Ukraine War: US Changes Course, Offers Russia a Price

This is the biggest change in the US approach to the war in Ukraine since Russia launched a special military operation and Western countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow.

Ukrainian soldier guards the assigned place. Photo: AP

President Vladimir Putin has actively deployed troops to Ukraine from previous major exercises. However, since logistical guarantees are problematic, especially since NATO countries (NATO) such as the United States provide intelligence to Ukraine, Russia’s “quick-win” strategy has met with strong resistance.

The Ukraine war was well prepared, but also a hasty war. In the name of the exercise, Moscow has deployed a large number of troops to Russia’s western region. However, because it was deployed in the name of an exercise, the officers and soldiers involved were not fully psychologically prepared and there was a serious lack of logistics.

The war has come to a standstill

Currently, Russia has narrowed the battlefield and implemented a siege strategy in the eastern region and coastal cities of Ukraine. And, of course, Ukraine is very difficult to win in these areas. However, it is almost impossible for Russia to fully control Ukraine.

Although the US and Western countries are continually sending arms to Ukraine, it is not enough to change the course of the war. In most statements, the West remains confident. However, there is one thing that is very worrying. Although Ukraine has fared reasonably well so far, the actual numbers reflect Russia’s advantage, making it difficult to sustain optimism. Holding back Russian arms indefinitely is difficult for Ukraine, especially given the ongoing fighting.

If the war drags on, Russia will be bogged down and the US will be caught up in it too. For this reason, the US Secretary of State asked Ukraine to bring the above proposals to the negotiating table: Russia will cease its military activities, and the international community will lift sanctions against Russia.

However, whether Russia will make concessions during the negotiations and whether it will believe Ukraine’s commitments remains an open question.

Russia - Ukraine before Victory DayRussia – Ukraine before Victory Daylook now

Russia also fears it will suffer heavy casualties if it rushes to end the military campaign in Ukraine and US-led Western countries refuse to lift sanctions. So how Putin will maximize his gains in the negotiation process is an important issue worth keeping an eye on.

Western countries led by the US have tried to impose maximum sanctions on Moscow. However, this method did not bring the desired effect. The reason: Russia is an energy-rich country with ample energy reserves and many other resources.

The sanctions of Western countries are unlikely to affect Russia’s existence and development in the short term. In contrast, sanctions not only do great harm to America’s strategic allies in Europe, but also damage the US dollar’s position as an international reserve currency.

Therefore, the US believes that sanctions can not only destroy Russia, but also harm its own interests. Therefore, the US wants to find a way to strengthen its position as a superpower while getting Russia to consider a withdrawal from Ukraine by special means.

Explosion at the Azovstal Steel Plant in the city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine on March 11. Photo: Reuters

For Ukraine, ending the war is the best option. Many cities are now in ruins and it will take a long time to rebuild them. Although officials in Brussels passed a resolution to help Ukraine rebuild its cities and country, will they do so in the face of the European Union (EU) facing unprecedented economic difficulties? Issue.

Out of control

The Ukraine war was carefully planned by Russia but spiraled out of control. The enmity between Russia and Ukraine caused by the war could take half a century or more to fade away. Relations between NATO and Russia are constantly strained, which harms cooperation between Russia and EU countries in the field of energy.

President Putin is also in a dilemma. If Russia declares the end of the military campaign, all previous efforts will be in vain.

Information warfare between Russia and UkraineInformation warfare between Russia and Ukrainelook now

However, if this continues, Russia’s national strength will not be sufficient to support a protracted war in Ukraine. Putin must choose the right moment to immediately strengthen Russia’s position and ensure that the gains made in Ukraine are not lost. Therefore, there are several options as follows:

First, Putin is likely to advocate negotiations to bring coastal cities in eastern and southern Ukraine under Russian control. If elections are held in Russian-controlled regions and Russians are elected, Russia can safely withdraw its regular troops. As long as the Russians control eastern Ukraine and southern border towns, Russia will have a strategic buffer zone of at least 500 square kilometers.

Second, the war inflicted heavy casualties on Russia. Although fiscal policy can ensure the country’s economic stability and the ruble will not depreciate further, Russia will lose an energy market if EU countries continue to impose sweeping sanctions.

Russia hopes to find partners in Asia and India dares to overcome obstacles to strengthen energy cooperation, but the EU remains the largest trading partner. Losing the European market is a significant economic loss, and Russia must try to negotiate to keep that market.

Third, relations between Russia and the US have completely broken down, and the military confrontation between the two sides is likely to be extended to the space sphere. Russia must step up its war preparations and maintain its nuclear arsenal in difficult economic conditions. This is the only way to ensure that the US does not launch a pre-emptive strike and cause serious damage to Russia.

The war has reached a stalemate and Russia must overcome difficulties to move on. Ukraine pays an even higher price. Therefore, the parties need a smart proposal for a ceasefire that will allow some conditional sanctions against Russia to be lifted if it stops fighting, and, of course, concessions to Russia on a number of issues. Things aren’t easy, but the other options could be a lot worse.

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