Putin’s Next Moves Leaves the West Uncertain

The Russia-Ukraine war is touching the height of uncertainty as the western world remains clueless about the next move of Vladamir Putin.

With the declining morale of its forces, depleting resources, infighting within the high-level military establishment, the stalemate in the Ukrainian war,  and the rising demands for humanitarian assistance, Russia is scaling back its attacks. But that is not a thing to celebrate, as further moves of Russia remain unknown.

Why did Putin announce a ceasefire in the first place? While there are many prevailing theories to explain that, some of the top ones are:

Putin's Next Moves Leaves the West Uncertain

Russia wants to settle its terms with humanitarian groups

When a Russian minister recently announced to cut off the attacks, it was widely criticized by the west as well as Ukraine that it would just be a momentary thing.

Just after one day of the announcement, Russian attacks scaled up, grounding a library and a shopping mall in Ukraine.

Now Russia has announced a ceasefire in the troubled city of Mariupol after brutally bombarding the city. Mariupol is one of the heavily impacted cities of Ukraine by the war and was subjected to pervasive bombardment.

Thus this measure of Russia can be perceived as a tactic to settle its terms with humanitarian groups for the time being so that the country can relaunch its barracks.

Depleting the economic resources of the country put Russia in the doldrums

One of the reasons for the downfall of the Soviet Union was the depleting economic resources that made the survival of the country impossible.

Due to the gigantic size of the Soviet Union, it was not possible for the authorities to govern the whole territory of the country, thus came the division.

This time, history seems to repeat itself. With the chronic economic sanctions against Russia, Rubles has been nosedived since the start of the war. Thus the nosediving economy is pushing Putin to announce a momentary backoff before coming with absolute power once again.

Fights within the Putin administration have pushed Putin into a dead-end tunnel

As per the US intelligence reports, there is an omnipresent division within the Putin administration. Reportedly, Russia’s president has either fired or put on some of his military leadership on house arrest.

The same was reiterated by Biden as well. There is a common perception that Putin’s advisers misled him in the war, and as the situation unfolded and the Russian president came to know the reality, he was dismayed at his officers.

Although the Pentagon denied having these sorts of intelligence, Biden’s remarks testify to this. So amid all of these developments, Putin has perhaps decided to recalibrate his strategy by taking a momentary break.

This way, he can work with his other aides to reassess the gravity of the situation and to see the extent of the damage done by his misguided approach to Putin.

Thus the president is only buying time to plan his future step so that he may not end up beating the dead horse with already strained economic resources.

Putin wants a safe exit

There is also a perception that Putin wants an exit from this war but is unable to find a safe passage. So, in his bid to find a safe exit, he is stopping the aggression for the time being so that further strategies can be assessed and a safe exit route for him can be negotiated.

Final Thoughts

Amid the prevalence of many theories, one thing is certain, i.e., the will of the Russian president to annex Ukraine and eventually every former country of the Soviet Union.

He may not have the resources to do that, but he thinks that he could do it, which is more dangerous as he can perpetuate directionless violence with this mentality.

The consequences of having an authoritative leadership in the Kremlin are evident for the first time in this century.

Despite the fact that Putin tried to sell the narrative of peace, harmony, and freedom in his early days, now, with the stalemate situation in the war, he must have envied his earlier thinking to live and let others live.

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