Several major cities are now effectively cut off from the rest of Ukraine. This means the Russians are making headway. Zelensky is clamoring for peace talks, because he knows he is losing the war.
Some of the heaviest fighting will take place in Mariupol, because the fanatical Neo-Nazi Azov battalion is fighting there. These are the kind of barbaric monsters that will gladly hold their own population hostage to make sure the Russians have to kill more civilians than they want to in order to capture Mariupol. The Russians are deliberately attacking residential buildings and other non-military targets, but if it truly was their intent to kill as many civilians as possible then hundreds of thousands would already be dead.
Mariupol should eventually fall into Russian hands. As will Mykolaev and then Odessa. Kiev and Charkov will have to be besieged for a longer time, but if Russia’s hold on the south crystalizes those two cities are also doomed.
Western propaganda is exaggerating the successes of Ukraine and magnifying everything the Russians are doing wrong. This was far from a smooth offensive and no Blitzkrieg, but time wise this is not half as bad as the western propaganda machine is saying. The Russians are slowly – and yes, at substantial cost – strangling the Ukrainian army to death. It’s actually smart that they haven’t gone into the cities so far.
Russia will be reinforced by perhaps as many as 40,000 battle hardened Syrian soldiers. Russia will airlift them to Ukraine from airbases in Syria. This may severely weaken Assad’s position at home, but he has a debt to pay and Putin is knocking at his door. These Syrian soldiers are willing to go, partly to thank the Russians, partly because some of their enemies are now fighting on the Ukrainian side and also because of the monetary compensation. They can get between 600 and 3,000 dollars a month, depending on their level of experience. If they get killed their families will be taken care of. This is much more than they could ever hope to gain in Syria.
If those Syrian mercenaries do indeed reach the front this could become a nightmare for Ukraine, since many of them have experience when it comes to urban warfare and may have very few qualms about killing Europeans.
It may also motivate the enemies of the regular Syrian army to flock to Ukraine and fight for the Ukrainians, thereby transferring Syria’s internal conflict to Ukraine… A novelist couldn’t come up with such a surreal scenario, but this is already happening.
Pro-Ukrainian volunteers – British, Canadian, American, German, a couple Belgians, Frenchmen, etc – are not faring well in Ukraine. Reports indicate they are being used as cannon fodder. If they want to bail and leave Ukraine they are not allowed to do so and are told they will be shot in the back if they try to leave. They get very little ammo and almost no body armor. Trigger-happy people who are thinking about joining the Ukrainians may want to think twice… Stopping a Russian bullet so western businessmen and politicians can protect their financial reasons is not the best calling to him. There are two main reasons why there is a war in Ukraine. The western elite is using Ukraine as a pawn in its game to get richer (control trade, deny markets to the Russians, control the flow of oil and gas, sell more weapons, protect the petrodollar which ensures 80 percent of international trade happens in dollars…) The Russians want to strengthen their position against the west that has been undercutting them since perhaps as far back as 1917 and at the same time are erroneously convinced that Ukraine as an independent nation is an anomaly and was always part of Russia (of course not…). Basically the Ukrainian leadership has allowed itself to be tricked by both blocks to function as a battleground. A cleverer politician than Zelensky could have played out both sides against each other to protect the position of Ukraine. But his status as most important teddy bear of the western media will be too juicy for his ego to see his own role in setting up Ukraine for death and destruction. As an American colonel said: Zelensky is getting better PR than Mother Theresa. In reality Zelensky has sacrificed his own people. Perhaps he’s afflicted by some kind of Sparta complex. Heroically going under against a tide that cannot be stemmed so he can live on in history for all time. The western media will already now celebrate him as the biggest hero of this century for decades to come.
The western media are highlighting all crimes the Russians commit, including their censorship and their suppression of different opinions and political parties.
This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad… Julian Assange is rotting away in jail for exposing what western leaders actually do. If you were a journalist and opposed the invasion of Iraq you were fired. If you do not repeat the mantra that Israel is only defending itself against ‘terrorists’ you will be branded an anti-semite and you will pay the price, just like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn and many others. In the US the mainstream media make absolutely certain there will be no powerful third party to represent the interests of common Americans instead of the interests of big donors. Saudi-Arabia is allowed to murder journalists and other dissenting voices without facing sanctions or repercussions. If Putin does it, he automatically becomes the new Hitler. You can butcher your own people as long as you don’t undermine western business interests. This is simply a fact, whether it’s hard to accept or not.
The idea that the US and western countries stand for freedom, free markets, democracy, international right and peace is utterly laughable. They do the same things the Russians do, but their propaganda machine works a lot better. We humans experience and make sense of the world not through processing every fact (we cannot possibly process so much information on every issue that is playing out) but through stories. The west tells a more believable, more feel good story than the Russians.
Both blocks are rules by a profiteering class of very rich people and their puppets in politics and in the media. What’s true is that on an individual level it’s still better to be a citizen of any western country than it is to be a citizen of Russia or any of its allies. As long as you don’t go against the western mantras you can work your ass off to build your stereotypical life with a house and two or three cars, lots of glitzy entertainment and lots of shopping. And if you only read the mainstream media you can have the heart-warming feeling your country is fighting the good fight. It isn’t.