War in Ukraine: What’s in the “Great Purge” Started by a Cornered Putin | FRIDAY DIGITAL

War in Ukraine: What’s in the “Great Purge” Started by a Cornered Putin

Includes a map showing the current situation and the future at a glance Putin, frustrated by the bitter war, throws all the blame on the FSB (Federal Security Service) betrayal and purge, corruption in the military center, low morale among young soldiers Will nuclear weapons be used?  Where is Putin? The death toll has jumped due to indiscriminate attacks on urban areas.

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The death toll of Ukrainian soldiers has risen to more than 1,300 (as of March 15). The number of deaths of soldiers has been exceeded by the intensification of indiscriminate attacks on civilians by Russian forces. More than 2,000 people were killed in Mariupol alone.

The reason Russian troops are stationed 15 to 30 kilometers in front of the capital, Kiev, instead of attacking it all at once, is probably because they are waiting for their infantry, tanks, rockets, and other military equipment to be ready. There is a strong possibility that they will launch a general offensive after waiting for the arrival of soldiers with extensive actual combat experience recruited in Syria,” said Masaki Takabe, a former mercenary and military critic.

Three weeks after the start of the invasion by Russian forces, a critical phase in the war in Ukraine is about to begin. Look at the map. You can see that fighting is intensifying in Kiev, Kharkiv, the second largest city, and other cities in the north. There have been indiscriminate attacks on civilians in urban areas, and inhumane acts continue, such as the placement of landmines along the humanitarian corridor from Ukraine to Russia and Belarus. Meanwhile, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has deployed troops in Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states to check Russian forces. The standoff continues. Mr. Takabe, mentioned above, continues.

The Russians are probably planning to attack the southern city of Mariupol at the same time as the general attack on Kiev. If Mariupol falls, the pro-Russian areas of Donetsk and the Crimean Peninsula will be connected by land. To isolate Ukraine from the Black Sea, they will also attack Odessa. They should also aim to control Rovno and Khmelinitski in the west, where the nuclear power plant is located, to put pressure on neighboring Poland and other Western countries, and to cut off supply lines.”

President Putin, 69, has fled Moscow with some of his closest aides to avoid the risk of assassination.

It is said that there is a secret command center in the western Urals and the Chinese border region that is comparable in function to the Kremlin. If one were to consider the possibility, they would most likely be on the Chinese border. However, there are jamming devices in Putin’s vicinity that block radio waves from the outside so that GPS cannot be activated, so it is difficult to determine his exact location.

What next steps is President Putin contemplating far from Moscow? Itsuro Nakamura, a professor at Tsukuba University and an expert on Russian politics, tells us.

A major purge. There are two reasons why the invasion was so difficult. One is that there was an anti-Putin faction in the FSB (Federal Security Service) that was leaking information to the West. In fact, on March 11, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service and others were detained. The second is corruption in the Russian military. Top military officials, including Defense Minister Shoigu (66), were riddled with corruption, and soldiers at the bottom were making money by selling weapons and using drugs. Naturally, morale among young soldiers is low. Putin will probably launch an all-out attack on Kiev after quickly purging the security services and the military.

A Moscow bureau reporter continues.

For Putin, ceasefire negotiations are just a performance. He does not want a conclusion. In reality, they are stalling for time, and in the meantime, they are building up their military forces and conducting a purge.

According to Nakamura, “The Russian military threat is directed at countries other than Ukraine.

In the future, military bases in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltic states of Eastern Europe, as well as Ukrainian refugees, could also become targets. Europe is not monolithic at the cost of economic sanctions, and the United States is weak. Putin is treading on the ground that NATO cannot fight back. There is a fear that it could move into Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Lithuania and Poland. If that happens, the Eastern European countries will be caught between Russia’s home country and Belarus, and the Western countries will be at a disadvantage.

Can the world overcome the greatest crisis of the 21st century?

Funeral service for a soldier killed in an engagement with Russian troops in the western city of Lviv, attended by many citizens.
A pregnant woman escapes from a maternity hospital with the assistance of soldiers in the shelled southern city of Mariupol.
A Ukrainian father and son see their family off as they board an evacuation vehicle at a train station in Kiev. The man remains in the country as a militia member.
On March 11, President Putin and Belarusian President Lukashenko, 67, met in Moscow. The meeting showed the world the close relationship between the two countries.
Ukrainian soldiers undergo military training in Kharkov, the second largest city. Many of them are militiamen with no actual combat experience.

From the April 1-8, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

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