Russia commenced 2024 with the biggest air and drone strikes since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, attacking civilians and infrastructure in cities including Kyiv and Kharkiv, as ammunition for Western-provided air defense runs out and debates continue in Washington on whether to provide more.
With inflated expectations on territorial progress and shifted attention to the Israel-Hamas war, international media has largely deemed the ongoing counteroffensive a failure and the war on Ukraine a stalemate. However, contrary to expectations, Ukrainian strikes into the Black Sea and the Russian navy headquarters in Sevastopol have crippled Russian naval efforts in the region and broken the long-standing blockade on Ukrainian trade. As recently as late December, Ukrainian drone and missile strikes hit and destroyed key Russian warships and landing craft in occupied Crimea. Additionally, the Ukrainian military continues to repel Russian forces in cities in the east and south, inflicting unsustainable manpower and equipment attrition on the Russian military.
The dubious framing of the war as a stalemate has become an argument against further Western support for Ukraine and has led some to push for negotiations with the Kremlin. Such narratives discount the substantial successes Ukraine has enjoyed in the Black Sea and ignore that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown no real indication of moving away from his maximalist war aims for Ukraine and Europe.
What does Ukraine need to succeed in 2024? How did the media narrative of the failed counteroffensive form, and how can Ukraine’s Western allies best maintain international support for continued aid? What is the true danger of accommodating a continuously aggressive Kremlin?
General (ret.) Philip Breedlove
Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Ambassador John Herbst
Senior Director, Eurasia Center
Director of Security Programs
Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”;
UA: Ukraine Analytica
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Europe in crisis
War in Ukraine
In February 2022, Moscow launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine after a months-long military build-up, threatening the country’s sovereignty and its future. This existential moment for the country follows the 2014 Maidan revolution, a nexus for Ukraine’s Europe-focused foreign policy and reform efforts. The ensuing Russian invasion and occupation of Crimea, aggression in Ukraine’s east, and Kremlin disinformation efforts, cast a shadow over Ukraine’s independence.
UkraineAlert Jan 4, 2024
To defeat Putin in a long war, Ukraine must switch to active defense in 2024
By embracing a strategy of active defense in 2024, Kyiv can achieve the twin goals of preventing any major Russian advances and creating conditions that strongly favor Ukraine in what is increasingly a war of attrition, writes Mykola Bielieskov.
UkraineAlert Jan 2, 2024
Ukraine’s wartime economy is performing surprisingly well
By Anders Åslund
The Ukrainian government is to be congratulated for its considerable accomplishments on the economic front while defending itself against Europe’s largest invasion since World War II, writes Anders Åslund.
UkraineAlert Dec 21, 2023
Putin scents historic victory amid growing signs of Western weakness
By Peter Dickinson
Recent indications of growing Russian confidence in victory over Ukraine owe much more to Western weakness than to the Kremlin’s own military might, writes Peter Dickinson.
The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.
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