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Two-Minute Take: Russia's Now on Defense

David J. Kramer, the Bradford M. Freeman Managing Director of Global Policy at the Bush Institute, discusses the momentum shift seen in Russia's war in Ukraine.

Article by David J. Kramer September 15, 2022 //   3 minute read


The momentum has clearly shifted in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces are now very much on the offense and recapturing territory that Russian forces seized after the February 24th reinvasion of Ukraine. Russia is very much on the defense and we see more and more Russian forces are laying down their arms, defying orders from Moscow to put up a fight. This now looks like it will be very much in Ukraine's favor as the campaign continues.

There is the possibility this will go on for a considerable period of time. There is also the possibility of a sudden Russian military collapse where the Russian forces will see that they are simply cannon fodder on the battlefield and they don't know why they're fighting the Ukrainian forces as well. Ukrainians know why they're fighting. They're fighting for their land, for their freedom, for their country, for their children's future. So Ukrainians have morale on their side. They're getting the necessary reinforcement and supplies from the West, which should have been provided sooner, but better late than never in this case.

The Russians, meanwhile, are running out of supplies, turning to North Korea, Iran, even to Russian prisons to reinforce the troops on the ground. The Russian situation and outlook do not look very promising. For Ukraine it is looking better. Our goals should remain to help Ukraine to victory, defeat Russian forces, which means driving them out of Ukrainian territory. Ukrainians even have in mind the possibility of regaining control of all of the Donbas region as well as Crimea, and that should be our objective: To help Ukraine win. The more assistance we provide, the sooner this war can end, the more lives that will be saved and we can all go back to where things were before Russia invaded, going back even to 2014.