Resistance is not the same as victory. But will Western governments provide the level of support needed to defeat and expel Putin’s forces?
After a month of war, Russia has effectively lost, but Ukraine has not won. While Russia continues to throw troops into battle and bomb cities, few military analysts now believe that Russia will be able to regain the military initiative. As Russian forces are pushed further back from the main cities, attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure would need to be carried out using long-range guided missiles rather than field artillery.
However, long-range missiles are expensive and Russia may run out of physical ability to replace its missile stocks as sanctions restrict the supply of electronic components. Many missiles are now reportedly missing their targets, as Russia has to dig into old and poorly stored Soviet-era stocks.
There is now far less Western scepticism about Ukrainian claims of Russian losses and growing trust in Ukrainian capability. Ukraine is now well-supported by the West to continue effective defence.
But continuing resistance is not the same as winning the war, if by winning we mean inflicting sufficient military defeat to force Russia to retreat and to stop attacking civilians. Ukraine cannot win the war with the current level of Western support.
Ukraine is not yet getting precision long-range weapons to remove Russian occupation forces from captured cities. It also lacks air power to protect troop concentrations on the open steppes, and medium-range missiles to deliver strategic counter-attacks.