An 8-year-long conflict in Eastern Ukraine that started in 2014 escalated into a full-scale war
when Vladimir Putin started his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. More than 6 months
have passed since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Most expected the war to be over in several weeks, for Russia to prevail and Ukraine to
fall apart quickly amidst the indecisiveness of the West. But Ukrainian resistance, unexpected
weakness of the perceived second strongest army in the world, and a strong Western response have
created a completely different situation. In this video, we are going to summarize and analyze the
Russo-Ukrainian war since its start and discuss potential developments in the foreseeable future.
We’ve also got a deal to offer on some lands which aren’t going to
be subjected to invasion (probably), because this video is sponsored by Established Titles.
They sell small plots of land in Scotland, which are sought after because of a historic Scottish
custom where landowners are referred to as Lairds, or Lords and Ladies in English. But to protect
these lands, a tree is planted with every order, preserving picturesque woodland and biodiversity,
and Established Titles supports charities like One Tree Planted and Trees for the Future.
You’ll get at least one square foot of land in Scotland, with a unique plot number and
a certificate to prove it. This allows you to officially get Lord or Lady on your credit cards,
plane tickets, and more. You can also get maps to show your new estate, including the immensely
detailed hand-drawn 1611 map by John Speed held by the National Library of scotland. It makes a
great last minute gift, and they even have Couple Packs that come with adjoining plots of land.
The first two hundred plots bought via our link will all be put together within
a few minutes of each other next to the Kings and Generals plot,
so act fast to join our little union of forest territories.
Check out their Early Black Friday sale for discounts, plus if you use our code
kings you’ll get an extra ten percent off. Go to establishedtitles.com/kings
to get yourself a title or give it as a gift, and help support the channel.
After months of uncertainty amidst warnings from the United States and the United Kingdom
about an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, Russia attacked Ukraine from 4
main axes with an estimated 150k-strong force. On the capital Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy from Belarus
in the North; on Kharkiv from the Northeast; on the Ukraine-controlled Donetsk oblast and
Luhansk oblast from Southeast; on Kherson and Melitopol from Crimea in the South.
Russia’s official pretext for this invasion, which they called the Special Military Operation,
was to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine. Russia also claimed that Ukraine has Biolabs
creating bioweapons, but failed to prove it. Another justification was the possible
Ukrainian acceptance into NATO, but the alliance doesn’t allow countries with territorial disputes
to join it. On top of that, we have recently learned that in the first days of the invasion,
Ukraine offered Russia to give guarantees of its neutral status, but Putin rejected that,
showing that NATO accession was just a pretext. The Kremlin’s strategy was based upon an
assumption that the Ukrainian government and the military would crumble very quickly.
According to the Washington Post investigation, Putin was misled by his intelligence,
which argued that the Ukrainian government was unpopular and that the Ukrainians were going to
meet the Russians as liberators. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Despite the
decent initial advance of the Russian army, the main prize, Kyiv stood tall. Buoyed by defiant
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian society refused to give up on its
country’s independence. The Ukrainian army was also much stronger in comparison with 2014.
Strengthened with anti-tank Javelins and NLAWs, it managed to inflict painful losses to the
Russian armored force, while withdrawing towards cities in an orderly manner and harassing Russian
supply lines. Russian airborne attacks on Kyiv and Kharkiv failed. A 65-kilometer-long mass armored
column of the Russian army advancing on Kyiv did not change the tide in the battle of Kyiv either.
The biggest success of the Russian army in the early phase of the war was the capture of Kherson,
the only large regional center taken by the Russian army throughout the theater,
in early March. The Ukrainian government has implicitly taken responsibility for this setback.
But why did Russia fail to defeat Ukraine within weeks? Why did Kyiv not fall within 3-4 days,
as the US government expected? Investigations and analyses of the Russian invasion of Ukraine seem
to conclude that Russia did not expect much resistance in Ukraine. The Russian command
believed that Kyiv would fall quickly, which would cause a chain reaction all over Ukraine.
The fall of the Ukrainian government would break the spirit of the Ukrainian army to fight and
Russia would freely advance as it did at the start of the conflict in 2014. So, when Ukraine offered
a spirited resistance, Russia was simply not ready for this. Poor coordination between different
military units and branches, inability to conduct major offensive operations, low morale of Russian
soldiers, inability to ensure stable supply of the forces in the frontline, and a failure to
establish air superiority doomed Russia into a long, protracted and bloody campaign in Ukraine.
