The opacity of Vladimir Putin and the fate of the Ukraine war
As the war in Ukraine continues, Russia’s tactics will remain a problem that needs to be managed — in defeat or victory.
Shifting Dynamics in the Ukraine Conflict
- US Republican Party's Stance: The US Republican Party's skepticism towards funding Ukraine is raising concerns, while pro-Russia political forces in Europe gain traction.
- Stakes in the War: The editorial highlights the significance of the Ukraine conflict, emphasizing that its resolution could impact international principles and nuclear weapon use.
- Russia's Failed Objectives: Russia's strategic goals were not achieved; Ukraine emerged stronger as a nation, forging its identity amid global challenges.
Evolving Objectives and Economic Impact
- Defining Objectives: The editorial discusses how the objectives of the war have evolved, from Ukraine's sovereignty to territorial reclamation, raising questions about its worth.
- Economic and Sanction Impact: Despite expectations, Russia's economy hasn't collapsed, and global sanctions haven't achieved their intended effects. The war's cost is now a domestic issue in the West.
- Capabilities and Negotiation: Russia's ambitions clash with its material and organizational limitations, while democracies grapple with supporting the war. Negotiated settlements become plausible.
The Ground Situation and Future Prospects
- Stalemate or Progress: The editorial notes that the current ground situation is described as a stalemate, raising questions about Ukraine's objectives and the evolving nature of the war.
- Putin's Strategy and Western Support: Putin's strategy now focuses on buying time until the next US presidential election, hoping Western support for Ukraine wanes due to domestic pressures.
- Influence of Western Elections: The war's future depends on election results and changing Western calculations, possibly more than military realities on the ground.