The army Putin spent 2 decades building has been largely destroyed in Ukraine, and Russia’s ‘strategic defeat’ could threaten his regime

  • Russia’s military will have to be rebuilt as a result of the war in Ukraine, experts say.
  • The war has “dramatically” altered perceptions of Russia’s military strength, one expert told Insider.
  • Putin’s regime could also now be in jeopardy, as it faces rare examples of dissent.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has spent a lot of time and money bolstering and upgrading Russia’s military during the course of his almost 20 years in office. Putin became known as a force to be reckoned with and was regarded as one of the most powerful leaders in the world as a result of this.
However, the conflict in Ukraine has severely depleted the Russian military that Putin spent years constructing, increasing concerns about his hold on power, according to Russia specialists and military analysts who spoke with Insider.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a strategic setback, the Kremlin has invested considerable resources and has not yet been able to achieve its strategic level objectives. Russia’s military will need to be rebuilt,”
“The conventional ground army ground force that the Kremlin has spent the last 20 years trying to construct — trying to create a modern military — that force has just significantly degraded and in a large part destroyed in the last six months of conflict in Ukraine,” Barros added. The conventional Russian ground army “has taken a serious blow in Ukraine, and it will have to be rebuilt,” it is true to say.
Russian casualties may have reached 80,000, according to US military estimates from a month ago, even though it’s difficult to corroborate death figures given the continued combat. Senior officers, including generals, have been killed.

The Russian officer corps will “certainly have a generation to reinvent itself,” according to Barros.
Putin ordered the military to increase its ranks by 137,000 starting in 2023, an ambitious goal seen by some as unachievable and one of many signs that the Russian military is being depleted by the war in Ukraine, even though he has so far refrained from ordering a general mobilization to make up for significant troop losses in Ukraine.
The elite 1st Guards Tank Army and other Western Military District units have sustained significant losses, according to a recent intelligence update from the British defense ministry, which indicates that “Russia’s conventional force designed to counter NATO is severely weakened.” The ministry also predicted that “it will likely take years for Russia to rebuild this capability.”
Astonishing amounts of equipment have been damaged, destroyed, and abandoned in Ukraine, according to the Russian military. Since the fighting started in late February, it is anticipated that thousands of armored vehicles have been lost. Due to these losses, the Russian military has been compelled to take out of storage outdated, Soviet-era weapons like T-62 tanks.


‘Not nearly as powerful as we thought’

The US and Russia are usually considered to have the two most powerful militaries in the world, respectively.
But according to Robert Orttung, a professor of international affairs at the George Washington University whose research focuses on Russia and Ukraine, Russia’s catastrophic performance in the Ukraine war is “likely to impact the estimate of Russia’s military capabilities drastically.”
He claimed that the Russian military is “not even close to as powerful as we believed it was.”
A few years ago, according to Orttung, Russia seemed to be winning the battle in Syria and “Russian strategy seemed to be outsmarting Western strategy in the Middle East.” This gave Moscow’s propaganda about its military might a significant boost.
According to Orttung, a significant portion of their propaganda’s effectiveness was predicated on their actual fighting prowess, which appeared to be rather strong in a country like Syria. The fact that they haven’t been winning in the field will make their propaganda much less effective. “Now, basically unable to achieve their goals, unable to show that there is integration between the guys fighting on the ground, the air force, and the other units — it’s definitely going to knock them down.”
Before the invasion started, it was anticipated that Russia would quickly take control of Kyiv. However, Ukrainian forces put up a much more resolute opposition than Moscow had anticipated with the aid of military hardware from the West. After failing to capture the Ukrainian capital, Russian soldiers focused on the eastern Donbas region. Although a conflict between rebels backed by the Kremlin and Ukrainian forces had been raging there since 2014 — the same year that Russia invaded Ukraine and took Crimea — Russia only made slow advancements in its drive to seize the Donbas.
In recent days, Ukraine launched a counteroffensive that forced the Russian forces into retreat and allowed the country to retake an astounding amount of territory in its south and east. According to the Ukrainian government, its soldiers have so far in September reclaimed about 3,000 square miles.


‘Wouldn’t write off Putin now’

Putin’s situation is becoming more and more hazardous due to the terrible troop casualties and the fact that Russia’s men are now escaping.
According to Abbas Gallyamov, a former speechwriter for Putin, “Putin’s legitimacy comes exclusively through strength.” Gallyamov told the Times that if Ukrainian forces “continue to destroy the Russian army as actively as they are now,” then it could “accelerate” calls from elites for Putin’s successor to be chosen. “And in a situation where it turns out that he has no strength, his legitimacy will start dropping toward zero.”
Some observers of Russia now think Putin’s government is in danger. It’s the beginning of the end for Putinism in Russia, according to a tweet posted on Wednesday by Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia.
Local Russian MPs are openly criticizing a leader known for ruthlessly stifling opposition by calling for Putin to be ousted from office in Ukraine, a potentially catastrophic risk. Even Kremlin propagandists on Russian state media are finding it difficult to keep praising how the war is progressing.
You can now start to hear rumblings of dissatisfaction with his leadership and a recognition that the conflict is not going in Russia’s favor on TV and at the local grassroots level, according to Orttung. In the aggregate, these events, according to Orttung, “raise doubts about [Putin’s] image among the public and his capacity to exert that image of competence.”
Despite these difficulties and the harm done to public perceptions of Russia’s power, Orttung is not persuaded that Putin’s time is over.
He said, “I wouldn’t write off Putin at this point. “A lot of people, including myself, have been predicting he’s going to leave power or that his downfall is just around the corner, but he does have a lot of advantages, the primary one being that he’s wiped out any credible opposition to him,”
According to Orttung, “most of the elites think that they’re probably better off with Putin there” because “it’s not clear who would replace him and all the people around him — they depend on him being in power for their own power. They have a stake in him staying there. And he survived more than 22 years fighting in a quite difficult environment, which is the Russian political scene.”



By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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