Russia claims to have seized the initiative in Ukraine with significant territorial gains
04/26/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Monday, April 22, that Russian forces are making significant gains on the battlefield, steadily pushing back Ukrainian forces.

At a meeting with top Russian commanders, Shoigu reported the liberation of key villages and settlements, including Pervomaisk and Novomikhailovka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, respectively,  as well as Bogdanovka near Bakhmut, a strategic city captured by Russia last year after intense fighting.

Shoigu emphasized the expansion of control zones in Berdychi and Georgievka, further consolidating Russian positions in the region. He highlighted Russia's combat strength, enabling continuous strikes against Ukrainian forces and disrupting their defensive lines.

Shoigu estimated Kyiv's losses at half a million troops since the conflict began, attributing this to Russia's military prowess. (Related: Russia, China discussing plans to "double counteract" U.S.-led alliance of Western nations.)

Regarding last year's Ukrainian counteroffensive, Shoigu noted its failure despite heavy assistance from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He asserted that Russian forces have debunked the myth of Western weapon superiority. He commended Russia's defense industry for boosting output, and enhancing the armed forces' combat capabilities, as evidenced by developments in the ongoing military operation.

In light of tensions with the U.S. and its allies, Shoigu pledged to increase military production and intensify attacks on logistics centers and facilities storing Western weapons. He reiterated Russia's stance of not targeting civilian areas and emphasized precision strikes on Ukrainian military infrastructure.

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Shoigu's remarks come amid ongoing conflict dynamics, including Russia's recent capture of Avdeevka and neighboring settlements in February.

Ukrainian officials attribute these losses to ammunition shortages and delays in receiving Western aid. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged Kyiv's unpreparedness to repel a major Russian offensive.

Ukraine expects to lose even more territory in upcoming Russian offensive

Kirill Budanov, head of Ukraine's military intelligence, has warned of an upcoming challenging period for Kyiv in mid-May and early June, highlighting the continued volatility in the region.

Last year's much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive failed, with Russia reclaiming Avdiivka, marking its most significant territorial gain in nine months.

Zelensky, facing the new military reality, has been compelled to acknowledge it quietly. The administration of President Joe Biden's current strategy is to sustain Ukrainian defenses until after the upcoming presidential elections in November, aiming to use the influx of American resources to help buff up Ukraine enough to exhaust Russian forces and supplies in a prolonged war of attrition.

While this strategy appears reasonable, it carries a crucial implication and a potential flaw that is not receiving adequate attention in public discourse.

The implication of Ukraine remaining indefinitely on the defensive, even if successful, is that the territories currently occupied by Russia are effectively lost. Russia is unlikely to negotiate the surrender of land it controls militarily, setting the stage for prolonged territorial disputes.

This does not suggest formal surrender by Ukraine, but rather a shelving of the territorial issue for future negotiations, similar to Crimea and eastern Donbas.

Without substantial U.S. military aid, Ukrainian resistance may collapse this year, as the Biden Administration rightly warns. Even with continued aid, total Ukrainian victory in the foreseeable future seems improbable. The U.S. must gauge President Putin's sincerity regarding peace talks, as a negotiated settlement would involve painful concessions but prevent further emotional and practical costs of prolonged conflict.

Ultimately, lost Ukrainian territories are likely irrecoverable, and NATO membership offers little solace if the alliance hesitates to intervene militarily. A peace agreement, however painful, would be preferable to continued conflict and Ukrainian defeat.

Watch this video discussing the Russian takeover of Novomikhailovka.

This video is from the channel The Prisoner on

More related stories:

Russia primarily wants Ukraine out of NATO – but the West prefers to spend BILLIONS on PROXY WAR.

Ukraine will JOIN NATO, Blinken announces, signaling imminent WWIII with Russia.

Ukraine running out of air defense missiles, giving Russia a FREE PASS to Kyiv.

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