Military expert Carlo Masala sees the Russian offer to negotiate with Ukraine as an attempt to buy time.
Military expert Carlo Masala sees the Russian offer to negotiate with Ukraine as an attempt to buy time. President Vladimir Putin is offering “a tactical respite,” says Masala in the stern podcast “Ukraine – the situation.” Only when Russia loses territory in eastern Ukraine will “a window open for real and substantive negotiations.”
Losses in Ukraine Problem for Russian Armed Forces
However, he expects fighting to continue during possible negotiations, since military control over the areas ultimately determines who gets what in the end. In addition, even an autocrat like Putin cannot ignore the fact that his army is suffering high losses in the conflict. This could weaken popular support for the regime, but also make it more difficult to have enough ready-to-work soldiers on the front lines. “The high number of dead, wounded and captured soldiers is a problem for the operations of the Russian armed forces,” says the politics professor at the Bundeswehr University in Munich.
Masala describes it as part of the Russian operational management to achieve effects in completely other parts of the world with the war in Ukraine, which increase the pressure on Europe. The blockade of Ukrainian grain exports should trigger hunger and ultimately refugee flows.
At the same time, there is a risk that Ukraine’s appeals for help will lose their effectiveness. Of course, it is right and understandable for Ukraine to point out that it is also defending the freedom of other Europeans and therefore needs to be supported. But: “This has been the rhetorical figure for three months now. I have my doubts about whether it will continue for a long time.”