The chances of the head of the Kremlin to achieve at least some of his goals are getting slimmer.
It looks like there is no end to the bloodshed in Ukraine, but course of the war is clearly shifting against the aggressor Russia.
In particular, this opinion expressed editorial board of The Washington Post and assessed the possible consequences of the failure of Putin’s plan “B”.
In the face of stiff resistance from the Armed Forces of Ukraine – backed up by timely and massive deliveries of Western weapons – the Russian army retreated from Kharkov all the way to the border that Putin sought to erase and concentrated on the Luhansk region.
But even that may be beyond the capabilities of the depleted, poorly managed Russian forces. On the contrary, the next tipping point in this war is more likely to be an expanded Ukrainian counter-offensive that will bring back under its control an increasing portion of Ukraine’s south and east now captured by Russia.
Journalists emphasize that the West seeks to shorten the time of the war, so it can use the present moment to negotiate a truce between Ukraine and Russia. In particular, we are talking about France, Germany and Italy.
Their desire to shorten this destructive war is understandable, but the risks of reducing the pressure on Putin before he is completely defeated, and perhaps even then, are too high.
This was made clear in congressional testimony on May 10 by Director of National Intelligence Avril Gaines, who noted that Putin was likely preparing for a protracted war and would not give up on his goals outside the Donbass.
Putin, she said, is only using the talks to play for time and appears to be counting on the EU and the US to ease sanctions amid food shortages, inflation and worsening energy prices.
But NATO leaders should not give Putin any reason to believe that such a strategy will work.
As UNIAN reported, on the eve of the new issue of The Economist published an article under the heading “Putin failed to take Ukraine, but won the oppression of Russia.”
According to experts, the war brings back to Moscow the atmosphere of Stalin’s times. Reporting on each other has become a habit again, and the fear of expressing one’s thoughts permeates even the circles of close friends.