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[–]Karl_LaFong 1320 points1321 points1322 points  (104 children)

"Fog of war" and all, so I don't know it's true, but supposedly there was a quickly-deleted article from Russian state media/pro-Putin news that was meant to be published after a quick victory. It would have been published once Russia had taken Kyiv, and claimed the establishment of a "Greater Russia" consisting of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova (maybe Moldova was next?). If so, it's definitely in line with 20 years of statements from Putin and matches his grievances and belief that "Greater Russia" was meant to be "reunited" by force.

Again, this is deleted web pages and deleted tweets, not concrete confirmation of Putin's intentions. But at least some Russian media were apparently caught badly off-guard by Kyiv holding out this long.

E: reddit link to a post that includes the full text of SputnikNews and others. The "solution of the Ukrainian question" line is not very encouraging.

[–]Nemisis_the_2nd 92 points93 points94 points  (6 children)

Honestly, I'm worried that this is only going to get worse. The initial plan was for a blitz of key targets. Now, Putin fired his top commander, Russian forces are reorganising and redeploying for a more conventional war, apparently bringing in more air power, and moving in troops from the far east as reserves. To add to that, they are also now using the thermobaric weapons people were discussing the other day, which are just as bad as they sound.

Conventional Russian war is to rely heavily on artillery, and key targets are cities right now. The sudden improvement in Russian military tactics might be enough to quieten dissent, but increase sanctions. At that point its basically a game of chicken, seeing if the Russian government will break with putin before Ukraine is conquered.

[–]HappySlappyMan 9405 points9406 points9407 points  (1162 children)

If we know he is lashing out at his inner circle, does that mean someone in his inner circle is reporting this to US Intel??

Edit: Normally, I would be incredibly sceptical of these reports, except we have known the details of this war every step of the way before each step is implemented. Someone at some high rank, or someoneS, is sending us very sensitive information.

Edit 2: I think it has to be someone of utmost credibility. Here's why. The USA has been insistent on certain aspects of this, essentially guaranteeing an attack even when the rest of the world said it was not going to happen. Yet, the USA doubled down. We even knew precisely when the initial attack order was given before an actual attack commenced. This seems beyond hearsay, 2nd hand knowledge, or hacking computers. It feels like directly funneled information. Regardless, I hope it's severely getting under Putin's skin.

[–]Chicano_Ducky 1645 points1646 points1647 points  (189 children)

Apparently he has people he talks to regularly from outside Russia, like reporters or diplomats.

They are saying he is noticeably different from the pre-pandemic putin. Its like his personality did a complete 180.

Putin's KGB training made him stone faced and showed zero emotion in all he did. The fact he shows anger scares his inner circle and the people that know him.

They say Putin has a psychological disturbance, but no one knows what, and no one wants to get on his bad side or risk death.

[–]SpiderFnJerusalem 867 points868 points869 points  (92 children)

The thing that concerns me is that the Russian army still appears to be holding back. They tried to limit the scope of the conflict by only attacking key positions and knocking out the government but were too incompetent to make it work.

If they had just used the tactics they were trained for they probably would have sat back and used artillery and airstrikes to flatten entire cities, killing tens of thousands of civilians. You don't have to be very competent to do that.

They could theoretically still do that...

[–]bartgrumbel 793 points794 points795 points  (60 children)

They can take major cities if they really want to. It might require excessive shelling and massive destruction, but the sheer number of assets Russia has available makes that hard to stop.

But there is no path forward from this. Any puppet regime they install now will not be accepted by the rest of Ukraine. With weapons from the west, there will be a constant insurgency. Ukraine is simply too big to control. Either the Russian army stays and will be picked one tank at a time, or they leave and Ukraine will take back the cities.

But make no mistake what doubling down means here. Large parts of the infrastructure, industry, and cities will be destroyed. Look at Grosny after the war as an example. The strategy of the Russian army will be to simply bomb everything.

[–]DiamondPup 325 points326 points327 points  (44 children)

I wish I could share your optimism. But Putin's inner circle, and his co-signees on the nuclear option, aren't the terrified do-gooders oppressed under his control as so many people want to believe. Putin has surrounded himself with loyalists and zealots; they are every bit as deranged, greedy, callous, and petty as he is.

But I hope you're right and I'm wrong. And I hope their launch equipment is more boast than functional in that North Korea way.

I hope, I hope...

[–]RectangleU 248 points249 points250 points  (6 children)

And even through these last few days of his life, he deluded himself into believing that the Reich could still be saved; that the Red Army could be pushed back across the Oder and even across the Vistula if only the Wehrmacht held firm; that a peace with the US and Britain was still possible if only they realised that Germany could be their ally against ‘Jewish Bolshevism’…

In his afternoon ‘situation conferences’, he pored over his map, as always, and moved imaginary armies around for ‘best results’, and gave instructions for battalions which scarcely existed to punch through the Soviet encirclement, beat back the Red Army, and save Berlin. On April 25, Speer came again for a few hours, and Hitler checked with him if he concurred with the Fuehrer’s plan to kill himself rather than suffer the ignominy of surrendering to the Russians. Apparently, Speer’s reply confirmed Hitler’s own intentions. As Speer got out of Berlin for the last time, the Red Army was advancing through the suburbs towards the governmental area at the city centre. Five days of unimaginably brutal, but largely uncoordinated street-fighting lay ahead before it would be curtains for the European theatre of the Second World War.

https://thewire.in/history/when-hitler-realised-the-end-of-the-war-was-upon-him

[–]The_Best_Yak_Ever 82 points83 points84 points  (4 children)

“Everything will be alright when Steiner attacks…”

*German Brass flop sweat *

Yep. He had his maps and figures of divisions that has been essentially annihilated. The red army was storming through Berlin as the kids and the old tried to hold them back. It wasn’t pretty in the end for him.