The ongoing invasion of Ukraine has been nothing short of a disaster for Russia. Already their deadliest war since World War Two, the only primary objective the Kremlin has reached was the occupation of Mariupol and the reinforcing of Crimea through Southern Ukraine. Overthrowing the current Ukrainian government, demilitarization, and “denazification” have failed while public opinion has dropped against Russia, especially among United Nations members.

Already facing a demographic crisis, with the lowest labor force since 1998 and military losses that will take decades to recuperate, Putin is at a crossroads. Acknowledging all major objectives have failed, the Russian autocrat knows the longer the war continues, the more the general public will turn against him. Likewise, Putin cannot stop the war for fear of his own life.

Failed Military Objectives

The Kremlin and Russian media figures brought up the idea of “Novorossiya” in 2014. Russia looked to enact this plan at the minimum if it could not conquer Kyiv. Novorossiya was the plan to fully annex the Donbas region and all of Ukraine’s southern coastline up to Odessa to link up with Russian-occupied Transnistria.