Ukraine Update – Putin Looking For A Way Out?
Russia is now getting ready to sit down with talks with Ukraine to discuss an end to the conflict it started only days ago. Putin has put his nuclear forces on alert and pointedly had his strategic bombers come up on the radio frequencies he knows we monitor. This is an obvious means of signaling to the West that it should not push him too far.
These are not the actions of a nation that is busy winning a war. These are the actions of a regime that is beginning to understand that it has started something that has turned out to be much more painful than anticipated. Can Russia still win this war? Maybe, but maybe not at what Putin deems an acceptable cost.
Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion is fierce. If Putin was planning on showing us his version of “shock and awe” he seems to have discovered his military is not up to that task.
Arms and supplies are flooding into Ukraine from a host of nations. The Ukrainians whose military had already significantly retooled before war broke out are finding ready sources of arms to continue the fight.
Ros Atkins @BBCRosAtkinsThe EU says a 'taboo' has gone. It's just announced it will supply arms into a conflict for the first time. 2 mins on how Western military aid for Ukraine has escalated including a historic policy shift from Germany. Produced Harriet Ridley, Eliza Craston https://t.co/BKGrSNRAzh https://t.co/8x3LAx6OIG
Heavy fighting continues across Ukraine including in the immediate vicinity of Kyiv the capital city. There is no indication that Ukrainian forces are backing down or fading away.
The city of Kharkiv which has been under attack by Russian forces for days apparently remains in Ukrainian hands. Russian troops which entered the city have been driven out or killed.
There continue to be persistent reports of Russian units running out of fuel and resorting to looting stores to obtain food. Video online also appears to show significant numbers of Russian prisoners who claim they did not even realize Putin intended to invade Ukraine and have no interest in fighting.
Still, this conflict is far from over. Reporting now indicates a three-mile-long column of Russian troops and vehicles is moving toward Kyiv to reinforce the troops already attempting to take that city.
Time will tell how this conflict will end. The situation remains dire. What is clear already, though, is that Putin’s vision of a swift and easy victory has proved illusory. He knows that full well and he is already at least considering finding a way out of the disaster this may become.