In February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, setting off a conflict that has become one of the bloodiest in Europe since World War II. The war has put Putin in jeopardy and sparked a deep crisis in European security.
Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Is A Strategic Blunder And A Turning Point For Europe
The invasion has dealt a severe blow to Russia’s reputation as a re-emerging power, causing it to lose some of its leverage against the European continent. It has also damaged the Russian anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) bubble over Crimea, once regarded as an important bulwark against Western expansion.
Putin’s Strategy Is Misguided And Unlikely To Work
When Russia invaded eastern Ukraine in 2014, it did so with the aim of dividing the country and creating a separate state for its east. In order to achieve that goal, the Kremlin had to rely on disinformation, irregular fighters and even regular Russian troops.
But those tactics have failed to fend off Ukraine’s battle-hardened military and turned Russia’s campaign into a prolonged, stalemate. That is not good news for Putin, who started this war betting on a short and decisive victory.
The Ukrainian army has launched two successful counteroffensives in September and November that drove Russian forces out of Kharkiv oblast and Luhansk oblast. Then, in December, the Ukrainians pressed further assaults into Kherson oblast and Zaporizhzhia oblast. These advances have led to a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian troops and civilians killed by Russia, but not to the extent that Moscow’s aims can be achieved.