After five months of war in Ukraine Vladimir Putin believes that he is winning despite more than half of his army has been wiped out with around 80% of the remaining military being bogged down.
Sooner or later Putin will realise that he is losing the war in Ukraine, then he will “face this reality” which will then make the Russian leader at his “most dangerous.”
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Tatiana Stanovaya who is a Russia expert wrote in the New York Times that the Kremlin believes that they are winning the war.
She wrote, “Everything is going according to plan. That’s the line from President Vladimir Putin. The war in Ukraine, in its fifth month and with no end in sight, may be grueling.
“But senior Kremlin officials keep repeating that Russia, gaining the upper hand in Ukraine’s east, will achieve all its goals.”
“That might seem hard to believe,” Stanovaya added, “But it’s what the Kremlin seems to believe.”
Stanovaya said that Putin will “face reality” sooner or later, “It is in that moment, when his plans are stymied and his disappointment high, that he is likely to be most dangerous,” she warned.
She added, “For the West to avoid a catastrophic clash, it needs to truly understand what it’s really dealing with when it comes to Mr. Putin.”
The British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has previously called Putin “a very dangerous man” and warned last week that he has defied “all logic” with his war in Ukraine.
Wallace said that it is now very hard to predict how relations will evolve over time between Russia and the West and then gave a grim warning that he cannot rule out there being a “nuclear war.”
A senior American intelligence official said that he is not optimistic that “Putin has changed, there’s no question about that.
“And this is, well, it’s a real policy problem for us.”
When the war started on 24 February, it was possible to talk of “off-ramps” or even potential resolutions.
But the official warned, “I don’t see how Putin can accept anything we can morally or politically entertain.”
Stanovaya said that Putin has three main goals, firstly he wants to achieve his territorial ambitions in Ukraine, mainly in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions which is very “achievable.”
“For this goal, of minimal geopolitical weight for the Kremlin, Mr. Putin appears to believe that time is on his side,” Stanovaya added.
Putin’s second goal is “focused on forcing Kyiv to capitulate,” which will mean “accepting Russian demands that could be summarised as the ‘de-Ukrainianization’ and ‘Russification’ of the country.”
“The aim, in short, would be to deprive Ukraine of the right to build its own nation. The government would be replaced, the elites purged and cooperation with the West voided,” Stanovaya added.
Putin’s third goal is to create a “new world order” which will create global inflation and a world wide energy crisis which he hopes will topple the political elite which will make, he hopes, for world leaders to be friendlier to Moscow.