PC: Dnipropetrovska ODA
KYIV, Ukraine, October 10th, 2022. Russia has launched a massive rocket attack on critical infrastructure sites across Ukrainian territory, striking nearly every major city with more than one hundred missiles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the attack was in retaliation for the truck bombing of the Kerch Bridge last week that leads between Russia and Crimea, and his defense ministry explained it was meant to target “the objects of the military control, communications and energy systems of Ukraine”.
South Front, a war diary and international intelligence umbrella organization, has said that there is currently no power in the cities of L’viv, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Kharkov, Khmelnitsky, Poltava, Ternopol, Lutsk, Rovno, and Ivano-Frankovsk, and that the major sections of railway have been destroyed.
The Western Media and politicians have been predictably appalled, but the Western narrative on the nature of this conflict has purposely set the stage for this kind of escalation.
In June, WaL reported that a “can’t win/already lost” narrative about Russia’s campaign had been free-flowing from all major Western media outlets since the war’s onset, even while conditions on the ground carried on. Further feigned ignorance on the position of the Russian Federation’s political and military leaders have helped to disengage public opinion on what has been a massive increase in the amount of support offered to Ukraine by Western nations.
These missiles launched by Russia must be put into a wider perspective of media voices and battlefield realities.
Putin isn’t bombing enough
Modern war is mostly total war. Every decade or so since the end of the Cold War the United States Military has reinforced the idea, first born out of the World Wars, that overwhelming force is always preferred to limited war.
In July, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy claimed that Russia had launched 2,900 missiles on Ukrainian cities from the beginning of the invasion in February. This, American generals have unanimously-agreed since the Gulf War, is not nearly enough.
In the onset of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, the Air Force describes “The Miracle” of the Invasion of Baghdad thusly.
“The air campaign that danced over Iraq was an intricate ballet conceptualized, designed, and executed by the men and women of the Combined Air Operations Center. In all, 1801 total aircraft flew 41,404 sorties in a 720-hour period between 19 March and 18 April 2003”.
The sorties described here were merely to keep the skies safe for allied bombing, which was described by General Tommy Franks as “shock and awe” and involved more than 1,000 sorties per day. These sorties dropped nearly 30,000 bombs and missiles, including almost 13,000 cluster munitions, containing nearly 2 million submunitions, that killed or wounded more than 1,000 civilians.
“I call it really a dirty war because they want to get it over fast,” an Iraqi plane mechanic told Slate following the invasion. “So they targeting either the water stations, electric station, and all the essential things for the people, which is—that’s not good. Everywhere you live, at least there is something important for the allies to hit”.
Putin has warned that if attacks like the one of the Kerch Bridge continue, he will continue to do what modern military planners agree unanimously is absolutely standard procedure.
“The UN has said Russia’s missile attacks would amount to war crimes, if they were deliberately targeted at civilians or civilian infrastructure,” BBC reports, but again, the invasion of Iraq included the deliberate targeting of power stations by Anglo-American bombing during the onset of the 2003 Invasion of Baghdad, not to mention all government administrative buildings.
Indeed the limited warfare displayed by Russia in the conduct of this war is almost unexplainable in its significance. Instead of following America’s lead and shattering all civilian infrastructure, for example the railroad system that has been transporting NATO-made HIMAR rocket artillery systems to the front lines, they have allowed themselves to be bogged down in heavy ground fighting.
Furthermore, instead of using the opportunity this limited warfare has presented to negotiate a suitable end to the war, NATO, and particularly America have used the opportunity to completely prop up the Ukrainian military. Zelenskyy and his commanders have also not acknowledged that their alleged gains have been made under the complete lack of bombardment, giving them what seems a false sense of superiority.
Pulling them in
Allowing the Ukrainian internet and electricity to stay on has been a huge mistake for the Russian war effort because it’s allowed Western and Ukrainian media to completely dominate the media narrative.
This has led to an extreme apathy among Western populations over the course of the war. Returning to the example of 2003, the world-wide antiwar protests in the lead up to America’s unsanctioned and illegal invasion are still thought to be the largest that have ever taken place.
There is no public outcry or pressure on lawmakers in Washington to try and help end the war, even as President Biden described the world as being at the highest risk for nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Instead of resistance to that reality, Congress has sent $66 billion in weapons and funding to Ukraine this year—more than the entire Russian military budget. Kyiv is offering Washington targeting control of their artillery in the hopes it will assuage fears that Ukrainian generals will target infrastructure within Russia’s pre-war borders.
Reports are that the truck bombing on the Kerch Bridge was organized by British Intelligence, and that along with Denmark, and the UK, who have both sent special operations forces to train Ukrainian soldiers, the US has added their own.
Back in June, The New York Times reported that there was a CIA presence in Ukraine, but it made no mention of US special operations forces.
The Ukrainian government has approved their current budget with a $38 billion deficit which the Americans have opted to finance secretly.
President Biden condemned Russia’s strikes and said the US would continue supporting Ukraine.
“These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes. Alongside our allies and partners, we will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression,” he said.
A front-line report from The New York Times details that the extremely successful information campaign about the current Ukrainian counterattack caused Russia to redeploy large amounts of troops to the south of the country, where the war has turned into a meat grinder, with “massive” causalities on the Ukrainian side.
Ihor Kozub, the commander of a volunteer military unit near the southern city of Mykolaiv, told The Times that the Ukrainian army was suffering “great losses” because “we don’t have ammunition,” and he begged for the United States to send more.
It’s a picture of what the almost non-existent resistance to the war is creating; an effort entirely dependent on supplies from the West.
With Russia deploying its strategic bombing capabilities, capabilities she has always possessed, the need will be so much greater, and if the conflict moves into the air, a domain in which there has been little manned-combat, casualties of civilians will greatly increase, as will the dependence on the West for aid and weapons.