Is Ukraine putting up a tough resistance? It most definitely is. There is no doubt about the fervour within Ukrainians to protect their country. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also a fervent man. He wants to protect Russia at all costs. There is no line which Putin will not cross to secure Russian interests. The blatant expansion of NATO towards Russia’s border, its encirclement of Moscow and placement of lethal weapons on Russia’s borders is what has outraged Putin. Now, Putin has nothing to lose. The Russian economy has been slapped with the harshest of sanctions.
There is no way Vladimir Putin will give up on Ukraine without achieving the objectives he set out with when he ordered the invasion of Kyiv. However, Ukrainians have been at the top of their game when it comes to propaganda. They want you to believe the Russians are losing. But this is a lie.
Russia’s Strategy of Capture and Release
Russia’s “capture and release” strategy is new. It is unheard of. It prevents carpet bombing of entire cities and levelling them to the ground, and also evades massive civilian casualties.
This strategy involves Russian forces’ encirclement of major Ukrainian cities; cutting off their supply lines and waging small battles against Ukraine’s armed forces. It prevents large-scale civilian casualties; gives Kyiv and its allies the sense that they are prevailing over the Russians and slowing Putin’s advance – all while not realising, they are being played.
The real war has still not broken out. Russia in encircling cities – and not capturing them as an occupational force. Russian forces are not occupying cities. That would require massive troop deployments in each city they capture and would result in massive civilian casualties.
Russia’s goal is to topple Kyiv. Once Kyiv falls, Ukraine will be forced to surrender. Insurgencies are something to be taken care of later. Therefore, after taking on the military in urban centres, the Russians are cutting the supply lines and moving to other areas, with just basic encirclement of the cities. The top focus remains Kyiv.
Why are the Russians Adopting this Strategy?
As much as the media wants you to believe, Vladimir Putin is keen to minimise civilian casualties in the ongoing war. He considers Ukrainians and Russians as one, and it makes no sense for him to level entire cities of Ukrainians.
Vladimir Putin’s adversaries are not the people of Ukraine. As surprising as it may sound, the Ukrainian military is also not considered an enemy by Moscow. The regime in Kyiv, however, is despised by Putin. The sole focus of this invasion is to effectuate a regime change, and that can be achieved without either carpet-bombing Ukrainian cities or occupying them.
Will the Russians Succeed?
The Ukrainian resistance, no matter how aggressive, will ultimately die down. The real Russian assault is yet to begin. Putin wants to achieve his objectives without escalating the conflict any further. He is making sure not to follow the German strategy of capturing cities and then controlling them against the will of the residents until eternity.
Putin is also avoiding an American strategy that involved carpet bombing cities with scant regard for the lives of civilians, followed by large-scale ground operations. While the German strategy paralysed operations of enemy forces in their territories, the US’ actions led to catastrophic civilian deaths. The Russian approach has seen minimal of both, making the “capture and release” strategy a success.