{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Is Russia REALLY losing the war? I watch local, national, and international news (BBC, DW, Sky News). I even watch some independent YouTube channels and they all say Russia is losing. The war has not ended (obviously), the Ruble has rebounded, sanctions has not had the desired effect, and we're all feeling the impact. After Vietnam, and Iraq, I wonder if we're just being fed Western propaganda. Is there another meaning of \"losing\" I'm not getting?", "post_id": "62879f4dd41f3f002470a67c", "reply_count": 36, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "5e8656b80bdab1002a7355dc", "bowl_name": "Confession ", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Is Russia REALLY losing the war? I watch local, national, and international news (BBC, DW, Sky News). I even watch some independent YouTube channels and they all say Russia is losing. The war has not ended (obviously), the Ruble has rebounded, sanctions has not had the desired effect, and we're all feeling the impact. After Vietnam, and Iraq, I wonder if we're just being fed Western propaganda. Is there another meaning of "losing" I'm not getting?

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First, the military progression.

The expectation was for Ukraine to fold in days. For comparison, since you bring up Iraq, the Iraqi military was effectively wiped out in several weeks. From there, the war became against an insurgency.

What's happening in Ukraine is nothing close. They pushed Russia out of the Kyiv region and made firm gains around Kharkiv. They've also retained their full military capabilities. All else constant, liberation of other regions is a slow grind with an inevitable result over the course of months to come.

This is something you can look at on maps over time, so let's talk about something maps won't tell you instead. Since winning the war will be a grind, it's worth thinking a lot about morale. After all, war takes soldiers and national support.

Ukraine's morale is stellar. The country has no shortage of volunteers, to the point they turn many away. In fact, it's good enough to match what would otherwise be an overwhelming Russian advantage. By contrast, Russia has a mix of occasional conscription office bombings and most support for its war coming from people too old to fight it. This of course doesn't mean their army will disintegrate any day now, but it will gradually shrink and/or substantially drop in capabilities over time, breaking any stalemate into Ukraine's favor.

Corruption is another reflection of morale, in the sustainability of war sense especially. Under strained supply chains, you can't afford to lose armaments--and both sides have strained supply chains. While the scale of corruption in the Ukrainian ranks is unclear, I think it's safe to assume corruption has quickly become minimal. I say this because patriotism is at an all time high, and because some interesting patterns emerged even in the civilian population: it's now a reasonably common practice to publicly humiliate looters by tying them to street posts with their pants down. Obviously, this was not a thing before the war... By contrast, Russia is experiencing attrition internally. Russian corruption is too ubiquitous to elaborate on here, so I won't.

Next up, sanctions.

The ruble has not exactly rebounded. It has made gains for the comparably few transactions it's still accepted for. However, it is entirely useless as a currency for investment from Western financial markets and for the purchase of western bloc produced goods. This matters most for mid- and high-tech manufacturing components, which are required for modern production volumes of just about everything. "Everything" includes things like controllers for oil and gas facilities, food packaging assembly lines, and smart phones. By estimates from a few months back when sanctions were the talk of the town, these effects will not become visible until roughly the fall, or even next year.

There are some effects we've seen already though. Closures of some armament manufacturing facilities are prominent. Missile components and tank production are stalled. This is exactly why there are fewer missile strikes on Ukraine.

Consumer miscellany has also been impacted, but in a very spotty way except to the national cash reserves. Russian low-tech domestic production is propped up against "ripples" in price by burning through those national cash reserves. Not critical in the short term, but still noticeably expensive.

As for the individual scale... Imported beer and dog food are more expensive. Luxury good availability is stretched due to corporate exits (gonna have to snuggle your Ferrari). Credit card manufacture is no longer an assumed capability, which can be annoying I suppose.


Thank you DS1! Excellent summary and very insightful.


I heard a foreign policy expert on Russia that said we are being fed propaganda. She said that in studying Russian military history you realize that they fight wars and measure success by destroying the infrastructure of the target. They certainly are doing that.


Yes, the Infrastructure will determine how fast Ukraine can recover even if they win. They are going to have To Import a lot of foreigners to rebuild everything, if they have money to do that.

