Putin knows his 'initial goal of toppling the government in Kyiv is very unlikely'


The fellow at RUSI explained that Moscow was settling with the fact that they couldn’t topple the Government in Kyiv as they had previously thought. Mr Pantucci was also asked whether Russia’s original plans could be achieved through negotiations with Ukraine and whether reports of Russia losing ground and Ukraine advancing successfully. Mr Pantucci claimed that Zelensky was unlikely to agree to give Putin regions of Ukraine in a peace agreement. As peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have been halted as the fighting between the two countries has intensified on the frontlines. 

Mr Pantucci told Times Radio: “Well I think it’s somewhat difficult to interpret sometimes.

“Because of course, these messages are delivered in a very opaque way on purpose.

“But I think I would interpret it as being something along the lines of, you know, they’ve suggested this before that they would be happy to try and negotiate out of this.

“And, you know, I think that the Russians have now concluded that their ultimate initial goal which was essentially the toppling of the government in Kyiv and taking over the of the country, is very unlikely.

“And now I think they’re sort of settling with the fact that, well, there are other ways that we can achieve this.

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Mr Pantucci added: “And I think through reclaiming the parts of the Donbas, the full regions that we saw you know, hold these sham referendums and ultimately Moscow recognising them.

“I think Russia would be willing to settle for some sort of a context where it kind of peels those parts away from Ukraine, kept Crimea you know re-established a kind of new border between the two countries.

“I think that’s what they’re suggesting towards, however of course I suspect, is something that’s completely unacceptable to the Ukrainian side.

“I think for President Zelensky at this point to just sign off on giving away pieces of his country to Russia, the fear would be that this will be a temporary cessation and then a few years down the line we’ll see Moscow picking up again.”

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Peace talks between the new countries have been halted as the onslaught has continued.

Putin has been accused of ramping up his war efforts as he attacked civilian areas in Kyiv and other regions of Ukraine with missiles earlier this week.

The Russian dictator has also sent out calls for up to 300,000 Russian men to join the frontlines of battle in Ukraine.

The Russian President has been sending nuclear threats to Western countries who have been helping Ukraine to defend itself, by sending weapons, funds and training to troops.

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A retired British Army commanding officer, Colonel Richard Kemp told Express.co.uk: “Russia is in big trouble because Ukraine has been making serious advances in both the northeast and in the south. Russia does not seem to be capable and have enough troops to resist Ukraine’s advances at present.

“When you combine this with the botched mobilisation, you are seeing much greater discontent there as a result of what is happening on the battlefield and also at home.”

He added: “We’re also seeing some of Russia’s allies seriously doubting what Russia is doing and, in some cases, distancing themselves from Russia.

“Putin has a very big problem on his hands which probably won’t be remedied immediately by the mobilisation he is making. Those forces won’t be deployed quickly enough or in a good enough state to make a big difference.”



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