Ukraine war: Countdown has begun to end of Putin, say Kyiv officials

The leaders of Ukraine and Russia struck a defiant tone at end-of-year press conferences and vowed to reach their military goals as the war heads toward its third year, Pjotr Sauer reported. As well as the material destruction, the 160 days of Russian occupation left an insidious psychological legacy that may take just as long to heal. It’s hinted at by the phone number daubed on walls throughout the town in white paint. The number is for a hotline run by the Ukrainian SBU security service, an invitation to provide information on who did what during the dark days of occupation.

when will the war end in ukraine

Russia, he said, had an important role to play in Europe’s balance of power; it should not be pushed into a “permanent alliance” with China. ’s most important backer has yet to set out a clear objective, beyond strengthening Ukraine to give it a stronger bargaining hand. America has spent nearly $14bn on the war so far, and Congress has just allocated a further $40bn.

What history shows: How will the war in Ukraine end?

Short of a promise to defend Ukraine directly, ideas include the ability to “snap back” any sanctions on Russia that are lifted; and rearming Ukraine quickly if it is attacked again. The undersecretary of state for political affairs, Victoria Nuland, told the Senate in January the Biden administration still expects the $45 billion Ukraine aid package Congress passed in December to last through the end of this fiscal year. But the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, Celeste Wallander, warned at the hearing that the current funding level “does not preclude” the administration from needing to request more assistance before the end of September. The recent arms donations — Kyiv still wants fighter aircraft and long-range tactical missiles — are predicated on the assumption they’ll force Moscow to end its invasion and begin negotiations because military costs are too high. That objective has coexisted with an expectation that Putin’s government will probably never stop fighting, as losing the war could spell the end to his political power. Under Article 5 of the military alliance's charter, an attack on one member is an attack on all.

when will the war end in ukraine

Ukrainian replacement troops go through combat training on Feb. 24 in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. And even though the fall of the Soviet Union was notable for its lack of bloodshed, many in Ukraine refer to today's conflict as a true "war of independence." As such, many Ukrainians are against the war, with "no war" becoming a common slogan. But polls show that does not equal pacifism, with the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians supporting a prolonged defensive war. Ukraine expert Terrell Jermaine Starr recently told me, "every step that Ukrainians took towards Europe came as a direct result of Russian aggression."

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The hope is that such a display of military strength might then force Russia to the negotiating table, but Vladimir Putin’s bellicose speech this week hardly suggests a leader willing to compromise soon. In reality, if Ukraine is going to force Russia from all its occupied territory, it is likely to take several more offensives, many months at least, and a dramatic change in Kremlin thinking. Ever since the war began, commentators and Western leaders, including President Biden, have intimated that it should produce, if not “regime change” in Russia, then Putin’s departure.

  • However, Ukraine would be highly unlikely to formally cede any territory, given popular support for resistance to the Russian invasion.
  • There are more indiscriminate artillery and rocket strikes across Ukraine.
  • Along with devastating droughts and local conflicts, it has led to staggering increases in the price of basic foods (with both Ukrainian and Russian grains, to one degree or another, blocked from the market).
  • The leaders of Ukraine and Russia struck a defiant tone at end-of-year press conferences and vowed to reach their military goals as the war heads toward its third year, Pjotr Sauer reported.

He deployed no ground troops there, relying solely on airstrikes and missile attacks to avoid an Afghanistan-style quagmire. So while in principle looking at a map creates new options for the next stage of the Russian offensive in practice losses of this sort reduces the ability of Russian forces to build on any gains. Ukraine’s Commander in Chief General Valery Zaluzhnyi has stressed the importance of inflicting heavy casualties on Russia, “until the enemy gives up fighting against our country,” while acknowledging that its hard to know in the Russian case when this point would be reached. In this scenario, the United States would give the Ukrainian military whatever it needs to advance as far as possible in its counteroffensive. At an appropriate point next year, Ukraine would declare a pause in offensive military operations and shift its primary focus to defending and rebuilding liberated areas while integrating with Western institutions.

