“Believing Russia’s Assault Is Going Poorly Makes Us Feel Better, but Is at Odds With the Facts.”

"This is not a sign of a disorganized, poorly assembled, and failed offensive."

Editor’s note: Bill Roggio is someone who in 2021 was warning that Kabul was much weaker and the Taliban much stronger than the rosy US intel assessments claimed


Wishful thinking has the upper hand in the battle to shape Western perceptions of the war in Ukraine.

Sympathy for the outnumbered and outgunned defenders of Kyiv has led to the exaggeration of Russian setbacks, misunderstanding of Russian strategy, and even baseless claims from amateur psychoanalysts that Putin has lost his mind.

A more sober analysis shows that Russia may have sought a knockout blow, but always had well-laid plans for follow-on assaults if its initial moves proved insufficient.

The world has underestimated Putin before and those mistakes have led, in part, to this tragedy in Ukraine.

We must be clear-eyed now that the war is underway.

Yet even the professionals at the Pentagon are letting sympathy cloud their judgement.

Just two days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Department of Defense briefers were quick to claim that failing to take Kyiv in the opening days of the war amounted to a serious setback.

DoD briefers implied that Russia’s offensive was well behind schedule or had even failed because the capital had not fallen.

But U.S. leaders should have learned to restrain their hopes after their catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Once again, U.S. and Western officials are falling into the trap of failing to understand the enemy and his objectives.

Allegedly, Putin believed that the Ukrainian government would collapse once Russian troops crossed the frontier and pushed to Kyiv, and that the operation has failed because the Ukrainian government remains in place.

Putin certainly hoped for a swift victory, but he clearly was not relying on his opening salvo as the only plan for success.

Rather, the Russian military was prepared to take the country by force if a swift decapitation strike fell short.

This kind of plan should be familiar to Americans who remember the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In the first hours of the war, the U.S. Air Force launched its ‘shock and awe’ campaign in an attempt to kill Saddam Hussein and other key leaders and bring down the government. Saddam survived, but the U.S. military was fully prepared to follow up with a ground assault.

A look at the Russian military offensive demonstrates there was a plan for a full-scale invasion, which Russia is now executing.

Conventional, mechanized warfare is a time and resource consuming enterprise, and an operation of this scope isn’t cobbled together in days.

The Russian offensive is taking place on four separate fronts. On a fifth front, in eastern Ukraine, which Putin declared independent last week, Russian forces are tying down Ukrainian troops that are needed elsewhere.

The bulk of the Russian forces are advancing southward from Belarus to Kyiv.

Russian advance forces, including air, mobile and reconnaissance troops, have been engaged with Ukrainian troops outside of Kyiv since the start of the war.

A massive column of Russian troops, estimated at over 40 miles long [3 miles originally but 40 miles now that it has broken up into smaller pieces], is just 20 miles north of Kyiv, and is likely assembling to surround the capital.

If Russian forces can take Kyiv and push southward to link up with forces on the Crimean front, thus splitting Ukraine in two, it would be a major blow to the Zelensky government.

What matters more than a handful of setbacks is that Russian forces have pushed 70 miles into contested terrain in less than a week and are on the outskirts of the capital.

This is not a sign of a disorganized, poorly assembled, and failed offensive.

The southward push from Belarus to Kyiv is supported by another Russian column, launched from the east in the vicinity of Kursk.

If this column can link up with Russian troops near Kyiv, it will envelop Ukrainian forces in most of Chernihiv and Sumy provinces, depriving the Ukrainian military of much needed soldiers and war material needed elsewhere, and cutting off the government from two northern provinces.

Further east, Russian forces have launched a broad offensive aimed at Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which is now under siege.

In the south, Russian forces, supported by amphibious assaults from the Sea of Azov, have poured into Ukraine from Crimea.

On this front, Russian forces have branched out along two main axes, one northwest along the Pivdennyi Buh River, and another northeast along the coast and inland towards the Donbas region, which Russia annexed shortly before the invasion.

If Russian columns from either southern front can link up with forces further north, they would cut off many Ukrainian troops from reinforcement—one of the two columns has already advanced roughly 160 miles.

Russian generals have often chosen to bypass towns and cities that are putting up stiff opposition and isolating them to deal with later.

There are reports that Russian forces have escalated attacks on civilians, particularly in Kharkiv.

At the moment, the artillery and rocket attacks there have been limited, perhaps to send a message to the citizens as a warning of what may come.

Putin appears to want to take Ukraine intact, but will not hesitate to increase the level of brutality if needed.

The systematic nature of the Russian assault is at odds with speculation that Putin has lost control of his senses.

Nobody knows for sure, but Putin’s actions appear to be that of a cold and calculating adversary.

Dismissing his decision to invade Ukraine as a form of madness is effectively an excuse to ignore Putin’s likely motivations and future actions.

Strategically, Putin’s advance on Ukraine began well over a decade ago, when he invaded and Balkanized Georgia by recognizing the Kremlin’s puppet regimes in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In 2014, Putin occupied and annexed the strategic Ukrainian region of Crimea, which served as a launchpad for the current invasion.

Putin paid little price for either action.

The United States and Europe imposed limited sanctions but continued to engage with him on the Iranian nuclear deal and other top issues.

Today, Putin has calculated that taking Ukraine by force is in his and Russia’s interest.

He no doubt anticipated that the West would impose diplomatic and economic sanctions, which U.S. and European leaders threatened beforehand.

Putin may have miscalculated Ukrainian resistance and the intensity of the West’s opposition, but it doesn’t mean he is crazy, or didn’t consider the possibilities and chose to invade regardless.

