Merely a month ago, before the world's attention and global media rapidly shifted from Ukraine to becoming soley fixated on the Israel-Gaza war, there were some things you weren't supposed to say—and if you did you ran the risk of being denounced and branded as 'pro-Kremlin' or a 'Putin-sympathizer'.
Top of the list of banned talking points was the observation that Ukraine is failing or even losing in the counteroffensive and in its overall war aim of pushing back the Russian invaders. But fast-forward, and this week Ukraine's top military commander, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, has admitted there will be no breakthrough and the battlefield situation is in a stalemate.
He made the remarks to The Economist and the admission has caught the eye of other major publications, most notably The New York Times, which underscored "His comments marked the first time a top Ukrainian commander said the fighting had reached an impasse...".
Additionally, the NYT described that "It is the most candid assessment so far by a leading Ukrainian official of the military’s stalled counteroffensive."
Gen. Zaluzhny bluntly asserted in the fresh interview, "Just like in the First World War we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate." He then emphasized: "There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough."
Indeed for the past some six months the front lines have barely changed - and if anything Ukraine has been pushed back when it comes to some of its early summer minimal gains, when it was flush with fresh US and NATO weaponry. The top Ukrainian commander's explanation for Kiev's miscalculations is interesting:
The general also said he underestimated Russia’s willingness to sacrifice troops in order to prevent a breakthrough and prolong the war. "That was my mistake," he said. "Russia has lost at least 150,000 dead. In any other country such casualties would have stopped the war." His accounting of Russia’s casualties could not be independently verified.
Many analysts consider that it may not be President Putin's intention to see his forces attempt to push further into Ukraine, given that a chief war aim of his is to solidify hold over the Donbas and four 'annexed territories'. It appears the Russian army is simply staying put, content to have a firm grip over most the of east and much of the south.
Ukraine’s Top Commander Says War Has Hit a "Stalemate"— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 2, 2023
That even Ukrainian officials except Zelensky (who they regard as delusional) are now admitting this shows how futile this war is.
Sending another $60b will only prolong the destruction and kill more Ukrainian conscripts. pic.twitter.com/XDpTp8RrWj
Commenting on Zaluzhny's new confession of a stalemated situation, which he also used to appeal for more and heavier weapons from Western partners, journalist Glenn Greenwald has concluded the following...
"From the start, everyone was called a 'Kremlin agent' who pointed out the only result of the US fueling this war would be mass death and destruction of Ukrainians, and growing anti-American sentiment from those who see the US as fueling all wars. Worthwhile lessons still."