Wednesday 21st of February 2024

nato's defeat.....

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The leaders of NATO’s 31 constituent member states have begun to assemble in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, for the alliance’s 33rd summit, an event that has come to symbolize the military organization’s increasingly difficult task of transforming political will into tangible reality.

Since the Wales Summit of 2014, when NATO made Russia a top priority in the aftermath of the Russian annexation of Crimea, and the Warsaw Summit of 2016, when NATO agreed to deploy “battlegroups” on the soil of four NATO members (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland) in response to perceived Russian “aggression” in the region, Russia has dominated the NATO agenda and, by extension, its identity.

The Vilnius summit promises to be no different in this regard.

 

By Scott Ritter / Consortium News

 

One of the major issues confronting the NATO leadership is that the Vilnius summit operates under the shadow of last year’s Madrid summit, convened in late June in the aftermath of Russia’s initiation of military operations against Ukraine.

The Madrid summit came on the heels of Boris Johnson’s deliberate sabotage of a Ukrainian-Russian peace agreement that was supposed to be signed on April 1, 2023, in Istanbul, and the decision by the United States in May 2023 to extend to Ukraine military assistance exceeding $45 billion as part of a new “lend lease” agreement.

In short, NATO had opted out of a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and instead chose to wage war by proxy — with Ukrainian manpower being married with NATO equipment — designed to achieve what U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith, in May 2022, called the “strategic defeat” of Russia in Ukraine.

The Madrid summit generated an official NATO statement which declared that “Russia must immediately stop this war and withdraw from Ukraine,” adding that “Belarus must end its complicity in this war.”

When it came to Ukraine, the Madrid statement was equally firm. “We stand in full solidarity with the government and the people of Ukraine in the heroic defense of their country,” it read.

“We reiterate our unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders extending to its territorial waters.  We fully support Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defense and to choose its own security arrangements.  We welcome efforts of all Allies engaged in providing support to Ukraine.  We will assist them adequately, recognizing their specific situation.”

 

Confidently Seeking a ‘Strategic Defeat’

NATO, it seemed, was supremely confident in its ability to achieve the outcome it so very much wanted — the strategic defeat of Russia.

What a difference a year makes.

NATO assistance to Ukraine resulted in a successful counteroffensive which compelled Russia to withdraw from territory around the city of Kharkov, as well as abandon portions of the Kherson Oblast located on the right bank of the Dnieper River. Once the Russian defenses solidified and the Ukrainian attack stalled, NATO and Russia both began preparing for the next phase of the conflict.

NATO began a months-long effort to equip and train nine Ukrainian army brigades to NATO standards by providing them with NATO tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and training them in NATO-style combined arms warfare.

For its part, Russia conducted a partial mobilization of both its manpower (calling up some 300,000 reservists while recruiting an additional 150-200,000 volunteers) and its defense industry (dramatically increasing its production of tanks, missiles and artillery ammunition). Moreover, Russia prepared hardened defensive positions in accordance with a military doctrine that had been updated to consider the lessons of the first year of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine.

NATO had placed high hopes on the Ukrainian army being able to carry out a counteroffensive against Russia which would achieve discernable results both in terms of territory re-captured and casualties inflicted on the Russian army. The results, however, have been dismal to date — tens of thousands of Ukrainian casualties and thousands of destroyed vehicles while failing to breach even the first line of the Russian defenses.

One of the challenges NATO will face in Vilnius is the question of how to recover from this setback. Many NATO countries are starting to exhibit “Ukraine fatigue” as they see their armories stripped bare and their coffers emptied in what, by every measurement, appears to be a losing cause.

The scope and scale of the Ukrainian military defeat is such that the focus of many NATO members appears to be shifting from the unrealistic goal of strategically defeating Russia to a more realistic objective of bringing about a cessation to the conflict that preserves Ukraine as a viable nation state.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the NATO summit. However, his demands for NATO membership will not be met — U.S. President Joe Biden himself has weighed in on the matter, saying this would not be possible while Ukraine is at war with Russia.

