With Western Weapons, Ukraine Is Turning the Tables in an Artillery War

Oct 29, 2022 · 367 comments
Friend (dc)
Weaponry, weather, intelligence, disinformation, diplomacy... Meanwhile earnest young men and women die. Why? Putin wants Ukraine, sure, but also to provoke the West and prove his bona fides to China and Saudi Arabia. I'm so sad the Republican traitors are about the throw a wrench into the government.
alan (MA)
Unfortunately, in a War of Attrition Putin has more bodies available.
🌟🌟🌟Jeff🌟🌟🌟 (New Jersey 🇺🇸)
Putin is making his next move and unfortunately, he has a pretty good chance at winning. He can’t win on the battlefield of Ukraine. The Ukrainians are fierce warriors and clever tacticians. willing to sacrifice their life for what is just and right. But where Putin can win, is with the West. While Putin is not a strategic thinker, as a chess player, looking 3 and 4 moves ahead; he’s a better tactician. His forte is in judo, where you look to find weaknesses in your opponent, where he is off balance and then you exploit this. In Europe authoritarians and fascist parties are on the rise. We see this in Turkey, Hungry, Italy, Sweden and France. In America there is a good chance of our own authoritarian party coming into power in another week. With weak minded, amoral men vying for power, Putin has become like Satan in the New Testament, having these men stand on a mountain before the cities of the world, and saying “all this I will give to you, if you bow down to me “. He recognizes a big failing amongst authoritarian leaders. That they are weak minded men who will immediately bow down and grovel at the feet of the alpha male in the room just to touch his ring. Putin’s stopped grain shipments to accelerate food price increases. He’s working with Saudi Arabia and Iran to surge oil prices. He exploits America’s division and inability to manage any prolonged suffering knowing they’re willing to sacrifice their basic principles to stop it. This is a battle for democracy.
R Montgomery (N. California)
>>>Russian armored personnel carrier<<< Ha Ha. Nobody in their right mind thinks that destroying a single personnel carrier is going to change the outcome of this conflict. Ukraine will disappear from the world map unless Biden and Blinken come to their senses and force Zeliesky to negotiate a settlement that recognizes that Eastern and Southern portions of Ukraine that have been annexed to Russia are now part of Russia.
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
At this point Putin has already lost. It's just about how many Russian lives he's going to throw down the drain before he calls it quits....
esp (ILL)
Ukraine is not winning the war. The west is winning the war.
Dory (London)
The Russians have cruise, ballistic and intercontinental missiles. Not to mention more planes and more drones. They'll be fine. This is a war mongering piece describing an immense slaughter as if it was a ppv boxing fight. Multiple thousands of Ukrainians have died and continue to die in Kherson. This piece fails to mention it. We're testing our weapons at the cost of their lives.
RichPFromDC (Washington, DC)
Judging by the comments here, lots of people prefer Putin and Russian autocracy over democracy. Too bad Americans know zero about our democracy and global politics.
Eric L. (Berkeley, CA)
We are forced to remember ugly fundamental truths: As "Chairman" Mao said: Power arises in the barrel of a gun. "Civil society" arises to the benefit of a people, a nation, that has established its ability and willingness to defend itself militarily. Everyone loves a winner. The USA, especially, loves to support a people who are capable of waging an effective war on their own behalf. Ukraine, yes; Taiwan, maybe. South Vietnam, democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan: not so much; not really at all. And maybe, loving a winner makes good sense. Progressive advocates of an international democratic order find ourselves in the most unexpected alliance with the military-industrial complex! And somehow, rightly so. Raytheon: What quantity of armaments can you produce for Ukraine in the next four months?! Peace and human freedom depend on the ability to wage war effectively. Heraclitus: Where are you now that we need you?
Robert (Seattle)
My impression is that if there is a Republican takeover of Congress, the U.S. support will be stalled shortly after New Year's 2023...and if the former guy gets back in early 2025, his generals may very well be directed to stop supporting Ukraine entirely and give American technology to the Soviets. Sorry, the Russians. This is just the way it is in this topsy-turvy world. The right has no interest in supporting real freedom fighters now; they align themselves with former Soviet...sorry, now Russian...oppressors, and those oppressors' attacks on European neighbors. Personally, I support NATO and its peaceful mission, and support the provision of technology and materiel to Ukraine as long as possible. And I will always consider Putin a treacherous pariah, and I will oppose Russian interests so long as the continue their unwarranted and unprovoked attacks on a neighbor country.
TT (Boston)
if (when) Republicans - who admit themselves that they would rather live under Putin than Biden - take control of Congress, Ukraine's support will stop. this war is more than about Ukraine, it is about the soul of, and the will to fight for, democracy.
Gary (Halifax)
Not many of us outside the Acela Corridor share this triumphalist attitude toward the war. It looks, to most of us, like a grim bloodletting between Slavs, and a chance to further inflate 'Defense' budgets and give new life to the lucrative NATO bureaucracy. Many McMansions will be built in the suburbs of DC (and London) but it's hard to see any other benefits coming from it.
ana (california)
Ukrainians are showing us what fighting for freedom looks like. They are the gold standard and role model for all of us.
William A Keating (North Amityville, NY)
A Pew Research public opinion poll on the course of the war in Ukraine was released a month ago. About 15-20 percent of Americans, in September as compared to May, were less in fear of Russia invading other countries, or of defeating Ukraine, or of drawing the U.S. into a direct war. So how exactly do the we expect the war to end? With a Russian corporal waving a white flag? We know the consequences of this adventurism. Tens of thousands of dead Ukrainian, mountains of rubble, painful economic recessions in Western Europe, and especially in England. A world-wide energy crisis this winter triggered by those Russians refusing to sell natural gas to the West. Possible starvation in poorer nations. And there's always that nuke threat. Apparently the American people (or untrustworthy polls) believe that as Russia gets closer to a humiliating defeat, the chance of its using its trump card, nuclear warheads, goes down instead of up. In 1914, Germany, England and France were enjoying a rare extended time of peace. One day a Serbian a thousand miles distant assassinated the heir to the throne of the weak Austro-Hungarian Empire. Four years later four million German, French, English and American soldiers lay dead on the killing fields of France. Historian Barbara Tuchman wrote the "The Guns of August," which described the way Europe had fallen into this madness. Sadly, we will have to find someone else to chronicle our folly should there be a massive outbreak of death in Europe.
Kevin Cahill (87106)
The closer Ukraine comes to winning this war, the closer Putin comes to using nuclear weapons. Biden should end the war now diplomatically.
John (Brooklyn)
Why won't Biden send a mediator there and not only weapons? There was much bigger effort to resolve Israel-Palestine conflict, for example. I think it was a huge mistake for the Western Ukrainian administration to kill pro-Russia separatists back in 2014, after signing Minsk agreements. They could perhaps asked them to lay down weapons, promise amnesty, and negotiate something. It only exacerbated the crisis.
DieselEstate (Aberdeenshire)
Given what we know about conscription into the Russian military plus, their lack of preparation, training, poor equipment, et al . . . Then more recently, the news that some very young convicts have been unwillingly forced into the Russian military, I find the crowing of some Ukrainian soldiers extremely distasteful. This whole situation is terrible. For families on both sides of the fence it is a time of anguish and sorrow.
Mic (Agios Nikolaos)
Three thoughts on today’s updates: 1) Drones are showing the way to the future of warfare. Now we are in the baling wire and balsa wood age. But already cheap models are taking out tanks and warships. The creation of a new Air Force counter-drone unit and Navy unmanned watercraft in the Middle East show the military is taking it seriously. 2) Little reported but glanced at in this article is that equipment developed and supplied by other NATO countries is proving effective and encouraging. 3) Observers are rightly focused on the ground war, but the Black Sea should be considered another front. How long before we see a humanitarian naval escort protecting future grain shipments? If Putin insists on using the Stalinist weapon of starvation against the world, why would we not counter it?
Pheasantfriend (Michigan)
Article is music to my ears. We need to end this war.
Alan (Beaver Falls)
Putin and the west miscalculated. Putin thought his military superior and the west feared it too. It's clear that our technology advantages are far superior. I believe Putin will be gone within a year.
Budleymac (Canada)
Anybody paying attention to the former guy will realize a few obvious facts: 1) tfg never fails to take revenge on anyone who he deems has slighted him in any way, no matter how minor. 2) Zelensky did not play along with tfg’s pre election blackmail scheme to accuse Hunter Biden of some criminal suspicion. This resulted in tfg’s first impeachment show. Not good. 3) Putin, on the other hand, appeared to loom over tfg and made him look weak at meetings. tfg appeared to bow to Putin, have unrecorded meetings and seemingly offer Putin whatever he liked. 4) tfg was not a big fan of NATO or the UN. Or Europe in general. 5) tfg totally controls the thoughts and actions of every single Republican house and senate member, with the exception of maybe 4 or 5 that occasionally disagree. 6) MAGA and America First were pretty much tfg’s go-to lines Put that all together and consider that the US funding for Ukraine will likely begin to dry up a day or so after the midterm elections.
Zovie (Port Dickson)
Whatever happens, the Russians are going to find a very well armed country with very deep hatred for the Russians right on their doorstep in the foreseeable future. Ukrainians are never going to forget the destruction of their cities, and homes and the loss of life and suffering. What on earth was Putin thinking of? As for the Western countries, they now have a very steadfast ally to act as a buttress against the Russians.
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
It really is amazing that at any point, even today-- right now if he wanted to! -- Putin could just put his armies into reverse; and immediately end this self-made debacle. At some point, Putin is finally going to realize he can't win this thing-- not only are his maximalist goals of victory unobtainable-- but even minimally keeping the ground HE ALREADY HAS will become completely untenable. As untrained mobik bodies start to stack up in the tens of thousands. The Kremlin's ability to maintain itself logistically is collapsing for good. If you look closely, it already has: "The future is already here... just unevenly distributed." As they say: the only thing worse than the Red Army losing in Ukraine... is it losing in Russia. And if Putin keeps it up he WILL break his own economy/his power-base/his industrial capacities/and the futures of all his subjects. If Putin doesn't reverse; his country will descend into civil war.. The good news is, before then, Putin can just pack up his things and go home. That's the thing about elective wars of aggression; at any time you can take your kickball and up and leave the playground! It may not be the way a boastful invader with delusions of grandeur would like it; but so the US left North Korea, Vietnam (which nuclear-armed China also lost to, in 1979!), Iraq, Afghanistan, so on... See? You just put your car into reverse! And take the shambolic caravan back across the border. Truly, nothing is stopping him... save his own ego.
Curious (Marfa, Texas)
Lots of reporting on military attacks. Are there no stories about at least one back room discussion for peace negotiations? Why is there nothing apparently of substance coming from the UN? Of course they’ve proved powerless and inept to date. But surely the UN can’t give up.
al (Midwest)
I'm glad we are helping Ukraine now, amazed at Nato pulling its weight too...but where where we in 2014? Putin was allowed to waltz right in, and we did nothing...nada. If we had done then, what we are doing now....it would have saved many more lives, and Ukraine would be fighting for much less territory.
David H (Northern Va.)
I've noticed a lot of coverage in this newspaper about the Ukrainian military's clever use of drones. Suffice to say that while drones may give the Ukrainians a tactical edge here and there, they are not going to shift the overall correlation of military forces or otherwise inhibit Russia's ability to project power along its shared border with Ukraine. Nor will drones prevent the Russians from consolidating their administrative grip on the parts of eastern Ukraine that Moscow has annexed. Nor will drones prevent the Russians from turning off the energy spigot completely, should they choose to do so. Most international shipping relies on Russian oil. The US knows full well that there is only one way for this war to end: a ceasefire and negotiations. The longer the Ukrainians wait, the more dead and wounded they will suffer.
Patrick (Nyc)
Ukraine will not negotiate and why should they? The Russians are losing and continue to have irreplaceable casualties and equipment. The longer the stay on Ukraine territory the bigger the damage to their fighting capability. I am all for the latter.
Mike (Germany)
This ceasefire and negotiate line of reasoning has been thoroughly debunked and well it should be. Russia has been destabilizing and undermining growth in its former Soviet neighbors for decades in a clear bid to retain regional control, while its own leadership has become more criminalized and authoritarian. There are two paths to peace in the region: a weakened Russia forced back to its own borders-with a strong deterrent capability in frontline NATO states-or a reformed one. Appeasement gets neither and completely ignores the lessons of history that we all should know by now. It also fails to account for the risk it creates for states like Taiwan. 40 million people in Europe deserve better than to be a colonized by a kleptocratic Russia, which will happen if Russia is allowed to lock in any kind of gain from this unprovoked aggression. This is also is no path to long term stability.
Greg (Lyon, France)
If the US had accepted the hand of friendship extended by Gorbachev and Yeltsin on behalf of the new Russian Federation in the early 1990s, as had the Western European nations, we would not have the disastrous war in Ukraine today. Those Ukrainians would still be alive and those buildings would still be standing. Instead the US wanted to keep the fallen USSR on its knees to guarantee US world supremacy. To destroy the emerging friendship the US neocons instigated a plan to erode Russian leadership trust in the West. First they broke an agreement with Gorbachev made by the US and many Western leaders in February 1990, angering and embarrassing Yeltsin. Then, in 2008, they angered a dubious Putin by pushing for NATO in Ukraine and Georgia. All of the trust developed in the early 1900s had been destroyed by 2008. The American neocons had successfully engineered a return to the Cold War.
dochi (Ridgeley WV)
@Greg Agree. We had a chance to do a mini Marshall Plan and helped develop (or at least TRY) a healthy & vibrant democracy and free market, but seems there was no immediate 'profit' in that and so now everyone is paying in blood & riches.
Frank O (Texas)
@Greg I would agree that Reaganite triumphalism and an insistence on all-at-once, "shock therapy" conversion to free-for-all capitalism was a disaster for Russia. However, I have no sympathy for Russia's complaint that Eastern European nations, newly freed from Russian bondage and oppression, dared to join NATO to protect themselves from being re-enslaved. Those doing the complaining are the very apparatchiks-turned-oligarchs who stole everything when Communism fell.
Barry Lane (Quebec)
@Greg This is of course is the Russian narrative. However, it does not mention Putin's paranoia and imperialistic desire for greatness. As well, it misses out on the fears of Eastern European states who have experienced Russian aggression over hundreds of years. It was either Europe or Russia for these groups. They prefer Europe and rightly so! And what about Russia's nuclear arms which make it impervious to attack??? NATO expansion??? I don't think so. Just a cover up for Russian domestic problems!
