Russian journalist: Putin is stuck in a trap of his own making

The Russian journalist specializing in political affairs and foreign policy, Yulia Latynina, considered that President Vladimir Putin narrowed himself, by dealing with the Ukrainian file, instead of besieging the United States, and he is now stuck between two options, the best of which is bitter: Either engage in direct armed conflict or humiliating retreat.

and stresses -in article She told The New York Times – that in light of the current escalation between Moscow and the West, what will happen in the next few days is unknown, but the only thing that is clear is that Mr. The step of conquest and the risk of defeat, or retreat without the slightest gain from the approach of walking towards the edge of the abyss that he adopts.

The writer believes that the Kremlin’s intention not to go to war may not be clear, especially in light of the steady buildup of more than 100,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border since last November, but there are many reasons to believe that Moscow will back down from the invasion step.

On the one hand, Putin – whose behavior has been innately cautious for two decades – scored in withdrawals at the first sign of real conflict. When US forces killed dozens of Russian mercenaries in Syria in 2018, for example, he had the perfect opportunity to respond, but Moscow instead denied So no massacre whatsoever.

Similarly – the writer adds – when Turkish drones targeted Russian mercenaries and equipment in both Libya and Syria, there was also no clear acknowledgment by Moscow. When its territory was attacked in September 2020 by Azerbaijan backed by Ankara.

In Kazakhstan, the Russian president, having decided to send his victorious troops there for an indefinite period, began withdrawing them only shortly after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov received a phone call from his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

It is clear that the major successful Russian military operations under President Putin – the defeat of Georgia in 2008 and the annexation of Crimea in 2014 – occurred by surprise when the West was preoccupied with other things and Moscow was able to complete its plans without the threat of international armed opposition.

Expansive adventure

But in the Ukrainian case – the writer adds – this is not the case, and the internal reasons for going to war do not exist now in Russia, where support for Putin has decreased and prices have risen, but there is no major internal turmoil and only two years are left until the elections.

Moreover, Putin does not need, at the present time, for an expansionist adventure in order to support his rule or distract the people from their problems, “the war is a big red button that can be pressed only once, but now there is no need for that.”

Then there is a main reason that justifies this position – the writer concludes – which is that Russia will not be sure of victory, as the capabilities of the Ukrainian army have greatly improved after it raised the level of its equipment and its readiness for the possibility of a land invasion, and it is likely that the Russian forces deployed near the borders are insufficient to complete the task. Because of its large number, the Russian army may be able to advance, but what is certain is that it will be billed for heavy casualties.

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