Vladimir Putin planning 'a very slow destructive campaign' as Ukraine war enters second year: report
Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to hit the reset button as its bloody invasion of Ukraine nears the start of its second year on February 24th.
On Sunday's edition of Meet the Press, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel explained to moderator Chuck Todd from the city of Kramatorsk that Putin's revamped approach is to slog to victory through a campaign of attrition, regardless of how many Russian and Ukrainian lives are lost.
Engel also reported that Putin believes that he can wear out the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's willingness to continue arming Ukraine.
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"So one year on Russia's, starting over again, effectively. Putin tried to invade this country a year ago. Many said he was suffering from hubris. He wasn't listening to some advisors or was being misadvised. He thought he could take Ukraine quickly, easily. Top of the Capitol. Soldiers were bringing dress uniforms with them. They brought policing gear in order to manage the population. They didn't really think that the, the Ukrainian people would rise up and defend this country. It didn't work," Engel said. "And now a year on, he's starting a totally new war, a new strategy, back to the basics. And instead of having his troops spread out all over the country where they have supply chain issues, logistics issues, now it's primarily focused near the Russian border out here in the East, a very slow destructive campaign moving the frontline or trying to move the frontline forward into Ukrainian territory. But already – and we're about a week into this offensive – we're not seeing tremendous advances from the Russian side. So it seems like it's going to be a very, very slow campaign."
Todd then asked Engel, "what does that mean for the Ukrainian strategy here in this war? Because if the Russian goal now is to essentially buy time, run out the clock, maybe run out the clock of support here in the United States or in Western Europe, how does Ukraine counter that?"
Engel noted that "it's a problem because Russia's also depleting ammunition in this country" and that "Ukraine is running out of air defenses. It's running out of tank grounds. So, with this slow destructive strategy that Putin is trying right now, he hopes that, not only will Western support dry up over time, but that the Ukrainians eventually will lose the ability to maintain this fight and to sustain this fight. So in a sense, if he's willing to lose a lot of troops – and by many accounts, Russia's losing more troops now than at any stage since this conflict began – if Russia's willing to lose that many troops over time, the Ukrainians will be dangerously low on, on both anti-aircraft and regular munitions."
Watch below or at this link.
\u201cWATCH: @RichardEngel reports from Eastern Ukraine, where a new, "slow, destructive" Russian offensive is underway as the war enters its second year.\n\n"A year on, he's starting a totally new war, a new strategy: Back to the basics \u2026 focused near the Russian border."\u201d— Meet the Press (@Meet the Press) 1676816672
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