Putin Is 'Out of Ideas,' Things in Ukraine Will Get Worse Rapidly: General

Retired U.S. General Barry McCaffrey said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "out of ideas," and will see things get worse for himself rapidly in his ongoing war in Ukraine.

McCaffrey tweeted that Putin's military is "operationally in a box," while Russia as a whole is "showing signs of severe strain from growing military losses and economic isolation."

Ukraine has been reporting a series of successful strikes on Russian targets and groups in recent weeks using U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which have been described as a "game changer" last month by retired U.S. Army General Mark Hertling. While Ukraine records these purported victories, Moscow is allegedly carrying out forced conscriptions to bolster its ranks while also offering cash incentives to its existing troops to motivate them to fight.

Putin has also had to contend with the economic fallout of the invasion that saw unprecedented Western sanctions take aim at Russian oil, oligarchs, and other entities.

Still, Russia has continued to express confidence in its ability to succeed in the conflict. Ivan Nechayev, the deputy director of Russia's Foreign Ministry Information and Press Department, asserted during a press briefing last Thursday that the country's goals of "demilitarizing and de-Nazifying Ukraine" will come to fruition.

"Only when [Russia's goals] are achieved, will it be possible to guarantee peace, stability and security in the region," he said.

However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a native Russian speaker and is Jewish, who had family members die during the Holocaust that was perpetuated by the Nazis during World War II. He was elected with about three-quarters of the vote in 2019, when Ukraine's prime minister was also Jewish, which would counter Russia's claims that Ukrainians have adopted a "Nazi" ideology.

McCaffrey's Monday tweet also linked to an appearance he made on MSNBC in which he discussed the implications of a car explosion in Moscow on Saturday night that killed 29-year-old Daria Dugina, the daughter of one of Putin's allies, Alexander Dugin.

General Predicts Russian Decline in War
Above, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the opening ceremony of the International Military Technical Forum "Army 2022," on August 15 in Kubinka, Russia. Retired U.S. General Barry McCaffrey said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "out of ideas," and will see things get worse for himself rapidly in his ongoing war in Ukraine. Contributor/Getty Images

Russia's Federal Security Service has accused the Ukrainian secret services of organizing the attack, and alleged that a female Ukrainian citizen traveled to Moscow in July to carry it out. Ukraine's government has denied any involvement in the bombing.

"Ukraine definitely has nothing to do with this, because we are not a criminal state, which the Russian Federation is," Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky, said during a telethon on Sunday. "And even more so, we are not a terrorist state."

McCaffrey said on MSNBC that it seems "impossible" to believe that Ukrainians were behind Dugina's death, and wondered whether the deadly explosion could indicate that a rebellious faction is mounting against Putin. He added that he thinks the incident might represent a "growing desperation" among Russians as Ukraine continues to counter Putin's army.

Newsweek reached out to the Kremlin for comment.