If history tells us anything, it is that ending wars is much more difficult than starting them. This is doubtless true of Russia’s current war against Ukraine, which began in late February 2022. After more than two months of stalemated fighting, the combatants are regrouping for major Russian attacks in the Donbas region. Fighting there is expected to be intense, prolonged, and costly to both sides. Russia also continues to pound away at Mariupol, a city already more than 90 percent destroyed, and to lob periodic salvos at Kyiv in an attempt to distract the Ukrainian government from the attacks in the south and east. At a minimum, Russia’s war aims appear to include creating a land bridge to Crimea and “liberating” Luhansk and Donetsk from total Ukrainian control. Ukraine, in turn, seeks to preserve its regime and control over its sovereign territory, including that populated by a majority of Russian speakers.
The above excerpt was originally published in The National Interest.
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