By Bill Roggio
Wishful thinking has the upper hand in the battle to shape Western perceptions of the war in Ukraine.
Sympathy for the outnumbered and outgunned defenders of Kyiv has led to the exaggeration of Russian setbacks, misunderstanding of Russian strategy, and even baseless claims from amateur psychoanalysts that Putin has lost his mind.
A more sober analysis shows that Russia may have sought a knockout blow, but always had well-laid plans for follow-on assaults if its initial moves proved insufficient.
The world has underestimated Putin before and those mistakes have led, in part, to this tragedy in Ukraine.
We must be clear-eyed now that the war is underway.
Yet even the professionals at the Pentagon are letting sympathy cloud their judgement.
Just two days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Department of Defense briefers were quick to claim that failing to take Kyiv in the opening days of the war amounted to a serious setback.
DoD briefers implied that Russia’s offensive was well behind schedule or had even failed because the capital had not fallen.
But U.S. leaders should have learned to restrain their hopes after their catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Once again, U.S. and Western officials are falling into the trap of failing to understand the enemy and his objectives.
Allegedly, Putin believed that the Ukrainian government would collapse once Russian troops crossed the frontier and pushed to Kyiv, and that the operation has failed because the Ukrainian government remains in place.
Putin certainly hoped for a swift victory, but he clearly was not relying on his opening salvo as the only plan for success.
Rather, the Russian military was prepared to take the country by force if a swift decapitation strike fell short.
This kind of plan should be familiar to Americans who remember the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In the first hours of the war, the U.S. Air Force launched its ‘shock and awe’ campaign in an attempt to kill Saddam Hussein and other key leaders and bring down the government. Saddam survived, but the U.S. military was fully prepared to follow up with a ground assault.
A look at the Russian military offensive demonstrates there was a plan for a full-scale invasion, which Russia is now executing.
Conventional, mechanized warfare is a time and resource consuming enterprise, and an operation of this scope isn’t cobbled together in days.
The Russian offensive is taking place on four separate fronts. On a fifth front, in eastern Ukraine, which Putin declared independent last week, Russian forces are tying down Ukrainian troops that are needed elsewhere.
The bulk of the Russian forces are advancing southward from Belarus to Kyiv.
Russian advance forces, including air, mobile and reconnaissance troops, have been engaged with Ukrainian troops outside of Kyiv since the start of the war.
A massive column of Russian troops, estimated at over 40 miles long, is just 20 miles north of Kyiv, and is likely assembling to surround the capital.
If Russian forces can take Kyiv and push southward to link up with forces on the Crimean front, thus splitting Ukraine in two, it would be a major blow to the Zelensky government.
What matters more than a handful of setbacks is that Russian forces have pushed 70 miles into contested terrain in less than a week and are on the outskirts of the capital.
This is not a sign of a disorganized, poorly assembled, and failed offensive.
The southward push from Belarus to Kyiv is supported by another Russian column, launched from the east in the vicinity of Kursk.
If this column can link up with Russian troops near Kyiv, it will envelop Ukrainian forces in most of Chernihiv and Sumy provinces, depriving the Ukrainian military of much needed soldiers and war material needed elsewhere, and cutting off the government from two northern provinces.
Further east, Russian forces have launched a broad offensive aimed at Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which is now under siege.
In the south, Russian forces, supported by amphibious assaults from the Sea of Azov, have poured into Ukraine from Crimea.
On this front, Russian forces have branched out along two main axes, one northwest along the Pivdennyi Buh River, and another northeast along the coast and inland towards the Donbas region, which Russia declared independent shortly before the invasion.
If Russian columns from either southern front can link up with forces further north, they would cut off many Ukrainian troops from reinforcement—one of the two columns has already advanced roughly 160 miles.
Russian generals have often chosen to bypass towns and cities that are putting up stiff opposition and isolating them to deal with later.
Nobody knows for sure, but Putin’s actions appear to be that of a cold and calculating adversary.
Dismissing his decision to invade Ukraine as a form of madness is effectively an excuse to ignore Putin’s likely motivations and future actions.
Strategically, Putin’s advance on Ukraine began well over a decade ago, when he invaded and Balkanized Georgia by recognizing the Kremlin’s puppet regimes in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In 2014, Putin occupied and annexed the strategic Ukrainian region of Crimea, which served as a launchpad for the current invasion.
Putin paid little price for either action.
The United States and Europe imposed limited sanctions but continued to engage with him on the Iranian nuclear deal and other top issues.
