Why Putin might be already losing out the War in Ukraine?
It’s been less than a week of war in Ukraine, and Putin seems to be heading to what is a historic defeat. All was well for Vladimir Putin until February 24, when he decided to order a full-scale invasion into Ukraine. His month long military standoff was compelling the West to address his security concerns. His actions were gaining him the success of intimidating the Ukrainians and its Baltic neighbors. He was actually winning the war in diplomatic and intimidating fronts. But as it goes in the famous social-media saying “this was the moment he nipped….he F**ked up!”. On 24th February, Putin ordered his troops to carry out a special military exercise on Ukraine, for Peacekeeping. And this was it, Russia in an overnight became the most hated country in the world.
Two days in, and even the Russians (thousands in number) were seen protesting at the streets of St.Petersburg against this unjust war. The title of the plot had quickly changed from Russia’s war to Putin’s war in Ukraine. The West which had already imposed an wide array of sanctions, bombarded the Russian economy with newer and more harsher sanctions. As of the time of writing, we are on the 5th day of the Russian invasion, the Russian army is yet to capture “Kiev” the capital city. The Ukrainian army as well as civilians are fighting back ferociously. The show of courage by the Ukrainian army, its administration and its civilians in the last couple of days, has brought the entire International community to root and support for it.
A lost Cause?
With all of that being said, Putin might still end up capturing Kiev, sooner rather than later but at what costs. Would the 44 million Ukrainians accept a regime, which invaded their peace and sovereignty? With almost the whole of Ukraine now turned against Putin, it’s inevitable that Russia won’t be able to hold off it’s territory for long. Add to that the mounting pressure from the International community and robust economic sanctions from the West. Putin’s self-imposed war in Ukraine is already looking like a lost case.
Putin’s gamble that didn’t pay off
Five days into-the-war, and several-analysts and war-experts are already speculating that Putin might have miscalculated and underestimated Ukraine on all aspects. The Afghanistan debacle and U.S withdrawal from the region last-year, may have been the churning point for Putin’s long lived ambition of taking Ukraine’s-matters into his own hand. An evasive U.S, a divided West and the relative ease by which the Taliban gained access of Afghan’s capital made Ukraine an enthralling prospect.
For Putin this was the best time to go for the kill. The plan for Putin must have been simple, crush the petty resistance if any, from the Ukrainians and roll into Kiev. Putin expected the Ukrainian army to lay down their arms, while their pro-western administration to flee from the country.
And that’s how the Kremlin would install a new-puppet-regime in the capital and declare its peacekeeping-operation as over within few days. It would be just like the 2014 Crimea-annexation, where the Russian army faced next to no resistance. Putin would have expected some casualties, some prickly but not devastating sanctions. But all of Putin’s expectations might have taken a major-downhill, when the Ukrainian troops resisted hard, rejecting surrender of their homeland. Putin-had-afterall, underestimated Ukraine, its troops, its administration, and the most-importantly its patriotic and united citizens.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in the last few days has evolved as a leader that the country believes in. In a video published on Telegram, Zelenskyy along with his elite cabinet ministers conveyed a message that they are in Kiev, defending Ukraine. They would not leave the country at-any-cost and would fight for their country’s sovereignty against Russian-intruders.
We aren’t running, we’re fighting. Ukrainians are fighting.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy : Ukrainian President
A Plethora of Sanctions
Since the Ukrainian-invasion, the West as an allied-group has brainstormed the Russian-economy with a plethora of harsh and severe sanctions. Some of which are masterfully designed to cripple Russia’s economy for long-term.
Probably the most talked about sanction for some time is the Swift ban. Swift is an international banking system which allows cross-border payments. In an much anticipated-move, the European-Union, US & allies have banned selected Russian banks from the system. What this would do is cut-off Russia from the International-Financial-System, delaying and disrupting their payments from oil and gas exports. To make things precise, in 2021 Russia generated about 36% of its entire budget from the sale of Oil and Gas.
Russia’s Central Bank
In an unprecedented move, the Western leadership has agreed to freeze the assets of Russia’s Central Bank, by limiting its ability to access its $600 billion international dollar reserves. The trio of EU, US & UK have also banned its people and businesses from making any transactions, that concern to the Russian administration.