Faced with the collapse of his business model Prigozhin mutinied, challenging directly Putin’s whole rationale for the war by pointing out the lack of an extraordinary Ukrainian threat to the Donbas enclaves in February 2022, before marching to the Southern Command HQ at Rostov. Then, having encountered minimal opposition and a few cheers, he carried on towards Moscow. The situation in Ukraine is often fast moving and it is likely there will be times when there have been changes not reflected in the maps. Ukrainian forces were also quick to deploy Western supplied arms such as the Nlaw anti-tank system, which proved highly effective against the Russian advance. The Ukrainian General Staff says settlements in the area - including Klishchiivka and Andriivka - are continuing to come under artillery and mortar fire. Recent assessments by the ISW show Russian forces have made advances north of Bakhmut.

There are more indiscriminate artillery and rocket strikes across Ukraine. The Russian air force - which has played a low-key role so far - launches devastating airstrikes. Massive cyber-attacks sweep across Ukraine, targeting key national infrastructure. President Zelensky is either assassinated or flees, to western Ukraine or even overseas, to set up a government in exile.

The problem in the US reflects Republican efforts to tie support for overseas causes to action to stop immigrants coming in from Mexico. There is enough money left for one more military aid package, but then it depends on a new deal. The worst outcome would be, “at the cost of enormous losses”, the liberation of all of Ukraine, which will “remain in ruins with a population that mostly hates us” and a “redemption” that would take more than a decade. He wanted to take (what were claimed to be) the former Russian parts back into Russia and turn the rest into a friendly buffer state.

There were other commanders clearly unhappy with the higher conduct of the war. This was probably the period of maximum unease on the Russian side. If Putin now feels more confident it is because he weathered that particular storm. But it leaves a lingering “what if” question about the effect on the Russian system had there been more Ukrainian success or for that matter if the next mutineer has a clearer idea of what he is trying to achieve. Although for a while Prigozhin carried on with his affairs in Russia as if nothing untoward had happened, and even at one point met with his old chum Putin again, it was hard to believe that he would survive such a challenge and so it proved.

"We are determined to reach our goals. And would prefer to complete it by diplomatic means. If not, the military operation will be continued till we reach our goals," he added. But Peskov told Bloomberg News, "President Putin has stated numerous times that Russia was, is and will continue to be open for negotiations on Ukraine." He said he aimed to make Russia a "great, peaceful and free country". Mr Nadezhdin, who name is similar to "nadezhda", the Russian word for hope, said he had the support of "dozens of millions of people". That could end up looking something like the Korean peninsula, with a demilitarised zone between Ukrainian and Russian-controlled territory, or a grinding perpetual conflict that flares up and down, eventually resulting in an uneasy truce. Some observers have suggested that continued defeats on the battlefield might result in Putin’s downfall.

  • One of Ukraine's main aims is to sever the Russian "land bridge" that stretches from Russia and across the occupied part of southern Ukraine to Crimea, but that's an area where Russia's fortifications are among the heaviest.
  • The town is sometimes described as the gateway to the city of Donetsk, which has been occupied by Russia and its proxy forces since 2014.
  • The Russian ruling elite saw the Soviet Union’s collapse merely as a reconfiguration in which former Soviet countries would “continue to be together in some way”, Popova told Al Jazeera, whereas Ukraine saw it as an opportunity to be fully independent.
  • Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Putin had "put out feelers to the US via indirect channels," suggesting that he was prepared to engage in talks over ending the conflict.
  • Might it be possible this war could spill outside Ukraine's borders?

He is once again a powerful politician – Vladimir Putin’s chosen ruler of the occupied territory that lies across the river from Kherson. From there, shells, bombs and mortars rain down ceaselessly on the city he used to run. As we learnt more it also became apparent that the demands of close coordination of complex operations in tough conditions were beyond fresh units that had not quite enough training.

  • And while we have no right to tell Ukrainians to stop fighting before their country is whole, we also have no right to expect them to keep fighting at any cost.
  • A would-be challenger to Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he would end the war in Ukraine on day one of his presidency.
  • There is also the extremely tricky issue of mobilisation which is now being addressed but requires up to 500,000 recruits.

Perhaps more likely is that this develops into a protracted war. Maybe Russian forces get bogged down, hampered by low morale, poor logistics and inept leadership. Maybe it takes longer for Russian forces to secure cities like Kyiv whose defenders fight from street to street. The fighting has echoes of Russia's long and brutal struggle in the 1990s to seize and largely destroy Grozny, the capital of Chechnya.

Pub: 10 Feb 2024 20:47 UTC
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