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Putin Admits Failure: Russia Has No Chance of Conquering Ukraine

T-72 Russia Tanks in Ukraine
Russia's T-72 tank firing. Image Credit - Creative Commons.

Russia can’t conquer Ukraine. What now? The Russian military expected an easy walkover in Ukraine and was planning on an operation to take control of the country that would last just a few days. Much like when they annexed Crimea in 2014, Russian military leaders and intelligence officials were expecting casualties to be very low. 

None of that has transpired. And it has signaled a possible shift in the ultimate goals for Russia, which would be a huge defeat for their military forces. The Ukrainians have put up a spirited defense and had a plan to counteract the numerically superior Russian military. And they have enacted horrendous casualties on Russian forces. 

While they’ve given up large swaths of their terrain, all of their major cities remain in Ukrainian control. The skies over Ukraine still remain contested, where the vast majority of military analysts believed Russia would dominate. 

The Ukrainians, despite still being vastly outnumbered in tanks and armored vehicles, now have more tanks and armored vehicles than they began the war due to large numbers of them being captured by Ukrainian forces or just being abandoned by the Russian military. 

Putin All But Admits Failure: Is Russia Rethinking The Strategy to Take Kyiv?

It appears that due to the massive number of casualties they have suffered as well as the loss of so many armored vehicles, the Russians have stopped their advance on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv

Taking a large urban area such as Kyiv would require a lot of assault troops and the largly Russian conscript military is ill-trained for such an undertaking. Now it appears that due to these factors, the Russian military is shifting its focus to securing all of the areas of the Donbas.  

Col.-Gen Sergei Rudskoi, deputy chief of the Russian general staff, said the main objective of the first stage of the operation — reducing Ukraine’s fighting capacity — has “generally been accomplished,” allowing Russian forces to focus on “the main goal, the liberation of Donbas.”

The Donbas is the area where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting against the Ukrainian government. Moscow has recognized the Donbas and Luhansk areas as independent republics. 

While some analysts believe that Moscow is rethinking its overall strategy to just taking the Donbas and Luhansk regions, others believe that this digging in around Kyiv doesn’t signify them pulling back but rather just a tactic to hold the territory that they’ve taken until a time that the eastern regions would become a new jumping-off point are secured first and then their full attention can be turned to Kyiv. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out the ceding of any Ukrainian territory for the sake of a peace deal. “The territorial integrity of Ukraine should be guaranteed,” he said during his nightly address to the Ukrainian people. “That is, the conditions must be fair, for the Ukrainian people will not accept them otherwise.”

It is far too early for any of these moves to point to anything definitive just yet. Meanwhile, Russia continues to paste Ukrainian cities with heavy artillery and missile fire, taking a large toll on civilians and civilian infrastructure. 

Ukraine Russia

Russian artillery. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Despite their heavy losses, the Russia’s Defense Ministry and General Rudskoi continue to post rosy reports stating that Russian military forces had achieved all of their “main objectives” and they had “considerably reduced” the combat power of the Ukrainian military. While that may be true, the cost is approaching Pyrric proportions. 

Former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA Robert Gates said, “Here we are in Ukraine seeing conscripts not knowing why they’re there, not being very well trained, and just huge problems with command and control, and incredibly lousy tactics,” while speaking at a convention of the OSS Society. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was the World War II forerunner of both the CIA and the U.S. Army Special Forces.  

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

Written By

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for PatsFans.com and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Roscoe Sandstone

    March 28, 2022 at 8:30 am

    One big long opinion, no facts, just opinion. What little, outside of his opinion, that was mentioned was cherry picked and construed and twisted. What a lot of hokum.

  2. Paco

    March 28, 2022 at 9:12 am

    I’m curious as to whether or not there is an editor for some of these articles given how many spelling errors, inappropriately capitalized letters and repetitive words that cause sentences to not be clear or concise I notice while reading. Maybe other readers don’t notice but to look slightly more legitimate, these details should be addressed… I would think.

  3. Alex

    March 29, 2022 at 11:35 am

    Did Russia have plans to conquer Ukraine? What nonsense. Before writing such articles, you need to at least study the history of the issue. And the answer is simple: Russia announced a special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine. It is a shame not to know or to pretend that you do not know this.

  4. James

    March 30, 2022 at 7:28 am

    @Alex… you communist troll.. the world laughs at russia. Your country just went -100 years of progress. Imagine how it must feel to be russian… you are now on day 34 of your 3 day WAR against Ukraine… hahah how is it going? The world laughs as we see russian invaders dying by western antitank weapons. Death to putin, death to russian military, i piss on the dead bodies of your comrades and call their mother from the phone found on the dead bodies and laugh. ruska suka 🤣😂

  5. Alex

    March 30, 2022 at 11:31 am

    I won’t even respond to Bandera’s Nazi troll clown who pretends to be James. But for smart people:
    To know the real information about the battles in Ukraine, without false propaganda, I advise you to read the articles of the American journalist Scott Ritter. He tells truthfully about how Russian troops clear the cities, how the Bandera Nazis retreat, talks about the real losses of the parties.
    To know the real information about the atrocities, torture of Bandera Nazis, I advise you to read Gonzalo Lear.
    Note that the American Gonzalo Lira lives and works in Ukraine. Now he is in besieged Kyiv and almost daily shares his impressions of what is happening.
    In the context of the version of events imposed by the collective West, Gonzalo Lira insists that all information from the Russian Ministry of Defense is true.
    So earlier he stated the following: “The Russians are incredibly disciplined when it comes to information management. The only information coming from the Russians is statements directly from the Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Their information so far has been 100% accurate, which, I think is a deliberate strategy. There was a lot of Ukrainian propaganda that turned out to be complete fantasy, but even after these stories turned out to be false, people cling to them.”
    These people know what they are talking about, unlike the false propagandists here.

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