Putin believed the Ukraine invasion would be three days of a cakewalk, but it is a minefield

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen with an inset of a Russian soldier in Mariupol on May 18. A Russian official admitted Putin's military is "playing catch up" against Ukraine during a recent appearance on Russian state TV. MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images; OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images

In the early hours of the second day of the war, the Russian Army sent a substantial reconnaissance column to probe the second-largest Ukrainian city, Kharkiv; this Russian force included tanks, BMP2 – IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicles, along with light armoured recon vehicles and some trucks, this unit was platoon size — 50 Russian troops.

The Russians, supremely confident in their swish-looking armoured vehicles, were thundering along, thinking this war would be a cakewalk over by the weekend. They, the tip of the spear, would play a role in rebuilding the new USSR for the glory of their eternal leader – Putin.

This advanced Russian recce unit, supported by heavy armour in the form of a tank and two IFVs, was a formidable force and initially met little resistance as they approached the outskirts of the prominent Ukrainian city. That is until, while following the ring road scouting the city’s defences, their forward element stumbled upon a crossroads that led straight into the city; this, the Russians thought, would be an excellent place to hold.

Supposedly, not long after the Russian force took up their position, a civilian car pulled up with a lone plain-clothed gentleman driver; he parked a little down the road from the Russians and waited; it is now believed he was a lookout for the Ukrainians, this tallies with the events that unfolded. I have cropped the next photo as it isn’t a pretty sight.

The Russian Recce force appeared to have quickly become suspicious of Ukrainian capability and opened fire with a storm of automatic bullets sent hurtling at his small Lada. The man looked to have been forced to get out of his car and was then clearly shot in the head — executed by the Russian soldiers.

However, he had enough time to alert the nearby Ukrainian position, which gathered its small strength and rapidly moved towards the sound of gunfire. Armed with small arms, assault rifles, GPMGs and several British-made NLAW – next-generation light anti-tank weapons.

The Ukrainians wasted no time getting stuck in; what ensued was a fierce firefight for the crossroads; the Russian tank was knocked out early on by the Ukrainians wielding NLAW anti-tank weapons. The Tanks turret was sent flying high into the air and landed someway from the tank chassis, where it embedded its barrel into the tarmac of the road.

At this point, the Russians no doubt realized this wasn’t going to be a cakewalk after all, in fact, there was no sign of victory sponge cake in sight.

During the carnage that erupted as Ukrainian defense forces surrounded the crossroad from all sides and pummeled the Russian mechanized force with relentless fire, the Russian platoons commander’s vehicle was struck by what appears to be a rocket-propelled grenade that punched straight through the bulletproof windowscreen and engulfed the command vehicle in a blaze of fire, as the photo below shows.

Don’t worry lads, this is the latest armoured command vehicle, totally immune to…

The Ukrainians then disable the enemy IFVs and tanks, using their cutting-edge NLAW and Javelin weapons systems to lethal effect, making the invaders pay dearly, avenging the executed man who had paid the ultimate price for freedom.

The Ukrainian Defense slaughtered the advanced Russian recce force, routing those that remained and crippling many enemy vehicles and taking some Russians prisoner. What remained of the Russian force fled with their wounded, abandoning most of their vehicles and equipment.

This was, of course, just a single engagement in a large-scale war, but I think it highlights the situation on the ground nicely… The Ukrainians are blooded by nearly a decade of relentless war, and the Russians, even their fancy well-equipped “supposedly elite” reconnaissance units, have been in for a rude awakening. No one in their right mind now thinks Ukraine is losing, at least not just yet anyway; the war has barely begun.

Putin has stumbled into an impossible position; all his available decisions are bad;

  1. Putin can’t retreat from Ukraine without looking weak – which would result in Putin either being killed or overthrown by those beneath him.
  2. Putin can’t stay in Ukraine and get bogged down in a bloody, expensive war that will gut the Russian armed forces and wreck the Russian economy with crippling sanctions. Again. He would be overthrown or killed.
  3. Last and without doubt the most disturbing – He can drop a Nuclear weapon on Ukraine to force them to surrender – this would risk igniting WWIII, direct Russia-NATO confrontation and NATO fighter jets bombing Crimea, ending Putin’s reign in Kremlin. Putin would be remembered as our generation’s Hitler.

After losing 200,000 troops in the Ukraine war, Putin is buggered unless he can finish the second conscription order quickly. Once you realize how dire Putin’s position is, it is frankly terrifying.

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