It’s been six months since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. The conflict has now entered an impasse fraught with danger. The Ukrainian forces defended their country with valour and forced the invading troops to retreat from the capital, Kyic, and Kharkiv. But in the south and east, Ukraine lost a few of its territories. The war has strengthened the trans-Atlantic alliance, but reeled the west under the blisters of economic consequences.
Russia has stopped ground assault, but continues bombing Ukrainan cities, with the latest one at a railway station on Ukraine’s Independence Day, 24th August. Ukraine is trying to exhaust the Russians by making the occupation costly, and attacked Crimea and Kherson several times. Russia also blamed Ukraine for a car bombing which killed the daughter of an ally of President Putin.
Reports published in the past weeks suggest the Russian intelligence miscalculated Ukrainian resistance before the war. Russian generals had to change their strategy from lightning strikes to a focused ground invasion in the east. To top it all off, Ukraine’s resistance got immense financial and military assistance from the West. To push Russia back the Western powers also imposed crippling sanctions on Russia’s economy, putting Putin in a spot. He has to tackle the economic degradation, decide on the war’s continuation and reassess his long term goals. On the other hand, Ukraine’s effort to regain its territories can result in increasing monetary losses and civilian casualties.
The only escape for both states is a ceasefire and direct talks. Turkey and the UN can provide good offices like they did back in July. Regional players like Pakistan can push the actors to come to the table. If the war continues any longer, it will hurt all the stakeholders, and decapitate the world economy.
by Amna Sheikh