About the book
As Ukraine tries to retake territory and reestablish a military balance with Russia, it faces a formidable foe. Nonetheless, most Ukrainians appear determined to fight on. A September Gallup poll found that 70% of those surveyed thought they would continue the struggle until victory over Russia is achieved. And that sentiment is confirmed by the actions of Ukrainians on the battlefield, where US-made weapon systems such as the Javelin missile launcher have given outgunned troops a fighting chance against Russian tanks. Meanwhile, the broader West has demonstrated remarkable unity in support of Ukraine’s war effort and in imposing punishing sanctions on Russia, a major trading partner.
The question is how long the war will last and whether Ukraine can eventually drive Russian forces out entirely, including from Crimea and other eastern regions of Ukraine. Most security experts say that is unlikely, but the war will likely bog down into a drawn-out conflict in which Ukraine’s defenses are expected to hold up stoutly. Several key factors are at play here. First, Putin’s invasion plan was unrealistic. He apparently assumed that a quick march on Kyiv would meet little resistance. He did not expect that the Russian army would face such a stout Ukrainian defense, even with massive Western military aid. In addition, the Russian military suffers from poor morale. Its members are waging a war against a country with which they have religious, ethnic, historical, and even familial ties. That kind of conflict, in a military that has long suffered from systemic morale problems, is a recipe for disaster.