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Putin recognizes limited ability of Russian army to support offensive, but confident that war prolonging to increase likelihood of achieving his strategic goals – ISW

Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely only temporarily focused on pursuing short-term military objectives in Ukraine and may believe that prolonging the war will increase the likelihood of achieving his strategic goals, according to the report of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for March 8.

“U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines stated on March 8 that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely recognizes the Russian military’s current limited capability to sustain a short-term offensive and may pursue a protracted war,” the report reads.

It notes that according to Haines Putin is likely only temporarily focused on pursuing short-term military objectives in Ukraine and may believe that prolonging the war will increase the likelihood of achieving his strategic goals. However, without full mobilization and obtaining sufficient ammunition to mitigate the current shortage in the Russian army, it will be increasingly difficult for the Russian dictator to maintain the current pace of operations in Ukraine.

“Haines noted that Russian forces are suffering high losses to take Bakhmut, which Haines characterized as ‘not particularly strategic,’ supporting ISW’s prior assessments that a Pyrrhic tactical victory in Bakhmut would not further Russia’s operational or strategic battlefield aims,” the Institute says.

They also report that the Kremlin may be trying to create a new government-controlled armed formation, announced by the PMC, using the Russian state energy company Gazprom.

Analysts in the report also express the belief that if the Ukrainian army does leave Bakhmut, the army of the Russian occupiers will not be able to quickly break through the Ukrainian defense lines outside the city, since they do not have the necessary combat power and reinforcements for this.

The report also notes that by the end of this month, Germany and Poland will supply Ukraine with 28 Leopard 2 tanks, which will strengthen Ukraine’s ability to conduct a counteroffensive in the face of heavy losses of Russian tanks.

As for the situation on the battlefield, the ISW reports that the occupiers continue to try to attack the positions of Ukrainian defenders along Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, as well as in Bakhmut area.

The Ukrainian army, in turn, according to the Institute, repels the attacks of the invaders, and also conducts landings on islands in Dnipro delta.

Source : Interfax

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