Another Year of War in Ukraine?
One year into Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, prospects for a settlement remain bleak. On 21 February, President Vladimir Putin announced in a belligerent yearly address that he would suspend Russia’s participation in New START, its last remaining nuclear arms control treaty with the U.S. The speech followed U.S. President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Kyiv, during which he reaffirmed Washington’s determination to support Ukraine. Top U.S. officials also warned that China was considering sending “lethal support” to Russia’s war efforts, which thus far it has avoided doing. Fierce fighting continues along front lines in Ukraine’s south and east, with Russian forces making small gains but seemingly incurring massive losses. Whether they can break Ukrainian lines before the tanks that several Western nations have promised Ukraine arrive, and what difference those tanks will make on the battlefield, remain to be seen.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Olga Oliker, Crisis Group's program director for Europe and Central Asia, joins Richard Atwood to assess where things stand. They discuss Putin’s yearly address and the significance of Russia suspending its participation in New START. They talk about the front lines in Ukraine and both sides’ ability to sustain their war effort. Olga talks about her recent visit to areas Ukrainian forces have recaptured from Russia and the challenges of reconstruction. They assess the mood in Kyiv, Moscow and Western capitals, and the potential impact of Chinese weapons and ammunition on the war. They also discuss both sides’ war goals, the difficulties of trying to hold the Kremlin accountable and what to watch in the months ahead.
For more on the situation in Ukraine, check out Crisis Group’s extensive analysis on our Ukraine country page.
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