Export ban to Russia
The West and its allies have also curbed a policy that would ban the export of dual-use goods to Russia. Dual-use goods are items that can be used by both civilians and military. EU has also banned the export of certain goods and technology used in oil refining to Russia. This particular export ban might hit hard to the Russian oil industry, which is a primary source of revenue for Kremlin.
Russian Oligarchs targeted
Some serious sanctions have been narrowed upon a few Russian individuals known as the Oligarchs. Russian Oligarchs are basically wealthy and influential businessmen who back Putin’s regime back at the Kremlin. The West has launched an transatlantic task-force, whose work is to identify and freeze-the-assets of these sanctioned individuals and businesses.
Other Key sanctions
Germany has put an hold to permissions for opening the Nord Stream 2 Gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. This sanction would have an adverse effect on Germany as well, whose gas dependencies on Russia account to about 40%.
EU has banned all Russian-aircrafts from its airspace, which means no-landing, no take-off and no-fly-over from EU countries.
Financial sanctions have also been laid upon the neighboring country of Belarus, for its action of assault against Ukraine.
The growing World Sympathy for Ukraine
Nobody had expected that Russia would actually invade Ukraine, but it did. Nobody expected a Ukrainian resistance of this magnitude either, but it did. And as it turns out, Ukraine is giving Russia a fight that she would remember for a long, long time. In this fight of survival, Ukraine has gained numerous allies across the world. Sympathizers for the Ukrainians grow larger and larger by the day. On the other hand of the spectrum, Russia is facing world-wide condemnation for its military activity. Those close to Putin might argue, that international opinion for Russia has never been a concern for him. But what might effect him is the outrage Kremlin is facing from the Russian population. Widescale protests among Russian celebrities, sports person and civilians against the war, might hurt Putin’s regime.
Ukraine doesn’t want a puppet regime from Kremlin
Putin’s whole agenda of rebuilding-the-Russian-empire rests on the lie that Ukraine isn’t a real-nation, that Ukrainians have never been independent-from-Moscow. And that the people here have a craving for Russian rule. All of which has been ousted in a matter-of-days, by the stern resistance and patriotism shown by the Ukrainian people. Ukraine is fighting Russia as united as it could have ever been. With each passing day, combat stories like the Snake Island or the President of Ukraine stating “that we want ammunitions and not a ride” to U.S is gaining major traction from the International community.
Stories of Ukranian bravery is brewing courage among the European nations, and to the entire world. Take for example, the case of Germany who was pretty adamant from the start, that it won’t support Ukraine with Military equipments. But one week into the war, in what was an historic declaration by the German Chancellor, Germany has now promised to supply anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. Ukraine’s struggle to fight for its freedom and sovereignty has united Europe like never before.
Putin’s lost plot
By invading Ukraine, Putin might have lost the bet to one of his main plot “To-stop-NATO-expansion along its borders”. Thanks to his invasion, that Ukraine is standing as united-as-ever, as closer as it wants to be with its western-allies. Putin by his miscalculations, might have given the mirror to doubtful Ukrainian citizens, to why it is even more important than ever for their country to join military alliances like NATO. If the Kremlin fails in its so called “military exercise” in Ukraine, it is pretty much inevitable that the Ukrainian administration would head towards a NATO membership. Putin’s reckless actions might have accidentally pushed Ukraine towards a pro-western alliance.
Moscow’s security concerns is suddenly out of equation now. The-thing-is that you can’t attack the security of a sovereign-country, just because it bothers the supposed-national-security of your own. Ukraine on the other hand, has played the underdog card exceptionally well before the International community. They have successfully managed to portray to the world, that it is them who are being wronged here. It would be interesting to see what Putin’s next move might be. But in a broader-picture we can say that Russia has lost-more than it could ever-achieve from winning-the war in Ukraine.
The Principal author of the blog Just Logically Speaking, Susanta Ray is an enthusiast for information and learning. He thrives in subjects related to Modern Technology, Science, History, Space, Finance and Global Affairs.
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