Several experts agree — Putin wants to distract from mistakes in the Ukraine war
Created: 12/23/2022, 3:15 p.m
By: Felix Durach
Russia's progress in Ukraine has stagnated for months.
President Vladimir Putin is now trying to deny responsibility for the war's failures.
Moscow — Russia has been at war in Ukraine for almost ten months.
But the military successes of the Russian armed forces have recently become rarer.
Shortly after the invasion in February, President Vladimir Putin and the Russian military leadership spoke of a short-lived “special military operation”.
A few days after the invasion, the Kremlin's troops were already in front of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv - then the break followed.
Ukraine war: after military failures — military experts see Putin under pressure
After gaining territory in the Donbass and on the Black Sea coast, some of which were large, the armed forces have been pushed more and more onto the defensive in recent months.
In a counter-offensive, the Ukrainian army succeeded in recapturing large parts of the Kharkiv and Cherson regions.
The Russian President continues to come under pressure because of the lack of military successes.
The Russian population could become war-weary due to the lack of success.
The military experts at the US think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) see Putin's rhetoric over the past few weeks as an attempt to evade responsibility for the protracted war.
Putin has repeatedly reiterated that Russia is ready for an early end to the war and does not want to prolong the conflict unnecessarily.
According to Putin, the Kremlin does not want to increase the number of hits in the "military special operation" because this would only lead to "unjustified losses".
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, during a press conference at the Kremlin following a meeting of the State Council on youth policy implementation.
© Vladimir Gerdo/dpa
According to the ISW experts, the statements are part of far-reaching efforts by the Kremlin to justify the costly and costly war in the neighboring country to the population.
Putin shifts responsibility: NATO countries would prolong war
In the past, Putin has repeatedly accused Western countries of unnecessarily prolonging the war by supplying heavy weapon systems.
Most recently, the Russian President used this narrative when the US announced the delivery of a Patriot air defense system to Ukraine.
"It only means a prolongation of the conflict," said the 70-year-old on Thursday in Yekaterinburg, according to the Interfax news agency.
Former Bundeswehr general Hans-Lothar Domröse spoke to the
editorial network Germany
with a view to the statements of the Russian President of "typical Russian dialectics".
In addition to placating the Russian population, Domröse sees another goal in the Kremlin's communication strategy.
One wants to prevent future deliveries of modern weapon systems by the NATO countries.
“Of course, Russia is offended because Patriot is likely to intercept even more.
But that's the fate of the attacker," said the ex-general, adding: "Once again, that's the typical reversal of facts."
Putin in trouble?
Fires and "attack" in Russia - Kadyrov celebrates victory over "NATO" troops
Iranian drones with US components: Biden's people are alarmed - Tehran warns Selenskyj
"I'm a bit ashamed": 10,171 euros back payment for civil servants
US visit "act of desperation"?
Outrage over daily topic commentary on Zelenskyy
Military expert reprimands Germany's main battle tank attitude: "It doesn't work that way in war"
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Putin's rhetoric in the Ukraine war: President speaks out for an early end of the war
In a press conference on Thursday evening, Putin again spoke out in favor of an early end to the war.
"Our goal is not to turn the flywheel of the military conflict, but to end the war," said the Russian president.
However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov put Putin's statements into perspective on Friday and said that Russia wanted to continue to successfully complete the "military special operation".
Pictures of the Ukraine war: great horror and small moments of happiness
View photo gallery
Putin wants to shift responsibility – British intelligence also sees signs
In its daily Ukraine update on Twitter, the British Ministry of Defense also attested to the Russian President's increasing efforts to shift responsibility for the course of the war.
An indication in the eyes of the British: a meeting between Putin and several high-ranking military officials on December 16.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov took part in the meeting.
The British secret service saw the meeting as a Kremlin staging to show the Russian population that Putin is not solely responsible for the failures in the Ukraine war.
Rather, the meeting should make it clear that several high-level officials are involved in the planning and execution of the "military special operation".
Pressure on Putin is increasing: Criticism of the president is not only voiced among the general public
In recent weeks, criticism of the otherwise almost untouchable president has also increased in the Kremlin's atmosphere.
For example, the President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, and the founder of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, publicly criticized Putin's conduct of the war.
The Nexta news agency also circulated a video of Igor Girkin, a military hardliner from the Donetsk People's Republic, on Friday.
The convicted war criminal said to Putin: "If our generals keep fighting like they have in the last ten months, we have every chance of losing this war."
Military experts on Ukraine war: Russia's last significant success in early July
According to the ISW analysis, the Russian military achieved its last significant success on the battlefield on July 3 with the capture of the embattled city of Lysychansk in the north of the Luhansk region.
Since then, Russia has been waiting in vain for further offensive achievements in Ukraine.
However, the Ukrainian military leadership expects another Russian offensive in northern Ukraine in the coming year.
Then the capital Kyiv could be the target of the Russian invaders again.