The Russian President thought he was quickly putting an end to “the special military operation” against Ukraine, launched on February 24, 2022. Almost a year later, the master of the Kremlin multiplies reverse and disillusions.
by Benoît Vitkine (Moscow, correspondent)
On February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” in Ukraine, with the aim of “defending the populations of the Donbass subject to a genocide by the kyiv regime”. After a year of high intensity fighting, the balance sheet is disastrous: Moscow does not even control all the regions of Donetsk and Louhansk. His forces are even on hindsight.
Dénazification and demilitarization of Ukraine, other displayed objectives of this military intervention? The Ukrainian army is today one of the strongest in Europe. In mirror, the reputation of the Russian army suffered a violent blow, which was not enough to erase the permanent recall of its nuclear capacity. The failure of the Russian flash war is not only the result of the unpacking of the army. It also reveals the blindness of Mr. Putin and the ideological and informational bubble in which the Russian president has locked himself. Contrary to what he hoped, the Ukrainian population did not accommodate the Russian tanks with flowers, and the institutions of this country have not collapsed like a card of cards.
The end of NATO expansion, finally, last claimed goal? The Atlantic Alliance now has two new members, Sweden and Finland, and continues to strengthen its presence on its eastern flank. Ukraine’s membership is no longer science fiction, as was the case in early 2022.
human losses and departures
The only “success” which Moscow can take advantage of, the “attachment” of four Ukrainian regions, was explicitly rejected on February 24: “Our plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories”, said that day Vladimir Poutine. By choosing the annexation route, including ghostly referendums, Russia has managed to voluntarily transform its borders into a front line. Moscow does not even control two “capitals” of these new regions – Kherson and Zaporijia.
m. Putin may have proclaimed for long months that “everything takes place according to the plan”, the painting is catastrophic. And again, it is not complete. Russia’s demographic bleeding should also be remembered, another obsession with Vladimir Putin. Not to mention human losses on the front, the departures of several hundred thousands of the most active and the most educated are a long -term disaster.
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