Ukraine failed to mount counteroffensive – ex-Pentagon adviser
The Ukrainian military has not been able to pull off its promised counteroffensive, and Russian forces are now likely to take over the whole of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to the secretary of defense in the Trump administration, has said.
Appearing on a livestream hosted by former US judge and columnist Andrew Napolitano last Tuesday, Macgregor dismissed as “utterly nonsensical” reports in some US media outlets that the Russian military has lost some 80,000 personnel in Ukraine so far. According to the decorated Gulf War veteran, “more accurate numbers are probably thirteen to fifteen thousand dead on the Russian side,” with Ukrainian forces having lost “sixty to eighty thousand.”
Commenting on these reports in late July, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov described the alleged Russian casualty figures as “fake.” He also lamented that even established media outlets are publishing misleading reports these days.
The last time Russia’s Defense Ministry provided an update on the number of casualties was in late March, at which time the official death toll had reached 1,351, with 3,825 service members injured.
When asked to comment on the current state of affairs on the frontline, the former Pentagon official said that the majority of Russian personnel had been given rest, “refitted, reorganized,” to renew the offensive in August. Macgregor claimed that the first signs of that happening were already evident, “particularly down in the south.” He went on to predict that the Russian military would seize the key port city of Odessa, making Ukraine a “landlocked country.”
“Ukrainians have been unable to put together any sort of counteroffensive. So, I don’t see much evidence that the Ukrainians can stop this,” the former Pentagon adviser claimed. Moreover, Macgregor said that the activities of Russian forces south of Kharkov in the east of Ukraine seemed to him like preliminary “shaping operations” meant to pave the way for a major offensive later on.
He concluded that “first comes the operation in the south and then subsequently up in Kharkov,” pointing out once more that the Ukrainian army does not appear to be able to stop either one.
Macgregor added that he expected these offensives to be over by the “end of August-beginning of September.”
Last month, a number of top Ukrainian officials suggested that the country’s military would launch a counteroffensive in the south of the country in August to retake the city of Kherson.
However, according to Moscow, it is the Russian military along with the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics that have recently made advances and taken territory.
On Saturday, Igor Konashenkov, the spokesperson for Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that the “allied forces completely liberated” the strategic village of Peski in the Donetsk People’s Republic.