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Kremlin tries to win over Ukraine to use its potential in war with NATO - ISW

Kremlin tries to win over Ukraine to use its potential in war with NATO - ISW Photo: Russia wants to use the potential of Ukraine for a large-scale war with NATO (Getty Images)

The Russian Federation is preparing for a potential war with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and is seeking to conquer Ukraine to exploit its resource potential, reports the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The report notes that the Kremlin will consider anything short of Ukraine's capitulation as an existential threat to Russia's ability to wage war against the Alliance.

Russian military leaders planning a war against NATO must anticipate that Ukraine may enter such a conflict on behalf of the Union, regardless of Ukraine's membership status in the Alliance.

ISW analysts believe that the front with NATO along Russia's entire western border with Europe poses serious challenges for Russian military forces. Conversely, Ukraine's defeat would enable the aggressor to deploy its forces along Europe's entire eastern flank, from the Black Sea to Finland.

"Russian victory in Ukraine would not only remove the threat of Ukraine as a potential adversary during a possible conventional war with NATO but would also provide Russia with further resources and people to commit to a large-scale confrontation with NATO," the ISW report states.

It is noted that regardless of how Russia divides Ukraine between Russian annexation and a Kremlin-controlled puppet state resulting from Putin's desired regime change, Russia would gain access to millions of people whom it could conscript into military service, as well as a significant portion of Ukraine's resources and industrial potential.

"Putin and the Kremlin therefore likely view victory in Ukraine as a prerequisite to being able to fight a war with NATO and any ceasefire or negotiated settlement short of full Ukrainian capitulation as a temporary pause in their effort to destroy an independent Ukrainian state," the ISW report concludes.

Threat of War with NATO

In recent months, discussions about Russia's possible invasion and war with NATO countries have intensified in Europe. Germany has assessed Russia's preparation period for such a war as six years.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned of a high risk of Russia's war with the Baltic countries and emphasized that the risk of confrontation will sharply increase if Ukraine does not stand firm.

France does not perceive a real threat of Russian invasion into NATO countries. However, they are convinced that Europe should prepare for such a scenario.

Meanwhile, ISW analysts believe that Russia is attempting to achieve a ceasefire and use it to further advance into Ukraine and destroy its statehood.