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The Ukraine war is lost, but Hollywood and DC don’t know it

OpinionThe Ukraine war is lost, but Hollywood and DC don’t know it

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On April 10, stars in Hollywood joined politicians in D.C. in demanding that Congress take up a war aid bill authorizing $60 billion in new assistance for Ukraine. 

But they’re all wrong. The war is lost. In fact, 90% of people in Europe believe that to be true. 

If that comes as a surprise, it shouldn’t. In late February, the Times of London published the results of a poll asking residents throughout the continent a very simple question: 


Can Ukraine win the war against Russia? Only 10% said yes. 


Ukrainian soldiers of 80th separate airborne assault brigade fires a D-30 cannon towards Russian positions at the front line, near Klishchiivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Saturday, March 2, 2024. 

So, what do they see that Hollywood stars, the White House, and leaders on Capitol Hill do not? 

Three things. 

First, Ukraine lacks the soldiers to win. Kiev has lost at least 70,000 killed in action, with another 100,000 otherwise combat ineffective. 

And that’s a crisis. As Ukraine’s Commander of Joint Forces said on April 11, there are seven to 10 times more Russian soldiers than there are Ukrainians on the battlefield. 

That assessment came three days after his colleague, Gen. Oleksandr Pavliuk, said that no matter how much war aid they get from America or Europe, they lack upwards of 500,000 soldiers to keep up the fight.  

To be fair, Ukraine’s parliament understands the crisis. They recently adopted a law to increase conscription, but it’s deeply unpopular among the Ukrainian people. It’s unclear whether or how they’ll get the bodies they need. 

Plus, existing Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines are demanding to be rotated out to return home to a normal life — and to deal with new addictions they’ve picked up while fighting. But Ukraine’s parliament said no to them, delivering a devastating blow to morale. 

Naturally, the White House and Ukraine’s defenders will insist that while Ukraine has been bloodied, so too has Russia. 

Zelenskyy seen during meeting with Sen. Graham in Kyiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (not seen) in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 18, 2024. (Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu via Getty Images)

But that’s no longer relevant. The Pentagon now says that Moscow has already recovered from their previous losses, with their overall force now 15% larger than when the invasion began. 

Which takes us to the second reason why 90% of Europeans think the war is lost: the West’s war machine can’t keep up. 

As one of Kiev’s top military officers told Politico recently, Ukraine can’t possibly produce what they need for the battlefield and neither can the U.S. nor Europe. In fact, there’s no magic weapon that’ll solve Ukraine’s lack of manpower — that’s the foundational problem. 

Nevertheless, Russia’s war machine continues churn out a shocking amount of war materiel, either on their own or with the help of China. To the point, the Pentagon assesses that they’ve re-stocked all of their previously destroyed tanks. 

In other words, Russian President Vladimir Putin has managed to weather the sanctions storm — and then some. 

Which takes us to the third and final reason for why only 10% of Europeans think Ukraine can win: bad leadership. 

Unfortunately for the West and their propaganda efforts, the Russian people largely view this war as one where NATO forces are the aggressors — and they mostly support Putin’s plan to stop them. 

There is some polling and anecdotal stories that suggest that there’s a small amount of internal discontent. But, for the most part, Russians are all-in — and feeling confident. 

ukraine russia missiles attack

A firefighter stands amongst debris in Kyiv, Ukraine following a Russian missile attack occurring at the early hours of Thursday, March 21, 2024. This was the first attack on Ukraine’s capital in 44 days. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

That’s not the case for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his people. 

First, he continues to deal with rampant corruption, to include inside his government and military. As a Zelenskyy aid told Time Magazine back in November, whatever anti-corruption efforts are in place in Ukraine, they’re not working. 


“People [in the government and military] are stealing like there’s no tomorrow.” 

Next, Zelenskyy himself is under fire for being disconnected from the true state of his military and, critics say, his heavy-handed leadership. 

Taken together, perhaps that’s why an increasing number of Ukrainians think the war is lost as well. 

A poll back in November showed that 42% of Ukrainians said they were willing to negotiate a peace with the Russians to end to the war. 

That number is up from just 29% in January 2023. 

Unfortunately for the West and their propaganda efforts, the Russian people largely view this war as one where NATO forces are the aggressors — and they mostly support Putin’s plan to stop them. 

And, frankly, the 42% are right. The outlines for a deal are still on the table; they were being negotiated back in April 2022 before Western powers scuttled them to advance President Joe Biden’s stated goal of regime change in Moscow. 


But that goal is now outlandishly out of reach (and utterly reckless regardless). Instead, the world’s focus should be on peace, not advancing another $60 billion in war aid that even Ukrainian generals say won’t save them. 

That’s the blunt reality that 90% of Europeans understand, even if America’s Hollywood stars and D.C. politicians do not. 



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