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    ISW suggests Putin has no idea on the further course of the war

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    In his New Year’s speech, Vladimir Putin failed to outline plans for how the Russian armed forces intend to reverse the unfavourable course of the war with Ukraine and how Russia will continue to pursue its maximalist goals, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assesses in a recent report.

    According to the US think tank, Putin has focused on justifying the attack on Ukraine and the human costs incurred as a result. He acknowledged that 2022 “was a year of difficult, necessary decisions” that he considered necessary for Russia to achieve “full sovereignty”.

    ISW analysts estimate that the Russian dictator’s speech included rhetorical statements that Russia has a historic right to Ukraine and that regaining control over it is a condition for Russian independence and sovereignty. All this means that Putin is not set on a peaceful solution and only victories by the Ukrainian army on the battlefield and the liberation of more territories from occupation can force him to change his position.

    The Washington think tank claims that the Russian missile attack of Ukrainian infrastructure on 31 December was less intense than earlier ones. Russian troops, according to the institute, are running out of ammunition, which will affect operations on the frontline, particularly around Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, in eastern Ukraine. Also, for this reason, a new Russian attack on Ukraine from Belarusian territory is unlikely in the coming months.

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