Death, destruction and despair – due to the Russian attack, this has been real everyday life in Ukraine for almost ten months. But when will this war come to an end and, above all, how?
The renowned history professor Sir Lawrence Freedman commented on this in an interview with “Welt”. According to the historian, who is considered a luminary in the history of strategy, Russia’s President Putin is in a quandary when it comes to ending the war. The war is ironically difficult to end because Russia lost it. Moscow can no longer win the armed conflict militarily. “Not according to their initial goals, anyway,” says Freedman.
However, admitting defeat and withdrawing troops, which Ukraine would see as a victory for itself, is out of the question for the Kremlin chief. “Because then Putin would have to answer for the consequences of his nefarious adventure,” Freedman said. The historian is therefore pessimistic with a view to a quick end to the war.
Ukraine therefore has only one option: to win. “You have to face a very difficult situation and accept that the only way out is to defeat the Russians in battle,” says Freedman. Of course, this is a mammoth task. “But until the Russians accept that they did wrong and should never have invaded Ukraine, it’s hard to imagine a better solution.”
However, the British have no idea what goals Putin is currently pursuing in his war of aggression. Initially, the overthrow of the Kiev government would have been on the agenda, followed by the conquest of the Donbass and the regions of Zaporizhia and Cherson. All plans have not or not fully succeeded so far; neither the removal of the government nor the complete capture of the provinces mentioned.
The Kremlin is currently targeting the destruction of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in particular. Strategically, Moscow won’t achieve anything with this, but it makes life and staying power more difficult for the Ukrainians. Freedman does not believe that Putin is still concerned with the NATO issue and Ukraine’s neutrality. “But if it had only been about that, we would have had a deal long ago, because we talked about it in the spring.” Russia’s actual war aim is now “completely in the fog”.