@Kloi The Western MSM gets to decide what Russia's goal are, and what it's preferred tempo is, and so Russia will always be losing even as it permanently takes territory.
I was in Poland when Maiden started and I was living in L'viv when the coup happened in Kiev and the hostilities in Donbas and Crimea separating. Both Poland and Western Ukraine were super concerned that Russia would invade and to capture them. The issue though is that these places don't have anything that Russia wants or needs. It's only full of people whom hate Russians. That is hardly compelling.
The parts that Russia wants are the parts that it has been taking already. They're going to swallow up a lot of the Sea access and the coal, iron, and gas resources in the East. Not to mention that most of the industrial capacity is in the Eastern half. The Western part is the rump state. There are Austrian-Hungarian buildings there which are really quiet something, but the place doesn't really do all that much. Kiev has a lot of software developers, but Russia isn't stupid enough to think that they'll change colors after being captured like in a video game.
Russia's invasion of Kiev seems to have been only partially successful, or a failure though. However that needs to be seriously contextualized. The numbers don't add up at all for Russia to have been serious about actually taking over Kiev with the forces that they sent. More likely they were making Ukraine keep a huge amount of forces busy in Kiev so that they couldn't send them to reinforce the Donbas area. This strategy worked, but Russia lost far too many soldiers and equipment to call it a success. They got stuck in the mud, and they were ambushed with American missiles.
So Russia abandoned this strategy of besieging Kiev with a limited force. The stupid part is that the West acted like Russia was going to lose the war because one of their maneuvers failed. Today though Ukrainian soldiers is getting absolutely brutalized in a "cauldron" of artillery fire. They're losing hundreds of soldiers a day, possibly as high as a thousand some days. Russia is gaining only a very small about of territory each day like perhaps a kilometer or so as they slowly squeeze Ukraine outrageous amounts of artillery fire.
Russia has all of the time in the world. The Western MSM decided earlier that Russia only had so much time. They projected (as in psychologically) that Putin would need to have success by certain holidays in order to maintain approval to continue the war. This is pure nonsense. Russia doesn't operate by the MSM newscycle. So you see the insanity is the Western MSM deciding that Russia is losing because they aren't winning exactly how they believe that he should be winning, even though they don't want him to. They're just endlessly spinning. What we're seeing is the power of tiktok versus the power of a dedicated army that isn't leaving until the job is done.Read More
@Kloi There is an inherent advantage in combat to someone on the defense. There is also an inherent advantage in asymmetrical warfare for the side using $30k missiles to pop multi-million dollar tanks. Russia took heavy losses. I saw cold-war era tanks (some not even retrofitted) in a few of those videos of tanks getting blown up so I suspect Russia was using up old stock.