Against Russia, Ukraine will lose a war of attrition

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As Russia’s war on Ukraine staggers into sixth month, Ukraine is on the verge of a key shift in strategy. And belatedly, President Biden is providing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with some of the weapons he so desperately needs to implement it. 

Until recently, Ukraine’s military has been sustaining devastating losses trying to thwart the Russian onslaught in the Donbas, the eastern part of the country. Fighting bloody and ultimately losing battles in the streets of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Ukrainian forces were unable to halt the Russian onslaught there. Russian troops occupied both cities. 

Although Russia’s casualties were said to be higher than Ukraine’s, Zelenskyy estimated that 60-100 Ukrainian soldiers were dying each day in the fighting. Other analysts put Ukrainian casualties even higher. 

Finally, Zelenskyy acknowledged that trying to hold onto what he called “dead cities” against overwhelming Russian force was futile. Ukrainian forces withdrew. 

THE UKRAINE WAR SHOCKED THE WORLD. WE MUST ACT NOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT ONE IN ASIA

But Zelenskyy also recognizes political reality: if the war continues to descend into a stalemate, or what New York Times columnist Tom Friedman called a grinding, “somewhat boring slog,” Ukraine will lose. 

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