 Face-Saving Gestures

There will be face-saving gestures from NATO, such as the creation of a NATO-Ukraine Council and talk of eventual post-conflict security guarantees. But the reality is Zelensky’s presence will do Ukraine more harm than good, since it will only accentuate the internal disagreement within NATO on the issue of Ukrainian membership and highlight NATO’s impotence when it comes to doing anything that can meaningfully alter the current trajectory on the battlefield, which is heading toward a strategic defeat for both Ukraine and NATO.

The vision of the Madrid summit was that of NATO capitalizing on its strategic victory against Russia to further expand its ranks in Europe (both Finland and Sweden were invited), and to push its influence into the Pacific Ocean. While NATO’s Pacific partners (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea) have been invited to Vilnius, the hopes that their presence would coincide with the announcement of the opening of a NATO liaison office in Japan have been quashed by France, which objects to an alliance ostensibly focused on North Atlantic security becoming involved in the Pacific.

While Finland has joined NATO, Sweden has not, and its membership is becoming increasingly problematic given Turkey’s opposition. Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s recent announcement that Turkey will agree to Swedish NATO membership when the European Union admits Turkey appears to be a poison pill that permanently scutters Sweden’s membership hopes, since the European Union is not inclined to admit Turkey.

The Vilnius summit will most likely be defined by these issues, and by the inability of the alliance to reach a meaningful consensus on how best to address them.

One can expect a plethora of rhetorical spin and posturing by the NATO membership, but the fact is the real mission of the Vilnius summit is how best to achieve a soft landing from the unfulfilled goals and objectives laid out last year in Madrid.

Normalizing failure might best describe the best that NATO can accomplish in Vilnius.

Any failure to try to stop the accumulation of debacles that represent the current NATO policy toward Ukraine will result in further collapse of the military situation in Ukraine, and the political situation in Europe, which, in their totality, push NATO closer to the moment of its ultimate demise.

This prospect does not bode well for those whose task it is to put as positive a spin as possible on reality. But NATO has long ago stopped dealing with a fact-based world, allowing itself to devolve into a theater of the absurd where actors fool themselves into believing the tale they are spinning, while the audience stares in dismay.

https://scheerpost.com/2023/07/11/scott-ritter-nato-summit-a-theater-of-the-absurd/

 

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Timofey Bordachev: Here’s why the US will almost certainly never allow Ukraine to join NATO


Kiev has to face up to some bad news – for the first time, NATO enlargement has become a threat to Washington itself


By Valdai Club Programme Director Timofey Bordachev

 

The Ukrainian crisis marks the first time in history that the United States has exposed itself to serious risks in defining the limits of its military presence in Europe. Any genuine move by Washington to invite Kiev into NATO would imply a willingness to enter into a direct military confrontation with Russia. A less risky option, many believe, would be to promise the Vladimir Zelensky regime some special bilateral guarantees. 

The NATO military bloc was created on the basis of the real division of Europe into zones of influence between the US and the USSR after the Second World War. As a result of the greatest armed confrontation in the history of mankind, the bulk of European states lost forever the ability to determine fundamental issues of their national policy. These included, first and foremost, defense and the ability to form alliances with other countries. Europe was divided between the real winners of the conflict – Moscow and Washington. Only Austria, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and a small part of Switzerland were outside their zone of dominance. 

Both of the great powers had an informal right to determine the internal order of the territories under its control. This was because the countries concerned had lost their sovereignty as such. Even France, which continued to demonstrate freethinking for several decades, had no doubt on whose side it would fight in the event of a new global conflict.

NATO was created in 1949 to formally deprive American allies of the ability to make their own foreign policy decisions and military doctrines. In this respect, the alliance was no different from the Warsaw Pact that had emerged in the USSR’s sphere of influence. 

The relationship between the United States and other NATO countries has never been an alliance in the traditional sense. In the last century, classic alliances ceased to exist altogether – the gap in military capabilities between the nuclear superpowers and every other country in the world became too great. 

A military alliance between relative equals is possible, as it was until the middle of the last century, but nuclear weapons have made this impossible. The former sovereign states of Europe became a territorial base from which the great powers could negotiate in peace and act in war. The creation of NATO and the subsequent accession of countries such as Greece, Turkey, Spain and West Germany to the alliance was a formalization of the boundaries of US dominance that the USSR had already agreed to in bilateral relations.

