Another sobering assesment of the difficulties the Ukraine forces are facing in the effort to reclaim their countries territory fomr the Russian Army…..
Things ain’t going as easy with Westerm combat stuff as we where led to believe…..
Russian laid minefields ARE a BIG problem….
Putin tells Russian TV the Ukraiine offensive isn’t succeeding…
In the first two weeks of Ukraine’s grueling counteroffensive, as much as 20 percent of the weaponry it sent to the battlefield was damaged or destroyed, according to American and European officials. The toll includes some of the formidable Western fighting machines — tanks and armored personnel carriers — the Ukrainians were counting on to beat back the Russians.
The startling rate of losses dropped to about 10 percent in the ensuing weeks, the officials said, preserving more of the troops and machines needed for the major offensive push that the Ukrainians say is still to come.
Some of the improvement came because Ukraine changed tactics, focusing more on wearing down the Russian forces with artillery and long-range missiles than charging into enemy minefields and fire.
But that good news obscures some grim realities. The losses have also slowed because the counteroffensive itself has slowed — and even halted in places — as Ukrainian soldiers struggle against Russia’s formidable defenses. And despite the losses, the Ukrainians have so far taken just five of the 60 miles they hope to cover to reach the sea in the south and split the Russian forces in two….
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, an agreement that has helped alleviate a global food crisis amid Russia’s invasion, is set to expire Monday. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres sent Putin a letter last week with a proposal to extend the deal, but as of Sunday, Russia had not responded.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- More than 120 countries signed a 2008 convention banning the use of cluster munitions as inhumane and indiscriminate, but Russia, Ukraine and the United States are not parties to it. Several U.S. allies, including Germany and France, stressed they would not emulate the Biden administration’s decision to send the munitions to Ukraine.
- The United Nations said no new vessels have been authorized to join the Black Sea Grain Initiative since June 27, which has added to concerns that Moscow may not renew the deal. At least 29 ships have applied to join the initiative, which allows grain and other food exports to safely pass through the Black Sea corridor. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he “can’t predict” whether Putin will agree to extend the deal.
- British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said his comments implying that Kyiv should show more appreciation for Western aid were “misrepresented.” He said during last week’s NATO summit that “people want to see gratitude” for the enormous sums and political capital that Ukraine’s allies have spent to help Kyiv fight Russia, and that Ukraine should persuade lawmakers around the world that sending aid is worthwhile. In tweets written in Ukrainian and sent Saturday night, Wallace said that comment was “not about governments, but more about citizens and members of parliaments.”
- Wallace announced plans to resign as defense secretary during the British government’s next cabinet reshuffle. In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, he also said he does not intend to seek reelection as a member of Parliament after his term. Wallace has served as Britain’s defense secretary for four years and is one of the United Kingdom’s key advocates for military support for Ukraine.
- At least seven Ukrainian drones were shot down overnight around Sevastopol, in Russian-occupied Crimea, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the Russian Defense Ministry. The report said two drone boats were also destroyed near the key port city on the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014. An eighth drone was shot down a few hours later, Interfax reported, citing Sevastopol’s Moscow-installed governor, Mikhail Razvozhaev. No injuries or damage were reported.
- Troops from Russia’s Wagner mercenary group were spotted moving into Belarus on Saturday, according to Ukraine’s border service. On Friday, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said Wagner fighters were training military personnel in the country, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last week that there was no imminent threat of an invasion.
- More than 50 Russian nationals have been convicted of war crimes as of Saturday, Ukrainian prosecutor general Andriy Kostin said in a televised interview. More than 200 others have been indicted, and at least 95,000 war crimes have been recorded, according to the prosecutor general’s office.
- Putin told Russian TV that he believes Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which began in early June, “has no success,” state-owned news outlet Tass reported. “All the enemy’s attempts to break through our defense — which is a task including the use of strategic reserves — they have not succeeded since the offensive began,” he said.
- In a surprise visit to Ukraine, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol pledged $150 million in supplementary humanitarian aid and promised to continue to assist the country with demining and the restoration of infrastructure. Speaking at a televised news conference Saturday, Yoon said he would also provide “a larger scale of military supplies.” Last year, South Korea provided nonlethal military aid such as body armor and helmets.
- Ukraine’s trade deficit widened to $8.97 billion in the first five months of this year, Reuters reported, compared with a deficit of about $1 billion recorded during the same period a year ago. A trade deficit occurs when a country’s imports exceed its exports.
- Russia said it will shut down a Polish consulate to retaliate for “unfriendly, anti-Russian” government actions, according to an official statement provided to Interfax. The consulate, some 230 miles from Moscow, was opened about 12 years ago in a bid for better relations.
- U.S. prosecutors indicted an alleged Russian intelligence agent after extraditing him to the United States on conspiracy charges, the Justice Department saidFriday. Vadim Konoshchenok is accused of smuggling dual-use technology and ammunition from U.S. companies on behalf of the Russian government.
The biggest obstacle to Ukraine’s counteroffensive? Minefields. In a painstakingly slow process that has set the pace of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, small groups of sappers have often been getting down on their stomachs and crawling across minefields to clear a path for troops to advance.
This Russian defense strategy has been successful in stalling Ukrainian troops and has forced its military to change strategy, Isabelle Khurshudyan and Kamila Hrabchuk report.