No Ukrainian Dunkirk

President Zelensky made a personal visit to Avdiivka in late December in order to shore up morale and make a general statement regarding his resolve to keep the place under Ukrainian ownership. Six weeks later it’s in Russian hands. Evidently President Zelensky repeatedly ignored military advice to prepare for evacuation. He also seems to have way overestimated the resources available to successfully reinforce the defenses in that area. When it was finally obvious to everyone that the siege was ending with the Ukrainians being trapped or swept out, Zelensky did not mount a Dunkirk effort. Instead, he blames the rout on American lack of support. He looks at us and says, “You think your Afghanistan withdrawal was a humiliating disaster? Hold my beer.”

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1 Response to No Ukrainian Dunkirk

  1. Jeffery Lebowski says:

    I think that the first six months of the war created an Information Operations narrative that ended up feeding Zelenskyy’s belief that western money, a thin veneer of western firepower and western sanctions would get him to his stated end states, Ukraine within its 1954 Soviet borders and regime change in Moscow.

    The strategist in me would say neither Ukrainian end state was feasible, suitable, adequate or complete. Further, I think the fall of Kabul would have (and I know still does) color American advice in the eyes of the Ukrainians, so even if someone was to bring it up, it would have been ignored. Then, of course Lindsey Graham and the POTUS parroted it, so it became a de facto national policy, as well.

    However, I think incidents like the fall of Avdiivka and the earlier loss of Bakhmut belie the lack of military acumen of Zelenskyy, and his lack of a trusted high level military subordinate within his Servant of the People Party

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