RIGA - The myth of the might of the Russian army is beginning to dissipate, and it could cause a serious "hangover" in Russian society, Raimonds Graube, a former commander of the National Armed Forces (NAF) and current military adviser to the Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks (For Development), told LETA.
It is now clear that the Russian strategic goal is Kyiv, and there are still attempts to occupy one of the other major cities.
"The Russians obviously need this victory story ideologically, a welcoming ceremony similar to what we have already seen in the history of the Soviet Union," Graube added.
It is unfortunate that part of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's insane and adventurous plan is to draw troops in the direction of Kyiv, Graube emphasized.
Graube is convinced that international sanctions will not stop Putin, because he seems to be overtaken by some mania. Putin can only be stopped by internal opposition from those close to him.
Although the recent statements against war by some Russian oligarchs can be seen as possible "cracks", Putin's close allies come from the military and special services. "If there is no influential opposition there, the tragedy of this adventure can continue," Graube added.
However, he drew attention to one extremely important fact, namely that Putin, like all the leaders of authoritarian regimes, attaches great importance to symbolism. Russia has for years tried to present a symbol of having a strong and highly motivated army, but the invasion of Ukraine shows that this myth is falling apart and will be a huge "hangover" for Russian society.
Undoubtedly, the Russian army is technologically powerful, but this war proves that the Russians are not able to handle these technologies properly and do not carry out proper planning, Graube commented. "And in the middle of all of this is the heroic resistance of the Ukrainians. The destruction of this symbol of the might of the Russian army has very, very, great consequences," the former NAF commander emphasized.