One Year On from the Russia-Ukraine War: The Continuing Devastation & Need for Western Support
One year on from the start of the Russia-Ukraine War, the conflict continues to have a devastating impact on both countries and Europe as a whole. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have been killed, with estimates of over 200,000 Russian troops lost in the conflict, according to the Ministry of Defence. This is in addition to thousands of Ukrainian civilians killed, millions of refugees, and swaths of Ukraine’s infrastructure destroyed by Russian bombing campaigns.
Russia has lost nearly half of its entire stock of tanks, either destroyed or captured on the battlefield, and more than half the territory it conquered in the early days of the war has now been retaken by the Ukrainian forces. Ukraine has achieved striking successes in 2022, through smart operational planning, the effective use of large-scale Western support, and the enduring will of the Ukrainian people.
The international community continues to show strong solidarity with Ukraine, and Putin has seen a decline in global public opinion. However, the Russian military remains dangerous, Putin’s objectives have not changed, and even a partial Russian victory would be crippling for Ukraine. The chances of a Ukrainian victory appear slim due to the formidable military might Russia can deploy. The economic impact of Western sanctions on Russia has been detrimental, yet they have failed to choke or deplete its military capabilities. Ukraine is unlikely to attain enough fighting strength, even with aid from the West, to completely regain control of its sovereign land.
The U.S. and its partners must ensure Ukraine receives timely and lasting support to enable the Ukrainian counteroffensives necessary to liberate Ukraine’s territory and destroy Russia’s military power. Ukraine needs further timely and sustained support to win this war and enable Ukrainian security, European prosperity, and global stability. The more time Russia has to rebuild its military and erode Western solidarity, the higher the chances of the situation escalating become. A ceasefire favorable to the Kremlin would only provide a temporary respite from Russia's attacks, diminishing Ukraine's ability to prepare for any further Russian aggression in the future. The U.S. cannot slow roll further aid to Ukraine and must ensure Ukraine receives timely and lasting support to enable the Ukrainian counteroffensives necessary to liberate Ukraine’s territory and destroy Russia’s military power. It is essential that the West enable Ukraine to defeat Russia and prevent the Kremlin from reconstituting its forces and fighting a protracted war.
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