After the Soviet collapse, extending American rule to Moscow's former allies in Eastern Europe and even the Baltic republics was also not a policy that posed serious risks for Washington. Incidentally, this is why NATO has an informal rule of not admitting countries with unresolved territorial disputes with third states – the US has never been willing to occupy land whose ownership is disputed. NATO’s post-Cold War expansion was based on deception, with the US promising Moscow that it would not expand NATO to Russia’s borders. But, initially, Russia did not have the physical strength to resist. This meant that the US could occupy “unclaimed” states without the threat of immediate military conflict. The US approach to NATO remained true to the philosophy of the 1945 victors: there are no sovereign states, only controlled territories.

Once the decision was taken in Washington, it was only a matter of strategy to ensure that local governments made the “right” decisions. This was all the more so as the accession of new countries to NATO in the 1990s and 2000s was ‘packaged’ with the enlargement of the European Union. This gave local elites every reason to aspire to join the bloc, from which they expected tangible material benefits. For some – the Baltic states and Poland – membership in the club also provided the possibility of solving internal problems through an aggressive anti-Russian policy by fostering fear of the big neighbor to the east. In the Baltic states, the status of an American outpost was also used by elites to combat any local opposition from radical nationalists. 

For the countries that joined the bloc, NATO became a guarantee of internal stability. Since the most important decisions for them were taken outside their national political systems, there was no reason for internal competition and no danger of serious destabilization. 

Of course, no country is safe from minor internal political disturbances, such as those caused by a change of government – especially if the one in power is not liked by the US. But radical changes, which generally involve foreign policy issues, have become impossible. 

In this sense, Western Europe increasingly resembles Latin America, where the quality of life of the population doesn’t have dramatic consequences for the elites. There, geographical proximity to the US has long been a reason for almost total American control. The only exceptions have been Cuba and, in recent decades, Venezuela. In Western Europe, because of Russia's proximity, this control is of a formal nature, which should in principle rule out any surprises.

Joining NATO is an exchange of state sovereignty for the indefinite retention of power by the ruling elite. This is the secret of every political regime's desire to join the bloc: it gives them the possibility of “immortality" in spite of any domestic or economic failures. The regimes in Eastern Europe and the Baltics immediately realized that they would not last long in power without being under Washington's control – the break with Moscow and the peripheral position of their countries promised them too many problems. And the reason Finland joined NATO is that the local elites no longer have confidence in their ability to hold power on their own. 

For the United States itself, as we have seen, the expansion of its presence has never posed any serious threat or risk. At least until now. This is precisely what is being pointed out by those in America who are calling for a careful approach to be taken in response to the demands of the authorities in Kiev for membership. A call which is supported by some members of the bloc. 

It is understood that a military clash between Moscow and NATO would mean global nuclear war. Nevertheless, back in the Soviet period, the US believed that any conflict with the USSR could be confined to Europe and would not involve direct attacks on each other’s territory. There is reason to believe that Moscow felt the same way during the Cold War. 

NATO’s eastward expansion after the Cold War was a case of acquiring territories for which no one wanted to fight. However, in the situation of Ukraine, for the US is not a question of gaining territory, but rather of taking it from a rival power that wants to keep Washington out. This has never happened in the history of NATO, and one can understand those in Western Europe and the US who are calling for serious consideration of the likely consequences. 

Inviting Kiev to join NATO could mean something entirely new for American foreign policy – a willingness to fight a peer adversary like Russia. Throughout their history, Americans have shied away from this, using other players as battering rams willing to sacrifice and suffer for American interests. This was the case in both the First and Second World Wars. The most likely scenario, therefore, is that the US will limit itself to promising to address the issue of Ukraine and NATO after the Kiev regime has resolved its problems with Russia in one way or another. In the meantime, it will only be promised some “special” terms on a bilateral basis.

https://www.rt.com/news/579613-us-never-allow-ukraine-join-nato/

 

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The US delegation attending the NATO summit in Vilnius is “furious” over a tweet by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, in which he criticized the military alliance for its reluctance to provide a concrete roadmap for Kiev’s accession to the bloc, the Washington Post reported.

