"Ukraine Bits: No Ammo, More Casualties,
Thin Lines, Propaganda And Passing The Buck
by b
Moon of Alabama (June 11, 2022)

The real state of the war in Ukraine, which I had described some two months ago, has now reached the main stream media. The Zelensky regime in Ukraine is using it to beg the 'west' for more guns and ammunition:

From the last link:

The Independent claims to have seen an intelligence report that showed even worse numbers:

This was easily foreseeable. As I wrote in mid April:

To match Russia's 50,000 rounds per day, with each round weighing 50 kilograms, some 2,500 metric tons of ammunition would have to be moved per day from Ukraine's western border to the east. After reaching some railhead in the east they would have to be loaded on some 350 trucks to be distributed while being under fire from long ranging Russian weapons. This would have to happen each and every day.

The U.S. has large depots of ammunition but even those would be emptied within a few month if no large scale production of new rounds would be happening. Munition production is usually done only on a small but steady scale of a few hundred rounds per week. The west would have to scale up production to allow for the supply Ukraine would need to match Russia.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense Ukraine's artillery has lost 506 multiple launch rocket systems and 1,859 field artillery and mortars since the beginning of the war. The daily reported number of pieces hit have changed over time from 50+ per day to now single digits.

The total numbers in the Russia report are too high (as they usually are in similar 'western' reports). They amount to more than what the Ukraine had at the start of the war. But we can safely guess that more than 90% of Ukraine's guns and missile systems have been destroyed. Meanwhile the 'west' has promised the Ukraine some 200 gun and some 50 missile systems. Half of those are former soviet types. The other half are newer and need 'western' ammunition. They seem to arrive only in trickles.

The U.S. has send some 100 M-777 lightweight howitzers. Only a few have been seen at the front in the east and some were already destroyed there. Others are used to fire on non-military targets in Donetsk city. We can guess where the rest is. The M-777 is lightweight (4.2 metric tons) because it is largely made from titanium which has a ten times higher scrap value than steel. Some entrepreneurs in Ukraine's west seem to have found that recycling the guns (or selling them elsewhere) is of more value than sending them to the east where they would surely be destroyed within a few days.

Ten days ago the Ukrainian comedian and president Zelensky had admitted that some 60 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are getting killed per day. That number was highly qualified and an advisor to Zelensky has now doubled it:

The real numbers are certainly higher than anything the Zelensky regime will ever admit. In a World War I like artillery dominated conflict (but without gas attacks) the number of wounded to dead is historically some 4 to 1 with one of the wounded additionally dying later from his wounds. This historic 'sanitation deaths' rate of wounded later dying from their wounds has since been halved by the use of antibiotics. But in Ukraine it may well be higher than usual in modern wars as its medical infrastructure is in a quite bad shape and as many medical personnel have fled the country.

So lets assume that the real numbers are some 300 dead per day plus 1,200 wounded. An eighth of the wounded, 150 men, will later die from their wounds. This casualty rate has been the same each and every day since early April when Zelensky rejected further negotiations and the war entered its attrition phase. It means that over the last two months the Ukrainian army lost more than 18,000 men with an additional 70,000 wounded. Some of whom will also have died by now while others will have fully recovered. The Ukrainian army started out with some 200,000 soldiers. Later some 30 to 100,000 men of the territorial defense forces were called up and send to the frontline. There were reports that some of these untrained units have had casualty rates of 65%.

No army can use all of its men on the front line. There are always a lot of logistic and support troop needed.

The tooth to tail ratio (T3R) in a military can be between 1 to 10 up to 1 to 2.5. The Ukrainian frontline will probably be held by some 20% of the Ukrainian army (200,000 minus dead and wounded plus territorial forces and a 1 to 4 T3R). That makes some 40,000 men over a current frontline length of some 1,000 kilometer. Those are 40 men per kilometer or 64 per mile. That is a quite thin force. It will not take many more weeks until that line breaks decisively.

Zelensky could shorten the contact line by half and double its defense power if he were willing to allow a retreat to the Dnieper line. But he has so far rejected any request for retreat. That seals the fate of his army.

I have written earlier about the effects of artillery fire on the morale of an army:

The Independent report quoted above speaks of ever growing desertion numbers. They are still only a trickle but will become a flood as soon as the frontline breaks down. I now expect that to happen at the end of this month.

While the soldiers die by the hundreds per day Ukrainian officials continue with their propaganda gimmicks (machine translation):

A 'filtration zone' is where prisoners of war will be interviewed and sorted before they are moved to prison camps. The Ukraine army has used such zones to torture prisoners.

Two days ago I noted that the blame game for the loss of the war has begun. Zelensky will be the one to whom the buck will be passed to. President Biden has now joined in this:

"Zelensky did not listen to us and he didn't inform us how bad the war was going," will become the standard line as soon as the Ukrainian army is on the run. [emphasis added]


We planned and ran the war, but Ze didn't' tell us that we fucked up. Shame on him!

Joe Tzu

Posted by: albagen | Jun 11 2022 18:44 utc | 14

However little ammunition the Ukies have got, they always seem to have enough to shell civilian targets.

Posted by: MarkU | Jun 11 2022 19:26 utc | 33

This is yet another classic failure of Western intelligence. They knew Ukraine could not hope to win on the battlefield, that is just propaganda fluff for the plebs. They fully believed the sanctions from hell would destroy the Russian economy and bring on regime change in a matter of weeks. The fact they miscalculated so bad is a testimony on how little they know about Russia, it's economy, it's military, its people. Now they have no idea what to do. They truly believed Navalny would be sitting on the throne performing the Kiss of Shame on each and every western buttocks presented to him. Better change the narrative quick!

Posted by: nook | Jun 11 2022 19:29 utc | 38