Phillip Promet (Crystal MN)
All this could lead to a nuclear exchange: Ukraine keeps winning, as Russia is backed into a corner. Putin and his generals feel compelled to use drastic means to win. Tactical nukes are unleashed on Ukrainian forces, or worse yet, on civilian population centers. Then the West must decide to either enter the war or abandon the Ukraine. And if the West enters the war? The entire world enters uncharted territory, not seen since the end of the Second World War.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Phillip Promet Please be careful with such words as "winning." Ukraine is not "winning." --Russia occupies more than 20 percent of Ukraine and shows no signs of returning that territory back to Kiev. --There are significant delays in the delivery of new weapons to Ukraine, reported regularly by this newspaper. The US and NATO are running out of ammunition to supply Kyiv. --Moscow's crude oil revenue from sales to China, India and Brazil are back up to pre-invasion levels. (The NYT reported on several weeks ago that that Russia is still selling nearly 2 million barrels of oil a day to Europe.) --Sanctions have had almost ZERO impact on Russian behavior. The Biden administration's much-anticipated internal revolution -- what with Russians being deprived of Starbucks, Gucci bags, and Western credit cards -- has failed to materialize. --The war in Ukraine has left untouched Russian nuclear-powered submarines, electronic warfare capabilities, integrated air defense, and a diverse nuclear arsenal. Under the circumstances, there is no need for the Russians to use nuclear weapons. Nor will Moscow ever do so -- as such an act would foreclose ANY chance of normalized relations with the rest of the world once the war ends in Ukraine and negotiations commence.
European (Europ)
@Phillip Promet Not a chance. This is all just talk to scare the Supporters of Ukraine. At heart the Russian leadership is actually quite rational. Look at the different scenarios ranging from destroyed dams + flooded countries, dirty bombs to tactical nuclear strikes. Non of them does solve anything for Russian leadership but will make things worse.
Calico (VA)
And if the US abandons Ukraine, Russia wins and then in a few years they invade another country. What happened if they decide Alaska should once again be part of Russia? Sound ludicrous? Well Putin said recently he thought Czar Alexander II made a mistake selling it to the USA. Want to give it back if he threatens going nuclear if we don’t let him have it?
Eddie Torial (State of Mind)
The time has come. We should arm Ukraine with the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). Take off the handcuffs.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Eddie Torial Your suggestion gets to the very heart of why US policy toward this conflict is such a disaster. We will not be giving Ukraine such weapons for the simple reason that the Russians have made clear to us that if we do, then we -- the US and by extension, NATO -- will become active combat participants. This is why President Biden announced in early March that the US would not be setting up a no-fly zone. This is why we are not deploying US troops to Ukraine. This is why we are placing strict limitations on what Ukraine can do with the weapons we do provide. In other words, the US recognizes that Ukraine is in Russia's sphere of influence. Just like Cuba was in ours, in 1962. In other words, we are asking Ukraine to fight with one arm tied behind its back. And, inexplicably, Ukraine's leaders are doing so -- regardless of the human cost to their own population.
Gary (Halifax)
@Eddie Torial Do you have any idea what you're suggesting? It seems the Blue-Check consensus has lost all sense, even as its power within the US plummets--for reasons it refuses to ponder.
Big Boomer (San Francisco)
Is this really a proxi-war between the weaponry of the US and that of Russia? Seems so sometimes. But proxi-wars can too easily become defacto wars. Where are the lines drawn in Ukraine?
OffTheClock99 (Tampa, FL)
@Big Boomer The lines are the borders of the sovereign country of Ukraine. Russia invaded, occupied, and annexed territory across those internationally-recognized lines. If Russia returns to the internationally understood borders, the war will stop.
ErikW65 (VT)
@Big Boomer Sec. of Defense Austin admitted that "weakening Russia" is the goal, and Pres. Biden has suggested that regime change must come in Russia, which sets us up for the Armageddon he warned about. That is the only discernable end goal presented thus far other than unilateral capitulation by Putin, which is not a very likely outcome. Sun Tzu would offer Putin a golden bridge. We seem determined to corner a nuclear-armed bear.
Subscriber (Canada)
@Big Boomer Not a proxy war because if NATO steps in with soldiers and does the proxy fighting on behalf of Ukrainians then it becomes NATO versus Russia and crosses the MAD line. Regrettably this is Ukraine's fight. All that NATO can do at most is to lend logistical support. Ukraine has never asked for proxy participation.
W.G. (CT)
Let's call a spade a spade here: NATO is at war with Russia given the support Ukraine is getting.
European (Europ)
@W.G. The spade is that individual NATO countries are free to support wherever they like. There is a reason why Russia tries hard not to get NATO involved. NATO air superiority would be decisive. The Russian propaganda tries to picture the conflict as a great battle of value, the west against Russia or NATO against Russia. Dońt fall for it. The Russian population does increasingly less so.
Sam (Brooklyn, NY)
False again. NATO plays no role in the delivery of weapons to the Ukraine. NATO is currently securing the borders of Eastern Europe, that's it. Countries who are members of NATO and many who are not (about 50 in total) are helping to coordinate military and logistical support via the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, so Ukraine can defend itself against the illegal invasion by Russia. NATO just has the organistsional framework to facilitate meetings, but the support for Ukraine is global in nature and Russia has nearly no friends left.
Alexander (Charlotte, NC)
@W.G. Russia wouldn't last a month against NATO in Ukraine. Your spade is a Ukraine that has fought ferociously, and increasingly effectively against Russia. Ukraine has been buoyed by NATO assistance, but at the start of the war it didn't have nearly the assistance it has now: it was Ukrainian grit that thrashed the Russians at Kyiv.
Diogenespdx (Portland OR)
For all chicken littles who worry excessively about offending vlad and making his angry or upset, this is war people. The aggressor always says ‘you better surrender or else’ on the greater-fool-theory ‘ that if you’re dumb enough to surrender . . .' This is not just Ukraine’s war, it is our war too. Success only emboldens bullies, and surrender only encourages them. We should stop worrying about upsetting vlad and worry about winning. And hint : that’s really gonna upset him. But he should have thought about that before he started.
European (Europ)
@Diogenespdx Would tend to agree. In the light of the rise of China currently the notion of the West is resurfacing. China could be much more change agent to stop the war but they choose not to. They sit on the sideline and wait and see. If Ukraine falls or a cheap truce is being agreed in 5-10 years China will attack Taiwan.
Fred (Austria)
why would China not sit idle by and watch? "Live and learn", that what they are doing now and planning for the next conflict.
Frank O (Texas)
@Diogenespdx To paraphrase Kipling, in "The Drums of the Fore and Aft", a bully being attacked is a very different thing than a bully attacking.
Beanie (San Francisco Bay)
Calling all Russian bubushkas, mothers, sisters, daughters, wives —rise up against Putin—your menfolk are canon fodder—it was your outspoken opposition to the grinding wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya that forced Russia’s withdrawal from such Hellscapes. Organize massive women’s marches heard around the world. Remember women hold up half of the Earth!
Fred (Austria)
A nice though from comfy SF. To demonstrate against regimes like Putin or Iran takes a lot of bravery and sacrifice. As inspiring the comment is, the deadly it is for the ones execute this call to protest
victor (cold spring, ny)
Good to see our military assistance successfully aiding the Ukrainians. I think we could also use more aggressive messaging to the people within Russia. I offer an example. Message to the Russian people: Sadly, under Putin your country with a rich and universally acclaimed cultural heritage has devolved into a dysfunctional kleptocracy that treats its own soldiers as cannon fodder and has only lies to peddle to the rest of the world and its own people. It is time for Russians to arise from within - to awaken and overthrow the grandiose lunatic whose pointless war of aggression brings nothing but misery to all concerned. I pose a question to all Russians - are you willing to die for the sole purpose of destroying Ukraine? If not, how can you ask your young men to do so for you. It is time to depose your dictator, to take back your country, to claim your freedom and to realize your true potential as a people. I am sure you are far more capable than your delusional kleptocrat with his useless $1.1B Black Sea dacha would have you believe. You are but puppets for his grandiosity. Do you see the passion of the Ukrainian people? It can be yours as well. Do you see the sacrifices of your martyrs? Do not betray them. I implore the citizenry, especially those in senior positions, to organize and liberate and depose this diseased dictatorship.
no thanx (bay area)
@victor plus we get to see our weapon systems in war conditions.
Davy (Hawaii)
@victor I think that would be as effective as telling a Trumper the truth.
Pepe (CA)
Hopefully the Russian aggressors will be pushed out soon! This monstrous invasion MUST fail.
RichPFromDC (Washington, DC)
I like how Russia "accused" Ukraine of ... fighting back?
Kyle (New York)
The Russians aren't going to be able to deploy any 300,000 fresh troops into the war. That is pretty much the size of the entire United States Army, and the Russians don't have the logistics to supply their current forces, let alone train, equip, transport, and then support in the field an additional 300,000.
Alexander (Charlotte, NC)
@Kyle Who says they're going to train, equip, or supply them? From what I can tell they're going to be kicked off the bus at the front line in the clothes they wore to the mustering station and told to do their best. Like the Red Army in WW2, but without all the industrial backing from the US.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
The USSR and Russia have conducted espionage and intelligence gathering about the weapon systems and orders of battle and tactics and strategies of the USA and NATO for nearly eight decades. This outcome should have been foreseen by those planning this war with Ukraine if Ukraine received help from NATO. This is just one more outcome that makes Putin look like a conceited fool who has played to lose.
Zobar (West Coast)
@Casual Observer : Putin foolishly thought that NATO was in tatters and wouldn't rally to the defense of Ukraine. Remember that he thought he would just roll into Kiev in just a few days and topple their government. A combination of naive arrogance, hubris and stupidity.
Guy Wiggins (NYC)
Yep, and in history this kind of folly almost always leads to a political collapse at some point. The clock is ticking..
John Whitmore (Gig Harbor WA)
If Trump was re-elected Vlad would have been right and the Ukrainians would have lost. It wasn’t just Trump who lost the election. Vlad did too.
Greg (Washington, DC)
Some day in the future I will enjoy visiting the Free City of Kherson, safe and secure and under the beautiful Ukranain flag.
ErikW65 (VT)
@Greg The problem is that any military equipment stationed anywhere in the eastern areas will always be subject to air attack by Russia. Ukraine can free these areas, but it will not be able to make them peaceful. Not without a negotiated peace agreement.
Jding (Bk)
Or a counter invasion with a mission to eliminate all infrastructure. Under a dictator there is no such thing as a purely civilian anything.
Shmessy (MD)
@ErikW65 the Russians do not possess accurate guided rockets/missiles anymore. They are only left with crude directional weaponry. Your pony may have been valid several months ago, but not anymore.
dochi (Ridgeley WV)
Millions of dollars for a Russian APC? Not very likely. Only the USA pays such obscene prices for an APC due to our TOTALLY corrupt Congress & Pentagon procurement system. Ask anyone that's been in any US service.
Michael Dunne (New York Area)
@dochi Global Security puts the unit price of a Bradley at $1.2 million, in comparison to a BMP-3, which comes in at $796K Otherwise, the sentence said: "Ukrainian soldiers are taking out armored vehicles worth millions of dollars with cheap homemade drones, as well as with more advanced drones and other weapons provided by the United States and allies." So reading that as a dollar value attributed to a collection of vehicles getting destroyed.
dochi (Ridgeley WV)
@Michael Dunne "Analyst Henry Schlottman notes that BMP-2s have been exported for over $300,000 per unit (adjusted to 2022 dollars)"- Forbes
Jk (Seattle)
@dochi sure, our government and military industrial complex have their shortcomings, but I'll certainly take it over the Russian versions. You get what you pay for?
Lle (UT)
Putin's master plan in Ukraine is just yell out NUCLEAR and the MAGA republican and progressive democrat will raise the white flag and demands for negotiation with Putin. Evidence: the letter of the progressive democrat to President Biden back in May 2022. The so called Peace movement worked in Vietnam war time but not now.
Peter (Honolulu, Hawaii)
@Lle The letter has been retracted by the progressive democrats.
Blanche White (South Carolina)
Pray it be so! May the depredations of winter and few supplies make the Russian soldiers realize this was always a fool's errand and then turn around or surrender en masse to the Ukrainians. Godspeed!
joblo (Virginia)
And take out a few of their officers on the way.
John (San Francisco)
Putin isn't very bright. His Black Sea Fleet are the only Russian ships that the Turks are allowing into the Black Sea, so if Ukraine starts taking out Russian warships one by one, Putin won't be able to bring in reinforcements from anywhere, assuming Turkey holds its ground. So the military answer to this military question might be for Ukraine to sink the entire Russian Black Sea Fleet.
JMC5588 (Mililani, HI)
@John If the Ukrainians take Kherson, they will be in HIMARS missile range of Sevastopol, home port of the BSF. I don't think they have the missiles yet, just the guided artillery HIMARS, but that might change.
Ed C Man (HSV)
“We can reach them and they cannot reach us,” said Maj. Oleksandr, the commander of an artillery battery on the Kherson front, who like others interviewed for this article gave only his first name for security reasons. “They don’t have these weapons.” Wow!!!
Ithaca Reader (Ithaca)
I hope that we withdraw our troops and military equipment from Saudi Arabia and send them to eastern Europe where they are needed, in support of Ukraine. Saudi Arabia has clearly shown that it supports Russia, not the US. “Oil Dispute Prompts Call to Remove US Troops from Saudi Arabia, UAE” by Rebecca Kheel A trio of Democratic lawmakers wants to pull all U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates after an alliance of oil-producing countries announced it was slashing production, a move which is expected to drive up U.S. gas prices. Democratic Reps. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, a former State Department official in the Obama administration; Sean Casten of Illinois; and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday night they were introducing a bill to remove all U.S. forces and military equipment from the two oil-rich nations. "Saudi Arabia and the UAE's drastic cut in oil production, despite President Biden's overtures to both countries in recent months, is a hostile act against the United States and a clear signal that they have chosen to side with Russia in its war against Ukraine," the lawmakers said in a statement.” Source: military . com
ErikW65 (VT)
@Ithaca Reader If Russia's military alliance includes Saudi Arabia and Iran, with China, India, France and Israel neutral, and Turkey playing both sides as usual, that leaves the US, Britain, Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Moldova as the other bloc willing to fight against it. As control of Europe becomes less important in the next decades, China must like the looks of this alignment.
citybumpkin (Earth)
Putin is only ever one US election away from winning the war.
Subscriber (Canada)
Putin says this war really isn't about Ukraine which is in the scale of things unimportant. Rather ... The fight is between a multipole of autocrats and the monopole 'Anglo Saxon West' of agressive democracies. Ukraine is a side show. Wake up and smell the coffee.
LDH (Prague)
@Subscriber Putin changes what this was is about every week. First it was about denazifying Ukraine and protecting ethnic Russians...now its about creating a new world order. In the end its really about holding onto his power and his life. Everything autocrats and authoritarian regimes do is about maintaining power...all else is a "side show".
Calico (VA)
If he wins, he certainly is unlikely to stop with Ukraine. The Baltic and Scandinavian countries would probably next be in his crosshairs. I’m getting the sense he would like to stop any oil getting out of Norway and if he thought he could sabotage it and then deny responsibility and get away with it — because, you know, he’ll then do his nuclear weapons saber rattling if anyone dares to retaliate — he’d do it.
