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Ukraine Violent Stalemate Sets In, How Long Can It Last?

The Russian offense has stalled, but Ukraine does not have the weapons or manpower for a huge offensive move.
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Image from Tweet below, caption mine

Image from Tweet below, caption mine

The Wall Street Journal reports Russia’s troops have been exhausted by grinding offensives and Ukrainian resistance, but despite a promised counterblow in the south, neither side is able to advance.

Please consider Violent Stalemate Sets In as Battle Lines Harden in Ukraine’s East

“We’re at the point where Russia can no longer advance, and we can’t advance yet,” Maj. Bereza said at a command post of the Dnipro-1 battalion of Ukraine’s National Guard on the outskirts of Slovyansk.

The war in Ukraine’s east has reached a new phase: a violent stalemate. Russia’s troops have been exhausted by grinding offensives and Ukrainian resistance, bolstered in recent weeks by long-range rocket launchers provided by the U.S. The Ukrainians aim to stymie the Russians in the east and probe in the south in search of a breakthrough.

Long-range Himars rocket systems supplied by the U.S. have allowed Ukraine to strike ammunition depots and command posts deep in the rear, complicating Russia’s resupply effort and limiting its ability to concentrate devastating artillery on Ukrainian defensive lines.

“The situation has become easier but we can’t forget this is a very fragile balance,” said Capt. Serhiy Ivashenko.

“They stand at the maximum range that their artillery allows, scorch through 10 kilometers of earth, then move forward 10 and scorch the next 10,” he said. “They fire shells that simply destroy every living thing and every fortification, and it’s thanks to them that they move forward.”

Impact of Sanctions  

Eurointelligence comments that the impact of US and EU sanctions is fading. Eurointelligence provided no more details in its free edition, but this not at all surprising. 

There is little more the US or EU can do. Russia oil is flowing despite the sanctions.

Bloomberg reports European Buyers Are Snapping Up the Most Russian Crude Since April

And Russia has the threat of further cutting off natural gas supplies to the EU. On August 19, Russia announced it would stop gas flows to Europe due to pipeline maintenance.  

The shutdown is scheduled for the beginning of September and flows are already down to 20 percent of normal. 

There are risks on both sides. Once wells are shut down the loss of pressure makes it costly to restart them.

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Inflation in Ukraine

Forecasts of Russia’s economic collapse have proved just as wide of the mark, with gross domestic product falling at a grim, but less than catastrophic rate of 4% in the second quarter, as rising energy prices underpin budget revenue. As recently as May, Russia’s own finance ministry forecast a 12% contraction this year for an economy weighed by a blizzard of international sanctions. 

While the US and its close allies have imposed sanctions, many countries — from China, to India and the Middle East — have not, continuing to trade with Moscow.

How Long Can This Go On? 

That's the key question and I do not believe anyone can say. But the price of natural gas is likely to increase as long as it does. 

Meanwhile, Good Luck to Europe, Biden Threatens Energy Exporters With Stop Exporting Mandate!

After drawing down energy reserves, guess what? The Biden administration says they are too low, tells exporters to stop exporting.

Ultimately, this will end in a negotiated settlement. How long can Ukraine deal with 60% inflation? EU with energy costs? Russia with difficulty in getting parts and losing military equipment? 

This post originated at MishTalk.Com

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