According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the army closed military airports near Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk on Friday. The latter is located 150 kilometers from the Slovak border. Local authorities later confirmed the airstrike. “Based on the logic of things according to recent events in western Ukraine that Russia wants to reduce and eliminate the Ukrainian air force and wants to prevent Ukraine from operating from these airports in the west of the country,” Němec said.
According to experts, Russia still has a military peak, but is surprised. “It could be argued that Russia might expect a bit more rapid progress, on the other hand, I would be wary of some overly optimistic assessments that say Russia is not moving at all, which is not true,” said the Institute’s Kofron. of Political Studies.
“Ukraine is mainly self-defense, Ukraine has built up defensive positions, they have built up logistics, and although Russia tried to weaken the Ukrainian army by attacking strategic positions, such as airports in the west, it didn’t work because they suddenly found out that they weren’t just fighting against a certain part of the Ukrainian army, but they fought against the whole of Ukraine. Not only soldiers in the Ukrainian army, but also ordinary people who provided information about the movement of the Russian convoy, guided the Ukrainian army where Russia was moving and Russia’s position was very difficult,” Němec said.
“It can be seen that the Russians also reached Kiev from the east, although their territorial control was often limited to a few major movements. It should be realized that as Ukraine builds up their defenses in key areas, the attacker’s progress begins to slow and it is no longer realistic for them to advance tens of kilometers a day. It is more than a kilometer, which is also a question of some problems on the Russian side,” added Kofroň.
There is complete consensus within NATO that it will not come close to what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has long demanded, that the airspace over Ukraine be closed. According to Josef Kraus, a security analyst at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Masaryk University, this will come at a truly intolerable time, when there will be a series of war crimes, and it will cause such a stir that it will eventually pull NATO into the conflict. . “Or when the conflict extends to the territories of their members, such as Poland,” Kraus added.
He regarded this as, for example, the deployment of his own armed forces to prevent the advance of Russian troops or some preemptive strike that was supposed to stop the killing of civilians. Or the use of unconventional types of weapons. “But that more or less means World War III,” he explained.
The end of the war may be coming soon, but also in a very long time
As for the end of the conflict, several scenarios are offered, with one with a fast ending moving further and further away from the Russian army.
Another scenario is that the conflict extends to the borders of Ukraine. Moscow could send troops to other countries in which it has interests, such as Moldova or Georgia, and increase pressure on NATO. A diplomatic solution was also offered, although Russia’s demands (recognition of Crimea as Russian territory, independence of the rebel republics in eastern Ukraine and that Ukraine not join NATO) still seemed grossly exaggerated on the Ukrainian side.
But it doesn’t have to be just Ukraine that has to give up. The failure of the flash campaign, heavy losses of Russian troops and increasingly sensitive sanctions. All of this could cause Russian President Vladimir Putin to fall. Although his position at the helm of Russia has been unusually strong for decades, economic and social upheaval could threaten it.
“If Ukraine manages to defend itself and inflict heavy losses for a longer period of time, then Russia will probably be able to reduce its demands in some way. In the same way, if the situation does not develop well for the Ukrainian army, if Kharkov, for example, falls, then Ukraine can deal with things that are completely unacceptable to them, “thought Hospodářské editor noviny Ondřej Soukup.
According to Jan Kofrona, an agreement will be reached between the two parties in two or three weeks. “We don’t see any losses on the Ukrainian side, but if they go over the line, Ukraine may begin to understand that it can no longer extend resistance, at least in eastern Ukraine, where they will face. destruction of big cities. This area is the most important economically and in terms of population,” said Kofroň.
“The deal will come only with a very difficult compromise for Ukraine, which no one currently wants to admit. At a minimum, we can expect Russia to accept the annexation of Crimea, Russia to want Ukraine not to join NATO, then recognition of the rebel republic in the east. , and will want to demilitarize Ukraine, that is, will determine what kind of weapons Ukraine may or may not have. Let’s hope that Ukraine will never accept this possibility, because it could fundamentally damage its defenses, “concluded Kofron.
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