It has finally been “more of the same”. Consequently, it could be said that Vladimir Putin has once again surprised us with his closing speech at the military parade commemorating the Victory Day against Nazi Germanygiven that the most reiterated speculations moved between a victory Declaration, that would allow him to start a process of hibernation of the conflict until a new occasion, or a general mobilization, to carry out an even more brutal and resolute offensive in the Ukrainian region of Donbas. But beyond that relative surprise, the most important thing is that this low profile can only be understood as the acknowledgment, at least intimate, of a defeat.

On the one hand, he has not been able to declare victory because the situation on the ground is so contrary to his imperial dreams that he knew he would not only fail to convince his own faithful, inside and outside Russia, but would only serve to fuel widespread derision. In fact, he has not even been able to organize a mock military parade in Mariupol, given that even there he has not been able to eliminate the resistance to his dictate. The reality is that in recent days the Russian units involved in the Donbas offensive they have barely managed to advance a dozen kilometers in the best of cases, while they are being forced to withdraw to the outskirts of Kharkov and Izium and have already lost, according to data verified by independent sources, around a thousand armored vehicles, twenty planes and more than forty helicopters, in addition to seeing some destroyed 70 command posts. some losses, including some 30,000 casualties among dead, wounded and prisoners, which exceed the capabilities of any average European power and which is also a blow for Russia that prevents it from maintaining pressure in the front line of combat with decimated units and no relief in sight. Meanwhile, Ukraine now has, thanks to external supplies, not only a much higher combat morale, but also with means that are far better than those it had before the start of the Russian invasion.

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On the other hand, a general mobilization would also be the recognition of the failure harvested by his best troops. The ones that Moscow could generate now need at least six months of basic training to be minimally operational in a war as real as the one taking place in Ukraine. And if it was already initially considered that the 190,000 troops that Russia had deployed in the invasion were insufficient to control the country, a general mobilization not only does not guarantee a better result, but it can create many more problems for Putin, to the extent in what the citizen response could be made much more visible. If you count that today Ukraine may have around 500,000 armed troopscounting on soldiers, combatants and militiamen of all kinds, and that the attacker must have a superiority of at least three soldiers for each defender (without forgetting the needs of the rear to sustain the war effort), an elementary calculation raises the number of troops that Russia should mobilize at a volume that far exceeds its capacities, counting on the fact that it cannot let national life paralyze in the rest of the sectors of activity.

For all these reasons, except for one new major surprise, what can be understood is that Putin, trying to personally protect himself from any setback that affects his power, has chosen not to go further.

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