Can russia afford to wage a multi-year war?
The debate over the duration of the hostilities in Ukraine is a matter of much controversy. However, experts believe that a protracted conflict is unlikely. Find out whether russia can wage a long-term war and how putin's plans have changed
At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the russian dictator claimed that he would achieve the goals of the special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine within three days. However, the war has been going on for more than a year now, and Ukrainians have been holding strong and repelling the russian invaders, forcing them to make "goodwill gestures" in many temporarily occupied territories.
How have putin's plans for the goals of the SMO in Ukraine changed?
The likelihood of a protracted military conflict is well aligned with the policy that russia has pursued toward Ukraine over the past decade, organizing and exploiting its invasion of the country's eastern and southern territories.
The announced partial mobilization also indicates that the aggressor country is ready for a long-term confrontation. However, it is important to note that this is a forced measure due to numerous setbacks at the front.
Therefore, the prospect of long-term hostilities is increasingly being voiced by international military experts. In their opinion, russia will try to exhaust Ukraine and strengthen its control over its own citizens. Indeed, in many aspects, russia has already prepared the ground for a long-term war, in particular, by calling its attack a moral imperative inherently linked to the actual existence of russia.
Can putin abandon the previously stated goals of the SMO?
Control of Ukrainian lands has been central to russia's cultural and political activities for centuries. This means that the rejection of the previously announced goals of the SMO will be a knockdown for the self-esteem of the kremlin and putin in particular. Therefore, the interpretation of history that they actively promote to justify their invasion simply cannot exist if Ukraine remains independent.
It is important to note that the declaration of the annexation of five regions of Ukraine, including Crimea, significantly narrows the space for any maneuvers that the kremlin could pull off.
And here putin is right that the outcome of the war is inextricably linked to the survival of russia. After all, defeat on the battlefield will be the basis for the collapse of russia and the end of his imperial ambitions.
How much longer can russia continue military operations on the territory of Ukraine?
Earlier, we wrote about how long russia will have enough money to fight against Ukraine here. However, in this article, we will analyze the "technical" part of the question.
Unfortunately, russia has the demographic capacity to continue recruiting people to kill in Ukraine, both its own citizens and military mercenaries. The moral side of this issue, and the actual losses of manpower that russia incurs in this process, are of little concern to the authorities.
As you know, as of May, irrecoverable losses on the part of russia reached the mark of 200 thousand people.
But in the long run, the sanctions imposed on russia are important. After all, the lack of supply of modern equipment has already become an acute problem for the russian armed forces.
On the contact line, we see the use of outdated Soviet equipment that had to be decommissioned. russia is also forced to re-equip its weapons.
For example, S-300 air defense missiles have recently been converted into strike missiles. However, the quality of these munitions raises many questions, as there have been repeated examples of russian missiles exploding in the air after launch or falling on the territory of the russian federation itself.
Therefore, in the near future, despite the presence of manpower, russia will face a critical shortage of equipment and ammunition for active offensive actions. And the country's leadership will not be able to solve this problem on its own.
Who can russia ask for help to continue fighting in Ukraine?
Today we see that the main supplier of weapons to russia is Iran, which provides russia with large batches of kamikaze drones, artillery and tank shells, and small arms. Iranian authorities still actively deny their involvement in crimes against Ukraine.
The second mediator is Belarus, but the country's military potential is significantly limited, and therefore it will not provide a significant advantage on the battlefield.
The third "friend" of russia is North Korea. According to US intelligence, it is involved in the transfer of missiles to Wagner. But, of course, the North Korean authorities do not confirm this.
China and India have refused to provide financial and military assistance to the russian federation, so today russia no longer has any "partners."
However, the russian government has been transporting equipment and weapons from Syria in violation of sanctions, and if this route is not blocked, it may continue to do so.
What does putin hope for?
The announcer's last hope is the US presidential election in 2024. After all, there is a possibility that Americans will re-elect Donald Trump, who has repeatedly demonstrated his favor for putin, for a second term.
Read about how Ukrainians and world leaders reacted to the loud statements of the previously convicted former US president and how Trump's presidency could affect russia's war against Ukraine in our previous article here.
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