Another defeat in Ukraine undermines Vladimir Putin’s ‘forever’ goals

KYIV: A new operational failure on Russian forces – this time in a strategic town in eastern Ukraine – raises further doubts about the “forever” annexation of the four occupied regions Presidential Vladimir Putin.
Outnumbered and increasingly surrounded by Kyiv’s forces, several thousand Russian troops withdrew Lyman in Donetsk province over the weekend.
The Russian Defense Ministry said troops were moving “to more favorable positions.” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday declared the town, an important logistics hub for Moscow’s troops, “totally liberated.”
Control of Ukraine’s Donbas region, which includes the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, was a stated goal of Putin’s “special military operation” when Russian forces invaded in February. Kremlin troops pushed westward across the Donbas in the summer, gaining territory through protracted land battles.
After fake referendums a week ago were denounced by Ukraine, the US and Europe, Mr Putin on Friday officially “merged” the two eastern regions, along with Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in southern Ukraine. . However, Moscow’s forces do not fully control any areas and are being pushed out of several towns they have held for months.

Zelenskyy vowed to move forward in an attempt to recapture the territory. “This week, there are more Ukrainian flags in the Donbas. It will be more in a week,” he said in a speech to the nation on Saturday night.
Regional officials have suggested that after Lyman, Kyiv’s army would advance towards Kreminna, some 20 miles (32 km) to the east.
“It is important to capture the area that opens the way to the liberation of the Donbas settlements – Svatove, Kreminna, Sievierodonetsk and others,” Serhiy Cherevaty, a spokesman for the Ukrainian armed forces, said on Thursday. Seven.
Russia’s previous defeat – the country’s troops withdrew from part of Kharkiv province in September – is believed to have been the driving force behind Putin’s mobilizing part of 300,000 reservists. Moscow’s forces also suffered heavy casualties in the seven-month war, although the exact amount is unclear.
Since being summoned, hundreds of thousands of Russian men of military age are believed to have left Kazakhstan, Georgia and other locations. Videos surfaced of anarchy among conscripts.
Partly for that reason, additional reserves are seen as incapable of turning things around Putin.
“Ukrainians fight with purpose, have better leadership and have a learning culture that underpins adaptation,” said Mick Ryan, a retired Australian Army general who tweeted about military strategy. the, said.

According to Lawrence Freedman, military historian and emeritus professor of War Studies at King’s College London, Lyman’s downfall was a mockery of Putin’s annexation move, showing that he could not keep what he said is now Russian land.
Russia’s position in the region is now even worse, he said in a blog post, with a shortage of men and increasingly strained supply lines adding to their woes. . “The more Ukrainian forces can move forward, the more Russian assets are within artillery range.” There were also reports of a new attack by Ukrainian forces in Kherson, Freedman added.
Criticism of Putin’s military leadership has flared up among Russians after Kharkiv’s withdrawal and has grown louder as well.
Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War said: “Kremlin propagandists, experts and militiamen noted the defeat as a result of the Russian military command’s failure to send reinforcements in time, while publicly criticizing repeated bureaucratic failures in the mobilization process,” said analysts at the Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank.
Andrey Gurulyov, a Russian member of parliament and a former military commander, made a lengthy statement on Telegram that “Frunzenskaya Embankment”, which stands for the leader of the Russian Defense Ministry.
“The problem is widespread lying, reporting on a situation is fine. The system goes from top to bottom,” said Gurulyov.
While the Russians are said to have been broadly supportive from the outset of Putin’s attack on Ukraine, the expansion of the arrest net has changed the mind. Seven out of ten Russians said they felt scared, shocked or alarmed as a result of Putin’s partial maneuvering, according to independent pollsters at the Levada Center.
Last week, Putin admitted that a mistake had been made in the implementation of his mobilization plan. He told a meeting of his Security Council that “it is necessary to correct all the mistakes and prevent them from happening in the future.”


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