Stymied Putin Moves the Goalposts in Ukraine
Vladimir Putin is not the kind of person who is going to admit defeat. Ever. He’s a hard-headed, always-gets-what-he-wants kind of guy, and coming up short is never going to sit right with him.
And that’s why, instead of simply admitting that he vastly underestimated Ukraine’s resistance to his inhuman invasion, or acknowledging that his troops are abandoning their mission en masse, the Russian dictator is now simply moving the goalposts.
In a scaled-back formulation of its war goals, Russia said on Friday that the first phase of its military operation was mostly complete and it would focus on completely “liberating” Ukraine’s breakaway eastern Donbass region.Advertisement - story continues below
The announcement appeared to indicate that Moscow may be switching to more limited objectives after running into fierce Ukrainian resistance in a month of war.
The excuse was weak…at best.
“The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been accomplished,” Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, said in a speech.
“The combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which … makes it possible to focus our core efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbass.”
And while this will certainly prolong the invasion of Ukraine for a while more, the cat is out of the bag, globally, regarding just how much more bark than bite Putin has.