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HomeGeopolitical CompassEurope, Russia, OceaniaCan Ukraine’s Military Keep Winning?

Can Ukraine’s Military Keep Winning?

Authors: Margarita Konaev and Polina Beliakova

Affiliation: Deputy Director of Analysis and Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and previously Non-Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point; PhD candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/place: May 9, 2022/Washington, USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2185



Keywords: Ukraine, War, Arms, Russia




Both authors illustrate how Ukraine has been able to prevent Russian forces from getting a quick and easy victory. However, they believe that the tactics used by Ukraine forces must change, if they want to successfully block the Russian army, especially as the focus shifts to the East. The Russian army expected to find the same weak and corrupt army that it fought against in 2014. However, Ukraine has seen a vast improvement in its military thanks to years of NATO and US training. When Russia was making its way to invade the capital, it found itself at a disadvantage in an urban area as Ukrainians ambushed Russian tanks and destroyed or captured their equipment. Another factor was the Ukrainians’ ability to communicate effectively with each other, especially with the local people. Moreover, the morale is higher on the Ukrainian side, while the Russian army—presumably stronger—has not been able to meet its goal as easily as it expected. Russia has now shifted its focus to the Donbas region, where the environment is different from the urban areas it has been passing by during the invasion; this should be an advantage to the Russian forces. However, with the Russian military’s low morale and its suffering great losses and getting humiliated by the Ukrainians, this might impede the Russian army from getting the full advantage of this new situation. Conversely, the Ukrainians need to change their tactics, and the weapons needed (arriving from the West) might take time until they reach the borders. However, the Ukrainian forces deployed in the Donbas region are some of the most experienced in fighting the Russians and their morale remains high. Both authors claim that trying to predict the outcome of this war is fruitless. However, the likelihood of Russia having an easy and quick victory was never high, to begin with. Albeit this shift in direction will force both armies to change their plans and strategies, it will not lead to a quick victory. Both forces are adamant, and the Ukrainians are motivated in defending their territory and enraged by alleged war crimes the Russian military has committed. In contrast, there’s a slim chance that Putin will accept an outcome that will give him only limited control.  


By: Sara El Souhagy, CIGA Research Intern



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