Scott Ritter Warns of the Illusions of a Ukrainian Victory

The blustering about defeating Russia and humiliating President Putin vaunted by the G7 leaders has been repeatedly countered by military and intelligence experts in the United States and Europe. In addition to Colonel Richard Black (ret.), Colonel Douglas MacGregor stated outright on June 21 that “Ukraine has lost this war. I would argue it lost it some time ago.”

Scott Ritter, a former Marine intelligence officer and former UN weapons inspector, has warned NATO leaders to shed their fantasy about weakening Russia militarily and economically by prolonging the fighting. The conclusion of his June 25 article in Consortium News is sobering: “This is the ugly truth about Ukraine today — the longer the war continues, the more Ukrainians will die, and the weaker NATO will become.”

Based on reports by Ukrainian officials themselves, Ritter calculates that Ukraine is at the end of the line on all Soviet-era weaponry and ammunition, leaving them dependent upon largely unfamiliar Western artillery being shipped in. In sum, “Ukraine is only able to fire some 4,000-to-5,000 artillery rounds per day, while Russia responds with more than 50,000. This 10-fold disparity in firepower has proven to be one of the most decisive factors when it comes to the war in Ukraine, enabling Russia to destroy Ukrainian defensive positions with minimal risk to its own ground forces.”

Ukraine is now requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems more. That, says Ritter, is “more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom. In short, to keep Ukraine competitive on the battlefield, NATO is being asked to strip its own defenses down to literally zero; while Russia seems able to sustain the current level.”

A senior aid to Zelensky recently estimated that Ukraine was losing between 100 and 200 soldiers a day on the frontlines with Russia, and another 500 or so wounded which, according to Ritter, are “unsustainable losses”. The attempt to delay the Russian advance, “is being done by the full-scale sacrifice of the soldiers at the front, thousands of people thrown into battle with little or no preparation, training, or equipment”, in the vain hope of securing a military victory. 

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