Ukraine's Turn: What Caused the Russian Retreat and How the War Should Go

With the reinforcement of weapons from Western countries, the Ukrainians managed to make Russian troops retreat to the border. This Ukraine turn in the war that began in February 24 puts pressure on Russia to take new positions in the face of the conflict. In all the options left to Russian President Vladimir Putin, there is a great chance that his country will lose out militarily and politically.

The Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine, Hanna Malyar, said this Tuesday. fair (24) that more than 300 cities that were under Russian control were retaken by the country, as a result of a Ukrainian counteroffensive that gained strength at the end of last month. The confirmed territory is 3.800 km2 and, according to her, the real reconquest should be “almost double”.

Russian forces controlled around a fifth of the country in the south and east as of early last week, but Ukraine is now on the offensive in both areas.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday (12) that Ukrainian forces have made “significant progress” with Western support to ensure they have the necessary equipment.

Washington announced its latest weapons program for Ukraine last week, including ammunition for anti-rocket systems, and had already deployed surface-to-air missile systems capable of shooting down aircraft. Quality weaponry is pointed out as one of the main factors that led to the success of this first major Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Added to it is the country’s military strategy, which, according to Marcelo Suano, a professor of and director of the Center for Strategy, Intelligence and International Relations (CEIRI), must have guaranteed great casualties among Russian troops, despite being impossible to calculate in the midst of the information war.

“The losses of Russian troops are being very large. You don’t back down if you don’t have big losses”, recalled the professor.

Suano also highlighted that the time of conflict may be compromising Russia’s ability to replenish its reserves of equipment, fuel, food and soldiers. .

New conflicts can harm Russia

Russia cannot mobilize soldiers who are in other territories to Ukraine, creating vacuums and losing strength in other countries. And it is precisely in this scenario that Russia’s neighbor, Azerbaijan, reignited a conflict by bombing Armenia in the early hours of Tuesday. At least 49 soldiers died and three civilians were injured.

The two former Soviet republics have had clashes since the 1990s 1980 on the Nagorno-Karabakh border – internationally recognized as the territory of Azerbaijan, but populated by ethnic Armenians. The countries accuse each other of border attacks, which are repeated sporadically.

Russian diplomacy quickly announced that it was concerned about the situation and placed itself as a mediator of the conflicts.

“Russia has only political tools in the region. It has no military resources. Two thousand peacekeepers in Karabakh and a military base in Armenia are not enough resources,” the director of the Caucasus Institute based in Yerevan, Alexandr Iskanderian.

Former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofik Zulfugarov argued that “it is not in Russia’s interest, given its difficulties in Ukraine, to complicate relations with Azerbaijan and his main ally: Turkey”.

However, Putin also cannot take part of these soldiers who guarantee peace in Armenia to strengthen the fighting in Ukraine.

Possible consequences

With the strengthening of Ukraine and the impossibility of concentrating its in a single conflict, Russia is under pressure to find new ways out. Declaring the war lost is not an alternative for Vladimir Putin. Therefore, one of the possibilities is that he will finally announce that he is, in fact, at war.

At no time since the invasion of Ukraine in February has the Russian president used this word to address the invasion . Putin talks about “special military operation” and it is this idea that he sells to the population of the country.

“Declaring a war, without having a justification for it, would place Russia as an invader”, recalled Suano, and this is not the message that Putin wants to send internally to the Russians.

Still, if in fact he chooses to escalate the conflict and increase attacks, using possible more powerful weapons – maybe even start a nuclear war -, you will have to mobilize troops that are in other conflicts or count on countries like China and North Korea, which probably won’t be interested in investing in a war with the potential to become global.

Putin may also try to drag the conflict at the same pace for longer, which could lead to a weakening of other countries’ interest in the war in Ukraine, making it an increasingly isolated confrontation.

And, as time passes, Putin is questioned by political leaders for the strategic mistakes and the lack of results, while thousands of soldiers die in the neighboring country.

Weakening of Putin

Dissatisfied with this situation, seven Russian deputies from St. Petersburg call for Putin’s removal. Lawmakers on Friday sent an official letter to the country’s lower house, in which they described that hostilities in Ukraine “put the security of Russia and its citizens, as well as the economy at risk.”

The deputies also highlighted that the war failed to stop NATO – on the contrary, it caused the alliance to expand across Eastern Europe – and suggested that Putin be removed for treason against the nation, according to the article

of the country’s Constitution.

Another letter, sent directly to Putin, was also written by lawmakers. “His rhetoric of intolerance and aggression has plunged Russia back into the Cold War,” the deputies said. “Russia has returned to fear and hatred, threatening the whole world with nuclear weapons,” they described.

“We ask that you step down from office, because your views and your management model are completely outdated and impede the development of Russia and our human potential”, the deputies declared directly to Putin.

Abbas Galliamov, political scientist interviewed by the French newspaper Le Monde, recalled that part of the population is beginning to perceive that “Putin jokes while killing our boys. He sent them to their deaths and enjoys it as if nothing is happening.”

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