift to defending against any further Russian advances and U.S. should begin looking for a way out of this war. Quelle surprise.
And the brand new Economist edition hot off the press has a splashy cover with a slightly different message:
The Economist believes everything needs to be reconfigured for a long war, with Europe stepping up production and Ukraine reimagining their economy for full war production. Peace is not an option, according to the Lynn Forester de Rothschild-owned Economist.
Meanwhile, last night Russia has begun the first of this season’s debilitating strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. Energy facilities were hit with major power losses throughout a webwork of cities.
Russian missile strikes damaged energy infrastructure in central and western Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian national grid operator Ukrenergo said. It said on the Telegram messaging app that the attacks caused electricity shutdowns in five regions - Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Dnipropetrovsk, Rivne, and Kharkiv.
Dozens of videos showed burning facilities in Kiev, Lvov, and many other cities.
In the usual face-saving tactic, Ukraine claimed they shot down the majority of missiles:
The important thing is that statistics I’ve seen alleged that only 25% of infrastructure destroyed during last winter’s attacks has been repaired. If true, that would mean Russia could give a killing blow onto the Ukrainian electric grid this coming fall and winter. With decreased weapons shipments, Western funding, etc., that would go a long way towards creating the critical mass by next spring which I described earlier.
Russia will turn the screws on those clamps and continue its boa constrictor squeeze on Ukraine and all of Europe until internal dissent, unrest, and friction is at a boil. Just watch the video I posted earlier of Schumer quoting Zelensky: “If we don’t get this aid, we’ll lose the war.”
This is why I don’t think Russia is in a particular rush to effect any sudden rash ‘big arrow offensives’ any time soon. The present attritional tactic is already doing its textbook job, with only minor blips to mar it—like Ukraine’s occasional successes with the Storm Shadows. Apart from that Ukraine has impaled itself on the stakes of Vlad’s Zaporozhye line, as Europe saw fit to impale themselves on Russia’s upraised economic middle finger.
Older than the Edda: "The most valuable resource in war, which is always lacking, is not weapons, ammunition, transport, or even personnel. The most valuable resource is time, because if you have it, you can find weapons, plant ammunition, put transport in order, and even somehow solve the problem with the lack of personnel. But if there is no time, and your decisions are delayed due to the rapid actions of the enemy, then even having all of the above available may not save you.
Time is exactly what we have now, thanks to the fact that the Khokhl offensive is going the way it is. Slow gnawing in "meat assaults" allows us to strengthen our defenses, put additional minefields, transfer reserves from less stressed areas and generally think about what we need to do next."
No matter what angle the wall-eyed Eurocrats approach next year’s outlook from, it doesn’t look favorable.
The U.S. has announced that its going to expand its artillery production a bit ahead of schedule, with 100k monthly shells by 2025 rather than the forecasted 80k. Now it does 25k, nearly double of the pre-war 14k monthly. By 2024, they expect to be clanking out 65k per month. But these numbers, even by 2025, are no where near enough, and the problems are endless:
"Prices for equipment and ammunition are shooting up. Right now, we are paying more and more for exactly the same," Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, the chair of NATO's military committee, said on Saturday after a meeting of the alliance's chiefs of defence in Oslo.
"That means that we cannot make sure that the increased defence spending actually leads to more security."
The U.S.’s 100k monthly shells by 2025 would mean a production of 1.2 million per year. A new NYTimes piece says Russia is already producing 2 million shells now. Though my own estimates are that Russia produces even more than that, but at least they’re on the right track.
Not to mention:
Russia’s production costs are also far lower than the West’s, in part because Moscow is sacrificing safety and quality in its effort to build weapons more cheaply, Mr. Salm said. For instance, it costs a Western country $5,000 to $6,000 to make a 155-millimeter artillery round, whereas it costs Russia about $600 to produce a comparable 152-millimeter artillery shell, he said.
Sure, “safety and quality” is the reason Russian shells are cheaper. The amount of face-saving cope in the West is simply breathtaking. This is a nearly 1000% markup on Russian shells. Are magical NATO shells 1000% “safer” and more effective than Russian ones? Battlefield footage suggests otherwise.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, U.S. appears to be facing severe sabotage or just the typical slow-decline of a decadent, overwrought civilization. Two days ago an F-35 crashed in South Carolina, to which the military authorities had to issue an embarrassing public appeal to help find the plane.
But the much more alarming sub-story revolves around rumors that there’s a coverup as to what really happened. The incident has many incongruities, and a top cyber security expert now claims the entire software security suite for the F-35 has been compromised:
Green Hills Software produces the Integrity 178B Operating System that powers the F-35, F-22, F-16, and B-2. It also powers the Airbus A380. It was also quite possibly leaked. Now you understand why the entire USMC air fleet has been grounded. Fun fact: the CEO of Green Hills Software is none other than infamous Elon Musk hater Dan O'Dowd.
The leak of air traffic control audio from the crash seems to suggest the ‘zombie’ plane flew on by itself after the pilot ejected, which is what resulted in their not having a clue where it actually crashed:
And why would a pilot even eject from a plane that’s still capable of flying for a long time on its own afterwards? It would almost suggest someone took remote control of the plane and hit the ejection button.
Footage of the “debris field” shows no clear—or even unclear—signs of debris, giving echoes of 9/11’s strangely disappearing jumbo jets. It also seems odd that all aviation was grounded, pointing to a potential compromise that affects every platform:
On Monday, the Marine Corps reportedly issued a two-day stand-down for all aviation units over the military’s missing F-35 that disappeared after its pilot safely ejected due to a “mishap.”
This could all of course be speculation, but it feels like there’s something rotten in Denmark. If there’s even a hint of truth to any of it, it suggests the U.S. military has much bigger things to worry about than their floundering Ukrainian campaign.
And this is the plane Zelensky’s now clamoring for?
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