Seeing that summer is coming, the rumored “spring counteroffensive” in Ukraine has not arrived yet, and the “bad news” that the Zelensky government needs to face is one after another. Recently, the Russian Aerospace Forces and Army Missile Forces have intensified their air strikes on key military targets in Ukraine. In the past 48 hours, the joint air force consisting mainly of MiG-31K fighter jets, Tu-22M3 bombers and Tu-95MS strategic bombers The strike group carried out multiple rounds of air raids on the Patriot anti-missile system positions in the urban area of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and the weapons warehouse on the outskirts of Odessa. The Russian army fired at least 50 missiles and dozens of loitering ammunition on targets in Ukraine. During the strike, at least three bad news were brought to Ukraine. The first one was that the Russian Air Force used multiple “Kissner” hypersonic air-to-ground missiles to accurately destroy the positions of the Ukrainian “Patriot” anti-missile system. It proves that the Ukrainian air defense system is still very weak, and the “Patriot” anti-missile system provided by the United States still cannot make up for the huge air defense loopholes.
The second bad news is that none of the combat aircraft was shot down during the large-scale air strikes launched by the Russian army. Unpredictable”, the Russian military industry has found a way to solve the problem of component supply caused by the sanctions, and after the bombing campaign, the Russian military has launched a series of military operations in Seversk, Bakhmut, Malinka, Avadivka and Kerry Simultaneously launching a new round of ground advance in the direction of Mina, especially the new military operation in the direction of Seversk, seems to have become the new focus of a possible large-scale offensive by the Russian army after the Battle of Bakhmut.
The last piece of bad news is that US aid to Ukraine may be “broken” starting in September this year. The US “Defense One” website recently published an article stating that unless the US Congress approves the injection of new funds, the US government’s military assistance to the Kiev authorities will slow down or even stop before August.
According to statistics, since the Russian Federation Army launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine in February last year, the US Congress has approved the provision of US$48.9 billion in direct military aid and weapons and equipment delivery to Ukraine. As of mid-May this year, US$36.4 billion has been delivered or has been signed. According to the average delivery rate since the beginning of this military conflict, the remaining US$11.3 billion in weapons, equipment and ammunition supplies will be used up in the next four months. Then what? And then there is none. The military aid approved by Congress was accumulated in four bills passed in March, May, September and December last year. Maybe the U.S. Congress will approve the fifth Ukrainian aid bill in the future, but the Biden administration has not made a request so far, and all officials in the Biden administration have remained silent on inquiries from the U.S. media about this matter.
In fact, it is not that the Biden administration does not want to give new military aid to the Zelensky administration, but that it cannot. On the one hand, the United States is facing serious economic problems. The Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike is facing the dilemma of “thunderstorms” by small and medium-sized banks and the inflation rate is rising again. The US government has no money left to take care of Ukraine’s feelings; The general election is about to begin, and the U.S. Republican Party is using the excuse of not raising the government debt ceiling to force the Biden administration to accept a series of political additional conditions, including substantial cuts in government spending. Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised during his election campaign that he would no longer approve the U.S. government to issue a “blank check” to the Kiev authorities, although he expressed verbal support for the current Ukrainian regime.
There are also quite a few other American politicians who oppose supporting the Zelensky regime. In late April this year, 17 Republicans in the U.S. Congress signed an open letter calling on the U.S. government to stop all aid to Ukraine. Even some Democrats sent out a letter calling on the US to engage in direct “peace talks” with Russia, but later retracted the letter. The American public’s support for Zelensky’s administration has also continued to weaken. A recent poll by the Brookings Institution, an American think tank, shows that voters of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, are less willing to pay for the war in Europe, and people are more concerned about economic and employment issues. For example, the proportion of Democratic supporters willing to support the Zelensky administration fell from 80% last October to 65% last month. Most Republican voters are opposed to continuing to use “real money” to support the Kiev authorities.
People all over the world understand that without the military support provided by the US government, after the existing weapons and ammunition are exhausted, the current Ukrainian regime has no choice but to surrender, and Russia will eventually win. Western countries imagine that Ukraine will learn from Japan’s “100 million pieces of jade”? There is no such possibility at all. Now Ukraine can only count on other Western countries to step up their support. Recently, Britain and France jumped out.
First, the British Minister of Defense announced to Parliament in early May that the British government had provided the Ukrainian military with the “Storm Shadow” stealth cruise missile, and then French President Macron also told the media in mid-May that the French government also formally decided to use the Provide the Ukrainian Air Force with the twin weapon of the “Storm Shadow” missile-“SCALP-EG” stealth cruise missile. These two missiles are developed by the European MBDA company, and they are basically the same from structure to function. Their supply to the Ukrainian army will break an unwritten rule that NATO countries have adhered to since the beginning of the war, that is, to avoid or eliminate the supply of offensive long-range weapons to the Ukrainian military, so as to prevent the Zelensky authorities from “recklessly” using them to strike Russian territory In depth, triggering Russia’s retaliation against NATO countries or triggering the escalation of the war.
The GMLRS guided rockets launched by the “Haimas” rocket provided by the U.S. military to Ukraine have a range of only about 70 kilometers, and the maximum range of the “Ground-based Small Diameter Bomb” (GLSDB) launched is only about 150 kilometers. The maximum range of the ER extended-range joint direct attack ammunition is only tens of kilometers. However, the maximum range of the “Storm Shadow” and the export-oriented SCALP EG cruise missile will reach about 250 kilometers, which is enough for Ukraine to attack all targets on the Russian-occupied Crimea Peninsula when launched in its own airspace, including the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Serbia. Vastopol’s naval command and a large number of military facilities, as well as the Kerch Strait Bridge connecting the Crimean Peninsula and Russia, needless to say, can attack almost the entire territory of Belarus and all states adjacent to Russia and Ukraine.
What’s more, the self-use version of the United Kingdom and France can reach 560 kilometers. The outside world is not clear whether the British and French support Ukraine for their own use or for export. At present, there is no evidence that the Ukrainian army uses the “Storm Shadow” and “Scalp-EG” cruise missiles. However, due to the Huge power (the weight of the warhead is 450 kg), once used, it may cause huge losses to the Russian side. Therefore, the use of these two missiles may escalate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
In addition, Macron also revealed in the same speech that the French Air Force has opened the door for the training of Ukrainian Air Force pilots, “training can begin now.” But this sentence is likely to be just a blank check, because the Ukrainian Air Force has never equipped French fighter jets, and France has never promised to provide fighter jets to the Ukrainian Air Force.
But on the whole, if Ukraine cannot continue to receive military assistance from the United States, other NATO countries represented by Britain and France will become the “life-saving straw” of the Zelensky authorities. However, the arms industries of other NATO countries have maintained a small scale of production for a long time, which may not be able to meet the daily needs of the Ukrainian army for weapons and ammunition. This may be one of the reasons why Britain and France decided to provide more advanced long-range weapons. After all, if the production of shells cannot be supplied, a small number of long-range missiles can still play a lot.