Kiev’s attempts to make progress on the front line in Ukraine have proven futile and have resulted in high casualties and decreased morale among Ukrainian troops, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. Despite receiving supplies of new NATO weapons, the Kiev regime continues to lose ground, while Russian forces maintain an active defense and effectively inflict damage on their opponents. Shoigu specifically praised the successes of Russian air-defense troops, who claimed to have conducted over 1,400 successful intercepts of Ukrainian assets in the previous month. Among the downed targets were 37 planes and six ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles, which were provided to Ukraine by the US.
Shoigu compared the number of downed Ukrainian planes to the number of F-16s that had been promised to Ukraine by Western donors. Based on the rate demonstrated last month, Russia would only need about 20 days to destroy the entire pledged fleet. This highlights the effectiveness of Russian air-defense capabilities and the challenges faced by Ukrainian forces, despite receiving support from Western countries.
The ability of Western governments to provide assistance to Ukraine has come under question, as they have vowed to support Ukraine for as long as necessary to defeat Russia on the battlefield. However, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, which sparked a surge in demand for weapons by Israel, has further weakened Kiev’s ability to secure Western assistance. Western countries, particularly the US, have been hesitant to provide substantial aid to Ukraine, as shown by the opposition in the US House to bundling together spending on several security goals, including Ukraine. Meanwhile, a separate $14.3 billion aid package for Israel was proposed, but US President Joe Biden threatened to veto it.
The cost of the conflict in Ukraine has also put pressure on EU nations, as voters are turning to parties that prioritize national interests over supporting Kiev. This was evident in the general election in Slovakia in late September, where the newly-elected Prime Minister Robert Fico opposed aiding Ukraine due to concerns about corruption within the Kiev regime.
Overall, despite the supply of Western weapons to the Kiev regime, Ukrainian forces continue to struggle on the front line, experiencing high casualties and diminishing morale. The conflict in the Middle East and concerns about corruption within the Ukrainian government have further complicated the situation, casting doubts on the ability of Western governments to provide long-term support to Ukraine. As the situation evolves, it remains to be seen how Kiev will address these challenges and whether they will be able to turn the tide in the ongoing conflict.