Putin takes Mariupol, but wider Donbas victory slipping from reach

Putin takes Mariupol, but wider Donbas victory slipping from reach

The Kremlin is preparing to seize control of Mariupol’s ruins, but it faces a growing threat of defeat in its attempt to conquer the entire eastern Donbas of Ukraine. This is because poorly trained forces are unable to make significant advances.

Analysts say that Russian President Vladimir Putin could decide whether to send more troops and equipment to help replenish his severely weakened invasion force. An influx of Western weaponry has boosted Ukraine’s combat power.

Russia’s forces will not be defeated quickly, even if there is no major troop deployment. This sets the stage for the Battle for the Donbas to continue for four weeks.

“I believe it will either defeat the current force position or mobilize. Konrad Muzyka (director of the Rochan consulting firm in Poland) said no middle ground.

According to him and other analysts, Russia’s invasion force suffered unsustainable troop losses and equipment losses. Their window of opportunity for success was closing with Ukraine bringing Western heavy guns into the fray.

“Time is working against the Russians. They are running out of equipment. They are running out of advanced missiles. “And, of course, the Ukrainians are becoming stronger almost every day,” stated Neil Melvin, a London-based think-tank RUSI.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, stated Tuesday that “everything will go according to plan… there is no doubt that Who will achieve all objectives,” according to the RIA news agency.

A prominent military analyst stated that Russians should stop taking “informational tranquillizers” regarding what Putin calls a special army operation.

Mikhail Khodaryonok, a former colonel, said that the situation would worsen due to the increased flow of U.S.- and European weapon supplies to Ukrainian forces.


In a failed attempt to seize Kyiv, Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The Russian-backed separatists have held a large portion of the Donbas since 2014, and Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Russia retained its land corridor in southern Ukraine but was hindered by Ukrainian troops, who held off against massive bombardments for 82 consecutive days at Mariupol’s Azovstal Steel Works before giving up this week.

Putin’s forces continued to press against Ukraine’s fortified, battle-hardened positions in the east while blocking them in a massive encirclement. They advanced south from the Ukrainian village of Izium.

Russia-backed separatists held around a third of Donbas before the invasion. Moscow controls approximately 90% of Luhansk but has not made major inroads into the key cities Sloviansk or Kramatorsk in Donetsk to expand its control over the whole region.

Michael Kofman, a CNA expert on Russia’s military and a U.S. non-profit research and analysis organization, stated that “I’m deeply suspicious of their prospects” for conquering all the Donbas.

They’re dealing with a severely weakened force with significantly reduced morale. Officers don’t seem to have the will to continue prosecuting offensives, and the Russian political leadership seems to be procrastinating, even though it is facing strategic defeat.” he stated.

Muzyka stated that Russia seemed to be shifting its focus to Donbas and had moved battalion tactical units eastward after failing in Donetsk to breach the Ukrainian defences.

“They couldn’t push through from Izium, so they moved to Sievierodonetsk & Lyman, possibly intending to encircle Ukrainian troops around Sievierodonetsk & Lyman. He said that it was a different matter whether or not such an event occurs.

The Russian chief of army staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, visited the front this month to try and iron out some problems. However, Jack Keane (the chairman of the Institute for the Study of War) said that there was no evidence that he succeeded.

He stated, “That offensive has indeed stopped.”

To the north of Donbas, Kyiv has mounted a counter-offensive in the vicinity of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine. This has allowed Russian forces to leave the area of the second-largest city in the country and has even crossed the border.

This week, Muzyka stated that Ukraine could secure a substantial portion of its border with Russia north of Kharkiv.

However, Ukraine won’t be able to replicate the rapid advance made in Donbas by Russia’s troops.

It’s going to be a tough fight. It’s likely to be a difficult fight and possibly a long one. Kofman stated that the Russian military has not done well in the offensive but doesn’t surrender or rout easily.


In a war that revolves around artillery duels, the influx of Western heavy guns could give Ukraine an advantage.

“The Ukrainians are outranging the Russians,” Muzyka said. Muzyka stated that they could operate without fear of Russian counter-battery fire.

“Don’t get it wrong, the Russians have overall superior artillery numbers, but I don’t know if that’s the quality case. This is an artillery conflict.”

Muzyka and Kofman stated that even if Putin sends more troops, it could take months for such an organization to be organized.

“It is clear that they are preparing to call up men with previous service experience to at least some type of measure. Kofman stated that Putin is merely trying to push the Russian military into a worse position and let it worsen.

He said that “for now”, this was looking like the Russians’ final offensive.

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