Why did Russia fail to have dominance in the air, despite its 1511 to 98 advantage in
combat aircraft at the start? For instance, Harry Boneham of GlobalData argued that it was linked
with the poor training of Russian pilots, lack of precision-guided munition, which forced Russian
aircrafts to fly in low altitudes and expose themselves to the Ukrainian air-defense, including
the Western provided MANPADS, Western intelligence support to the Ukrainian army, and unwillingness
of the Russian command to risk its costly aircraft against the background of these factors.
Early lack of success and unsustainable casualties, especially in temrs of armor,
forced the Russian command to rethink its strategy and withdraw from the Kyiv,
Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts in April, 2022 and to focus on its offensive in Donbas.
Russia simply did not have enough men to continue fighting on all 4 axes.
The size of their invading force was planned in accordance with the scenario of a rapid Ukrainian
collapse, and when this scenario failed, the Russian command decided to narrow its objective.
But military setbacks were not the only blow Russia received at the beginning of the war.
Despite initial hesitations, Western countries have imposed painful sanctions on Russia.
The most consequential sanctions include freezing almost half of Russia’s financial reserves,
disconnecting major Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system, banning Russian ships and
planes from entering Western ports and airspace, restriction in the export of advanced technology
to Russia, and import of Russian goods, including energy imports from Russia. Along with that, more
than 1200 foreign companies have left Russia, and suspended or restricted their operations there,
including Apple, Visa, Mastercard, and so on. As a result, Russian GDP had fallen by 4% in the
second quarter of 2022 and according to the IMF projection, Russia would lose at least 6% of its
GDP by the end of the year. The Russian economy is suffering from high inflation. Production in
many sectors has dwindled, as Russia couldn’t import most of the goods it needed to feed its
industry. According to Al Jazeera, Russia’s car production “plummeted by a stunning 61.8%
during the first 6 months of this year”. But the Russian economy has proved to be less vulnerable
to sanctions than it was forecasted, due to an initial rise in energy prices. However,
as Russia basically stopped selling oil and gas to Europe, and India and China, who managed to
fill their stores are not buying the oil and gas at the same rate, this process largely stopped,
and in August Russian energy revenues dropped to 11 billion$, lowest in 14 months.
The Kremlin has also increased government spending, which helped to keep the economy afloat.
The government managed to keep the ruble relatively stable through different monetary
measures, along with keeping inflation under control as its rate was at 14.9% in August,
a 3% decrease from its peak in April. While the Russian economy has definitely suffered and
decreased due to Western sanctions, the reports on its death are rather premature. Economists and
analysts expect the impact of sanctions to be felt gradually in Russia and in the foreseeable future.
But for now, the Russian economy is surviving. Sanctions have had a negative impact on the
quality of life of ordinary Russians. It is difficult to know the exact number at this point,
but hundreds of thousands of Russians have left the country following the invasion.
In the tech sector alone, an estimated 50k to 70k Russians have emigrated. Many Russians whose work
is deeply connected to the global economy have had no other choice, but to leave. Many others who
opposed the invasion have done the same, possibly fearing repercussions for their position. At this
point, Russia is experiencing a brain drain, the impact of which we will see in the future.
How supportive are Russians of their government’s decision to invade Ukraine? Right after the start
of the invasion, thousands of Russians took to the streets to protest Putin’s decision.
But in the absence of an organized opposition following the arrest of Aleksey Navalny and
repressions against his Anti-Corruption Foundation that occurred earlier, the Russian law enforcement
managed to curb these protests rather easily. After a while, mass protests turned into solitary
protests and calls by prominent Russians to stop the war, acts which often resulted in fines,
administrative arrests and all sorts of problems with law enforcement. Usual suspects were Russian
intelligentsia, writers, journalists, film directors, actors, and so on. But in a somewhat
unexpected turn of events, several Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Fridman
and Oleg Tinkov also called to stop the invasion. Roman Abramovich at some point even acted as a
mediator in the failed Russo-Ukrainian peace talks early in the war. Evidently, sanctions are heavily
harming Russian oligarchs, particularly those with links to the West, and some of them have voiced
their concern. But, the general Russian public is supportive of the war in Ukraine. According
to polls conducted by the independent think tank Levada operating in Russia, 76% of respondents
stated their support for the Russian invasion, a meager 5% drop in comparison with March.
