“A successful series of Ukrainian counter-offensives, not just one, is almost certainly necessary, but not sufficient to convince Putin to enter negotiations and not demand the achievement of all his stated goals,” he said ISW.
The institute added what is needed for this: “Ukrainian forces must show that they can do what the Russians cannot, in particular change the situation on the ground with a military operation.” They must continue to destroy Russian military power in Ukraine to the point where it becomes clear to Putin and his circle of closest supporters that the Russian armed forces cannot hope for a better outcome of the war if the fighting continues.”
Ukrainian forces must therefore be so strong and capable that the Kremlin realizes that it will continue to lose as the fighting continues. “More major Ukrainian victories at the operational level appear to be necessary to create any prospect of negotiating an agreement to settle the current conflict or to force Putin to accept an unfavorable military reality without a formal agreement,” the institute wrote in this part of the analysis.
The police are looking for seven people after the incidents at the National Museum
Putin will not give up his goals
The series of Ukrainian victories is necessary because Putin is still not about to give up on his goals. According to analysts, he will not stop waging war until he feels that he can achieve his goals in Ukraine militarily.
It does not stop there, even though Russia has not achieved any major successes in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions despite the deployment of most of the 300,000 citizens mobilized last year and 40,000 recruited prisoners. Despite great efforts and heavy losses, the Wagners occupied only a part of Bachmut, which is still not surrounded. The situation is similar with Avdijivka, where the fighting is mainly done by units composed of fighters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic supported by the Russians. The attack on Vuhledar was not successful either.
While this should lead the Russian president to change strategy and find a compromise, according to ISW, it doesn’t look that way yet: “Instead, Putin is doubling down on his commitment to overwhelming Ukraine militarily and prolonging the war by mobilizing Russia’s military-industrial base and resuming covert mobilization schemes.”
In this context, he mentions Putin’s interview for the station Russia-24, where he repeated his claims that arms supplies to Ukraine threaten Russia. He also mentioned the quick reaction of the Russian defense industry to the need to increase the number of delivered weapons. He mentioned that ammunition production had increased threefold: “Even more than threefold.”
He pointed out that when the Ukrainians fire 5,000 artillery shells per day, it is a third of the US’s monthly production.
ISW also pointed out that Putin may be waiting for Western military aid to Ukraine to wane and the Ukrainians to lose their will to defend themselves.
A Czech volunteer is missing in the fighting in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine