Russia continues gaining ground in Ukraine as US, NATO pour in weapons to prolong the inevitable
It should become obvious by now to most people that the grinding war in Ukraine following Russia's invasion has only one inevitable conclusion, and that is a victory by Moscow.
The only factors not yet known are how many more people are going to die and how much more of Ukraine will be totally destroyed before Russia's victory.
The Ukrainians have fought admirably and much more fiercely than most military experts gave them credit for. But the fact is, Russia has a far larger population and more extensive industrial base from which to manufacture war materiel, while Kyiv has to depend on the generosity of other countries. Plus, Ukraine's forces do not have the capability of taking the war to Russian territory; Moscow would likely respond with at least tactical nukes if that were to happen.
More signs of Russia's inevitable victory appeared last week when Vladimir Putin's forces took Lysychansk, the sister city of the former Ukrainian stronghold of Sievierodonetsk. This puts Russian forces in full control of the Luhansk province.
According to reports, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu affirmed that his troops were in control, while the Ukrainian regional governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, said the
"city is on fire".
"Sergei Shoigu has informed the commander in chief of the Russian armed forces, Vladimir Putin, of the liberation of the People's Republic of Luhansk
[LPR]," the defense ministry said in a statement
The Russian military along with its separatist allies are now in "full control of Lysychansk and other nearby towns, notably Belogorovka, Novodruzhesk, Maloryazantseve and Bila Hora," the statement noted further.
Haidai, meanwhile, noted on Telegram that "the Russians are reinforcing their positions in Lysychansk."
"The Russians are entrenched in the Lysychansk district, the city is on fire. The occupiers probably deployed all their forces at Lysychansk. They attacked the city with inexplicably brutal tactics," Haidai said.
Russia's stated goal prior to the invasion was to "liberate" two key regions that form Donbas -- Luhansk and its breakaway pro-Moscow republic. Now that these two key cities have fallen, Moscow is much closer to its Donbas objective.
Andrei Marochko, a representative of the LPR militia, said the city was being "cleared of Ukrainian nationalists" while adding that "victory flags have already been installed" near Lysychansk, as reported by CNN
. Other reports, meanwhile, have said that local pro-Russian citizens have actually put up a Soviet flag at a central city monument, harkening back to the bad old days of the former Soviet Union (USSR).
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a battlefield update last week, noting that more than 2,600 Ukrainian towns and cities are now under Moscow's control.
"The Russian army continued to fire missiles at our cities," Zelensky said, urging people
to "help the army, help volunteers, help everyone who was left alone at this time" and to use their contacts to "spread the truth about the war and about the crimes of the occupiers on our land."
Meanwhile, U.S. and NATO continue to deplete their own weapons stockpiles to give to Ukraine in what is increasingly being seen as a lost cause.
An Al Jazeera
war correspondent observed and describe Lysychansk's capture by Russian forces
: "That is strategically significant because that is where the Russians moved their military attention to after they failed to move into Kyiv in the early days of the war when they were beaten back from the capital."
Ukraine is losing this war and the longer we supply Kyiv with weapons
, the longer the killing will continue.