We’ll all be making jokes at Russia’s and Putin’s expense, but people will die in the inevitable temper tantrum. Hitting civilian targets is the only answer Russia has for anything. But no matter what they do, this now shows the Russian people, inescapably, that Putin can’t protect Russian territory. Not Kherson, Kharkiv, or the Donbas, and not even Crimea. Ukraine is marching, they’re moving, and nothing will stop them.
Not even nuclear threats. At this point, even Putin has to be wondering whether his nukes even work. Certainly nothing else has worked as advertised. The last thing he needs is a robust NATO response. He’s lost the war. He has to know he lost the war. The endgame is near.
This is quite the limb to walk out on, and odds are good I’ll be wrong. But my gut says this war will be over by the end of the year, all Ukrainian lands liberated.