Quagmire, quicksand, potential abyss. Call it what you like, but the Russians have fallen in Ukraine and they can’t get up. The Brits bring us the latest on the big picture.
FNC: “Russia has likely lost one-third of its ground combat forces in Ukraine and the forces who remain are depleted and have been unable to make any territorial progress in recent weeks, British intelligence officials said early Sunday.”
Russia “has now likely suffered losses of one-third of the ground combat force it committed in February,” said the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 15 May 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/VBPIqyrgA5
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) May 15, 2022
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“Russia’s Donbas offensive has lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule,” the report continued. “Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining consistently high levels of attrition.
“These delays will almost certainly be exacerbated by the loss of critical enablers such as bridging equipment and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance drones,” the UK government said. “Russian bridging equipment has been in short supply throughout the conflict, slowing and restricting offensive maneuvers.” The report added: “Russian forces are increasingly constrained by … low morale and reduced combat effectiveness…Under the current conditions, Russia is unlikely to dramatically accelerate its rate of advance over the next 30 days.”
In related news, Putin, as opposed to other Russian officials, calmly took the news of Finland joining NATO. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said, “Altogether the discussion was very good. I say calm and cool, and he did not repeat those threats he had earlier, and his people had been telling that is that if Finland joins – that means some kind of contra steps, military contra steps, whatever that meant – but he didn’t repeat it now.
“I wanted just to confirm that now the situation is changed,” Niinisto said of the call. “We are going to apply membership, and in the same way he confirmed that he thinks it’s a mistake. We are not threatening you…So far it seems that there’s no immediate problems coming,” he added. But the Turks could stand in the way of Finnish membership.
“I was astonished was because I had a telephone discussion with the President Erdogan – that is about two months ago,” Niinisto said. “He said they will estimate, well, positively our aim to apply for membership, and now we changed.”
In further Ukrainian news, the nation won the Eurovision contest, a kind of international Super Bowl of cheesy music. The band Kalush Orchestra was the winner. Frontman Oleh Psiuk drew music attention to the current plight of Ukraine. Zelenskyy was pleased. “I am sure our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off,” Zelenskyy said. So were fans.
“We are so happy he called on helping to save the people in Mariupol,” said lawyer Zoia Stankovska during the broadcast. “Oh, this victory brings so much hope.”
“We are here to show that Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian music are alive, and they have their own and very special signature,” Psuik told press.