Many observers had suspected an escalation on the anniversary of the Russian invasion. A few days later you can see that Russia has not escalated further. Security expert Christian Mölling considers this to be another sign that Russia is being overrated. In the stern podcast "Ukraine – the situation" he said on Tuesday: "Perhaps we are still trapped in the belief that Russia has enormous potential for action that it actually doesn't have." Russia is not capable of escalating militarily at will. On the contrary, you can see the intensity on the battlefield increasing only slowly.
Most of the battles are currently taking place around the city of Bakhmut. The security expert explains this with the symbolic importance of the city: "Bachmut was made a symbol long before the anniversary - not only by Ukraine, but also by Russia," says Mölling. "The Ukrainians' strategy was to withdraw very slowly and let every meter be wrested from them at great expense." They wanted to weaken the opponent for the next move.
He believes "both parties have got stuck". The Ukrainians are almost encircled, the supply routes are under Russian fire. "We see objectively that the Ukrainians have to withdraw step by step," says Mölling. Now the question is whether the Ukrainian armed forces will stay until the end or find a safe way out. But that is difficult to assess.
On the other hand, Ukraine lacks the offensive capability to advance further in other areas. The main battle tank deliveries may come too late to recapture much of the country in a possible spring offensive. Mölling says: "First of all, I would assume that it won't work to surprise the Russians this year."
The West should already be preparing for summer and autumn. "In this context, the requirement for fighter jets makes sense insofar as fighter jets are an important element to support the ground forces in their offensive." But fighter jets are not everything. Above all, Germany must supply more ammunition. "This is due to very mundane reasons, namely that there is not enough money to buy ammunition," says Mölling.