Ukraine: Defeating Russia and Securing a Lasting Victory
One year on from Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the country’s defiant resistance and impressive successes have stunned the world. Ukraine achieved this through smart operational planning, the effective use of large-scale Western support, and the enduring will of the Ukrainian people. In response to Russia's initial invasion, Ukraine has triumphed, launching a number of successful counterattacks and causing considerable damage to the Russian armed forces. This remarkable success has been accompanied by further calls for timely and sustained support to ensure a lasting victory.
The U.S. and its allies recognize that enabling Ukraine to defeat Russia is an essential U.S. national interest—ensuring European prosperity and global stability. Support for Ukraine from the West is still strong, and Putin has seen a decrease in public opinion on the international stage. Despite this, the Russian military remains dangerous and Putin’s objectives have not changed. We cannot yet assume a Ukrainian victory, and the war is likely to persist for a long time.
Russia’s strategy is a direct attempt to split the West, and create a new security order in Europe with Russia as a full partner and respected power. Attempts to negotiate a new security order have failed, however, as Western states have failed to take these proposals seriously. It was for this reason that Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine was so devastating as it removed any hope of rapprochement with the Western Europeans, driving them into the arms of the US.
Russia is also facing other constraints, like an inability to replace its substantial losses and a reliance on other countries for weaponry. If China provides Russia with military assistance as the US has warned, that could give Moscow a boost. This highlights the importance of Western support for Ukraine, as it is essential for the country to secure a lasting victory and prevent further escalation. It is in the interests of the U.S. to enable Ukraine to secure a lasting defeat of Russia’s invasion—and possible to do so with timely and decisive aid.
0. “One year, eight world-changing numbers. Quantifying Russia's war in Ukraine.” Atlantic Council, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/one-year-eight-world-changing-numbers-quantifying-russias-war-in-ukraine
1. “What the West Must Do Now to Help Ukraine Win the War” TIME, 24 Feb. 2023, https://time.com/6258132/what-the-west-must-help-ukraine-win-war/
2. “For years, Putin didn’t invade Ukraine. What made him finally snap in 2022?” The Guardian, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/feb/24/vladimir-putin-invade-ukraine-2022-russia
3. “How will the Ukraine war end and other big questions” Vox.com, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.vox.com/world-politics/23600837/ukraine-war-russia-whats-next
4. “Why Can't Russia Figure Out How to Win?” New York Magazine, 22 Feb. 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/02/why-cant-russia-figure-out-how-to-win-in-ukraine.html