On Tuesday, Zelensky wrote on Twitter that he had been informed that the final text of a statement issued at the summit would not include a timeline for Ukraine’s membership of NATO.

He called this omission “unprecedented and absurd,” and suggested that “indecisiveness” on the issue was a sign of “weakness” in the US-led military alliance. Zelensky claimed that Kiev’s Western backers had decided “to bargain Ukraine’s membership in NATO in negotiations with Russia.”

Members of the US delegation were “furious” after learning about the Ukrainian leader’s message, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed official familiar with the matter.

The paper pointed out that Zelensky “blasting the alliance stood in stark contrast to the image of Western harmony that [US President Joe] Biden and his aides had been projecting” at the event.

This is likely to make a meeting scheduled to take place in Vilnius on Wednesday between the US and Ukrainian leaders “one of the summit’s most high-profile engagements,” it added.

A senior NATO official told WaPo that Zelensky’s “tweet puts pressure on the alliance,” while also helping him “to say, ‘I am fighting to the end’” to the population of Ukraine.

Also on Tuesday, an unnamed senior diplomat from Central Europe told Politico that Zelensky “is going too far” with his criticism. “I think that this is not a thoughtful and fair approach” from the Ukrainian leader, he added.

In their joint statement, which was issued late on Tuesday, the NATO members only said they would“be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when allies agree and conditions are met.”

Zelensky muted his rhetoric as he arrived in the Lithuanian capital on Tuesday, saying he had “faith”that “NATO will give Ukraine security, Ukraine will make NATO stronger.”

Biden told CNN on Sunday that it was “premature” to speak about NATO membership for Ukraine, explaining that Kiev needs to carry out more reforms and achieve “democratization” before it can become part of the bloc. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan explained on the sidelines of the summit in Vilnius that allowing Ukraine to join the alliance now would lead NATO “into a war with Russia.”

READ MORE: US senator slams Kiev’s NATO demands

Moscow, which views NATO as hostile and vigorously opposes its eastward expansion, highlighted Kiev’s aspirations of joining the alliance among the main reasons for launching its military operation against Ukraine in February 2022.

 

https://www.rt.com/news/579578-zelensky-nato-us-vilnius/

 

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a corrupt little actor whose role-playing was to be a nasty dangerous dictator.....

 

MAKE A DEAL PRONTO BEFORE THE SHIT HITS THE FAN:

 

 

NO NATO IN "UKRAINE" (WHAT'S LEFT OF IT)

THE DONBASS REPUBLICS ARE NOW BACK IN THE RUSSIAN FOLD — AS THEY USED TO BE PRIOR 1922. THE RUSSIANS WON'T ABANDON THESE AGAIN.

CRIMEA IS RUSSIAN — AS IT USED TO BE PRIOR 1954

A MEMORANDUM OF NON-AGGRESSION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE USA.

 

EASY.

 

THE WEST KNOWS IT.

 

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prepared proxy.....

 

NATO Spent Years Preparing For Proxy War With Russia in Ukraine

 

BYE EKATERINA BLINOVA

 

Even before the Ukraine conflict escalated in February 2022, Britain, Sweden, Canada, and the United States were investing in Ukraine and building up their capabilities, the UK defense minister has stated at the NATO summit in Vilnius. Does it mean NATO has long prepared for a proxy war with Russia?

The US neocons and their likeminded NATO allies have long been apparently seeking to knock Russia out of the political arena before trying to crack down on China in a bid to preserve the US dominance, retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski believes.

"I think that the US officials and advisors (along with those in NATO) believe that they must be able to exploit Russian resources prior to any direct confrontation with China," Kwiatkowski, who is also a former analyst for the US Department of Defense, told Sputnik. "The neoconservative ideology that over half of Congress embraces, and that the US defense and security complex embraces, envisions and demands a unipolar globe, with the US and its debt-funded governmental system, at the top. For them, this is an existential issue, albeit most Americans don't see it that way."

 

It seems that Ukraine appeared a convenient candidate for the role of a "hammer" against Russia.

