There is a possibility of a great war in the conflict in Ukraine. As the war continues, the worst option is more likely all the time, writes foreign journalist Pekka Hakala in his analysis.
Russian the attack on Ukraine continued on Sunday for eleven days and no immediate, military solution is in sight.
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin the stated goal is to change Ukraine’s political leadership. However, Ukraine managed to repel a special forces landing attempt northwest of Kiev right from the start of the attack. Russian ground forces have advanced near Kiev from the north, northeast, and northwest, but have not reached the city.
According to recent estimates, the war is expected to continue without an actual solution for at least weeks. A Russian military expert presented the Russian view on Friday Yuri Knutovthat war is coming to its “turning point” right now.
Knutov estimates Sevastopol.suRussia would take another two weeks to take over the capital, Kiev, and the main cities east of the Dnieper. It would be possible, according to Knutov, even to move further west on the line in Zhytomyr-Odessa.
Other including director of the CNA Research Institute for the U.S. Armed Forces Michael Kofman in turn evaluates With their Twitter account on Saturday that Russia’s weakly launched attack will “wear out” in about three weeks.
“This does not mean that neither side won at that time or that the war is over,” Kofman continues. He says he will avoid more far-reaching predictions.
There is no return to the world situation before Thursday 24 February and no good alternatives are in sight.
There are at least four possible developments. As the war drags on, the worst option is all the more likely.
The war is expanding into a great war
In several estimates of the expansion of the war have highlighted the possibility of damage attacks. The situation could arise, for example, if Ukrainian troops withdrew near the Polish border and Russian fire reached NATO. Warfare in southern Ukraine could similarly spread to the Romanian side. A series of counterattacks would escalate the situation into a war between the military alliance NATO and Russia.
This option has been considered possible, among other things, because Russia estimates that precision missiles are scarce. Approximate firing is more likely to result in injury.
The spread of war is also possible in the air and at sea. If NATO were to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine and Russia did not respect it, the confrontation with the NATO air force monitoring the no-fly zone would be quite certain.
At sea, for example, a confrontation between Russia and NATO, Turkey, could arise if Russia suspected that Turkey was transporting weapons destined for Ukraine by sea to Black Sea ports.
Possible is, moreover, that Russia will expand the war it has begun on some schedule. Russia to the United States and NATO requirements in December they did not concern Ukraine alone, but aimed at creating a new division of interests, at least in Europe.
However, it is difficult to imagine a significant attack outside Ukraine immediately, as it would probably require a large-scale mobilization from Russia.
Putin said after meeting with hostesses near Moscow on Saturday that the sanctions now in place are “reminiscent of a declaration of war,” the news agency said. Tass. A week ago, Putin said he had ordered Russia’s nuclear troops on alert without specifying how this differs from the normal readiness of nuclear forces.
In its propaganda, the Kremlin has been preparing the people for the possibility of a major war for eight years. There has been a world war for several years opinion polls Russian fears are the second most common after children and close health concerns.
The Afghanistan and the Balkans model
The United States and Russia’s nuclear arsenal can act as a deterrent in the same way it did throughout the Cold War. Both Russia and NATO are doing their utmost to prevent the war from escalating because it is feared to lead to a world fire.
With intimidation, Russia could gradually increase its armed power in Ukraine so that it would have taken over most of Ukraine’s land this spring. Moscow would set up its own puppet regime in Kiev and leave the troops of about a hundred thousand soldiers on the ground.
The Soviet Union tried to occupy Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989 with about the same force, but eventually had to withdraw. Afghanistan sank during the bloody tribal wars.
The fate of Ukraine could be similar. There would be support from different parts of Western Europe for various groups of resistance, which would sometimes be in conflict with each other. Ukraine would disintegrate into a patchwork, just as it did in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
An American researcher and a long-time expert on Russia Fiona Hill keep Politico online magazine in the interview this option is entirely possible. However, the “Balkanization” of Ukraine would not eliminate the constant threat of a major war. According to Hill, the world is, in fact, already deep in the new Great War.
Putin’s victory or partial victory
Russian when tormented by the slow progress of hostilities, it could rapidly increase the use of the Air Force, artillery, rocket launchers, and missiles. The threat of war escalation and huge civilian casualties would make the West seek a ceasefire at any cost.
Diplomatic talks would eventually lead to a division of interests in which eastern and southern Ukraine, annexed to Russia or subjugated to Russia, would provide Russia with a land connection to Crimea. At the same time, the parties would agree on the demilitarization and neutrality of Ukraine, without the Ukrainians themselves having a real say.
The West would submit to a temporary procedure on the basis of some sort of “road map”. In reality, a “map” would be an excuse to give in to Putin, as a major war would still be seen as a more miserable option. Over the years, Russia would succeed in saving its economy, for example through cooperation with China.
Putin’s long and rocky downhill
In the fourth in the alternative, President Putin would be almost like a Stubborn Yugoslav leader dreaming of Greater Serbia Slobodan Miloševićillewho died in prison in The Hague in 2006.
In this model, the United States, NATO and Russia would reach a skinny agreement reminiscent of the Minsk Protocol to end the war in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty would be curtailed, and Putin could declare to his home audience that he had won the war.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi would sit until the end of his term but would lose the 2024 presidential election due to a bad deal. Putin, for his part, would win the Russian elections at the same time, once again.
Economy however, misery would eat away at Putin’s real support and part of Russia’s elite would rise up against the president. Putin would be forced to resign for “health reasons”. A Russian documentary on the war in Ukraine would be shown on Russian state television, which would be praised around the world.
The disintegration of the Russian political field would lead to early parliamentary elections and demands to amend the constitution. The unrest in the Caucasus would overshadow the development of democracy.
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