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
Since this article mentions Himars... it's crazy to think that the Ukrainians are shellacking the Russians with one hand tied behind their back. If they were given ATACMS (with the proviso to only be used on Ukrainian soil, of course; but that includes Crimea), then this whole thing would be wrapped up even sooner... since then there wouldn't be a rail-yard within occupied Ukraine that the AFU couldn't reach out and touch at leisure. In other words: it's not just that the Russians in their mendacious, overweening, self-preening falsehood are getting defeated... but every military analyst the world over now knows that, if the gloves truly came off, their invading force in Ukraine could be wiped off the map in just a few weeks. Conventionally. At will. If I was a Russian general knowing everything the Allies have still held back (western MBTs/Jets/Reaper, Predator, Grey Eagle Drones/etc...), I would be terrified. Putin's delusional army appears to still have no idea what its up against/how deep the well of resources of the Allies actually goes. American lend-lease won WW2. Almost single-handedly. It mechanized the Red Army (who otherwise would have collapsed in 1943); just like it helped float the Chinese during their war with Hirohito... (and without the US the Japanese Navy would never have surrendered). Lend-lease made the modern world, in short; it really is not something to go up against lightly. Everything's suggesting Putin is not just evil, but plain stupid.
Dr Dan Woodard (florida)
It is a mistake to take on both Russia and Iran at the same time. Trump terminated the nuclear agreement even though Iran was complying. The Iranian government would much prefer trade with Europe, but we left them with no alternative at all except trade with Russia. Now the only answer we can come up with is more sanctions. It would be more effective to offer Iran the opportunity to trade with the west if it gives up on Russia.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
What was the importance of the 300 Spartans who fought to their deaths at Thermopylae against the Persians? They stopped an invasion by land by far greater Persian forces who then tried to use ships and were defeated at sea. The Greeks were far fewer in numbers but they turned the invasion back. Strategically, the Persians should have prevailed but the way they fought lost them the war. Russia U.S. not learning from it’s mistakes. Instead it just tries to apply more force despite the lack of strength where it matters. It leaves it’s forces vulnerable and they are losing. They should withdraw to well fortified positions that they can hold. Nobody wants Kherson to become another Stalingrad. The German’s lost a huge army their but the Soviets lost a vast number of people in the ruins of that city.
Davy (Hawaii)
@Casual Observer Unfortunately the Persians prevailed after just a few days.
Hair Furor (Newport)
@Casual Observer The Russians can drop their weapons, raise white flags and they will live. Or they can stay and die. They have a choice. The only place Russians can hold now is inside Russia's borders. If they aren't there now, that will be very sad for them.
JH (Ohio)
How much is it going to cost to rebuild Ukrainian infrastructure after this war? One thing is for sure, the US will be pumping billions annually into Ukraine for many years to come.
Bruce Thomson (Tokyo)
The U.S. pumped a lot of money into Europe after World War II, but the results were worth it.
esp (ILL)
@JH Will there be anything left of Ukraine to rebuild? The people have either fled or a dying. There are no infrastructure left.
Calico (VA)
The Germans are proposing a Marshall plan for Ukraine and a number of countries are saying they’ll help rebuild Ukraine including some non-NATO countries.
ErikW65 (VT)
Once Ukraine has gained back all its eastern territories, will they want a neutral buffer area on the other side? Who could blame them? After all, that's how this war STARTED- Putin declared that a NATO fortified Ukraine would be an existential threat to Russia, and demanded that Ukraine be a neutral buffer state. Next question- will Ukraine fight to remove the Russian fleet from its port and control of the Crimean Peninsula? Because at some point the Ukrainians may bite off more than they can chew, and then it will be time for US troops to swoop in and tip the balance of power. Final comment: Have you noticed what's happened to the enlistment stats for the US military lately? We may need military conscription before this conflict is over.
Jim_in_Canada (Canada)
@ErikW65 If Putin really believed that NATO was an existential threat to Russia, why was his military force in such rotten shape that it's losing the war against Ukraine, a much smaller military force than NATO? If Putin really believed that NATO was an existential threat to Russia, his military would have been a well-trained and prepared force.
David Mallet (Point Roberts WA)
@ErikW65 U.S. troops 'swooping in' to 'tip the balance of power?' The way we swooped into Korea? Or Vietnam? You have stated American exceptionalism at its worst.
Matsuda (Fukuoka,Japan)
It is time for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine. Russia should not increase victims any more. It is impossible for President Putin to keep up the morale of the people because there is no justice in Russia for this war.
A Goldstein (Portland)
Ukraine is democracy's protagonist in this war but I still can't get a hold on how it is likely to end. How much is Putin prepared to let his country and the world suffer? This tragic war will end but under what circumstances?
Justin (San Mateo)
@A Goldstein that's the thing about strongmen (Trump, Putin and their ilk): their tough guy image handcuffs them into never making any compromises, because their entire image and platform is based on "strength". so there is no endgame, other than fighting until the bitter end.
LDH (Prague)
@A Goldstein Indeed I ask myself the same questions...What does a Russian Victory look like in the minds of the "Kremlin"?... What does a Ukrainian victory look like? What does a negotiated peace look like? I'm having a hard time visualising any of these scenarios. How, if somehow a negotiated end to this conflict is managed, does Russia not remain a pariah and serious security threat for decades without major regime change and a complete different way of seeing itself and the world around it in terms of geopolitics, and even ideology?...how do sanctions end otherwise?
Dave (New Jersey)
Time to make the best deal possible while there is still leverage to do so. Escalation will only prolong the misery.
Rod Stadum (Dayton)
Yes. Thoughtful adults everywhere wish Putin would grasp this and begin withdrawing and propose negotiations now.
Michael James (San Leandro ÇA)
The Russian army still has many times more artillery pieces than the Ukrainian army. However, Russia has terrible logistics and can't get enough to supplies (including shells) to the front to take further advantage of their numerical superiority. This was not the problem in World War 2 because the US provided the USSR with about 300,000 trucks via lend lease, and the UK provide many as well.
Michael Dunne (New York Area)
@Michael James There is a question of how serviceable the hardware is coming from storage, which inflates those stats. Self-propelled equipment could be in pretty bad condition, as rumored about tanks, requiring quite a bit of maintenance before moving the metal through the supply lines.
SGS (Red State)
Are we certain that Putin’s true target is control of Ukraine? Sure that’d be a dream com true for him but I just wonder if he’s had long discussions with Steve Bannon about the deconstruction of the Pax Americana? I’m joking about Bannon but searching for answers to this madness. Putin has proven himself a shape shifter with no sense of human morality, empathy, or imaginative compassion. What kind of person purposefully destroys the heat sources for millions of people just as the freeze of winter begins? What leader other than Putin would flatten the cities of a nation they invaded to absorb into the Motherland? It makes no common sense to me unless that’s not the intent. And Kim Jong-un might do it too. Putin’s using wholistic chaos as a means to change the world more to his vision; more Russian, less American, less European. He’s likely appealed to the anti colonialism in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in order to gain cooperation. It’s a solid hook the West cannot deny. The alliance is a terrible deal for the nations emerged from colonialism. Putin honors no agreements. I’m not entirely convinced Putin’s invasion was solely about Ukraine. They must have gamed it but to what purpose?
dochi (Ridgeley WV)
@SGS Putin himself wrote a very long essay about a decade ago (or more) that laid out his vision for the Ukraine, but no one ever seems to bother to read it, let alone believe him. You can Google it. (in short Putin says Ukraine never really existed and was ALWAYS part of Russia)
Justin (San Mateo)
@SGS i think the invasion _was_ about conquering Ukraine and Putin's vision of Russian neoimperialism. but sure I'll play along. you think the goal was destabilize the Western world order? if anything, it has brought western nations closer in their support of Ukraine, which is now turning the tide.
Thierry Ether (France)
Russia lost the bulk of their armored vehicules during the first offensive in february, they tried to compensate by their artillery with incrementale gains but also lost the lead because their supply line was disrupted once more. The third part of this war is the arrival of reservist, they represent a weak untrained force, will lack support from missing artillery and tanks, can only play on defensive because they don't have the motorised mobility to attack. We don't underestimate this new force to the front, it's just flesh for bullets ans shell, they can only win time for Putin, but not enough time to rebuild his armored force or build thousands missiles. The Russian army can't recover with international sanctions, and iranian drones proved unable to be game changing, Russia is definitely losing the war. We will see if Ukraine need to fight until the last russian soldier is repelled or if Putin will be removed before, by his unpopular war and unconfortable state of emergency in Russia. Time is playing against Putin, inflation also hitting Russia will not save him, we're not that weak.
One More Time (Georgia, USA)
Western nations answer to ending wars: keep providing more armaments so the war is prolonged and any efforts to reaching a cease fire is abated. After 9 months one wonders just who is more sane, Putin or Biden (+his EU counterpoints). It appears the Wests' intellectual country leaders are entrenched to prolonging this war, so we taxpayers need to accept our $billions in financial aid, plus a few $billion for military armaments, is now considered the answer to ending this global nightmare we live in. Thank you Biden for taking a leadership role in bringing the war to an end.
S.M. Stirling (Santa Fe, NM)
@One More Time Wars end with victory and defeat. Anything else is just a temporary ceasefire.
Mondoman (Seattle WA)
@One More Time The goal is not to have a cease-fire, but rather for Ukraine to win and recapture all its territory. If the Ukrainians are willing to risk death to accomplish that goal, we have no moral right to try to stop them.
LDH (Prague)
@One More Time Please share your your suggestions as to how to put an end to this conflict...what kind of a negotiated end would be acceptable to both Russia and Ukraine?. What would that settlement look like. How do sell to the Ukrainians that they have to give up internationally recognised sovereign territory to appease Russia...the country which invaded it. Does that settlement also mean that Ukraine has to pay for the reconstruction of what has been levelled...Does it mean they don't have the right to a viable defence force like Finland has(which also shares a lengthy Border with Russia and which has also been nvaded by Russia in the past?...does it mean that Ukrainians don't have the right to decide which friendships it wants to pursue and embrace...and which it wants nothing to do with...like Ukrainians did in 2014. What would you sell to the Ukrainians that would be acceptable? And indeed what Putin accept...that he could sell as a victory to Russians who support his regime and this invasion? He just keeps moving the goal posts changing the aims of his invasions in order to somehow sell his grand miscalculation to his Criminal Cartel in the Kremlin and the Those Russians who support him. How do you see the sanctions ending without a complete regime change in the Kremlin and without Russia paying reparations...I frankly dont see that happening. Its easy to criticise and blame with thoughtful suggestions
MPA (Indiana)
What tables are being turned? They haven't managed to do anything since September.
dftruett (San Diego)
As I read this, I have two thoughts: 1. It is great that Ukraine is repelling the invasion 2. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that this war (or any war) even exists in the 21st Century.
S.M. Stirling (Santa Fe, NM)
@dftruett There will be wars as long as there are politics, which is to say as long as there are human beings at all. That's because war is simply a subset of politics. And as the great pioneering sociologist Max Weber so succinctly and accurately pointed out, "violence is always the -ultimately- decisive means of political action".
Chicago Opinion (Chicago, Illinois)
There are no more words that can describe the harm Putin has done to Ukraine, Europe and his own people. Sadly, Russia has to be crushed, completely, before it can be brought back into the world as a responsible, law abiding nation.
Big Cow (NYC)
Biden seems happy to give Ukraine just barely enough weapons and support to make sure this war will never end. I suppose I can see the strategic value in that - we have reduced our second most important strategic competitor in the world to a second rate embarrassment without putting a single boot on the ground - but it doesn’t seem too fair to the Ukrainians. We should give them anything they want and should have from day 1.
Ithaca Reader (Ithaca)
@Big Cow Many of the weapons we are giving them we produce in surprisingly small numbers, they can take years to manufacture even in limited quantities, and we have to keep reserves for own military. Other weapons are very effective but too sensitive to risk falling into Russian hands. And some weapons would escalate the war too rapidly. For example, long range predator drones could be introduced and controlled from the US, and would be devastating to Russian forces, but what would the Russians then do?
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
@Big Cow What weapon systems in particular do you advocate, which Biden isn't sending? And (follow up question) is there a conceivable reason he hasn't sent whatever those are... yet? Because most of those I know who make a business of these matters feel he, and his administration, have navigated the competing threads/tensions of this issue most admirably... indeed, with flying colors. The Ukrainian approval rating of Biden (and his military aid) is very, very high (90%)... second only to Boris Johnson. And their opinion on this should really be the only one that matters... (given that you're trying to speak on their behalf). So, other than just getting a gratuitous dig in on Biden here; I don't see what the purport of your comment is... in terms of brass tacks. I am 100% behind Ukraine, too; but giving them "everything they want" from day 1 isn't practicable, or realistic... and most Ukrainians themselves who understand anything about logistics/proof of concepting/training the trainers/the political situation/ etc... understand that. Biden has helped the Ukrainians almost completely destroy the initial batch of Putin's invaders (100,000+)... for pennies on the dollar. The mobiks coming to replace these dead pros will be next-to-useless... and completely untrained/unprepared for any sort of large-scale offensive maneuvers. In other words: I just think we need to stay the course. In a few months, the Kremlin's mob-caravan will be even more attrited/threadbare....
Big Cow (NYC)
Biden seems happy to give Ukraine just barely enough weapons and support to make sure this war will never end. I suppose I can see the strategic value in that - we have reduced our second most important strategic competitor in the world to a second rate embarrassment without putting a single boot on the ground - but it doesn’t seem too fair to the Ukrainians. We should give them anything they want and should have from day 1.
Roberto (Florida)
"Two former computer programmers turned tank hunters directed drone strikes that took out two Russian armored vehicles in the space of about three hours, destroying more than a million dollars of Russian weaponry with a weapon that cost about $20,000." Many other countries -- say Iran and North Korea -- are also developing cheap munitions that can demolish Western tanks, artillery, and equipment. The real lesson here is that massive investments in military supplies can be offset by a new generation of cheap and effective weapons. Just ask the captain of the Moskva.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Yes the application of the necessary force at the right time is decisive. But the physics of intercepting moving objects by other moving objects is well known, so defenses against these drones and small missiles systems can be used as a defense, eventually.
Ithaca Reader (Ithaca)
@Roberto Drones have changed warfare, and Ukraine is demonstrating that. Long range heavily armed predator drones flying above 10,000 feet in large swarms are the future of warfare, not tanks or aircraft carriers. And swarms of small intelligently networked drones can devastate infantry, as the Chinese recently demonstrated in a working illustration of such drones flying through a forest in formation and avoiding obstacles without the need of human operators.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Consider that strategic bombing was believed to end the need for land forces. The drones can intercept what they can detect and identify. That’s the limit of their utility.
Toby (Texas)
When we make sure Ukraine is not outgunned, we make Russia raise the ante. Obviously Russia cannot match out precision weapons or reconnaissance, so the only way to escalate - resort to indiscriminate attacks increasing overall destruction. I hope Biden's administration has it well calculated, and we won't end up making them to escalate it to tactical nukes. As if we go that route things can turn grim for all of us here.
