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ISW explains what can force Putin to stop war against Ukraine

ISW explains what can force Putin to stop war against Ukraine Western partners must provide Ukraine with enough weapons to seize the initiative on the battlefield (photo: Getty Images)

Western partners of Ukraine may undermine Russia's desire to wage a protracted war of attrition and challenge Vladimir Putin's assumption of military success, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The report highlights that the current theory of Putin's victory is based on Russia's ability to withstand and overcome promised Western security assistance to Ukraine, as well as the country's efforts to mobilize a larger portion of its economy and population for military operations.

According to the report, Putin and the Russian military command increasingly view maintaining initiative across the entire theater of operations as a strategic imperative. Analysts at the Institute believe that the Kremlin will block Ukraine's deployment of personnel and material resources for current defense operations, doing everything possible to prevent the Ukrainian Armed Forces from accumulating personnel and resources that could ultimately lead to defeat in the war.

ISW notes that Putin's theory of victory hinges on the assertion that Ukraine cannot quickly liberate strategically important territory. However, if Ukrainian Defense Forces can swiftly nullify these gains and regain the initiative on the battlefield or across the entire theater of operations, Russia's slow advance would lose its operational significance.

Thus, the report emphasizes that Western security aid and efforts to bolster the Armed Forces, enabling Ukraine to seize the initiative, are crucial in altering Putin's calculations. Without further significant setbacks for Russia, it is unlikely that the dictator will change his assessment of the feasibility of destroying Ukraine.

"Western security assistance that provides Ukrainian forces with the necessary equipment and weapons at the scale, timing, and regularity that Ukrainian forces require for operations that liberate significant swaths of occupied Ukraine remains the only likely path for reducing Putin's current commitment to destroying Ukrainian statehood and identity regardless of time or cost," the ISW report concludes.

Frontline situation

According to analysts from ISW, the Ukrainian Defense Forces managed to encircle Russian forces at a factory in Vovchansk. However, the enemy made advances in the Avdiivka direction.

Additionally, the Russian forces are attacking in the direction of Toretsk, but the situation remains under the control of our defenders.

In June, the Armed Forces destroyed a record number of Russian personnel and equipment.

In mid-June, Putin outlined conditions under which he purportedly is willing to engage in peace talks with Ukraine.

Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy identified the only possible format for negotiations with Putin.