A new report from the Pentagon shows that the West must focus on Ukraine during ‘poignant’ moment. The ‘pivotal moment’ is June 15 – a date in which the world is watching Ukraine. This article explains why the West must focus on Ukraine during this ‘pivotal’ moment. It argues that the West must focus on Ukraine now, rather than waiting for an inevitable conflict to start.
While Russia continues to pour resources into the Donbas, the Ukrainian military is not. Ukraine is losing 100-200 soldiers daily. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called the battle ‘the most brutal in European history.’ Milley pointed out that Russian forces have not yet given up their efforts to take the city. He also pointed out that these casualties are within the ballpark of the U.S. estimate – and they may continue to increase because of Russian aggression.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu says his forces are moving slow in eastern Ukraine, but it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to accelerate their operation. Moreover, Russian forces have systematically targeted Ukrainian civilians throughout the war. Earlier, the Russians denied the Ukrainians’ attempts to negotiate humanitarian evacuation corridors. Shoigu’s statement comes just days after Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko said that the Russian offensive in Ukraine was dragging.
The Russian counteroffensive in the eastern part of Ukraine has captured Russian attention. Despite this, Russian forces are scrambling to secure vital ground lines of communication. This is because Ukraine has targeted settlements along the eastern bank of the Ihulets River, which is next to a major highway supporting Russian forces. In the meantime, Russian forces have destroyed Ukrainian bridges, as well as other bridges across the river. They are also preparing for continuing counteroffensive operations near Donetsk City.
The Russian military has been depleted of reserve manpower and is consolidating its depleted battalion tactical groups. Despite this, they still have 106 battalions of tactical groups in Ukraine, despite disbanding some of these units. In addition, they have begun to combine the Pacific Fleet at the permanent locations of the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade.
It is critical to note that Russia will inevitably take over the eastern part of the Donbas region. If this happens, Moscow will be unable to maintain its position in positional warfare despite losing up to 20 percent of its armored force. The Ukrainians will need consistent Western support – especially in artillery systems – to keep them safe.
Despite these reports, Russian occupation administrations are still having conflicts with collaborators. The Zaporizhia Oblast Military Administration reported that the Russian-installed governor was stealing compensation, according to one of its collaborators. An adviser to Mariupol Mayor Petro Andryshchenko claimed that relatives of DNR soldiers were holding mass protests in Donetsk City. Clearly, Russian authorities have not fully prepared for this ‘pivotal’ moment, and their losses compound the problem.