Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gave his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu until early October to put an end to Ukraine’s counter-offensive, Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) reported.
ISW wrote in an assessment citing a Kremlin insider source that “Putin reportedly gave Shoigu a deadline of one month until early October to improve the situation on the frontlines, stop [the] Ukrainian counter-offensive, and have Russian forces regain the initiative to launch an offensive operation against a larger city.”
This may “indicate that the Russian military command may be ordering relentless counterattacks in hopes of forcing the Ukrainian counteroffensive to culminate, even at a high cost to Russian military capabilities.”
ISW highlighted instances in which the Russian ministry of defense “fearing the imminent loss of Putin’s favor, intensified its efforts to purge commanders who offered honest but negative views and advice and pursued unachievable military objectives at the expense of Russian forces.”
It added: “The Russian resistance to ceding ground may… be tied to Russian military commanders’ and officials’ attempts to use the counter-offensive to achieve political goals, or it could result from Putin’s micromanagement.”