Russia has more losses than the USSR had in Afghanistan in 11 years

Six months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine: the data that shows Putin's failure

Today Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day, and it also marks six months since the start of large-scale Russian aggression against that Nation.

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At this point, one must be extremely blind to believe that this invasion can be considered a Russian success. Let us remember that the day the invasion began, Vladimir Putin stated that his goals were to "demilitarize" and "denazify" Ukraine, which in the language of Russian propaganda meant to control the entire country, liquidate its Armed Forces and set up a puppet government of Moscow. To do this, the Russian aggression began with an airborne landing at Hostomel Airport, in Kiev.

The military failure of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Putin's failure has been total. From a military point of view, Russia underestimated Ukraine's ability to resist, a mistake that has cost it thousands of casualties and enormous material losses. To date, the website Oryxspioenkop.com, which has been documenting the losses of both sides with images since February 24, points out that Russia has lost 5,332 military vehicles, including 970 tanks, in addition to 11 ships -including the Moskva cruiser, the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet- and 217 aircraft (including 51 aircraft of combat). In both cases Russian losses considerably exceed Ukrainian losses.

In just six months, Russian losses in this invasion already far exceed the losses suffered by Russia in the invasion of Afghanistan for 11 years (1978-1989). Even if Russia had achieved the goals that Putin set for himself, it would have been a pyrrhic victory, but this very high price has not even meant reaching its goals: it is a resounding failure, which also risks losing to Russia the areas of Ukraine that it already controlled before the invasion, especially Crimea, which has recently been the target of a Ukrainian counteroffensive using cruise missiles. Currently, Russian forces are deadlocked on all fronts.

Putin's colossal geostrategic failure: a strengthened NATO

From a geostrategic point of view, Putin justified the invasion by the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO. He was obsessed with the possibility that the borders between Russia and the Atlantic Alliance would extend even further. However, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Putin has managed to get two traditionally neutral countries, Finland and Sweden, to join NATO, especially after Russian threats against both countries launched the day after the invasion began, warning them of "serious military and political consequences" if they joined the Alliance. Now, Russia will see its border with NATO in Finland extended, 1,340 kilometers in total.

On the other hand, Russian aggression against Ukraine has strengthened NATO, which was an organization that seemed to be losing its reason for being. In addition, many allied countries have realized the need to invest more money in defense, especially Poland, a country threatened by the Russian Duma with being the target of a new invasion. Likewise, Russian aggression and the crimes committed by the invaders have helped mobilize a great deal of foreign military aid to Ukraine, aid that is currently putting the Russian occupying forces in serious trouble. Likewise, with its resounding military failure in Ukraine, Russia has shown itself to be a giant with feet of clay, which has contributed to raising the resistance morale of the Ukrainians.

Putin's political failure abroad

Putin is an ambitious man who has been carried away by an imperialist vision of his country. But he is also a politician who intended to solve his loss of popularity through a military adventure that he expected to be quick, easy and successful, with his eyes set on the Russian presidential elections of 2024. Although the beginning of the invasion has supposed a sudden increase in popularity of the Russian dictator, has turned his country into a plague in the West, helping to isolate it more and more.

Russian extremist nationalism and the war crimes committed by the invaders have shown the world the true face of Russia and the tyrant who runs it, an unscrupulous fanatic who runs a terrorist state and is capable of push his country into a war due to his ideological delusions, causing the death of thousands of young Russians and pushing Russia into an increasingly authoritarian drift and more prone to political corruption. With this conduct, he has proven right to those of us who have been alerting for years about the threat that Putin poses to peace and security in Europe. Russia's extremist drift is also making it possible to increasingly cut the tentacles of its propaganda apparatus in the West, leaving its propagandists exposed.

The economic disaster facing Russia because of the invasion

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has prompted the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries to impose economic sanctions on Russia. These sanctions are already seriously affecting the economy Russia, sinking its stock market, threatening the country with a large drop in its GDP, plummeting its exports and triggering inflation. The oil embargo threatens to cost Russia about $140 billion a year.

Likewise, sanctions are already hitting the Russian military industry, unable to meet its export orders, since Russia has a great dependence on Western technology. On the other hand, the business exodus that Russia is suffering is devastating for its economy.

A situation that has only one reasonable and fair way out

If Putin were a minimally sensible politician he would put an end to the invasion. But then if he was, he wouldn't even have started it. Putin is capable of sacrificing his entire country rather than rectify his mistake. In this sense, time is against him. The more time passes, Russia will accumulate more deaths and more losses, and the fiction of a "special operation" that the Kremlin's propaganda and censorship have imposed on this invasion will end up fading away, and may give rise to to protests in Russia or even to a violent insurgency, as has been seen lately with the constant acts of sabotage that are dotting the country. In any case, Putin and Russia are solely responsible for this situation, and the only reasonable and fair way out is for them to leave Ukraine. As long as there is a single Russian soldier on Ukrainian soil, there can be no talk of peace.

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Photo: Mikhail Svetlov.

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