Post: What’s next for Putin in Ukraine?

Russia has taken Lysychansk and wants control of all Donbass. So what will happen next in the Ukrainian war? Possible scenarios.

Seal the Donbass, advance further, negotiate and thus secure what has been won or divide the West? Russian President Vladimir Putin has many options in the Ukraine war, but his goals remain unclear.

Full control of Donbass

No one seems to be able to prevent Russian troops from taking complete control of Donbass. Pierre Grasser, majoring in International Relations at Sorbonne University in Paris, believes that Russia may try to take the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk from now on.

However, the Russian troops showed that they could not go too far against the enemy. The Russian “steam cylinder works well near borders, logistics centers and airbases,” says Pierre Razoux of the Mediterranean Foundation for Strategic Studies. “The further they get away from them, the more complicated it gets.”

Black Sea blockade

The Russian army quickly captured the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine at the beginning of the war. However, the situation on the Black Sea coast is not stable. Australian military expert Mick Ryan believes the war in the south and the “freeing of Ukrainian ports from Russian influence” are of “great strategic importance”.

Controlling the coast will give Moscow access to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, as well as territories adjacent to Crimea annexed in 2014. But Ryan said, “Ukraine’s counterattacks in the south pose a dilemma for the Russians. Are they continuing their offensive in the east or are they strengthening the south?” he warns.

  • attack on Kharkiv

    Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, is the country’s second largest city. Kharkiv, a stone’s throw from the Russian border, is still under Ukrainian control and could be Putin’s next target, according to academic Razoux.

    In the event of a “Ukrainian offensive”, Moscow could force Ukrainian troops to decide to defend Kharkov or move south towards Kherson. A war for the city of Kharkov, with a population of about 1.4 million, would undoubtedly be devastating, and a siege could last for a year, according to Razoux.

    division of the west

    With each military success, Putin deepens Western solidarity. Colin Clarke of the Soufan Center in New York said Russia’s aim was to “continue to crush Ukrainian troops” and to wait for “political support for Ukraine to wane in the West”.

    Kyiv is dependent on Western military aid. But according to Alexander Grinberg of the Jerusalem Institute for Security and Strategy, Ukrainians realize that “the West cannot provide all the heavy weapons they need.”

    Each additional week of war increases the pressure on Western public opinion over inflation and the energy crisis. According to Grinberg, one day the US may simply say to Ukrainians, “You can’t go on.”

    start of negotiations

    Russian advances should not make us forget their losses: lives, sanctions and destruction of supplies. According to analysts, there are many reasons why Putin wants to end the war.

    At the end of June, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that Ukrainian soldiers should only lay down their arms and comply with Russia’s demands. “Then it will all be over in a day.”

    But even if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tends to trade Donbass for peace, his right-wing party and generals reject “any compromise with Russia,” according to Razoux. “You can tolerate a frozen conflict, but never defeat.”

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Source: ZDF

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