With progress so slow, the $150 billion spent by the US in Ukraine is a “very bad investment,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter said
Ukraine’s failing counteroffensive has not delivered the results that the White House expected, and Kiev’s inability to penetrate Russian defensive lines should serve as a “wake-up call” in Washington, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh wrote on Thursday.
Citing battlefield statistics obtained from an unnamed source, Hersh claimed that Ukrainian forces have only managed to capture two square miles of Russian-held land over the last ten days of fighting. In the two weeks beforehand, he continued, the Ukrainian military took only 44 square miles of territory, much of it open land located before the first of Russia’s multiple defensive lines.
With Russia holding 40,000 square miles of formerly Ukrainian land, an “informed official” told Hersh that “it would take [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s military 117 years to rid the country of Russian occupation.”
The time has come for US President Joe Biden to publicly acknowledge that “the estimated more than $150 billion that his administration has put up [to arming Ukraine] thus far turned out to be a very bad investment,” the veteran journalist concluded, adding that the “looming disaster in Ukraine… should be a wake-up call” for US lawmakers willing to hand Kiev billions of dollars “in the hope of a miracle that will not arrive.”
Ukraine launched its long-anticipated counteroffensive in early June, using German-made Leopard 2 tanks, US-supplied Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and other Western hardware to strike at Russian positions along the front line from Donetsk to Kherson.
The offensive cost Kiev dearly, with the Russian Security Council estimating Ukrainian losses at 13,000 troops as of last week. Attacking through minefields and without air support, according to Moscow, Ukrainian forces have failed to overcome the multi-layered network of trenches, obstacles, and armored emplacements constructed by Russia since last year.
American, Ukrainian, and NATO officials have admitted that the counteroffensive is proceeding slower than expected. With continued Western support potentially hinging on a successful pushback of Russian forces, officials in Kiev have alternated between blaming the West for not providing adequate weapons, and promising that the offensive thus far has been a “preview” of a larger operation to come.
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