Steve (Baltimore)
@Toby I don't think you can fully calculate this. You can never know for sure what Russia might do. Biden made the decision that defending Ukraine was important enough to take on the risk involved. I believe that was/is the right decision. At some point the free world had to stand up to Russian aggression in Europe. And with the assistance of NATO, the Ukrainian people have proven to be capable of defending and retaking their land.
Luca (CT)
@Toby it’s a fallacy to assume we are making them escalate. If we didn’t support Ukraine it would be appeasement, which is worse.
Cal's Dog Spot (CA)
@Toby If Putin were to determine that using tactical or ICBM nukes was in his interest there is not much we can do to stop him. But Putin can pack up and leave Ukraine at any time. Ukraine does not have that option. Remember that Putin started this war and Ukraine is beating the Russian army. Biden and his administration are doing a good job helping the Ukrainians get what they need. And, yes, we can all agree that nuclear war of whatever type is in no country's interest -- including Russia's, China's, India's nor ours.
JH (Ohio)
This war has been a boon to the military-industrial complex, that's for sure. They may be the only ones to benefit, sadly.
Bwspmn (North America)
@JH If we end up with a Post-Putin Russia with a real democracy and the rule of law, it will be the one of the most cost-effective expenditures we have ever made.
Marcus (Australia)
@JH so far the Ukrainians have benefited, relative to what Putin originally wanted to happen, wouldn’t you say? The long term outlook is murky, I would agree but I have faith NATO has already outlined to Putin a significant deterrent against nuclear escalation, whatever that may be.
JH (Ohio)
@Bwspmn I object to the idea of a cost-effective war. The cost is always human life.
Bryan (West Chester, Pa.)
Great article. Compare warfare today with WWI a little over 100 years ago. Technology continuously changes the shape of warfare and gives a small army a fighting chance.
J. von Hettlingen (Switzerland)
Lieutenant Oleh is right: “Russia’s advantage was only one thing: quantity.” Ukrainian forces have conducted a stunning counter-offence in recent months. They have also impressed the world with a combination of qualities: resilience, tech savviness, military innovation, intelligence gathering and the tactical acumen to deny responsibility for covet operations while deceiving their enemies. Although Russian forces seized Kherson and besieged other cities after invading Ukraine on February 24, their position in Kherson is likely untenable. The city is on the west bank of the Dnipro River and Ukrainian forces had since July destroyed crucial bridges, cutting their enemies off from the rest of the main occupying forces. The Russians have dug themselves in because Putin “has reportedly overruled his generals’ recommendations of a retreat to safer and more easily defended ground on the east bank.” No wonder they fled en masse or surrendered. On paper the Russian military strength is more superior than Ukraine’s. Russian equipment on the battlefield reveals that the Kremlin’s main problem is not one of capabilities, but of manpower – low morale, subpar training and corruption. The war is far from over, and Putin is in it for a long haul. It remains to be seen whether he, despite humiliating setbacks, will come under growing pressure from the public at home and foreign partners – like China and India – abroad, if he can't reverse the losses soon.
Garth (Vestal, NY)
The Ukrainians, with the help of weapons from the West, are winning. They will win, so long as the West, the U.S. in particular, doesn't get weak and remove its support. It's time for U.S. defense contractors to talk sense to GOP members of Congress. The Republicans might be wringing their hands over the cost of supporting Ukraine, but the whole world is witnessing how effective U.S. weapons are against the Russians. Not only are they witnessing, their getting in line to purchase similar weaponry. This war is the greatest sales pitch the weapons industry has ever had. That is something that should appeal to Republicans.
Tim Clark (Los Angeles)
@Garth American weapons are no doubt important in Ukraine's defense of its nation. However, the main factor in Ukraine's battle success to date is the same factor in most victorious wars: the fighting spirit of its troops, especially when compared to that of the Russians.
Matt (Melbourne Australia)
@Garth I don't think it's the cost that's causing hand-wringing. They are in thrall to Putin lock-stock-and-barrel. That's the real danger, not only to the Ukrainians, but to the world.
Dr Dan Woodard (florida)
@Tim Clark It could have easily gone the other way. On the eve of the invasion many in Ukraine were sympathetic to Russia. Had Biden put American boots on the ground as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would have been the invaders, and it would have been impossible for Zelensky to unite his country. It was a fine line. We should move faster with our logistical support but it is the right strategy.
Andrew Szakmary (Henrico, VA)
I applaud Biden for his handling of Ukraine since the current enhanced Russian invasion began in February. That said, however, I wonder if Putin would have escalated the way he did had Biden not precipitously withdrawn U.S. forces from Afghanistan against the advice of all of his military advisors, making the U.S. appear to be weak. Moreover, Biden was Vice President in 2014 when Putin seized Crimea and much of the Donbas and then-President Obama did virtually nothing in response - again, I wonder how much of a role Biden’s pacifism played in that decision. And yes, I still remember Obama’s ridicule of Romney in the 2012 presidential debates when the latter stated that Russia was a major foreign policy challenge for the U.S. So, long story short, overall, I am less than impressed with how the Democrats have handled Ukraine and Russia and in any case don’t find that to be sufficient reason to vote for them in 2022 when Trump is not on the ballot and stimulus and monetary policy-fueled inflation is destroying my finances.
Norman Barnes (Seattle)
@Andrew Szakmary Taking the last first, inflation is hitting most industrialized nations and is driven far more by supply chain issues and the price of oil (over which Biden has virtually no control) than any action taken by the Biden administration. To the extent that stimulus, much of it driven by the economic downturn caused by COVID, by the Democrats has marginally contributed to inflation, those infusions into the economy also prevented a much deeper and more destructive economic recession that would have done far more harm and led to a slow and feeble recovery as we saw in the Obama years after the financial meltdown. As for Crimea and Donbas in 2014, yes the world's reaction was less than it should have been but there would have been and indeed was scant support anywhere for a more robust response. And at least the Obama administration didn't kiss Mr Putin's rear end unlike his Republican successor with nary a peep from congressional Republicans. So yes please do reward the right-wing half-Putin supporting party to win more power so that they can carry out their plan to do precisely nothing to combat inflation except blame Biden for it. Makes perfect sense.
Frank (Baltimore)
@Norman Barnes Add, too, that by the time Biden came to power, there had already been a large drawdown of troops in Afghanistan which would have been massively difficult to reverse.
Benjamin Kahn (New York)
@Andrew Szakmary Trump is TOTALLY on the ballot in these 2022 elections, in a little over a week. Your voting for Republicans now will help ensure Trump’s return to power, which, if we’ve been paying any attention at all, will not depend on winning the 2024 election. It doesn’t matter at all who “wins” the election. No matter what, the Republicans for whom you plan to vote 10 days from now are shamelessly, publicly planning to declare the election a fraud within hours after the voting stops (actually, surely, during the voting); after which the processes to determine the presidency, as mandated by our Constitution. will be used to usher Trump into the Oval Office, by the Republican officials who will be in election-managing and state-legislative positions to be able to do so, whom you will have helped to get there. THIS is the election that determines whether Trump’s 2024 coup attempts succeeds. As of right now, it is not looking good. Anyone planning to vote for Republicans now because “Trump isn’t on the ballot” in 2022 has not been paying attention.
Edmund Mander (New York City)
By using artillery to target military assets, it would seem the Ukrainians are introducing the Russians to a novel concept in warfare.
bubba (TN)
With this proxy war for over nine months and still going, would any one need an explanation about the big inflation we are having ?
Adam (Poland)
The inflation that started before the war? And is not just a US problem? Is that the inflation you mean?
Robert Goodell (Baltimore)
@bubba Predictably Ukraine is experiencing substantial inflation s they try to finance the war at the same time they keep essential services and start rebuilding. Since they are a free market country and have a floating exchange rate, you can see the inflation reflected in the changing exchange rate. But I have seen turkey’s and Argentina’s inflation much worse. The countries nearby are, net/net, doing ok; some concern about heating, some stimulus from the war effort.
A. Citizen (U.S.A.)
@bubba Apparently you need an explanation about everything that has been happening in the last few years. Inflation is everywhere. Covid-19, the virus not the bailout, shutdown manufacturing and the global supply chain creating massive shortages and driving up prices significantly. If Europe and the U.S. hadn’t stepped in to help Ukraine Putin would already be invading one, two or more previous USSR countries because he has publicly stated that the Soviet Union should have never broken up and he very much wants it to return.
Tim Clark (Los Angeles)
I'm seeing many posts expressing concern that the newly-elected Republican Congress will restrict weapons support for Ukraine. Such restrictions would have to originate in the House, as GOP senators have expressed support for Ukraine. When President Theodore Roosevelt desired to send the navy's Great White Fleet on a tour to the Far East to show the flag, Congress threatened to withhold funding the expedition. Teddy just sent the fleet anyway, saying in effect: If Congress wants our Navy back, they will find the resources for it. Similarly, should Congress restrict weapons funding for Ukraine, the President can simply give more of our army's munitions to Ukraine (we have plenty) and let Congress backfill the difference. Which, considering that munitions manufacturing is (by design) a wide-ranging job creator in many congressional districts, would not be a hard sell.
M Ford (USA)
@Tim Clark I voted for Trump. All the Trump supporters and Republicans I know criticize the Democrats for not doing enough to help Ukraine. Obama vetoed javelins and lethal aid deliveries authorizes by Republicans twice. Trump authorized them. The Democrats and the liberal media didn't understand the Republicans and Elon Musk when they said that we can't continue giving free support to Ukraine forever.
Marcus (Australia)
@Tim Clark I sincerely hope you are correct.
A. Citizen (U.S.A.)
@Tim Clark Sadly not how it works now.
Espoir (Canada)
Much depends on NATO's maintaining strong material support for Ukraine through the coming winter.
Robert Goodell (Baltimore)
@Espoir Agree. It will be a tough winter for many NATO countries, and tougher for the Ukrainians. But I say we keep supporting them because the alternative of a Russia Triumphant is a true nightmare to all of Europe and beyon Besides, Russia is now the valet of Xi , and must perform its services as he desires. Before we take on the Chinese in the Pacific, we’d better leave the Russians licking their wounds. Let them have Russia; with a declining Slavic population it will be filled with Central Asians and Chinese soon enough.
Mutt Furball (The Great Flyover)
Excellent! Give Ukraine everything they ask for times 2 and let them finish the Russian Army.
Max (Canada)
@Mutt Furball Somehow I get the feeling that the public is not told the full story and only given the rosy picture. Probably to keep the money train rolling.
Hieronymous Bosch (Antarctica)
Russia's unjustified war of aggression and terror deserves to be defeated.
Peter (Honolulu, Hawaii)
For once we are supporting a worthy government and cause that appears (with our continued support) to have a good chance to prevail against the evil corrupt Putin regime.
michjas (Phoenix)
This article largely ignores Russia’s overall strategy. The Russians care less about territory than infrastructure. Who controls a spot of land matters far less to them than whether Ukraine has the infrastructure to power its turbines and deliver energy to freezing climes from Kyiv to the Northeast. If the Russians can cut off power where it’s needed in January, Ukraine’s fate is uncertain. The discussion of weaponry focuses on territorial domination. That surely matters. But if the Ukrainians have no heat where temperatures are sub-freezing every day for months, the Russians are hoping that they will hold the cards no matter who has the shinier weapons.
Subscriber (Canada)
@michjas Ukrainians fighting an existential war on their own land are not going to be cowed by a lack of electricity or heating. They will likely be more furious at the Russians for imposing hardship. They will fight for their freeedom with greater resolve. Pillage and plunder might have worked in earlier centuries but it isn't what it used to be.
Michael (Barcelona)
Ukrainians are willing to die for their autonomy but they’re not willing to go without heat in the winter? I think your comment severely underestimates the will of the Ukrainian people.
Disgruntled Humanist (Missouri)
@michjas Were I in this situation, Putin would just be helping my resolve to crush his hopes that much more. Collectively, we can send aid, blankets, and other material to mitigate the hardships. We just need to have the resolve, though.
PaulB67 (South Of North Carolina)
If I'm a Ukrainian front-line soldier this is good news. But, change is coming, and I don't mean bad winter weather. I mean Republican control of Congress, and a threatened hold up of the debt ceiling unless we cut spending to Ukraine. Like many Americans, I honor Ukraine's prodigious effort to repel Russian attacks. It is underserved and violates andy and all rules of laws between and among nations. But not all Americans are interested in preserving democratic government . . .
Bill (SF)
@PaulB67 Well-stated. The disappointment for me is that this is not America's war. Europe couldn't even calm-down the Balkins, and now they're sitting on their hands again. Sure the American military-industrial complex is thrilled, but as a tax payer, I'm a bit bummed that Germany, France, etc aren't handling this issue on their frontier themselves...
Subscriber (Canada)
@PaulB67 Preserving democratic government ... as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam or wherever else? No, the Ukrainians are fighting their own war of existence and inviting anyone who wishes to lend logistical support to do so. They are stuggling to win their own freedom by putting their own necks on the line and are succeeding. Logistical help from other countries has helped enormously but it isn't the essence of the conflict. Americans should help because it is the correct thing to do. No reason to make politics out of it. If the GOP is too cheap to see it that way, so be it.
David (Victoria, Australia)
@Bill From what Ive seen Americans in general seem to have no problem beating their chests over the size and perceived capabilities of ' the military'. It's about the one thing MAGAs point to when asked about Trump's achievements. Put it to good use I say.
Mark (CA)
I enjoy the NY Times reporting, but some times there is too much info in here. For example, acknowledging that the US is using its satellites to provide coordinates for a target. If I were Putin, I would view this as direct US involvement in the war. He has every right to shoot down/destroy any Satellites over Russia.
John Mark Evans (Austin)
@Mark During WWll it would be inconceivable for the press to disclose this much info to the enemy.
Carl (UsA)
@John Mark Evans that's because the press controlled the flow of information in WW2. Nowadays the internet makes it impossible to hide much about where the troops actually are. Western news are normally careful with names, locations, and any plans they might hear. If they weren't, they wouldn't be allowed there
ISH (NYC)
@John Mark Evans True. Americans did not even know that Stalins war was fought with the majority of all weapons supplied by the US. Roosevelt kept that secret from most people. In 1999 Archives were opened and the truth is available for research. If you can get to Moscow. Putin wants to keep them once again a secret. But surely many have made copies since then.
rjs7777 (NK)
The Russian war criminals are like locusts infesting Ukraine. It is legal and highly moral to dismantle war criminals on the battlefield. But the real goal is to teach Russian society this deep lesson. Your young men who you send on this criminal junket are all liable for death. Each one of them is a lawful target for liquidation. These are your young men. Shame on you, shame on your people for these crimes. Are you a criminal people? When will you master this evil that plagues you? If you commingle Russian civilization with this criminality, it endangers the Russian civilization. After the Ukraine war is won by the democracies, what will you do then? Will you have the courage to adapt to your reality, or will you turn this cruelty inward on yourselves?
