Putin shooting himself in the foot as Russia leader committing big strategic U-turn

Ukraine: Former US defence secretary outlines Russia's failures

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Former US Defence Secretary William Cohen suggested that Vladimir Putin is shooting himself in the foot by adopting a new military strategy in this phase of the Ukraine-Russia war. Russian forces have suffered significant losses since the beginning of the war – a similar death toll to the one experienced by the Soviet Union during its nine years of war in Afghanistan, according to the UK Defence Ministry. Facing Russian forces’ failure on the ground, Russian President Putin has fired senior commanders, British intelligence suggests.

The Russian military is attempting to “resuscitate its sputtering offensive in Ukraine, firing commanders, splitting combat units into smaller formations, and redoubling its reliance on artillery and other long-range weapons”, the Washington Post reported.

Speaking to CNN, Mr Cohen said: “Now apparently, he (Putin)’s getting more involved in the tactical decisions which I think is probably a big mistake on his part.

“He’s not a trained military man.

“For him to get into the details and try to orchestrate all of the moves that take place on the grounds.”

Mr Cohen continued: “It reminds me of one of those ads where a person is about to undergo brain surgery and the patient asks the doctor: are you qualified for this?

“And he says, no but I did stay at a Holiday Inn.

“It’s that kind of situation where Putin is a strategist, tactician on the ground for the military, I think, would be a big mistake on his part.

“But that works to the advantage of Ukraine and those of us supporting Ukrainians.”

In this phase of the war, Russian forces are concentrating their efforts on the eastern Donbas region and its two provinces where fighting has been raging on since 2014. About 95 percent of the Luhansk province is under Russian control, Russia claims.

“Tactically, they’ve been a disaster”, Mr Cohen added. 

“That their generals haven’t been well-prepared for this war, nor the conscripts and those in the army who were trained to carry out the missions.

“So, the mission was the wrong one at the beginning.

“And the tactics were wrong.”

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“So now, they’re admitting that but remember there was Napoleon after Waterloo”, Mr Cohen said.

“The first thing he said is it’s the generals who lost the war. Not Napoleon but the generals.

“So, you’re seeing some of that with Putin saying: fire the generals.”

The Luhansk province’s main city of Severodonetsk has now become the epicentre of the war as Russian forces are attempting to seize it.

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