 

Since When Has Ukraine Received Western Military Assistance?

Ukraine has been a leading recipient of Western military supplies since the early 1990s when the country gained independence, with the US spearheading the initiative. In the first ten years after independence, Ukraine received almost $2.6 billion in assistance from the US. Until 2014, Ukraine had been receiving an estimated $105 million per annum, including foreign military financing.

NATO’s North Atlantic Cooperation Council embraced Ukraine as a "partner country" in 1991 and included it in the Partnership for Peace program in 1994. Washington's NATO ally, the UK, played an important role in the effort, holding joint military exercises with the Ukrainians, as well as providing training and funding to the nation's armed forces.

Thus, the first joint Ukrainian-British military exercises "Cossack steppe" were held in the second half of the 1990s as part of NATO's Partnership for Peace program. The NATO-Ukraine Commission was established in 1997 with the aim of developing the relationship between the nation and the bloc and directing cooperative activities.

 

https://sputnikglobe.com/20230712/nato-spent-years-preparing-for-proxy-war-with-russia-in-ukraine-1111838638.html

 

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SEE ALSO: https://yourdemocracy.net/drupal/node/43171

 

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Sputnik brings you the latest insights from Scott Ritter – former US Marine intel officer and UN weapons inspector – where he explains why the US Army is not ready for the full-scale war against Russia based on the failed Ukrainian counteroffensive attempt.

 

War is hell.


Before the Ukrainian conflict began, the US Army, drawing upon Cold War estimates, assessed in the 2019 edition of Field Manual (FM) 4-0 (Sustainment Operations) that US Army theater medical planners “may anticipate a sustained rate of roughly 3,600 casualties per day, ranging from those killed in action to those wounded in action or suffering disease or other non-battle injuries”, putting the US Army on track to lose some 50,000 casualties in two weeks of sustained combat operations against a Russian-style threat.
Are these numbers realistic? Ask Ukraine. In the lead up to the current counteroffensive, Ukraine built up three brigades-worth of troops (around 20,000 soldiers) along with another nine brigades (some 37,000 troops) trained and equipped by NATO, all of which were slated to participate in the main offensive effort in and around the village of Rabotino, in southern Zaporozhye. These forces were supplemented by an additional 40,000 territorial forces formed into eight so-called “shock brigades” intended to be deployed offensively in the vicinity of the city of Artemovsk (Bakhmut). The total number of Ukrainian troops mobilized and trained specifically for the counteroffensive was just under 100,000 men.

 

Back in January 2023—five months before the start of the current counteroffensive, and two months before the Battle of Artemovsk (Bakhmut), US General Christopher Cavoli, the commander of US and NATO forces in Europe, told an audience at an Oslo defense forum that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine “out of proportion with all of our [NATO] recent thinking,” adding that “the magnitude of this war is incredible.” Cavoli spoke of artillery expenditure rates by the Russian Army that exceeded, on average, 20,000 rounds per day. Violence begets violence, and with this much high explosive being sent down range, the Ukrainians were certain to be sustaining very high losses.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking to the Eastern Economic Forum, stated that in the three months that have transpired since the Ukrainian counteroffensive was begun, Ukraine had suffered some 71,000 casualties (killed and wounded), or roughly seven out of every 10 men participating. This number is consistent with a statement made by a Ukrainian official responsible for the mobilization of troops in the Poltava Region, which indicated that 80-90 out of every 100 men mobilized become casualties in this conflict. Calculating that roughly 90 days transpired between the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive and Putin’s comments, this means that Ukraine was losing around 790 casualties per day.

The US Army currently has approximately 100,000 troops deployed to Europe, around 40,000 of which are organized into combat units expected to bear the brunt of the fighting. If these troops were subject to casualty rates approximating those sustained by Ukraine in the prosecution of its counteroffensive, the US Army would exhaust its combat power within 50 days. Of course, this calculation is misleading since it speaks of 100% casualty rates. According to US Army doctrine, if a unit is at 50 to 69 percent strength, it becomes combat ineffective, meaning it is no longer capable of accomplishing its assigned mission. The reality is that US combat forces subjected to the level of violence experienced by Ukraine at the hands of the Russians would become combat ineffective after around 2 weeks of fighting.

