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Two years of full-scale invasion of Ukraine: when and how will this war end?

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Two years of full-scale invasion of Ukraine: when and how will this war end?

The full-scale russian invasion has been going on for two years now, and russia still believes that the only precondition for negotiations is Ukraine's surrender. But Ukraine has made it equally clear that it will continue to resist. Find out what will happen next and what analysts are predicting

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The full-scale war in Ukraine is about to enter its third calendar year, and there is no indication that either side has a significant advantage or is inclined to negotiate. The Ukrainians have made it quite clear that they will continue to resist, and the russians believe that the only goal of negotiations they can agree to is Ukraine's surrender. In addition, the russian dictator is confidently betting that the West's disagreements and doubts will bring him a victory that he cannot win on the battlefield.


Thus, the American magazine Foreign Policy asked prominent thinkers to share their thoughts and predictions. 


When and how will the war in Ukraine end?


Angela Stent, author of putin's World: russia and its Leader as Seen by the West

"putin is waiting for the US elections and hopes that the next president will refuse to support Ukraine"


Angela Stent believes that in the near future the situation will remain dynamic, but without significant changes on the battlefield. First of all, this requires human, technical and financial resources. And russia is addressing these issues with mobilization, which has been temporarily suspended due to the elections, and arms supplies from Iran and other countries. Instead, Ukraine has limited human resources and is dependent on assistance from its partners. And, as you know, assistance from the United States is also on hold.


Therefore, there is little chance of negotiations in 2024, and neither side can win a decisive victory. However, putin is also waiting for the results of this year's US elections and hopes that the next US president will withdraw support for Ukraine. In such a scenario, Ukraine's ability to survive as an independent, sovereign state would be in question, with all the security implications for Europe and beyond.


At the same time, the forecast of a possible end to the war, including the Korean model, which means a truce, renunciation of the peace treaty and Western security guarantees for Ukraine, also assumes that russia will accept an independent Ukraine. But as long as putin or a successor who shares his views is in power, this is unlikely to happen, says Angela Stent.


Jo Inge Bekkevold, Senior Research Fellow for China at the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies

"In 2024, we are much closer to a bipolar global division reminiscent of the Cold War than we were two years ago"


According to Jo Inge Bekkevold, the war in Ukraine has contributed to the Sino-russian embrace, strengthening Beijing's influence on moscow. And now the latter is much more dependent on the former At the same time, Washington and Brussels are taking steps to reduce the risks of their close economic ties with China. And so, russia's invasion of Ukraine has strengthened transatlantic unity, prompted European NATO members to increase their defense budgets, pushed Finland and Sweden into NATO's arms, and forced the United States to once again increase its military presence in Europe.


So, in 2024, we are much closer to a bipolar global division reminiscent of the Cold War than we were two years ago. However, the current situation is different from the initial period of the Cold War. In particular, because the Sino-russian partnership rests on a stronger geopolitical foundation than the Sino-soviet one. At the same time, transatlantic unity is fragile. After all, some countries are still dragging their feet on defense spending and creating all sorts of obstacles, such as postponing Sweden's accession to NATO or advocating for US autonomy. Thus, Europe is still suffering from its Cold War dreams and illusions, while today Beijing and moscow are in a stronger position to exploit divisions within the Western bloc.


Is the world on the verge of World War III? What is happening and what do experts say?




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Kristi Raik, Deputy Director of the International Center for Defense and Security in Estonia

"moscow can win if the west fails to mobilize the necessary resources and, more importantly, the will"


Christy Rike believes that American military assistance to Ukraine has already been reduced to a minimum, and the prospect of Trump's victory in the November elections means that European leaders are facing the most serious strategic challenge for their continent in several generations. And if Europe fails to meet this challenge, moscow will be inspired to go further in restoring its sphere of influence and undermining its main enemy, which it has clearly identified as NATO.


At the moment, the real steps that Europe has taken to increase defense spending, increase arms production, and help Ukraine win the war are insufficient. Therefore, 2024 is a critical year to prove putin wrong and pave the way for Ukraine's victory.


In the long run, after 2024, Ukraine can win the war if the West increases its support and makes the cost of war unbearable for russia. moscow can win if the West fails to mobilize the necessary resources and, more importantly, the will.


David Petraeus, chairman of the KKR Global Institute, former director of the CIA and retired US Army General

"The direction of the war is up to us"


According to David Petraeus, any answer to the question about the future of russia's war in Ukraine should begin with this: "it depends...". Because the course of the war will indeed depend on a number of critical events. In particular, on the level of support for Ukraine by partner countries: The United States and the European Union.


It is also clear that the course of the war will largely depend on the determination of Ukraine and russia, and their ability to recruit, train, equip, and use additional forces and means.


Finally, the outcome of the war will depend on the ability of each side to learn and adapt to changes on the battlefield, to develop, produce and employ new weapons systems and other technologies, and to improve the skills of leaders, staffs, individual soldiers and units.


This year promises to be another very challenging one for the armed forces of both countries, both on the battlefield and in the home front. Two years after the war began, there are still no signs of its end.


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We remind you! Ukraine has signed bilateral security agreements with several countries and received new security guarantees from its partners. Read why the signed documents are a historic step and what other countries have expressed a desire to support Ukraine in our previous article.


Photo: AdobeStock


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