Donbass offensive is still very slow and grinding for both sides. 90% of Russia‘s current gains were made in first 2 weeks. So everything has gone largely as I thought it would when everyone was saying Russia is going to take over everything.
Not even retired Russian generals are calling it a successful campaign. It was designed as a blitzkreig now it’s morphed into Iran and Iraq war basically in terms of the grind.
I don’t know how anyone can look at that war and not say Ukrainian resistance was very formidable. Yes Eastern Ukraine is now bombed to bits. Most people here were saying Kiyv will fall. Now we are waiting for Donbass and Luchnask to fall.
The Russian special military operation in Ukraine and the Imposed War are very different. In Ukraine, there's no back and forth, only one side is steadily advancing, and will end up acquiring a large chunk of the other's territory. Here the defeated side is the one which enjoys massive foreign backing including from the west, like Iraq during the Imposed War. In the Imposed War, the attacker failed to reach its objectives. In the present Russian military operation, Moscow is attaining its goals.
I don't know who the users were who predicted a blitzkrieg or that the city of Kiev would be taken by 40.000 Russian troops. But they weren't a majority. Besides, it doesn't take away from Russia's prowess if a majority of layman users on some internet website issue too optimistic predictions.
If Kramatorsk falls, the battle for the Donbas is basically over.
Slavyansk rather than Kramatorsk. Slavyansk is better defended and of greater importance, both in military-strategic and in political terms. Either way, both of the twin-towns will be liberated soon enough.
After that if Ukraine doesn't want to negotiate Russia will likely go for Odessa.
The border to Transnistria, and therefore Odessa, are official Russian objectives since general Rostam Minnikhanov announced that Moscow will no longer settle for less than this whole area. I believe we should stick to the official statements. Likewise, Russia never proclaimed the liberation of Kiev as an objective, therefore those who argue Moscow was "defeated" because it chose not to send troops into the city are talking nonsense.
Now Ukraine would have to offer something of tremendous political value for Russia to moderate its present war objectives.