Russia Will Be Forced to Make Peace and Retreat Out of Ukraine

Russia has not created a stable front that can be held with sustainable losses. Russia cannot sustain 5000-10000 killed and wounded each week. Ukraine’s military is making efficient counter attacks.

The longer it takes Putin to accept the reality on the ground then the more Russia will suffer more losses and smaller retreats are made due to counter attacks. Russia might be able to retain its hold on Crimea and a small part of Eastern Ukraine. However, the continued poor performance of Russia’s military is giving Ukraine greater confidence in achieving complete military success to force Russia completely out.

Russia does not have the gear or trained reserves and does not seem to have the military leadership to regroup and drastically change what they are doing.

Russia does not have uncontested air power over Ukraine. If they did they could establish a massive bombing campaign. This option is limited given the losses in planes.

Russia losses in heavy military equipment is also limiting their options.

Russia could take Mariupol in the next few days but there is significant risk that their Northern positions could deterioriate rapidly in the next few weeks. This would let Ukraine concentrate more forces against Russia in the East.

Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that Russia has lost more than 17,000 military personnel, over 1,700 armored vehicles, almost 600 tanks, 300 artillery systems, 127 planes and 129 helicopters, almost 100 rocket launchers systems, 54 air defense systems and seven ships.

About one week ago, a NATO official said up to 15000 (excluding wounded, missing or captured). The estimate of Russian military who have been killed and wounded one week ago was about 40,000. This loss rate explains why Russia is resorting to hiring foreign mercenaries – South Ossetians, Chechens, Syrians, Belarusian and Wagner mercenaries.

ISW (Institute for the Study of War) reports the following:

* Russian forces have given up on encircling or seizing Kyiv at this time. Russian forces continue to fight to hold their current front-line trace near the city, however, remaining dug into positions to the east, northwest, and west. Russian forces withdrawing from the area around Kyiv appear to be moving north from behind the front line to positions in Belarus.
* Russia is directing some reserves to the effort to connect gains southeast of Kharkiv and Izyum with its front line in Luhansk.
* Ukrainian forces continue to defend in likely isolated pockets in Mariupol. The city will likely fall to the Russians within days.
* A Russian offensive operation to take the rest of unoccupied Donetsk Oblast would be a significant undertaking. It remains unclear if Russia can harvest enough combat power from Mariupol after securing the city or divert reinforcements from elsewhere on a large enough scale to complete it.

SOURCES – ISW
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com