Ukraine War, May 29, 2022: Western resolve weakening, as Russia is winning; Public attention is waning

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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) Richard Kemp, “Putin has regained the military initiative in Ukraine; Strengthened by Western complacency, the Russian president has successfully launched his fight-back, The Telegraph, May 29, 2022 (6:44 pm).

Colonel Richard Kemp is a former infantry commander and chairman of the Cobra Intelligence Group

2) Lawrence Freedman, “Will the West pressure Ukraine to concede territory? Ukraine’s war effort is being sustained by its many allies, but that support may not last forever, The New Statesman, May 28, 2022.

Lawrence Freedman is an emeritus professor of war studies at King’s College London.

Commentary

Richard Kemp paints a sobering picture of the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine, where in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine Russia seems to be slowly, inexorably gaining the upper hand.

His portrait of the current situation serves as a necessary corrective to the premature optimism of many observers, including American government officials who only a month ago were carefully crafting statements to be made by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after his visit to Kyiv in order to give Volodymyr Zelensky a strong hand at negotiations with the Russians, which they expected to take place in the coming months.

Lawrence Freedman provides a big picture overview of the war, and the risks that the unity of the West and their support for Ukraine, including even the supply of weapons, could grow frayed over time.

In the U.S., meanwhile, the news media have been turning their attention away from the war in Ukraine. In a world of “breaking news” stories, after all, news of the war has become boringly repetitive. There is much less coverage than before on the television news channels, on the op-ed pages of the leading newspapers, and in these newspapers themselves.

One has the sense that Americans are starting to tune out news of the war.

This phenomenon may be similar to the way the coverage of the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani government, and the flight out of the country of thousands of Americans, so intense in August and September 2021, diminished greatly after the the last Americans were out and the brutal reality of the Taliban regime had become clear.

What could be done?  There was, in fact, very little that could be done after the catastrophe of  President Biden’s decision to withdraw and its botched execution.

The American people lost interest, and the Afghans, particularly the women of Afghanistan, were left to a cruel fate as not only Americans but the entire world looked away.

Americans seem to be increasingly “finished” with the war in Ukraine, as they became “finished” with the COVID pandemic even while it was still raging.

The only difference between the Afghanistan debacle and the war in Ukraine is that the war in Ukraine is still going on, and promises to do so far into the future.

It may not affect Americans very much, except at the gas pump, unless it leads to a nuclear war.

The Trenchant Observer

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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, 2922 .

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