American military expert explains ‘slow’ Russian advance in Ukraine
Russia has largely achieved its objective of neutralizing the Ukrainian military, but Western governments mistakenly believe the deliberate progress designed to avoid civilian casualties reflects weakness and are funneling weapons to prolong the fighting, a former top Pentagon adviser has said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given strict orders from the outset to avoid civilian casualties and extensive property damage, retired US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor told the Grayzone in an extensive interview on Tuesday.
This has slowed the Russians’ advance “to the point where it has given false hope both to the Ukrainians … but seized on by people in the West, to try and convince the world that a defeat is in progress, when in fact the opposite is the case,” Macgregor said.
“The war, for all intents and purposes, has been decided,” the retired colonel said. “The entire operation from day one was focused on the destruction of Ukrainian forces. That’s largely complete.”
The Ukrainian units still active “are completely surrounded, cut off and isolated in various towns and cities,” said Macgregor, including as many as 60,000 on the border with Donetsk, whose supplies are likely running out by now.
Media coverage of the fighting, however, ignores this reality and paints a picture of the Russian military being “inept” – in the words of some US senators – because it didn’t defeat Kiev in mere days. This is then used as an argument by advocates of NATO intervention and a “no-fly zone,” but also those who wish to send more weapons to Kiev.
“It’s very obvious Washington wants this to continue as long as possible, in hopes Russia would be desperately harmed. I just don’t see that happening,” Macgregor told Grayzone on Tuesday.
The biggest problem right now is that “in the West, there is no truth. There is wishful thinking and there is this impression of success by the Ukrainians that doesn’t stack up,” the colonel added. “The biggest lie I’ve heard repeated on television is, Russian troops have been told to deliberately murder Ukrainian civilians. That’s absurd, it’s nonsense.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the US Congress on Wednesday to send fighter jets, air defense missiles and other weapons to Kiev, as well as establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, so his army could defeat Russia. He made the same argument to Canadian lawmakers on Tuesday.
Macgregor, however, believes that such shipments will have no effect and that Zelensky’s refusal to negotiate an armistice is only going to get more Ukrainians killed.