As the chances of success fade, Russia is trying to recover in Ukraine

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The Russian military, engulfed in endless war, is trying to revive its clean-up offensive in Ukraine, firing commanders, splitting war units into smaller units and doubling its reliance on artillery and other long-range weapons.

The change comes almost three months after Russian and US officials predicted a quick and decisive victory for Moscow. After the avalanche of deaths and defeats of thousands of Russian soldiers since the invasion that began on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin has reduced his intentions to a campaign.

According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, at least seven people were injured in a strike on May 20 at the Cultural Palace in Losova, Kharkiv region. (Video: Volodimir Zhelensky via Storyful)

That assessment is shared by a range of observers, including Western intelligence officials and independent analysts who closely watched the war. Mick Murran, director general of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, said Ukraine was failing militarily, politically and morally.

“When we look at the battlefield, Russia’s usual capability is already high,” Marron said. “The losses of Russian manpower and equipment are not constant at the same operational pace we have seen so far.”

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Marron said there was “no solution” until Russia began a full-scale mobilization of its military. Despite appearing to have “kicked some sense of truth” among Russian military leaders, Putin himself aims to control everything from the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine to the western port city of Odessa and the secluded republic of Transnistria in neighboring Moldova.

“We see a continuous military campaign that, to a certain extent, is detached from the real, intelligent or possible for a long time,” Murron said. The Estonians had long predicted that Russia would face significant opposition from the Ukrainians even before the invasion.

According to a recent Pentagon assessment, as the war intensifies and Russia’s war gains “balance” and “increase”, many of its top commanders have been fired. Among them were Lieutenant General Sergei Kissel, who led the Army’s failed attempt to capture the northeastern city of Kharkiv, according to the British Ministry of Defense, and Adam Igor Osipov, a deputy in charge of Russia. Black Sea Navy during the Ukrainian forces Sank its primary Moscow. The humiliating blow to the Russian navy was carried out using Ukrainian-made Neptune anti-ship missiles. Since then, there have been officers in Kiev Have stepped up their demands for similar weapons From Western allies.

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Citing recent U.S. intelligence assessments of the war, the senior defense official confirmed that “Russian commanders at various levels have been relieved of their duties” under the basic rules laid down by the Pentagon. Pentagon officials said the man wanted to be cautious in making predictions about the next phase of the war, but were encouraged that Ukrainian forces were not facing a recession affecting the Russians.

Russia maintains considerable combat capability in Ukraine, a U.S. defense official has warned, but “you must have the will to fight, you must have good leadership, you must have command and control.” Russia, he said, was “suffering” as a result of these and other shortcomings.

Meanwhile, Russia’s transport minister said on Saturday that sanctions against Russia had “practically broken” the country’s transport and shipping facilities, acknowledging the rare problems.

But its defense minister insisted that its military had destroyed a large number of weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States and European countries. A Pentagon spokesman told The Washington Post that the United States had not commented on Russia’s claim.

Russia has also stepped up its political campaign, permanently banning nearly 1,000 Americans from entering the country, including President Biden and Vice President Harris. The list of detainees includes a variety of officials and citizens, including deceased lawmakers and actor Morgan Freeman.

United Nations Sends billions of dollars regularly In military equipment for Ukraine, including heavy artillery, drones and anti-tank missiles. President Biden on Saturday signed a new $ 40 billion new military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine.

Although Putin has deployed more than 100 battalion tactical teams in Ukraine, each with 500 to 800 personnel, US intelligence shows that they have made little progress in the Donbass. There is evidence that the Russian army divided into smaller divisions and sent small combat teams to villages and hamlets. The Pentagon estimates that doing so makes sense because Putin pursues small local goals. But Russia struggled to retain land, and its forces sometimes relinquished control of Ukraine and occupied territory within days.

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The Russians are attacking in small units, the Pentagon says

In the south, Russia has had two notable victories, capturing the large port city of Mariupol and the small town of Kersen. Micholeiv, which had a population of nearly 500,000 before the war, was an unattainable target, despite weeks of fierce fighting nearby.

Scott Boston, a former U.S. military official who surveyed the Ukraine war for Rand Corporation, said there appeared to be massive morale issues within the Russian military that could undermine Moscow’s targets. He cited the failure of some sections to carry out orders and Russia’s failure to adequately deploy and feed its forces.

Boston said of the Russian soldiers: “If it is proven abundantly that they do not give a shit about their people, they get it.” “It’s hard not to notice.”

According to the Pentagon, Russia has captured only two kilometers a day in the Donbass in recent weeks. At that rate, Boston predicts that the offensive may continue for a year and that even as Russian military casualties continue to rise, “a lot more Ukraine will remain”.

“It’s not a serious idea,” Boston said.

Russian leaders may feel their military campaign is faltering, but they are still reluctant to admit that they are losing the war.

Earlier this month, dozens of Russian warships were destroyed by Ukrainian forces as the Russians attempted to cross the Shivarsky Donets River in Donbass. The attack is believed to have killed hundreds of Russian troops, and shows their continued failure to carry out basic war maneuvers.

Rob Lee, a Russian military expert and senior member of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, attributed Russian troops to their own tactical mistakes and the Ukrainian’s strong capabilities in ways such as the deadly offensive near Chevrolet Donetsk.

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Pontoon bridges should be built by favorable terrain and military engineers to cross the river. Lee said they were inherently dangerous, and that the Ukrainian military would probably have anticipated crossing points and recorded their coordinates for future attacks. Their surveillance drones allowed the artillery units to track where the rounds were falling, and then directed them at the Russian personnel.

Lee said it was a big mistake that Russian commanders failed to send a small number of troops across the river. Instead, they put them together. This error cost the 74th motorized rifle battalion too much. According to an analysis by the Institute of the Study of WarEstimated loss of 485 lives and loss of 80 equipment.

“It is a sign that there are still leadership problems,” Lee said of the attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces nearby.

Rand Corp analyst Boston said it was difficult to say how long Russia would continue its offensive. He said that even after the death of thousands of Russian soldiers, Russia could continue its artillery attack from a distance for some time.

However, the path of conflict confuses him. Russia defeated Georgian forces in a five-day war in 2008, but the conflict exposed defeats within the Russian military. After that conflict Moscow began to reform its military, Boston said, and showed progress in others.

“You get the feeling that they have given up everything they have been trying to learn for the last 10 years and have returned to the old style that they are most comfortable with,” Boston said. “Obviously, the Red Army in 1944 was more capable of fire and maneuver than we had ever seen from this Russian army, and I did not understand why.”

Julian Dublin, Timothy Bella and Michael Gronish contributed to this report.

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