How the war in Ukraine might end

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Curated by Laura McDermott

The war has been raging for nine months. Many are now pushing for Ukraine to seek a negotiated settlement. But is that a good idea?

  • In recent weeks and months, the Ukrainian military has swiftly recaptured big swaths of Russian-occupied territory. Ukraine’s leader says this success means the “beginning of the end” of the war.
  • But military analysts say it will be difficult for Ukraine to continue to make quick territorial gains as winter approaches and Russian forces dig in, assuming a defensive posture.
  • Given its battlefield failures, the Russian military has shifted tactics, increasing the bombardment of Ukrainian cities and infrastructure in an attempt to break the Ukrainian will to fight.
  • But there’s no sign this will work. Ukrainian leaders say they will continue to fight until they win—until Russian forces completely withdraw from Ukrainian territory.
  • Behind the scenes, however, European and U.S. leaders believe that such a Ukrainian win is unlikely, and are increasingly calling for the Ukrainians to pursue a negotiated settlement.
  • But many others argue that the only path to a lasting peace is the decisive defeat of Russian forces—and that this will require more robust Western military aid.
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