According to military expert Carlo Masala, Russia is increasingly isolating itself with its nuclear threats, terror against the Ukrainian civilian population and setbacks in the war. Masala said on Tuesday in the stern podcast “Ukraine – the situation”, “the Russian Federation is increasingly becoming a kind of international pariah”. Countries like India and China are “extremely concerned about the nuclear issue.” In addition, countries that initially counted on Russia’s success are disappointed with the course of the war in Ukraine and see the problems Russia has.

The politics professor at the Bundeswehr University in Munich went on to say that terror against the civilian population had been part of Russia’s strategy since the beginning of the war. The attacks launched on Monday are without precedent: “We have not yet had rocket attacks against the entire territory of Ukraine in intensity.” This will fulfill what hardliners in Russia have been demanding for a long time: namely, to bomb Ukraine in such a way “that the winter will be extremely hard for the people, without heating, without water, without electricity”. Another effect of the attacks is that they would tie up Ukrainian forces, which would then not be able to step up the offensive against the Russian occupiers in the east.

In the coming days, Masala is expecting clarity about a possible entry into the war by Belarus, Russia’s closest ally. But the threat of taking this step alone means that Ukraine has to prepare for a possible new front in the north – this also binds forces that are then lacking in the east and south.

“Which means that the intensity of the counter-offensive will decrease,” said Masala. This could possibly make it easier for the Russian troops to withdraw to secure defense lines and to integrate the soldiers recruited with the partial mobilization.