Russia’s war on Ukraine: 5 reasons why Putin won’t stop

FOX NEWS

Trajectory of Russia’s war on Ukraine has proven difficult to predict

Rebekah Koffler

By Rebekah Koffler | Fox News. July 5th

Putin has no consideration for anyone: Rebekah Koffler

Russian-born former U.S. intelligence officer weighs in on Russia waging war on Ukraine on ‘Jesse Watters Primetime.’

The U.S. and the West are amping up security aid to Ukraine with high hopes they can turn the tide back in its favor and force Russian President Vladimir Putin to halt his brutal assault. But, he won’t. Here are five reasons why.

1. Putin believes that he has forced a tipping point both on the battlefield and off after capturing about 20% of Ukraine’s territory. Russian forces occupied fully the strategic city of Severodonetsk at the end of June and on Sunday captured Lysychansk in the Donbas region, establishing full control of Ukraine’s industrial heartland, with iron and steel producing factories and high quality coal and mineral reserves.

Having all but finalized the land corridor between Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, and Russia proper, Putin is blockading Ukraine’s access to seaports, strangling Ukraine’s economy by preventing exports of grains by ships. With another three months left before the battlefield conditions deteriorate due to weather, Putin feels he can make more strategic gains while continuing to degrade Ukraine’s infrastructure and ability to defend itself.

Consistent with Putin’s doctrine of “escalation dominance,” Russia is intensifying missile bombardment across Ukraine as Washington is amping up the scope and scale of weaponry pledged to Kyiv.  

President Biden speaks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine after a NATO summit and Group of Seven meeting, March 24, 2022, in Brussels.

President Biden speaks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine after a NATO summit and Group of Seven meeting, March 24, 2022, in Brussels. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

2.  Putin believes economic sanctions have backfired on the West, which faces skyrocketing oil and gas prices, as well as food shortages. 

The unprecedented economic sanctions placed on Russia by the West not only haven’t destroyed the Russian economy, they’ve strengthened it. Russia’s oil earnings are booming and the ruble hit its strongest level in seven years, enabling Putin to continue financing his war machine. 

Germany’s economy is facing potential collapse, possibly dragging down the rest of Europe with it, rationing natural gas usage as a result of Russian cuts to the flow. Meantime, the U.S. economy is almost entering recession. 

President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's transport industry via a video link in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2022.

President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country’s transport industry via a video link in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2022.(Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via Reuters)

Much has been made of Russia’s default on its foreign debt for the first time since 1918, but Putin is likely not terribly bothered. Moscow sent a payment, but the compliance issues related to sanctions prevented it from being distributed. Besides, Putin knows that the default hurts the lender more than the borrower. 

3.  Putin senses that war fatigue is starting to take hold in the West, despite the U.S. and European leaders’ public displays of support for Kyiv. Biden administration officials reportedly are losing confidence in Ukraine’s ability to win the war and are privately discussing the possibility of Ukraine President Vlodymyr Zelenskyy ceding land to Putin.  

4. In three months, Putin will be able to inflict even more pain on the Europeans with his “energy attacks” while gaining greater ability to distract the West from his rampage through Ukraine. 

Russian airstrikes hit a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 27, 2022, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Russian airstrikes hit a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on June 27, 2022, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.(Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Telegram)

As the temperature drops and Western Europe begins to shiver, support for confronting Russia will also freeze up, he believes. Cutting off gas to coerce European leaders to abandon their support of Ukraine is a standard tool in Putin’s playbook. 

At the same time, the United States will be preoccupied with the midterm elections, likely making Ukraine much less of a priority for Washington. Putin’s intelligence services closely monitor U.S. domestic affairs, zeroing in on controversial issues, such as the Supreme Court’s recent decision on abortion, gun control, and the protests sweeping the country. Putin will likely direct his spy services to run influence campaigns, amplifying discord and its resulting distractions through social media and clandestine operations, as he has in the past. 

Putin also plans on targeting the U.S. homeland with cyberattacks, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in retaliation for the sanctions, to create disorder, and so Washington takes its eyes off Ukraine. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with military officials as he visits the war-hit Mykolaiv region on June 18, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with military officials as he visits the war-hit Mykolaiv region on June 18, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

5.  Finally, the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine is an existential issue for Russia. Putin declared Ukraine as a “red line” for NATO expansion because, whether justified or not, Russia views the country as part of its strategic security perimeter. 

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With NATO’s admission of the Baltic states, the distance between NATO forces and Russia has been reduced from 1,000 miles during the Cold War to 100 miles today, making the risk of having an adversarial military alliance so close to Russia’s borders unacceptable, in Russia’s view. Moscow has always been suspicious of the U.S. policy of democracy promotion and the strengthening of NATO, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  

Putin believes that U.S. policy of democratizing what Russia views as its sphere of influence is here to stay, regardless of who occupies the White House. A declassified top secret strategy report describes long-term bipartisan U.S. policy as seeking to prevent “a single hostile power,” such as Russia, “from dominating the Eurasian landmass” and “to assist democratic and nationalist movements where possible in the struggle against totalitarian regimes.”  

