Moscow has recently found fresh sources of strength despite unduly rosy evaluations from the Russian president of the actual cost of the terrible conflict in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, is openly justifying what has turned into a quagmire in Ukraine, claiming that despite his disastrous invasion decision six months ago, Russia has gained nothing.
Putin gave a prepared speech on Wednesday at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, where he also intended to observe ongoing military drills with China. In it, he gave a selective account of the strength of his nation and denounced the Western sanctions put in place as a result of his unprovoked invasion as a threat to the entire world. Apart from praising Russia’s efforts to maintain grain shipments “despite all the problematic circumstances going place” in Ukraine, he made no direct mention of that country.
Putin declared, “We have not lost anything, and we will not lose anything.” The major benefit, in terms of what we have received, has been the strengthening of our sovereignty, I can say.
Even while the Kremlin received additional, albeit subtly worded, assurances of support at the conference where Putin spoke, the reality on the ground foretell a much more dire situation for the country.
According to Ukraine’s accounting, up to 80,000 Russian soldiers may have perished in the combat, according to new Western assessments.
Moscow has been compelled to increase the allowable age range for new enlistees and increase recruitment in jails as a result of the devastation. This week, reports surfaced that claimed it had also looked to mental health facilities for volunteers.
This week, further scathing reports were released by the US and UK governments. On Wednesday, British military intelligence came to the conclusion that Russian commanders lacked the manpower to wage simultaneous operations on three different fronts in the north, east, and south, especially when confronted with their primary goal of dominating the Donbas region in the east.
British military intelligence observed in the assessment that “commanders confront a choice of whether to commit operational reserves to assist this attack or to protect against ongoing Ukrainian advances in the south. “Concurrent threats throughout 300 kilometers of the front lines will put to the test Russia’s capacity to coordinate operational design and reallocate resources across multiple groups of forces.
It said that one of the main reasons for the military’s poor performance earlier in the conflict was Russia’s unwillingness to do so.
The evaluation came a day after the U.S. disclosed information showing that Russia had approached North Korea for the sale of weapons and ammunition, a move the Pentagon interpreted as a blatant acknowledgment of Moscow’s combat shortages. The White House had already claimed that Moscow and Iran had also secured an agreement for military drones to make up for losses.
A Pentagon spokesman, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder of the Air Force said that the situation “does suggest and is indicative of the problem Russia finds itself in, in terms of its logistical and sustainment capabilities when it comes to Ukraine.” We think that there is a bad scenario there.
Ryder stated that it “acknowledges the fact that they are reaching out to foreign parties like Iran and North Korea, who don’t have the finest reputation when it comes to preserving international security.”
Moscow is in trouble as Ukraine claims to have started a new counteroffensive against strategically important Russian military bases in the south in recent weeks around the city of Kherson, which is close to the Crimean Peninsula. However, Western governments have so far refused to categorize it as a counter-offensive. And on Wednesday, there were rumors of a brand-new, unexpected Ukrainian campaign close to Kharkiv, the second-largest city in the nation, with nearly right away evidence of disruption to Russian front lines and supply lines.
Russia has somewhat withstood the punitive measures despite the severe blows to its military and economic infrastructure that Ukraine and its Western allies have sought to exact. According to fresh calculations published this week, Russia generated $157 billion in fossil fuel income in the first half of the conflict, despite its export volumes declining by 18%, helping to enhance profits compared to last year owing to drastically high oil prices.
The Chinese delegation’s subdued language at the economic conference where Putin spoke on Wednesday also gave the Kremlin encouraging signs that the Asian economic powerhouse sees the value in continuing to support Russia’s survival, a tactic that analysts believe is connected to the Chinese Communist Party’s own plan for eventually regaining Taiwan.
Despite repeated demands, Beijing has so far declined to give Moscow direct military assistance for its assault. Li Zhanshu, the chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, stated at the forum on Wednesday that Beijing is actually interested in enhancing cooperation with Russia to cover “infrastructure, agriculture, energy, education, culture, public health, and ecological protection,” as reported by Chinese state news.
Analysts claim that while being obscure, the speech shows a significant improvement in China’s readiness to support Putin.
We are aware that the Chinese will neither directly nor militarily assist the Russian assault in Ukraine. However, Yun Sun, head of the China Program at the Stimson Center think tank, notes that the economic cooperation is not trivial, particularly in light of the recent sanctions imposed by the West against Russia. The United States has been keeping an eye out for Chinese money in infrastructure cooperation. Cooperation in the fields of agriculture and energy relates to Chinese purchases of Russian goods, which benefits Putin financially. They all have a direct bearing on their cooperation in the Arctic, as does the category of ecological protection.