London, 27 Feb 2022 – Putin’s Nazi invasion of Ukraine is costing Russia 15billions a day. It is estimated three quarters of Russian military forces are deployed in the conflict.
This means that Kremlin’s war can’t last for long. if sanctions, toughened today by the EU, are not making an impact right now, these will certainly hit hard within weeks: Putin and Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu haven’t much time and military (non nuclear) means could wear out strength and get subdued by rearmed Ukrainian resistance in the coming days. We aren’t mentioning Russian further human losses as these won’t be a deterrent for Putin’s regime. Death toll in Russian side is 4,500 so far.
Besides, the many rallies against the invasion in main Russian cities proved that the thousands of arrests of pro-Ukraine made few days ago by police in Moscow, have not cowed Russians. That’s why Putin is trying to accelerate the capitulation of Kiev before Russian military force shrinks, sanctions hit and opposition grows. Also international allies’ backing is dubious, evidently.
Apart for the disgusting abstention of China’s and Indian regimes in the UN Security Council’s vote to stop the war, the only active support comes from Lukashenko: missiles launched directly from Belarus into Ukraine today.
There have been also reports that Putin asked Kazakhstan for military support: Kazakhstan denied two days ago any requests for troops from the Kremlin. We don’t know if, how and where military and financial support to Russia might come from. Formally neutrality and abstention are common behaviour of historic allies, like Serbia:
Prime Minister Vučić said “They (Russia) were the only country not to have imposed sanctions against us in the 1990s,” Reuters reported quoting Vučić as saying after a National Security Council meeting. And this pledge of loyalty for its friend Putin should postpone Serbian chance of accession to the EU at least by three centuries.
One more analysis points at Putin’s weakness: “Border Ukraine-Russia talks have no preconditions, big change from Putin requiring Ukraine disarmament two days ago. Why? Ukraine military stiff resistance and strong, coordinated allied response” tweets political scientist and head of Eurasia Group Ian Bremmer, while officers of Ukrainian president Zelensky are negotiating with Russian counterparts at Belarus border.
The United States Department of Defense also reports that Russian army “advance in certain areas of Ukraine was slowed both by resistance from the Ukrainians, who have been quite creative in finding ways to attack columns, and, number two, by the fuel shortages and the sustainment issues that they have had,” and that “Logistics shortages have been particularly acute in their advanced on Kharkiv”.
The EU evaluated for sure these critical elements of Putin’s weakness when today toughened sanctions with a ban on Russian Central Bank transactions and sanctions on Belarus, and EU External Action chief Borrell announced supporting delivery of 450 million euros worth of weapons to Ukraine. Sweden, not a NATO member, has been directly intimidated by Russia, but boldly decided to send weapons to Ukraine directly.
Swedish Foreign Minister tweet:
Then, we have to look at today’s nuclear threat as a blackmail to cut the finish line asap, a sign Putin is in a hurry to push Ukrainian President Zelensky into an agreement asap and make the most of the brutal conquer in Ukraine, before the backing of the West reaches the battlefield. Coming to the nitty-gritty, it’s a matter of time.