Russia has repeatedly said that it will pursue a military operation in Ukraine to the end to achieve all its goals. Meanwhile, Kyiv insists on never giving in to territory.
After more than a year, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is at a stalemate. Both sides suffered great losses, especially, Russia had to see a series of setbacks on the battlefield when it had to withdraw its troops from some areas in Ukraine. However, Moscow does not seem to have any intention of ending its military campaign in Ukraine, instead, continuing to concentrate its troops on the Bakhmut and Avdiivka fronts in Donetsk province, eastern Ukraine.
In its latest assessment, the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) identified three options for Ukraine at the moment.
First, Ukraine can choose to stop fighting even as Russia continues its ground and air attacks. This is a scenario that Kyiv is definitely undesirable and unlikely to happen because it will lead to a “disastrous failure” for Kyiv.
Second, Kyiv continued to fight, but with the limited goal of defending the territories it controlled. However, this does not mean that Russia will stop there, but will continue to expand its military campaign to other parts of Ukraine.
Third, Ukraine will launch large-scale counter-attacks with two purposes, including forcing Russia to the negotiating table or creating military superiority so that Ukraine can freeze the conflict. This scenario is considered the most likely to happen. Ukraine is said to be planning a counterattack around April or May when modern weapons aid from the West becomes more abundant.
That is why the Ukrainian military continues to defend Bakhmut in Donetsk, even though analysts believe the city has little strategic value. Some military experts recommended that Kyiv should not waste more resources and troops on the Bakhmut front, but save it for a counter-offensive campaign later.
According to the ISW, Ukraine needs to achieve more successful counter-attacks to increase the prospect of peace talks or pressure Moscow to “accept the adverse reality on the battlefield” and cannot hope to turn the tide of the war if it continues. military campaign.
Meanwhile, some analysts fear, even if Kyiv and Moscow reach a truce, Russia could use that opportunity to rally and restore forces for future attacks.
Ukraine has repeatedly said it will not accept any terms of peace talks forcing it to cede territory to Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow affirmed that it will pursue to the end to achieve all the goals set out in the military operation in Ukraine. Negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv have been deadlocked since March last year.