Russian President Vladimir Putin seems like he made up his mind for a protracted war. This war didn’t have three things from the beginning: the chance of winning, an effective strategy, and an exit. That is why Putin is stalling for time.
Even though the war is protracted, it doesn’t mean it will last a long period. The fate of this war hinges on three pillars: Russia’s defense industry, its army, and how the Russian people think. Even one broken pillar would bring a chain reaction, stopping the economy, which can threaten the power of Putin.
Russia said it would draft 300,000 soldiers, but we are not sure whether the Russian military would be able to feed them and provide weapons and ammunition. They are not trained. The military leadership is poor. Reserve conscripts could fight at the line of defense, but the possibility of losing significant and making captives becomes higher. At the initial stage of the war, Russia promoted patriotism, but the war, economy, and people's condition declined day by day, eventually causing a backlash.
The Art of War’s chapter two, Initiating Battle, says that dragging a war isn’t a solution. Instead, it is like compiling the gunpowder below your feet.
“A protracted war slows the military down, killing soldiers' morale. Attacking a castle uses up your forces’ combat capacity. A long operation of an army depletes the coffer of a nation. A weak army and morale and decreasing soldiers cause bankruptcy. In this situation, feudal lords in the nation or neighboring countries rise to challenge. Not even a wise man can handle what happens in your back.”
This is what exactly is happening to Russia and Putin now. If Putin listens to Sun Tzu’s advice, will he miraculously stop the war? Do you think Putin didn’t know this would happen before waging war? Dictators always destroy themselves. But in the process of self-destruction, the people of that nation and their neighbors suffer. That is why the end of this war depends on the Russian people.