Ukraine’s ‘failure’ a big problem for Biden – Seymour Hersh
Ukraine’s foundering counteroffensive will mark a major embarrassment for the White House, Pulitzer-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has argued, suggesting President Joe Biden’s hardline support for Kiev could cost him the next election.
Writing in his latest Substack article on Thursday, Hersh outlined the progress of Ukraine’s offensive operations, claiming it would need a “miracle” to reverse Russian gains after Moscow took “total control” of the Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye regions.
While a short-lived rebellion by Russia’s Wagner Group last weekend offered a brief distraction from “Ukraine’s failing counter-offensive,” Hersh went on to argue that Kiev is heading for “disaster.” He said this could be politically damaging for Biden, who will seek to sell Ukraine as a foreign policy success as he campaigns for re-election in 2024.
“It may be prudent for Joe Biden to talk straight about the war, and its various problems for America – and to explain why the estimated more than $150 billion that his administration has put up thus far turned out to be a very bad investment,” the journalist added.
Pointing to battlefield statistics and other information provided by US intelligence sources, Hersh claimed that Kiev had reclaimed only 44 square miles of territory since launching its counteroffensive in early June, “much of it open land.” He said at the current pace, Kiev would need 117 years to completely repel Russian forces, attributing the figure to an unnamed official.
Ukraine’s defense minister, Aleksey Reznikov, has acknowledged the slow progress of the counteroffensive, but told the Financial Times this week that the operations so far were merely a “preview,” saying Kiev had yet to deploy the bulk of its Western-trained reserves.
While Ukraine and its Western backers insist victory is still on the table, Hersh said Biden’s “overall foreign policy may be at risk” should Kiev fail to deliver results on the battlefield. The journalist urged Democrats to take the “looming disaster” in Ukraine as a “wake-up call” as they enter the 2024 race, noting the president’s waning approval numbers.
The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, said that the repeated pushes by Kiev’s troops have failed to breach the Russian defenses and gain any significant ground. Moreover, multiple German-made Leopard 2 heavy tanks and US-made Bradley combat vehicles were either destroyed or abandoned on the battlefield. Videos shared by Russian and Ukrainian sources this month show Ukrainian soldiers bogged down and retreating due to minefields and artillery fire.