- Jan 15, 2015
I'm not saying that's the play Putin is making, but that it wouldn't surprise me if these first few days are just Putin throwing some trash at Ukraine to test the waters. And yes, him taking his time and allowing the EU/NATO/entire decent world to send supplies to Ukraine is definitely a mistake on his part.I mean, it's possible that Russia is playing 4D chess, but I don't put much stock in the idea that they're sending green recruits to their deaths to wear down Ukraine. Beyond it being terrible for morale, it doesn't look like that's what they're doing. The VDV paratroopers who failed to take an airfield day 1 were, presumably, not disposable, neither are the large amounts of Tigrs and BTRs they're losing by strolling piecemeal into an urban fight. Nor would it explain the logistics issues and armored vehicles running out of gas.
If anything, the delayed fight makes it worse for Russia. Ignoring the damage to their image, every day that passes is another day the Ukrainians have to dig in, fortify and get additional arms shipments. What's the point of throwing green trrops away if by the time your veterans are ready, the enemy's just dug in further and has more AT weapons?
My point is that Russia and Putin have a different set of geopolitical goals and tactics that the West wouldn't use...I mean, the whole annexation of land from its neighbors by itself shows that.
Russia has been taking pieces of Ukraine for close to a decade now, so it's not like Putin has shown that he wants to take every last bit ASAP. His immediate goal might be simply to cement his ownership of Crimea and Donbas while weakening Ukraine's ability to react to further annexation of eastern Ukraine, where this war is actually just a continuation of an existing war.