The next few weeks in Ukraine will be crucial

In any case, neither side has an incentive to stop fighting now, especially since both sides probably detect the chance of a breakthrough in the weeks ahead. In recent weeks, Russia has been pummeling Ukrainian positions with artillery rockets, and Ukraine’s rockets don’t have the range to fire back. The new U.S. rockets President Biden is sending will match the Russians’ range, and therefore shift the balance of power. It will take a few weeks, however, to ship the weapons, then train Ukrainians (probably in Poland) how to use them. How much damage will the Russian pummeling do in the meantime?

Advertisement

Meanwhile, the Russians are running short on vital resources as well: manpower (due to deaths, desertions, and Putin’s decision to go to war with too few troops to begin with), weapons (a quarter of their tanks lost in battle), and, perhaps most significant, morale. Putin is not deluded about any of this. He knows that his army has performed poorly; hence his firing of at least five top generals just this week. However, he also knows—in recent weeks, a number of Western eminences and analysts have given voice to this—that the West is losing patience for this war and the economic devastation that it is wreaking worldwide. He is hoping that if he can keep up the barrage for a little longer, the patience might snap and the pressure might build for Zelensky to make some kind of deal.

Whether or not any of these hopes or fears come to pass, a larger question remains: What happens to Ukraine once the fighting stops? The devastation has been immense. Russia seems intent not so much on reoccupying the country but on wiping it out. In any case, the recovery will be extremely expensive. At the end of World War II, the United States emerged with sufficient power and wealth to help rebuild Western Europe through the Marshall Plan and other forms of aid and investment. It’s not at all clear who will have the resources and the political will to do the same to rebuild Ukraine at the end of this.

Advertisement

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos

Sponsored

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement