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War In Ukraine: Will the Ukrainians Be Able To Beat Russia?

Experts agree that for Ukraine to win the war against Russia, it will be key for them to have support from the international community .

ukrainian flag

Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso Álvarez

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Leer en español: Guerra en Ucrania ¿Podrán los ucranianos vencer a Rusia?

More than two months after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the fighting continues in different parts of the country, neither of the two nations gives in or wants to give in, and different countries and international organizations are trying to put an end to a conflict that began on last February 24, when Russian troops crossed the border and decided to invade Ukraine. These have been tense months.

In this sense, recently the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, pointed out that if Ukraine had not been able to give in to Russian pressure, it had been precisely because of the support it had received from the United States. And the reality is that he was not so far from that assertion; On February 14, days before the conflict exploded, Washington reported the delivery of 90 tons of weapons to Ukraine, military aid valued at 200 million dollars and which was approved by US President Joe Biden to "strengthen their defenses against growing Russian aggression."

But this was only the first of many donations, according to data from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy , an independent economic research institute based in Germany, until April (publication of the report) the United States had donated 7.6 billion to Ukraine Euros, distributed in humanitarian and military aid. While other nations such as Poland have already donated 963 million euros, and much of the amount delivered in financial resources. The United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and Sweden are other nations that have made a considerable contribution.

Ukraine's military achievements

After highlighting Ukraine's resistance thanks to its courage but above all to the donations it has received, it is also necessary to talk about the achievements it has reaped up to this point in the conflict, and the numbers don't lie. The figures provided by the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Forces Command, Yurii Ihnat, a month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine indicated that they had shot down one hundred Russian planes, also said that they had destroyed "11 enemy air targets." But not only that, according to the Ukrainian General Staff, between February 24 and April 14, 19,000 Russian soldiers lost their lives during the offensive and 753 tanks, 366 artillery batteries and 122 rocket launchers had been destroyed.

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Another lapidary piece of information is that provided by the British intelligence services, where they point out that the Russian Armed Forces have used 65% of their ground combat forces in recent months, and a quarter of those units would no longer be suitable for war. For the Kremlin to lose a quarter of its combat team when the conflict continues its course can be considered a failure.

The data shown above means a Ukrainian resistance and a defeat for Russia, since at the beginning of the conflict Russia had 280,000 active soldiers while Ukraine had just over 125,000. The Russians were in the majority, but Moscow seems to be failing in its attempted invasion of Donbas. They advance, but the losses begin to be significant and they suffer little by little, to a greater or lesser extent.

What would be a win for the Ukrainians?

With the aforementioned background, for Ukraine clearly a victory could be that the conflict continues to spread and that Russia continues to wear down, and even more so if the Ukrainians continue to receive international support that strengthens it and allows it to be in a better position to face the country led by Vladimir Putin. From Moscow it is probable that they hoped that in a few days they would be able to stay with Kyiv and establish themselves, but that has been quite far from reality.

However, the strategy of attrition could be a double-edged sword, since although on the one hand it could tire Russia, on the other they could claim victory by arguing the damage they have caused in strategic areas, and in this way they would achieve expand into certain territories that remain the domain of Ukraine. And in this scenario, although Ukraine has resisted and has had donations, that would be insufficient to overcome the Kremlin's army, one of the most powerful in the world.

From Russia on more than one occasion they have said that they do not plan to go beyond Donbas, one of the regions that concentrate the most wealth, especially natural resources, and that has a relevant historical significance for the former Soviet Union. And in that sense and over time, perhaps for Ukraine it would not be unreasonable to negotiate said territory but to recover or maintain other areas. After all, life for these two countries is going from unsuccessful negotiation to unsuccessful negotiation, because they still haven't reached major agreements and that scenario won't change so easily.