One Year Into Russo-Ukrainan War: What Will Happen Next?

“We do not intend to unleash any war. We are not going to invade Ukraine as we are being accused of in Ukraine itself and not only there.”— the statement was made by Leonid Slutsky, Head of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs — just few hours before Vladimir Putin declared his “special military operation” in the Donbas on Feb. 24, 2022. One year passed, when the “hysteria of war” came true but the war is still continuing killing thousands. According to UN estimation, the war has already taken more than 8,000 civilian lives and led to about 13,300 injuries till now. The question is when the war will come to an end?

On March 25 of the same year, after fighting for one month, Russia announced a change in its war strategy, claiming completion of the first phase of its ‘Special Military Operation’. Russia withdrew its military forces from North Eastern Ukraine and redeployed those into the Donbas region and Sothern Ukraine. Russia, conspicuously, changed its military tactic due to the setback its military faced in Northern Ukraine. Russia has largely reduced its mission from regime change in Ukraine to consolidating hold on the territories it has gained in Eastern Ukraine. 

Ukraine has reclaimed 54 percent of the land conquered by Russia since February last year. In September 2022, Ukraine claimed that it had reclaimed about 8,000 square kilometers (3,090 square miles) of Ukrainian territory since the beginning of the war. On the other hand, in responding to the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the G-7, the European Union, and Australia have set a price cap coalition on seaborne Russian crude oil at $60 per barrel from Dec. 5 last year. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on countermeasures, prohibiting selling oil and oil products if the contracts envisage a price cap from Feb. 1, 2023.

Several Western countries in January decided to send advanced tanks to Ukraine, which would potentially escalate the war in Ukraine. For example, Germany provided Leopard 1, 2, Poland Leopard 2, UK Challenger 2 and USA M-1 Abrahams. Though Ukraine promised not to use those weapons to attack Russian territory, the Ukraine crisis will be prolonged as neither side has any tendency to end the war.

In response to the decision of the US and the West, Russia has planned to strengthen its position before advanced tanks reach Ukraine. For that reason it has increased its offensive attack on Ukraine. Russia has reoccupied several key cities and deployed a huge number of troops to hold its already occupied territories. The West is gradually turning their war goal toward Ukraine’s victory as an ultimate goal of their proxy war. That’s why the Western countries are planning to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine.

It can be evident with the statement of President Biden just days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country. In front of thousands of crowds in Warsaw — where the Warsaw pact was signed by the Soviet bloc to balance the Western NATO during the Cold War — Joe Biden, who poised himself as the champion of democracy, said that “there should be no doubt, our support for Ukraine will not waiver. NATO will not be divided and we will not tire.” Besides, Biden reiterated what he stated nearly a year before in the Warsaw that Russia will ‘never’ win the Ukraine war. During the 23-hour surprise visit to Poland, the US President announced another $500 million worth weapon package for the war-torn Ukraine. The latest promise of the military aid package is the 32nd such installment that accumulates nearly $30 billion since Russia first invaded in Ukraine in 2014.

Russia, through changes in strategy and military leadership, has partially been reclaimed its strength in Eastern Ukraine. No possibility of diplomatic solution in near sight as Russia rejected peace proposals given by both the G7 and the Ukrainian President himself. In the medium term, the war would be protracted and in the long-run it will turn into a frozen conflict.

The United States appears to drag the war for a long, aiming to substantially weaken the Russian economy, and military; probably, it hopes for the change of the current regime of Russia by invoking internal public discontent. The offensive long-range weaponry to Ukraine supplied by the West will embolden Ukraine to shift from defensive to offensive tactics.

It’s old saying that war cannot bring peace and it’s a curse for mankind. The aggressive world leaders need to understand this until it’s too little too late. The devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria shows us that humanity and peaceful co-existence are the keystones living in tranquility. Due to the war, the price of everyday commodities is soaring at the sky, creating dollar crisis and overall, it is disturbing the world peace and stability once again. With the present Ukraine situation, it is estimated that Ukraine is gradually drifting away from any negotiated solution to the crisis due to the increased military aid which resulting in achievements on the ground and a virtual stalemate in the war.

[Photo by Vitaly Nosach / RBC-Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons]

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect TGP’s editorial stance.

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