Russia’s ‘War Of Choice’ On Ukraine In Strategic Quagmire – Analysis


Russian President Putin’s impulsive over-gamble on Russian military power to speedily over-run Ukraine in his ‘War of Choice’ in March 2022 has panned out on the 25th day of invasion of Ukraine exactly as foretold in my Eurasia Review Analysis “Russia Headed for Afghanistan 2.0 in Ukraine” dated 05 March 2022. Russia has lost heavily in the ‘War of Perceptions’ that has ensued, both militarily and geopolitically.

Militarily, Russia’s massed military formations with considerable Russian air-power have been unable to achieve a blitzkrieg over-run of a virtual defenceless Ukraine, but blessed with a heroic National Resistance led by Ukrainian President. Russia’s military capabilities are brought into question especially in context of President Putin’s ambitions for a Resurgent Russia to regain its erstwhile Superpower status.

Geopolitically, the global geopolitical dynamics unfolding in wake of Russian invasion of Ukraine are heavily stacked against Russian President Putin not only in the European context but wider afield.

Russia today stands virtually politically isolated in global power-play with even China muting its responses in support of Russian invasion of Ukraine, mindful of the impact of Russian military invasion in Europe on China’s doorstep in Indo Pacific.

As brought out by me in my earlier analysis on Russian invasion of Ukraine, the notable ‘abstentions’ of countries like India on UN Resolutions condemning Russian invasion cannot be construed as support for Russian President. Their compulsions are evident. 

India should have not resorted to the fig-leaf of Nehruvian neutrality. India should have stood tall and be counted as a stalwart against military aggression having been at the receiving end of Chinese aggression—a country allied to Russia.

Perceptionaly, Russia now critically loses out as being rated as a responsible stakeholder in global peace and security. This impacts not only Russia’s global image but more critically the credibility of the Russia-China Axis longevity. Geopolitical expediencies may hold them together for the short-term future.

Russia today on its 25th day of invasion despite inflicting needless devastation on Ukrainian population centres and infrastructure is nowhere near in achieving the complete subjugation of Ukraine. 

Russia today is in a strategic quagmire in Ukraine with Russian military operations floundering and Russia reeling economically from the adverse impact of United States and its Allies economic sanctions. With Russian financial reserves in billions of dollars and other assets abroad frozen by economic sanctions, Russia is feeling the economic squeeze considerably.

Russian President Putin’s intensifying frustrations are now publicly visible in the number of public addresses and rallies within Russia exhorting the Russian people to stand together and to support Russian Armed Forces “Special Operations” in Ukraine.

Analysed in my ‘Russia Headed for Afghanistan 2.0 in Ukraine” were two possible scenarios of Russia’s complete takeover of Ukraine and the partition of Ukraine; the conclusions drawn were that in either case, Russia has to face a prolonged ‘War of Attrition’.

Present indicators suggest that the Ukrainian President supported by United States and NATO Nations have precisely embarked on that strategy. Each day that Russia loses in effecting complete control of Ukraine depletes Russian fast dwindling financial capacity to sustain its military misadventure in Ukraine besides mounting losses of Russians killed in action and heavy materiel losses of aircraft, helicopters and tanks and APCs.

Russia is reported to have suffered losses of four Major General rank officers besides thousands of Russian soldiers killed in action. International media reports indicate losses of Russian fighter aircraft and helicopters in considerable numbers, signifying that Stinger missiles and Drones armed with laser bombs are playing havoc with Russian military operations which stand so checkmated.

Perceptionaly, today it is the Russian President Putin who is trying to enlist support of Russia-friendly nations to mediate an early end to the war in Ukraine rather than the Ukrainian President signifying that Russia is beleaguered. Only yesterday President Putin complained that Ukraine is prolonging the Russo-Ukraine delegation level talks underway.

Ukraine along with United States and NATO Nations support, short of NATO boots on the ground, sensing the above trend may not go in for ay compromises other than declaration of intent that it is not joining NATO. But that does not rule out Ukraine accepting NATO involvement in Ukraine security short of full NATO Alliance membership.

Concluding, it needs to be highlighted that a Russian strategic quagmire in Ukraine is only few steps away from a Russian inglorious exit from Ukraine. In case of Afghanistan the Russians ingloriously exited after nearly ten years. In case of Ukraine, President Putin may have to witness an inglorious Russian military exit in ten months.

Recalling Russia’s military misadventure in Afghanistan 1.0 lasting from 29 December 1979 to 15 February 1989 which resulted in then USSR President Gorbachev’s political downfall and disintegration of USSR, does a similar fate awaits President Putin in a shorter time-frame?

Dr. Subhash Kapila

Dr Subhash Kapila combines a rich and varied professional experience of Indian Army Brigadier ( Veteran), diplomatic assignments in the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Bhutan. Served in India's Cabinet Secretariat also. He is a Graduate of Royal British Army Staff College, Camberley, UK, Msc Defence Studies from Madras University and a Doctorate in Strategic Studies from Allahabad University. Papers have been presented by him in International Seminars in Japan,Turkey, Russia and Vietnam. Credited to him are over 1,500 Papers on geopolitical & strategic topical issues and foreign policies of USA, Japan, India, China and Indo Pacific Asia. He has authored two Books : "India's Defence Policies & Strategic Thought: A Comparative Analysis" and "China-India Military Confrontation: 21st Century Perspectives"

3 thoughts on “Russia’s ‘War Of Choice’ On Ukraine In Strategic Quagmire – Analysis

  • March 20, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    Don’t be stupid. Russians and Ukrainians are different people. Ukrainian is a different language and Greek Catholicism is not Orthodox. Stop embarrassing yourself.

  • March 21, 2022 at 4:53 am

    Excellent article by Dr. Subhash Kapilla..

  • March 21, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    I believe the author misses the point that Russia wishes to keep civilian and Ukrainian Army casualties as low as possible.

    The US ‘shock and awe” approach assumes that civilian casualties are not important as they are not “American”. I am not sure if this is racism or Xenophobia or both.


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