Russia has changed its plan to take over Ukraine, with the goal now to exhaust the country rather than conquer new territory, UK intel says

Feb 24, 2023

The cost for “exhausting AFU forces is very high. Corpses of Russian soldiers scattered in snowy fields – Kanal 13 video screen grab.
  • Russia’s plan to control Ukraine has changed and now focuses on trying to exhaust it, UK intel said.
  • That’s a switch from its earlier priority of trying to conquer new territory.
  • Ukraine and its allies have warned that Russia aims to win by wearing down Western support.

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Russia’s current plan to take over Ukraine is to exhaust the country and its military over a long campaign, rather than focusing on taking new territory, according to the latest report from the UK Ministry of Defence.

In an intelligence update on Friday, the MOD said that Russia’s campaign now “likely primarily seeks to degrade the Ukrainian military, rather than being focused on seizing substantial new territory.”

It added: “The Russian leadership is likely pursuing a long-term operation where they bank that Russia’s advantages in population and resources will eventually exhaust Ukraine.”

The strategy outlined by the MOD matches what experts say Russia has been doing lately.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said in January that Russia was trying to “exhaust” it with drone strikes.

Wearing down Ukraine could potentially lead to a peace deal where Russia gains territory, or a situation where Ukraine’s allies tire of giving it new weapons, and its military then becomes easier to defeat.

The UK defense ministry said this strategy shift occurred over the last few weeks, and contrasts with Russia’s earlier approach.

After launching its invasion in February 2022, Russia attempted to seize the whole country and depose its government. After that failed, it then focused efforts on taking over the east and south of Ukraine.

Russia had expected to take Ukraine’s capital in just two days, US officials said.

But instead it was pushed back to the east by Ukraine’s army, where the two sides have been grinding away ever since.

The ministry also noted that Russia has been trying to “control” Ukraine since 2014, and that its invasion came after years of attacks by Russian-backed separatists in the east and the annexation of Crimea.

Western leaders have long warned that Russia’s strategy involves exhausting Ukraine and its allies, to the point where the countries supporting Ukraine stop or significantly reduce the military help they give it.

Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia’s Security Council, said last summer that Putin’s plan is to wait out Europe’s support, knowing he doesn’t have to answer to his people.

Putin “is a very patient guy. He can afford to wait six to nine months. He can control Russian society much more tightly than the West can control its society,” Patrushev said. 

The UK defense ministry update suggests that this strategy has now started to impact Russia’s battlefield tactics.


  1. The cockroach generals have been stumbling, bumbling and floundering from one plan to the next, with one strategy being as useless as the next. This plan will also fail. Defeat for the mafia army is inevitable.

  2. Which is why the allies must enable the defenders to take out 3000 orcs each and every day. That would effectively render this evil strategy inoperable.

  3. Long range missiles to decimate the orc supply lines, including the Kerch bridge, will shorten this war by months. Are the West full of blind idiots, or worse still, cowardly bastards scared of upsetting shorty?

    • “Are the West full of blind idiots, or worse still, cowardly bastards scared of upsetting shorty?”

      After all the excruciatingly slow and meager help that trickled into Ukraine during this long ass year, all of the above is the right answer.

      • I guess the next question would be, wear down Ukraine with what?
        All indications are that they lack chips for their missiles. Other indicators are the only effective land force they have is their T-90s which are likely cut in half. They lack training, support and ammo across the board. The main effective tool Vladolf has had so far, in my mind, has been the conspiracy theorist Tucker Carlson.

        • If Tucker is the runt’s main effective tool, then mafia land is completely lost. It matters little the few brain-dead Americans that this pathetic little shit-slinger influences.

          • It is just a few but as an American Conservative I am embarrassed by having any on the Right or Left. Reagan would have had a fit if he had some during the 80s.
            IMO this is also where the lazy media have failed. At first it was the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And now it is just Ukraine. If you talk about taxes, it is “Ukraine’s” fault. If you talk about depleted military stocks, it is “Ukraine’s” fault. If you talk about WWIII it is also “Ukraine’s” fault. Nobody talks about Putin’s invasion anymore, it is the war in Ukraine. Putin has successfully and effectively taken himself out of the equation in the media.

            • Well, I wouldn’t go that far, Red. This might be true for some of the media. I still see Putler as being the culprit in the vast majority of them. But, I do agree that the media should do a better job at explaining to those with less knowledge (brains) about what this is all about and what our goals should be and so forth. They also should name the guilty parties more … those that are to be found outside the shithole, like Obumer, Merkel and the rest. I think it is important to give the people a better understanding as to what helped to make this war even possible; our collective bad leaders. This might give them food for thought in the next elections.

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