NewsTwo years after the Ukraine invasion: Why Putin's victory is a mirage, says US think tank director

Two years after the Ukraine invasion: Why Putin's victory is a mirage, says US think tank director

KAZAN, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 22 (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while visiting a presentation at a gas station February 22, 2024 in Kazan, Russia. Putin is on a two-day trip to Kazan ahead of the presidential elections planned for March (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)
KAZAN, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 22 (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while visiting a presentation at a gas station February 22, 2024 in Kazan, Russia. Putin is on a two-day trip to Kazan ahead of the presidential elections planned for March (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)
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7:04 AM EST, February 23, 2024

The second anniversary of the war's outbreak doesn't bring much satisfaction to Ukrainians. The halt in aid coming from the US, consisting of equipment, ammunition, and funds has culminated in the Russian army gaining an upper hand at the front. Nevertheless, according to Rajan Menon, director of the Grand Strategy program at the think tank Defense Priorities, Vladimir Putin will ultimately not be successful.

"As Carl von Clausewitz (Prussian general and war theorist) rightly asserted, war is not solely about annihilation and destruction: it aims to achieve specific political objectives. The initiators of wars anticipate finding themselves in a superior strategic position once the exchange of fire has stopped. Even if this war concludes with Russia retaining all the occupied Ukrainian territory - a scenario that the Ukrainians would find absolutely intolerable - Moscow's position will deteriorate," Rajan Menon conveys in "The New York Times".

"Whatever happens, Ukraine will pursue its own path. For Putin, who is more preoccupied with Ukraine than any other country arising from the ruins of the Soviet Union, this alone equates to defeat," he adds.

Vladimir Putin did not anticipate this when launching the assault on Ukraine

Menon, a political scientist and director of the American think tank Defense Priorities, actively researches war and peace at Columbia University. In his essay, he contends that if Putin's main intention in the Ukrainian war was to keep Ukraine within the Russian domain, then the conflict has had entirely the reverse outcome. Ukrainian people, particularly the younger generation, have concluded that their destiny aligns more with the West, rather than the Kremlin.

Rajan Menon discerns that the shift has happened not only within Ukraine but also in Europe. "Following the invasion, the European Union rallied around its support for Ukraine in solidarity. The union, which initially had a somewhat divided stance towards Russia, has almost unanimously stood up to Putin's aggression, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban being the only exception," we find in the "NYT".

The scholar also highlights that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was a move to deter NATO's eastern expansion. In the meantime, Finland has already joined the alliance, and Sweden appears to be on the right path to do the same.

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