Russian President Putin’s plans in Ukraine have been completely derailed by a strong, determined defense by the Ukraine Army and civilian militias.
Putin’s Original Invasion Plan Isn’t Going Well
U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price said that things aren’t going well for the Russians.
“Every day it has become clear that President Putin gravely miscalculated,” Price told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart on Sunday. “Now three weeks in we have seen Russian forces in many areas stalled, we have seen convoys unable to make significant progress.”
Three weeks in and Russia still doesn’t have air superiority. Ukraine reportedly still has about 50 SU-25s and is flying sorties with them every day. The Ukrainian army is also having great success operating their TB2 Armed UAVs and destroying Russian equipment with them.
While the Russian Army has taken a few towns and pummeled Mariupol back to the stone age, the largest cities remain under Ukrainian control. With each town, port or airport that the Russian army does manage to take, they have to leave significant forces behind to maintain control or the Ukrainians will take it back. The Russian army doesn’t do well when overstretched.
Things are going so badly that Putin has put conscripts into front line combat, brought in Chechens, pulled in Syrians and had hoped to have units from Belarus engage in Western Ukraine. The Belarussian army has refused to engage and their equivalent of the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs resigned in protest a little over a week ago.
Side note: Here’s a great thread that starts to dig into what’s happening with the Russian Army
Putin May Be Getting Desperate
The plan is faltering, Putin has fallen back on his Aleppo strategy of flattening civilian centers to force surrender. The international community is outraged (for what that’s worth) and promising a war crimes tribunal.
So what does Putin do next? Russian ministers have threatened nuclear war, attacking NATO supply convoys and hinted at chemical and biological weapons.
White House Press Secretary said the U.S. is watching for a false flag operation to justify Putin’s actions in Ukraine.
“Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern,” Psaki posted to Twitter Sunday.
The China Connection
The Washington Post first reported it and Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich says she has confirmed the reports that Russia had asked China to send military equipment and monetary support sometime after the invasion started.
According to Heinrich, the National Security Council (NSC) isn’t commenting, but White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is heading to Rome Monday for meetings with a Chinese Delegation.
China has echoed most of the Russian propaganda on the invasion, but it is yet to be seen how far Xi Jinping is willing to go as any support for Russia could hurt the CCP’s economic dominance agenda. Access to global markets is a matter of survival for the Chinese economy.