The war between Russia and Ukraine has dragged on since February. However, some officials believe a definitive end is coming.
U.S. military commanders believe Russian President Vladimir Putin may be on the "precipice" of defeat, the Washington Examiner reported. Ukraine recently retook the strategic eastern city of Lyman with little pushback from the Russians.
"No amount of shambolic mobilization, which is the only way to describe it, no amount of annexation, no amount of even veiled nuclear threats can actually get [Putin] out of this particular situation," retired Army Gen. David Petraeus told ABC News. "He is losing, and the battlefield reality he faces is, I think, irreversible."
During a Friday speech, Putin admitted "mistakes" he made in the invasion. Coupled with Ukraine's army backed by American and European money, the situation is dire for Putin.
"The reality facing Russia now is that Ukraine, a country a third the size of Russia, has a bigger, much more effective army on the ground, and other assets as well," Petraeus noted. "He's already lost a really critical element in that, a critical city that would have been a very key supply hub had they been able to go farther. And that's just going to continue," he added.
"He's going to continue to lose on the battlefield. And at some point, there's going to have to be recognition of that," Petraeus said of Putin.
Retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who served as national security advisor to former President Donald Trump, agreed that retaking Lyman could be a pivotal moment in the conflict. "This is a tremendous victory for the Ukrainians," he said.
"And it's a victory that I think that they could turn into a cascading series of defeats of Russian forces," McMaster added. "What we might be at here is really at the precipice of really the collapse of the Russian army in Ukraine, a moral collapse."
Although a Russian defeat sounds like a good thing, it could make the situation worse. A cornered despot is a dangerous despot -- and Putin has nuclear weapons.