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Russia will lose war against Ukraine if West mobilises its assets to confront Kremlin – ISW

Friday, 21 June 2024, 06:18
Russia will lose war against Ukraine if West mobilises its assets to confront Kremlin – ISW
Ukrainian military equipment. Stock photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have noted that despite Russian ruler Vladimir Putin's rhetoric and threats, including the one to use nuclear weapons, Russia will not be able to defeat Ukraine if the West mobilises its assets to confront the Kremlin.

Source: ISW

Quote: "ISW continues to assess that Russia cannot defeat Ukraine or the West — and will likely lose — if the West mobilises its resources to resist the Kremlin."


Details: Russian leader Vladimir Putin, during his visit to North Korea and Vietnam on 18-19 June, initiated a significant information operation intended to disrupt the efforts of Ukraine’s partners to formulate a unified strategic objective and plan to decisively defeat Russia’s unlawful invasion. 

In mid-June, Ukraine’s allies made several crucial moves to develop a common strategy and outline the desired strategic outcome of the conflict. Over 80 Western and international officials recently established a firm stance on supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as the foundation for lasting peace, says the communiqué from the Ukraine-led Global Peace Summit on 16 June.

On June 13, Ukraine secured 10-year security agreements with the United States and Japan, while various partner states reaffirmed their long-term support for Ukraine through the G7 and the Ukraine Defence Contact Group formats.


Putin’s strategy hinges on the Kremlin’s ability to mislead the United States, the European Union, and Ukraine’s international allies into withdrawing their support for Ukraine. 

To undermine the international community’s cohesive strategic vision of supporting Ukraine, Putin implicitly threatened to use nuclear weapons if the West facilitates a decisive Ukrainian victory over Russia.

Putin’s nuclear threat is part of an ongoing Kremlin campaign of nuclear blackmail aimed at discouraging Ukraine’s allies from fully committing to defeating Russia’s illegal invasion, making actual nuclear escalation highly unlikely.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 20 June:

  • Russian leader Vladimir Putin launched a major information operation during his recent visit to North Korea and Vietnam on 18-19 June aimed at sabotaging efforts by Ukraine's partners to clearly define a common strategic objective and strategy to decisively defeat Russia’s illegal war of conquest in Ukraine.
  • Putin implicitly threatened to use nuclear weapons if the West enables Ukraine to decisively defeat Russia in order to undermine the international community's cohering strategic vision of support for Ukraine.
  • Putin’s nuclear threat is part of an ongoing Kremlin nuclear blackmail campaign aimed at dissuading Ukraine’s allies from decisively committing to defeating Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and is therefore highly unlikely to result in actual nuclear escalation.
  • South Korea responded to the Russian-North Korean comprehensive strategic partnership agreement on 20 June and stated that it will reconsider its previous ban on sending lethal military assistance to Ukraine.
  • Russian leader Vladimir Putin simultaneously attempted to downplay aspects of the Russia-North Korea agreement potentially in response to South Korea's concerns during a 20 June press conference in Vietnam.
  • Russian forces used the new FAB-3000 M-54 bomb with a unified planning and correction module (UMPC) to strike Ukrainian positions in Kharkiv Oblast for the first time, representing a new Russian capability with a high potential for destruction if Russian forces continue to be able to use such weapons uninhibited.
  • The United States made a policy change to prioritise delivering Patriot air defence interceptors to Ukraine against the backdrop of the increasing threat of Russian guided glide bomb use in Ukraine.
  • US policy still prohibits Ukrainian forces from striking military targets with US-provided weapons in the operational and deep rear of Russian territory.
  • The Russian military's increased over-reliance on infantry-heavy frontal assault tactics has greatly degraded the distinctions between various Russian combat services on the battlefield in Ukraine, minimising the operational efficacy of frontline troops.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted drone strikes against at least two oil facilities in Russia on the night of 19-20 June.
  • Ukrainian forces recently advanced near Vovchansk, and Russian forces recently advanced near Chasiv Yar, Avdiivka, and Donetsk City.
  • Russian milbloggers complained that the Russian military command is failing to properly incentivise Russian servicemen to fight and explain the purpose of the Russian full-scale invasion to its troops.

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