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Not Losing for Ukraine is Not Winning

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If not losing a war is still not winning, then it must mean a stalemate, where neither side wins but claim they have. With Ukraine, their heroics are astonishing with the vast amount of military aid from the West, it's a proxy way similar to when Russia invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s and the USA provided weapons via the CIA to the guerilla forces opposing them. This went on for eight years until Russia had had enough and got out of town. Apart from the military side of things, where the weapons sent equalized the battlefield, Ukraine is actually in a survival state both militarily and economically. Russia is not as isolated from selling its oil and gas at reduced prices as the West would like. The sanctions imposed are hurting but they are really hurting the Russian people outside the military complex.

Ukraine has thwarted most of the Russian advances but is now starting to concede land as the war of attrition occurs. This attrition will hurt Ukraine more than it will Russia which has vast amounts of everything to replenish. The longer the war drags on, the more weakened Ukraine becomes. Before the war began, Russia controlled 7% of Ukraine, now it is 14%. This is not winning but more of losing for Ukraine.

Manpower loss has hit Russia harder than Ukraine, but Russia has an ample supply. It is estimated that Ukraine has lost 25,000 men of which 11,000 are KIA. Russia has lost 35,000 men and staggering amounts of tanks and other weapons. About 16,000 foreign volunteers have gone to the Ukraine, most need military training, and most have proven to be cannon fodder to some extent.

Economically, Ukraine walks a redline of direness. Their economy has been ravaged by the war reducing the GDP to almost 50%, while the sanctions on Russia have only reduced its GDP by 7%. Nearly 25% and more of Ukraine's businesses have shut down and only a few are just now reopening. Russia's blockade of the Ukrainian seaports cost them $170 million a day in lost revenue. How long can Ukraine this loss? Russia is now also stealing grain from storage and selling it abroad to China, India, and others. The war has totally disrupted power distribution that ordinary citizens use for gas and electricity forcing many unable to pay their bills, how long can these power companies continue to operate? Russia has in its control most of the coal producing mines of the Donbas region and Ukraine's gas company even before the war was asking for millions of bailout money for its debts. Now, it has no funds to secure more natural gas that is used to heat homes in winter. How can Ukraine farmers even begin their planting season during wartime? Many grain farmers are simply not.

While Russia may be down, it is far from out. Its oil and gas sales to China and India increased revenue in April by 60% even at discounted prices. Russia is not totally isolated either, many countries view Russia as a "good bargain" for oil and gas and other grains because of their much-reduced prices. Who does not like a good bargain?

Russia may be rather incompetent, but they still yield a lot of power to reckon with and respect. Ukraine, on the other hand, is crippled and in survival mode and will require a lot of economic aid from Europe and USA if it is to rebuild and survive during recession, which may be a problem as time moves on. How long will the West continue to send Ukraine a lifeline? And, if it is stopped, will Ukraine end up in the hospital ICU? Would this provoke Russia to deal a final blow to get what it could not get before?

Time will tell whether not winning is losing or not losing.

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