Victory continues to evade the Kremlin leader following his barbaric invasion, with weather conditions an embarrassing factor behind Moscow’s failure to date. Russia hoped to completely swarm its neighbouring country within days of launching its assault.
But more than two months later Russia has still failed to achieve its objectives, refocusing its attention instead on taking control of the east.
Western officials say even the new strategic plan is struggling as troops battle wet weather.
“When they come up against genuine military objectives, they are finding it difficult to overcome the staunch Ukrainian resistance and they are suffering losses,” said one official.
“It’s not helped by the weather conditions at the moment in the Donbas with heavy rain.
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Ukranian forces have been fighting Russian backed separatists in the Donbas since 2014.
After the Kremlin annexed Crimea, pro-Russian areas of Ukraine saw an increase in militia fighting.
Putin hopes taking control of the whole Donbas region will give him a tangible victory he can sell at home.
It is thought Russia has roughly 76 Battalion Tactical Groups in the region, each with about 800 men.
Britian has vowed to continue to help Ukraine as it fights Putin’s men.
Earlier today, Downing Street would not rule out training Ukrainian pilots or sending British jets to eastern Europe to “backfill” for allies who supply jets to Kyiv.
“Whilst there are no plans to send things like planes from the UK, certainly we want to work with other countries to ensure that Ukraine has the equipment that it needs,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
The Government was “not ruling anything out” but there were “specific challenges” with the type of equipment operated by the UK – as the Ukrainian air force predominantly relies on jets from the Soviet era.