CWS (California)
Not enough. In the end America has blood on its hands. Remember when we took away the 1,500 nuclear weapons from Ukraine and gave them to Russia? We promised to protect them. It means we go to war. If not let’s do what we do best. Walk away and let China fix it.
Older than Dirt (Recliner)
@CWS Agreed - let's give Ukraine nukes comparable to what they lost. (Not kidding.)
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
I prefer we NOT walk away.
Robert Goodell (Baltimore)
@CWS Xi is content that the Eastern barbarians are fighting Western barbarians. A old dictum from Chinese strategic history.
Vivian (California)
"The Russian military remains a formidable force, with cruise missiles, a sizable army and millions of rounds of artillery shells," Formidable? They are losing equipment without the ability to replace it. Logistically, they have failed on multiple fronts repeatedly. Most essentially, providing basic resources to their only, seemingly unlimited resource: soldiers. But, how long with the Russian people support sending their sons to this meatgrinder? There is a finite amount of weaponry and goodwill.
Big Boomer (San Francisco)
@Vivian The solution to the Ukraine War will be political not as a military victory. If Elon Musk continues to block Internet access to portions of the country, that will have a major impact in a fairly short time.
John Mark Evans (Austin)
@Big Boomer Any 'political solution' will be the child of the military facts on the ground. Thus it has ever been, thus it will ever be.
bill (southwest)
@Vivian Just as in the US, those fighting the war in Ukraine for the Russians are from the rural areas and small towns. Those in the urban areas in both countries are technically advanced and find ways out of conscription as many did in the Vietnam War. Those in the armed forces are not the best and brightest a country has, just the dregs.
John (Orlando)
These are the heroes of our time.
afflatus (thunder bay)
As he loses his war, Putin's hail Mary will be doing everything he can to get Trump elected in 2024....he was successful in 2016, so you never know....
Shane Lynch (New Zealand)
@afflatus Putin won't have to wait that long. If the midterms deliver the Senate and Congress to the Republicans, Putin wins. All they have to do is withdraw any funding for the war saying there are more important things back home to spend the money on, that it's not Americas war etc. It will make Biden a lame duck POTUS as it is Congress who decides war. Without America, it's unlikely that the rest will continue supporting Ukraine. The best Ukraine could hope for is to keep what they have left. The Republican base will lap it up - I'm surprised they haven't been campaigning on it.
Disgruntled Humanist (Missouri)
@afflatus Agreed. He did it once fooling our kin. He probably can do it again and this time he has willing conspirators in the Republican elites.
Anthony (Hernandez)
Curious we are defending a nation that has a robust free-ish healthcare system and likewise universities. We should take note !
IntlGuy (Florida)
@Anthony Agreed! Take note as in: How is it that we are virtually the ONLY advanced nation that has not implemented these steps, and that even lots of intermediate developing nations have managed to do so.....
Insider (DC)
@Anthony I don't think the health care is free, nor the universities. Doctors and professors cost money. Buildings cost money. Perhaps what you meant to say is that someone other than the recipient of the services is pay the bill. That is very different than saying it is "free."
Peabody (EEUU)
@Insider, What's wrong with that? Did you fully pay for bridges you cross? No, you did not, though you reap the benefits. That's one of the fundamental functions of society. Those universities and doctors provide just as much, if not more to the common good that a bridge you might cross, that you did not fully pay for yet use.
Edmund Hackman (Wolfeboro,NH)
When I was in the US Army I was instructed that artillery is the main infantry killer. True 150 years ago as it is today. When you have artillery whereby you can reach them but they cannot reach you is not going to be pleasant for those newly mobilized Russian soldiers.
Blueandgreen802 (Madison, WI)
No wonder Russia is taking out Ukraine's electrical infrastructure and terrorizing civilians. They are losing militarily. This article gives me hope the Ukrainians can hold on and win as long as they have supplies. But Putin cannot lose. Who knows what dirty tricks he will try next.
Bwspmn (North America)
@Blueandgreen802 I think it is a little more accurate to say that Putin cannot lose and remain in power. It seems clear he is losing at this point.
Scott (St. Petersburg FL)
@Bwspmn Everything I'm reading suggests that if Putin loses his grip on power he also likely dies.
Eatoin Shrdlu (Long Island NY)
Ukraine “wins” if its people manage to hold on to what they had when things started, and their allies do not prove “summer friends”. In the US, a $1 increase in a gallon of gas is enough to turn voters towards isolationist candidates who claim the “US is giving away necessary arms” to a nation tfg’s administration demonized for not practicing fealty to the man, not the US. Europe and Africa face a much tougher ride. It might well be time for NATO naval forces to provide escort’s through Ukraine and international waters to allow the “breadbasket of the region” to export grain and import fuel. I didn’t say “cross into Russian waters” and this needs be done with lots of transparency - letting the Russians know a convoy, under escort, will be moving out/in along a given path at a given time, and that attacks in Ukraine territorial or international waters will be an act of war. Putin can lose - if the Russian people are kept informed by a steady supply of straight news, something the past administration decided was not in our interests to keep broadcasting on various radio and Internet US stations, reducing our credibility. And direct negotiations without Ukrainian at the table must be prevented. Backchannel talks are fine - but no public talks with Russia about Ukraine unless Ukraine is there and willing.
M Ford (USA)
It is good to see the Democrats join the Republicans in supporting Russia in Ukraine. Twice, the Republicans in congress authorized lethal aid to Ukraine, including the famous javelins. Twice Obama vetoed it. When Trump became president, he authorized the lethal aid, including the javelins. The liberal media reported that Trump delayed the delivery of the javelins to Ukraine. After Biden took office, the Republicans returned to voicing concerns that the Democrats would return to under supporting Ukraine. They criticized the Democrats for not doing enough to help Ukraine. The liberal media reported that this criticism was to support Putin and Russia. I've never understood the logic or the reasoning, but I have accepted the fact that the Democrats consider arming Ukraine and supporting Ukraine the same as supporting Putin and Russia. It's disappointing that Obama didn't support the Republicans and Russia earlier instead of vetoing pro-Russian arms deliveries to Ukraine.
John (PA-C)
@M Ford This is satire, right?
Eatoin Shrdlu (Long Island NY)
Nonsense - in 20/20 hindsight, prematurely arming Ukraine would still have been a Bad Idea. It would have advanced Putin’s claims that the US and “the West” is promoting war. Then, it was Trump who tried to block aid, extorting the Ukraine government to create a fraudulent “investigation” aimed at benefiting the man, not the US. Now it’s a group of Republicans who are demanding the US stop aiding Ukraine. Yes, it’s my opinion, based on facts, that prematurely arming Ukraine would have been dangerous. But: Please get facts straight before stating a contradictory opinion, and at least explain why you feel as you do. Opinions should be supported by facts, which, of course, are selected from every available truth. But you never stated a belief about what would have happened if Ukraine were armed before any invasion, subsequent actions, and who is saying what now.
Fry (Walnut Creek, CA)
@John Nope, just a Republican in 2022. Understandable mistake. The party is more dark comedy than political movement at this point.
Jaegerle (Heidelberg)
Putin does what he has been proven to do best: play the big poker party with a foul trump in his sleeve: his governor of the US, DJ Trump. Waiting to come back to pull the US out of NATO which would thus fall apart, revert the country to the good old Christian values, install a white supremacist kingdom and Make Russia Great Again. Only because Joe the Plumber voted against inflation, gas price rises and globalization, and for isolationism, open carry and 'owning the libs' (whatever he thinks that is). And because the youngsters skip the elections, quoting the old adage "if elections could change anything they'd be forbidden". Poor Ukranian children.
JCA (Los Angeles)
NATO will never fall apart, specially when Putin’s war has shown them they can handle Russia easily. The USA on the other hand, will need NATO in a confrontation with China.
Christine (OH)
It occurs to me that the traitorous segment of the Republican party are doing everything they can to distract from this success of Biden administration planning .After starting wars and supporting various corrupt politicians and military/industrial complexes that won't fight for their countries but only for dollars, resulting in lost wars, abandoned freedoms and wasted taxpayer dollars, the GOP wants to stop Biden receiving any credit for this intelligent organizational success. Just as it has sabotaged the success against Covid, even as it means the deaths of thousands of Americans. They cannot allow people to believe that government can be a positive force for humane ends and in support of freedom. They are also envious that they can't muster enough intelligence among themselves to plan anything bigger than grievance parties, gang taunting or sending out chaotic raiding parties of thugs. This hatred-of-America gang in the GOP no longer acts with patriotism and principle but only for their own power and wealth.
A.X. (Central NJ)
@Christine - Yep. It's been clear for quite some time now that GOP's lip service to patriotism, morality, law enforcement and workers' well-being is nothing more than a scam to harvest the gullible vote. Once they get into office, all they ever do is deliver tax cuts to the rich and benefits cuts to everyone else. If you really want America First in action rather than in empty talk, Joe Biden is your guy.
Miss Marple (New zealand)
Ukraine is the gateway into Europe and represents all of Democracies values unlike the undisciplined, lawless, disorderly, Russians who are just a bunch of thieving criminals that rape, loot,& steal other peoples assets whilst calling themselves soldiers. It doesn't matter what happens in the future as Ukraine has already won, as the once peaceful, serene democracy has exposed the propaganda & war crimes of a once respected country that was on the right side of history during World War Two. Russia has gone rogue & is now a terrorist, fascist state, that rough rides over international laws & have been exposed for the con-artist, criminal flakes they are. You never win by trying to force other people to do what you want them to do, because of greed & wanting other people's land, assets, time. The only problem Ukraine has, are the criminal Russian invaders who could leave sovereign Ukraine, voluntarily, at any time they want to but don't. Dictatorships never end well. It doesn't matter how psychotic, lying Russia tries to explain their invasion, as it has been proven to be full of contradictions & war crimes & a holocaust genocide. There needs to be more told about the innocent victims & what Russia did to them. it is a heavy load that the President of Ukraine carries when he has the evidence of what the Russians are doing to his citizens yet Russia just keeps on denying, denying, denying. Just like Iran denying it is supplying weapons to Russia. Violence is never OK.
Eatoin Shrdlu (Long Island NY)
Ok, but “undisciplined”? Russia’s problem is its leaders, with a few notable Perestroika leaders, have disciplined the opposition dead.
Lawrence (Washington D.C.)
You can fill a train car with dumb shells, or a deuce and a half with smart shells and get the same or better results. Or you can blanket an area with forty grad rockets to get the same effect as one smart munition. Ammunition costs per volley may be the same, but one is far easier to supply Precision artillery means you also don't wear out the barrels as rapidly. A smaller replenishment stockpile needed. Persons not needed to maintain a supply train can be put to even more lethal uses. Funny that the geeky kids who spent time in their mothers basement building computers, drones, and robots are now saviors of their nation. Open source information shows of a party in Sevastopol involving the Black Sea Fleet. . Could the Times source satellite photography to confirm what happened?
Scott (St. Petersburg FL)
@Lawrence I agree. The Ukrainians are taking all the weapons systems and intel that we will give them. But then they are taking all of that to the next level through their creativity and courage. I hope you saw the article a while back about Ukrainian use of light vehicles-- like Ford 150's-- to zip around Russian lines and light them up from the rear. I wouldn't be surprised if the Pentagon is learning a thing or two from our Ukrainian brothers. The sooner we get them into NATO the better.
Beantownah (Boston)
This is total war. Putin is acting accordingly. Occasionally he heeds reason (the grain deal, now repudiated), but increasingly he seems open to the counsel of his brutalist generals from the successful Syrian campaign, who subjugated the population by killing, gassing, or bombing them into submission. There, as here, a key strategic advantage for Putin is that the US will stay out of his way, while trying to cautiously work the margins so as not to look completely impotent. In Syria, by loitering on the sidelines at one remote outpost or another. In Ukraine, by supplying the resistance with weapons and ammo, but doing so incrementally (can't be too cautious, the Americans agree). We continue to think we are playing a polite game of Risk. Putin is waging a war. The Chinese watch from a safe distance and take notes. Will the Americans fight - for anything? The answer, for now, is no.
Fry (Walnut Creek, CA)
@Beantownah And you're suggesting what, exactly? Direct NATO intervention? That's a ridiculous idea for reasons I shouldn't have to explain. We're doing as much as we reasonably can at this point. The war will be won or lost with western weapons and the determination of Ukrainians. We can only hope Putin doesn't completely lose perspective and do something truly crazy.
Mark Hall (Kraków Poland)
Billions of dollars of aid have been given to Ukraine by the USA.. billions.. We also have no idea of what kind of covert ops are going on .. if Ukraine was a member of NATO then we would have boots on the ground. But it isn’t.. don’t pretend we are doing nothing..
Beantownah (Boston)
@Mark Hall @Fry Of course, we are doing a great job. Fabulous. Putin has stopped slaughtering women and children, no longer bombs cities and villages, and has withdrawn his legions, while apologizing for plunging the world into financial and political chaos, and for triggering a famine in the Middle East and Africa. All because of us. USA. Hooray us. What's the NFL game lineup tomorrow? And don't forget, only 56 shopping days 'til Christmas.
PureRed (Mississippi Born and Bred)
No one has said it but the thought that once Ukraine has driven these Russian pests out - they will be within their rights to demand compensation for all this savage destruction. But who will pay for the murders and rapes by these Russians? How will these Ukrainian parents ever forgive the deaths of their children? As difficult as it will be, let America be on the right side of this unnatural war. I believe that righteous decision is what makes this country strong.
Greg (Lyon, France)
@PureRed Who paid the victims of US war crimes in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq? Yes, the Russians should pay …. Just as soon as the Americans have paid.
I.Keller (France)
@Greg: pure whataboutism. And on top of false equivalencies..
A.X. (Central NJ)
@PureRed - I read Russia's assets abroad total some $300 billion. It can and should be used to recompense the victims of Russia's barbarity.
G. Sears (Johnson City, Tenn.)
High tech version of insane trench warfare that is essentially a grinding stalemate and not an inkling of any viable effort to broker an end to a war that kills hundreds daily and grinds Ukraine into a wasteland and an ever expanding humanitarian disaster. This while Putin remains doggedly committed and essentially unscathed by a questionable sanctions regime that has failed to produce any signs of his ending his criminal invasion.
Commenter (USA)
@G. Sears Russian history makes it highly plausible to draw a different conclusion. Russia is, practically speaking, moscow, St. Petersburg and the lands between. The rest is not so committed to the cause
Kirk C (Delmar, NY)
The forever war has a new playing field to profit the military-industrial complex.
Donald Smith (Anchorage, Alaska)
@Kirk C Would you prefer that the manufacturers of our nation's military equipment not make a profit? The profit motive is one reason why our equipment is so much better than Russia's.
Douglas Evans (San Francisco)
I believe the point of this article is to say that this war won’t last forever. It will end when one side wins. Currently Ukraine seems to have an advantage. Philosophical musings rarely solve real world problems.
