US intelligence agencies admit Ukrainian offensive will fail

Since the start of the year, the US media has promoted Ukraine’s “spring offensive” as a decisive turning point in the war.

It has become clear, however, that this offensive has produced nothing but a blood-drenched debacle. Despite the deaths of tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, the Ukrainian military has failed to breach even the first defensive line set up by the Russian military.

This still image from a video published by the Russian armed forces showed destroyed Leopard 2 battle tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles that were used as part of Urkaine's offensive operations.

On Friday, the Washington Post published an article reporting that US intelligence agencies have concluded that the offensive will fail to reach its main objectives of driving to the Azov Sea in order to cut off the “land bridge” to the Crimean Peninsula.

“The US intelligence community assesses that Ukraine’s counteroffensive will fail to reach the key southeastern city of Melitopol,” the Post reported, meaning that “Kyiv won’t fulfill its principal objective of severing Russia’s land bridge to Crimea in this year’s push.”

The “grim” assessment means that despite the provision of tens of billions of dollars in advanced military hardware, the offensive “fell short of its goals,” the Post writes.

Beyond detailing the scale of the debacle for Ukrainian forces, the article characterizes the role of the US in demanding a further significant escalation of the war, no matter the cost in Ukrainian lives.

The Post reported, “in the first week of fighting, Ukraine incurred major casualties against Russia’s well-prepared defenses despite having a range of newly-acquired Western equipment, including US Bradley Fighting Vehicles, German-made Leopard 2 tanks, and specialized mine-clearing vehicles.”

The article continued, “Joint war games conducted by the US, British and Ukrainian militaries anticipated such losses but envisioned Kyiv accepting the casualties as the cost of piercing through Russia’s main defensive line, said US and Western officials.”

“But Ukraine chose to stem the losses on the battlefield and switch to a tactic of relying on smaller units to push forward across different areas of the front. That resulted in Ukraine making incremental gains in different pockets over the summer.”

This is an extraordinary admission. Washington planned out an offensive operation whose success was determined by its client government in Ukraine forcing its conscript army into a massed, suicidal charge against well-defended front lines.

The Zelensky government, likely fearing a total breakdown of morale or mutiny, concluded that such a suicidal rush would not be possible, and switched to a military strategy that would result in fewer casualties, to the ire of Washington.

These statements confirm the repeated warnings of the World Socialist Web Site that the Biden administration, seeing the population of Ukraine as nothing more than cannon fodder, was determined to fight “to the last Ukrainian.”

The World Socialist Web Site wrote in May, “the imperialist powers are demanding that this weaponry be put to use in the hands of newly conscripted Ukrainian troops, many of them grabbed off the street, to be thrown at heavily fortified Russian positions…The only certain outcome of the much-hyped counteroffensive will be a further massive loss of life.”

Critically, the Post article admits that the US had known as early as February that Ukrainian forces were facing disaster. The Post writes:

The new intelligence assessment aligns with a secret U.S. forecast from February indicating that shortfalls in equipment and force strength may mean that the counteroffensive will fall “well short” of Ukraine’s goal to sever the land bridge to Crimea by August.

At the time, the contents of these documents were not seriously examined or publicized by the US media, which continued to hype the offensive as a turning point in the war.

By contrast, the WSWS pointed to the significance of documents, which revealed “significant ‘force generation and sustainment shortfalls’” and likely to yield only “modest territorial gains,” as completely puncturing the fraudulent narrative used by the Biden administration and US media to promote the latest bloodbath.

The real goal of the US, however, was to maximize the number of Russians killed, expend Russian war material, and weaken the Russian economy, using Ukrainian forces as cannon fodder.

The article quoted General Mark Milley to argue that there was an upside to the disaster. Milley bragged about how many Russian soldiers had been killed, saying, “The Russians are in pretty rough shape… They’ve suffered a huge amount of casualties. Their morale is not great.”

This was effectively a paraphrase of the declaration by Senator Lindsey Graham who boasted that as a result of US funding of Ukraine, “the Russians are dying” and that it’s the “best money we’ve spent.”

The offensive has produced a bloodbath for Ukrainian forces. Last week, The New York Times reported of the existence of a unit whose soldiers had been replaced three times.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that 50,000 or more Ukrainians have become amputees, citing data from Germany’s Ottobock, the world’s largest prosthetics manufacturer. This would put the level of amputations in the Ukraine war on par with those of major combatants in the First World War.

Ukraine is now the most heavily mined country in the world, with approximately 30 percent of the country or about 67,000 miles, having been littered with explosive ordnance.

The growing recognition in the US media of the failure of the counteroffensive does not lessen the danger posed by the war. Rather, there is an immense danger of the US responding to the increasingly desperate state of its proxy war with Russia with a major new military escalation.

Earlier this month, the White House requested another $24 billion from Congress for the war in Ukraine, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledging to continue the war “as long as it takes.”