The Ukrainian Army is Run Not by the Generals but by the PR Department – Gilbert Doctorow 6/7/23


What can you expect from a government headed by a comic actor named Zelensky? We see the answer to that question day by day in the way the Ukrainian armed forces are carrying out their much-anticipated spring counteroffensive: it is being stage managed by the Public Relations team with scant regard for their cannon fodder army.

Why do I say this? Because each of the latest military setbacks if not outright fiascoes of military operations is being covered up by sensational sideshows intended to divert public attention at home and especially abroad from what is going on in the battlefield.

In the past couple of weeks, Zelensky was under enormous pressure from Washington to finally launch the much heralded counteroffensive. Notwithstanding his complaints that insufficient new military hardware had arrived to date and his demands on NATO countries to step up deliveries of tanks and F16 fighter jets, the Pentagon was insisting that the Ukrainians were now well equipped and should prove on the battlefield that this investment by the Americans and Europeans was justified, to prove that they can indeed push back the Russians and free all the occupied territory.

Yet, on the battlefield all that we saw was positional fighting and probing for weak spots in the Russian defense lines. There was no sign of a massive counter offensive until a day ago. What we saw instead were incursions of Ukrainian special forces, mostly said to be mercenaries from Poland and elsewhere, across the border from the Ukrainian held Kharkov oblast into the neighboring RF oblast of Belgorod. And then, about four days ago, we saw the start of a destructive artillery and rocket attack on the border town of Shebekino, where 400 or 600 strikes on residential neighborhoods have been recorded in 24 hour periods. As we now see daily on Russian television, the whole population on the Russian side of the border across from Kharkov city is being evacuated and media there are discussing why their government has not done more to protect the frontier and to hit back.

Of course, if the Kremlin were to do so it would fall into the trap of withdrawing forces from the front lines and weakening preparedness for whatever mass counter offensive may yet lie ahead. But it would be more appropriate to see in the border attacks on Belgorod not a military tactical purpose but a PR dimension, to capture the airwaves and divert attention from the still delayed massive offensive by providing some highly photogenic developments for the news crews.

Today’s number one item on Euronews is the destruction of part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant in the southern region of Kherson to one side of the Dnepr river, with the consequence that water from the reservoir to feed the plant now is pouring out in uncontrolled fashion into the Dnepr. Let us remember that here the right (western) bank of the Dnepr, with the homonymous former capital town of the Kherson oblast, is held by the Ukrainians and the left (eastern) bank is held by the Russians….

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