The fighting between Russia and Ukraine broke out a month ago and has continued, with both sides deadlocked on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a special military operation to “disarm Ukraine and de-fascism” months after he ordered a massive build-up of troops on the borders of neighboring countries. The operation began with a series of airstrikes on major Ukrainian cities, paving the way for Russian troops to cross the border from multiple directions.
In the east, Russian infantry and armored units entered the Donbas region, where pro-Moscow separatists are located. In the south, Russian troops from the Crimean peninsula surrounded the city of Kherson and a series of small surrounding cities. In the north, Russian troops from Belarusian territory marched towards Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
Russia’s initial strategy seems to be “fast-forward and fast-win”, with landing troops occupying the most important targets, relying on superior military strength to defeat the Ukrainian army and establish a new government. Be friendly with Moscow and give up the dream of joining NATO, according to Daniel Bochkov, a member of Russia’s International Affairs Council.
However, contrary to all the predictions of military experts, despite Russia’s superiority in numbers and modern weapons, the initial goal of rapid control of Ukraine’s strategic objectives has not been achieved.
The advance of Russian troops was most beneficial on the southern coast of Ukraine, when they took control of the large city of Kherson and some smaller targets such as Melitopol. In the remaining important cities of Kharkiv, Mariupol and the capital Kyiv, the Russian army seems to have been overwhelmed by the resistance of Ukrainian troops equipped with various anti-tank weapons in the West. – Launch anti-aircraft fire.
The resistance of the Ukrainian army has slowed the momentum of the Russian army. The further into Ukrainian territory, the greater the logistical challenges faced by Russian forces, causing their 64-kilometer military convoy on the outskirts of Kyiv to be delayed for days and eventually dispersed into smaller convoys hidden in the woods.
As the battle entered its fourth week, experts assessed that the battlefield situation had reached a stalemate, and the troops on both sides were competing on important targets, unable to organize a large-scale attack, causing heavy losses to the enemy.
The Russian army has also gradually adjusted its tactics to suit the new combat conditions, shifting from rapid advance to siege organization. The port city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine has been under siege for weeks, sparking international concern over a humanitarian crisis where some 400,000 people remain trapped.
The Russian Defense Ministry insists it only targets Ukrainian military targets, not civilian infrastructure and civilians, while Kyiv has often accused Russian forces of shelling and bombing civilian targets.
Moscow denies the allegations, criticizing Ukrainian nationalist forces for using civilians as “living shields” by placing weapons and weapons in residential areas. Russia also claims that “neo-fascist” forces in Ukraine have carried out attacks on civilian targets in Mariupol.
in an interview VnExpresspolitical science expert Timofey BordachevAn associate professor at the School of World Economics and International Affairs at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) of the Russian State Research University (HSE) said the military operation is progressing slower than expected as Moscow wants to limit civilian casualties.
Bordachev stressed that Russia is well aware of the consequences of armed conflict on civilian lives and will not carry out military operations that may cause a large number of unexpected casualties.
Civilian casualties in Ukraine are still underestimated. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on March 23 that thousands of Ukrainians were killed, including at least 121 children.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) estimated on the same day that more than 1,500 people were injured in Ukraine and 977 civilians were killed, including at least 81 children. According to OHCHR, the actual figures will be higher than the published figures, as the hostilities hinder access to accurate information.
The United Nations says more than 3.6 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine and more than 6.5 million have been displaced since the outbreak of the armed conflict.
Not only is there a stalemate on the battlefield, the Ukrainian crisis has yet to find a way out at the negotiating table. Moscow and Kyiv have opened four rounds of formal talks, including face-to-face meetings and online exchanges in Belarus, but have yet to reach any political agreement.
Russia has insisted that Ukraine declare its neutrality, abandon its ambitions to join NATO, recognize Russian sovereignty in Crimea and recognize the independence of two separate regions of the Donbass. Moscow also continues to pursue the Ukrainian government’s goals of “demilitarization and defascization.”
At the same time, Kyiv laid out the terms of the peace deal that Russia must cease all military activities on Ukrainian territory and withdraw all troops from the country. President Zelensky said last week that Ukraine is ready to consider the possibility of not joining NATO or becoming a neutral country, but all parties need to provide Ukraine with long-term security guarantees. However, he said he would not accept “territorial concessions” to Russia.
According to Ukrainian analysts Andrei Buzarovthe two sides are too far apart in their political positions to negotiate what is essentially a ceasefire or peace treaty.
Bilateral diplomatic efforts continued to grind to a halt this week after Moscow and Kyiv issued optimistic statements over the weekend over the possibility of a breakthrough in talks, as both sides warned that talks would take more time. treaty.
A rare positive outcome of the dialogue effort has been a commitment to open humanitarian corridors in some hotspots to evacuate civilians and help tens of thousands of people leave conflict zones.
The crisis in Ukraine over the past month has had a strong impact on the world situation. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that it needs to reassess its forecast for world economic growth this year, with the new data likely to fall short of its initial estimate of 4.4%.
The West has also begun to reduce its reliance on Russian energy after a series of economic and financial sanctions were imposed on the country. The crisis, combined with the U.S. ban on Russian oil, has pushed world gasoline prices to record highs.
Europe has entered a new geopolitical reality with security concerns not seen since the Cold War. After a long period of low military spending, Germany has decided to increase its defense budget and increase investment in the military.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the military alliance will increase its strength on the eastern fringe, deploying four more battle groups in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. European Union (EU) members also support increased investment in defence capabilities to ensure EU security beyond NATO.
“After a month of fighting, no one can predict how the war in Ukraine will end,” commentator John Psaropoulos Al Jazeera confirm. “So far, sanctions from the West and Ukrainian resistance have not been enough to get Russia to change its stance or set its goals, and the deep polarization on the international stage makes it difficult for institutions like the United Nations to find a common ground to speak out and de-escalate the conflict.”
Zhongren (according to Al Jazeera, guardian, Associated Press)