June 13, 2023
In its much-heralded offensive, Ukraine has to date taken about three “settlements.” The New York Times acclaimed this as the first Ukrainian victory. The total prewar population of this “liberated” territory was considerably less than the number of students in my high school. Today’s Times report on the ground war in one village made for most grim reading:
Outnumbered, outgunned, out-tanked and nearly surrounded, a small group of Ukrainian soldiers are doing whatever they can to hold onto Marinka,
The Ukrainians are so desperate to protect themselves from Russian shelling that when they find a house that is still standing, or at least has a few intact walls, the first thing they do is rip up the floor and dig. Building a hide-out underground is the only way to survive, they said. They live in a warren of tunnels and pulverized basements, in the dark, like moles.
“The Russians outnumber us four to one in soldiers, six to one in artillery,” Captain Fritz said.
The brigade, like others in Ukraine, would not disclose its casualty figures or even its total numbers. But Captain Fritz said that so many of their professional soldiers had been injured or killed by this point that the 79th had turned to recruits with little prior military experience to fill the holes.
Marinka sits at a critical road junction, and since last August the Russian bulldozer style of warfare, to simply wipe out everything in front of it, has pushed back the 79th by about 750 yards. If the Ukrainians get completely pushed out, Captain Fritz said, the Russians could move to the next towns of Kurakhove, Vuhledar and Pokrovsk, bringing them closer to achieving President Vladimir V. Putin’s dream of capturing the entire Donbas.
This war, Captain Fritz said, will last for “years.”
It was obvious before the “offensive” that it would turn Ukraine into a charnel house. But Biden nonetheless sent these young men to their deaths. Bernie says “I trust” Biden. I say, that makes Bernie an accomplice to murder.