Here’s what we know about the state of Russia’s military
Ukraine’s recent victories expose even more systemic failures.Ukraine’s lightning strike operation in Kharkiv oblast demonstrated the Ukrainian military’s ability to take advantage of those deficiencies to recapture not just territory, but strategically important transport and resupply hubs for the Russian military’s eastern front. Although the war is far from over, and Russia still controls around 20 percent of Ukraine’s territory, the Kharkiv operation provided a strategic and moral win for Ukraine, and revealed a Russian military seemingly unable — or unwilling — to learn from its previous errors.
Ukraine-crise: the Ukrainians involved in Russian referendums will be prosecuted for treason © Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko Photo of Archives of Marioupol during the referendum on the attachment of the Autoprochek People's Republic of Donetsk to Russia
by Tom Balmforth
Kyiv, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainians who contribute to referendums to attach Russia will be accused of treason and will incur at least five years in prison, said the Ukrainian presidential advisor , while the vote in the four regions entered its last day.
"We have lists of names of people who have been involved in one way or another," said presidential advisor Mikhaïlo Podolyak in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick.
Russia’s mobilization won’t fix its military problems
What Putin’s troop surge can — and can’t — do in Ukraine.Russian President Vladimir Putin this week announced that 300,000 more men would need to fight in his increasingly difficult and costly war in Ukraine. But amid Ukrainian victories, major strategic and personnel problems in the Russian armed forces, and domestic frustrations over the mobilization announcement, whether Putin can accomplish his goals in Ukraine — and the nature of those goals at this stage — isn’t clear.
"We are talking about hundreds of employees. They will be prosecuted for treason. They risk prison terms of at least five years," he said.
Mikhaïlo Podolyak also specified that the Ukrainians forced to vote would not be penalized. Ukrainian officials said they had seen civil servants transporting ballot boxes in front of the homes of forced people to vote by the security forces.
Moscow seeks to annex the provinces of Kherson, Louhansk, Donetsk and Zaporijia, to the east and south of the country, or about 15% of Ukrainian territory.
None of these provinces is entirely under Russian control. The fighting continues throughout the front line, and the Ukrainian forces reported new advances in a fifth province, Kharkiv at the beginning of the month.
Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons to protect Russian territory, which would include the four provinces in the event of annexation.
The vote of attachment to Russia, which began Friday in the four regions, is due to end on Tuesday. The Russian Parliament could approve the annexation in the coming days.
According to the British Defense Ministry, Vladimir Putin could announce the annexation of the Ukrainian regions occupied at the Russian Federation during his speech in Parliament on September 30.
(Reuters report, written by Michael Perry and Costas Pitas; French version Dagmarah Mackos, edited by Kate Entringer)
The end of Vladimir Putin? It might come sooner than you think .
The more the failures mount up, the less tenable Putin’s selective scapegoating becomes. He has replaced military leaders rapidly, and is now reportedly issuing orders directly to field commanders.Never mind Russian forces didn’t even fully control the territories Putin brought under the Russian flag. Never mind Russia’s “referendums” were a blatant fabrication – with voting often held at gunpoint.