Is Putin winning the war? Expert says YES despite 'hundreds' of Russian troops killed

Moscow admitted that nearly 500 Russian troops were killed and 1,600 more injured in its first report of casualties after the Ukraine invasion


                            Is Putin winning the war? Expert says YES despite 'hundreds' of Russian troops killed
Military expert Bill Roggio (R) said that 'the world has underestimated Putin' (Carl Court/Getty Images, Foundation for Defense of Democracies/YouTube)
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After Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed deadly weapons and also began considering nuclear options, it was speculated that he was afraid of losing the war. Russian troops became bogged down after an attempt to surround Kharkiv was in vain, with Ukrainian soldiers launching a scathing counter-attack on Russian armored vehicles by using British anti-tank missiles.

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But is Putin really losing the war? Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and editor of FDD's Long War Journal, does not believe so. Roggio uses his military experience to add important strategic level context to the journal's reports.

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"Sympathy for the outnumbered and outgunned defenders of Kyiv has led to the exaggeration of Russian setbacks, misunderstanding of Russian strategy, and even baseless claims from amateur psychoanalysts that Putin has lost his mind," the Daily Mail quoted Roggio as saying. "A more sober analysis shows that Russia may have sought a knockout blow, but always had well-laid plans for follow-on assaults if its initial moves proved insufficient. The world has underestimated Putin before and those mistakes have led, in part, to this tragedy in Ukraine. We must be clear-eyed now that the war is underway."

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Moscow admitted that nearly 500 Russian soldiers were killed and 1,600 more were injured in its first report of casualties after the country invaded Ukraine. The figures came on Wednesday, March 2, shortly after Russia claimed it had not suffered any casualties during the war.

"The Russian offensive is taking place on four separate fronts. On a fifth front, in eastern Ukraine, which Putin declared independent last week, Russian forces are tying down Ukrainian troops that are needed elsewhere," Roggio, who has served as a signalman and infantryman in the US Army and New Jersey National Guard, said. "The bulk of the Russian forces are advancing southward from Belarus to Kyiv. Russian advance forces, including air, mobile and reconnaissance troops, have been engaged with Ukrainian troops outside of Kyiv since the start of the war."

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Roggio added that a column of Russian troops estimated at over 40 miles long is no more than only 20 miles north of Kyiv. They are possibly set to surround the capital. "If Russian forces can take Kyiv and push southward to link up with forces on the Crimean front, thus splitting Ukraine in two, it would be a major blow to the Zelensky government," Roggio said. "What matters more than a handful of setbacks is that Russian forces have pushed 70 miles into contested terrain in less than a week and are on the outskirts of the capital."

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"This is not a sign of a disorganized, poorly assembled, and failed offensive," Roggio added. "The southward push from Belarus to Kyiv is supported by another Russian column, launched from the east in the vicinity of Kursk. If this column can link up with Russian troops near Kyiv, it will envelop Ukrainian forces in most of Chernihiv and Sumy provinces, depriving the Ukrainian military of much needed soldiers and war material needed elsewhere, and cutting off the government from two northern provinces."

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Putin could reportedly be deploying one of the deadliest weapons known to man to the country and is also considering nuclear options. Putin deployed a terrifying rocket system onto the battlefield after three days of defense by Ukrainian forces. In footage verified by CNN, the Russian army was seen moving TOS-1 Buratino rockets towards the front line. Meanwhile, Putin reportedly also ordered the military command to put nuclear deterrence forces on high alert following aggressive statements by NATO countries.

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Besides nuclear warheads, TOS-1 'Buratino' and TOS-1A 'Solntsepek' are some of the most dangerous weapons in modern-day warfare. The tanks, which feature a terrifying oblong-shaped rack on top, are loaded with batches of incendiary and thermobaric rockets that can wipe out everything within a 300-yard radius. British military sources warned that the weapon could potentially kill tens of thousands of civilians if used. The blast from the rockets is said to produce a wall of flame that is followed by a vacuum, causing fatal damage to lungs and other internal organs.

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"Ukrainian troops are putting up a valiant fight facing long odds and difficult conditions. Russia holds most if not all of the advantages. It can, and has, attacked Ukraine from three different directions. The Russian military holds a decided advantage in manpower, as well as air, naval and armor superiority," Roggio said. "It has vast resources to draw on. While Ukraine has the support of much of the international community, which is providing weapons, Ukraine is fighting alone. Believing Russia's assault is going poorly may make us feel better but is at odds with the facts. We cannot help Ukraine if we cannot be honest about its predicament."

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