Any full-blown war between NATO and Russia would end in a nuclear wasteland, and distant America would not be spared as it was in the last world war.
While Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has enjoyed great success in cajoling Western countries to contribute a vast amount of military hardware to support Kiev's fight against Russia, there is one precious commodity he must provide for himself: manpower.
The NATO-bloc countries can send Ukraine all of the military equipment at its disposal, but if there are no qualified personnel to operate the sophisticated machinery the massive contributions will be of no avail. And make no mistake: Ukraine is bleeding troops faster than they can replace them.
Last month, Russia President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russian forces had so far failed and the Ukrainian army had suffered heavy losses of 71,000 men in the three-month-long attacks. Even the Western media does not dispute that figure. That's an astonishing death toll that does little to encourage Ukrainian patriots to rush to their local recruitment office to enlist on behalf of their beleaguered country. In fact, with Kiev unable to conceal news of the disastrous battlefield results, the only way to get fresh recruits has been to grab men off the street in broad daylight.
While martial law prohibits men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving Ukraine, many have chosen to hide at home to avoid the dreaded military summons, or, when that fails, pay hefty bribes from $2,000 to $10,000 per person to avoid conscription. Meanwhile, an estimated 6 million Ukrainian refugees have escaped to the European Union since the opening of hostilities in February 2022. Zelensky has appealed to European countries to return the Ukrainian draft dodgers with limited success. Thus far only Poland has agreed to return their Ukrainian males seeking shelter.
With Ukraine unable to balance the manpower differential, how long will Western countries be content to sit back and watch as their proxy war against Russia self-destructs? As insane as it sounds, could NATO forces be tempted to quietly enter the fray to offset Ukraine's massive disadvantage on the troop front? If recent accounts are credible, it looks like such a scenario may have already happened.
On September 23rd, a reconnaissance team of the Russian army reportedly destroyed a Ukrainian Leopard tank in the Kupyansk direction. When the Russians approached the disabled machine, they discovered that the mechanic-driver of the tank was seriously wounded, and the rest were killed.
"The mechanic, when he gained consciousness and saw us, started shouting "nicht schissen," (which means 'don't shoot' in German), said the commander of the group with the code sign 'Legend,' RIA Novosti reported. Just before losing consciousness and dying, the soldier admitted that the entire tank crew was from the Bundeswehr, the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Whether NATO states are really deranged enough to risk sending their soldiers into Ukraine, it is beyond doubt that the Western military bloc is fully invested in the war with Russia. The United States itself has pledged over $100 billion in aid packages to Ukraine since the opening of hostilities began last year, including more than $43.8 billion in military equipment such as howitzers and ATACMS long-range missiles, Stinger antiaircraft systems, and Abrams tanks.
Last month, the Biden administration announced an additional $600 million in aid to be sent to Kiev, including a fresh supply of HIMARS ammunition, as well as depleted uranium tank rounds. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the delivery of such munitions "a step towards accelerating escalation".
Meanwhile, the U.S. Global Hawk, a high-altitude, unmanned surveillance drone, has been making regular flights over the Black Sea, off the coast of Crimea, where the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol just sustained a direct hit from a cruise missile. Without the assistance of the Global Hawk 'eye in the sky,' the Ukrainian military would not be able to conduct successful strikes against the peninsula, experts say.
Again, all of this shows that the Western nations are fully committed to the proxy war against Russia, even if it risks the possibility of triggering an all-out hot war. There comes a point when people will feel strongly compelled to protect their 'investment,' even if that means getting their hands dirty. And that is exactly the situation that Ukrainian President Zelensky is hoping for, as he fully understands that Ukraine stands no chance of emerging victorious against Russia without hundreds of thousands of NATO 'boots on the ground.' While NATO has carefully avoided direct conflict against Russian soldiers, on several occasions already Zelensky has attempted to drag NATO into the war through various provocations.
In November 2022, for example, after Russia conducted a missile barrage against targets in Western Ukraine, two Polish civilians in the border village of Przewodow were killed after a projectile struck a grain farm. Zelensky was quick to brand the incident a "Russian missile strike on collective security." Fortunately, and over Kiev's heated objections, Warsaw called for an investigation into the incident. This week, Polish investigators - much to the surprise of Moscow, which is rarely vindicated in such cases - confirmed that the missile was fired from a Soviet-designed S-300 air defense system by Ukrainian forces.
That one incident demonstrates how quickly the current conflict can spiral out of control, especially with an irrational man like Zelensky at the helm in Ukraine, where the world of politics can violently turn on a dime. The former actor understands that his very survival ultimately depends on a Ukrainian victory, which is only feasible with the full support of NATO forces. But even then there can be no victor, as any full-blown war between NATO and Russia would only end in a nuclear wasteland, and distant America would not be spared as it was in the last world war. The fact that Zelensky must be aware of that grim fact, yet still pushes for such an apocalyptic scenario, should be enough for all of NATO to abandon this desperate man and agree to peace negotiations with Moscow at the earliest opportunity.