Today, Putin has calculated that taking Ukraine by force is in his and Russia’s interest.
He no doubt anticipated that the West would impose diplomatic and economic sanctions, which U.S. and European leaders threatened beforehand.
Putin may have miscalculated Ukrainian resistance and the intensity of the West’s opposition, but it doesn’t mean he is crazy, or didn’t consider the possibilities and chose to invade regardless.
Bolded some interesting parts for Greg giving his support of the 2014 invasion…
Greg is either a paid disinformation agent, or completely spineless quisling that couldn’t do more damage to our country then if he wore a Russian military uniform.
No one is reporting or reminding the pact that Russia and China signed a few weeks ago.
Russia and China Unveil a Pact Against America and the West | The New Yorker
This might have been something we the people should look at.
You do know, don’t you, that stating that Putin might have a plan and is following it and is not a raving lunatic that is not as smart as idiot Biden will cause Greg to declare you a Putin apostle? Be prepared.
No doubt that if the invasion is allowed to go on until Ukraine is fully occupied, that Russia can do this. But, Putin believed or hoped that the mere launching of the invasion would cause Zelensky to flee and the government roll over to him. He has avoided destroying infrastructure and killing civilians to reduce the amount of rebuilding necessary and to avoid bad propaganda being used against him. Obviously, those are off the table.
I guess it’s a sign of Ukraine’s weakness that it hasn’t decimated that big, fat convoy outside of Kyiv. If not, it’s a sign of Russian stupidity. I just cringe that both ends of that convoy have not been bombed and then the rest destroyed at will, but apparently Ukraine doesn’t have that capability and/or the Russians have sufficient air support to prevent it. Pity.
But Putin has definitely taken the gloves off and began hitting population centers. This has ramped up the propaganda effort against him. I noted the “near miss” of the Kharkiv administration building. I wonder if that was supposed to be a direct hit? Overall, I am not overly impressed with the moral and execution demonstrated by the Russian forces, but I am comparing them to the expertise of our own military.
No one can envision Putin withdrawing. I suppose the only question is, will the rest of the civilized world maintain their punishment of Putin and Russia for their barbarity? Will idiot Biden exploit our own fossil fuel wealth to REALLY punish Putin and maybe prevent him from further attacks? Will we be able to replace the energy Russia supplies and will Europe accept it? Will NATO remember what they exist for and what Putin has done and continue to adequately arm themselves to prevent further aggression? Or, will they all revert back to their stupid blindness and then react, again, when it is too late… again.
Good luck, Ukraine. You’re going to need it.
It’s all getting so stale now.
If you support Trump you’re against democracy.
If you question the vaccine you’re against saving lives.
If you question the propaganda out of the Ukraine you openly are supporting Putin and want him to win.
This is simply The narrative that Greg is getting from the major news sources he watches.
None of this is going to save the Democrats on election Day this year
“I was just thinking, why should we defend this puppet president and government? He’s shut down four opposition TV channels, there were also journalists who mysteriously disappeared,” journo says.
“It’s true that the current government isn’t perfect,” French pundit pushes back. “Maybe some journalists were indeed assassinated. But journalists are assassinated in other countries too.”
IMO Zelensky needed to be neutral like switzerland, end his nazi sympathies, stop bombing his own people, shut down Faucis biolabs. He chose instead to see his people murdered.
Zelensky, a Jew, has Nazi sympathies?
Yes he has allowed nazi units to join his army, and sent them to the eastern front to kill ukrainians for years, may he rot in hell.
He is just like Soros also a Jew that worked with the nazis.
Times of Israel, 03/02/22 – Russian POWs say they ‘were used like a meat shield’; ‘They sent us to death’
Biden’s Supreme Court Pick Shielded Top Clinton Aide Amid Email ScandalJoe Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court shielded Hillary Clinton’s top State Department official from scrutiny regarding his use of a personal e-mail account for official business. Gawker asked then-D.C. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for information about press aide Philippe Reines’s stewardship of…
The national anthem of the nation and people that Putin is killing, should anyone care…
Oil Prices Pass $112 Barrel, OPEC Holding Firm, Here Comes $7 Gasoline March 2, 2022 | sundance | 356 Comments
Everything including oil, natural gas, wheat, and fertilizer is skyrocketing in price right now. Ten- and twenty-year records are being eclipsed, as energy prices are soaring on the back of oil flirting with $114 a barrel. Unfortunately, here comes more inflationary pain, and everything is being blamed on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Toward the end of last year, we warned that fertilizer costs were going to harvest costs in 2022 (field to fork, go deep), long before Ukraine came into the picture. Unfortunately, future wheat prices reached $10.59 a bushel today, the highest since March 2008. Additionally, corn prices have passed their highest rate since December 2012.