An argument can be made that, given the qualitative superiority of the US military over their Ukrainian counterparts, the overall level of lethality being experienced by the Ukrainian military would be mitigated to a large extent, meaning that the US Army should not suffer attrition rates that match those experienced by the Ukrainian forces. This might be true if the conditions on the battlefield were equitable—namely, that the US found itself in a quasi-positional conflict with well-delineated lines of contact with the enemy, and access to fortified defensive positions.

The reality is, however, that any US-Russian conflict will involve what is known as a “meeting engagement”, with two opposing forces engaged in a more fluid battle where the precise make up of forces and the specific terrain features will not be defined until after the lead elements of each force make initial contact. In a meeting engagement, issues of firepower and maneuver dominate, and the side that is able to employ both more efficiently than the other will most likely prevail.

Unfortunately for the US Army, it is Russia that will have the advantage in such an encounter. Maneuver warfare requires the careful choreography of fire and maneuver. Fire is an essential aspect of this—the need to suppress enemy fires and interrupt enemy movement is far more important than inflicting casualties. The US has long relied upon precision fires to offset mass. Precision fires, however, require situational awareness in terms of the enemy’s disposition, something that can only take place via real-time communications.

 

The methodologies currently employed by the US have been perfected over the course of the past two decades while engaged in low-intensity conflicts where the US forces operated in a permissive environment regarding hostile electronic warfare capabilities. Against a Russian opponent, the seamless communications and the transfer of data that underpins US fire and maneuver schemes will be largely neutralized by Russian electronic warfare capabilities, leaving the US deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to disposition of Russian forces.

In an environment where speed and alacrity are the cornerstones of victory, the US will find itself lethargic and unresponsive, unable to coordinate effectively on the most rudimentary of tasks. Russia will be able to exploit its significant advantage in artillery firepower to disrupt and destroy the US ability to place effective firepower on the Russian target, and to impede US efforts at maneuvering in reaction to Russian advances. The result will be the total collapse of the US forces involved in the meeting engagement, leading to their retreat and ultimate destruction.

The magnitude of the US defeat will be increased by the difficulties associated with logistically supporting large quantities of US forces in the field. Manuever requires more movement, and movement requires fuel. The US will be confronted with uncertain fuel supplies and vulnerable lines of communication which, once subjected to Russia interdiction, will prevent the sustainment of whatever maneuver efforts the US might be able to undertake. Russia should be able to isolate individual units, threatening them with destruction and prompting their disintegration or surrender.

In such a battle, the US could easily find itself burning through a Brigade’s worth of troops every two days—the very 3,600 casualty figures predicted by the US Army in 2019. At this rate, the US could very well find its entire European force made combat ineffective after only approximately one week of sustained combat. The rapid defeat of US Army forces in Europe would resonate throughout NATO, resulting in a precipitous decline in morale which could result in the total collapse of the forces engaged in combat operations against Russia. Again, General Cavoli’s words resonate—the violence associated with modern large-scale ground combat is “out of proportion” to the thinking taking place in NATO and US planning circles. Simply put, neither the US nor NATO are prepared to engage in large-scale combat operations against a peer-level opponent such as Russia.

War is hell.

But it's even more so when you are completely unprepared for its awful reality.

 

https://sputnikglobe.com/20230921/scott-ritter-ukraine-shows-us-military-not-ready-for-major-war-1113561694.html

 

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SEE ALSO: https://yourdemocracy.net/drupal/node/43171

 

SEE ALSO: https://sputnikglobe.com/20230921/cannon-fodder-number-of-ukrainian-amputee-soldiers-going-through-the-roof-1113563445.html

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have become amputees, while many more sustained other injuries or died on the battlefield. The scale of amputations in Ukraine has reached that of the First World War, according to Western media.

 

SEE ALSO: https://sputnikglobe.com/20230921/us-uses-ukraine-to-test-military-solutions-for-future-use-expert-says-1113561952.html

Washington doesn’t think twice about using Ukraine to learn how various kinds of weapons respond, Dmitry Stefanovich of the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations with the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Sputnik.

 

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