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January 28, 2023 January 28, 2023

Ukraine: Where are we now?

Posted on January 18, 2023 by Taber Times

We remember when Russian troops first invaded Ukraine, many thought it’d only last a few weeks, the Russians would expand their sphere of influence, and it’d all be said and done.

Yet, that hasn’t happened.

There was a day when the Russian army was bearing down on Kyiv when missiles and bombs fell destroying Ukrainian infrastructure, and now the Russians are nearly pushed out of Ukrainian lands and back into areas they annexed years ago like Crimea.

It’s important not to understate the bravery of the Ukrainian men and women that are fighting on the frigid front lines every day, just as it’s important to mention the men and women from around the world fighting in the Foreign Legion — but we don’t think it will end anytime soon.

The winter and the cold brought with it has halted much of the advances the opposing sides were planning to make, and according to reports much of the front lines in the Donetsk region of Ukraine have devolved into trench warfare similar to WWI.

Fights have still been catastrophic for Russian soldiers, with many of them resulting in thousands wounded or killed, and Ukrainian forces are attempting to cling to towns like Bakhmut with guns and artillery breathing down their necks day after day.

Unfortunately, the Russians have found more success after bringing in mercenary and Private Military Contractor groups as well, who are reported to be performing espionage and ‘Spetsnaz’ work in the regions.

Each side is releasing its own propaganda about the war effort. Russia claims wins while Ukraine counter-claims them, or Russia will claim a win and Ukraine will counter with “The enemy literally steps on the corpses of his own soldiers.” As the adage says, “truth is the first casualty of war.” It’s hell out there, and our hearts go out to each and every one caught up in the conflict.

Since the summer, the Ukrainian-occupied city of Bakhmut has seemingly been the focus of the Russian soldiers, and subsequently, that’s where most of the fighting has been happening. Recently Russian mercenaries have turned their attention to a nearby town known as Soledar and from recent satellite images it appears nearly burnt to the ground and ravaged by war.

The United Kingdom has pledged modern Challenger 2 tanks to the Ukrainians, and the Polish have pledged Leopard 2 tanks if the German government agrees; meaning there’s no slowing down of western support for the battle-hardened Ukrainians.

Some interesting details to look at include the GDP of Russia, which has dropped from 630 billion roubles to 520 billion roubles since the beginning of the invasion; showcasing Russia has been bleeding its reserves. If the rate continues, it’s possible to see the end of the war when Russia runs out of money.

Many are also discussing what victory will look like. Whether Ukraine will stop at capturing their ancestral lands or if they push deeper into Russia. For now, we believe it’s impossible to say or speculate. With western support, we believe Ukraine will win handily and it’s only a matter of time. Yet we can all just cross our fingers that the bloodshed will come to an end sooner rather than later. It’s the Ukrainians and the Russians who don’t want to fight but are forced to any way that are paying the biggest price of this conflict.

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