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'He's not going to scare us': Why the West isn't buying Putin's bluster - POLITICO

'He's not going to scare us': Why the West isn't buying Putin's bluster - POLITICO

'He's not going to scare us': Why the West isn't buying Putin's bluster - POLITICO
Oct 01, 2022 2 mins, 3 secs

World leaders, lawmakers and experts quickly dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims on Friday, using words such as “sham” and “phony” and “invented reality” to describe his declaration that territories that are not under his control will somehow become a part of Russia.

World leaders, lawmakers and experts quickly dismissed Putin’s claims on Friday, using words such as “sham” and “phony” and “invented reality” to describe his declaration that territories that are not under his control will somehow become a part of Russia.

Sir Tony Radakin, who spoke to reporters Friday during a visit to Washington, called the annexation “the invented reality of Putin, and the actual reality is that he’s declared these four territories as part of Russia, but he doesn’t even have control of those four territories.”.

A senior Defense Department official, who like others in this story requested anonymity to discuss sensitive matters, said there have been no significant moves by Russian forces either before or after Putin’s speech on Friday, further suggesting that nothing at all had changed on the ground, at least in the Kremlin’s favor.

A map updated on Friday shows that Russia has no control over wide swaths of land contained in the four territories it claims now belong to Russia.

In fact, Russian troops in the city of Lyman in Donetsk Oblast — an area Putin on Friday said was now part of Russia — have been almost completely surrounded by Ukrainian forces who have cut off supply lines to the garrison.

On Friday, Ukrainian commanders began calling for the Russian forces there to negotiate a surrender.

Lyman has for months been a key logistics and supply hub for Russian forces fighting in the country’s east, and its loss would further cripple the already stretched Russian resupply lines in areas increasingly contested by Ukrainian forces.

“Russia will struggle to hold the territory it claims to have annexed,” the Institute for the Study of War said in an analysis Friday.

“Ukraine has hit Russian targets in Crimea several times, and Putin didn’t respond even though he claims Crimea is now part of Russia, too,” the diplomat said

Drawing the aid out ensures that Ukraine can absorb the shipments of tens of thousands of artillery rounds, radars and armored vehicles, but also maintains the “psychological impact” of announcing regular packages of NATO-caliber weaponry to bolster Ukrainian allies and depress the morale of Russian forces and leadership, the official said


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