John (San Francisco)
@Donald Smith I'd be just fine with that, just as our soldiers don't make the profit, our prisons don't make a profit, and our schools don't make a profit. The government should manufacture the weapons.
Alan (Columbus OH)
The article makes no mention of Ukrainian tank rounds because direct-fire weapons like a tank's main gun or machine guns cannot compete in range with guided artillery and airborne weapons. Even in the role of moving a drone team, a relatively quiet SUV is used, not a large armored vehicle. It makes one wonder what the role of a tank would be in any way against even a reasonably well-equipped foe. Perhaps a better investment than building a more modernized tank would be creating self-propelled artillery or (more likely) rocket launchers capable of crossing rivers on their own. It sounds like using an existing bridge or waiting on the river banks for a pontoon bridge to be set up could quite hazardous to one's health.
Donald Smith (Anchorage, Alaska)
@Alan It is the wrong kind of battlefield for tanks. Tanks depend on speed, maneuverer and fire power. As static weapons they are targets.
Scott (St. Petersburg FL)
@Alan I think the Ukraine-Russia war is teaching the Pentagon a lot. This fight started out completely asymmetrical. Now it isn't. Ukraine is fighting with both conventional units and insurgents. As noted, Ford F-150's are replacing tanks in many instances. If Putin sees no alternative to ratcheting matters up by using WMD's, the West will be forced to provide comprehensive air defense for Ukraine including anti-ballistic missile systems. Check and mate.
John (Hartford)
These precision guided weapons being provided to Ukraine by principally the US and Britain are game changers. Essentially, the Russians are in the main using masses of 60's/70's era artillery with ranges of 15-25 miles. I've experienced what that era ordnance can do and it is not nice but it cannot compare with systems like HIMARS with a range of about 57 miles and 200 pound HE warheads that can be guided precisely onto a target that has been spotted by drones or satellite observation. The effect on Russian troop casualties and morale must be devastating. 57 miles away. Think about it. Russian convoy driving down the highway or hunkered down. Not a care in the world. Furthermore, although it doesn't get talked about, they are highly mobile and have early warning systems that enable them to avoid retaliation. Don't know how many have been supplied but I suspect it's more than admitted. Given that most of the Russian air force is grounded because of effective Ukrainian air defense systems, the Russians do not have an answer. And, of course, it's great real world test experience for NATO weapon systems.
Scott (St. Petersburg FL)
@John I feel a little guilty to say this, but....nice to have a war that seems straight out of a Tom Clancy novel.
John (Hartford)
@Scott I suspect it doesn't feel like Tom Clancy to the kids participating in this.
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
@John And it's crazy to think, apropos Himars, that the Ukrainians are shellacking the Russians with one hand tied behind their back.... If they were given ATACMS (with the proviso to only be used on Ukrainian soil, of course; but that includes Crimea), then this whole thing would be wrapped up even sooner... since then there wouldn't be a rail-yard within occupied Ukraine that the AFU couldn't reach out and touch at leisure. In other words: it's not just that the Russians in their mendacious, overweening, self-preening falsehood are getting defeated... but every military analyst the world over now knows that, if the gloves truly came off, their invading force in Ukraine could be wiped off the map in just a few weeks. Conventionally. At will. If I was a Russian general knowing everything the Allies have still held back (western MBTs/Jets/Reaper, Predator, Grey Eagle Drones/etc...), I would be terrified. Putin's delusional army appears to still have no idea what its up against/how deep the well of resources of the Allies actually goes.... American lend-lease won WW2. Almost single-handedly. It mechanized the Red Army (who otherwise would have collapsed in 1943); just like it helped float the Chinese during their war with Hirohito... (and without which the Japanese Navy would never have surrendered). Lend-lease made the modern world, in short; it really is not something to go up against lightly. Everything's suggesting Putin is not just evil, but plain stupid....
Far Sighted Owl (Deep Woods of the Ozarks)
I am continually impressed with the tenacity and fortitude with which Ukrainian military exhibit in combating the Russian invaders. Imagine what they could do if provided with American and German tanks.
Chuck (Seattle)
@Far Sighted Owl Or better yet, if we supplied them with fighter jets which we should have done months ago. Poland had a great plan to provide Ukraine with their Russian made jets, which Ukrainian pilots were already trained to fly, and we would replace them with F-16's to Poland, thus modernizing the Polish Air Force, a win-win.
Scott (St. Petersburg FL)
@Far Sighted Owl yeah. Ukrainians are in a fight for their very culture. I say give 'em our entire fleet of A-10's and let 'em go "orc" hunting.
Ed C Man (HSV)
INTEL, using drones and other battlefield sensors permits Ukraine to shoot longer range, higher precision artillery shells like a sniper. "One shot, one kill." Ukraine artillery now has the ability to stand off and destroy Russian artillery as well as front line ammo dumps and combat vehicles. Then, once Ukraine can position their long range HIMARS to interrupt the narrow supply routes exiting Crimea, it appears Ukraine could force Russia's southern campaign troops to retreat back toward Melitopol.
Pete Tirp (Bakersfield, CA)
Terrific reporting by Andrew Kramer and your team in Ukraine. It reminds me of John Burns' work in Bosnia during the early 1990s. Describing area-wide strategies and the grungy reality daily confronting soldiers is something that's easy to say but really difficult to convey to civilian readers thousands of miles away. All credit to Kramer and to the NYT's coverage of a very active war zone. This type of coverage turns the phrase "paper of record" from a cliche to a realistic description.
Son Of Liberty (nyc)
It's horrifying that one American political party's former president called Vladimir Putin a "Genius" and if the GOP controls congress, it will withdraw military support for the Ukrainians because they have the same "heartfelt" values as Russia's dictatorship.
The Poet McTeagle (California)
@Son Of Liberty Do not underestimate the power of the Military Industrial Complex. There's money being made sending US weapons to Ukraine, so the lobbyists will be busy paying--uh, convincing enough GOP members of Congress to finance further support.
Edmund Hackman (Wolfeboro,NH)
@Son Of Liberty Obama/Biden did nothing in 2014 when Putin invaded Crimea. And when Russian Separatists went into Eastern Ukraine Obama gave Ukraine forces just MRE’s and blankets. And how about when Obama spoke to the Russian President Medvedev on a hot mic moment that he would have more flexibility after the election. What’s that all about. Rather than giving blankets and MRE’s Trump gave Ukraine defensive weapons to fight Russian Separatists aggression. And did Putin invade Ukraine under the Trump Administration? Answer: no.
Stephan (Seattle)
@Edmund Hackman Trump attempted to blackmail Ukraine for defensive weapons to gain votes. Democrats forced those weapons to be delivered. Get yourself educated on what truly happened.
IntlGuy (Florida)
Kudos to the smart, dedicated freedom fighters of Ukraine. Such a shame their countrymen have to suffer the severity of the winter ahead to satisfy the whims of one madman. This is what war crime tribunals were designed to address. Here's hoping our countrymen are able to bypass the constant brainwashing of the RWNJ owned sectors of the press, to vote to maintain our freedoms, and to continue supporting those being fought for so valiantly in Ukraine.
tennvol30736 (chattanooga)
Lots of wishful thinking here. What is the number of Ukrainian vs. Russian troops? Just how much will the West continue to fund a nation, which in reality could host NATO troops and nukes within 300 miles of Moscow. Funny, how our politicians and media seem to overlook this sensitive topic. So, is the west willing to risk the threats of war, possibly devolving into nuclear, with Russia and possibly China over President Z, a comedian, (the West somehow think entertainers make good leaders) who along with his cronies, in reality want vast wealth along with vacation homes in places like Monte Carlo. How much money and for how long are we willing to loan Ukraine and their plutocrats? Ukraine's ability to export have been throttled because of their military actions against the Russia navy.
Ian (Los Angeles)
The odd syntax and the points being made here make me wonder if this is from Chattanooga, Russia.
Commenter (USA)
@tennvol30736 you realize that Putin does not want to stop with Ukraine,right? Putin wants to restore the old soviet sphere of influence despite the wishes of those who live there. That’s not a good scenario for anyone except putin himself. There is an opportunity to stop Russian designs on eastern Europe once and for all. It needs to be pursued. The US needs to stop being the world’s policeman, for sure, but it can’t realistically step back with Putin in power and Russia continuing in its present form.
Kurtis E (San Francisco, CA)
Putin helped Trump get elected. I see his defeat in Ukraine as payback for being a thug who has tried to destroy our country by meddling in our politics. The Russian people are not our enemy, but this kleptocrat and his cronies need to go. Only if Putin and his gang are delivered a humiliating defeat, will they be deterred from a similar act of aggression in the future.
Donald Smith (Anchorage, Alaska)
@Kurtis E Please share. with us how we separate the values of Putin from the Russian people? The Russian people are letting this war happen and some are enthusiastic. Russia has been thorn in the side of the United States since WWII. Without America's Lend Lease aid there would be no Russia today.
Bill (SF)
@Donald Smith Populations get corrupt leaders, even democracies. And it we're going to brag about Lend-Lease, then we need to also acknowledge that 5 out of every 6 German soldiers were taken out of action by the Russians. So that saved a lot of American lives (I'm not saying that it was our war to fight, but that's another story).
TomCat (Pittsburgh)
Putin will end up either in the square or a bunker. The entire EU is backing Ukraine with weapons, intelligence and financial support. The Muscovites must come to their senses and leave Ukraine. And don't forget to take the collaborators with you on your way across the border.
PureRed (Mississippi Born and Bred)
A move by a newly elected Republican House to appease Putin will be the death knell for so called American freedom and democracy. Is the price of your gas that important right now?
sam g (berkeley ca)
@PureRed yes it is. See how folks in your state and others vote next week. They think they have a god-given right to free gas.
John (Ocala, Fl)
The inability for shared scrafic, blaming Biden for everything. Yer without having a plan except more tax cuts for the rich and cheaper labor. It is just gas, and the price of foid.
PM (NY)
If Trump were President he would have blown up NATO and sacrificed Ukraine for a photo-op with Putin.
Greg (Lyon, France)
@PM Forget Trump. The US sacrificed Ukraine long ago.
Todd Stuart (Key West)
@PM Actually Trump wanted to leave NATO because Germany refused to meet their NATO mandated 2% of GDP spending on defense. He said that they were taking advantage of the US. And German ignored his threats. But Putin got them to double their defense spending by starting a war. Obviously Germany takes Putin more seriously than they did Trump. But now NATO is becoming a serious force for the first time since the break of the Soviet Union.
Max (Canada)
@PM Sadly if Trump were the President, everyone would had been better off. Ukraine would had accepted Russia's no-NATO demand and came to some sort of autonomy for the Russia-leaning Donbas region. There would be no war with hundreds of thousand dead. No energy crisis. Inflation would had been in check. Should I go on?
Hk (Planet Earth)
Putin is being exposed as the paper tiger that he is. Ineffectual, weak and ultimately a loser. Not unlike his American friend, the former guy.
sam g (berkeley ca)
@Hk baby By “former guy” you are referring to our next president unfortunately.
Bart (Central Virginia)
What about Prague. You gonna report about Prague?
firlfriend (usa)
Great story. Ukrainians do not want to give up their land which is a free and sovereign nation, and they want to stay that way. Stay safe there Mr. Kramer.
Bobotheclown (Pa)
Winter is coming for the unsupplied Russians. But November is coming for the Ukrainians dependent on US aid. The coming elections will be close, and it is a 50/50 chance for either party to win. The Republicans have already promised to cut aid to Ukraine and increase ties to Putin, moves which signal the doom of the democratic republic of Ukraine. So, the freedom of Ukraine is on the ballot in America and their fate rests on the fickle impulses of an emotional and disinformation driven electorate. If the Republicans win the Ukrainians might as well surrender.
Jayhawk2022 (Midlothian, VA)
@Bobotheclown I agree with you. Makes me wonder though; what's the point of having the world's largest, most technologically sophisticated military, if we don't want to support a brave country fighting off the Evil Empire.
John Virgone (Pennsylvania)
Election day is nearly upon us. All US voters would do well to understand the ramifications of a vote for the wrong party; yes the party wishing to curtail US participation in arming Ukraine and henceforth appeasing putin.
david gallardo (san luis obispo)
@John Virgone Lets follow your reasoning; The party "appeasing Putin" and ending the war (No US participation = no war) and by that I presume you mean the Republican party, versus the party that wants to prolong the war and risk nuclear annihilation, ie the Democrats. Should I vote Republican and possibly end this war, or should I vote Democrat and possibly see the end of humanity? Gee, thats a tough one.
Jeff (Northern California)
@david gallardo "Should I vote Republican and possibly end this war, or should I vote Democrat and possibly see the end of humanity?" Russians can't vote in American elections.
PeterJ (Callicoon, NY (formerly Princeton))
@david gallardo David, we're all free to vote the way we think best. But would you be so fast to quickly end this war if it were your freedom that was going to be taken away? Because, actually it is.
John (Denver)
Russia still has the advantage in that they are don’t care if they hit civilians (if they aren’t already targeting them) and almost anything they hit is going to be Ukrainian, while Ukraine has to target only Russian military targets, for fear of accidentally hurting their countrymen.
firlfriend (usa)
@John It says a lot however, that Putin had to turn to N. Korea and Iran to get weaponry. They may have rounds of shells but Russia's long- range missiles are running out.
HOUDINI (New York City)
Steady as she goes; remember human error. It is filed next to: we win because we know human error.
Greg (Lyon, France)
"American-provided M777 howitzers firing precision-guided shells ........." The US conducts a war by proxy, once again using a battlefield in a country far across the sea. The US has been arming and training the Ukrainian military since the 1990s. The Ukrainian lives and infrastructure are paying the price, while Americans watch on TV. This war should never have happened and could have been avoided if it weren't for American hegemony in Eastern Europe. Thirty years ago the new Russian Federation wanted normalized co-operative relations with the West. The Western European nations said "yes". The US said "no", because a small group of influential US neocons saw a huge and resourceful Russia as a threat to US world supremacy. The Ukrainian people deserve an apology.
Marcin (Georgia)
@Greg You make it seem like Ukraine is to blame for being invaded (victim blaming) and the US for giving ukraine the weapons to do it. Yet you live in a place that would be speaking German if not for American lives lost on your shores 90 years ago. What the ukranian people deserve is the right to determine their own masters, not some Putin puppet blaming them for their own misery.
What Is This (Gotham)
It was the Russians who put Vladimir in office.
OG MD (New York)
@Greg So Putin, as a result of US meddling, had no other option but to try to erase Ukraine by displacing, killing, raping, kidnapping and otherwise destroying millions of lives? Sorry but while the US is opportunistic, the blame for this catastrophe lies in the hands of one man.
