What if Vladimir Putin managed to conquer a large part of Ukraine in the spring?
If the Ukrainian army has the necessary military equipment, then this possibility can be ruled out. At the moment it is not.
Germany’s reluctance to allow German-made tanks to fight in Ukraine is unacceptable given the seriousness of the mission.
Of course, it’s better if tanks from other allied countries also land on the battlefield. But besides, the war in Ukraine is approaching its decisive stage, and the Ukrainian army needs all possible conventional weapons.
Of course, Ukrainian soldiers are not necessarily trained to use these weapons. But it is precisely the endless trembling of the allies that wastes precious time for the Ukrainian army.
One can understand that at the beginning of the war nobody gave much of the skin to the Ukrainian army, but that is no longer the case.
Likewise, Putin’s ambitions became increasingly clear once the conflict began. He at least wants to restore the former empire of the Soviet Union. Even if Russia does not seem able to rebuild its empire at the moment, this dangerous project must be stopped now.
By the end of the year, three outcomes are possible: 1) Russia regaining a significant additional portion of Ukrainian territory; 2) that the conflict is bogged down within its current boundaries; 3) that Ukraine regains a significant part of its territory.
The emergence of the first two possibilities would have negative effects on the European coalition, on the world economy and on trust in democracies. Moreover, such situations could encourage China to provide more support to Russia in order to tip the scales in its favor.
Conversely, further significant advances by the Ukrainian military on the ground would boost the global economy. They would encourage concerted action between the United States and its allies. Eventually, they would make Xi Jinping think about conquest plans like other dictators of his ilk.
Russian leaders are playing their careers in this war. The Russians would not forgive them defeat. Even a long stalemate would be dangerous for them.
Therefore, Russian propaganda tries to pretend that Russia’s very existence is at stake in this Russian-led war of aggression.
Nobody wants to smash Russia right now. However, transforming their political regime into a democracy is becoming increasingly desirable. To be honest, the rest of the West won’t be able to sleep in peace until Russia is a full-fledged democracy.
In short, the more one examines the major stakes in the war in Ukraine, the more the slowness in supplying arms seems intolerable and dangerous.