Russia Accepting Recent Loss and Putin Blames His Generals

Russia is acknowldging the defeat in Ukraine and Putin is blaming the loss on underinformed military advisors within Putin’s circle. The Kremlin’s admission of defeat in Kharkiv shows that Putin is willing and able to recognize and even accept a Russian defeat at least in some circumstances and focus on deflecting blame from himself. This is good news as it is less likely that Putin would go to tactical nukes. IF the Kremlin was in denial and unable to accept the loss in Ukraine then there would be more risk of dangerous escalation.

Putin is not yet preparing to order general mobilization, and it is far from clear that he could do so quickly. Large-scale conscription would very likely overwhelm the Russian MoD’s ability to induct, train, and equip new soldiers, particularly since the Russian training base appears to be strained in preparing the limited numbers of volunteer battalions currently being fielded.

The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence (GUR) reported that Russian authorities in Crimea urged their families to flee to Russia, while employees of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) are selling their homes on the peninsula and are urgently evacuating their families due to Ukrainian counter-offensives. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that forcibly mobilized proxy units are suffering low morale and psychological problems.

What is the path to a Ukrainian victory?

Ukraine can push only the east from Kharkiv to Luhansk. Russian forces are still mostly in disarray and the Luhansk area defences are not well prepared.

Ukraine has to move up its artillery and other supplies to prepare for the next big push.

Ukraine can continue its pressure in the west for Kherson up to the Dnipro river. They then cut of the water to Crimea which will cause more logistical problems for Russia.

Ukraine then starts longer range strikes of ammo depots and command centers for the next pushes in Luhansk, the rest of Kherson and to Crimea. The Ukrainian Kherson forces can also build up to cut though in the center to reach Mariupol.

Russia positions are not good. They are short actual soldiers in the field. They have lost perhaps 50,000 dead and 100,000 wounded from about 300,000 that were sent.

29 thoughts on “Russia Accepting Recent Loss and Putin Blames His Generals”

  1. The outcome looming ahead:
    1. Putin gone – peace restored as Russia defeated
    2. Crimea returned to Ukraine
    3. Other pre-invasion borders restored
    4. Russia demilitarized 300 km from Ukraine borders
    5. Sanctions on Russia lifted
    6. Russian energy allowed to flow west again
    7. Russia pays reparations to Ukraine equal to 5% of gross energy revenues for 25 years.
    8. China embraces post-Putin Russia as – effectively – the 32nd Provence of China supplying oil, gas and grain to China.

  2. Really no one to blame but Putin himself. With no experience in military matters like hitler, he’s running the show over his military advisors.

  3. It was a risky gamble from NATO. Well, NATO only exists to counter Russia, so it needed Russia to keep existing as an enemy.

    So, they ostrasized Russia when Russia wanted to be part of NATO in the 90s.

    Then it advanced east and Russia had to swallow the Soviet sphere of influence being taken.

    Then in 2008 Bush suggested Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO. But not Russia.

    Clearly, a move designed to angry Russia. Ukraine and Georgia were SOVIET Republics. Not conquered places. Ukraine had two soviet presidents. Stalin was from Georgia.

    Moscow drew the line and said “NOT Ukraine and Georgia”.

    But NATO never stopped flirting and saying no Ukraine.

    So, the US activelly backed up a coup against a democratically elected pro Russian president in Ukraine to be replaced by an ANTI Russian president.

    As Russia DEPENDS on the Sevostopol naval base and Crimea was Russian for 2 centuries before Krushev “giving” it to Ukraine in what many international analysts consider was illegal, Russia had to conquer Crimea before Ukraine blocked access to it by orders of the US puppet president replacing the democratically elected Russian puppet president.

    It was like chess, each move pressing the other player into more and more difficult positions.

    US and NATO kept putting fuel in the civil war and Ukraine broke some treaties it had with Russia.

