Putin’s choice of February 24th as an escalation date, is probably tied to the day his “buddy”, the ex-president of Ukraine, Yanukovych was placed on Ukraiina’s ‘most wanted list‘.

As to an end date.

Much of the USA press eg:USA Today expects that Putin needs a victory by May 9th, a big holiday in Russia and ex-Soviet countries, commemorating the end of WorldWarII. A date only three weeks away. Would be appropriate to declare a victory on that date. If only Putin had a victory. Guess Putin is working on that.

Another suggested end date is Easter, by the old calendar, this Sunday. Only five days away. Many of the troops sent in by Putin belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. They will celebrate on the same day as many Ukrainians. Maybe the Russian Orthodox Church will ask Putin to stop? Unlikely whilst Kirill is in charge. Guess the church in Moscow needs some work.

Maybe Putin will stop?
Putin is selling the story “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians”. Harvard ran a review of that idea.
My thoughts are simpler, “Rubbish”!
You will see in the Harvard article that Russia adopted an authoritarian society. However, and I quote, “Ukraine is an outlier in that sense. It’s maintained its democratic institutions. It’s paying a price for that, but the society is quite committed to keep going as a democratic country. There were two attempts — one under President Kuchma, which resulted in one Maidan, and one under President Yanukovych, which resulted in another Maidan — attempts to strengthen the presidential branch and join the post-Soviet authoritarian sphere. Both attempts were rejected by the Ukrainian society.” And that is all of Ukrainian society. Including Crimea and the Eastern provinces. None of which fits in with Putin’s narrative. Guess Putin’s narrative needs some work.

Maybe sanctions will cause Putin to stop?
The European Union is still buying energy from Russia. €35 billion since February 24th. Guess sanctions need some work.

Maybe the UN will intervene?
Not done much so far. According to CNN, the UN is unlikely to do anything. Russia, having a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, can block any and all resolutions. Nobody will dispute that, including the other countries with a permanent seat. If Russia has to give up power, then the USA, UK, France and China would have to do so too. Guess the UN needs some work.

Which leaves Ukraiina all alone.

Guess Putin does not need to stop.

June says:

Your last sentence:
” . . . does not need to stop.”
Sad but true?

Mark says:

Putin has already lost the war, even if his Army wins in Ukraine, although that seems increasingly unlikely.

Russia’s stated aims were to; denazify, liberate and demilitarise Ukraine. According to Russia this is all going to plan. Before the war started Putin said that it was concerned that Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO and the EU was reducing Russia’s security. So the overall aim must have been to stabilise Russia’s security or perhaps to enhance it by bringing Ukraine firmly under its sphere of influence. Can it still achieve these aims?

Examine what the Ukrainian war has done to Russia’s security. Two neutral countries are now joining NATO. Germany and most other NATO countries have committed to large increases in defence spending to 2% of GDP or higher. Even Trump couldn’t get this out of the likes of Germany. The west’s sanctions against Russia will seriously degrade its economy. The West and NATO have never been more united, although Germany is still a laggard in this respect. The west will eventually cease to buy Russia’s oil, gas and other natural products which will in turn deprive Russia its ability to fund its military. Russia has lost huge amounts of its military capability as the Ukrainian destroyed its; tanks, APCs and other military assets. The Ukrainian farmers collected Russian vehicles that had been; abandoned, run out of fuel, got stuck in the mud, broken down, or where their troops just ran away. These will all require replacement, just to bring Russia’s defence back to where it was on the 24 Feb. This will be very expensive.

What is clear is that this war has;

Seriously degraded Russia’s defence capabilities and therefore its security.
Wrecked its economy.
The best and brightest in Russia are leaving and more will leave.
Any pro Russian feeling in Ukraine has vanished since 24 Feb.
Russia has become a pariah state in the eyes of the free world.
It has so far failed to effect regime change in Ukraine.
No one welcomed Russian troops with bread and salt, but did welcome them with many Anti Tank Weapons.

It is clear that Putin got this war wrong on so many fronts, the assessment of Ukraine’s military and civilian resolve. The ability of the Russian armed forces. The Army‘s failure of logistics, maintenance, morale, discipline and tactics. The Air Force’s inability to dominate the skies over Ukraine and even parts of Russia. The Russia Navy’s inability to make beach landings or even keep its flagship safe.

In the west we thought with the military capability that Putin had at its disposal it would have Kiev wrapped up in 7 days and the whole country controlled in 21 days. How were we, me included, so wrong, well it appears that the whole Russian military is a reflection of Russia and that is that it is totally corrupt and as a result rotten to the core.

Remember that before this war started Russia’s economy was similar in its size to Italy’s, without its gas and oil sales to the west, it will become much smaller. The West won the Cold War through the destruction of Russia’s ability to compete militarily with the West because its economy collapsed. I predict the same will happen again. The sooner Russians realise how this is going and puts Putin down the better, for Russia, its people, Ukraine and their people and the whole world.

Putin has lost the war irrespective of how the battlefield in Ukraine ends.