Ukraine has lost — what is Russia’s next move?

Ashish Shukla
6 min readFeb 27, 2024

(This is a reprint from NewsBred)

You won’t have heard of Jacques Baud’s new book: The Russian Art of War: How the West led Ukraine to defeat. As you might have still not laid your hands on my book on similar outcome: Russia Forever — a Future foretold.”

Baud and I are outside of the spun narrative that Ukraine is still in the game. Ukraine knows it as do her backers in the West that it has lost the war. It doesn’t have the men or material to withstand Russia’s fury. Even if the US was to stuff it with dollar bills, it can’t provide men or material on which wars are won and lost.

First thing first: Europe had thumped its chest on a guaranteed million artillery shells for Ukraine by February of this year. Well, it produced only 600,000. The US’ production was a mere 28,000 shells with the promise that it would scale it up to a lakh of shells per month by October 2025. Well, meanwhile Russia is producing 4.5 million artillery shells per year!

As for men, Ukraine is left with few. It’s already in its fourth army. This one is of forced conscription, of untrained older citizens and women. The resistance to it is so fierce that a law would come by April for compulsory conscription of men of all ages and sizes. Bribery at borders is rampant as men are paying their way out of Ukraine.

Washington Post in an article with interviews from the front, has described the state of distraught amongst the Ukrainian forces: That a mechanized brigade has fewer than 40 infantry soldiers; that while Russia is still firing 10,000 artillery shells a day, Ukraine can manage only 2,000. Some Ukrainian gunners have confessed they are allowed to fire three shells per night.


Russia has just secured Avdiivka, a heavily fortified Ukrainian city which was the ground zero for terrorist attacks on citizens of Donbass in Ukraine’s East, now a part of Russian Federation.

Russia has a whole lot of options open to it when the present regime in Kiev collapses which, for all you know, could be in just a few months if not a few weeks.

Yet Russia would wait for the Kiev regime to break terminally: it would wait to see how swift and how widespread is the collapse of the enemy before making any move.

At the moment it suits Russia to be closer to home in operations which makes repair and replenishing of resources easy. Kiev meanwhile is away from its administrative centre in trying to recover its eastern part. Fighting a war away from its core is never easy more so when you are so heavily strapped for want of men and material. Any movement of troops is also easy prey for drones and missiles of Russia.

Russia might incorporate Kharkiv which is an unfinished agenda. Dash to Dnieper is impractical as the move could play into the hands of NATO and Western Europe. The US vassals in Europe presently are busy hyping up the Russophobia for its audiences for two reasons: One to justify the security alliances presently sprucing up in Europe and two, to deny the right-wing forces from seizing power as an unprecedented number of elections are presently due in the Old Continent.

We know of the impending elections in India (April-May) and the US (November) in 2024 but look at Europe where more than 400 million people would exercise their right to vote this year.

There is Russia of course where Vladimir Putin is as good as re-elected but the present regimes in Portugal, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Lithuania, Croatia, Ukraine, UK etc are facing heat from the right-wing opposition in elections due in 2024.

Thus out in force is Russophobia. Germany and France are whipping up a military corridor which reaches Finland via Denmark-Sweden-Estonia while Poland is happy being a drummer-boy.

It has dawned on them that despite sanctions after sanctions, Russia is the strongest economy in Europe while Germany has lost most of its industrial lustre: Not least because the Western Europe is also turning its back on China.


Yet the propaganda must continue.

Alexei Navalny’s death is a moment to vilify a “totalitarian” Russia under a “tyrant” Vladimir Putin but the servile media won’t raise the red flag on what the West has done to Julian Assange all these years. No such qualm on “freedom of press” or “human rights” or “liberty and dignity” and all such nonsense.

No questions on how Navalny’s wife was invited beforehand to Munich Security Conference as if the planners knew of the coming death of her husband.

No counter-question to Joe Biden, with fake tears and all, embracing Navalnhy’s widow in San Francisco (see image below), whether this falls into meddling in Russia’s affairs which the US vehemently denies it has ever indulged into while accusing Moscow to this day of doing so in 2016 US presidential polls!

No thought if Navalny’s death was timed with the opening of the Munich Security Conference where the collective leadership of West gathered to condemn Russia as a totalitarian, predatory state: A ruse to pressure the US Congress to further appropriate funds and arms for Ukraine.

And of course Vladimir Zelensky was there on the podium to condemn the Navalny-slaver Vladimir Putin.


The corrupt media keeps lapping up to fake bravados, from deputy secretary of state Victoria Nuland to her assistant James O’ Brien who are on a spree, claiming that Ukraine’s victory is only a matter of time.

These happy bedtime stories are never questioned when they derided Russian army as a paper tiger; that Ukraine would show Russia its place; that internal revolt would make Putin a history.

President Biden told reporters that “Russia has already lost that war.” Former chairman of joint chiefs of staff Mark Milley told NATO defense ministers that “Russia has lost”; National Security adviser Jake Sullivan declared that “Russia has already lost the war.”

Media, that forward soldier of the West, predictably drummed up the lies. New York Times informed us that “the Ukrainians are winning…because they are fighting a superior idea.” Washington Post said that by the end of 2023 Ukraine would fulfil president Vladimir Zelensky’s New Year pledge to retake all of Ukraine.

Nobody was told that the war was caused by NATO expansion; that 2014 coup and its ethnic agenda sowed the seeds; that Minsk Accords were a deception; or who blew up the Nord Stream; or of Zelensky’s vow to acquire nuclear weapon in Munich in February 2022 which provoked Russia’s intervention a week later.

Everybody today is nodding at Zelensky’s lie of only “31,000 men killed thus far” when the former Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko is on record that Ukraine had suffered 500,000 dead thus far, losing “30,000 people a month in the war as killed and seriously wounded.”

And this is not the first time. The United States said verbatim the same lies during the Vietnam War. Like Zelensky today, Ngo Dinh Diem was compared to Winston Churchill; the South Vietnamese deserved American arms for they had the right “to determine the nation’s future” — as the Ukrainian government today has the right to “shape its own destiny.”

Like Vietnam then, the US would move on to some new misadventure and most of humanity won’t lose a breath.

The truth is, most of us live in a matrix, removed from reality, fed by the propaganda, conjuring up an imaginary villain when the real evil is next to us, controlling what we see, hear or believe.



Ashish Shukla

Author, International journalist, Publishes as antidote to media lies