The Kremlin claims that the West is prolonging the war by supplying arms. It is Putin himself who is trying to play for time. According to military expert Mick Ryan, it currently doesn’t look as if this Russian plan will work.

In the 11 months of war, Russia was often forced to change its military strategy and adapt it to the course of the war. While the last few months have been marked by a Ukrainian counter-offensive in late summer and grueling trench warfare in winter, the first few weeks of 2023 point to an imminent upturn in war momentum with new attacks.

According to Australian military expert Mick Ryan, Russian President Vladimir Putin is relying on various components for his war strategy in the new year:

But perhaps the most important element of Russia’s strategy is something else, writes Ryan in his latest analysis. Putin now sees an advantage in prolonging the war. Because Ukraine is dependent on Western weapons, ammunition and economic aid.

Without the armed aid, Ukraine would hardly be able to withstand the Russian attack, Kremlin spokesman Peskov emphasized on Friday. And after Germany, the US and other countries like Poland, Norway and Canada recently promised to supply main battle tanks, Ukraine is already raising the demand for fighter jets. After the weapon delivery seems to be before the weapon delivery.

“Putin seems comfortable with his wait-and-see strategy,” writes Ryan. But for him it is clear: “It could be a long wait.” Putin probably believes that the patience and support of the American and European population will also come into play in the Ukraine war. Just like in previous conflicts like in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

But so far there is little evidence for this hypothesis: The European states continue to increase their support, which is particularly evident in the deliveries of battle tanks. “It also shows that Europe and America don’t just want Ukraine to defend itself. They want Russia to be defeated,” he continues. Therefore, Putin’s view that Western support for Ukraine is running out could be another of his bad strategic assumptions, he says.

Putin has still not personally commented on this. “In Moscow, we see this as direct involvement in the conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. Moscow also sees that “this is increasing,” he added.

Instead, the Kremlin recently accused the US of prolonging the war after the Biden government promised to supply Abrams main battle tanks. The US could “quickly end the war in Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Russian news agency Interfax on Friday. “The President of the United States can do this very quickly, using, say, his abilities and, in fact, simply giving instructions to the Kiev regime,” Peskov said.

Putin has repeatedly affirmed that Russia is ready for an early end to the war and does not want to prolong the conflict unnecessarily. According to experts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the statements are part of the Kremlin’s far-reaching efforts to justify the costly and costly war in the neighboring country to the population.