The campaign in Ukraine has not gone according to plan. Destroyed Russian equipment litters the landscape. However, Ukrainian forces have paid a high price for their stoic defence. Ukraine in many places lies devastated by the Russian blitzkrieg. The West has kept the Ukraine armed forces supplied with high-tech weaponry. This has added to Russia's woes on the battlefield. President Zelensky has led from the front and this has inspired Ukrainians to fight on. Russia was expected to crush Ukraine's much smaller military and win. Russia has the equipment and the man power to do it but events proved otherwise.
In desperation Mr. Putin has turned to General Dvornikov in a new military campaign. Dvornikov turned the tide in Russia's favour in Syria. Bashar al-Assad was on the brink of losing the civil war in Syria. Putin stepped in and crushed all opposition to Assad violently. Dvornikov was the one who flattened Aleppo through non-stop bombardment. Day and night from the air and on the ground Aleppo was destroyed. Assad and Russia won but at a terrible price in death and destruction. Not only did Islamic State fighters die but so did many civilans. Syrian infrastructure has been decimated by the war and will take years to repair. As Russian forces in Ukraine turn east Dvornikov will be in command.
Mariupol is being subjected to the same relentless bombardment as Aleppo. This military doctrine was explained in a military article in 2018. General Dvornikov explained his military doctrine as "constant fire, impact day and night". The general 60, is a battle hardened officer and will be ruthless in his pursuit of victory.
Civilian fatalties in Mariupol are estimated by the Mayor at 10,000. Russia has been accused of dropping deadly chemicals on Mairupol. Would the general authorise the use of chemical weapons? Chemical weapons were allegedly used in Syria which resulted in mass poisonings. The general was in charge so maybe he did authorise their use after all.
Relentess bombardment day and night will achieve victory but at a devastating cost. So why wouldn't the general incorporate chemical weapons into his campaign? It is equally as devastating as any other munitions Russia uses. General Dvornikov will do whatever it takes to save face for Putin. Obviously, Dvornikov does not care about civilian lives. A man like Dvornikov will see civilian casualties as collateral damage.
The eastern part of Ukraine will incorporate many more Russian speakers. On the media Ukanian security forces were shown patrolling in the east. These armed policemen were on the look out for Russian saboteurs. Either Russian agents supplanted amongst the general population. Or homegrown Russian speaking Ukrainians with Russian sympathies. There will also be many Russian speaking Ukrainians with anti-Russian feelings. Those who resent the Russians being on their land. They will want to liberate their country just like their Ukrainian speaking fellow nationals in the west.
As Russian forces head for the east Ukrainian forces will be waiting for them. Those Ukrainian forces will be ready and willing to fight hard for their nation. They will be buoyed up by their successes in the west of the country.
What will the morale of the Russians be like? If Dvornikov inspires Russian forces even conscripts the fighting will be hard. Also, with more Russian speakers in the east Russians may feel more inspired. Especially, if they believe Putin's propaganda of liberating Ukraine from far-right extremists. In reality, however, it is Putin's forces that have behaved like Nazis. In their wanton disregard for the civilian population of Ukraine. Their brutal treatment of Ukrainian men, women and even children.