Ukraine can still beat Russia. It just comes down to receiving enough Western aid

Ukraine can still beat Russia. It just comes down to receiving enough Western aid

Business Insider reports:

With 14 to 21 well-equipped brigades, Ukraine could eject Russian forces from all Ukrainian territory, according to an American expert.

The question is whether Ukraine can find the manpower, and whether Ukraine’s allies are willing to spend the money to arm them properly. Yet what is remarkable is that despite Ukraine being outnumbered and outgunned by Russia, Kyiv still has a genuine chance of winning the war.

“What has really kind of disturbed me is that we’re two and a half years into this war, and no one’s put forth a potential theory of victory yet,” Michael Bohnert, a defense analyst at the RAND Corp. think tank, told Business Insider.

Using data from a variety of sources, Bohnert has calculated the financial costs of Ukrainian victory, or at least for munitions. Ukraine’s Western allies like the US and members of the EU would have to spend $54 billion to $72 billion per year to manufacture enough missiles and artillery shells to enable Ukraine to go on the offensive again.

For this potential formula for Ukrainian victory, there are two prerequisites. One is Ukraine amassing a sufficiently powerful ground combat force that can defeat the estimated 500,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. Past history isn’t promising. An ill-prepared Ukrainian counteroffensive in summer 2023 sputtered amid Russian minefields and inexperienced Ukrainian troops struggling to master newly arrived Western combat vehicles.

However, Bohnert points to a 2015 RAND study of the US Army that suggests Ukraine could recapture its territory. As part of that study, researchers analyzed how big a force NATO would need to dislodge a Russian force that had invaded the Baltic States, and was entrenched on Balkan territory. [Continue reading…]

Politico reports:

Ukraine’s armed forces need more long-range weapons to be able to hit targets deep behind the frontline, Germany’s foreign minister has said, as Russia makes gains on the battlefield.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of European foreign ministers in Strasbourg, Annalena Baerbock described the military situation in north-east Ukraine as “highly dramatic” amid reports that Vladimir Putin’s forces are making significant advances of up to 10 kilometers in one place.

She said it is important to provide weapons “that can be used over medium and long distances” — a remark likely to be seen as putting more pressure on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to supply Ukraine with long-range Taurus missiles. These weapons are more effective than counterparts supplied by Britain and France in targeting reinforced bunkers and bridges but Scholz has so far ruled out sending them to Kyiv.

“We are also working with other partners on this,” Baerbock said, adding that the Ukrainians are in an “extremely difficult situation.”

Germany is now Ukraine’s second-biggest arms supplier, after the Americans, but Scholz has balked at giving Ukraine Taurus missiles, fearing that to do so would draw Germany deeper into the war. The U.S. has also placed restrictions on weapons it supplies, telling Kyiv they must not be used to strike inside Russia.

Ukrainian leaders have long chafed at the prohibition imposed by allies on using Western-supplied weapons to strike across Russian borders. In a recent interview with POLITICO, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he felt the West has been requiring Ukraine to fight with one hand tied behind its back because of the strings that come attached to military aid. [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.