'Completely bizarre': Russia expert shocked that Putin's military is 'not even performing' on the battlefield
Annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin in Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual "Direct Line with Vladimir Putin" live call-in show. - -/Kremlin/dpa

On Friday, at a talk held by the Modern War Institute, Russia expert Michael Kofman expressed his amazement that Vladimir Putin's military has performed as badly as it has done in the invasion of Ukraine.

"I'm going to talk briefly and explain what's really happening in this war, from my perspective," said Kofman. "If you take a look at the war, and it's clearly a pursuit of maximalist war aim, the Russian operation was to conduct regime change in Ukraine, and via a pro-Russian regime to take substantial control of the country. But the operation is completely bizarre."

"[T]he Russian military's underperforming. It's not even performing," continued Kofman. "If you're a military analyst and you see what the Russian military is doing, and many of us predicted this war was coming ... but not the way the Russian military would pursue it. Because it's absolutely confounding and bizarre."

Kofman then explained how he believes Russian leadership got everything so wrong.

"Russian political leadership, intellectually, never left the year 2014," he said. "They actually believe the things they say about Ukraine, they don't think it's a state, they thought that within a few days they could rapidly insert forces, avoid any significant fight, go to the capital of Kyiv, force a surrender of the Zelensky administration, get him to capitulate or to flee. The operation is really not a war effort, you have the largest country in the world invading what is the largest country in Europe, thinking fundamentally that it wasn't going to get a real fight."

Watch the full discussion below -- Kofman's talk comes at around the 24:30 mark:

The War in Ukraine: An Operational Assessment www.youtube.com