ISW: Russia increasingly doubts victory and directly criticizes Putin

ISW: Russia increasingly doubts victory and directly criticizes Putin

Doubts are growing in Russia about Vladimir Putin's ability to achieve the promised goal of «denazification» Ukraine, as well as accusations against the special services and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, which could undermine the Putin regime. This is reported by the American Institute for the Study of War.

The Russian pro-military community in Russia began to criticize Putin for the attack on the Crimean bridge, military failures and «partial mobilization». Direct criticism of Putin is almost unprecedented. This Russian community continues to express predominant support for Putin's goals in Ukraine and has so far blamed the failures on the Russian military command or the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Analysts note that criticism of the Russian dictator by the «war party» may indicate growing doubts about Putin's ability to achieve the promised goal of «denazification» Ukraine and undermine sympathy for Putin among his core electorate. At the same time, other Russian nationalists, propagandists and puppet officials blame the Russian security services and the Russian Defense Ministry, which could undermine Putin's regime in the long run.

Putin continues to shuffle his top military commanders, likely to divert blame from themselves and revive enthusiasm in the extremist pro-military environment. The Institute says that «Putin cannot do the only thing his tough-minded electorate demands – win the war». Thus, reshuffling the high command will not solve the systemic problems that have held back Russian operations, logistics, defense industry and mobilization from the very beginning of the invasion.

Analysts also emphasize that if Russian forces can expand their attacks on Ukrainian population centers or critical infrastructure, or if Putin is ready to use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine, he can only hope to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensives for a while, but it will not be possible to conquer Ukraine in this way.

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