Russia’s invasion of Ukraine failed on many fronts, so Putin turns to ‘Plan D’ to ‘save face’ – Reuters News in France and abroad

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Former deputy national security adviser KT McFarland told Fox News Digital that Russia fell back on “Plan D” after failing to maintain a prolonged siege on Kyiv.

Russia reassessed its strategy and on March 25 began to focus on securing eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the surprise withdrawal of Kyiv and surrounding towns – a move that some experts say intelligence and the military, is little more than an attempt to save face after a military catastrophe.

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“Their Plan A was to masse along the border as if to invade, and assume Ukraine would capitulate on NATO membership and Donbass,” McFarland said. “When Ukraine didn’t, Russia’s plan B was to invade and take over within days. »

“When that didn’t happen, Russia went to Plan C – protracted war and siege,” she continued. “When that didn’t work, they moved on to plan D – consolidate in the east and a frozen conflict along the border: make it a success at home, come back for the rest of Ukraine in a few years . »

McFarland said the prevailing belief – his own included – before the invasion was that Russia would aim to take the Donbass and Eastern provinces. She called the all-out invasion a failure of Russian intelligence and military, pointing out that Russia failed to anticipate the Ukrainian leadership and people.

“Presumably they thought the Ukrainian leadership had been bought off and would flee, and Russia might install a puppet government,” she added.

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Fredrick Kagan, director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, went further and said the Donbas region was nothing more than a “consolation prize” to compensate for the campaign’s “sacrifice”. of Putin.

“The overall goal of the invasion was to replace the Zelenskyy government with a government that Moscow could control,” Kagan said. “This effort failed. »

Kagan explained that the explanation of “Putin World” is that Russia has “oddly” claimed to have achieved its objective around kyiv and is now working to secure the lands claimed by the proxy republics that Moscow has recognized.

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But securing these areas could provide a long-term goal, which is to further erode Ukrainian territory and enhance future invasion efforts.

“The more Ukrainian territory Russia has, the more difficult it is to keep an independent Ukraine alive over time, and the more opportunities Putin will have to invade again after building up his army or doing other things to achieve its goal of bringing down an independent Ukraine. Ukrainian government,” Kagan explained.

The extreme losses in Ukraine have prompted Russia to “frequently” rush to replenish the army, with a more robust conscription effort and other shortcut methods that will allow them to deploy some sort of army.

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Ultimately, Kagan believes that as long as Putin or “Putinism” remains dominant in Russia, he will continue to seek to destroy an independent Ukraine.

“It was never about Donbass, and it was never about NATO either, primarily,” Kagan said. ” [Putin] does not accept that Ukraine has the right to an independent government, it does not accept Ukraine’s sovereignty and it does not accept its existence as an independent state. »

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine failed on many fronts, so Putin turns to ‘Plan D’ to ‘save face’ – Reuters News in France and abroad

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