The conflict in Ukraine is the most televised conflict in history. Every citizen with a phone is a camera operator. The result is stunning pictures like this:
It is unknown what kind of missile struck the ship, be it a Neptune anti-ship missile or some other ballistic missile. What is clear, however, is that we are getting a closeup view of what modern warfare looks like. This is not a battle against goat herders in remote regions of Afghanistan. Ukraine is armed with some of the most modern equipment that NATO has in its arsenal. Thousands of Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles have been shipped to the country.
It is impossible to get accurate numbers of losses on either side. While it is easy to see when a large ship gets destroyed, it is the tens of thousands of small units of armed men that will decide the conflict. Each side claims to have suffered minimal losses themselves while inflicting catastrophic casualties on the enemy. As usual, the answer lies somewhere in-between. Russia is certainly losing more men and arms than it anticipated. Ukraine’s modern weapons are working exactly as advertised, allowing its smaller force to inflict heavy damage.
There has been some conjecture that Russia has sent in the B team for the invasion. This idea asserts that Putin is using inexperienced conscripts and older equipment, which would help to explain why his forces are getting bogged down. The theory is that Russia is saving its higher-level forces in reserve in case they must take on NATO, in the event they intervene.
The possibility of NATO forces in Ukraine seemed remote at the beginning of the conflict. But as the war drags on, it becomes a less distinct possibility by the day, given the unpredictability of events and the fog of war.
It is impossible to determine who is winning or losing from the combat footage. The images and videos do not give an objective overview. They only provide tactical wins and losses. But the footage does provide us with images of the horrors of war — a war that we hope can come to a swift and peaceful end.