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.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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