Why is biden buying oil from Putin and iran?
Want him to sanction Russian oil? So do I. I guess we’re finally in agreement on something.
Why is Biden still buying oil from Putin and Iran?
Answer the goddamn question, don’t answer a question that nobody asked.
Why is Biden not opening up the XL pipeline while he’s at it?
So explain this.
I can explain it. One of the boxes checked by choosing Kamala was NOT “Smart”. That one was left blank.
Sit down and shut up fool.
You have nothing intelligent to say or offer on this one.
Your ideologies and your voting choices have failed.
They’re using the same tactics they used to destroy Trump and to impose covid protocols.
Keep saying Trump is crazy and that nobody likes him.
Keep saying the vaccine is saving lives which it isn’t, and get part of the population to demonize the rest.
Say Russia is losing, and then demonize anybody who questions that narrative.
The problem is they can’t hide real things happening in Ukraine the way that they simply made up comments from Trump that he never said, and generate statistics on covid that don’t exist.
Putin is killing Ukranian children in an unprovoked war he started. He’s either CRAZY or EVIL. There’s no third option.
We are very well aware of what’s happening, and the conditions created by Joe Biden that allowed for it
This war was hardly unprovoked.
The provocation was not giving an evil son-of-a-bitch what he wanted.
Bullshit. NATO has been expanding.
News that everyone should know:
China and Russia signed a pact in early February explicitly to resist NATO expansion, the wording saying “there are no limits this new friendship.”
Saudi Arabia said they WILL NOT pump more oil to help with high gas costs. They are siding with Russia and keeping their OPEC plus pledge for prices. The UAE is siding with Russia, too.
India has called for an end to violence, but has markedly NOT CONDEMNED China for this war.
Why are you trying to hide the truth, greg?
This is truly a World War forming. It’s not simply a crazy man invading because he’s crazy. Drop that bullshit, right now.
You didn’t take some of Biden’s Adderall did you?
You sound like a raving lunatic.
He is a lunatic standing on the deck of the titanic that is his party screaming at the people in life rafts that they are conspiracy theorists and nazis.
Have you heard of the minsk treaty? Kiev seems not to have heard, in the 1st 2 years of the treaty 8000 Ukraininan men women and children were bombed shot etc.dead.
And YOU are proposing doing WHAT about it, Comrade Greggie? Your beloved CCP is standing to the side while Putin adopts their attitude on civilians.
You just come here and run your stupid mouth but do you have any suggestions to how to stop Putin? Like all leftists, you can only criticize others but do nothing yourself.
Of course, if anyone asks you a question, or wants you to prove your claims, you, being the coward you are, run like a rabbit to another thread or change the subject.
You continue to prove what a useful idiot you are.
Russia, China and Iran are the new Axis. Note that all these countries are always kowtowed to by Democrats. The company you keep.
Thousands Of Georgians Protest Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine
Meh. So what.
Putin is using bullets. So should they if they want him to stop.
Why cover up the reality here?
NATO and the US Cannot do anything militarily. China has Russia’s back.
This is a coordinated attack by both Russia and China.
Taiwan is next…and that’s ironclad, not an opinion.
Russia had Hitler’s back.
WHY DO YOU KEEP SAYING THIS IS JUST A CRAZY GUY WHEN IT’S F*CKING COORDINATED GLOBAL ATTACK ON NATO AND THE US?
ADDRESS THE CHINA/RUSSIA PACT!
THIS IS PRETTY GODDAMN SIGNIFICANT.
Nathan, Comrade Greggie is a flaming coward. He will never answer your questions. He never answers anyone’s questions. That’s what cowards do.
They are using the same disinformation tactics they used on Trump and Covid for Russia/Ukraine.
It’s disgusting and it really, really doesn’t make sense.
Putin and Xi pretty much said what they were going to do.
Because Putin is inflicting enormous damages on both Ukraine and Russia, but nothing good will come of it for himself or anyone else.
Since he’s not stupid, I’ll have to conclude that he’s gone off the rails. His recent speeches sounded a little crazy.
This was a coordinated and planned offensive.
Cut the bullshit “he’s crazy” propaganda point.
It’s shit and you know it.
