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The Russian military has not made the progress it and analysts had expected in the war against Ukraine. Estimates of Russian troops killed range anywhere from 3,000 to 14,000, and there are reports of Russian soldiers running out of fuel and food.

  • Jeffrey Edmonds, research scientist at CNA and former director for Russia on the National Security Council, said he expects a major operational pause from Russia in the next few weeks to reassess plans as its troops are likely exhausted.
  • Edmonds said Russia executed very poor operational planning if any and did not prepare for stiff Ukrainian resistance.
  • If Russia did launch hypersonic missiles as it claims, it largely demonstrates an attempt to control the narrative, particularly towards its own people, said Edmonds.
  • Putin’s political objectives are changing but still include Ukrainian neutrality and demilitarization, which are unrealistic, said Edmonds.
  • He said Russia may use chemical weapons to clear city blocks, a “horrific thought,” and said the United States should increase sanctions and weapons in that case.
  • While this is not the type of war Russia normally prepares for, it clearly has not performed as well as many experts thought it would, so the Pentagon can take note of weaknesses and build capabilities accordingly, Edmonds said.
  • He said U.S. economic sanctions set the Russian military back at least ten years.

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