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Putin continues to persuade West to abandon Ukraine and allow its destruction

Putin continues to persuade West to abandon Ukraine and allow its destruction Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden (photo: Getty Images)

Ukraine and the West have thwarted Russia's months-long attempt to persuade the West to stop supporting Ukraine, thereby creating conditions for the destruction of its defense. However, the Kremlin is likely to make another attempt, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Since autumn 2023, Russian forces have conducted offensive operations aimed at convincing the West to abandon its commitments to Ukraine, with the likely goal of destroying its defenses. However, the prolonged debate in the US over aid likely convinced the Kremlin that its efforts were partially successful, military analysts believe.

The consequences of the delay in military aid created conditions for Russian forces to achieve greater success on the battlefield than they could have earlier. The continuous Ukrainian military efforts hindered the Russian army from making significant operational progress and limited the areas where they achieved significant tactical successes.

The US decision to resume aid and the increased efforts of Europe to mobilize support for Ukraine marked the failure of Russia's attempts to persuade the West to accept Moscow's victory, according to ISW.

The course of operations over the past seven months likely convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin that continuous offensive operations would allow Russia to gradually subdue Ukraine and destroy Ukrainian statehood piece by piece. Analysts believe that Putin likely concluded that weakening Western support for Ukraine over time would become a real theory of victory for him, and he will likely continue efforts to persuade the West to surrender and allow Russia to destroy Ukrainian statehood.

Putin and the Russian military also likely concluded that Ukraine would not be able to reclaim the occupied territories and that Russia's creeping advancement, even at a high cost, would ultimately lead to its overall success. These Russian assessments will likely prompt Putin to continue the war in pursuit of final and complete victory, according to ISW experts.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy believes that Western partners fear Russia's defeat in the war. According to him, they would like Ukraine to win in a way that Russia does not lose. "Because it will be an unpredictable loss and unpredictable geopolitics," the president said.

ISW also concluded that Russia was forced to launch a renewed offensive in Ukraine earlier than planned due to the resumption of US aid to Ukraine.