AA Edit | 2 yrs on, Ukraine still defiant

The Asian Age.

Opinion, Edit

Ukraine War: Putin's Elusive Victory as Conflict Hits Two-Year Mark

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (L) attend a joint press conference at Potocki Palace in Lviv, on February 23, 2024, on the eve of the second anniversary of Russia's invasion on Ukraine. (Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP)

It is two years to the day since Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine, which he dubbed “special military operation.” In that time, Russia’s war on the former Soviet state has rained death, destruction, and endless suffering upon the Ukrainians. Even so, the Russian President has little to show for it save a bit of territory and some military momentum now after taking over the eastern city of Avdiivka.

A virtual stalemate in the war is hardly the result the Russian supremo may have imagined two years ago when his troops stormed Ukraine, an act that was supposed to follow the playbook of the Russian invasion of the Crimea of 2014 that was followed by a quick annexation.

The historical reason Mr Putin drummed up for ordering the invasion of Ukraine and ceaseless bombing and missile strikes hardly seems relevant now though Nato nations are more skittish than before and wondering how they would defend themselves without massive support from the US were they to suffer a similar fate.

Nato countries are scaling up their military capabilities with funds and are looking to admit at least a couple of more nations that fear Russia even as a politically polarised US is tiring of supporting Mr Zelenskyy and his countrymen in their heroic defence of their nation, with aid stalled in the US Congress.  That is another reason why Mr Putin, quite ironically, calls for a ceasefire in Gaza but not in Ukraine, where he intends to press on in the hope of achieving the elusive victory.  

The war has seen to it that Ukraine will go its own way, politically, culturally, and nationally and join Nato whenever it is admitted. One of the most feared armies of the world has been unable to have its way in Ukraine whose citizens are more than ever committed to stopping Russia from subjugating their country.

Mr Putin cannot accept that there is no victory to show in two years against his bete noir — the combined West, including Nato — and he will carry on with the war irrespective of the damage it may wreak on his people and the economy, not to forget military losses. The world will continue to suffer as it counts the cost of two seemingly endless wars ratcheting up the tensions and bears the agony of counting and burying the war dead.