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28 Aug, 2023 09:22

‘The West has become a victim of its own propaganda’ – Austrian colonel

Markus Reisner said many Westerners had overestimated the fighting power of Ukrainian troops
‘The West has become a victim of its own propaganda’ – Austrian colonel

Ukrainian troops are not super-soldiers who can continue tirelessly without sufficient weapons, contrary to their portrayal in Western propaganda, Austrian Colonel Markus Reisner has warned.

The military expert, who served as commander of the Austrian contingents in Mali and Kosovo, argued that it was unrealistic to expect miracles on the front line while Kiev’s backers fail to provide the country with enough hardware for an effective offensive.

In an interview with Germany’s ZDF TV channel on Friday, Reisner said: “The problem is [that] we are the victims of our own propaganda, I tell it like it is bluntly.

He explained that “at the start of the war, we talked ourselves into believing that the Ukrainian soldiers with the German Panzerfausts [grenade launchers] in their hands were containing the Russians.

Reisner noted that those forces had continuously been worn down since then, with the West providing only between 50% and 60% of what the Ukrainian top brass was asking for to launch an offensive of its own.

According to the Austrian colonel, Kiev has made the most of what is available to it, but is lacking “crucial elements, such as, for example, a functional air force.

He added that the slow progress of the Ukrainian offensive is giving Russian forces an opportunity to set up new defense lines some distance away from the current front line.

In the absence of any significant success, the US media have already begun looking for a scapegoat for the counteroffensive’s apparent failure, but the high expectations were unrealistic in the first place, Reisner said.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous officials in Washington, reported last week that the US was unlikely to give Ukraine “anywhere near the same level” of military aid in 2024 compared to this year.

The media outlet also claimed that Washington believes it has provided Kiev with enough military hardware and equipment to breach Russian defenses.

According to the paper, American military officials are urging their Ukrainian colleagues to stick to the NATO tactics they were shown ahead of the summer counteroffensive. The Ukrainians’ refusal to do so is reportedly the source of growing frustration among US top brass.