German Military Expert: Putin’s long game in Ukraine leans on Trump hopes

Military expert Gustav Gressel suggests Putin is playing a long game in the Ukraine conflict, with Germany’s ZDF heute examining Trump’s potential influence on the issue.

Two years since the onset of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, a resolution appears distant. ZDF today cited insights from military strategist Gustav Gressel, who shed light on Russia’s possible motivations and tactical approach.

Russia’s Extended War Strategy

Gressel implies Russia has no intention of hastening the war’s conclusion. In his discussion with ZDF heute, he conveyed that President Vladimir Putin might be leveraging the prolonged conflict to weaken Western backing for Ukraine. “This suggests the war could persist at least until the U.S. presidential elections in November,” Gressel underscored, alluding to Putin’s anticipation of Trump’s possible second term and the prospective advantageous negotiation conditions it may bring for Russia. Despite the prevailing dynamics, Gressel forecasts that Russia might only reconsider its aggressive objectives by mid-2025, as it currently stands firm on its maximalist demands.

Challenges in Russia’s Military Ranks

Focusing on Russia’s military assets, Gressel indicated that while Russia consistently produces and updates a vast array of battle tanks, the genuine challenge lies in sourcing skilled personnel, particularly officers and technical experts. He further briefed ZDF heute on “Z-units,” battalions composed of prisoners assigned to the conflict’s most dangerous fronts, deemed as “disposable assets” by Moscow.

Strengthened Russia-North Korea Ties

In conclusion, Gressel touched upon the evolving dynamics between Russia and North Korea. He inferred from certain operational patterns, including rail and maritime activities, alongside profound armament ties, that collaboration is intensifying. ZDF emphasized that formerly clandestine relationships, made so by sanctions and North Korea’s global isolation, are now openly flourishing, as recent mutual visits indicate.

Image:, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump (2019-06-28) 05, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, (no changes made)

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