Bruce Rozenblit (Kansas City, MO)
This is high tech warfare put to use. The weaponry we have is mind blowing. We have guided artillery shells that can hit a target about 20 miles away with an accuracy of 2 meters. These are not guided missiles, but shells fired out of a cannon. Some are fitted with an autonomous laser tracking feature that allows them to lock on and hit a moving target. Robotic artillery shells! Ukraine is a high tech nation with an army of programmers and code writers and engineers. They are using their skills to make their own effective weapons out of commercially available drones. They will continue to pick apart the Russian forces. This is asymmetrical combat, high tech style. It's like guerrilla warfare from 20 miles away. Russia underestimated Afghanistan and took a beating. It appears they are committing the same error in Ukraine. Except this time, the people they are attempting to subjugate are armed with some of the best weaponry in the world. As time goes on and the Ukrainian forces increase their capability, Russian assaults will become more of a meat grinder for their troops. Once proper anti aircraft defenses are in place, Russia's ability to strike will be severely limited. They will receive the VAMPIRE short range system by spring. All of this carnage could stop in an instant if Russia would withdraw. But Putin is more that willing to send troops into the meat grinder to satisfy his fantasies.
tennvol30736 (chattanooga)
@Bruce Rozenblit War is a meat grinder for all troops, ordinary cannon fodder for the plutocratic establishments manipulated by superficial labels. Oh cool--we love geek technology and overlook the destruction and death occurring in Ukraine.
Gary V. (Oakland, CA)
@tennvol30736 The Western countries had nothing to do with the death and destruction in Ukraine. It is all on the fascist Putin's head. He is responsible, this war is a one man's creation. If he had left Ukraine alone they would have prospered at their own rate. Instead he has set them back by at least a generation and more if he succeeds. The west could have done better by giving Ukraine fighter jets, tanks and other lethal weapons. But they are either afraid of escalation or they just wanted to grind the Russian army down.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
@Gary V. We don't want an outright war between Russia and the U.S. or other countries. That would be so much worse than the present that maybe you can't imagine it. There were many proxy wars between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. but they were all kept limited, which is better than WW III.
Peter (Denver)
Putin's best hope is to last until Trump returns as President in 2025. Trump will "bend the knee" and quickly terminate Ukraine from the US. (Trump is also extremely angry at Ukraine for not helping his re-election.) In turn Putin/Russia can continue their efforts to encourage US partisanship. Plus tighten the world economy to encourage regime change in US and Europe.
firlfriend (usa)
@Peter Nope, if TFG would have been in office, he would tell Putin that is okay. I will help you take Ukraine, which is what Putin wants. Then comes Poland, the Baltics. He wants it all, believes that USSR should be reunited.
James (Texas)
@Peter Biden's war in the Ukraine is pointless. Over 100,000 dead. 15 million have completely lost their homes. Blowing up everything and everybody. For what? So Biden can look "presidential"? Whether the Russia or the Ukrainian flag flies over a few buildings will have no real impact to the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainian people are not "winning". We had 4 years of relative peace in the Ukraine when Trump was president. That's what the world needs. Discuss it behind the scenes. Don't play arm chair general with other people's lives. I am not saying Russia should be allowed to annex Ukraine, but this war could have and in fact was, avoided until Biden came along. Perhaps the Democratic demagoguery against the concept of American exceptionalism has diminished the desire of people around the world to aspire to adopt our methods of life. I believe that was the primary impetus for the collapse of the Soviet Empire 30 years. It's time to regain that momentum. Not through bombs, but through peace, strength, health, prosperity and diplomacy
Tim B (West Coast)
Putin, not Biden, is the president of Russia.
Hopefully Clear thoughts (Southern California)
Hearing that Russian conscripts are being rushed to the front, I hope many of those drafted into the war will simply run or surrender once the battle gets heated.
Yankelnevich (Las Vegas)
One thing we need to remember about the Russians is their tragic national history. The Second World War which they call the Great Patriotic War (Вели́кая Оте́чественная война́, romanized: Velikaya Otechestvennaya voyna) cost the Russians unimaginable battlefield and civilian losses. So the Russians (and the Ukrainians) have collective memories of privation from that war that enables them to fight and take casualties far beyond what we would normally expect. The Russians have already lost their entire army in Ukraine. They now have the bare remnants of that invading force in February reinforced by 40,000 raw recruits. No doubt, the Ukrainians with their now vastly augmented and superior arms will soon liquidate that army as well. But don't expect Putin and his ultranationalist to give up. They will continue to throw young men to the slaughter while continuing to launch terror strikes against Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure. For the Russians not much has changed in 80 years or perhaps a 1000 years. The Russian way of war is annihilation. But they must be defeated.
Skeptical Cynic (NL Canada)
It must give VP and his top military command pause to reflect that they're losing a war against a much smaller neighbour whose will to fight is fueled by its refusal to be subjugated by a delusional tyrant, and whose military has only been supplied with US and other NATO weaponry, without any direct NATO involvement as yet. Talk about a reality check. Great reporting by Mr. Kramer, stay safe.
Ivermarkt (Pasadena)
All this proves is that the West is great at building high tech weapons but doesn’t know the first thing about peace. A testimony to STEM curriculums supplanting the humanities. Ukraine is probably only a preview of what fully awaits.
Becca (Seattle)
@Ivermarkt Politically the West had been in a fair degree of disunion and disarray until the Russian aggression. This seems to be one area uniting this partisan nation and much of Europe.
Michael (Barcelona)
Yes, east invades a country that aspires to be west because that country aspires to be west and that proves the west is a war monger. No disputing that logic.
Matthew (New York)
It is amazing what a high morale and motivated armed force can do against one that does not want to be there and is armed with antiques. All because of one man’s warped vision of his country and its history, most of which was stolen from Ukraine in the first place. The only way for this war to end is for Russia to lose and for Ukraine to win. Full stop.
HOUDINI (New York City)
Ukraine’s buildup of forces could also be a trick, he said. “The plans of our leadership are always unpredictable,” Major Oleksandr said, “and I like it that way.” clapping for this.
thomas bishop (LA)
if morale, command and supply logistics are as bad as some say, the ukrainian forces can offer outlet for surrender and prisoner exchanges. few want to fight in a conscripted war, especially without sufficient means of defending oneself or keeping warm. in order to fight to death, and to kill, one must believe in the cause.
Michael Anthony (Dallas, USA)
The Ukrainians have fought valiantly. We must continue to support Ukraine as they assert their quest for an independent nation state and democracy with Western values and reject Russian domination. We should be lead in equipping the Ukrainians with long range precision missiles, tanks, artillery, fighter and bomber jets to win this war decisively. Giving them the capability to hit military targets deep into Russia to inflict pain and destruction to them. The only way to defeat a bully is to punch him in the face again and again. Take off the gloves. Let us hope that the unreliable GOP does not cave in to the recent nativist America-first (me-first) movement that is tearing our great nation apart. Vote!
SIT (Santa Monica)
It will be nice that NYT readers will be provided with the source of all the claims about the Russian poor performance and inept capabilities. Any of this been verified by our intelligence? Know your enemy is the first rule to fight and hopefully win the war. What is the end game for us as Americans? Any chance this will drag us and our allies directly to the war? Are we to continue flirting in this war as long as we are not putting our soldiers in harms way? How long can we keep supplying weapons and economic aid to a war that has no end in sight? If the US tactic is to weaken the Russians, I believe, it is poor but if its our strategy its a disaster. Direct talks with the Russians with a big stick can achieve more for us. We both need each other facing the Global challenges. Russia, I believe, is not a long term threat to us. Let’s not lose sight. China is and will continue to be the real threat to us. Better pacify Russia today by offering some carrots before they come under the influence of the People’s Republic of China and act together like one unified front.
Becca (Seattle)
@SIT Russia is holding the cards here and blocking paths to peaceful offramps. Disingenuous threats by Putin regarding 'Ukrainian dirty bombs' (given that Ukraine is known to have actively denuclearized) suggests no intentions of offering terms or backing down anytime soon.
Steve LaPorte (Seattle)
@SIT A dictator like Putin is a long term threat to Europe, and therefore to the world. The Russian army must be completely defeated in Ukraine and forced to retreat into Russia. Such a defeat will send a clear message to other dictators with plans to invade democratic countries.
JerryV (NYC)
@Becca, Actually, Ukraine gave up its nuclear material to Russia, as part of a treaty in which Russia and the U.S, would guarantee the safety of a nuclear-free Ukraine.
Richard Wilson (Boston,MA)
It is curious to me that for all the considerations of military advantages described by Andrew E. Kramer, the one thing he doesn't mention is that the Ukrainian military advantage will become increasingly perilous if Republicans gain Congressional power. This is not mere speculation, we all witnessed what happened during the Trump administration. The combination of energy shortages along with higher prices will strain the NATO alliance. Without continued American leadership the Ukrainians will be facing even more difficult times. Putin hasn't supported the Republican party for nothing. He believes that his victory is dependent on their victories as well.
James (Texas)
@Richard Wilson I think an end to this war would be a good thing. The less people die and the fewer are displaced, the better. It doesn't really matter to the Ukrainian people whether a Russian or Ukrainian flag flies over a few government buildings. Obama opted to allow Russia to take Crimea in a largely bloodless conflict. Trump managed a relative peaceful period without Russia taking Ukrainian territory. Biden has failed to prevent human death and suffering.
Alex (Tacoma, WA)
@James Trump had the lucky timing of being in between Russian western invasions. Russia was still committed to Syrian war. Ludicrous to blame Biden on this war and death toll just like blaming higher COVID death toll on Trump. Trump would just vilify and blame Ukraine while idolizing Putin as he does.
Jaegerle (Heidelberg)
@James I recently came to know quite a lot of Ukranians. They live here around the corner, you know. I have yet to meet one to whom "it really doesn't matter whether a Russian or Ukranian flag flies over a few government buildings". It's a matter of life or death for most of them, for the sake of their children. It doesn't really matter if a US or a Mexican flag flies over a few Texas government buildings, does it.
vishmael (madison, wi)
Absent so far from reporting of Ukraine conflict - Has US naval forces deployed in Black Sea? US public would be last to know as Russian surveillance doubtless tracks every move.
Michael (Barcelona)
You think Russia wouldn’t report US naval forces shadowing Russia in the Black Sea? So why wouldn’t we know if the US Navy was in the Black Sea? The Russian govt bans US media in Russia, the US doesn’t reciprocate.
Some (Somewhere)
@vishmael US military ships or for that matter military ships of any nation not having a Black Sea coast and not based in Black Sea (see Russian pacific fleet) are not allowed into Black Sea per 1920s treaty. Turkey wouldn’t allow them to pass thru from the Mediterranean Sea
Thollian (BC)
Russia is a huge country with more people than money relative to their neighbours, so strategically they have always emphasized quantity over quality. They took this view, especially, with their artillery. If you have more guns and ammo, they reckoned, accuracy is less important. Fire 20 rounds at the target and one of them should hit. Those 20 dumb rounds are still cheaper than one smart round, and if the other 19 cause collateral damage, well, don’t pick a fight with Russia. Sympathy is another quality they don’t emphasize. That attitude served them for a hundred years, but it’s being tested to destruction in Ukraine today.
JerryV (NYC)
@Thollian, This is accurate. One of the Soviet strategies in WWII was that if advancing Soviet troops encountered a mine field, they were ordered to continue advancing through the minefield without first clearing the mines. Their argument was that their casualty rate from exploding mines would be similar to what would have occurred if they had to advance through opposing dug-in troops. Stalin never much cared about his serfs, a habit that his successor Putin continues to follow.
john keeley (beavercreek oregon)
Being able to hit without getting hit is a game changer .
Karl (Boston)
My how the turntables.
Jim (TX)
I am very curious if the Russian news media has similar reports about the bravery and acumen of its soldiers fighting in Ukraine?
Tim Berry (Mont Vernon, NH)
Once again I am incredibly saddened by the fact that a large number of American politicians favor the Russian dictator in this war, Rand Paul comes to mind along with many others all of whom disgust me when I see them parading around with the American flag on their lapels while they do the bidding of a bloodthirsty mad man. What in the name of God happened to these folks, many of whom profess to be Christians ?
Max (Canada)
@Tim Berry I am sanded by a large number of left-leaning public in the US and Canada supporting a Pinochet-like government in Ukraine, which was sold to them as progressive democracy by the US political and military establishment.
Jake (Wisconsin)
@Tim Berry The Republican Party happened to them.
RamS (New York)
@Max Not what the Ukrainians are telling me. It's very easy, go to any social forum where a lot of Ukrainians congregate and ask them. 90%+ are happy with Zelensky's actions and are behind him. Pincochet's actions were NOT popular.
JOB (Irl)
Yesterday I read the phrase 'The Israel of Eastern Europe' in relation to Ukraine. It was referring to Israel's capabilities in self defence, high tech and also their unflinching readiness to defend their state.
James (Texas)
@JOB Israel has one thing Ukraine sadly lacks... peace Military capability is at best a deterrent. The ultimate goals are peace, prosperity, freedom, health, family and not being killed. This is not a "Yippee" moment for the Ukrainian people that they are able to engage Russians as Ukrainians and Russians kill each other and the US destroys Ukraine by proxy
BK (NY)
@James The ultimate goal is to drive out Russians who are raping, torturing and killing Ukrainians who did nothing to deserve this!
Joe (US)
I remember a scene from West Wing. One of the US advisers accuses the Russian ambassador -- a lady -- of an incredulous geo-political act. He says without hiding his disdain, "Where do you get the nerve?" With an icy look in her eyes, she says "From a long, cold winter".
JCA (Los Angeles)
This is the only way to deal with that terrorist state that Putin's Russia has become, deterrence through strength. The West needs to continue supporting the brave Ukrainians defending their sovereign country.
A Guy (MI)
It's quite awesome to see how NATO and its partners have banded together to provide Ukraine with support that is so visibly making a difference on the battlefield, and not a single NATO soldier is doing any fighting.No wonder Kremlin trolls on Internet are trying so hard to sow doubt and breakup the alliance.
PK2NYT (Sacramento)
@A Guy "No wonder Kremlin trolls on Internet are trying so hard to sow doubt and breakup the alliance."...... and now possibly with ample help from Twitter's new, mercurial and unpredictable owner whose loyalties to the US and democracy are suspect.
Gibs (TX)
@A Guy - this is the definition of a majority backed/financed US-NATO proxy war. We’ve gotten exceedingly dependent on them. Ukraine is not a NATO member. At the rate this is all escalating, this could very easily come back to bite us at some point, and we may not have the luxury of sitting on our couches and watching everything on TV/online.
USMCR (Tucson)
As evidenced by Russia's termination of the grain deal which has been feeding much of Egypt, Russia is not yielding in this war. In fact, my tactician friends expect the republicans about to control congress to emasculate Ukraine and force its complete capitulation. And here I thought the major ramifications of a republican takeover was limited to the destruction of voting rights and democracy in America, elimination of women's rights to health care and pregnancy, reduction in Medicare benefits, reduction of soc security, complete exoneration of Trump, and disbandment of the Jan 6th committee. Foolish me, to think there was any semblance of duty and honor left in republicans.
