Ukraine’s continuation is by no means guaranteed.
There is no sign of a mass Russian withdrawal, and Russian forces have continue to attack Ukrainian positions and towns and villages of Ukraine. In areas where Ukraine already has an advantage, the Russian military can find ways to dig deep, hold the front and wait for winter, when the ground freezes and advances are more difficult. After a period of faster maneuvering, the fighting could slow down and revert to a war of attrition, with Russia poised to destroy populated areas with artillery pushing back Ukraine.
But Ukraine’s recent achievements have reshaped the political landscape as well as the battlefield. Currently, it seems unlikely that Western countries will withdraw military support to Ukraine, which has proven necessary. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin is facing unusual criticism at home in light of recent military losses – and concerns from Xi Jinping, the leader of China, Russia’s most powerful partner.
In this context, Russia’s central problem – the lack of trained and powered fighters – is not easy to solve. Putin’s statement on Wednesday that “partial mobilization” of those with military experience would see some 300,000 troops called up could help replenish Russian forces. But the quality of recruits is not clear, can take time to organize and deploy, limiting immediate effectiveness on the battlefield.
While still considered unlikely, it is now conceivable that Ukraine’s continued successes could lead to a decline in morale and the ability to fight, said Rochan Consulting analyst Muzyka. of the Russians, Mr. Muzyka, an analyst at Rochan Consulting, wrote on monday.
“It is no longer science fiction to think that war will end in weeks, months, not years,” Musyka wrote.