Terrible things happened in Ukraine last week, things that are likely to set the future course of this conflict. Unfortunately, these events may come as a complete shock to the financial markets and the American public.
Last week, Russia took tremendous strides toward defeating Ukraine, events which should sound like a warning to those in Kyiv and Washington. Unfortunately, these events are little reported by the Western Media.
But for those familiar with the history of Russian and the United States, this all may have a familiar ring to it.
In the 1960 Campaign for US President, a bold, young Senator from Massachusetts declared that Russia had significantly more nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles than the United States. He called this the "Missile Gap."
Kennedy had drawn the ire of the powers in Washington that would follow him for the rest of his career. Official Washington was shocked that he would make such a “politically-incorrect” claim. The Five-Star General of the Army, Dwight Eisenhower, the incumbent President, was personally offended.
But Kennedy was likely correct. The powers that be in Washington had underestimated the capabilities of Russian technology. And it wasn't the first time. Just three years before, Russia became the first country to launch a satellite that could circle the globe. It could be seen passing overhead by everyone on the East Coast of America, just in sight of our national leaders.
Today, Washington has much the same thinking with the current conflict in Ukraine. Americans are told that the War is proceeding according to plan and that, eventually, Ukraine will be victorious. However, the events of last week paint a different story.
You may have read that the Russians captured Solidaire last week, strategically a vital location as most military experts consider Solidaire to be the key to Bakhmut. The remaining stronghold in the area puts Russia in a position to capture the entire Donbas region.
You may not know that this was accomplished not by the Russian Army but by a private militia group known as the Wagner Group. That's right, besides providing logistical support, Russia established a major tactical victory with minimal risk to its soldiers and equipment.
So how do the two sides, Russia and Ukraine, stack up currently? When the Special Military Operation began, Russia invaded Ukraine with a force of approximately 80K, while Ukraine had somewhere between 250-300K in its armed forces. A significant advantage for Ukraine.
Today, the tables have turned. Russia has called up its ready reserves, which total approximately 250-300K, about the same size as Ukraine began the War. While the Russian Reserves will join the force in the field, bringing total Russian forces in theater to at least 300K. At the same time, Ukraine suffered substantial losses during the conflict. The best estimates are that Ukraine currently has fewer than half the soldiers of Russia. Worse, the Ukrainian soldiers have been in battle for ten months now, with reports of battle fatigue and a possible outbreak of Tuberculosis impairing their ability to fight. In contrast, many of the Russian forces are well-rested, which gives Russia a two-to-one advantage in the theater.
Finally, there was an alarming event that occurred last Thursday. Russia launched 70 missiles and drones at targets around Ukraine. Nothing unusual about that; Russia has been doing that for weeks. But what made this remarkable, there were no air-raid sirens like in the past. Ukraine's air defense shot down none of the drones or missiles. Ukraine's military reported that they didn't know they were coming. Ukraine's air defenses were blind.
I understand that the American AWACS and other radars are responsible for providing Ukraine with in-depth monitoring of Russian air attacks. American planes and other ground surveillance are active 24 hours a day, providing this intel to Ukraine. But not on Thursday. Thursday, American recon was silent. And a major Russian attack occurred with no resistance.
Now, the supposition is that the Russians blocked the entire territory of Ukraine, making Ukraine invisible to American surveillance. If this turns out to be the case, it will give Russia a tremendous tactical advantage over Ukraine. One that they will, no doubt, exploit for the rest of this War.
By any objective measure, the Russian Army fighting in Ukraine is stronger and better equipped than reported. Moreover, the Russians may have a powerful new technology that has effectively cloaked the Ukraine battlefield. Which, if true, will mute America's principal battle support for Ukraine.
It's time for American leadership and the American people to recognize that Russia is fully capable of winning this War.