Ex-Russia ambassador McFaul

Ex-Russia ambassador McFaul: “Putin understands that Russia is losing in Ukraine”

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  • Putin is currently losing the war in Ukraine.
  • This is the conclusion reached by former US Ambassador to Ukraine Michael McFaul. He doubts that this will change in 2023.
  • And he believes: “Putin understands that Russia is losing in Ukraine.”

The war against Ukraine is not going as planned for the Kremlin. Instead of a victory within a few days, the fighting has now been going on for more than eleven months. For Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia, it is clear: “Putin understands that Russia is losing in Ukraine”. McFaul wrote in an article for the ” Washington Post “.

McFaul provides three arguments for this analysis:

  • The (re)change at the top of the military. After only months, General Surovikin was deposed and replaced by Gerasimov. “You change commanders when you lose, not when you win,” McFaul summarizes this decision.
  • The cancellation of Putin’s annual press conference. McFaul writes that Putin is “demonstrably too afraid to answer questions from a largely loyal and influenced press.” Instead, the Kremlin chief visited a cathedral in Moscow on Orthodox Christmas Day — for McFaul, this was not a sign of confidence in military success.
  • Even Putin’s propagandists are dissatisfied with the situation in Ukraine. McFaul cites two quotes as an example. As Sergei Markov said: “The US is the main winner of 2022, led by Joe Biden”. And pro-Kremlin journalist Maksim Yusin said: “All goals in Ukraine, on the contrary, were achieved.”
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“Putin and his regime will never recover”

Military experts assume that a spring offensive should save the war against Ukraine for Putin and the Kremlin. But McFaul is optimistic that Putin will not be able to recover from the aftermath of 2022. According to the former US ambassador, there are also three arguments for this, as he points out in the Washington Post:

  • “Great military successes of Russia in Ukraine is unlikely”. The Russian army lacks the ability to fully conquer and occupy the areas in Ukraine that Putin officially and illegally annexed last year (Kherson, Zaporizhia, Luhansk and Donzek).
  • “The most far-reaching sanctions against a single country” ever: The economic sanctions that the West imposed on Putin and Russia after the Russian invasion of Ukraine will remain in place as long as Putin is in power, according to McFaul.
  • “Putin’s support in society is waning”. According to McFaul, Putin still officially enjoys broad support in society – but it’s the people who ignore such – not free – surveys, explains the ex-ambassador. Young people in particular are against the war, writes McFaul: “Putin is losing the future”.

For McFaul, however, a coup in the Kremlin is unlikely. But, according to the ex-ambassador: “He and his regime will never recover.”


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