Captured Russian military plans show that Putin wanted to conquer Ukraine within two days. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov is to resign after allegations of corruption. President Zelenskyj warns of a “symbolic action by the Russian military”. what happened in the night
Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin apparently wanted to celebrate the big victory on February 26, 2022 – two days after the invasion of Ukraine. This is shown by captured Russian military plans, as reported by the renowned American Institute for War Studies (ISW). Accordingly, Putin wrongly assumed that the Russian military would take Kyiv within a few days. Russian secret services are said to have expected a collapse of the Ukrainian armed forces.
According to the ISW, his propagandists also published an article on February 26 already praising Russia’s “victory”. According to the analysts, the warnings of the Russian central bank about Western sanctions and an uncertain economic future were ignored by Putin. The failure in the early days of the war “forced Putin to make complex decisions as the Kremlin wages an increasingly costly and protracted conventional war,” the analysts said.
“Putin, however, has been reluctant to order the difficult changes in the Russian military and society that would likely be necessary to salvage his war.” Chief among these was Putin’s failure to quickly order a large-scale mobilization wave and to declare martial law. “Putin probably feared alienating Russian society,” according to the ISW. Ultra-right military bloggers and public figures were also not integrated into the war strategy.
Only when the situation at the front became more and more catastrophic did Putin then call for partial mobilization. According to the ISW, he then continued to try to downplay the military efforts for Russian society.
Ukraine’s recently controversial Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov is likely to switch to another department this week. This was announced on Sunday evening from the ranks of the Ukrainian presidential party Servants of the People. As their faction leader David Arachamija announced, Resnikov is to be transferred to the post of Minister for Strategic Industry. The previous head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, is to become the new defense minister. There was initially no official confirmation of the change.
In the late afternoon, Resnikov had declared that he would not vacate his seat until President Volodymyr Zelensky asked him to do so. “According to the constitution, the decision whether someone becomes defense minister or not is made by one person – the Commander-in-Chief and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy,” he said. So far, he has not commented.
Resnikov had come under criticism after a series of scandals surrounding corruption and wasting money in his ministry. Among other things, his deputy Vyacheslav Shapovalov recently resigned in connection with the scandal surrounding the purchase of overpriced food for soldiers. In addition, according to media reports, funds were embezzled in another area of the authority during the construction of barracks. Resnikov had always denied the allegations against him.
With the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaching on February 24, its president has warned of a “symbolic action” by the occupying forces. There are already numerous reports and references to this, said Selenskyj on Sunday in his video speech every evening. Russia wants to take revenge for the defeats of the past year. “We note that the pressure on various front areas and also in the information area has increased.”
The situation in the Donetsk region is currently particularly difficult. “But no matter how difficult it is and how great the pressure is, we have to survive,” Zelenskyj said. Ukraine must use every day and week to strengthen frontline defenses and the country’s international position.
Ukraine is currently under heavy pressure, especially around the city of Bakhmut in the east of the country. There, Russian troops and members of the notorious Wagner mercenary group have been trying to break through the Ukrainian defense lines for weeks. The Defense Ministry in Moscow reported that Russia had taken more advantageous positions in the region.
According to British military experts, Bachmut is increasingly being encircled by Russian troops, according to the British Ministry of Defense’s daily intelligence update on the Ukraine war on Sunday.
According to information from Kyiv, several civilians were killed and wounded in Russian attacks in the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson on Sunday. The Ukrainian General Staff did not provide more detailed information on the victims in its situation report in the evening. The city was fired at least 40 times from rocket launchers, damaging numerous residential buildings. The eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was also the target of Russian attacks using multiple rocket launchers. At least five people were injured in hits in a residential building.
The war, which has been going on for almost a year, has repeatedly hit civilian infrastructure, although Russia claims that it only attacks military targets. According to the UN, more than 7,000 civilians have been killed since the Russian invasion.
The deputy leader of the Greens parliamentary group, Agnieszka Brugger, has called on Germany’s European partners to act quickly on the delivery of battle tanks. “In view of the threat of a large-scale Russian offensive, we have no time to lose in a major European effort to give Ukraine all the tank systems that we can somehow spare,” she told the Tagesspiegel. That is in the European interest.
After its decision to supply Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine, the German government is struggling to obtain commitments from other countries. After the political approval of deliveries, the planned alliance is not yet complete, government circles in Berlin told the German Press Agency at the weekend. However, Poland and Canada started with concrete steps – from Portugal there was a commitment at the weekend for the delivery of more modern Leopard 2A6, which Germany also wants to give.
The fate of Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov may be clear on Monday. A personnel change at the top of a ministry must be ordered by President Zelenskyj and approved by the Rada, the Ukrainian parliament.
Also Read: The Ukraine Update of February 5, 2023