It remains to be seen if Putin’s plan will succeed or fail, but what is clear is that there was a plan to invade Ukraine in force, and that plan has been executed since day one.

Ukrainian troops are putting up a valiant fight facing long odds and difficult conditions. Russia holds most if not all of the advantages.

It can, and has, attacked Ukraine from three different directions. The Russian military holds a decided advantage in manpower, as well as air, naval and armor superiority.

It has vast resources to draw on. While Ukraine has the support of much of the international community, which is providing weapons, Ukraine is fighting alone.

Believing Russia’s assault is going poorly may make us feel better but is at odds with the facts.

We cannot help Ukraine if we cannot be honest about its predicament.

Source: Foundation for Defense of Democracy

  1. Ultrafart the Brave says

    IMO this is a good clean objective analysis of the Russian intervention in Ukraine right now.

    If one ignores any implied bias (and the perception of that is coloured by the reader’s own bias) then it’s hard to argue against the author’s assessment.

    In concession to my own bias, here’s hoping that President Putin’s objectives for this intervention are achieved, and soon. Every Globalist stooge on the planet has united to declare undying fealty to the Ukrainian Nazis, and that speaks volumes about who the heroes and villains are in all of this.

    The Australian Defence Minister, one Peter Dutton (a true representative of the Australian people (???) – personal wealth estimated at $300 million, and one look at his face tells you that this clown is a certifiable f*cking psycopath escapee from a Freddy Kruger horror flick) has warned us to expect reports of atrocities from Ukraine “knowing the track record of the Russians”.

    Really? I can refer to the proven track record of Australian soldiers butchering civilians across Afghanistan, and the blood-soaked landscape of Americans massacring millions of innocents as they bring uninvited “freedom and democracy” to tiny defenceless nations all over Planet Earth, but nothing about the Russians comes to mind.

    I guess Hannibal Dutton has given us a heads-up. Expect false flag civilian massacres now in Ukraine – and not by the Russians.

    1. Dale says

      And the writer is far from being sympathetic to Russia!

    2. Serozha says

      Hear, hear! The US is always on the side of terrorists & Nazis. It created Al Qaeda & all the rest. The American Empire is the greatest terrorist on the planet by orders of magnitude. It leaves nothing but wreckage, devastation & human misery in its wake. Yet no one ever stands up to it; its atrocities are carried out with impunity & go on endlessly.

      1. FewThereBe says

        The Bible calls America the “hammer of the whole earth.” She is the great end-times nation of Babylon.

        America is in big trouble with the Lord, according to the Bible:

        Rev 18:5-8:

        For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (Rev 18:5)

        Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. (Rev 18:6)

        How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. (Rev 18:7)

        Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. (Rev 18:8)

        Better to do what Jesus Christ told all of us to do to escape this prison matrix world. Click my avatar for a PDF.

        1. Howard Douglas says

          Wonderful, beautiful, sound and righteous analysis.

        2. Jerôme says

          Goy,America/ zionazi USrael is the Dragon- Serpent of the bible! It is female body shaped continent with female bitch as ” Statue of Liberty= Scarlet Harlot”…Ama-ruca is the Motherly land of the Plumed Serpent.
          The final war= WW3 shall be there, and North America will be annihilated.

    3. bob says

      dutton is crooked as they come, friendly jordies just did a hit piece on him a couple days ago. his days are probably numbered

  2. SteveK9 says

    We cannot help Ukraine if we cannot be honest about its predicament.

    Being honest, means recognizing you cannot help, unless willing to start a NATO/Russia war.

  3. edwardi says

    Ukraine will be much better off as a nation, whatever is left of it, once it demilitarizes and gets rid of these Us sponsored Nazi elements. Perhaps now is the time and chance for that revolution they wanted to put an honest government into place, one not infested with Oligarchs who steal all the money right off the top. Ukraine has some minerals and other natural resources that could be developed, but this current strategy led by the tough guys is cutting off your nose to spite your face. The best chances for Ukraine were always about cooperating with Russian, the West is not your friend. As they say, they don’t have friends, only interests. $$

    1. Marcin says

      Yes of course. You change ukrainian oligarch to russia. For normal people this is not a change what they want

  4. Eric the Red says

    “Yet even the professionals at the Pentagon are letting sympathy cloud their judgment.”

    That’s a misinterpretation… Let’s clear this up, one step at a time…

    1. Western governments don’t make decisions based on truth, logic, or facts.
    2. They interpret the world through magic words, and especially through their favorite narratives.
    3. Narratives are stories about reality, not reality itself.
    4. Narratives represent the moral values of a secular religion.
    5. That religion is woke leftism, and it’s completely infected the west.
    6. The narratives are holy, they can’t be questioned, or else the doubter is branded immoral and will be canceled.
    7. All western governments believe this religion, they are woke theocracies.
    8. Putin nailed it: western governments comprise The Empire of Lies.

    Conclusion: Wake up, be aware, understand that all western institutions use narratives to form their judgments.

    Folks, if you can think of a way to get these ideas across more simply, then welcome to it. It’s absolutely essential that everybody understand the two sides of WWIII that has just started. Your future depends on it.

  5. nnn says

    Bandera Nazis with weapons are not civilians

  6. Geraldo says

    This article was printed in the Daily Mail in the UK today surely a sign that reality is beginning to dawn even amongst the faithful. The public will be prepared for a loss by the ‘plucky’ ukies (no mentions of Azov, Aidar, Right Sektor of course) interesting development, maybe theyve finally managed to figure out what is going on, the poor dears, they’re used to being fed bs by the US military 5 times everyday during their campaigns.

  7. ChaseSkank says

    Goyim killing Goyim,
    it’s good for business!
    win win!

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