"People will switch to a quiet survival strategy while body bags will keep coming"
Most experts agree that the war in Ukraine will not end anytime soon, and their opinions differ only in what they think will happen in the end.Source: index.hr
The British newspaper "Guardian" thus organized a panel discussion where answers were sought as to how the war in Ukraine will develop during 2023.
She adds that Ukraine and the eastern European countries closest to Russia’s borders may be willing to sustain the war for several more years. Western European states, however, may be wary of extending the conflict and its concentrated economic costs into a second winter if military gains aren’t forthcoming..
"Public dissatisfaction in the United States and parts of Europe will grow as the war drags on, even as the provision of advanced weaponry and training to Ukraine will take time to produce effects on the battlefield. For the US, however, the growing costs and the risks of escalation posed by continued conflict almost certainly outweigh the benefits from continued incremental territorial gains", she stated.
Polls of the American public have also shown that support for the policy of sending arms to Ukraine is declining.
On the other hand, Timothy Garton Ash, historian, political commentator and columnist for "The Guardian", believes that this spring and summer will be a potential time for Ukrainian victory. "At the moment, Russia still has the strategic initiative in the east, while Ukraine is running dangerously low on ammunition for its post-Soviet weapons," he says.
"But a planned Ukrainian counteroffensive this spring, using new brigades equipped and trained in the west, could turn the tide. If the Ukrainian armed forces manage to push south from the Zaporizhzhia region to the Sea of Azov, they could split the Russian occupying forces in two and potentially threaten Crimea. There is obviously a higher risk associated with that course, but also a bigger opportunity for getting to peace. This, and not a long grinding war in the east, is the best chance for Ukraine to put itself in a position to negotiate from strength", Ash points out.
Speed is of the essence, he explains, and adds that the West should not delay sending the most modern weapons to Ukraine.
Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, Russian investigative journalists and authors of the book "The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia's Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad", say that this war will last for a very long time.
"That feeling dawned on Russians at the end of 2022. Most of those who wanted to leave the country have already left. The rest, the thinking part of the population, will try to adjust to the circumstances in a state where even children are subject to compulsory propaganda in schools," they say.
In 2023, an additional feeling will be the fear of those who enthusiastically went to war and are now returning. Many will be angry and frustrated and capable of further violence.
"People will switch to a silent strategy of survival - something known to the Russians," added Russian journalists. "The body bags arriving in Russian cities and towns will not add to sympathy for the plight of Ukrainians".
According to US General and Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, the war is currently at a stalemate. This should be used as an opportunity to freeze the conflict.
What is needed now is enormous social pressure on Western governments to turn away from the logic of military escalation and turn to diplomacy. The West bears a high degree of responsibility for the escalation of this war, and there is also the ever-present threat of direct involvement. In order to stop this madness, we need an immediate ceasefire without preconditions, he believes.
How will the war in Ukraine develop during 2023? The Guardian panel look ahead:— Andrei Soldatov (@AndreiSoldatov) February 24, 2023
Emma Ashford, Timothy Garton Ash, Andrei Soldatov, Irina Borogan, Sevim Dağdelen, Frank Ledwidge and Andriy Yermak https://t.co/50KDWbhn8U