Russia’s lack of battlefield success can be traced to a variety of systemic problems, including poor training, bad assumptions, and corruption. However, a retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, who holds the Pershing Chair of strategic studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis, argues that the Ukrainians will not submit to a Russian-appointed president. While Russia is unable to implement plans quickly enough, previous incursions gave Ukraine training-by-fire, allowing it to identify its shortfalls and develop solutions.
While satellite imagery showed that the Russian military was moving weapons into the Crimea, it was unclear if they were building new bases. The new Ukrainian president dissolved parliament and called early elections in an attempt to put an end to the separatist conflict. But the president said that a resolution was necessary to address the mounting food crisis in Ukraine. So, the international community is stepping up to support the Ukrainian government. And the UN General Assembly has passed a resolution calling for a peaceful end to the conflict.
While the United States and its European allies have stepped up pressure on Russia, the Kremlin is not letting the situation slide. President Biden, a long-time ally of President Obama, has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes and described the invasion of eastern Ukraine as “genocide.” And the U.S. government has approved the sale of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, the first such deal since the conflict began. Meanwhile, the United States Department of Defense has approved an additional $200 million in defensive aid to Ukraine. This makes $1 billion in defensive aid to the Ukraine since 2014.