Russia might be able to defeat the Ukrainian army, but it does not have the ability to crush 40 million mobilised citizens. Polling in Ukraine has consistently revealed strong support for fighting to final victory, including retaking Crimea.
This is why I remain confident of an eventual Ukrainian victory. Much like the relentlessness of the Vietcong fighting the Vietnam War against the Americans, the Ukrainians will keep coming back and back against the Russians until they finally tire and withdraw.
PUTIN NEEDS THE WAR TO END SOON
Russia’s troubles, by now, are well-known. Putin, an isolated dictator surrounded by sycophants, wildly overestimated the offensive capability of his army. He threw his best units into the maelstrom early, and they only managed to take about 20 per cent of the country before Russia’s forward momentum ground to a halt over the summer.
Then came Ukraine’s fall offensives, re-taking territory Russia had annexed, leading to desperate Putin threats about nuclear weapons.
Putin launched a partial mobilisation to fill in the gaps, but these recruits were of poor quality with little training. They stabilised the front for the winter, but there is little indication they can launch large-scale, coordinated offensives this year to finally end the war on Russia’s terms.
And Putin desperately needs the war to end soon, as it is chewing up his army, decimating his economy and undercutting Russia’s claim to be a great power, which, ironically, was the very motivation behind the war.
China has tepidly supported Russia but provided no material assistance. And Beijing strongly and publicly opposed Putin’s flirtation with nuclear weapons. India has also remained neutral but otherwise done nothing to help. Russia has been reduced to seeking weapons purchases from Iran and North Korea.