Military experts explain why flailing Putin has reached his ‘HIGH water mark’ in Ukraine

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Retired military intelligence officer Col Jonathan Sweet and foreign policy writer Mark Toth argue that furious escalation by the Russian president signals that he may have reached his ‘high water mark’ in Ukraine.

The experts explained this after Putin stepped up the rhetoric over nuclear warfare and doubled down on threats to the West in recent months – at the same time as Russian troop losses have skyrocketed.

Putin reminded the West how many nuclear weapons are in Kaliningrad, and threatening to strike NATO airfields where Ukrainian pilots are being trained to fly F-16s.

Also, last Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to stop hostilities and begin negotiations with Ukraine to end the war … he gave conditions that Kyiv must withdraw troops from the four regions annexed by Moscow in 2022 and renounce their plans to join NATO.

That is not going to happen.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky summarily rejected Putin’s offer. In an official statement, he called it ‘absurd,’ while adding, ‘Russia’s plans are not for peace, but for the continuation of the war, the occupation of Ukraine, the destruction of the Ukrainian people, and further aggression in Europe.’

As Dzhokhar Dudayev, a Chechen politician, statesman and military leader of the 1990s Chechen Independence movement from Russia once said, ‘Russia always offers negotiations when it is struggling, when plans are falling apart, in order to buy time, regroup, correct mistakes, find a weak spot, and then strike again with renewed strength.’

That describes Putin’s situation. The Russian military is struggling in eastern Ukraine and Crimea – and as such, Putin’s would-be self-serving ceasefire offer is not made from a position of strength; rather, weakness, and neither the U.S., NATO nor Ukraine are buying it.

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Putin’s tough talk was likely designed to influence only one audience: Russian citizens living in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

He has reached his high-water mark and understands it is just a matter of time before President Joe Biden yields to pressure from NATO member-states and Zelensky and authorizes ATACMS strikes on Russian forces massing and presenting a threat to Ukraine from anywhere on the Russian side of the border.

It is finally dawning on Western leaders that the Kremlin is intentionally weaponizing Ukrainian civilians.

To end it Kyiv must receive NATO’s greenlight to interdict and destroy weapons systems firing ballistic missiles, drones and artillery at Ukrainian population centers and critical energy infrastructure – and to do so regardless of point of origin.

Short of active NATO intervention, there is nothing Putin would fear more than Washington and Brussels authorizing the Ukrainian military to conduct self-defense strikes against targets they deem present an imminent threat to Ukraine utilizing any weapon system provided to them by the U.S. and NATO.

Putin knows it would be a game changer – and one that he could not easily win or militarily counter.

The Russian Spring offensive into the Kharkiv Oblast is dispositive. Biden’s limited greenlighting of U.S. made weapons for use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) had an immediate and devastating effect.

Casualties were described by one NATO official as ‘astronomical’ after the Kremlin launched their attack on May 10 with as many as 30,000 troops. The NATO official added that ‘Russia likely suffered losses of almost 1,000 people a day in May.’

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russian losses during the offensive were an astounding eight times higher than those suffered AFU.

Russian soldiers are beginning to surrender or be captured en masse again. Last week, 24 plus surrendered to Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Bridge after a failed raid on a Ukrainian chemical factory in Vovchansk.

The week prior, the Khortytsia Regional Command reported more than 60 Russian soldiers had been captured. An additional 400 Russian soldiers are currently surrounded in an aggregateplant in Vovchansk.

Putin was likely caught by surprise in Kharkiv. Both in terms of Biden’s limited greenlighting for use of U.S. made weapons inside of Russia – and that Capitol Hill had finally, on a bipartisan basis, passed a $61 billion aid package to Ukraine.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, Washington’s new rules of engagement have only ‘reduced the size of Russia’s ground sanctuary by only 16 percent.’ Alarmingly, the same report found that ‘US policy still preserves at least 84 percent of Russia’s ground sanctuary – territory within range of Ukrainian ATACMS.’

Conversely, Crimea is now even more exposed. Ukrainian deep strikes with United Kingdom Storm Shadow, French SCALP and ATACMS are destroying Russia S-300/400 air defense systems – forging air corridors for F-16 fighter jets arriving in the summer.

Putin’s call for negotiations, as Dudayev described, is an indicator that Russia is nearing a breaking point. Now is not the time for negotiation.

Rather, it is time for the U.S. and NATO to enable Ukraine to drive Russia out of Ukraine and win this war.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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