Even the continued shelling of civilian areas of Ukraine and evidence of the brutality of
the Russian troops did not do much to decrease the support for the war. Some analysts question
how firm that support is and if the Russians are ready to actively support the war effort.
Following the Russian withdrawal from Kyiv oblast, it was revealed that hundreds of Ukrainian
civilians had died in the town of Bucha during the Russian occupation. Even though Russia deflected
the blame on Ukrainians whom they accused of organizing a spectacle and a provocation,
all the evidence points to a Russian-organized massacre. According to the UN report, as of August
21, 5587 Ukrainian civilians had been killed and 7890 had been injured since the start of the war.
The UN also stated that as of August, 7 million Ukrainians have fled the war.
Thousands of Ukrainian children were kidnapped to Russia for adoption. The
human suffering caused by the Russian invasion is difficult to measure and account for,
but it is clear that tens of thousands have died, millions have fled and hundreds of villages,
towns, and cities have been destroyed or heavily damaged since the start of the war.
Following the failure of the strategy to shock Ukraine into submission, the Eastern region of
Ukraine, Donbas, which has been a zone of conflict since 2014, became the main focus of the Russian
offensive. This prompted the Russian government and propaganda to reinvent their justification
of war. Denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine remained somewhere in the background in
their messages, while the so-called “Liberation of DPR and LPR” became the emphasis. It seems like at
this point, reaching the administrative borders of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts became the minimum
program for the Russian command. In mid-April, Russia restarted its offensive in Donbas.
The Russian strategy was the usual one: massing an excessive number of artillery in a relatively
small area and embarking on a massive artillery shelling campaign turning target cities and
villages into rubble. At this point, the main advantage of the Russian army over the Ukrainian
army was the numerical advantage it had in terms of artillery. This allowed Russia to have its most
successful period of the war between April and early July. Russia made steady progress in Donetsk
and Luhansk oblasts throughout this period. While Ukraine managed to stabilize the situation on all
other fronts, it was suffering in Donbas. The Russian Donbas offensive culminated with the
capture of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk by early July. Luhansk oblast was under complete control of
the Russian army, while it continued its progress in Donetsk oblast. Ukraine’s losses in this period
were heavy, as in June Zelensky stated that Ukraine was losing up to 200 soldiers every day.
The Ukrainian government regularly requested more advanced military equipment to stop the
Russian advance, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and in June, the United
States finally started supplying Ukraine with this system. HIMARS precision fire by 6 rockets has a
range of up to 80 kilometers and this gradually changed the situation on the battlefield.
Armed with HIMARS, Ukraine started regularly targeting ammunition and oil depots as well as
command centers of Russia in the rear, destroying the supplies necessary to continue the Donbas
Offensive. Very soon, Russia’s advance came to a halt. Throughout July and August, the Russian
Army tried to advance on Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka, but their gains have been
minuscule. Since July 16, Russia had managed to capture only 450 square kilometers of territory.
HIMARS did not only enable Ukraine to stabilize the situation in Donbas. It has
also allowed them to plan counter-offensive operations with the use of HIMARS in mind.
After months of the destruction of the Russian ammunition and oil depots on the Southern front,
and key supply points like the Antonivskyi Bridge in Kherson, Ukraine finally launched
its long-awaited counter-offensive. Ukraine has made decent progress in the counter-offensive,
which is going on as we speak, advancing towards Kherson from three different directions. The
problem in this for Russia is exacerbated by the difficulty to supply its troops fighting
on the western bank of Dnipro in the Kherson oblast due to the destruction of key bridges.
But the most successful Ukrainian counter-offensive was launched in early September
in a completely different direction. Russia has been redeploying its units from the area West
of Izium to other directions perceived as more important, which Ukraine has been able to exploit.
After sending more troops and military equipment to this area, which the Russian command somehow
missed or ignored, Ukraine has conducted its most successful operation of the war yet.
Ukraine has liberated Balakliya, most of Kupiansk and Izium, while advancing on Liman.
Kupiansk is of a particular strategic importance due to being a key supply hub for the Russian
war effort in Donbas, which fell to the occupiers in the first days of the invasion.
Russian military bloggers have claimed that their front in Izium has collapsed and the
situation of Russian troops fighting there is dire. Ukrainian counter-offensives show
that after months of defending and reacting to the Russian movement, Ukraine has managed
to capture initiative and momentum on the battlefield for the first time in this war.
