Putin Won't Change War Strategy Despite Falling Short Of Own Goals

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Russia is staying on course in its war effort against Ukraine, saying that "the plan is not subject to adjustment." Putin

maintains the military status quo as he faces calls from even his most fervent acolytes on state-sponsored media networks to go "scorched earth" and "quickly, harshly and

uncompromisingly" react to the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive. Threats against the West and NATO countries could result in major blowback, according to former NATO

Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis. "The General Staff makes operational decisions in the course of the operation," Putin said Friday in Uzbekistan during a summit

with other world leaders, according to a translation by RIA Novosti. "Something is considered a key, main goal—and the main goal is the liberation of the entire territory of

Donbas. This work continues, despite attempts by the Ukrainian army to counterattack." Putin initially launched the February 24 invasion of Ukraine to "liberate" Donbas—a

separatist region of Ukraine containing Donetsk and Luhansk. He set a September 15 deadline to take over Donetsk, but it has not come to fruition. Ukrainians are now

fighting to reclaim Kherson—the first major city taken over by Russian forces during the invasion—as part of its counter-offensive. Chechan leader and Putin Ally Ramzan

Kadyrov has publicly said to ignore the lack of a declaration of martial law, encouraging Russian cities nationwide to put forward volunteers that can fight immediately. Some

Kremlin-backed officials have reacted positively to the messaging.