Philip S. Wenz (Corvallis, Oregon)
@USMCR In fact, my tactician friends expect the republicans about to control congress to emasculate Ukraine and force its complete capitulation. They can't. American support for the war is already funded through 2023, and the lend/lease program runs longer than that.
Voter Frog (Oklahoma City, OK)
I'm trying to imagine what a young Russian conscript must feel, being shoved into some strange place, with drones flying overhead. And, then, out of nowhere, an artillery round rushes in, explodes, and leaves his entire platoon just a red mist...
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
Finally, in addition to more modern weaponry from the West, Ukraine's patriotic determination to show criminal Putin's stupid war nonsense, shall triumph. Now it is the turn of ordinary russians to show what they are made of...by ousting egomaniac Putin and his servile oligo-pluto-kleptocracy, so justice may, once again, see daylight. And a respit in fossil fuel prices...while science and technology accelerate R & D of renewable energy.
Realpolitik (Elite Coastal USA)
There are many orcs here as well. Kevin McCarthy and the Putin-Trump faction of the GQP will cut off support for Ukraine. Vote if you haven’t already.
James (Texas)
@Realpolitik A vote for Democrats is a vote to use the Ukrainian people as political fodder. End the war now. Ukraine had relative peace under Trump, and no full scale Russian invasion. There is nothing heroic about spending billions to be arm chair generals and causing death, displacement and suffering in the Ukraine. Reach a ceasefire with Russia and work collaboratively to rebuild the Ukraine. We owe them that. At a bare minimum. We are not helping them by blowing things and people up
BK (NY)
@James A vote for Democrats is a vote to hold off evil. Putin started this war but if it wasn’t for Democrats, he would have been given Ukraine by Trump and the GOP!
Julian (Australia)
@James I respect your pacifist motives but I note that 'Peace now!' commenters like this never say in useful detail what they think a reasonable settlement would look like and who should concede what to achieve it. If the victims of aggression want to resist - and it looks like they do - I don't think it's anyone else's business to tell them they're misguided or to try to persuade well-wishers not to help them.
Diego4ever (San Diego)
I support Ukraine 100% but war is ugly. All these people should be home with their families trying to make their countries a better place. Unfortunately, one lunatic and his backers think otherwise.
James (Texas)
@Diego4ever Three lunatics: Putin, Biden and the people who back Biden. Who is gaining from this war? Not Ukraine. Not America. Not Europe. Not our allies. It is the politicians. End it Now
Diego4ever (San Diego)
@James If only Trump was still in charge. Putin would be overseeing Ukraine and all would be happy in MAGA land.
Paul Wusteman (London)
Surely, it is time to drop the Kerch Bridge properly and isolate the Crimea from Russia except by the tenuous land-route through the Ukraine. The US could do that by just saying 'Go for it' to the Ukrainians. That would divert a huge amount of Russian energy into supplying the Crimea and be a continuing burden for them as the Ukrainians pummelled the land route. Re the threat that the Russians could destroy the Dnipro dam and flood the Kherson region, surely the deal is - if Russia does not destroy the dam, the Ukraine will still allow water from it to reach the Crimea. That seems a reasonable quid pro quo. Come on USA!!! Show Russia and China who is the boss!!!
42 North (Borderlands)
The only hope the Russian Orcs have is the GOP regaining power. Trump in his own words "Putin is a genius".
One More Time (Georgia, USA)
Sure, give the West pep talks on Ukraine's success on the battlefield. After all, all those $BILLIONS plowed into the Ukrainian military has to accomplish something, right? And it has been going on for what, 9 months now? Ukraine needs to stick with fighting within its borders, not trying to get media attention with drones going after Russian ships in the Black Sea. It is evident Putin is holding back the firepower of his naval forces, so Zelenskyy better be ready. Appears less grain will be shipped from Ukraine to the world.
What Is This (Gotham)
In one sentence you criticize efforts outside the Ukraine then in another you offer the best possible reason for attacking the Russian fleet. Which is it.
BK (NY)
@One More Time what kind of strategy is that? Every one of the enemy that is taken off the field outside of Ukraine is one less they have to deal with in Ukraine. Brutal? Yes. But take it up with Putin and not the Ukrainians.
BK (NY)
God’s speed Ukraine! GOP leadership aside, many in America support you and wish you nothing but the best. I just wish we could get you even more kamikaze drones and other precision munitions to ramp up your capabilities!
James (Texas)
@BK I pray for a rapid peaceful end to this war. I don't want my country to use the Ukrainian people. I am not interested in blowing up things and people. This war has gone on for months with all the death and suffering. Will it continue for years? decades? Ukraine doesn't need munitions. They need medicine, food, schools, science, hospitals, families, love... We can work it out with Putin behind the scenes. Just as we did with Gorbachev. Show by example, not with death
Federalist (California)
Putin's strategy is clear. He hopes to lure Ukrainian generals into a grinding urban battle in Kherson City to wear down their forces and give him time to rebuild the Russian Army for offensive action next summer. He hopes that Ukraine will repeat Hitler's error at Stalingrad. He hopes that surrounded with no retreat his troops will fight to the death. More likely Ukraine will besiege his forces, cut off their supplies, bombard them with accurate artillery strikes and steadily kill them all winter long with precision attacks on their bunkers and weapons positions. Meanwhile massing armored units and preparing to break through Russian lines at weak points.
John (San Francisco)
@Federalist How could Ukraine possibly repeat Germany's error at Stalingrad? That would require moving into Russian territory, something Ukraine has no interest in doing. It's trying to expel Russia from its territory, not to invade Russia. World War II and this invasion have almost nothing in common.
Robert (Virginia)
The empetsar has no clothes. It has been ripped off him by invisible hands at untouchable range.
William (Oregon)
"If they try to hold out in Kherson city, he said, referring to a protracted battle with the Nazis in World War II, `it will be Stalingrad in winter for them.'” Not an apt metaphor: Russia won the Battle of Stalingrad. Odd that the reporter didn't note that.
OG MD (New York)
@William Thats because in this war the Russians are the Nazis ant the Ukranians are the Russians
Richard Schumacher (The JoeBiden States of America)
Sometimes to fix a thing it first must be thoroughly broken. If the West provides Ukraine with every tool of freedom that they need, Putin will exhaust Russia and destroy himself. Then real change can happen. Excellent.
Jos Huey (Santa Fe, NM)
My thanks for President Biden and his able team of diplomats plus DOD patriots. No thanks for almost all republicans who are now proving to be putin bootlickers. My thanks too to the Ukrainian people. May russians bleed even more than the children they have murdered. Excellent reporting!
Edward Hale (Ohio)
'we have more in common with people who speak English and want to help us, than with people who speak Russian and want to murder us" V Zelensky. President of Ukraine. Democracy will not suffer a downfall
WJBrock (NYS)
"...the orcs in their trenches." Perfect.
Greg (Lyon, France)
Let us remember some history. Russia used the winter cold to win battles against both Napoleon and Hitler.
Marty Gasman (MA, USA)
@Greg Let you remember some history: USSR didn't have a chance if it wasn't for USA supplying USSR hundreds of thousands of heavy trucks, jeeps, etc.
Bwspmn (North America)
@Greg But the situation is totally reversed- the Russians are the invaders, fighting people defending their own lives and homes. The Ukrainians are not unprepared for a Ukrainian winter, I am quite sure.
Liz (CA)
Did anyone pick up on the new Ukrainian drone system name called Perun, which is an homage to Australian former gamer website host turned really excellent military analyst on YouTube who since February 2022 has been producing first rate in depth videos on corruption in Russian military and related subjects to the war in Ukraine? Perun even had Lt Gen Ben Hodges as a guest, which says a lot. Informative.
Some (Somewhere)
@Liz Perun is the name of the pagan Slavic god. Similar to Odin in the Norse religion. So I doubt it is homage to Australian military analyst
Bill White (Ithaca)
First, thanks for the front line report, Mr. Kramer. Much appreciated. Stay safe. It's nice to hear the good news of Ukraine's progress, but it is still hard to be optimistic about this war.
Michael (Barcelona)
As an American living in Spain, the inflation caused by this war hurts me financially more than most in the US. Fortunately, I’m not worried about heating. It’s Spain, thick socks and a sweater are all I need to stay warm (growing up in the upper midwest helps, too, i’m used to frigid winters). I’m more than happy to endure inflation and a colder winter if it means a free Ukraine, and my rising cost of living is nothing compared to what Ukrainians are going through. But, from my experience, most Western Europeans do not share this sentiment. I can’t imagine the financial hurt the Germans are in for this winter. I’m worried for the future of the alliance behind Ukraine. There is no Western European support for Ukraine without the US, UK, and Canada. We can not waiver.
Richard (UK)
@Michael I don't see the British wavering in support. Nor France and the German population (as opposed to the Gov't) then any Eastern European country has to support Ukraine, even Hungary, else they could be next
Michael (Barcelona)
@Richard, my evidence is only anecdotal, so take it as you will. Most of my friends are Spanish, French, and German, and they do not support the war. They’ll sell half of Ukraine to Putin for cheaper prices. Maybe I need better friends, but, to quote James Carville, “it’s the economy…..” That’s all people care about. I met a Russian guy in Hawaii a few years ago, we were staying in the same room at a hostel. I asked him why he supported Putin. He was a pretty big guy (and I don’t mean muscular), he was born early 90s, and he said “when i was a kid, my family didnt have enough money for food, and even if we did have money for food, there was no food to buy. Now look at me (referencing how massive he was).” That’s the best political lesson i ever learned: when people are struggling to eat, you’ll be surprised who they can support if they’re giving out food.
Qcell (Hawaii)
@Michael say what you want about the Ukrainian’s advantage with US weapons. The weapons are hurting Ukraine as much as Russia because the battlefields are all on Ukraine. Precision weapons just limit the collateral damage. Eventually, the defense of Ukraine will destroy Ukraine. Unless Ukraine can take the fight into Russia, Putin will achieve his goal to destroy Ukraine, even as Ukraine wins on the battlefield.
John E. (California)
While winter may somewhat stagnate ground operations (and, also, to some extent, air operations- cloud cover/fog), this is the perfect opportunity for Ukraine, using US satellite/electronic intelligence, and human intelligence (POWs, partisans) to systematically destroy Russian logistics connections to all locations of their forces, especially railroads, as well as troop/vehicle concentrations. In addition to these resources, Ukraine also has several civilian satellite systems, including one that they own, to feed targeting data to their gunners. Significant reductions in Russian personnel and equipment could be made during this season. It would seem that once Ukrainian shells start precisely landing throughout Kherson City, the fighting spirit of the Russian forces, especially untrained conscripts, will be difficult to sustain, and surrender or retreat may follow. Sadly, the remaining civilians will suffer the most.
Howard Herman (Skokie, Illinois)
I hope that the alliance of Ukraine’s partners will hold together as time goes forward. The upcoming winter months will be incredibly difficult. Vladimir Putin is counting on the alliance splintering, especially as food and fuel costs rise. Ukraine has fought magnificently in pushing back against Mr. Putin and his illegal and unprovoked war. It has shown the world true courage and fortitude. Glory to Ukraine! May it continue to have what it needs to expel the Russian forces and send them all the way back to Moscow.
Richard Wilson (Boston,MA)
@Howard Herman I agree, but would add that Putin is also counting on Republicans gaining political power. He knows the Republican party will not support the Ukrainians or NATO. We don't have to guess after what we witnessed during the Trump administration. I think Putin believes that his continued support of Republicans in Congress will benefit him in the long-term.
Bob (Ca)
@Richard Wilson .... It is indeed possible that what sustains Putin the most right now is the media's constant prediction of a republican victory on Nov 8. Support NATO and the people of Ukraine....VOTE!
John (San Francisco)
@Richard Wilson Right, because Congress has any say in this whatsoever. Technically, they do, under the Constitution and under the War Powers Act, but the Presidency has grown in power over the centuries, and there has really been no effective Congressional check on the President's war-making powers since the lead-up to World War II, when most Republicans were isolationists and had no interest in fighting Germany or Japan. If GQPer becomes President in 2024, that's another thing altogether.
Michael Blazin (Dallas, TX)
As noted by other commenters, winter in Ukraine normally means a shutdown. It does for infantry and mobile armor, but precision artillery can keep destroying targets. The immobility forced by winter concentrates targets and limits dispersed resources. Though the Russians will try, the Ukrainians can wreak a lot of damage throughout the season and prevent concentration of resources in the spring. We will see more thumb rules of war, e.g., General Winter, significantly altered.
Harry (Warwick, NY)
@Michael Blazin …and the Russian army will starve. Putin will draft more canon fodder in the spring. So sad.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
@Michael Blazin Why would mobile armor be stopped by winter? If it's not storming, the artillery can aim and fire. The ground will be hard and hold up the armored vehicles well.
Some (Somewhere)
@Michael Blazin no it doesn’t. Now is the worst time for military movements due to all the mud, but by winter the ground will harden and it will make it easier again to maneuver. This war isn’t going to have winter break as it is in Ukraine’s favor to keep pushing its current military advantage
dyeus (.)
“General Winter” is a fixture in Russian history, but it impacts all sides and not just one. With Putin relying on poorly equipped and trained new Russian conscripts this could result in a really big backfire.
Dan Mabbutt (Utah)
@dyeus Russia suffered well over a million casualties in the Battle of Stalingrad alone and almost 24 million in WWII. In the "Peoples Republic" ... the death of people just doesn't matter. Only power to the people at the top matters. (We're seeing a pale reflection of this right now. More than 840 January 6 rioters have been arrested and 85 sentenced. But as long as Trump and his inner circle are safe, it doesn't seem to matter.)
Garth (Vestal, NY)
@dyeus "General Winter" is going to be an ally of Ukraine. For the simple reason that the Ukrainians are defending their home. While the ill-equiped, ill-trained, and unmotivated Russian draftees will suffer the cold and hunger disporportionately. The Russians will ask, "Why am I here?" The Ukrainians know the answer.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
@Dan Mabbutt You mean fatalities, not casualties. But your main point is correct. Those at the top don't care about the working fighters. The Brits (just to name one) in WW I sent enormous numbers to their deaths in the western front attacking entrenched, well defended positions; it resulted in a large number of widows and spinsters in Britain after the war.
Stan H (Burnaby)
Winter is coming, and will impose new levels of hardship on both sides, but I think especially for the Russians, who, excepting the Wagner mercenaries, are poorly trained, poorly equipped, poorly led, and generally of low morale. It turns out that training, logistics and combined arms coordination are not Russian Army strong points. Russian air support for ground forces, for example, has been notably lacking. Hopefully, many of Russia’s new conscripts will surrender at their first opportunity.
Rod (SF Bay Area)
Alas, drone operations are not greatly impacted, as operators can remain in warm environments. Same with long range missile and cruise missile operations.
Stan H (Burnaby)
@Rod so true.
Greg (CA)
@Stan H The trick will be to *safely* give them that opportunity.
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