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March 14, 2024 (EIRNS)—The state of Estonia—population 1.3 million—is demanding that Western countries turn over roughly 10% of their total military spending, roughly 120 billion euros, to the Kiev regime as military aid. “Allocating €120 billion a year to military aid to Ukraine is a ballpark figure for what should be enough for Ukraine to win the war,” Kusti Salm, Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Defense Ministry, said, in an interview with the Brussels-based portal Euractiv, reported TASS. He believes that with the money, by 2025, Ukraine will get to a point at which they can impose attrition on Russia.

Such dumping of military support into Ukraine now was likely a sign of desperation, since the assessments, making the rounds yesterday, were that Ukraine is losing and Russia has the upper hand. Even Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi is reported to think so. “I have done some work in two brigades, where the situation is steadily becoming more challenging and there is a threat of enemy units advancing deep into our battle array,” he said on Facebook, according to another TASS report. The commander conceded that the “operational situation remains challenging” along the entire engagement line. He said Russian forces “continue their offensive operations, focusing their main efforts in the areas of Terny, Ivanovskoye, Berdychi, Tonenkoye, Verbovoye and Rabotino.”

Ukraine’s problem isn’t merely a lack of equipment and munitions, but also manpower. Yesterday Financial Times reported legislation, pending in the Verkhovna Rada Ukrainian parliament, aimed at increasing the pool of available manpower. The new law—due to be put to a parliamentary vote on March 31—seeks to update the country’s legal framework ahead of a probable recruitment wave this year, in which up to 500,000 people could be drafted, according to FT. The draft will be aimed at modernizing recruitment and training, as well as replacing those troops who have been there from the first month of war, the Ukrainian defense ministry told the FT. “It will strengthen our defense posture,” it added. But the law is proving controversial, with more than 4,000 amendments (!) submitted by Ukrainian lawmakers on the first draft.

According to a report yesterday by RFE/RL, Ukraine’s strategy is now shifting over to the defensive, but Ukrainian forces are way behind in building new defensive works. Ukrainian commanders are rushing to lay out defensive lines—trenches, bunkers, “hedgehog” tank obstacles, dragon’s teeth, minefields—defenses that, some experts say, should have been built months ago, it reports. Military recruiters and logistics officers, meanwhile, are scrambling to find more men to replenish decimated and exhausted units.

RFE/RL reports further that the situation on the battlefield is grim for Ukraine, experts say, and the disruption of weaponry and supplies from the United States is making it grimmer. Russia has the momentum, and nothing in the foreseeable future is likely to change that, according to military analysts.

“The Ukrainians are absolutely in no position to significantly degrade Russian forward momentum,” Konrad Muzyka, a Polish-based defense analyst who visited several locations in Ukraine near the front lines last week, told RFE/RL. “The Russians will slowly but steadily capture new villages and settlements. It definitely will not be blitzkrieg. But I think it’s fair to say that … currently the Ukrainians are at the weakest, probably since mid-2022.”