Why Ukraine is losing the war with Russia

Why Ukraine is losing the war with Russia

Jamie Dettmer reports:

Just ask a Ukrainian soldier if he still believes the West will stand by Kyiv “for as long as it takes.” That pledge rings hollow when it’s been four weeks since your artillery unit last had a shell to fire, as one serviceman complained from the front lines.

It’s not just that Ukraine’s forces are running out of ammunition. Western delays over sending aid mean the country is dangerously short of something even harder to supply than shells: the fighting spirit required to win.

Morale among troops is grim, ground down by relentless bombardment, a lack of advanced weapons, and losses on the battlefield. In cities hundreds of miles away from the front, the crowds of young men who lined up to join the army in the war’s early months have disappeared. Nowadays, eligible would-be recruits dodge the draft and spend their afternoons in nightclubs instead. Many have left the country altogether.

As I discovered while reporting from Ukraine over the past month, the picture that emerged from dozens of interviews with political leaders, military officers, and ordinary citizens was one of a country slipping towards disaster.

Even as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine is trying to find a way not to retreat, military officers privately accept that more losses are inevitable this summer. The only question is how bad they will be. Vladimir Putin has arguably never been closer to his goal. [Continue reading…]

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