When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, many observers feared the military aggressor would quickly overwhelm Ukraine’s forces, capture the capital Kyiv and declare victory within days.
It didn’t happen.
The West and NATO, let by President Joe Biden, resolved to impose economic sanctions on Russia and began to send war material to Ukraine.
In my first blog on the war, I stated that the economic sanctions would fail. And as The Economist and The Washington Post attest, Russians are surviving the economic entrenchment.
The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, reports that the war drags on and the periodical suggests that the advantage has now shifted slightly in favor of Ukraine.
But I believe that Russia is in this war for the long haul. It will slog on through the winter when President Vladimir Putin hopes that an energy shortage due to reduced oil and gas shipments from Russia will weaken Europe and Ukraine’s resolve. Then Moscow will claim victory in the pro-Russian Donbas Region of Eastern Ukraine and declare those provinces independent states.
At this point the question will be, how much does Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky want peace? How much pressure will the West apply to suggest a permanent ceasefire?
Such an end would assure most of Ukraine remains a sovereign republic san its eastern pro-Russian provinces. Moscow can declare that it achieved its original goal—the de-Nazification of the Ukraine regime.
Unfortunately, it will another unsettled peace—a conclusion we have witnessed too often in other times, other places.