There are many things to consider before deciding if war is inevitable between Russia and Ukraine. First, the Russian government has emphasized the need for a ceasefire, as a successful peace deal is essential to prevent a war. Russia also wants to control Ukraine so that it can create a non-Western state. But Ukraine has shown that it’s more than willing to work toward Western ideals, and the current Ukrainian government does not plan to accept a Russian-appointed president.
The Russian army has been moving into Ukrainian territory from many directions, and the Ukrainians have fought back fiercely in some areas. In the south, Russian forces have isolated the city of Mariupol, but have been struggling in the north. In the east, Ukrainians have resisted Russian attempts to seize the city of Kyiv. They also fought hard to defend Chernihiv and Kharkiv.
Aside from the numbers, the Russian military’s operations appear to be focused on taking most or all of Ukraine’s eastern third. While Russian ground forces have not yet entered the western third, they do seem to be preparing to attack the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. The question remains of course: will Russia triumph? The question remains a big one. Ukrainian resistance could cause a stalemate. However, it’s unlikely that the Ukrainians would give up, and Russian military costs could soon pile up on the Russian side.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin has threatened retaliatory military measures. He’s called the West aggressive and warned of a real risk of conflict. He has pushed for the strengthening of their forces near the Ukraine border, despite the lack of an explanation. In fact, he’s sent Russian troops to neighboring Belarus for military exercises. And Russia’s deputy foreign minister has compared the situation to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.