Putin's impossible victory
by Vladimir Rozanskij

The invasion of Ukraine ordered by the Russian president is running out of steam. The Kremlin has little to celebrate today, the day of the victory over Nazi Germany. Kiev on the counterattack. Moscow's general mobilization is impossible. Time is in favor of the Ukrainians.


Moscow (AsiaNews) - The May 9 parade, the "sacred day" of victory over Hitler's Germany, was supposed to be a new triumph for Russia, 75 days after the invasion of "Nazi" Ukraine, liberated thanks to Putin. Instead, in spite of the impressive "special" military commitment, the Moscow army finds itself with a fistful of flies in its hand. More than 15 thousand Russian soldiers have died, along with many Ukrainian civilians, including children, exterminated by bombs and assaults with all possible weapons. The Russian army is exhausting its strength, and the result seems far from what the Kremlin had hoped for.

As Russian military expert Sergej Grabskij says in a debate on the airwaves of Radio Svoboda, "millions of Ukrainians are living under conditions of military occupation by a foreign force, they are in fact held hostage, and the government in Kiev can do nothing but make statements and try to protest in all available international fora, and it does not seem possible to resolve the issue in a civilized manner."

In the occupied territories Russia is attempting to enact a transitoin of identity and government, proclaiming the "independence" of territories that it doesn't even fully control, cutting Ukrainian telecommunictaion cables and installing Russian networks. It is no longer possible to live in the Donbass and in the devastated areas on the shores of the Sea of Azov, which are in fact burnt lands. 

The war has been at an impasse for days and days, in which the Russians are unable to advance and the Ukrainians are willing to sacrifice everything in order not to yield a meter to the invader. Moscow's armies cannot pass through Izjum to get to Sloviansk, after having to shamefully abandon the Kiev region. Russian troops have to face tight fighters in cities like Severodonetsk, Rubežnyj or Lisičansk, which in the war maps of televisions around the world struggle to be identified.

The Ukrainian troops, whose military strength is certainly not comparable to that of the adversary, even seem to have started a counter-attack, and capable of producing serious losses among the Russians, as has been happening for days now in the Kharkiv district. Every hour the reconquest of villages and lands is reported, and if these timings are confirmed, soon the Ukrainians will be able to return to the edge of Russia's borders, to Volčansk and Kupjansk.

At the same time Ukraine is suffering a fuel shortage crisis, refineries and oil depots having been bombed, and at gas stations the queues of cars reach several hours long. The civilian population feels the sting of war-induced extreme conditions, and all available gasoline is reserved for military vehicles only. However, the population shows great unity and spirit of sacrifice, identifying with the proclamations of President Zelenskyj, who has become a hero thanks to the Russians.

There is therefore no victory to proclaim, and according to Grabskij "the Kremlin tries to exalt the occupation of any country house, but it does not even manage to conclude the conquest of Mariupol, or of the entire Lugansk region". The much vaunted general mobilization is simply impossible, explains the military expert: "Comrade Stalin prepared for it for 10 years, it is a very complicated process to activate, and even if it were proclaimed today, the first troops of the new conscription would arrive at the front not before three months".

The Russian armies are stretched to the limit of endurance, they are being moved without pause from one side to another, they cannot be supplied with the necessary war materials, let alone means of livelihood, and time plays everything in favor of the defense forces of Ukraine. If it can't keep the soldiers already deployed, Russia will hardly be able to recruit and train civilians with no preparation and no desire to wage war.