February last year marked the beginning of one of the brightest and most disturbing events in recent history. Europe is facing a major invasion for the first time since World War II. Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to overthrow the Kyiv administration with nearly 200,000 soldiers and sought to create the biggest breakthrough in world political history since World War II by capturing the capital. But the war between Ukraine and Russia does not seem to have developed in the way Putin imagined. So what has Russia won and lost so far, what does Putin want, risking unleashing a bloody war in the middle of Europe? Let’s look at the details together.
The Ukrainian-Russian war began exactly a year ago, to the surprise of the whole world.
From time to time, hot conflicts in the region have become the most important item on the world’s agenda. In some periods, the war that was going on in the heart of Europe was forgotten. Forgotten conflicts have reminded of themselves with the danger of nuclear war. So what has happened in the last year? Could Putin, the architect of the war, succeed?
Russian President Vladimir Putin has never used the term “war” for the Ukrainian-Russian war.
However, an unprecedented occupation has been going on in Europe for a long time. Thousands of civilian and military personnel died as a result of the occupation, and more than 13 million people were displaced. However, the president of Russia never called this tragedy in Europe a “war”. From the first day of the invasion, Putin has described the events as a “special operation.” So, what was the purpose of Putin’s “military operation”?
Putin explained the reason for the invasion by saying that he was “cleansing Ukraine of soldiers and Nazis.”
However, the Russian president has accused Ukraine of “intimidation and genocide”, saying they want to protect the people in the region from this genocide but do not want to invade the country by force. However, Russia’s allegations of Nazism and genocide against Ukraine have never been proven.
The main goal of Vladimir Putin was to prevent NATO from holding on to Ukrainian soil.
At the same time, he had a desire to secure a neutral status for Ukraine. But one of Putin’s main goals, though he didn’t say it out loud, was to overthrow the Kyiv government. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that this is Putin’s intention “The enemy has made me the number one target. My family is number two” declared from his words.
Putin has often said that Russians and Ukrainians are one people, echoing the argument that Ukraine historically belonged to Russia.
All this led to the fact that the tension between Ukraine and Russia, which began in 2014, escalated into a war between Ukraine and Russia. Putin ordered nearly 200,000 Russian soldiers to carry out a “special operation” and the invasion began. The President of Russia thought that the capital Kyiv would fall in a few days and that the war could be easily won. However, the war itself developed quite differently from the battle plans on the maps.
How did Vladimir Putin change his military plans?
In fact, Putin’s military plans changed in the first month of the invasion. The forced withdrawal of Russian troops from Kyiv and Chernigov forced Putin to cut staff. Thus, Russia’s goal of invading Ukraine was replaced by the “liberation of Donbass”, referring to two industrial zones east of Lugansk and Donetsk.
In addition, the Russian troops could not make the desired progress in the northern and southern parts of the battlefield. This situation on the battlefield forced Russia to move away from the main plan of the war. Forced to annex four regions of Ukraine, Russia occupied Lugansk and Donetsk in the east and Kherson and Zaporozhye in the south, but failed to achieve absolute dominance in these regions.
The failure on the ground led to the first mobilization in Russia since World War II.
The “partial mobilization” announced by Vladimir Putin was limited to 300,000 reservists. The announcement of mobilization was seen as one of the indicators of Russia’s defeat in the war. In short, today Putin is faced with a very different reality than he imagined at the beginning of the war.
Western-backed Ukraine managed in a matter of days to thwart Putin’s plan to invade the capital and turn the occupation into a long and exhausting war. However, the neutrality of Ukraine, which was unlikely before the war, has completely disappeared. Well, what has Russia gained, which in many respects appeared to be one of the most powerful states in the world, in the year that has passed since the beginning of the war?
Russia’s biggest achievement has been its connection with Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.
Putin called the creation of a road bridge in the region, which includes the cities of Mariupol and Melitopol, “an important result for Russia.” Claiming that the Sea of Azov in the Kerch Strait had become “the inland sea of Russia,” Putin said that even Russian Tsar Peter the Great could not achieve this.
Indeed, Russia’s takeover of most of Crimea was one of the few significant gains it has made over the past year.
Russia achieved only a few notable successes during the war. On the other hand, Russian troops were defeated many times on the battlefield.
For example, last November 30,000 Russian soldiers were forced to retreat along the Dnieper. This retreat was one of the biggest strategic failures in the Ukrainian-Russian war. Another example of Russia’s failure was Ukraine’s New Year’s rocket strikes. Many Russian soldiers died during the attacks on the city of Makeevka.
This incident was recognized as a serious mistake by the intelligence of the Russian Front. In addition, Russia lost its dominance in many of the cities it had dominated at the start of the war. But the war and Russia’s plan to attack Ukraine continues.
Experts say that Putin, who wants to make up for lost time, will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons in the near future.
According to experts, Putin can prolong the mobilization and the war if he sees fit. Moreover, it may resort to nuclear weapons to protect itself and keep the occupied Ukrainian territory for a longer period of time. PutinWe will definitely use all the weapons systems we have. it’s not a bluffHis words also point to the threat of a future nuclear war.
Because, according to many experts, the President of Russia lost not only on the battlefield, but also on the political arena. Putin is said to have largely lost his popularity outside of Russia. This is also indicated by a noticeable reduction in the Russian leader’s visits abroad in the recent period. In short, the war between Ukraine and Russia continues, but not in the direction Putin wants.
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