Ukraine is the New Hannibal

And apparently the media would like us to believe that the recent Ukrainian offensive is the greatest military maneuver since the double-envelopment at Cannae and Vladimir Putin is now out of options. Checkmate, Putin!

Ukraine has pulled off ‘one of the greatest counter attacks in modern history’: Military expert JUSTIN BRONK says Vladimir Putin has NO good options and Russia’s entire invasion force could COLLAPSE in worst defeat since WW2.

The long awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive to retake the southern city of Kherson finally began late last month.

However, many were dismayed by the relatively cautious pace at which Ukrainian forces were advancing, and pointed out that by making it so obvious that a counter-offensive was being prepared in Kherson, Kyiv had given the Russian Army more than a month to move some of its most elite remaining units and large numbers of supporting reserve units to block it.

The brilliance of this strategy his been revealed as of Wednesday last week, as a second Ukrainian force launched a smaller scale but much more mobile counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region to the north.

After initially breaking through the Russian frontlines at the town of Balakliya, Ukrainian armoured and mechanised brigades did not stop to consolidate their gains, but instead drove rapidly throughout the next two days and nights, deep into Russian-occupied territory.

As the Ukrainian commanders urgently rushed reinforcements in to consolidate and widen the narrow corridor of liberated towns, the spearhead units isolated and then bypassed the limited Russian reserve forces that tried to halt them at the small village of Sevchenkove and reached the southern edge of the crucial junction city of Kup’yansk on Friday morning.

In less than a week, more than 3,000 square kilometres of Ukrainian territory had been liberated, massive stockpiles of ammunition, weapons and armoured vehicles captured for use by Ukrainian forces, and the entire Russian position in North-Eastern Ukraine completely destabilised.

Russian forces have not suffered such a serious and rapid military defeat on the battlefield since the Second World War.

Worse still for Putin is that fact that he has no good options for how to react now.

The majority of his potentially mobile and elite units in Ukraine are still concentrated in Kherson to the south, and are facing a serious and ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive operation that cannot be ignored.

Furthermore, by signalling for so long that Kherson was target for liberation, Ukraine has baited Russia into accepting an attritional battle in a very militarily disadvantageous position.

If his forces stay put in the south, then the majority of Russia’s usable combat power will be trapped with their backs to the river and steadily ground down by a Ukrainian force that has much better supply lines, more troops and so can sustain an attritional artillery duel for longer.

However, if the Kherson front were to collapse, it would be such a political and military disaster coming soon after the stunning defeat in Kharkiv that Russian military morale might totally disintegrate, or Putin might even find himself threatened by discontented factions within the Russian power structure at home.

The media is reaching a level of detachment from reality that one seldom sees outside the economic news. Remember, most of the manpower being utilized in Ukraine are no more part of the Russian military than the Ukrainian forces are part of the US military. The Russians haven’t even bother to mobilize yet, which should tell you how little they are worried about the operations in Ukraine.

Except for the specialist arms supporting the militias, the Russian military is being reserved for the direct confrontation with NATO forces that is coming. Now, it may be that NATO forces are directly involved in the Kharkiv and Kherson offensives, which they actively boast about planning, or it may be that the Russians have been withdrawing to lure the Ukrainians out of their fortified positions in order to eliminate them more easily. We simply don’t know.

While estimates vary wildly, Zelenskyy said Ukraine had recaptured roughly 6,000 square kilometers – equivalent to the combined area of the West Bank and Gaza – of Ukraine’s overall land mass, around 600,000 square km. Russia had taken control of around a fifth of Ukraine since February 24.

Imagine if the media had covered the Ardennes Offensive this way.

What we know is that Russia still isn’t making use of its energy stranglehold over Europe, nor is it striking at the power plants of Germany, Poland, the UK, and other countries with which it is at war, even though doing so could probably force a complete surrender by the EU and Ukraine alike. Furthermore, Putin’s party, United Russia just won between 65 percent and 86 percent of the vote in the recent regional elections; Russian sentiment is very pro-Putin and to the extent that he is being criticized, it is because he has not prosecuted the war against NATO more aggressively.

So, what we can safely conclude is that this is just more “Ghost of Kiev” war fiction meant to justify the constant flow of money and arms to Ukraine, albeit on a grander scale.