Putin's War is Going Badly: 3 Reasons Why

as you might have noticed over the last few days Putin's invasion of Ukraine isn't going all that well for him Russian forces are struggling to take the largest cities in the country and the international community has for the most part rally behind Ukraine so, in this blog we're going to take a look at how and why Putin's war is failing and whether that's good or bad news for the rest of us so, we're going to split this blog into three parts firstly we're going to take a look at the military campaign and explain how Ukrainian forces have fared better than expected so far secondly, we're going to take a look at the international response to Putin's aggression and how it's been stronger than expected and thirdly we're going to take a look at whether this is good or bad news for the world in general and explain how the west and Russia can exit this cycle of escalation so, let's start with the first bit of the blog the military response thus far as you probably noticed Russia's military campaign isn't going brilliantly now we're not military analysts so you should take our conclusions with a pinch of salt but it's pretty clear that the invasion isn't going entirely to plan over the last five days Russian paratroopers failed to take the strategically important airfield of hostimel on day one and despite an ongoing offensive since day two Russian forces have failed to take Kyiv and there have been numerous attempts to take other Ukrainian cities which have all been repelled various Russian military leaders have now publicly admitted that this attack wasn't going as well as they hoped so why is this well this is apparently down to logistical failures on the Russian side Ukraine's air defense and data links still being available and Russian land forces apparently running out of supplies but it's also down the fact that Putin seems to have made two false assumptions firstly, he apparently vastly underestimated the Ukrainian's willingness to resist a Russian invasion Putin's assumption seems to have been that Ukrainians would basically surrender once the Russian army arrived in his speeches over the last few days Putin has appealed the Ukrainian army to lay down their arms and spoke extensively about the failures of Ukrainian governance insisting that his fight wasn't with Ukraine but more specifically, with zolensky's administration Putin seems to have thought that if he framed the invasion as a war against the Ukrainian government and not the Ukrainian people then the Ukrainian population would just go along with it now to be fair to Putin this wasn't a terrible assumption polling from February this year found that despite being the most popular candidate Zelenski had an approval rating of negative 34 and trust in the office of president was at negative 40 with 67 distrustful trust in the Ukrainian parliament and political parties was also abysmal at 11 and 8 respectively and when it came to willingness to serve in the military or otherwise resist a foreign invasion 40 percent of respondents said they would not defend Ukraine so Putin probably thought that if you could just get rid of Zelensky the Ukrainian people would support or at least accept a new government but obviously things haven't panned out as expected secondly, he apparently underestimated the Ukrainian army again this wasn't a terrible assumption in 2014 Russian regulars easily overwhelmed Ukrainian forces and back then all Ukrainian equipment was basically expired soviet stock the then Ukrainian defense minister was even quoted as saying that Ukraine had quoted no army but the Ukrainian army has come a long way since 2014. largely thanks to the fact that they've been anticipating a Russian attack for the last eight years Ukraine has had six drafts and the 60000 strong force in Donbass has been on constant rotation which means that there's now about 400000 Ukrainians with some military experience they've also been well supplied by the west who stepped up their supports yet again in the last week but you get the point the military operation isn't going as well as Putin hoped but that's not the only bad news for Russia the international response has also been stronger than Putin probably expected Putin has done some seriously dodgy stuff in the past he ordered the use of radioactive polonium to assassinate Litvinenko in central London he used chemical weapons to assassinate a former spy in Salisbury he poisoned Alexey Navalny illegally annexed Crimea and probably interfered with various elections around the world in response though the west basically just imposed some limited sanctions on the country Putin was therefore probably assuming that if he could take Ukraine quickly and peacefully the west would impose similarly limited sanctions as we all know though this isn't what's happened as violence continued western sanctions have escalated Nordstrom 2 has been cancelled central bank assets have been frozen and certain Russian banks have been taken out of swift something those various European countries were opposed to just a few days ago and as a result of all of these changes on Monday the ruble fell by 40 percent Russia's spur bank fell by 75 and the Russian central bank allegedly ordered market players to reject foreign clients attempts to sell Russian securities in response Russia doubled its interest rate from 9.5 percent to twenty percent all in all, these changes and sanctions have seemingly crushed the Russian economy and the western response aside even Putin's nominal allies have been reluctant to defend him Kazakhstan refused to send troops to the region while China abstained in a u.n resolution condemning Russia just a few days ago, and has now placed limits on dollar-denominated transactions with sanctioned Russian banks this is all because Russia is desperately losing the information war something Putin was supposed to be good at Putin's angry rambling doesn't look good against Zelensky's impassioned pleas for help delivered from the besieged Kiev while social media is flooded with reports of Ukrainian citizens picking up weapons to defend their country including a legion of famous athletes and the stories of Ukrainian heroism in the face of Russian aggression things just don't look good for Russia and as the casualty rate increases even Russian state media is having a hard time holding the line that the war in Ukraine is just a special military operation aimed at denazifying the Ukrainian administration you get the point then across the board things aren't going well for Putin and while this is good news in a sense this is also dangerous as circumstances push Putin into a corner without a viable off-ramp he might be forced into further escalation this might mean a more aggressive military assault as happened in kharkiv yesterday when Russian forces reportedly cluster-bombed civilian areas or it might mean implicit threats of nuclear war as we saw on Sunday when Putin put Russia's deterrence forces on higher alert this presents the rest of the world with a difficult dilemma do we provide Putin with a non-humiliating off-ramp to avoid further escalation or do we need to continue with the current maximum pressure approach to prevent this sort of nuclear pissing contest in the future all in all, then across the board things are going badly for Putin and as we said some would argue that we need to provide an off-ramp to prevent a nuclear war but it's possible that this would just encourage him going forward one thing's for sure though things are getting dangerous in Europe.