After more than a month since launching an invasion into Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s forces have been unable to keep control of areas where they have been fighting. As a result, Russia has changed its Ukraine war strategy to focus on taking control of the Donbas and other regions in eastern Ukraine with a target date of early May, CNN reported Saturday.
While failing to achieve their objectives, the Russians are suffering horrendous losses. They appear to have lost at least 300 tanks — more than Germany’s entire tank inventory, according to The Washington Post. Last week, the Russian navy lost a large landing ship to a Ukrainian missile strike.
As noted by The Post, “NATO estimated that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers had been killed and as many as 30,000 had been wounded or taken prisoner. That’s already approaching Soviet losses in 10 years of war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The fallen include seven generals and many other officers and roughly 20 percent of Russia’s battalion tactical groups are believed to be ‘combat ineffective.'”
Despite the heavy losses, Putin wants to have a “victory parade” on May 9, CNN reported, noting that the Russian dictator is under pressure to demonstrate he can show a victory.
May 9 is a prominent holiday on the Russian calendar, a day on which the country marks the Nazi surrender in World War II with a huge parade of troops and weaponry across Red Square in front of the Kremlin. The officials say Putin wants to celebrate a victory of some kind in his war that day.
However, military experts noted that even if there is a Russian celebration, an actual victory may be further off, CNN noted.
“Putin will have a victory parade on 9 May regardless of the status of the war or peace talks,” a European defense official said. “On the other hand: a victory parade with what troops and vehicles?”