Ukraine Endgame

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It seems that I am making more notes ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, this is because I am not that familiar with the geopolitics of that region and to educate myself when the subject is being covered widely.

In a recent article on the Financial Times, reporters Henry Foy and Demetri Sevastopulo write on ‘End Game’ of the current conflict based on their interview with people involved in the discussion. They include the following five possibilities:

1. Russian victory, Zelensky government toppled. Because of the overwhelming power of the Russian military power, there is a distinct possibilities for a comprehensive victory of Russia. “Most analysts expect that after taking control, Russia would replace President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government with a pro-Moscow administration. That could lead to some form of western-backed Ukrainian government-in-exile based outside the country and a prolonged insurgency inside Ukraine.”

2. Partial Russian victory, Zelensky government left with rump state. “Many defense and intelligence officials say a potential retreat to western Ukraine — where Russia has so far made no attempt to seize territory — is a potential endgame. They have mooted Lviv, close to the Polish border, as a possible new capital for a rump Ukrainian state.” Based on President Putin’s essay published last year, many experts believe “Russian president’s historical justification for the invasion, hinted at a partition of the country between its more Russian-speaking east and Europe-focused west.” “But few think Putin would settle for failing to capture Kyiv or to topple the Zelensky government, given his stated aim to “demilitarise” the country and wrench it from its EU and Nato membership ambitions,” write the Financial Times.

3. Negotiated settlement, no overall control. “Ukrainian officials have suggested a deal on the status of Crimea and pro-Russian separatist-controlled regions in the east could be feasible, Kyiv has ruled out Russia’s broader demands that it become neutral and give up its military capabilities. … We keep tightening the noose,” said one. “Putin cannot hope for a fait accompli and for the world to go back to some kind of [normality]. There has been an irreversible change.

4. Russian retreat, Putin toppled. “Ukraine’s resistance so far has raised the possibility that Kyiv could continue repelling Russian efforts to seize key cities, especially if western weapons supplies continue to bolster the army’s capabilities, some observers argue. … “The way this conflict will end is when Putin realises that this adventure has put his own leadership standing at risk with his own military, with his own people, that he is haemorrhaging the lives of the people of Russia, the army of Russia and their future [for] his own vain ambition,” Nuland told the Senate foreign relations committee.

5. Broader Nato-Russia war. “Some officials caution that the conflict may not be contained in Ukraine. They warn that weapons shipments to Kyiv by Nato member states and crippling sanctions imposed on Moscow have raised the risk of spillover to neighbouring countries, a step that could drag Nato into direct conflict with Russia.

Let’s see how these prediction play-out in near future.

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