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28 Nov, 2023 10:27

EU officials fear Ukrainian military collapse – WSJ

The concerns have reportedly come amid heavy losses for Kiev’s troops during its counteroffensive
EU officials fear Ukrainian military collapse – WSJ

EU officials fear that Ukraine’s position in its conflict with Russia could “unravel” this winter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

This comes, according to the article, amid heavy losses for Kiev’s troops during their counteroffensive which was launched in early June, and a “dysfunctional” military conscription system “plagued by corruption.”

Since the conflict with ukraine escalated in February 2022, Western states have actively supported Kiev by sending military aid. A month after the conflict spiralled, NATO member states issued a joint statement, saying, “Massive sanctions and heavy political costs have been imposed on Russia … We remain determined to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia.”

In late September, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc would “stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

In mid-November, however, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky complained that aid deliveries from the West had “decreased.” Last week, Zelensky admitted in an interview with Fox News that the counteroffensive had not gone as planned.

The Wall Street Journal report noted that many of the replacements in the Ukrainian army are “men in their 40s and are often sent to the trenches with too little training.”

On Friday, Roman Kostenko, secretary of the parliamentary committee on Defense, National Security and Intelligence, told Ukraine’s Radio NV: “We all know that we have a problem with mobilization now, we can say a failure of mobilization,” adding that if the situation does not change, there will be “very big problems.”

Earlier this month, the BBC reported that around 20,000 men who are eligible for the draft have fled Ukraine, despite a ban on leaving the country during martial law, which was declared at the outset of the conflict. Another 21,000 have attempted to flee but were caught by the authorities.

According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, as of late October, Ukraine had suffered more than 90,000 casualties since the start of the counteroffensive. Last Tuesday, Shoigu released new figures showing that Kiev’s forces had lost more than 13,700 more troops in November alone.

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