Saturday, December 16, 2023

The War That Neither UKRaine nor the West Can Afford to Lose; UKR GS Report: 89 Combat Clashes Occur at Front; UKR Holds Defence on Avdiivka, Marinka Fronts; UKR Downs 20 of 20 RU Missiles/Drones; 58% UKRs: Cont. to Fight RU, Even Without Western Help, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Joseph Sywenkyj for The Wall Street Journal
WSJ: The War That Neither Ukraine nor the West Can Afford to Lose
The war between Russia and Ukraine can continue indefinitely unless the West realizes that what’s at stake isn’t just the fate of Ukraine but the future of the West itself
As the New Year arrived in Ukraine with the Russian missile attack on Kyiv on the early morning of Jan. 1, 2023, there were two main questions on the minds of policy makers around the world. The first pertained to the fate of the continuing Russian winter offensive, while the second concerned the results of the planned Ukrainian spring counteroffensive.
The answer to the first question came in May when Yevgeny Prigozhin withdrew his Wagner Group troops from the ruins of Bakhmut. Taking control of Bakhmut had come at a high cost to Wagner, with perhaps 20,000 soldiers killed, most of them convicts recruited by Prigozhin from Russian prisons.
This was the sole significant success of the offensive. Bakhmut was to remain under Russian control, but Prigozhin rebelled when the Kremlin decided it didn’t need his services and ordered to roll his troops into the regular Russian army. The mutiny revealed fissures between the Russian political and military leadership, which didn’t rush to protect the regime. The Kremlin eventually assassinated Prigozhin, but the military brass’s dissatisfaction with Putin’s handling of the war suggested possible trouble in the future.
The counteroffensive
The failure of the Russian offensive opened the door for Ukraine’s June counteroffensive. Despite some optimistic predictions, the destruction of the Russian Army-controlled section of the Kakhovka Dam on the Dnipro River effectively dashed Ukrainian hopes of using the dam as a bridge to cross the Dnipro and sever the supply lines connecting Russian troops in the south of Ukraine with their logistical hubs in Crimea.
As a result, the situation on the mainland reached a stalemate. Less than 200 square miles changed hands since the beginning of the year. Russia managed to stabilize the front line by bringing at least 300,000 additional soldiers and officers into the Russian army. Ukraine, as well as being outnumbered 3 to 1 in terms of manpower, lacked superiority and often even parity in firepower.
While the Ukrainians had received tanks, fighting vehicles and antiaircraft missile batteries, they didn’t receive the F-16 fighters they had requested, nor the U.S. ATACMS long-range guided missiles. Delays in supply were caused by various reasons, including disagreements between NATO commanders and their Ukrainian counterparts on the required weaponry and timing, quarrels between the allies on who should supply what (notably the public dispute between the U.S. and Germany regarding supply of Leopard and Abrams tanks), and White House concerns about crossing Putin’s red lines and provoking a nuclear war.
No end in sight
But efforts to prevent the war from escalating no doubt will contribute to lengthening it, likely through 2024 and beyond.
What’s more, the battles of 2024 will be fought amid a political event—the U.S. presidential election—that will be as important to the future of the war as any individual offensive. The U.S. remains the largest Western supplier of weapons to Ukraine and is second only to the European Union in financial assistance to Kyiv. The political uncertainty in the U.S. will greatly affect the country’s ability to provide Ukraine with crucial military aid. --->READ MORE HERE
89 combat clashes occur at front, Russians attack mostly on Avdiivka front – General Staff report:
89 combat clashes took place at the front over the day as of the evening of 13 December, with 45 Russian attacks on the Avdiivka front.
Source: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Facebook, information as of 18:00 on 13 December
Quote: "The enemy launched 10 missile strikes and four airstrikes and carried out 32 attacks from multiple-launch rocket systems on the positions of our troops and populated areas."
"During the day, Ukraine’s Air Force launched attacks on five areas where enemy military personnel, weapons and equipment were concentrated.
Units from the Rocket Forces and Artillery struck a command post of the Russian invaders, two areas where enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment were concentrated."
Details: On the Kupiansk front, Ukrainian defenders repelled 12 Russian attacks near Synkivka and two more attacks east of Petropavlivka (Kharkiv Oblast).
On the Lyman front, the Ukrainian Armed Forces repelled two Russian attacks near Serebrianka Forest (Luhansk Oblast) and to the east of Terny (Donetsk Oblast).
On the Bakhmut front, Ukraine's Defence Forces repelled six Russian attacks near Ivanivske and Andriivka (Donetsk Oblast). --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Ukrainian defenders hold steadfast defence on Avdiivka and Marinka fronts+++++

+++++Air Force reports on downed Russian missiles and Shahed drones: 20 out of 20+++++

+++++58% of Ukrainians stand for continuing to fight Russia, even without Western help – infographic+++++

Ukrainian forces have advantage over Russian army fighting at night – UK intel

Ukraine’s HUR disrupts Russian Tax Service, erases entire database, full recovery impossible

Claim that Russians have captured Marinka is false – Commander

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