Highway to Hell: Ukraine Loses 2,040 Men Since Friday – Scott Ritter: NATO and Ukraine Generals Knew “Massacre” Was “Inevitable”

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Ukrainian BMP-1 APC and T-72M1 tank destroyed outside Rabotino


The Armed Forces of Ukraine lost another 2,040 men on the weekend, the Russian Ministry of Defence claimed, bringing the casualties since the start of the Ukrainian “Counter-Offensive” to an estimated 45,000. 55% of Americans now oppose additional spending on Ukraine, CNN reported.

Russia claims to have begun counterattacking against the stalling Ukrainian “Spring Offensive”, and claims to have conquered the village of Novoselivka outside Luhansk. On Friday, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov claimed the Ukrainian military has lost over 43,000 troops and about 5,000 items of military hardware, since it launched its counteroffensive.

The Russian Defense Ministry does not release Russian casualty figures. According to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, 249,110 Russian soldiers have died since the beginning of the war, while 4,232 Russian main battle tanks, 8,251 armored personnel carriers and 4,943 artillery units have been destroyed.

On Aug. 3-5, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) lost 2,040 additional men, bringing Ukrainian casualties to over 45,000 since the beginning of the “Counter-Offensive” June 4. The AFU has approx. 200.000 combat soldiers, 36.000 of which were trained at NATO bases like Grafenwöhr, Germany in the past months.

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Writing on Russian Sputnik News, US Maj. Scott Ritter called the Ukrainian attack on heavily defended Russian lines with inexperienced troops and no air support a “massacre”, with Ukrainians suffering losses at the rate of 10 to 1 compared to the Russians. Ritter called the “road to Rabotino” east of Zaporizhzhia “a highway to hell”

“The reality is that the Ukrainian counteroffensive was never going to work, under any circumstance”, Ritter writes, despite “tens of billions of NATO-provided equipment.”

“Most of the troops that comprised (the newly-trained Ukrainian) army had little or no prior military experience. They received approximately three weeks of training on military fundamentals, before being trained on the operation (and maintenance) of the new NATO weapons they would be using. Then they spent a few weeks carrying out field exercises designed to simulate an attack on the Russian defenses using complex “combined arms” tactics taught by NATO and American instructors. After this, they were shipped back to Ukraine and sent on the road to Rabotino”, Ritter writes.

“The reduction of a prepared defensive line is one of the most complicated tasks one can assign a military unit in combat, Ritter says. “To successfully execute this mission, the assault forces need to be masters of their craft, operating as part of a combined arms team capable of suppressing enemy forces, and breaching minefields while maneuvering under fire. This is a task that experienced units with years of training under their belts would have difficulty pulling off. For an army like Ukraine’s third-generation force, this was a mission impossible, something every NATO trainer involved in preparing the Ukrainian forces would have known.”

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“The massacre that occurred along the road to Rabotino was unavoidable so long as Ukraine and their NATO masters believe that the conflict with Russia can be resolved through force of arms,” according to Ritter. “The Ukrainian generals responsible for giving the orders to the Ukrainian Army, and the NATO trainers who prepared them for battle, knew that the outcome that is transpiring along the road to Rabotino was inevitable.”

“The harsh fact is that tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and billions of dollars of western military equipment have been sacrificed not for viable military purposes, of which there are none, but rather to assuage the political needs of Ukraine’s leaders,” Ritter writes. “Sadly, many thousands of more Ukrainian soldiers, and tens of billions of dollars more of western military equipment, will need to be sacrificed before this lesson is finally driven home.”

“The first several weeks of Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive have not been kind to the Ukrainian troops who were trained and armed by the United States and its allies,” the New York Times writes. “Equipped with advanced American weapons and heralded as the vanguard of a major assault, the troops became bogged down in dense Russian minefields under constant fire from artillery and helicopter gunships. Units got lost. One unit delayed a nighttime attack until dawn, losing its advantage. Another fared so badly that commanders yanked it off the battlefield altogether.” The New York Times promises “a troop surge” in the country’s south, with “a second wave of Western-trained forces launching mostly small-scale attacks to punch through Russian lines.”

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55% of Americans now say Congress should not authorize additional funding to support Ukraine, CNN reports. “Republicans broadly say that Congress should not authorize new funding (71%) and that the US has done enough to assist Ukraine (59%). Among Democrats, most say the opposite, 62% favor additional funding and 61% say that the US should do more.“


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