After 116 Days of War, Several Things Have Become Clear

Ukraine has largely been defeated by Russia.

That isn’t guesswork. Ukraine is outgunned in artillery 20 to 1; 40 to 1 in artillery shells. Russia puts up 300 air sorties daily; Ukraine about 3. Ukraine now admits they’re losing upwards of 200 fighters daily. Russia has gobbled up a fifth of Ukraine in the Donbas where Russian speaking Ukrainians endured 8 years of shelling by Ukraine ultranationalists. Ukraine’s economy has shrunk over 50%, turning Ukraine into failed state status. It’s over President Zelensky.

But the delusional Ukraine president still pounds his chest for Uncle Sam and NATO to save his bacon by expanding the war into US/NATO versus the Russian Bear. He does this even tho we told him before the war started, we’d neither shed one drop of US blood nor give him weaponry like fighter jets, which could trigger WWIII.

Another reality we need to admit? None of the economic sanctions we’ve implemented on Russia nor any of the $54 billion we’ve squandered on weaponry for Ukraine will turn the tide. Russia may be bleeding profusely from their criminal war…but Ukraine is bleeding out.

Though not widely publicized, the US knows this. Even US Joint Chiefs Chair Mark Milley has alluded to the above, and President Biden has toned down his initial bellicose rhetoric supporting a Ukraine victory and regime charge in Russia.

We in the peace community don’t view warfare as good v. evil, democracy v. autocracy. Provocations which lead up to war must be examined and understood. With few exceptions, military conflict requires skilled diplomacy leading to war ending negotiated settlement. Had the US and NATO owned up to their 8 years of provocative actions against Russia in Ukraine, this war could have been ended quickly if not avoided altogether.

Knowing the inevitable, the US needs to tell Zelensky no more aid, and then only economic, till he agrees to negotiations with Russia to end the war. Any resolution likely means neither Crimea nor the Donbas will return to Ukrainian rule; the price for Ukraine declaring war on its own people there in 2014.

There are no good guys in this conflict. Just dead guys. It’s long past time for the US and NATO to orchestrate its end. Every day of delay gets more Ukrainians killed for nothing.

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at

9 thoughts on “After 116 Days of War, Several Things Have Become Clear”

  1. The Russian economy is not “bleeding profusely”. They’re making a staggering amount of money per day, inflation is down compared to where it was a couple months ago, and the ruble has become a strong currency.

    The 200 losses a day are actually between 500 and 1,000. Ukraine has lost probably 80-100,000 men in those 116 days. They’ll lose another 100,000 over the next 100 days.

    There will be no negotiations. Russia has presented surrender terms. Ukraine can accept them or cease to exist as a state. Russia has clearly stated that just possessing Donbass and Crimea are not their goals in this war. The Ukraine regime must go, i.e. be de-militarized and de-Nazified. The war will not stop until this is done.

  2. Good summary of why a negotiated peace should have been agreed before this current conflict, that Zelinsky was voted in to implement by the Ukranian people, that Germany and France tried to negotiate and agreed to by Russia with the Minsk Agreement, and now, with more “dead people” as a result, the same agreement is the only way to end the conflict

    1. Zelenski was given a choice by the Azov folks: go for peace and hang from a tree, or, go for war and perhaps live a little longer.

  3. Biden says there sh0uld be regime change in Russia and Putin is a war criminal. What Biden says about Putin describes himself. Biden authorized the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq when he was a senator and W was the president, drone strikes and wars in Libya, Iraq and Syria when he was Obama’s VP and now that he is the president, he won’t go back to the JCPOA because he wants to be seen as being tougher than Trump, won’t stand up to Bennett because he wants AIPAC votes and gives more and more aid to Ukraine and will eventually give Ukraine as much aid or even more aid than he gives to Israel.
    USA Today and most of the Western Media say Russia is losing in Ukraine, Biden wants Russia to go bankrupt with the war there but won’t say the USA’s never ending wars and never ending aid to Israel and Ukraine will bankrupt the USA nor its allies.

  4. Ukraine and the West have known from the start that they are going to lose this territory, their strategy has been to make it impossible for the Russians to take it, without first destroying it. This denies Russia the easy victory they hoped to achieve and will cost them billions to rebuild.

    Start from the premise that they fully understood they would lose and this strategy makes more sense. They are using a Scorched Earth technique, the end result is a Pyrrhic Victory for Russia, as opposed to what happened in Crimea.

    As for deaths? What do the elite care, that’s what pawns are for, their infantry isn’t going to be much good for anything other than cannon fodder, so stick them in buildings which forces the Russians to blow them up, that’s their big plan. I’m not sure that Zelensky doesn’t see it as a bonus to get the Militia groups like Azov killed in the process as well (added bonus for him). As for civilian deaths? Most of them are Russian supporters, who they don’t care about in the least.

    Salt the Earth and pollute the Sea on their way out, that’s what its come down to.

  5. This mess could have been avoided by diplomacy by Biden last November/December. Or, if some President from Clinton forward would have listened to what Russia was saying.

  6. The author seems unaware that war was the US objective all along, the more destructive the better.

    American voters need to have it pounded into them that Ukraine was obviously going to lose. Russia had achievable military objectives and overwhelming military superiority. Ukraine was obviously going to lose. Similarly, Vietnam was obviously going to be a blood soaked money pit. Afghanistan was obviously going to be a blood soaked money pit. Iraq was obviously going to be a blood soaked money pit. American voters need to have it pounded into them that all these things were obvious to competent observers beforehand and they need to stop electing lying warmongers.

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