To weaken Putin until the fall, the bet of Westerners?

Of course, the skin of the Russian bear should not be sold. Caution is required in a conflict that takes us from surprise to surprise, defies all the evidence and profoundly upsets the international game. But the incredible breakthrough achieved by the Ukrainians after six months of a merciless war, allowing them to reconquer in a few weeks nearly 6,000 square kilometers of territory occupied by Russia, has indeed changed the dynamics of the war . And the declaration of Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, September 21, in the Kremlin, forced to resort to a “partial mobilization of new Russian soldiers, is only further proof of this.

We are a long way from February 24, the first day of the conflict, when the flabbergasted world woke up to the sound of Russian cannons, spectators of the aggression of one sovereign country by another, and no one gave dearly to the Ukrainians. Six months later, it is a galvanized country, revealed to itself in this war with patriotic overtones and strong in the unconditional support of Westerners, which begins to hope: far from any compromise with the Russian aggressor, it It is indeed the full and complete victory that Ukraine is now seeking, namely the reconquest of all its occupied territories, including Crimea, annexed in 2014.

It is indeed no longer excluded that Russia, despite the escalation into which Putin wants to drag it, which recalls 300,000 reserve soldiers, could lose this war, both militarily and geopolitically. The world’s second largest army is showing increasing signs of weakness, diminished by the loss of 80,000 soldiers killed or wounded (according to the American count), hampered by the effect of sanctions which weighs on its war effort, amputated by an impressive number of its tanks and artillery.

The effect of sanctions

Already, it has lost all vista on the strategic level, faced with the battering of a Ukrainian army boosted by Western aid. As for the country, it is now in the grip of doubt in the face of this “special operation” which turns into a fiasco. For the first time since the start of hostilities, criticism is openly emerging in Russia, in particular, and this is new, from the ultranationalist camp which blames Vladimir Putin for his repeated failures.

It is that, contrary to what the European extreme right, an unfailing parrot of Russian propaganda, wants to believe, the sanctions do indeed have an effect on the country’s economy, affected by a deep recession. Worse, the weapon of gas and oil, which is the basis of Russian income and its power, is gradually losing its strength in the face of the efforts of Europeans to detoxify themselves from it.

Ukraine: “America has realized that this fight is also its own”

This is how Putin could lose big in this conflict that he himself started: he pushed Ukraine, a pivotal country on the European continent, into the arms of Westerners; he weakened his income and exposed the intrinsic weakness of his regime; he has ostracized himself from nations and is now threatened with prosecution for war crimes – the recent discovery in the wake of the Russian withdrawal of a huge mass grave of 445 graves, in Izium, constituting new and shocking proof of the atrocities committed by his troops.

A clash between two blocks

To weaken Putin even more, until the fall? It seems that this is indeed the implicit bet of Westerners, Americans in the lead. Joe Biden, who has already devoted 15 billion dollars to the war effort, or 70% of total aid to the Ukrainians and three times their annual defense budget, no longer hesitates to openly threaten the master of the Kremlin of a quasi-world war if it took the urge, in response to the breakthrough of kyiv, to use chemical or nuclear weapons. In return, Putin waved the nuke again during his televised statement, saying: “It’s not a bluff. »

In Russia, criticism of Putin less and less discreet

It prevents. Encouraged by the resilience and bravery of Zelensky’s troops, Westerners increasingly assumed their commitment to the conflict, which had become existential for each of the parties. It is not because the war is played by proxy that it is nonetheless a direct confrontation between two antagonistic blocs, which almost turns into a war of civilization. In this part, Putin is increasingly isolated – China and India, his natural backers, clearly show signs of annoyance. For Westerners, what is at stake between Kharkiv and Kherson is as much the future of the Ukrainian people as the demonstration of their own strength and the vigor of their democratic model.

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