It bordered on refusal to work. For a long time Vladimir Putin had not commented on the war that he had wantonly unleashed. On the “special military operation” of course, that’s still the language in Russia. A few days ago, Putin then met with the war correspondents of the Russian media and spoke at length about the war. He said almost nothing, at least nothing concrete.
This was already shown by his answer to a journalist’s question as to whether Russia’s war aims had changed. Putin had no or contradictory answers. Although he spoke of adjustments to the war goals, he then again said that the basic goals had not changed. Putin literally: “No, they change depending on the current situation, but of course we don’t change anything overall, they have a fundamental character for us”.
However, he did not explain what his plans are in this war, what specific goals are to be achieved. Putin was unwilling or unable to commit himself. Leadership looks different. The conversation was broadcast live on Russian television; there are certainly numerous Russian citizens who would have liked to have had a concrete answer to the war aims.
Putin denied the need for a new mobilization
In the conversation, Putin denied the need to mobilize reservists again. At least not at the right time. Whether it comes to that depends on Russia’s goals. He defines these himself. But he hadn’t said anything about that. There could be mobilization for certain goals, which Russian citizens are not allowed to know. Another bewildering hesitation on the part of Putin on a very important matter.
Asked about a possible Russian advance, should the Ukrainian counter-offensive be repelled, the inclined viewer could only shake his head in disbelief. Because what Putin said about it was simply confused: “We have plans of different kinds depending on the situation that will arise when we find it necessary to do something”. what the leadership will do against the military attacks on Russian border areas.
Putin said the Russian army could possibly create a buffer zone on Ukrainian territory. However, they will not start immediately, but – you guessed it – will wait and see how the situation will develop.
Putin shows no leadership
At times, Putin showed himself to be uninformed or misinformed. But he was completely satisfied with the course of the war so far. The Russian leadership claims that the “collective West” is waging an all-out war against Russia; in conversation with the journalists, however, he called the western countries “dying out societies”. So no danger, the West will fail on its own and will not be able to defeat brave, determined Russia.
At the end of the conversation, only one person was satisfied – Putin himself. Putin failed to provide any answers to the citizens. He pushed Russia into this war, which he doesn’t even dare to call “war”. What should be successfully over in a few weeks is now entering its 16th month of relentless fighting. Strategically, Russia has long since lost this war, measured against the initial goals. Dozens of thousands of Russian soldiers fell.
But Putin cannot find the right words in this situation, and the hoped-for leadership and clear announcements are not forthcoming. Putin did not want to reveal anything about his plans. Maybe he doesn’t even know himself what he wants to do in the next few months. That would be devastating. But this strange-looking, aging guide, who constantly squirms, is quite capable of that.