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