NewsRussia aims to subdue Ukraine by 2024 amid rising speculations on 'life after Putin', reports Latvia's SAB

Russia aims to subdue Ukraine by 2024 amid rising speculations on 'life after Putin', reports Latvia's SAB

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
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7:47 AM EST, February 20, 2024

Russia remains unyielding in its goal to fully subdue Ukraine by 2024, as mentioned in the circulated document discussed by the LETA agency on Monday.

Speculations rise on the 'post-Putin' era

Latvian services report that the Russian authorities are confident in their military capabilities to sustain the war for an extended period. Thus, the Russian strategy is to prolong the war until Ukraine can no longer bear it.

The Putin regime assumes that the West has grown weary of the war and is unprepared to back Ukraine indefinitely. The regime is also convinced that the Russian forces are decisively triumphant, the SAB adds. Hence, according to the Russian elite, they believe it's an opportune moment to feign a readiness to initiate peace talks with Ukraine, thereby ending the war from a position of perceived strength.

Russia simultaneously seeks to buy time to reconstruct its military. The Latvian services suggest that even if a truce were established, the Kremlin would attack Ukraine after reinforcing its forces.

The SAB's report noted high military expenses and mobilization of the Russian military complex. The report also indicates that more complex parts can be manufactured than the European Union. However, it also highlights issues with skill shortage and dependence on Western technology.

Russian strategies for the future

Russia intends to bolster its army in the forthcoming years and enhance its presence around Europe, particularly the north, including the Baltic states.

If the external support to Ukraine isn't stepped up, the Kremlin will gain the confidence to influence the West. This, in turn, could stoke Russian imperial ambitions, cautions SAB.

Emphasis is made on the vast combat experience of the Russian army, including their encounters with Western equipment. This expertise, together with expansion plans, significantly escalates the risk of potential armed aggression from Russia against NATO.

According to SAB, amid the rising discussions among Russian elites regarding "life after Putin," speculations surround potential future leaders and the maintenance of influence after any probable shift in governance. Nevertheless, no active preparation for an immediate change in the presidency is observed.

Latvian services infer that the political elite is unlikely to abandon Putin as there isn't widespread discontentment with the war, its fallout, or the president himself. The report emphasizes that the elites view the war pragmatically as a means to solidify their status and expand access to resources.

The SAB report notes that similar discussions about "life after Putin" had gained momentum earlier when it was unclear how Putin planned to retain his influence.

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