What a juxtaposition of absurdity versus reality. On the same day that the Kyiv Independent publishes a horrific report detailing the catastrophic losses of Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut, Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley compete for the “Who is the most stupid” award. I think it is a tie. Judge for yourselves.
Let us start with the article from the Ukraine publication, the Kyiv Independent. We will use this as the benchmark to evaluate what Austin and Milley said at their press conference on Wednesday.
Battle of Bakhmut: Ukrainian soldiers worry Russians begin to ‘taste victory’
Just days before heading back to fight in the Battle of Bakhmut, a Ukrainian soldier Volodymyr, 54, said he felt ill-prepared.
“When they drive us to Bakhmut, I already know I’m being sent to death,” Volodymyr told the Kyiv Independent during his brief stay in Kramatorsk, a city in Donetsk Oblast some 25 kilometers west of the front line.
Volodymyr, an infantryman from the 93rd Mechanized Brigade, said he struggled to eat after fighting in Bakhmut for months. He looked shaken as he talked.
For two months, Volodymyr’s unit was tasked with guarding Bakhmut against small Russian assault groups creeping into the city. The brigade was constantly under mortar fire as soldiers were outdoors where shrapnels could wound or kill them at any moment.
“(The Russians) keep firing at us, but we don’t have artillery – so we have nothing to attack them back with,” Volodymyr said. “I don’t know if I will return or not. We are just getting killed.”
Ukrainian infantrymen interviewed by the Kyiv Independent described the fighting in Bakhmut as a desperate survival challenge against Russia’s “infinite” stocks of artillery munitions and manpower. With just their machine guns and rifles, they say they braced relentless Russian mortar and artillery attacks until their hideout was eventually destroyed. . . .
While Russian casualties on the Bakhmut front are assumed to be very high, Ukraine is also taking heavy losses as it holds on to the city, soldiers’ testimonies reveal. NATO intelligence estimates that at least five Russian soldiers were killed for every Ukrainian loss, CNN reported on March 6, citing an unnamed official with the alliance.
Valeriy, a Ukrainian infantryman, says that most of his fallen comrades were fatally wounded by projectile fragments.
“It’s a pity that probably 90% of our losses are from artillery – or tanks and aviation,” Valeriy told the Kyiv Independent a few hours after leaving the Bakhmut front. “And much less (casualties) from shooting battles.”
Valeriy counted that “only a few” of the original 27 members of his platoon got out of the Bakhmut front with him, though he explained that most of them were wounded, not killed.
“The Russians have so many weapons, and there are so many of them,” Valeriy said. “They are firing at us all the time. Sometimes, you hear an incoming (shell) every second.”
Russian forces have intensified their assault on Bakhmut since mid-January after capturing the nearby salt-mining town of Soledar, which sits some 15 kilometers northeast of Bakhmut.
The author of this piece tries desperately to put lipstick on the pig of Ukrainian losses by repeating the bogus CNN claim that Russia is losing troops at a five to one ration compared to Ukraine. Yet, the Ukrainian soldiers tell the real story. Russia is shelling them with a seemingly limitless supply of artillery shells and the Ukrainians have no shells to fire in return.
I repeat what I have written before — the side that fires the most artillery shells inflicts the most casualties. Just wishing that Russians are dying in droves does not make it so. The picture painted by the Kyiv Independent is grim and horrific. So keep that in mind as you listen to the Austin/Milley clown show. (I am providing key portions of the transcript below.)