After more than a month of invasion, Vladimir Putin’s army has not managed to take over the whole territory of Ukraine. His army, the second-largest in the world, met heroic resistance from Ukrainians, who prevented him from achieving his objectives.
The Russians took eastern Ukraine with ease, and from there tried to conquer the rest of the country, but they could not do that. In particular, Putin’s army was never able to march on Kyiv, which would have meant Russia’s great triumph.
In a statement published on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged, in a way, the defeat and reduced the initial military objectives to what it had already managed to conquer. According to the Defense Ministry, Russia’s goal was always to “control” the eastern Donbas region, which constitutes the separatist Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and this was “practically concluded.”
“As individual groupings successfully complete the assigned tasks, our forces and means will concentrate on the main thing – the complete liberation of the Donbas,” General Sergey Rudskoy, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, also said.
A little more than a month ago, when Putin announced the beginning of the invasion, several analysts in different media assured that the fall of Ukraine was imminent. Russia, a military power, having the second-largest army in the world, would have the capacity to neutralize the Ukrainian troops and their resistance in a short time; but this has not happened yet.
Weeks have passed and the Ukrainian resistance, composed of military and civilians and gallantly led by President Volodymyr Zelensky, has repelled the Russian forces in different cities. Most notable has been Kyiv, where the Russians, being 30 kilometers from the capital at the height of the offensive, have moved to retreat 55 kilometers. Overall, according to Pentagon information, the Russians have fallen back more than 20 kilometers in their siege. The same in Kharkiv.
The balance of the invasion, in general terms, has not been favorable for Putin. One month later, it leaves the Russian invader a completely isolated country, subjected to relentless economic and political sanctions. Now, Putin faces daily demonstrations inside Russia by citizens fed up with the war and its consequences for the country. Putin has been losing allies as his invasion progresses, which has been bloody and has boosted the popularity of the Ukrainians and their president worldwide.
Regardless of what will happen in the coming days, the reduction of targets in Ukraine is a tacit acknowledgment of failure on Putin’s part, especially considering the expectation during the first days of the invasion. The will to ‘denazify’ Kyiv has faded and is now limited only to eastern Ukraine. Russia will continue with its war, and the intention today is to crack the Ukrainian resistance and the West. For now, the latter has not succeeded either.