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.

"Gradually, the Russian army occupies new and new territories," Putin said today. "I draw your attention to the fact that we are not fighting with a full army; we are fighting only part of the Russian army, only a contract part. Naturally, this is due to certain parameters of personnel and so on...Therefore, we are not in a hurry in this part."

Vladimir Putin Russia Ukraine War
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his press conference at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit on September 16, 2022, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Putin said his nation's military will remain on course and not make major changes as deadlines have passed. Contributor/Getty Images

Putin has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and India Prime Minister at the summit.

Putin and Jinping remain cordial and even good friends, as a new Chinese editorial implies that tensions between the East and West may be heightening. The Chinese do not want to involve themselves in such crises, the editorial adds.

Modi, who has also been friendly with Putin over his tenure, greeted Putin in Uzbekistan with a sterner outlook on the ongoing war—saying that a "path for peace" should be more heavily discussed.

It was a statement that Putin agreed with, adding that concerns are shared and an end to combat is what everyone desires.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Federation for comment.