Kiev’s Worst Attack Against Donetsk In Eight Years Is A Desperate Attempt To Save Face
Kiev’s latest war crime was also a psychological operation aimed at manipulating domestic, Russian, and Western perceptions of the conflict at this pivotal moment when its dynamics are once again trending in Moscow’s favor. It’s too early to predict whether this hybrid military-infowar provocation will succeed in obtaining its desired results, but there’s no doubt that more will likely follow as Kiev becomes more desperate.
Mayor of Donetsk Alexey Kulemzin wrote on Telegram Thursday morning that “Another war crime was committed this morning by Ukrainian fascists. Today, at exactly 7:00 a.m. [04:00 GMT], they subjected the center of Donetsk to the most massive strike since 2014.” Kiev’s worst attack against that newly incorporated Russian city in eight years was undertaken out of desperation in an attempt to “save face” amidst the American Ambassador to NATO admitting that the bloc can’t keep up the pace of its aid.
Julianne Smith dropped that bombshell while speaking at an event hosted by the CSIS think tank on Tuesday, but it shouldn’t have been surprising for objective observers. After all, it was already obvious by as early as last spring that NATO couldn’t indefinitely sustain the scale and scope of its military support for Kiev. That anti-Russian alliance’s stockpiles are dwindling yet its military-industrial complex can’t replace its lost supplies fast enough to reverse this trend.
This development is to the detriment of Kiev’s offensive and defense capabilities. It’ll struggle to maintain its on-the-ground momentum after reconquering the right bank of Russia’s newly reunified Kherson Region simultaneously with struggling to fend off Moscow’s reportedly planned offensive early next year. This isn’t speculation either but is proven by two recent statements from Ukrainian officials that strongly hint about those disadvantageous aforementioned consequences.
Defense Minister Reznikov’s announcement on Monday that his side will supposedly resume its “active counteroffensive actions” after the ground freezes can be interpreted as a tacit admission that the expected decline in NATO’s military aid hampered Kiev’s plans. Likewise, Foreign Minister Kuleba’s warning the day after that Russia is supposedly planning a “large offensive” by late January or early February can be seen as hinting that Kiev risks being crushed if NATO scales back its aid as expected.
Taken together, it’s clear that the military-strategic dynamics at this phase of Russia’s special operation are trending in Moscow’s favor, with the decisive variable being that NATO’s military-industrial complex exhausted its capabilities after ten months of contributing to this proxy war. Reading the writing on the wall, it’s therefore understandable why Kiev is panicking since it’s increasingly being coerced by circumstances into moderating its maximalist goals in this conflict and thus considering a ceasefire.
That’s politically unacceptable for its leadership though and they’re thus desperate to distract the public from this emerging trend, ergo why they authorized the most massive strike on Donetsk in eight years in order to “save face”. Kiev hopes to terrorize the local Russians there, boost pro-war sentiment at home, and convince NATO to sacrifice the rest of its dwindling stockpiles at the expense of its members’ minimum national security needs in order to maintain the pace of its proxy war support.
Analyzed from this angle, it can therefore be concluded that Kiev’s latest war crime was also a psychological operation aimed at manipulating domestic, Russian, and Western perceptions of the conflict at this pivotal moment when its dynamics are once again trending in Moscow’s favor. It’s too early to predict whether this hybrid military-infowar provocation will succeed in obtaining its desired results, but there’s no doubt that more will likely follow as Kiev becomes more desperate.