Russia Speeds Bakhmut Advance, Strikes Ukraine Rear, Ukraine Shells Melitopol; Russia Weapons Output
Alexander Mercouris
The Duran (March 29, 2023)

[partial Video Transcript]

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7:30 Alexander Mercouris: "To the extent Britain gave Ukraine a promise that if Ukraine walked away from the proposals it made in Istanbul, then the United States and Britain – but, of course we're talking essentially here always about the United States – would provide Ukraine with all the weapons or the material it needed in order to achieve a military victory: a military victory over Russia; a military victory that would result, ultimately, in Ukraine regaining control of all of its 1991, all of its territory within its 1991 borders including Crimea itself. And in fact we have, ever since then, seen a steady escalation in weapons supplies to Ukraine."

8:29 "Before the war, as is now being admitted by Donald Trump, the United States, even during the period of the Trump Administration, was supplying Javelin systems and stingers to Ukraine. I figured that out months ago. There were far too many of these systems suddenly appearing in Ukraine at the start of the war for them to have all been supplied when the war – the fighting – in February 2022 began. And, in fact, Trump has now agreed and admitted that, in fact, many of these systems were already being supplied to Ukraine at a time when he, himself, was President."

9:09 "But anyway, after the failure of the Istanbul talks, the sabotage of the Istanbul talks, the United States started to supply more weapons. It started first of all M-777 howitzers and other artillery and getting its European allies to agree to do the same. These artillery pieces, as I remember, were supposed to be a game-changer. Then, when it turned out that they were not going to be a game-changer after all, HIMARS multiple rocket launch systems were supplied and other multiple rocket launch systems were also supplied by Britain and Germany. Not exactly the same as HIMARS, but essentially very similar and based on the same technology but using tracked vehicles instead of light ones. And then more systems were supplied as well, and it became clear increasingly that the United States was engaged in a massive intelligence operation in the skies over Ukraine; that its satellites were feeding information to Ukraine; that U.S. officials were participating Ukraine with not just intelligence but even command and advice."

10:53 "Well, Ukraine was pushed over the course of the summer to use all of these weapons in mounting offensives in Kherson and Kharkov; with all of these weapons, with all of this intelligence which, to be clear, did not change the strategic picture to any fundamental degree but which did cause Ukraine enormous casualties. And the United States has been on a game of escalation ever since. So that after the HIMARS and the M-777s we've seen supplies of infantry fighting vehicles, of Bradleys, of Martyrs from Germany, all kinds of infantry fighting vehicles from Britain. The British have now supplied Challenger-Two tanks with depleted Uranium shells. The United States has promised to supply Abrams tanks in time. And the Germans have provided those Leopard-2 tanks.

12:10 "So all of these military supplies have been pouring into Ukraine. The French have been doing their bit. They've been providing [artillery] shells. All of this has followed. This cycle of escalation has followed and intensified, ever since the failure, or sabotage, of those talks in Istanbul at the end of March of last year. And here we are a year later. The fighting goes on. Tens of thousands of people have been killed . . ."

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15:27 [paraphrasing Jeffrey Sachs]: "countries that get caught up in a proxy war tend to get abused and manipulated by their erstwhile patrons. And if Ukraine wants to see what happens to a country that finds itself in that position, then it need look no further than Afghanistan. . . . in it's own interest Ukraine needs to get away from this situation in which it finds itself caught up in a proxy war between great powers. Whatever the outcome for the great powers for the country that finds itself used in that way, the outcome is never good.