    Increased flirting of the comedian president with NATO and EU and no NATO firm NO instance meant Russia was under risk of Ukraine joining NATO and NATO having nuclear missile and nuclear deterrance bases only 400 km from Moscow, on Ukraine’s northeasternmost point.

    Many US political analysts KNEW Moscow, under ANY leader, would not accept that. Kissinger, Mearsheimer, etc.

    IF all on purpose and long planning, it was masterful. NATO destroyed Russia by fighting to the last Ukrainian

      • Not a very thoughtful retort to Rojerio’s observations. Our (US) foreign policy destabilizes the world and leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths decade after decade since the 1950s. Either all people have equal worth, or they don’t. US foreign policy shows they don’t.

        Zelenskyy failed in his most basic responsibility to protect the lives of his citizens – now he presides over rubble and piles of dead. Doesn’t matter “who started it” or “who’s crazy” or “democracy” – the job was to avoid the conflict so the children could go to school and the dads could go to work and the 18 year-olds could do the prom queen.

        If Russia were to collapse, as most here voice desire for, what then? What would be good about that? Show me the path forward there – how that benefits me or anybody else. Do I get free stuff?

        • Disagree on “Zelenskyy failed in his most basic responsibility to protect the lives of his citizens.”
          Zelenskyy doesn’t actually have an obligation to make Russia happy to prevent war at all costs or under any circumstances. His role is to put Ukrainian interests first and that creates an existential conflict over goals since Russia does not respect the sovereignty of Ukraine and is acting to harm its most fundamental interests since long before Zelenskyy was in power (2014 and earlier).
          The Ukrainian people also made the choice to oust a Russia-friendly government and install a western-friendly one. The narrative that the Ukrainian people did not freely choose this path has been discredited by the fierce resistance that they have shown from the earliest moments of the war. Continuing to believe that Ukraine’s current political status is unnatural, coerced, or manipulated in spite of the grass-roots resistance shown by the people is a level of cognitive dissonance that not even nationalist Russian commentators indulge in.

          • “failed in his most basic responsibility to protect the lives of his citizens”

            not only the Ukrainian president (on that absolutism), but many more, with reasoning legally founded on international law (outdated?, if at all only predominated publicly discussed and with no stable reliable results built before escalation between NATO,Ukraine and Belarus,RF related 2014-2022 conflicting situation)

          • “The Ukrainian people also made the choice to oust a Russia-friendly government and install a western-friendly one.”

            not to exclude
            some opposite example might be Crimea (with mentioning all uncertainty depending ‘people’s volition and choice’ at different points of time between election periods and within referenda and governmental forming of regulations on their side and interests)

        • Ukraine will not join Nato, says Zelenskiy, as shelling of Kyiv …
 › world › mar › kyiv-faci…
          I don’t know if the war will have a good outcome for Ukraine, but Putin could have negotiated and advantageous settlement then. Now Finland and Sweden expanded NATO to another part of his borders.

          Also to all the peaceniks, this is an example as to what can happen to a country that scraps it’s nuclear armaments.

          • It is a pity that one can not edit a comment once it is posted, especially while it is awaiting moderation anyway. But what I want to add: the US has a long history of supporting freedom and breakaway movements and then eventually leaving them in the lurch, with disastrous consequences for the people involved. I think the driving force behind it is the military industrial complex and the lawmakers who invest in them. Once the conflict becomes unprofitable for the Pelosis ( in this case) and their friends they will quickly forget about the cause they were sponsoring and leave the poor people involved to a cruel fate.

          • What reaction would have been possible with nuclear capacities from Ukraine into this civil conflict becoming a war/special operation/invasion situation?

            Ukraine (and European countries/”Western values” community) did not acknowledge, that there is/was a separation within population with regional located differing mentalities (partly validated through referenda at Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk)?
            Around mid of March 2022 this was fully recognized from Ukrainian side, with the president offering negotiations about the new republics/separated areas on Ukrainian grounds (referenda vs. international law)?
            Moskow’s reasoning (with all respect for understanding RF’s argumentation/POV/interests) for the escalation of 2013/2014/Euromaidan ‘started’ (open) conflict will be difficult to be justified within a scale of historical review and is within no ‘appropriateness of means’ towards Ukraine (at least anymore)?

