Analysis of the News “Ukraine will lose: Analyst claims – The window for a settlement has closed”

March 2023

As part of the Regional Initiative in Combating Disinformation “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: Exposing Malign Influences through Watchdog Journalism”, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Ukraine will lose: Analyst claims – The window for a settlement has closed

“The idea circulating on the Internet is that the current conflict in Ukraine will remain a static war of attrition that will cripple the Russian military. So what if it decimates Ukrainian society and uproots most of its population. At least the formidable Russian war machine will stop at the killing fields of Ukraine”, is the beginning of the text published on the website of the daily newspaper Večernja Novosti, which conveys the text from Asia Times. In the text, American analysts comment on the state of the war in Ukraine. The dominant narrative is that Ukraine, significantly weaker than Russia, is in “chaos from which it cannot escape”.

According to Daniel Davies, the losses suffered by the Ukrainian military in a “futile attempt” to maintain control of Bakhmut have led to a serious reduction in Ukraine’s offensive capabilities, “which are unlikely to be restored anytime soon.”

Novosti reports that Asia Times commentator Stephen Bryan “correctly assessed” that, since Ukraine’s position in Bakhmut is “collapsing before the Russian offensive”, Kiev is “planning” an attack on Crimea, which is controlled by Russia.

“Even at full capacity, it would be difficult for the Ukrainians to occupy this Russian-controlled region. Under current conditions, any attempt by Ukraine to invade Crimea will result in a total disaster for the West.”

The text suggests that all events at the front are solely in favor of Russia, who even “have time on their side”. Therefore, Moscow does not have to negotiate anything, because “Ukraine is retreating, and it is unlikely that its forces will soon be able to launch an effective offensive.”

That week, other portals also published statements by various American analysts and former officials saying that Ukraine is “already dead.” Thus, Sputnik Serbia conveys the view of the former Pentagon adviser, Colonel Douglas MacGregor, that “Ukraine has already suffered a collapse as a state.”

And the website reports the analysis of the American newspaper National Review that Russia and America will divide Ukraine when it becomes “weak and exhausted”. It is reported that the occupation of Crimea would be too expensive because such large-scale operations would require “a huge amount of equipment and ammunition, and even then, it would hardly be successful without powerful air support.”

All the mentioned texts do not contain concrete corroboration for the claims that Russia has a huge advantage on the ground, as well as that Ukraine is significantly weaker. The fact that the statements of American analysts are used for such claims suggests that the West is becoming aware that Russia has a great advantage.

Author: Sofija Popović