China will attack Taiwan next. They and Russia both telegraphed that they are pushing back against the NWO with a world order of their own. It’s been stated, publicly.
Alexey Navalny also thinks Putin has popped his cork. He’s not afraid to say it, even though Putin tried to kill him, and probably will again.
Crazy people can make complex plans, and carry them out, unless somebody stops them. Hitler and his henchman organized the industrial-scale murder of 6 million Jews and turned half of Europe into rubble.
Did you know Hitlers dead, by his own hand. You named the nazis in Ukraine. It was the Nazis that broke the non aggression pact with Stalin. It was Soros, the State dept and CIA coup of 2014 that over threw a Russia freindly elected president, because he took Putin up on a better deal than was offered by the west. The corrupt puppet presidents put in by Soros funding were immune from the genocide of the Russian ethnics in the east, by Nazi militia groups allowed by Zelensky into his military.
No opposing media allowed journalists murdered.
There are real people dying for the Nazi World Order, run by the WEF, and Rothchilds bankers. Its been so every war, Im not sorry I wont pick an elite to side with, neither of them GAF how much blood is spilled. I might care if they were not handing out weapons to fight for an evil plan, if it was really for or about Ukrainian freedom.
greg calls for the marginalization of over 75 million Trump voters, so we know what side of the war he would have been on.
Again, the “he’s crazy” propaganda point.
It’s irrelevant and subjective.
You’re ignoring that Putin and Xi signed a pact for a kind of “axis” and they are NOW DOING WHAT THEY SAID THEY WERE GOING TO DO: RUSSIA WILL TAKE URKRAINE, CHINA WILL TAKE TAIWAN.
THIS IS A PLANNED AND COORDINATED ATTACK BY PUTIN.
Who is telling you to double-down on this “he’s crazy” nonsense?
The new Russia/China Pact is pushing back against NATO expansion. Like it or not. Agree with it or not. It’s strategic, not “crazy.”
It’s not sudden, it’s not impromptu.
This is more of the Left’s “control the language” Hitleresque b.s.
Taiwan was hit with widespread power outages affecting Taipei on Thursday morning.
The outages affected major cities including Taipei.
And WWII happened all the same.
Indeed. Now China has Russia’s back and idiot Biden does China’s bidding.
Where the AntiWar actvists taking to the Streets where are they anyway protesting through the streets and pickting in front of the Russian Embasy
Obama’s energy policies were intended to cause energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket”. That is the purpose, to make the subsidized “renewables” cost-competitive with cheap fossil fuels.
Idiot Biden killed the Keystone pipeline, rescinded federal permits for production and regulated refining out of operation with the same intent. To his surprise, though, the CONSUMERS didn’t much care for his green nightmare and, thus, the beginning of the plummeting of his approval ratings began.
Then along comes Putin, who has been benefitting from the higher global costs of oil thanks largely to idiot Biden’s short-sighted and stupid domestic energy policies. Putin was, in fact, one of those idiot Biden turned to when inflation began chipping away at his approval ratings and Putin gave idiot Biden the original delivery of the now famous Ukrainian Snake Island response to a Russian demand for surrender. OPEC joined in the chorus.
Based on ample examples of world-wide stupidity and weakness, especially idiot Biden’s, Putin decides now is the most opportune time to settle accounts with Ukraine. Putin invades… just because.
Now, since there are more idiots in the world than just idiot Biden, while they try to get Putin back in his cage, they are dependent upon him for much of their energy. The US relies on him for 5% of our energy. While stopping Putin’s revenues from the sale of now MORE expensive oil would greatly curtail his options for Ukraine, idiot Biden is reluctant because that (without the US increasing its production) would cause energy costs to “necessarily skyrocket” even worse and now, the idiot realizes that people don’t like getting gouged for a tank of gas and hold him responsible.
But, being an idiot and the docile puppet of the far left, idiot Biden cannot envision restoring our energy independence as a solution to multiple problems, coincidentally, all caused by him.
Pete Buttigieg Says Buying Oil From Iran is “On the Table” – As Biden Imposes Restrictions on Domestic Drilling (VIDEO)
yeah, sure, Buttgig. Whatever you don’t, don’t buy American. America is, after all, your #1 enemy
Energy Secretary Grandholm Admits Biden Economic Pain and Gas Prices all Part of New Energy Transition
the Canadian says the quiet part out loud
We have known all of this was intentional. This is insane. biden is not doing this he is too far gone mentally. This is the shadow government of Ron Klaine Valerie Jarrett and obama