Ukraine Holds On Against Russian Onslaught
Despite predictions that Ukraine would fall quickly to Russia’a attacks, the nation has continued to fight back.
From Fox News. As Russia massed a large military presence on its border with Ukraine weeks before launching its invasion, Western intelligence officials were concerned the capital city of Kyiv could fall in a matter of days amid a Russian assault.
Now two weeks into the conflict, the capital remained in Ukrainian hands and Russian troops have failed to make substantial progress as opposition forces continue to put up fierce resistance. Russian forces were reportedly trying to encircle the city, but the loss of equipment and personnel has taken its toll and significantly slowed their advance….
The predictions that Kyiv would fall, a major Russian objective, represented an intelligence failure, though not a major one, said Rebekah Koffler, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America….”
In early February, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told lawmakers during a closed-door briefing that Kyiv could fall within 72 hours after a full-scale Russian invasion. He said the operation could result in 15,000 Ukrainian military deaths and 4,000 Russian troop deaths.
That prediction, like predictions regarding how long Afghanistan’s army could last without U.S. support, has already been disproved. Kyiv has held out long past the dire prognostication. The war grinds on. Last week, Russia claimed it had lost 498 military personnel, a figure widely disputed by the Pentagon, which put the death toll somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000. Ukraine has claimed nearly 11,000 Russian military deaths and the Kremlin is believed to be actively concealing the true number….
Closer to Kyiv
The fighting between both sides has moved closer to Kyiv as civilians continue to be targeted by Russian shelling. On Monday, Ukrainian officials claimed to have downed two Russian aircraft over the area and Russian artillery units have shelled the outer portions of the city.
From a manpower standpoint, Russia has sent nearly 100% of its combat forces into Ukraine, Defense Department officials said Monday. This is an unusual move: Armed forces tend to keep numbers in reserve outside the theater of combat. In addition, Moscow was recruiting Syrian fighters to back up the Russian army as the Kremlin struggled to contain its losses, along with global condemnation over the invasion and political and economic isolation. Moscow has already reportedly sent Chechen forces to hunt down Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and those forces have reportedly been eliminated by the Ukrainians.
Pete Marocco, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for conflict and stabilization operations, told Fox News that predictions about whether Kyiv would fall to Russian troops came before the Beijing Winter Olympics in February….
He noted that such dire warnings could possibly be messaged with the intent of spurring one’s allies to make necessary preparations or possibly overcompensating for the miscalculations in Afghanistan….
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(Excerpt from Fox News. Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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