RIA Novosti published an article under the heading "It's all over." The American intelligence officer told what awaits Ukraine. It says :
“Despite assurances from the West, Ukraine has already lost in the fight against Russia,” Scott Ritter, an American military analyst, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and UN arms control inspector in Iraq, told Mysl Polska.
"Everything is over. Regardless of the statements in the West about Russia, everyone already knows that Ukraine has been defeated,” he said.
According to Ritter, Kyiv, relying mainly on artillery for combat operations, will deplete its stocks by the summer, but NATO will no longer have the opportunity to replenish them. <…>
Western countries constantly talk about the fact that Ukraine must defeat Russia on the battlefield, and increase the supply of weapons and military equipment. In Moscow, they have repeatedly stated that Western military assistance does not bode well for Ukraine and only prolongs the conflict, and transport with weapons becomes a legitimate target for the Russian army.”
Scott Ritter is well known to our Anti-Fake column. He is indeed a former intelligence officer who served in the 1980s. Later, in 1991–1998, Ritter worked as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq. But in the 21st century, his career was cut short: the former intelligence officer was accused of pedophilia. He was twice caught trying to arrange dates with underage girls he met online. In both cases, the police pretended to be girls. The first time, after a six-month probationary period, the charge was dropped, but the second attempt ended with two and a half years in prison for him. In 2014, he was released, but for obvious reasons, there was no longer a demand for his services as a military expert in the United States. However, in 2019, he found someone to offer his services to: he began to regularly collaborate with the Russian RT channel and since then has been making statements in accordance with the Russian propaganda line. Ritter accused Ukraine of killings in Bucha, declared Biden a war criminal, and claimed that Poland was going to attack Ukraine and occupy its western regions.
However, this time the problem that Ritter is talking about is not entirely fictional. On February 13, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that the rate of expenditure of ammunition by the Armed Forces of Ukraine exceeds the rate of their production in the countries of the alliance. But the task of increasing production is quite solvable; The Pentagon announced that in the spring the production of 155-mm shells will increase one and a half times, the Slovak ZVS Holding will increase the production of the same shells by 5 times (up to 100,000 per year) during the year, the German company Rheinmetall will invest €10 million in a new production line for release of ammunition for anti-aircraft guns Gepard.
But the fact that the Russian army is also experiencing similar problems, Ritter prefers to ignore. Meanwhile, Bloomberg noted that both sides were running out of ammunition, and U.S. Military Academy adjunct professor, combat simulation specialist, Retired Major Vikram Mittal published an article in Forbes in January, “From Strength to Vulnerability: The Decline of Russian Artillery in the War in Ukraine ", where he stated :
“Modern warfare uses the destructive nature of artillery to shape the battlefield from great distances. The Russian military has built its military structure on the tactical use of artillery, so that each separate battalion tactical group (BTG) includes an artillery battery. This distribution provides significant firepower for these small tactical units. Russian artillery has historically provided their troops with a great advantage on the battlefield. However, as the war in Ukraine developed, Russian artillery became one of the most vulnerable places.
In theory, the Russian BTG is centered around artillery. When used as intended, the infantry and armored units that make up the bulk of the BTG are called upon to protect the artillery battery, allowing it to take advantage of the position. Artillery then strikes the enemy forces in coordination with drones, electronic warfare equipment and forward observers, causing significant damage and forcing the enemy to retreat from the territory. The BTG can then quickly grab that territory and repeat the process moving forward. <…>
During the massive invasion of Ukraine that began last February, Russia's use of artillery did not go as planned. Russian drones were unable to detect Ukrainian targets, and communication networks were too unreliable for units to exchange information about the battlefield. Therefore, the BTG commanders preferred to use their artillery to bombard large areas in the hope of hitting Ukrainian targets. It is estimated that up to 60,000 artillery shells were fired by Russian troops per day, most of which hit no military targets. <…>
This overuse of artillery leads to a number of problems. First, the high consumption of projectiles has put a staggering strain on Russian supply networks and supply chains. Ukrainian reports claim that the Russians have exhausted most of their artillery reserves. Aside from the projectiles, the artillery pieces themselves are generally not designed for that many rounds. Even with proper maintenance, barrels need to be replaced after a certain number of shots, and the Russians have probably depleted those barrels as well. These supply lines have been a frequent target for Ukrainian artillery, drones and rocket attacks.
A more serious question arises in connection with the use of counter-battery systems by Ukrainians. These advanced systems can detect an incoming projectile and pinpoint its origin even before it hits its target. Therefore, modern doctrine requires artillery systems to move immediately after firing to avoid counter-battery fire. <…>
Problems with artillery, most likely, arose due to insufficient training of Russian military personnel. Prior to the invasion, many units were undertrained and major training events were likely canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, due to the successful actions of the Ukrainians, the Russian officer corps was greatly thinned, which forced the Russians to throw insufficiently trained officers with little experience into a fierce battle. These officers may not have had enough experience to be aware of the second order consequences of overuse of artillery.
Artillery at its most basic level requires three things: guns, ammo, and soldiers. The Russians are quickly running out of stocks of both, and the other, and the third. As these stocks deplete, the Russians will increasingly turn to alternatives, including loitering munitions and cruise missiles. However, Ukrainian forces are building a robust network of air defense systems to deal with these weapons, which are also reportedly running out.
From the very beginning of the invasion, little went according to plan for the Russian forces. Lack of training and experience, especially among Russian officers, led to the overuse of artillery. The Ukrainians have successfully exploited this problem by turning what should have been Russia's great strength into one of its biggest vulnerabilities."
So Ritter's conclusions about the imminent defeat of Ukraine look a little more plausible than his own predictions about Poland's attack on Ukraine, which Poland itself is arming.