BERLIN – Next month, Russia’s violent assault on neighboring Ukraine will have been going on for one year. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan for a quick “special military operation” – a “Blitzkrieg” – has failed, owing to Ukraine’s unflinching resistance, the West’s united support of its defense, and Russia’s own incompetence.
Rather than a rapid military victory culminating in regime change, Putin’s “special operation” has instead descended into positional warfare. Even after a year, no one can say for certain when and how the war will end. Most likely, it will continue for some time, claiming many more victims. Yet it is hard to imagine a scenario in which Russia could still achieve its primary goal of eliminating Ukraine as a sovereign, independent state.