Analysts think that Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, would not abandon his country’s struggle against Ukraine despite the possibility of military setbacks and defeat.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia began in February, and Putin and his military chiefs anticipated a protracted conflict. Instead, neighboring nations, especially the United States, harshly condemned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The world community also worried about supply chain disruptions brought on by the conflict. Russian analysts have now shown that Moscow began to dread as the battle went on.
“Since September, I see a lot of changes [in Russia] and a lot of fears,” said Tatiana Stanovara, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar.
“For the first time since the war started, people are beginning to consider the worst-case scenario, that Russia can lose, and they don’t see and don’t understand how Russia can get out of this conflict without being destroyed. People are very anxious. They believe that what is going on is a disaster,” she added.
Putin made an effort to downplay Russia’s many growing military losses. Putin, for example, attempted to ignore the Russian military’s departure from Kyiv in northern Ukraine. A pullback from Kharkiv in northern Ukraine followed this. And more recently, numerous areas of Kherson in southern Ukraine saw a Russian withdrawal. Analysts claim the most recent departure sent gloomy waves to Russia’s backers and sympathizers.
“What now to say about Kherson? Yes, I’m not happy either, like many of you. But, yes, I also thought there would be a different solution,” said journalist and politician Andrey Medvedev.
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‘Putin is desperate not to lose’
Ukraine gained little but crucial successes as the conflict went on. Numerous academics, lawmakers, and commentators criticized Russia for continuing to invade Ukraine. This happens d Despite Russia’s vain attempts to seize wins in several Ukrainian areas. As a result, many think Putin is now weak after suffering significant combat casualties.
“The very fact that Russia is still waging this war, despite its apparent defeats in March [when its forces withdrew from Kyiv], indicates that Putin is desperate not to lose,” said Ilya Matveev, a political scientist in St. Petersburg.
“I think that already everyone, including Putin, realized that even tactical nuclear weapons will not solve the problem for Russia. They cannot just stop [the] military advances of [the] Ukrainian army; it’s impossible. Therefore, tactical weapons cannot decisively change [the] situation on the ground,” Matveev added.
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The war’s damage
Thousands of individuals have already perished in the fight. Russia lost more than 88,000 troops since the conflict started on February 24, according to a count by Ukraine. The figure is simply a preliminary estimate, given that many unreported deaths were during the battle. In the meantime, Russia published a body count of 6,000 to refute the Ukrainian figure.
“Of course, if tomorrow, let’s imagine some fantasy that Zelenskyy says, ‘OK, we have to capitulate, we sign all the demands by Russia,’ then, in this case, we can say that Putin can have a little chance to restore his leadership inside of Russia, but it will not happen,” said Stanovaya from R.Politik.
“Every step makes him more and more vulnerable. In fact, in [the] long term, I don’t see a scenario where he could be a winner. There is no scenario where he can win. So in some ways, we can say that he is politically doomed,” Stanovaya added.
Photo Credit: Atlantic Council