            • “Finland and Sweden”
              have no major parts of Russian population within their territory and no historical ethnic relation (compared to Russian Ukrainian similarities on speech, faith, cultural habits)?
              Finland <1% ethnic Russian inhabitants from Karelia, Ingria from 1990's
              Sweden: no mentioning of Russian minorities, Sweden Finns are largest minority, but from ~21st century Arabic might be a more frequently used language than even neighbor country's Finnish (without official statistics on language), one survey states 89% of population capable of English and language similarities to Danish and Norwegian (being western oriented neighbors), while there are ~600000 Moslems, about 110000 being members of a congregation, similar group strength of around 100000 Eastern Orthodox Christians
              Ukraine: depending on historical review, there are common ancestral groups (Early Slavic, Antes people) with Russians, later influences from Scandinavian to initial Kievan Rus' elite (being most powerful state ~10-11th century within Europe, 'Golden Age of Kyiv', ~until Mongol Invasion), later Polish (colonizers), Lithuania, Republic of Genoa, Dnieper Cossacks influenced/instrumentalized population (Ruthenians?), later 17th century the Russian Empire incorporated much of Central Ukraine (and Crimea without referendum).
              "The western part of present-day Ukraine was subsequently split between Russia and Habsburg-ruled Austria after the fall of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795."
              2001 census ~17% ethnic Russian population, linguistic map coincide now Russians occupied areas on Ukraine (67% Ukrainian, 30% Russian), around 59% declare themselves Orthodox (second largest Eastern Orthodox population outside Russia, more stronger religiosity on Western Ukraine), since there was high tolerance within religious groups, there still was/is? also strongest identification with 'Soviet identity' on Donbas and Crimea region, partly there are common cultural habits between ethnic Ukrainians and Russians depending on location and age (e.g. English and/or Russian classes, pysanky Easter Egg writing/decoration)

        • “the job was to avoid the conflict so the children could go to school and the dads could go to work and the 18 year-olds could do the prom queen”

          Yeah, lots of working dads and potential prom-queens in the mass graves already uncovered. The kids, they were shipped to be de-nazified. All in all, nothing of this was part of the job description either.

          Don’t kid yourself: the West might be into it to curtail Russia’s version of the manifest destiny.

          Not the Ukrainians. They are fighting for their right to exist as a nation, survival and avoiding being slaughtered.

    • every side and many institutions call themselves “experts”, but being experts for their businesses only “that many times” since the 1950’s

      Where are the experts for peace on this planet (from big important and exemplary nations, groups or institutions)?

      MONEY from POWER

    • Yanukovych stole the election in Ukraine in 2004. Then the Supreme Court forced a do-ver which he lost (15,115,712 votes at 51.99% to Yanukovych’s 12,848,528 at 44.20%). That shows there was an INSANE amount of cheating in favor of Yanukovych.
      Then he won in 2010 (including 300,000 votes that weren’t registered to vote, and 1.3 million votes illegally done at home; he won by about 900,000 votes). His victory wasn’t especially convincing in 2010 due to the behavior in 2004. Then he made his opponent who would have actually won into a political prisoner and stuck her in jail.

      Then he tried to thwart the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement when a total of 315 of the 349 members of parliament voted in support, meaning there were too many votes for his veto to stand (at least 2/3 votes supersedes the veto). A popular uprising at that point wasn’t particularly surprising at such a clearly unconstitutional move.

    • Yep, Putin said he wanted to join NATO but didn’t want to go through the process of joining, like other countries. Also, he had problems with anti corruption and democratic political requirements. Why? Because Putin is a corrupt dictator with, it is now clear, a 3rd rate army. Anyway if Putin is overthrown, maybe a democratic revolution will take place and Putin can finally get his wish.

