A Dead-End In Ukraine

IN a major setback in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Russia lost a high-ranking general Roman Kutuzov on Sunday to the attack by Ukrainian forces., adding to the string of high-ranking military casualties sustained by Moscow. Britain’s defence ministry said on Monday that Russia has likely  suffered significant losses amongst mid- and junior-ranking officers in the war. In recent days, Russian forces have intensified attacks to capture Sievierodonetsk, a key city in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. Moscow has so far failed to take the capital Kyiv.

Russia, however, has termed its campaign in Ukraine a “special military operation” designed to demilitarise Ukraine and rid it of nationalists threatening the Russian-speaking population. But Western countries have rejected Russia’s claims as a pretext to invade.

As things stand, the war seems destined to prolong even though Kremlin has failed to overwhelm Ukraine as it was expected to do. Ukraine, armed to the teeth by the NATO weapons, has succeeded in stalling the Russian advance, though there is no evidence that Moscow has lost its upper hand in the campaign. On the contrary, Russia has maintained the tempo of its military campaign in the country, having controlled a vast swathe of land towards east of Ukraine. But it is difficult to assess where the war is headed in the medium future. Surprisingly there have been no serious efforts by the west to broker peace, nor has the United Nations been so pro-actively involved in the peace making.  As a result, the war looks likely to linger on with the west currently being more intent on keeping Russia bogged down in Ukraine than finding a solution to the crisis. This is because even the resolution and the terms under which it would be agreed are likely to have far-reaching geopolitical fallout.

Russia too has shown no signs of being mellowed by the sanctions. But the war so far seems to have not gone according to Putin’s calculations. Russia appears far from taking control of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The West has, meanwhile, armed Ukrainian forces with the latest weaponry which is believed to be mainly responsible for halting Russian campaign. The West has also been cautious not to join the war directly, so as not to expand the conflict which could culminate in a nuclear exchange, a frightening scenario that could bring about doomsday for the world. This makes it urgent for the world powers to climb down from their hubris and work together to find a way out of the ongoing war.

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