December 7, 2022

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War in Ukraine: Why Putin’s dream of winning the conflict is crumbling | Ukraine and Russia

“Truth is on our side, truth is strength!” cried the Russian president. Vladimir PutinAt a microphone in Moscow’s Red Square last week, following a ceremony, he declared four large swathes of Ukrainian territory now part of it. Russia.

“Victory is ours!”

But in the real world, the situation seems quite different.

Hundreds of thousands of men flee Russia Not to be enlisted to fight in an ever-expanding war.

Things are going so badly on the battlefield that Putin and his supporters are now reframing what they once called “reductions.” Ukraine The defense of Russian speakers as an existential struggle against the entire “collective” West.

That’s the truth – none of it is positive Russia.

Victim of the system

“He’s in a blind zone. He doesn’t really see what’s going on,” argues Anton Barbashin, head editor of Riddle Russia. Russia.

Like many, the political analyst believes that Putin is completely vulnerable to strong Western support and strong opposition to Kiev. Ukraine For business.

Having completed 70 years this Friday (07/10) after more than 20 years in power, President Russia A victim of its own system. Your autocratic style blocks your access to solid intelligence.

“Everyone who works with Putin knows the world and his vision of the world Ukraine, know your expectations. They cannot provide information that contradicts his view. That’s how it works”.

The president’s last speech, delivered under the Kremlin’s gilded chandeliers, reaffirmed his vision of a new world order.

In this A Russia The powerful, threatened Western world was forced to learn to respect it and Kiev once again submitted to Moscow.

To achieve this, the Ukraine This is Putin’s chosen battlefield.

Although his ambitions often seem illusory, he is not ready to back down.

“Many of the critical calculations the Kremlin was working on didn’t work out, and Putin doesn’t seem to have a plan B other than to keep pushing people to the front lines. Ukraine To go even further”, assesses Anton Barbashin.

“Putting people to the front” is a significant change.

Putin continues to call his invasion a “special military operation” – indicating it will be limited and short-lived.

Many Russians were able to support it – as long as it did not directly affect them. But the call of military protectors has turned something distant and abstract into a very close and personal danger.

Regional politicians race each other Soviet-style to fill their quotas by recruiting as many people as possible.

“In the first months, the dead came mainly from the suburbs and small centers. But mobilization (by the executors) will change that as the coffins return to Moscow and St. Petersburg.”

‘Atrocious’ conditions

The call generated lengthy exchanges of messages on social media from the wives and mothers of the new recruits – who did not run to the borders when the mobilization was announced.

Some of the posts — and videos of the men — reveal dire conditions: poor food, old weapons and a lack of basic medical supplies. Women discuss sending sanitary pads to stuff men’s shoes and tampons to cover wounds.

Governor of Kursk Region, Ill RussiaEven without uniforms, conditions in many army units were described as “simply appalling”.

Such revelations poke holes in one of Putin’s proudest claims: that he has rebuilt the Russian military into a professional fighting force that patriotic citizens want to serve.

But for now, the women of most recruits are focused on supporting their troops.

“We are at a point where a significant part of Russian society still believes in ‘The.’ Russia A great power to fight against NATO Ukraine‘, and sending recruits socks and toothbrushes is a sign of patriotism,” Anton Barbashin tweeted this week.

But the chaos created by summons and military control Russia And they get prominent figures to speak.

While liberals condemned the invasion UkraineThey were arrested – and many are still behind bars.

In pro-Kremlin circles, the word “war” is now commonplace, as are harsh criticisms of the Kremlin’s military command. Russia.

MP Andrei Kartapolov this week appealed to the Defense Ministry to “stop lying” about Russian problems because “our people are far from stupid”.

Many Russians have fled across the border into Kazakhstan in the past two weeks. – Photo: Getty Images via BBC

RT TV editor Margarita Simonyan cited Joseph Stalin’s practice of executing “cowardly” and “incompetent” generals.

But the general public is not questioning the invasion, let alone Vladimir Putin.

Margarita Simonian refers to him as “The Boss”.

“There is no anti-war political movement,” exemplifies Tatiana Stanovaya, especially in an environment of political repression. Even those who oppose mobilization choose to flee. Some are trying to leave the country, while others are hiding. But we don’t see any attempts to create a political opposition.

That could change, she says Russia Keep absorbing and losing more and more troops.

“Putin must bring some success.”

A ‘holy’ war with the West

Even the president hinted at the problem this week, calling the situation in the annexed territories “troublesome.”

But there is enormous pressure to blame setbacks Russia In the patronizing “collective” West Ukraine.

State journalists are now covering land grabs Ukraine A much bigger one, seemingly pushing the nation into a wider struggle.

“This is our war against total Satanism,” TV host Vladimir Solovyov told his audience this week. Solovyov is a staunch supporter of Putin.

“It’s not about this Ukraine. The West’s intention is clear. Regime change and fragmentation RussiaSo the Russia No more,” he shouted.

This is the “truth” that Putin believes – and that’s why this moment is objectively weak Russia It is also a time of danger.

“This war is for existence Russia Therefore, victory for Putin should be possible,” argues R.Politik’s analyst Tatyana Stanovaya.

And “he has nuclear weapons,” he recalled.

“He believes that at some point in nuclear escalation, the West will walk away Ukraine.”

She is not alone in noting Putin’s intense, almost messianic tone.

“This is what he really seems to believe: this is the last war of the Russian Empire, an all-out war with the West,” says Riddle Russia’s Anton Barbashin. “We are at the finish line Russia Available or not.”

Of course this is also the “truth”. Vladimir Putin Now more than ever, the West needs to believe that.

The map shows the areas of Ukraine controlled by Russia in October 2022. — Photo: BBC

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