British war scholar Lawrence Friedman, Professor Emeritus at King’s College London, has offered a new theory for how the war in Ukraine continues – and ends -. Friedman analyzed Vladimir Putin’s May 9 speech, the current situation in eastern Ukraine and the state of the Russian army.
Friedman’s notes on May 9
First, Friedman describes his observations on May 9, the great “Victory Day” in Russia.
Vladimir Putin did not declare victory.
Friedman feels he didn’t have enough to offer.
Putin did not call for a big mobilization.
Friedman believes that Putin knows that doing so will bring him few advantages on the battlefield – but potentially even greater internal difficulties.
The number of soldiers was less than usual.
For Friedman, the reason is simple. Most of the deployable troops are currently in combat. Instead of presenting an army on the verge of military victory, Putin’s forces looked exhausted, Friedman wrote.
The show was much smaller than usual.
Friedman explains that the parade showed very little ordnance and that the air parade was completely cancelled. This may also be due to the fact that a lot of military equipment is in use – or has already been destroyed.
Friedman’s conclusions from the observations
Friedman concludes by talking about “Victory Day”:
“The Russian army is not the steam power it has long been seen as”
Friedman writes. This was shown during the rally in Kyiv. It is now also shown in the second offensive in eastern Ukraine. There are few gains for Russia, while Ukraine is launching successful counterattacks. Dr
The Russians collected almost everything they could muster. There are only a few reserves left.”
This power does not appear to be sufficient.
In addition, Putin’s army continues to lose huge amounts of military equipment while Ukraine is being armed by the West. So it is not surprising that there are reports that Russian commanders no longer want to send their soldiers to the front.
Friedman’s End of War Scenario
Friedman describes the current situation as:
Currently everyone thinks that the war will go on for a long time. Reasons: Ukraine does not want to cede any territory to Russia. Russia has invested a lot in the war to surrender now.” If things continue as they are, the stalemate may soon develop. It is possible that combat operations will be reduced because both sides cannot do much in the long run.
But it is also possible that Russia will suffer defeat. Putin’s army could still do serious damage to Ukraine – for example through air strikes and naval blockades in the Black Sea. But Ukraine has proven its ability to suffer and maintain its sovereignty.
Therefore, the following scenario is particularly likely for Friedman:
“It is possible that the second attack in eastern Ukraine will end in the same way that the first attack.” First of all, it will probably turn out that Russia cannot win. Then it will be discussed whether to return to the negotiating table. After that, the Russian forces will not be able to withstand and will withdraw. “But withdrawing this time means losing,” Friedman said.
Russia should not like it. If large-scale mobilization is also not an option, Putin has only one solution to avoid defeat: a ceasefire as quickly as possible. He could save what he had been able to conquer until now. “Putin may decide he’d rather minimize his losses than make this war worse for everyone involved,” Friedman writes.