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before signing a memorandum in which Turkey agrees to Finland and Sweden's membership in the defense alliance in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before signing a memorandum in which Turkey agrees to Finland and Sweden’s membership in the defense alliance in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

This report, similar writings by Western think tanks, and recent admissions by Biden administration officials of Washington’s goal to weaken Russia economically and militarily, justify, in Putin’s view, the war on Ukraine. As long as Russia keeps this conflict alive, even if it turns into a grinding protracted battle of attrition, Russia’s strategic goal of keeping Ukraine out of NATO is met by virtue of Ukraine not meeting one of the key requirements for the membership – absence of territorial disputes and ongoing conflict.  

This trajectory of this war, with its changing battlefield landscape, has proven difficult to predict. But one thing is certain. Putin will not make it stop.

Rebekah Koffler is a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and currently a strategic intelligence analyst with The Lindsey Group. She is the author of  “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America.”

7 comments

  1. The sanctions don’t work because putler has built a sanction-proof economy which has huge criminal regimes such as India and China as clients who could not care less about the genocide he is inflicting on Ukraine.
    The EU of course is continuing to trade with this genocidal imperialist fascist. Not only that, but wealthy Russian criminals are still able to travel to Europe using multiple visit visas that have still not been cancelled. While Ukrainians are being murdered, raped, tortured, kidnapped and being thieved from, these putinazi crooks are dining in the finest restaurants and their kids still attending the best schools and universities in Europe and North America.
    NO Russian should be allowed to enter the EU, its associate countries, or North America. Those living on these territories must be deported.
    All Russian assets on these territories must be seized and passed on to Ukraine without delay.
    Military assistance needs to increase by a factor of 400%.
    Russia must be officially declared a terror state and removed from the UN.
    Putler, his entire murder gang and military top brass must be indicted for genocide and an additional huge range of war crimes.
    All diplomatic relations must be cancelled and embassies closed.
    Any western country still trading with Russia must pay huge fines.
    All western based propagandists in media and politics must be interred for the duration and lose all their assets permanently.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m not convinced Ukrainians even want to join NATO after dangling it in front of our faces for 14 years and then finally saying NO when Ukraine needed them the most. Sure we weren’t a full fledged member but years of missions should count for something. Putin wouldn’t have invaded if NATO let them in, even just to save lives.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nato seems more like a talking shop for socialists and social democrats, rather than a military alliance. The only members with the capability to fight Russia are the US, UK, Poland and France. The latter of course would never fight Russia anyway.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. This article focuses too much on things that might happen and which favor mafia land. In other words, it’s too one-sided. There are many other factors at work here.

    1. Putin believes that he has forced a tipping point both on the battlefield and off after capturing about 20% of Ukraine’s territory.
    What tipping point? After 4 months of combat and suffering staggering losses, he’s got 20% of UA. So what? Anymore such “gains” and his army ceases to exist. And, many parts of those areas are not under full mafia control. The tipping point does not exist.
    2. Putin believes economic sanctions have backfired on the West, which faces skyrocketing oil and gas prices, as well as food shortages.
    Many problems in the West don’t have anything to do with sanctions. Most are homemade while some are due to the Covid lockdowns, and the food crisis is due to the lack of a backbone. If the West had a lick of courage, a naval task force would already be in the Black Sea to end the food shortage straight away. This might still happen. He’s gambling on a lottery ticket here.
    3. Putin senses that war fatigue is starting to take hold in the West, despite the U.S. and European leaders’ public displays of support for Kyiv.
    We’ve just seen that dozens of nations have given their signatures on an agreement to help Ukraine for as long as it takes to win. The weapons and money are still coming in, and already there is talk about rebuilding the nation after Ukraine wins the war.
    4. In three months, Putin will be able to inflict even more pain on the Europeans with his “energy attacks” while gaining greater ability to distract the West from his rampage through Ukraine.
    The Europeans know how the future looks like; no ruskie fossil fuels anymore. The process is well under way. It might be a rough winter, but the continent will survive. The end result will be a broke mafia land because its most important customers will be gone. To top it all, an oil price war is already started. Mafia land’s earnings are melting away ever more.
    5. Finally, the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine is an existential issue for Russia.
    The mafiosi are leaving out the most important numerical constant in their war equation, which is Ukraine. This war is an existential issue especially for Ukraine. The people will never surrender, even if they are militarily defeated. A lengthy partisan warfare would ensue. It would be Afghanistan 2.0 for mafia land. But, it won’t come to that. FACT: Mafia land cannot win this war anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Well, that’s essentially true … except for the hopelessly brainwashed morons in the shithole, who really do think that Russia is Putin and Putin is Russia.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America.”

    Russia can’t defeat the US. The US can defeat itself and is a long way down that road already.

    Like

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