5 ways Russia has failed in its invasion

5 ways Russia has failed in its invasion

Almost three months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the largest country in the world has had relatively little success to show for its aggression.

When the war started, many believed it would only be a matter of days before Russian forces toppled Ukraine’s government.

Instead, Ukrainian troops have pushed Russian forces away from their capital and have killed thousands of Russian soldiers.

The resistance has shocked the world and put Russia in a compromising position as the swift and easy victory it once predicted has faded away.

Here are the ways in which Russia failed its initial plan for the invasion:

Not obtaining a swift victory

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 after spending months building up its troops outside the country’s border.

The next day, Western intelligence officials expressed concern that the capital city of Kyiv would fall to Russian troops within days.

More than two months later, Kyiv is standing strong and Russian forces have failed to make significant progress, hampering the morale of their soldiers.

Officials said the resistance Ukraine has put up has shocked intelligence officials and Russia, who expected an easy win during the invasion.

The failure to capture Kyiv in the first few days has not only hurt morale, but cost the lives of thousands of Russian soldiers.

Failure to take over Kyiv

In the initial stages of the war, Russia was targeting Kyiv and made it miles outside of the capital city.

Surrounding suburbs of Kyiv such as Bucha were overrun with Russian troops with accusations of war crimes now emerging from the areas.

Despite the hyperfocus on the capital, Ukrainian troops were able to hold the line and keep Russian troops from entering the city.

The weeks of resistance eventually wore down Russian troops who completely left the area at the beginning of April.

“We are not showing Russian forces in or around Kyiv or to the north of Kyiv, and we’re not showing Russian forces in or around Chernihiv,” a US official said.

The retreat from Kyiv was seen as a major blow for Russia as it was one of the country’s core targets when the invasion began.

Thousands of Russian troops captured, wounded or killed

As Russian morale sinks and Ukrainian resistance prevails, thousands of Russian troops have been wounded, captured or killed during the invasion.

NATO said in March as many as 40,000 Russian troops have been killed, captured, missing or taken prisoner.

The current number of Russian troops killed is debated, with Ukraine putting the total at 26,000 while Russia has only admitted to a little more than 2,000 deaths.

Among the dead are 10 Russian military officials, according to US intelligence.

The high casualty numbers came as Russian troops were not adequately prepared for the invasion, with reports that some were not even told the invasion was happening.

Uniting Western allies

One major consequence of the war for Russia is the unity that has emerged among Western allies.

Immediately after Russia invaded, the US and other allies sprang into action by providing Ukraine aid and implementing crippling sanctions on Russia.

The US alone has provided billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid, as well as training for Ukrainian soldiers.

The United Nations’ General Assembly also overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia’s attack on Ukraine early in the war.

Western allies’ indirect involvement in the war has caused Russia to shift blame on the West for the escalation in fighting.

“Total war was declared on us” by Western countries, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Russian troops still struggling to make progress in Donbas

After Russia failed to make progress around Kyiv, the troops pulled back to the Donbas area where Russia has been supporting conflict since 2014.

Russian troops have had slightly more success in this area, with the city of Mariupol almost completely captured by soldiers. A small group of Ukrainian troops with civilians are holding out in a steel plant in the city.

Despite making some territorial gains, Western allies say Ukraine is still holding up well to the bombardment in the region.

“Ukraine has repelled numerous Russian assaults along the line of contact in the Donbas region,” the British Ministry of Defense said at the end of April.

Russia has signaled they want to capture southern and eastern Ukraine in order to create a path from Crimea to Transnistria, a Russian-backed separatist territory in Moldova.

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