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We Think We Know Why Putin Could Try to Capture Kyiv Again

T-84
T-84 Ukrainian tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

“Putin’s Brain” Academic Predicts Troops Will Return to Kyiv – Alexander Dugin, an ultra-nationalist Russian author and political scientist who is often labeled “Putin’s brain,” told Turkish media this week that the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv was purely tactical and that troops will inevitably return to the region.

The comments contradict comments from Kremlin spokespeople who said in late March that troops would move on to the “second phase” of the so-called “special military operation” which aims to “liberate” the contested region of Donbas.

“The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been accomplished,” Kremlin official Sergei Rudskoi said at the time. “The combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which makes it possible to focus on our core efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbas.”

Alexander Dugin, a close confidante and advisor to the Russian president, suggests that Russia’s strategy has either since changed or Kremlin officials were purposely misrepresenting their military strategy.

According to Dugin, who is also credited with influencing the Russian president to authorize the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Russian withdrawal from Kiev was a “purely tactical move” and a “temporary situation.” He claimed that the decision has allowed Russian forces to execute a number of “revisions” to their strategy under the leadership of newly-appointed Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, the so-called “Butcher of Syria,” as the leader of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

“The Russian army is currently fighting the sovereign powers that impose a unipolar world,” Dugin told Turkish media, referring to NATO forces. “We cannot lose this war. Otherwise, the whole world will turn into a large fire.”

If Dugin’s concerns are shared by the Kremlin, it could indicate that the recent appointment of Gen. Dnornikov – and the suspected chemical attack in Mariupol that followed – was a move made with the intention of escalating warfare and adopting new, more dangerous tactics in Ukraine.

Returning to Kyiv Could Be Necessary for Putin

Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, former Russian legislator Ilya Ponomarev said that President Vladimir Putin can’t stay in power for very much longer if Russia loses the war in Ukraine.

Ponomarev, who left Russia in 2016 when he was ousted from the Russian parliament, has lived in Kyiv, Ukraine, ever since. Speaking to CNN from the Ukrainian capital, Ponomarev said that he is staying in the city to fight alongside Ukrainian troops to “defend humanity and Europe.”

He also suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin can’t stay in power if he loses in Ukraine – which could explain Putin’s rumored interest in redeploying troops in Kyiv.

“No dictator can survive after losing the war,” he said, adding that Putin “has no way how he can win the war.”

The former legislator also predicted that to save face, Putin will “try to claim a certain victory” on May 9 – a date celebrated in Russia that commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945. The holiday is commonly known as “Victory Day.”

Reports revealed last month how the Russian president was considering ending the war in Ukraine on the same day, as part of his propaganda efforts to paint Ukraine as a fundamentally neo-Nazi or white supremacist country.

If Putin wants to claim victory on May 9, it will require one of two things. Either the Russian president changes the definition of victory – meaning he could spend the next three weeks attempting to take control of as much of the Donbas region as possible – or he will need to escalate the war and re-focus on Kyiv.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. richard charles wentworth malim

    April 15, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Nasser survived losing 2 wars

  2. Alex

    April 15, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    The Pentagon doesn’t know, but the author knows – amazing.

  3. Bertram

    April 15, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    Putin’s goal at this point is not taking Ukraine.

    It is saving his hold on power in Russia.

  4. sprinter

    April 15, 2022 at 5:24 pm

    It’s ironic the Russian comment that the combat resources of ukraine have been significantly reduced. The ukraine record of Russian dead and wounded approaches 80,000, of invasion force of 150,000. That’s either a pyhrrhic, victory, not! or the russians got mauled and will be forced to bring in what little reserved they can scrape up. Russian losses in equipment including the capital ship are over 5.3 billion dollars. Russian armament factories have stopped producing tanks, because western technology embargo is biting.
    The conflict is now open ended so that ukraine has the ball in its court as to when to end the conflict.Ukraine will not let go the opportunity to regain Crime a and eastern ukraine, and western countries will not want to drop sanctions without significant concessions by Putin.
    Russians have a reputation for being good chess players, but in this instance there is always an exception, such as Putin.

  5. Alex

    April 15, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    I wonder why there are no Russian field hospitals anywhere, neither in Ukraine nor in Russia? After all, they are deployed with losses of 3,000 people. It is interesting that there should already be at least 30 such huge territories with hospitals, but they are not. It is probably better to believe the data about the remaining about 100,000 Ukrainian military, of which there were originally 250,000. Almost 1,500 elite troops of Ukraine – marines – surrendered to captivity at one time. This indicates only one thing: the propaganda lie can no longer work, and the corpses of the Bandera Nazis cannot be hidden. Glory to Russia. God is with Russia. God turned away from the Bandera demons and their sponsors.

  6. speedster

    April 16, 2022 at 6:54 am

    Quote “God is with Russia” , wait a moment, surely God would be expected to be with Russia, in Russia.
    Somehow the russians invaders have decided to take God with them into ukraine, as if God was not already in Ukraine.
    Then to compound the pretence that God was with the Russian invaders, the russians scratched their heads, and thought just in case for does not move into ukraine with us, let’s take missiles, tanks, air defence systems, ships, oops, MOSKVA, maybe God was not with the russians, when God decided to turn the ship into a submarine.a
    Also God decided to give nearly one thousand of the invaders armoured vehicles, of all types to godly ukraine.
    It’s clear that God thinks that invading other countries is not a good enterprise.

  7. Alex

    April 16, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Why. Bandera have their own “god”. In one propaganda video, a girl who symbolizes Ukraine slits the throat of an alleged Russian soldier with a sickle and says the following: “You have awakened our god, who was dozing at the bottom of the Dnieper.” If we remember the history, then it is said here about the worship of the pagans to the ancient evil that lives in the deepest and blackest places of the Dnieper. Therefore, yes, the Bandera Nazis have their own “god”. Ukrainians, Russians, in general, all Slavs and other peoples who profess Christianity have one God. The one with whom the truth will win, the one with whom God will win. And these will be real Ukrainians and their Russian brothers. Bandera Nazis are waiting for their “god” – in the blackest steeps of the earth.

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