NATO chief says West must prepare for long war in Ukraine until Russia surrenders as media reports Kiev is suffering from huge casualties due to poor tactics
We have enough personnel for the SMO -Russia
The West must prepare for “a long war” in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared on Sunday. Despite claiming to want a “quick peace” in Ukraine, Stoltenberg insisted that he still supports President Vladimir Zelensky’s goal of a military victory over Russia.
Jens Stoltenberg addresses a press conference on Sweden’s application to join NATO at the start of a NATO Summit in Vilnius, LIthuania, July 10, 2023 © AFP / Petras Malukas
“Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with Germany’s Funke media group. “Therefore we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.”
“We are all wishing for a quick peace,” Stoltenberg said. “But at the same time we must recognise: if President Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist. If President Putin and Russia lay down their weapons, we will have peace.”
Ukrainian conscripts © NurPhoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images
According to media reports over the last two months, Western officials and military planners have conceded that Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive against Russian forces is unlikely to succeed, leaving the front lines mostly unchanged as winter sets in.
So far, the Ukraine has “not achieved the desired decisive breakthrough,” a source told the London Financial Times on Friday, adding that some Western officials believe that Kiev has failed to use the opportunities offered by massive Western military aid at a time of “possibly peak political support.”
Some US officials have privately complained that Ukrainian troops “failed during training to master modern operations that combine mechanized infantry, artillery and air defense.” Ukraine’s losses early into the offensive were reportedly “unsustainable,” the sources claimed, amounting to “nearly a fifth of the NATO kit provided for the counteroffensive” in late May and early June alone. Such setbacks forced Kiev to change tactics and go back to an “attritional approach.”
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine has lost upwards of 71,000 men since the counteroffensive began in June. Despite this stark attrition rate – with some units losing 90% of their manpower, according to Ukrainian sources, Stoltenberg insisted that NATO will continue to push for a military, not a diplomatic, solution.
A senior conscription officer in the country’s Poltava Region said on Friday that 9 out of 10 Ukrainian army draftees who joined in the last year have been either killed or wounded in action. Speaking at a meeting of Poltava City Council, Lt. Colonel Vitaly Berezhny was quoted by local media outlet Poltavshina as saying the military urgently needs reinforcements, as “out of 100 people who joined the units last fall, 10-20 remain, the rest are dead, wounded or disabled.”
Ukraine announced a general mobilization shortly after the start of Russia’s military campaign in February 2022, banning most men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country. In August, former Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov said Kiev had not yet fulfilled its existing mobilization plan, suggesting there was no need for another draft drive.
However, earlier this month, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry issued a decree allowing the conscription of people with such severe conditions as hepatitis, HIV without symptoms, and clinically treated tuberculosis. At the same time, Ukrainian authorities embarked on a massive campaign against corruption in the country’s conscription system, with President Vladimir Zelensky recently firing all regional military conscription officials.
On Friday, Putin dismissed reports as nonsense that Russia will need foreign fighters. He told reporters in Sochi, after meeting with President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.
© Alexander Reka/TASS
“This is total nonsense.” Russia “has no such need to invite people from abroad for combat operations,” he added.
The Russian president was addressing a question about speculation in the West that North Korea might have pledged to send soldiers when Putin met with Kim Jong-un earlier this week.
Putin reminded journalists of the 270,000 voluntary enlistments so far this year, then noted that this number was already obsolete.
“As of this morning, there are 300,000 contracts,” he said, praising the “highest patriotic considerations” that motivated Russians to volunteer for military service. The soldiers were also equipped with “state-of-the-art weapons and hardware,” he added.
Lukashenko chimed in to note that American mercenaries are “fighting for Ukrainians already” and accused the US and some of its NATO allies – starting with Poland – of wanting to send regular troops as well.
In early July, the Russian Foreign Ministry estimated that almost 12,000 foreign fighters had joined the Ukrainian armed forces since the conflict escalated in February 2022, but only 2,200 or so remained active. The rest had either died or left the country, according to Moscow, as Kiev used them “mostly as cannon fodder for meat assaults” with no regard for their lives.
The US outlet ABC News reported in mid-August that casualty rates in some units of foreign fighters had reached 85% during the summer offensive, citing two Americans and several other Western mercenaries.
Source AP/X/Telegram/Funke Media/RT