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EA with Radio Renascença: Putin’s Non-Victory Day in Ukraine…and Much, Much More

Monday’s Coverage: Russian Bombing of School Shelter Kills 60

Source: Institute for the Study of War


The Ukrainian military says it has freed more villages near Kharkiv, in northeast Ukraine, from Russian occupation.

The military reported on Tuesday that its counter-offensive has reclaimed the settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova, and Slobozhanske north of Kharkiv.

Defense Ministry advisor Yuriy Saks said Russian forces are being pushed to a line putting Kharkiv “beyond the reach of their artillery”.

The Ukrainian advance could put it within striking distance of Russia’s rear supply lines sustaining the offensive into the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.

Both the Ukrainian military and US-based analysts say the Russians are deploying forces near Kharkiv to check the counter-offensive and prevent Ukrainian forces reaching the Russian borders. The deployment is diverting Moscow’s forces from the Donbas offensive.


US officials have publicly assessed that Vladimir Putin is “preparing for prolonged conflict in Ukraine”.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testified to a Senate committee that Putin is still pursuing “goals beyond the Donbas” in eastern Ukraine.

Haines explained that Putin’s immediate objective is to seize the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and a buffer zone; to encircle Ukrainian troops in the east; to establish a land bridge to Russian-occupied Crimea in the south and Russian-occupied Transnistria in Moldova to the west; and to hold the Kherson region in the south, controlling Crimea’s water supply.

But Haines added:

While the Russian forces may be capable of achieving most of these near term goals in the coming months, we believe that they will not be able to extend control over a land bridge that stretches to Transnistria and includes Odesa without launching some form of mobilization….

It is increasingly unlikely that they will be able to establish control over both oblasts [Donetsk and Luhansk] and the buffer zone they desire in the coming weeks.

She foresaw “a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory” in coming months, with Putin resorting to “more drastic means, including imposing martial law, reorienting industrial production, or potentially escalatory military actions to free up the resources needed to achieve his objectives as the conflict drags on, or if he perceives Russia is losing in Ukraine”.

Haines said the “most likely flashpoint for escalation in the coming weeks will be Russian attempts to “intimidate western security assistance [and] retaliation for western economic sanctions or threats to the regime at home”.

The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, told the committee, “The Russians aren’t winning and the Ukrainians aren’t winning and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.”

He said US intelligence agencies “do not see” Putin using tactical nuclear weapons.

A “senior defense official” told reporters that the US believesRussia is about two weeks behind schedule in its offensive in the Donbas and in the south of the country.