Op-Ed: Russia Will Never Admit Defeat


Protesters placed anti-war signs along a street in Latvia. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

You may have heard on the news that Ukraine is taking back a large percentage of its land, and sending Russian soldiers in full retreat. You may think that soon, Vladimir Putin will back down. But Russia will never admit defeat.

First, many Russian leaders have been forced to resign their posts or have lost political power because of the military’s setbacks in Ukraine. If Vladimir Putin decides to withdraw all Russian troops from Ukraine, it would make the him look weak—and that could lead to his impeachment.  

Secondly, the Russian government will never call its invasion a “defeat.” Russia wants to keep its place as a world superpower, and losing to a smaller country flies in the face of that mission. 

There may be some serious repercussions for Russia if Putin decides to back down and leave Ukraine.

As reported in the BBC, Rossiskaya Gazeta, the latest edition of Russia’s government paper, claimed that “the Russian defense ministry dismissed rumours that Russian troops fled in disgrace from Balakliya, Kupiansk, and Izyum. They didn’t flee. This was a pre-planned regrouping.”  

Also, many nations have placed sanctions against Russia for the nation’s violent attack. If Putin just pulls his troops out of Ukraine, other former Soviet states might pounce on Russia’s supposed weakness by joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 

In addition to existing sanctions, it’s likely that the powerful nations, including the United States, will also continue punish Russia’s unprovoked attack.

Russia is a gas rich nation. No matter how the war ends, other nations will likely try to limit their usage of Russian oil to avoid an unwanted association. This would also be crucial in the winter, when gas and other heating supplies are needed the most.  

Russia will never classify this invasion as a defeat, nor admit that the “special military operation” is fully over. There may be some serious repercussions for Russia if Putin decides to back down and leave Ukraine.

In the coming weeks, we may see what the Russian military decides to do.