Ukraine War, May 25, 2022: Russian forces advancing in Donbas, close to cutting Ukrainian supply lines; Germany apparently acting in bad faith on delivery of heavy weapons

Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates.

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Joe Barnes and Roland Oliphant,”Ukraine says ‘fate of the country’ could be decided in Donbas battles; Vladimir Putin’s troops close to encircling cities of Severodonetsk and Lyschansk, and seize three towns in Donetsk region,” The Telegraph, May 24, 2022 (10:00 pm);

2) Thomas Klug, “GENERAL A.D. WITTMANN (Interview), ‘Man muss realistisch feststellen: Die russische Feuerkraft ist weit überlegen,'” Die Welt, den 25, Mai 2022;

Commentary

It’s beginning to look like the endless hesitations and delays in getting heavy weapons to Ukraine and to the front in the Donbas are having a major impact on the battles raging there.

General A.D.Wittmann, in the interview by Thomas Klug in Die Welt, explicitly makes this point:

Revised Google translation

Welt: As far as arms deliveries are concerned, the reports are often contradictory. First it says: We can deliver. But then the federal government says: What we could deliver is currently in the yard and has to be repaired first. What now?

Klaus Wittmann: I can tell you two things about this: First, if the relevant decisions had been made in March, then Leopard, Marder, Panzerhaubitzen 2000, Gepard would all have been repaired, supplied with ammunition, the teams would have been trained and these very effective weapon systems would have been used in Of Ukraine. Second, if you really want something, you can make it happen. And if you don’t want something, you’ll always find excuses.

Original German

WELT: Was Waffenlieferungen anbelangt sind die Meldungen oft widersprüchlich. Erst heißt es: Wir können liefern. Dann aber sagt die Bundesregierung: Das, was wir liefern könnten, das steht momentan auf dem Hof und muss erst mal repariert werden. Was denn nun?

Klaus Wittmann Dazu kann ich Ihnen zwei Dinge sagen: Erstens hätte man die entsprechenden Entscheidungen im März getroffen, dann wären Leopard, Marder, Panzerhaubitzen 2000, Gepard alle instandgesetzt, mit Munition versorgt, die Mannschaften wären ausgebildet und diese sehr wirksamen Waffensysteme wären im Einsatz in der Ukraine. Und zweitens, wenn man etwas wirklich will, dann kann man es zustande bringen. Und wenn man etwas nicht will, dann findet man ewig Ausflüchte, Vorbehalte, bürokratische Hemmnisse und dergleichen.

Gen. Wittmann states that Russia now occupies 90% of Luhansk Province, and has made more territorial gains in the last seven days than it did in the previous days in May.

As for how things are going, he has this to say:

Revised Google translation

WELT: Let’s take a look at the situation in eastern Ukraine again: In which direction is it going overall?

Klaus Wittmann: I hope, I hope that Ukraine will hold out, that it will continue to be supplied with weapon systems and that it will regain the initiative. In an interview on the war against Ukraine, SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich said: “I hope that there will be a ceasefire soon. Then we can finally concentrate on other issues.”

Firstly, I find that incredibly lacking in empathy and secondly, it fuels the suspicion, which others have already expressed, that the German political leadership is playing for time, hoping for a ceasefire, so that you don’t get it at all more must deliver on the promises regarding heavy weapons. And then you misjudge what is happening to the people in the areas that Russia has occupied. And one fails to recognize that Russia has doubled the occupied Ukrainian territory compared to February of this year and will certainly not give up this conquered territory in negotiations. So now wanting to persuade the Ukrainians: you have to enter into a ceasefire as the highest priority, I think that’s wrong.

Original German text

WELT: Schauen wir jetzt noch mal auf die Situation im Osten der Ukraine: In welche Richtung läuft das gerade insgesamt?

Klaus Wittmann: Ich hoffe, ich hoffe, dass die Ukraine standhält, dass sie weiter mit Waffensystemen versorgt wird und dass sie wieder in die Initiative kommt. Der SPD-Fraktionsvorsitzende Rolf Mützenich sagte in einem Interview zum Krieg gegen die Ukraine: „Ich hoffe, dass es bald zu einem Waffenstillstand kommen kann. Dann können wir uns endlich auf andere Fragen konzentrieren.“ Ich finde das erstens unglaublich empathielos und zweitens nährt es den Verdacht, den schon andere geäußert haben, dass die deutsche politische Führung auf Zeit spielt, auf einen Waffenstillstand hofft, so dass man dann gar nicht mehr die Zusagen einlösen muss hinsichtlich der schweren Waffen. Und da verkennt man, was in den Gebieten, die Russland besetzt hat, den Menschen passiert. Und man verkennt, dass derzeit Russland das besetzte ukrainische Gebiet gegenüber Februar dieses Jahres verdoppelt hat und dieses eroberte Gebiet in Verhandlungen ganz sicher nicht herausgeben wird. Also den Ukrainern jetzt einreden zu wollen: Ihr müsst jetzt als allerhöchste Priorität einen Waffenstillstand eingehen, das halte ich für verkehrt.

This is truly distressing news. Leaders in tbe SPD may be playing for time in delaying the delivery of promised heavy weapons, in the hope that an early ceasefire will make it unnecessary for the government to actually carry through on its promises.

This position reflects the thinking of Henry Kissinger, who at Davos this week proposed that Kyiv should be forced to make territorial concessions to Russia, e.g., by retturning to the status quo ante.pin order to establish peace.

Further, it suggests that the German government of Olaf Scholz, or at least tge Social Democratic Party which he leads, has been acting in bad faith vis-å-vis Ukraine, offering countless bureaucratic excuses for not delivering the heavy weapons which it pledged.

It suggests, further, that assuming Scholz was sincere and well-intentioned in reversing tge previous German policy of not sending weapons into conflict zones, and in committing to the delivery of heavy weapons t Ukraine, there remain within his party powerful elements opposed to such action and willing to sabotage them from within the government to make sure that they are not carried out.

It thus appears that the strong criticisms from leaders of other parties in Germany, from the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, and from other NATO countries have been fully justified.

It does indeed appear that, on the question of heavy weapons and their delivery, Gernany has been acting in bad faith.

The Trenchant Observer

***

See also,

Only force can stop Putin

“Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2022.

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