Military expert reveals why Russia is running out of troops
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On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent hundreds of thousands of troops across the borders of Ukraine to undertake, what he described as, a “special military operation”. The invasion has only been met with increased and unprecedented resistance, not only by the citizens of Ukraine but also by leaders across the world, as Western countries continue to publicly condemn Putin’s actions, imposing crippling economic sanctions and threats to encourage Russia to ceasefire.
The past two weeks have seen Russia carry out a number of airstrikes in cities across Ukraine, pose grave threats of nuclear war, and cause up to 406 civilian deaths – a figure the UN claimed is likely much higher.
In all of this time, Russia has shown no real sign of ceasefire, despite a number of Western countries and member states of NATO stepping in, imposing a number of severe economic sanctions. These have sent the Russian currency, the ruble, plunging to an all-time low.
Two rounds of peace talks have taken place between Ukrainian and Russian negotiators over the past week. But so far, these have produced little but pledges to allow humanitarian access to safety and escape routes from Ukraine, which have not been successfully implemented.
However, in the most explicit statement yet, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that Russia would cease its military action in Ukraine if four conditions were met.
The conditions include:
- Ceasing all military action
- A change to the constitution to enshrine neutrality
- Acknowledgement of Crimea as Russian territory
- Recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent
Luhansk and Donetsk have been self-proclaimed Russian-led breakaway states since Russia last invaded in 2014.
Russia also annexed Crimea during this time, a peninsula located south of Ukraine on the northern coast of the Black Sea. Although these areas do not entirely operate under the Ukraine government’s control, they are still widely viewed as part of Ukraine.
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But are these negotiations only arising due to concerns the operation might not be sustainable for Russia for much longer?
Ed Arnold, an analyst with Britain’s Royal United Services Institute said Russia would need to try to consolidate the gains it has already made and pause to mobilise more forces, unless the pace of the assault picked up.
“At the current rate of Russian losses … we do have indications that this operation would be unsustainable within about three weeks,” he said.
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