Child Soldiers Are Not A Good Sign For Ukraine

“Children learn how to use an AK-47 assault rifle during a civilians self-defence course in the outskirts of Lviv, western Ukraine, on March 4, 2022.” 📸 AFP

The fog of war around Ukraine is positively hallucinogenic at this point. Western media is spinning stuff like child soldiers, arming grandmothers, and Molotov cocktails as some sign of victory, when this is usually the sign of impending defeat.

It brings to mind Hitler’s Volkssturm, the last ditch people’s defense of Germany.While they were certainly able to harry Russian tanks with one-shot Panzerfaustsand even assemble a few functional units, they simply had no chance against conventional military formations.

As Mark Felton said about the Volkssturm:

The effectiveness of a gang of armed civilians against an aggressive military army is minimal… Simply arming people opens them up to categories that, under the rules of war, attract violent retribution.

He also said “World War II went so badly for some nations that they sought help from civilians.” In the fog of war this is somehow spun as a good thing, when in fact it is just a sign of things going badly. Just look at these guys.

“18 year old Ukrainian volunteers off to war in Kyiv. Three days training and they will be on the front line.” - Jeremy Bowen (British state media)

The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen is a constant hype-man for what would be frowned on in the Middle East (his actual beat). He captions this “18 year old Ukrainian volunteers off to war in Kyiv. Three days training and they will be on the front line.”

These guys wearing carrying yoga mats are completely fucked. Three days training is not enough training. That fanny pack does not have enough ammunition. Knee pads are not helpful against armored tanks.

Then there’s this kid in Canada’s Globe and Mail:

Eighteen-year-old Yaroslav Hrytsiuk, left, is accompanied by Valery Kryvosheina, 17, to Toronto Pearson International Airport on March 1, 2022. Mr. Hrytsiuk, who has dual citizenship, plans to go back to Ukraine to help defend his home country following Russia’s invasion last week.

War is not just a bunch of people firing guns, it has to be coordinated. You can’t just fly into a country, walk to the front lines, and end up anything other than fucked.

I’m not even saying that children can’t destroy a tank. They can. You just end up destroying far more children than tanks. Panzerfaust armed children in Berlin were able to destroy a lot of armor, but this merely annoyed the Red Army, it didn’t stop them.

I’m also not saying that guerrilla armies can’t stop conventional forces. They certainly can. But they sustain terrible losses, often over decades. They are tools of attritional warfare, and most of the attrition is on their side.

Finally, I’m not saying that militias can’t evolve into militaries. The LTTE did in Sri Lanka, Hitler’s beer-hall bodyguards became the SA, the SS and eventually the militarily competent Waffen SS. But this happened over many years.

What I am saying is that rag-tag forces like this cannot stop a conventional military advance. And they certainly cannot counter-attack. I have no fucking clue how this war will turn out, but whatever is happening now, throwing a bunch of teenagers at it won’t roll it back. Just look at a map.