A long wait. The Ukrainian counter-offensive in the territories still occupied by the Russians has been agitating commentators and military analysts for weeks, without certainty as to the launch date of this operation. But Kiev’s procrastination is also a way of keeping Moscow under pressure, which continues to rely on terror and intimidation: overnight from Thursday to Friday, a new Russian bombardment hit Kiev, reports the civil and military administration from the city. The Ukrainian General Staff reported 55 air attacks, all of which were intercepted. However, the real state of the Russian forces remains difficult to estimate.
“It is very difficult to say if Russia is in trouble. There is a destabilization because Russia has experienced setbacks on the ground but it still occupies nearly 20% of Ukrainian territory”, recalls at the microphone of “Hello home”, the morning of Public Senate, Sylvie Bermann, former ambassador from France to China, the United Kingdom and Russia. “The Russians are currently on the defensive and preparing for the Ukrainian counter-offensive. We will see on this occasion the state of their forces, ”notes this specialist in international relations.
Russia, still able to regain control on the ground?
“For Russia, this war is somehow lost geopolitically; the army appears weakened, and the country has cut itself off from the Western world. But there should be no illusions. When we say that it is isolated, it is not completely so”, points out our guest who recalls the links between Moscow and Beijing, the two powers having, through the United States, “a common enemy”. Sylvie Bermann also draws attention to the mistrust of the so-called “global south” countries towards Westerners. “It is also up to the Europeans to have a more subtle policy. We must stop thinking in terms of the struggle of the empire of good against that of evil”.
“The Russian economy is less affected than the Westerners had imagined by publishing sanctions, but it is not in its best shape either”, points out the ex-ambassador again. “Ukraine, on the other hand, won for resisting. But on the territorial level and the final result, we do not know anything. »
The outcome of the counter-offensive could potentially open the way to a resolution of the conflict. “We are forced to go through the military phase, because everything in life is a balance of power, but on arrival it always ends around a negotiating table,” concludes Sylvie Bermann.