I’m amazed at how the people of Ukraine are still standing up to Vladimir Putin’s Russian army. It’s been going on for weeks now.
The top three stories at the New York Times website this morning tell how badly things are going for Russia: “Ukrainians Try to Push Back Russian Forces Pummeling Their Cities.” “How Ukraine’s Outgunned Air Force is Fighting Back Against Russian Jets.” “As Russia stalls in Ukraine, Dissent Brews Over Putin’s Leadership.”
It’s that third headline that has me thinking. The Times writes that Putin was warned by a retired Russian military officer that invading Ukraine would be “pointless and extremely dangerous.” Also, that it would make Russians and Ukrainians enemies for life.
Clearly, Russia underestimated Ukraine. Also, the once feared Russian military looks clumsy and lost. Ukraine says it has killed at least six Russian generals. How many Russian troops have now died? American officials say 7,000. That’s a month into this.
Fox News has video of a Russian tank pulling up to the gas pump of a convenience store and going inside and looting it. No word if they filled up the tank of the tank.
Former intelligence officer, Lt. Col. Chuck Devore tells Fox, “If it doesn’t have fuel, if it doesn’t have ammunition and if the crew doesn’t have water or food, guess what? That tank can’t fight. And that’s what we are beginning to see all across Ukraine. This is the utter breakdown of the Russian ability to supply its troops.”
Now, none of this is to say Russia is out of business on this. While its military is bogged down now, what tactics might be used to get out of it?
Vladimir Putin’s press secretary says nuclear weapons would be used only if Russia faces an “existential threat.” That’s vague.
At that point, when does the rest of the world step in? Jonathan Swan of Axios says, “What is the atrocity threshold inside Ukraine that would provoke a more aggressive response from NATO? Is it chemical weapons? Is it using one of his, quote unquote, tactical smaller nuclear weapons?”
President Biden is headed to Europe today to meet with our allies. He is expected to talk about more aid to Ukraine as well as strengthening NATO.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the war is at a deadly stalemate. “This war is un-winnable. Sooner or later, it will have to move from the battlefield to the peace table.”
I hope he’s right. And soon. The Ukrainian people are still standing strong. How long can they last?