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If you look at causalities and whether Russia is able to push forward, outside of the Black Sea area, they have made zero progress since mid March and they are losing an exuberant amount of people. I’d call it more of a stale mate atm which generally speaking is Russia losing.


Russians are also saying that Soviet Union is "this close" to being restored as the most powerful empire in the world


All these sources are at best mildly anti-Russia, and thus you will get what you have chosen and don’t be surprised.

Do you really think the self proclaimed independent media are independent? Let along neutral? For starter, YouTube has a policy on things that could be considered as “pro-Russia/war propaganda”


Thanks for stating my point better than I did. 👏


So they were planning to take over the capital , bring down the government as part of “special operation” in weeks, and then now they have reduced that scope, retreated to eastern regions , lost way more people and resources …and getting pushed out of the regions captured before - PLUS their actions have literally expanded NATO’s territory, significantly. Which was supposedly the strategic goal.

I don’t know, that doesn’t sound like a win to me in context of Russia’s objective to start this war. You’re describing the broader impact of the conflict. Russia has been prepping to reduce their reliance on foreign reserves for ages. So I’m not sure if the sanctions were suppose to have an immediate impact. If most of the countries stop trading with you and stop buying your major product, it will have an impact. The actual impact is on the battlefield with influx of western weapons.

Unlike Vietnam and Iraq, this time around, we have much more connected social media. Plus unless you’re reading biased articles, most publications still consider this an existential threat to Ukraine. I don’t think anyone is claiming Ukrainian victory, but Russia has failed in their objectives so far.


I’ve never tried this, but try looking for perspectives from countries in conflicted/neutral positions. Within Europe/NATO, you’ve got Turkey and Hungary; in RoW, you can start from India and China


Whichever side you watch the news from, that side is winning. I feel bad for both sides sending innocent kids to die for their political gains.


I know dude, I'm from the Soviet Union. This is taking place where my mom's side is from. I totally get what's going on, I feel horrible about it.


Agreed. Russia gained major ground in the beginning of the war but has lost a lot of territory since Ukraine started kicking their ass. It really comes down to when Putin feels he’s been slapped enough to call it quits.


Ukraine hasn't won the war "yet".
But they will.

I think it also depends on how one frames winning or losing.


If Russia wanted to double down they could but they probably won’t go as far as declaring all out war.


I don't think so I think Putin is waiting until people don't care much anymore to go all in


No, they can't afford to commit all of their forces to Ukraine because they still need to protect their borders. They still have an ongoing land dispute with Japan.

Western news will always give you western propaganda. (Similarly easter news will also give you eastern propaganda). People are here talking about how Russia has failed their objectives, yet they don't mention that those of "objectives" are taken as reported by, you guess it, the western media. There's always 2 sides to a story/statement. If you don't know what the other side is saying (which you dont really hear from the west media) then you are in no position to form an informed/objective opinion.

Russia has succeeded their objectives so far. If only you can listen to what their objectives actually were from their mouths as opposed to edited clips from cnn or "expert" whose made carreers of of pushing the military industrial complex opinion. When the invasion started, Russians stated clearly that their objective - among others - was to neutralize Ukraine main military bases/installations/artillerie depots, secure the donbass area, and secure the vital cities (Think Mariupol) . They never claimed to take Kiev. Their best bet is to install a new friendly govt there by putting pressure on the current govt. Case in point, look at the number of troops they have mobilized for this so far in addition to the ones along the border. We invaded tiny Irak with about 2 to 3 times that and Ukraine is the largest country in Europe (well minus russia itself). You don't think the Russians know this? That it will take them more than this to fully take the country? Fully taking the country was never their intention to begin with. But thats what we're saying here in the west so of course our measure of "success" will differ from what is actually happening.


Wow. I get my news from a lot of sources, especially when it’s important. The pro-Russia-government-perspective comments seem pretty ****** up.


It’s going to be really tough/ bloody and end with some kind of negotiation but Ukraine has the advantage. Russia’s economy will be devastated for decades. And NATO ends up much stronger. Heads are rolling in Moscow.

AC1, hopefully.

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