We should not forget that Ukraine has been the biggest victim of this invasion, as its people
continue dying in defense of their country, while their cities, infrastructure and economy
continue being destroyed. But this war has been consequential to so many other countries that we
can say that it has already had a global impact. With natural gas prices being over 3000 dollars
per cubic meters, a major increase since the start of the war, inflation has become a common problem
for Western countries and inflation has become a cause of significant discontent in the West.
For now, European governments are bracing for a difficult winter by enacting austerity measures
and in some cases, unfortunately, going back to environmentally harmful practices like
using coal-fired power plants. But experts note that gas storages of most European
countries are over 80% full, which should be enough to pass the year without a crisis.
The war has also caused a major disruption of international grain trade. Ukraine is
one of the biggest grain exporters in the world and the Russian control of the Black
Sea caused risks for shipping of grain to international markets. Russia is one of the
biggest fertilizer exporters in the world and in response to sanctions it restricted
their fertilizer exports. This led to fears of global grain shortage,
which could have led to starvation in the poorest countries of the world. Thankfully,
on July 22 Ukraine and Russia agreed to a grain deal, which was brokered by the UN and Türkiye.
Russia agreed to deblockade Ukrainian ports and allow grain shipments to go to international
markets, while also concurring to restart fertilizer exports. Recently, Putin accused
Ukraine of shipping most of the grain to Western countries and threatening to restrain the deal.
Another process with potentially disastrous global consequences is related to the Zaporizhian Nuclear
Power Plant. In March, Russia captured the power plant. In August, sides started blaming each other
of shelling the power plant. After weeks of negotiations, the visit of the IAEA delegation
to the power plant was agreed upon. In early September this study visit was concluded and the
IAEA made quite a neutral statement describing potential risks and calling sides to agree to
cessation of all hostilities in the area. We will continue following the situation around the
Zaporizhian Nuclear Power Plant and hoping that a prudent solution will be found to this issue.
What is next for Ukraine and Russia? For the first time since the start of the war, Ukraine
has momentum and initiative on the battlefield. Russia is suffering from a shortage of troops
on the ground, as the invasion was planned as a short and victorious campaign. This shortage
of troops has reached such levels that even the best Russian unit – the Wagner has been trying to
recruit Russian prisoners to join their mercenary unit. HIMARS is decimating Russian military
infrastructure and supplies and has already inflicted significant harm on Russian firepower.
Russia has tried to respond to these issues by energizing its campaign to hire more contract and
volunteer soldiers throughout its vast territory as part of its crypto-mobilization efforts.
The Russian new Third Army Corps has already been deployed in most problematic areas of
the battlefield such as Northern Donbas to stop the Ukrainian advance. Furthermore,
the Kremlin has adopted measures of economic mobilization, as now the government has a right
to order workers of state institutions to work overtime without payment and order enterprises
to start producing military equipment. But low morale, poor military command, ever-present
supply problem and unclear end-game of the Russian military strategy in Ukraine cause serious doubts
about the future of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. On the contrary, Ukraine’s military
situation has never been better since the start of the war. Continued western support, effective
use of new western supplies like HIMARS and the willingness of the Ukrainian government, army
and the society to fight the war until victory has allowed Ukraine to capture initiative in this war.
The full impact of this Ukrainian advance on the war overall is not yet clear. But
one thing is becoming more and more clear. The Ukrainian army is getting stronger due to more
and better military equipment being given to it. The United States is considering giving fighter
jets to Ukraine. Discussions around supplying Ukraine with ATACMS precision missiles with a 300
kilometer range are ongoing. Getting these weapons would give Ukraine a further advantage over the
Russian army. But for now, the United States has acted carefully in terms of providing Ukraine
with long-range missiles, since Washington fears that this could lead to an escalation by Russia.
Thanks again to our sponsor, Established Titles. Buy a small plot of land in Scotland
and become a lady or a lord, or give this title as an amazing and easy gift. In return,
Established Titles plants a tree to protect the pristine forests of our
planet. Take advantage of their Early Black Friday sale and use our discount code kings,
The war may be entering the pivotal and decisive stage, and we are planning to cover every aspect,
at establishedtitles.com/kings, to get a further ten percent off.
so make sure you are subscribed and have pressed the bell button to see them. Please,
consider liking, commenting, and sharing – it helps immensely. Our videos would be impossible
without our kind patrons and youtube channel members, whose ranks you can join via the links
in the description to know our schedule, get early access to our videos, access our discord,
and much more.