Tue Dec 5th, 2023 at 12:14:30 PM EST
See my first part yesterday ...
Stoltenberg: A Big Win for Ukraine
NATO must be 'prepared for bad news' in Ukraine, says Stoltenberg
The Washington Post has produced a long, two part piece, about the failed 'counter-offensive' in Ukraine. It dispenses equal blame on the U.S. and British planning of the whole mess and the Ukrainian execution of it.
The War In Ukraine Is Done | MofA |
The bullet points from the first part:
Miscalculations, divisions marked offensive planning by U.S., Ukraine | WaPo | [cached]
As winter approaches, and the front lines freeze into place, Ukraine's most senior military officials acknowledge that the war has reached a stalemate.
This examination of the lead-up to Ukraine's counteroffensive is based on interviews with more than 30 senior officials from Ukraine, the United States and European nations. It provides new insights and previously unreported details about America's deep involvement in the military planning behind the counteroffensive and the factors that contributed to its disappointments.
The second part of this two-part account examines how the battle unfolded on the ground over the summer and fall, and the widening fissures between Washington and Kyiv. Some of the officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations.
(Sources: Institute for the Study of War, AEI's Critical Threats Project)
Key elements that shaped the counteroffensive and the initial outcome include:
● Ukrainian, U.S. and British military officers held eight major tabletop war games to build a campaign plan. But Washington miscalculated the extent to which Ukraine's forces could be transformed into a Western-style fighting force in a short period -- especially without giving Kyiv air power integral to modern militaries.
● U.S. and Ukrainian officials sharply disagreed at times over strategy, tactics and timing. The Pentagon wanted the assault to begin in mid-April to prevent Russia from continuing to strengthen its lines. The Ukrainians hesitated, insisting they weren't ready without additional weapons and training.
● U.S. military officials were confident that a mechanized frontal attack on Russian lines was feasible with the troops and weapons that Ukraine had. The simulations concluded that Kyiv's forces, in the best case, could reach the Sea of Azov and cut off Russian troops in the south in 60 to 90 days.
● The United States advocated a focused assault along that southern axis, but Ukraine's leadership believed its forces had to attack at three distinct points along the 600-mile front, southward toward both Melitopol and Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov and east toward the embattled city of Bakhmut.
NATO Secretary General with 🇺🇸 US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III | 15 June 2023 |
Ukraine's Defense Minister Reznikov Officially Resigns | Kyiv Post - 5 Sept. 2023 |
Oleksiy Reznikov had been at the helm of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense for nearly two years, taking office in November 2021. Zelensky says "new approaches" are needed, 550 days into full-scale war.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has voted to accept Oleksiy Reznikov's resignation from his position as Minister of Defense. People's Deputy Yaroslav Zheleznyak officially announced this decision via his Telegram channel following a vote that garnered the support of 327 members of the parliament.
Oleksiy Reznikov had been at the helm of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense for nearly two years, taking office in November 2021. His tenure ended amid a series of scandals the Defense Ministry has recently faced. As Reznikov was leaving the hall, he received a standing ovation.
The announcement of Reznikov's resignation came after President Volodymyr Zelensky's declaration on Sept. 3, in which he revealed that Reznikov would step down from his role as Defense Minister.
Defense Minister Reznikov Ousted, Zelensky Calls for 'New Approaches'
Political appointment of Oleksiy Reznikov was done in preparation for NATO's war on Russia ...
From my diary about preparations for war ...
Top Military War Planning Under Joe Biden - Ukraine | 12 Sept. 2023 |
Ukraine, US Sign Defense Deal Amid Russian Threat | Sept. 1, 2021 |
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Minister of Defense Andrii Taran shake hands after a signing ceremony at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Aug. 31, 2021. DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky knows what it means to fight the Russians, and he came to Washington asking for more military assistance to help keep Russian President Vladimir Putin from encroaching further on Europe.
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The initial days leading up to a full scale conflict between NATO and Russia ...
In covert action OSCE observers, British and US nationals, leave the OSCE Mission in Eastern Ukraine, leaving their colleagues behind.
U.S. Evacuates Personnel from Ukraine as Russia Crisis Escalates: Troops, Diplomats, Staff of OSCE Mission in Occupied Donetsk | Defense Express - 13 Feb. 2022 |
With increasingly dire warnings from the U.S. that Russia will likely attack Ukraine in the coming days, the U.S. is evacuating its diplomats and troops in the country and urging private American citizens to leave immediately, reports ABC news citing the State Department and Pentagon.
Biden warns Putin of 'swift and severe' costs of invading Ukraine | ABC News |
Separatists in eastern Ukraine order mass evacuation as Ukraine warns of Russian provocation | CNN News - 18 Feb. 2022 |
A Russian invasion of Ukraine would be "catastrophic," UN Secretary General António Guterres said Friday during his opening remarks at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, calling for diplomatic efforts to continue.
"I am deeply concerned about heightened tensions and increased speculation about a military conflict in Europe. I still think it will not happen but, if it did, it would be catastrophic," Guterres said.
US Vice President Kamala Harris from the Munich conference warned that "aggressive action" by Russia would be met with "severe consequences" of economic sanctions.
Biden administration officials have privately urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky not to leave Ukraine and visit Munich on Saturday given concerns about a possible incursion, according to three US officials and one senior Ukrainian official.
Zelensky's full speech at Munich Security Conference | 19 Feb. 2022 |
Two days ago I was in Donbas, on the delimitation line. Legally - between Ukraine and the temporarily occupied territories. In fact, the delimitation line between peace and war.
The Azov Battalion and other fascist "defense" corps initiated a wave of attacks on positions in occupied Eastern districts of Luhansk and Donetsk. See reports by OSCE-SMM Mission.
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM)
Daily Report 40/2022 issued on 21 February 2022
- In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 18 and 20 February, the SMM recorded 2,158 ceasefire violations, including 1,100 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 591 ceasefire violations in the region.
- In Luhansk region, between the evenings of 18 and 20 February, the Mission recorded 1,073 ceasefire violations, including 926 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 975 ceasefire violations in the region.
- The Mission followed up on reports of damage to a civilian property and a factory building in non-government-controlled Mykolaivka, Luhansk region.
- Small-arms fire was assessed as directed at an SMM mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in Staromykhailivka, Donetsk region and the Mission heard explosions close to its location in Mykolaivka, and Horlivka, Donetsk region*.
NATO tasked to 'reset' with more forces for long-term challenge posed by Russia | Stars & Stripes - March 16, 2022 |
NATO's top commander was tasked with developing a plan to add military force within alliance territory in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, following a day of high-level talks in Brussels.
The planning to be headed by U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters is expected to be ready within weeks and address the long-term security challenges of Russia's unpredictability, officials said following a meeting of the alliance's defense chiefs.
"We face a new reality for our security. So we must reset our collective defense and deterrence for the longer term," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. "Today we have tasked our military commanders to develop options across all domains -- land, air, sea, cyber and space."
President Joe Biden and other allied heads of state, who are set to meet in Brussels next week for emergency talks, are expected to approve plans for more troops along NATO's eastern flank at a separate summit in June.