JRL NEWSWATCH: “Vladimir Putin’s Red Lines, War Aims Shift in Ukraine” – WSJ

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Russian leader is seen improvising after setbacks. ‘A degree of desperation,’ one academic says.”

“… Russia’s repeated ultimatums and U-turns … [and] ever-shifting war aims[] have reinforced the belief among Western government officials that [] Putin is being forced to improvise in a war that has slipped out of his control…. [But] nonetheless they must take what [Putin] says seriously, including … [with regard to] nuclear weapons. While officials believe a Russian nuclear attack on Ukraine is very unlikely, [CIA] Director William Burns traveled … to warn his Russian counterpart against it. … [With] [m]ilitary victory … hard to envision … the Russian war aim ‘boils down to carrying on the war in such a way that they don’t lose, and then just play for time.’ Western diplomats and officials say [] Putin’s behavior points to the confusion inherent in Russia’s invasion, its failure to anticipate … a long conflict and … growing panic at a series of military reverses. Others say … constant threats from the Kremlin may … serve Russia in … [the] short-term … to … distract attention away from … poor performance on the battlefield, … economic troubles, … increasing diplomatic isolation and the basic facts of [Russia’s] brutal invasion of Ukraine.”

Click here for: “Vladimir Putin’s Red Lines, War Aims Shift in Ukraine; Russian leader is seen improvising after setbacks. ‘A degree of desperation,’ one academic says” – Wall Street Journal/ Laurence Norman, Stephen Fidler