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Seymour Hersh Explains That Ukraine Forces Are Giving Up

Sept. 22, 2023, (EIRNS)—Seymour Hersh, in an article posted on Substack yesterday, reports that “significant elements in the American intelligence community” believe that the Ukrainian army is so demoralized by its failure to make real progress against Russia’s layered defenses that large elements of it have given up. “The reality is that Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s battered army no longer has any chance of a victory,” Hersh writes. “The war continues, I have been told by an official with access to current intelligence, because Zelenskyy insists that it must. There is no discussion in his headquarters or in the Biden White House of a ceasefire and no interest in talks that could lead to an end to the slaughter. ‘It’s all lies,’ the official said, speaking of the Ukrainian claims of incremental progress in the offensive that has suffered staggering losses, while gaining ground in a few scattered areas that the Ukrainian military measures in meters per week.”

The official, still not otherwise able to break with the U.S./NATO narrative about Putin’s “stupid decision” to start the war, nonetheless says that the Biden administration’s decision to wage a proxy war in response was also stupid. “And so now we have to paint him [Putin] black, with the help of the media, in order to justify our mistake,” he said. Take note that the unnamed official here cited a joint black propaganda campaign vs. Putin run by the CIA and British intelligence.

The official remarks that the early “successes” of the Ukrainian army in the offensive were actually traps set up by the Russians, by which they were able to destroy the Ukrainian forces. “After weeks of high casualties and little progress, along with horrific losses to tanks and armored vehicles, he said, major elements of the Ukrainian army, without declaring so, virtually canceled the offensive,” Hersh writes.

Hersh does not mention it, but this account is coherent with Russian Defense Ministry reports of interviews with Ukrainian POWs who decided to surrender to the Russians because they saw their own commanders treating them like cannon fodder.

Hersh reports that one byproduct of the Biden administration’s neocon hostility to Russia and China “has been a significant split in the intelligence community. One casualty are the secret National Intelligence Estimates [NIE] that have delineated the parameters of American foreign policy for decades. Some key offices in the CIA have refused, in many cases, to participate in the NIE process because of profound political disagreement with the administration’s aggressive foreign policy.” The disagreement in particular is with the Defense Intelligence Agency, whose optimistic assessments the White House apparently prefers.

“The war is over. Russia has won. There is no Ukrainian offensive anymore, but the White House and the American media have to keep the lie going,” the intelligence official told Hersh. “The truth is if the Ukrainian army is ordered to continue the offensive, the army would mutiny. The soldiers aren’t willing to die any more, but this doesn’t fit the B.S. that is being authored by the Biden White House.”

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