    • No, this is nonsense. There were overtures from NATO back in the ’90s to integrate with Russia, as well; it was the Russians themselves who killed the idea for their CIS bloc. While NATO was in fact created to counter the Soviet Union, with the fall of the Warsaw Pact they had a bit of an identity crisis, but since the order of the day was multipolarity and internationalism they kind of hung on until Russia under Putin’s second or third term decided they wanted to restore Empire and started their adventures in Georgia and Armenia, for instance.

      Blaming the West for Russia’s choices is a popular pastime among some of our intellectuals, especially those who are irked that their option is to agree with the likes of Biden and Trudeau on anything. But trying to block the sun with a sieve will get you nowhere.

  4. Putin needs a sign for his desk saying, “The ruble stops here.”

    That said, the reason for all the vulnerable armor, that should have been supported by lots of infantry to protect it, was that Russia was already short on troops and looking to get more bank for the buck by just doubling down on armor.

    It’s not a bad idea for the Russians to be selling off what they can and getting out of Crimea. If the center cannot hold, nothing else will.

    It will be interesting to see if Putin can survive the complete disintegration of the entire Russian army in Ukraine. I don’t expect his rule to actually outlast that, but I do hope he survives long enough for it to happen as it will force his successor to pick other goals besides continuing the war.

  5. OK, Lies and untruths are anathema to reason and science. The highest number of troops I have read or heard was approximately 200,000 Russian troops. Saying there were 300,000 sent, and that 50,000 are KIA… One of the Pentagon groups recently stated up to 20,000 KIA – and that from a biased source.

    I am going to leave off reading NBF till the end of the year. Misinformation will lead to miscalculation. Propaganda has no strategic value, except for whipping up temporary morale.

    • The higher numbers for both forces committed and KIA reflect all Russian allied forces, not just Russian soldiers. A lot of confusion with the figures results from some people counting Russian Ukrainian conscripts as “Russian forces” and mistaking that for “Russian soldiers” same with Wagner Groupies and others.

      No matter how you slice the pie it’s a lot of casualties and shrinking pools of potential recruits.

    • From my understanding there are a number of different groups that make up the “Russian” forces. They are:

      1) Wagner Group – this is a paramilitary organization made up of contractors. A bit like our Blackwater
      2) Lugansk militia
      3) Donetsk militia
      4) Chechen forces – semi-paramilitary organization. They’re not part of regular Russian forces
      5) Russian regular forces – airborne, marines, SF etc.

      I believe only 80k regular Russian forces have been committed to the SMO. The remaining 4 groups each field around 30k bringing the total to the 200k total forces mentioned.

      One can only guess as to the actual loss of personnel in each group. But when claims are made that Russia has only committed around 10% of its total force to this campaign, they’re saying that’s 80k out of a 800k active army Russia has.

  6. I’ve always maintained there are too few Russian forces for a campaign this large. There will be huge gaps everywhere on the battlefront.

  7. I think Putin was fooled by his Generals an intelligent spies. They had no idea what the Ukrainians were ready and able to make a Defence . They also had no idea about the west supporting the invasion. Dumb and stupid and now Russia will pay big time!

    • because western or military spies, show western values and represent democracy?

      (our) 21st century is different and has different priorities and duties to accomplish

  8. Either Putin is a supergenius working on 50 dimensions and predicting everybody’s move akin to Palpatine. Or it was a just a glaring mistake due to incomplete information and bad judgement. I guess he would like to pull out and go to the pre-war status quo. But guess what, now he cannot. If he blames a few generals of treason, incompetence, etc, this might be a move in that direction. Not gonna work , though…

  9. I don’t see this ending well for Putin. Makes me wonder about China’s ambitions, though they can likely do damage to a frenemy economically without needing to resort to fighting

    I know Putin is supposedly going to (or did?) meet with Xi Jinping. Not sure how much that might or might not have to do with his willingness to at least accept some level of defeat, even if deflected.

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