Vladimir Putin is in an odd spot, which admittedly is an odd thing to say about a man who launched a war that he thought was swiftly winnable but is still racking up thousands of deaths, month after month. Now, the Russian president is “celebrating” the one-year mark since he invaded Ukraine, and that lack of victory recently inspired him to throw a tantrum and pull out of a nuclear pact because the U.S. won’t recognize his prowess. Yet Putin has a new plan, according to U.K. intelligence, which says that Putin (via HuffPost) intends to “eventually exhaust” President Zelensky’s troops because Russia can’t seem to achieve straight-up victory on the ground or in the air.
Reuters also reports that Putin delivered multiple speeches leading up to this anniversary, for which he (by Reuter’s accurate description) arrives “empty-handed after a bloody winter offensive,” and he’s got a bunch of plans for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2023. However, Putin’s only real plan appears to be hanging on until Kyiv decides that it’s weary and surrenders. That doesn’t seem like it will happen, however:
Moscow’s forces have made progress trying to encircle Bakhmut, but have failed to break through Ukrainian lines to the north near Kremmina and to the south at Vuhledar, where they have taken heavy losses assaulting across open ground.
Ukrainian forces repelled 90 Russian attacks in the northeast and east over the past 24 hours, the military said early on Thursday. Ukrainian military spokesperson Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov said Moscow was trying to use its advantage in troop numbers to exhaust Kyiv’s forces. “The enemy, despite significant losses, does not abandon attempts to surround Bakhmut,” he said.
Putin’s tactic appears to be the same one that a child would employ after asking for the same toy, over and over again, at the store. Eventually, some parents will decide to give into the kid, although that’s obviously not a strategy that works well long-term or for the betterment of society. Will Putin get his way, though? We may eventually find out.