Putin's campaign to take over Ukraine stalls

Vladimir Putin

Only a day after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an impassioned plea for the free world’s powers to help his nation fight the Russian invasion being orchestrated by Vladimir Putin, those takeover plans hit headwinds.

First, a former Russian foreign minister told Fox News Digital that his nation needs to return to “international norms” so that meaningful talks could be held with the goal of ending the deaths of women and children in Ukraine.

Andrei Kozyrev was Russian foreign minister before 1996, and said the conflict Russia has with the West cannot be resolved without Russian rulers behaving “within the international norms.”

“I think when Russia comes back to honoring the international norms, and Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity is part of those norms … until they prove they are able to observe those norms, both inside – I mean minimum of human rights, respect for freedom of press – and in their foreign policy… until that, there is no understanding, and the sanctions should stand,” he charged.

He suggested Russia’s actual goals are to attack or intimidate a long list of “other countries, including members of NATO.”

The Daily Mail revealed that Putin had wanted to take over Ukraine in a swift, smooth move, but “the strength and responsiveness of Ukrainian defenders, coupled with extremely poor planning, morale and coordination among Russian forces ensured that Russia’s initial plan failed.”

The report explained, “That failure has so far cost the Russian Army 5,000 to 8,000 troops killed in action, with probably three to four times that many wounded, captured or missing, along with at least 1,350 vehicles, heavy weapons and aircraft destroyed or captured.”

The losses on the part of Ukraine aren’t clear, the report said.

“Nevertheless, after three weeks of fighting, the initial Russian aims of overthrowing the Ukrainian government in Kyiv and setting up a client state in its place are no longer achievable,” the analysis found, “The Russian Army has struggled to make progress in the muddy terrain in the north and north east of Ukraine since the invasion began. It has so far failed to completely encircle and cut off either Kyiv or Kharkiv.”

While Russians did capture Kherson and Melitopol, they failed to take over Mariupol or Mykoliay, the report said.

And “Russia has suffered crippling financial damage from the unprecedented sanctions imposed by NATO, the EU and many other nations including Switzerland and Israel,” the report said, and it has “burned carefully cultivated influence networks, destroyed its remaining soft power and global reputation. Russia is now largely cut off from global air travel and even many large shipping networks.”

Russia’s losses in Ukraine “are fundamentally unsustainable if they continue over more than a month or two.”

It is the DailyStar that said Putin now is furious over his failure, and is “looking for someone to blame.”

“Reports are emerging that General Roman Gavrilov, the deputy chief of Russia’s Rosgvardia unit which was the spearhead of the first push into Ukrainian territory, has been arrested by the feared Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation – The FSB.”

But it said the reason for the arrest wasn’t yet clear.

“One source quoted by Bellincat’s Christo Grozev say the charge was ‘wasteful squandering of fuel’ while a more serious charge of ‘leaks of military information that led to loss of life’ has also been rumored,” the report said.

The Daily Mail also documented that Putin’s own soldiers, some of whom apparently were conscripted for the war machine, were responding in defiance of their president.

Some captured Russians have made statements that they would “rise against you” over the terror attacks in Ukraine.

“Three air force pilots, speaking to CNN, warned the Russian strongman ‘you will not hide this for long’ because ‘many’ troops share the same feelings and ‘sooner or later, we will come home,'” the report said.

They blamed Russian commanders for their “horrifying” devastation against Ukrainian civilians.

And it was the Daily Star that reported Russian soldiers were so demoralized they were looking for Ukrainian ammunition “in order to shoot themselves in the legs, while others are reportedly fleeing into the woods.”

The soldiers were reported to be aiming to avoid fighting in Ukraine.

“With reports of harsh punishments waiting for the soldiers who desert the field back in Russia, it is reported that some are taking extreme measures in order to escape the fighting. According to Belarusian media outlet NEXTA, an intercepted Russian forces conversation suggests that desperate Russian troops are ‘looking for Ukrainian ammunition in order to shoot themselves in the legs and go to hospital,'” the report said.

The Russia advances were largely stalled, a report from Yahoo News said.

Russian forces have suffered heavy losses and were making “minimal” progress on the land, sea and air, according to British military intelligence.

“Ukrainian resistance remains staunch and well-coordinated,” said the Ministry of Defense in a statement. “The vast majority of Ukrainian territory, including all major cities, remains in Ukrainian hands.”

The Hollywood Reporter documented how Arnold Schwarzenegger, film star and former California governor, was trying to breach the wall of silence that the Kremlin had imposed on messages getting to Russian people.

“I don’t want you to be broken like my father,” he said in a recorded address.

The 74-year-old said, “I’m sending this message to various different channels to reach my dear Russian friends and the Russian soldiers serving in Ukraine. I’m speaking to you today because there are things that are going on in the world that have been kept from you, terrible things that you should know about. Let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine.”

He explained the invasion, the loss of civilian buildings, and the refugee crisis that has developed.

“The world has turned against Russia because of its actions in Ukraine,” he said. “The destruction that Russian bombs are raining down on innocent civilians has so outraged the world that the strongest global economic sanctions ever taken have been imposed on your country … This is not the war to defend Russia like your grandfather or your great grandfather fought. This is an illegal war!”

He also cited his own father’s “dark history as a Nazi sergeant,” the report said.

“[My father] was injured at Leningrad and the Nazi army he was part of did vicious harm to the great city and to its brave people,” he said. “When my father arrived in Leningrad, he was all pumped up on the lies of his government. When he left Leningrad, he was broken — physically and mentally. He lived the rest of his life in pain — pain from a broken back, pain from the shrapnel that always reminded him of those terrible years and pain from the guilt that he felt,” he said.

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