Thursday, May 26, 2022

Putin’s Hopes to Exhaust Ukraine with a Long War Almost Certainly for Naught, Eidman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 11 – The US has concluded that Putin, having failed to defeat Ukraine quickly as he expected to do, now hopes to win by means of a war of exhaustion; but such hopes, Igor Eidman says, are almost certainly for naught given the attitudes of Russians and the resources of the Ukrainians.

            “Russia is rapidly exhausting its own resources and has nowhere to replace them,” the Russian sociologist says, while Ukraine now has access to the virtually “unlimited military and economic resources of the US and NATO” (

            “For decades,” Eidman continues, “beginning with the Israeli-Arab wars, Western arms have defeated Soviet and Russian ones. The same thing will happen in Ukraine.” But there is another reason that Putin’s hopes are misplaced: the very different attitudes of the Russian and Ukrainian people.

Russia might appear to have significant amounts of “cannon fodder” to throw into the breach given its large population. But “the overwhelming majority of Russians, even on the whole among those who support ‘the special operation’ do not want to fight, as independent polls show.”

The only place Moscow can get people to fight is from its poorest regions as there are very, very few ideologically committed “suicidal fools” who are raring to go. Any mobilization, full or partial, would make the war even more unpopular and destabilize the Putin regime “politically and economically,” Eidman says.

That has forced the Kremlin to buy for service those who are prepared to risk their lives for a few thousand dollars, but there are ever fewer Russians who fall into that category, the sociologist argues. And that is another and equally significant difference between Russians and Ukrainians.

Not only do the Ukrainians have better weaponry than the Russians but they are overwhelmingly highly motivated, fighting as they are to defend their homes and their country. Given this combination, “time is working for them” and not for Russia despite what Putin imagines.

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