So far, in other words, Putin has not achieved any of his goals especially not in light of the massive and united opposition that has met him from the international side. However, it is not necessarily good news for civilian Ukrainians. Despite Ukrainian resistance and Russian incompetence, on the other hand, there is also little doubt that Russian forces can still succeed in taking the capital Kyiv, which at the time of writing is in the process of being surrounded. Also, a large number of Ukrainian forces along the front in the east are at risk of meeting the same fate as a result.
Pincer maneuver, as the Russian offensive from the Crimean peninsula in the south has so far been far more successful than the offensives in the north and east of the country In other words, Putin can still win if by win we mean that Russian forces take control of Kyiv and install a pro Russian administration. The road from there to a successful occupation of the whole of Ukraine will, on the other hand, be significantly longer and more whatsapp mobile number list costly, both for Russia and Ukrainian civilians, in a context where an armed uprising is almost guaranteed. These are costs that the Russian military and the Russian economy are not equipped to handle, and it is difficult to see that Putin s Russia will be able to emerge strengthened from a possible victory in the long term.
As the situation stands today, in other words, it is unclear whether we are seeing the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end of the war. The hostilities could potentially end within a short time, if the ongoing negotiations lead to a peaceful solution that both parties can accept. But the war could also last years even in a scenario where Kyiv falls in the coming weeks. What appears more and more certain is that the war has entered a far more brutal phase now that it is increasingly reaching Ukraine s cities. The urban warfare will most likely become very bloody if it continues, and Putin has long experience both from Syria and Chechnya of compensating for a lack of military breakthroughs by trying to terrorize the civilian population into submission.