The Russian Armed Forces seem to have realized their resounding failure with the invasion of Ukraine and announce a withdrawal.
Russia says it has met its "main objectives": it is not true
Russia has announced this, as usual, again resorting to lies: "The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been accomplished," Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of Russia, said this Friday. "The combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which makes it possible to focus our core efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbass," he added. The truth is very different.
Recall that on the first day of the invasion, Putin said that his goal was to "demilitarize" and "denazify" Ukraine. In the cynical language of the Kremlin, that meant invading the entire country, changing its government and nullifying its armed forces. One month after the start of the invasion, Russia has not achieved any of these three objectives, despite having tried, and has suffered heavy losses, both human and material.
Almost as many Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine in a month as in Afghanistan in a year
Apart from the figures that you could read yesterday in Counting Stars, today Rudskoi has announced that 1,351 Russian soldiers have died in the invasion and 3,825 have been wounded. Even taking these figures for granted (which could actually be much higher), it is a casualty figure that is close to what the USSR had in the first year of the invasion of Afghanistan.
Today Reuters, commenting on Rudskoi's announcement, notes: "A senior diplomatic source in Moscow described it as a face-saving move and possible prelude to a climb-down by Russia. Its forces have become bogged down and failed to take any major city since invading Ukraine from the north, east and south on Feb. 24."
The Russian invasion leaves 4 times more civilians dead than there were in the Donbas in 5 years
The price for Ukraine of the Russian invasion has been very high. Some cities have been razed to the ground, and in a single month there have been 4 times more civilians killed than in the Donbass in the last 5 years, which also debunks another of the excuses used by the Kremlin to justify this invasion: the hoax of the "genocide" of Donbas, an eastern region of Ukraine in which armed separatist groups rebelled against the Ukrainian government with the support of Moscow. In that region there were 78 deaths between 2019 and 2021, according to a UN report. The United Nations has indicated today that in a month of Russian invasion, 1,081 civilians have died, including 93 children. Russia will now have to answer for the war crimes committed during this aggression against Ukraine.
The damage that the invasion has caused to Russia itself
To this must be added the damage that the Russian invasion has caused to their own country. Russia has been left politically and economically more isolated than ever. The price of the ruble has plummeted, causing Russian citizens to lose much of their savings. In addition, the Kremlin has increased its repressive measures and its attacks on freedom of information, with which, in terms of freedoms, Russia seems to have returned to the Soviet era. And all this for the folly of a tyrant who wanted to improve his deteriorating popularity by invading the Ukraine, confident that it would be a military parade. Putin fatally underestimated the Ukrainian people, who have shown courage and patriotism that will strengthen their national spirit, just what Russia wanted to avoid.
A stronger NATO and a West determined to rearm
In the international sphere, Putin has provoked just the opposite of what he was looking for: a stronger NATO, with more military presence in its countries bordering Russia, because the Atlantic Alliance has finally realized the risk that Russia poses to European security. In addition, traditionally neutral countries such as Finland and Sweden are considering joining NATO, for fear of further aggression from Russia. Another effect of this invasion is the return, in fact, to the Cold War, with all the consequences that this has, starting with the rearmament of the West to face the Russian threat. Putin could not have been more clumsy.
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