At the moment, Russia is preparing for a protracted war in Ukraine. Retreating and finally losing face is unacceptable for Putin. Options for further pressure on Ukraine are being considered, in particular, more intensive airstrikes, shelling with Iskander missiles and the remaining high-precision weapons. Russians will keep destroying military and civilian infrastructure, terrorizing civilians. The goal is to completely demoralize the Ukrainians and force them to surrender, inflicting maximum damage to the Ukrainian economy.
Russia is regrouping armored formations, combining it with cruise missile strikes. The so-called «Chechen variant» is being practiced, where any suspicious object is being attacked.
Inside Russia, censorship is tightening, it is possible to predict the shutdown of global Internet. The authorities will do everything possible to prevent the domestic audiences from consuming truthful information.
In the foreign policy field, the focus is on China. The firmness of the Moscow-Beijing alliance is already being observed. Despite Beijing’s dissatisfaction with Russia waging a full-scale war in Ukraine, China is inclined to support Russia. There will also be the growth of the Russian-American antagonism and the widening of the «civilizational gap» between Russia and Western powers.
Russia will continue to lag behind in the information domain. The Kremlin will focus on self-defense and suppression of internal protests and dissent.
From a tactical perspective, the Kremlin is looking into viable scenarios for securing its presence in Ukraine. Priorities are the Kyiv direction and the southern regions with an emphasis on Kherson (water canal) and the land corridor to the “LPR/DPR.”
The destructiveness of sanctions is already being manifested in the fall of economic indices. It is suggested that at first this effect will be «leveled» by infusions from reserve funds. But as early as in the second quarter, there will be a fall in GDP and an increase in unemployment.
In the external domain, the formation of «anti-Russian coalitions» will be observed at different levels: from sending foreign volunteers to the front lines to defend Ukraine, to lobbying for further sectoral sanctions against Russia.
Belarus will not officially deploy troops in Ukraine, but unofficially they are already here. It is strategically important for Ukraine to «cut through» the corridor along the «Vilcha — Ivankiv» line, where the Russians are constantly transferring reinforcements from Belarus, which then advance toward Kyiv.
Provocations are possible near Transnistria, attempts at landing, attacks on Odesa region north of the city of Odesa (close the approaches to the city from the north, closer to Mykolaivregion)
Among the probable tactical options, Russia will abandon the crushing offensive and try to «dig in» across Ukraine, create «quasi-republics» in various areas, gain control of strategic facilities and a water canal to Crimea. They will use this as a lever over Kyiv.
In the event that further negotiations yield no results, Russia will try to inflict maximum material damage on Ukraine, provoke a further outflow of refugees, implement a transport and food blockade, leave Ukrainians without electricity, gasification, and try to destroy the Ukrainian economy as much as possible.
«Russia will continue to destroy Ukraine’s economy and kill civilians.»
“Having faced a rebuff on the outskirts of Kyiv, Russian troops are changing tactics, increasing bombing and shelling”
“The Kremlin is trying to take control of Ukraine’s electricity generation sector for further blackmail, to destroy vital communications as much as possible.”
“People are already fleeing massively from Belarus, businesses is collapsing, the economy is a “bubble”, Russia should soon expect the same. Many Russian officials and businessmen are already taking their families out of Russia.”
“Censorship is predicted to tighten in Russia, protests will be brutally suppressed. They will be effective only in the case of truly massive rallies across the country, which isn’t the case at the moment.”
“Putin will consistently voice threats. Russian diplomacy is working hard to ensure that individual nations refuse to support Ukraine. Poland is one of the first examples.”
“International capital and investments are fleeing from Russia, Russian youths have no future in their country”
Even in the short term, the consequences of sanctions will be catastrophic, provoking poverty and unemployment. Russian pensioners and civil servants will be most affected.
“Russia will continue to use the scorched earth tactics and provoke refugee flows.”
“The Russian army will continue to weaken, the Kremlin will impose more and more financial restrictions and taxes in a desperate attempt to fill the treasury.
“The Kremlin is protesting against the arrival of foreign volunteers in Ukraine. The message is ‘they will not be subject to the right to be a prisoner of war.’»
«Russian Nazism», «genocide of Ukrainians», «scorched earth tactics», «seizure of territories», «political terror», «not the people, but the population», «murders of civilians», «inner curtain», «internet shutdown», «tightening censorship», «hybrid aggression», «information terror», «the killing of women and children».
“The collapse of the Russian economy is already coming”
“Russia is allocating huge funds from reserves to contain economic fall”
“There is already a split in the Kremlin”
“Putin’s political and military initiatives could possibly be boycotted soon”
«Russia is in complete isolation»
“Ukraine is gradually gaining real international support, while Russia is losing it”
“Even proven allies are gradually distancing themselves from Russia”
The Kremlin is hiding its crimes
“The whole world should know that the Russians are killing civilians on the outskirts of Kyiv”
“Russia is a nation of criminals, lackeys, and murderers”
“The Russians found themselves in a complete information vacuum”
“The Kremlin zombifies and oppresses the population – there is no nation in Russia”
“Sanctions should be as tough as possible, targeted, and long-term”