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Ukraine Has Only One Way to Win the War

Since a ceasefire is not possible, the only way to end this war is to let Ukraine win. To this end, democracies must expand and accelerate their support.



Smoke rises in the sky over the city after a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine September 21, 2023. (©REUTERS/Vladyslav Sodel)

It has been one year and nine months since Russia commenced its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The war has now entered a stalemate. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's armed forces, admitted this in a recent op-ed for The Economist. At this point, the general said, both armies are equal in terms of technology and strength. A decisive victory for either side will be difficult under these circumstances. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected this analysis of a deadlock. He has been striving to assure the public, both at home and abroad, that Ukraine will win the war. Nevertheless, the senior general's comments contained neither idealistic sentiment nor political sloganeering, simply the harsh realities of war. 

In the interview, Zaluzhnyi explained what Ukraine needs to do to win. He clarified that Ukraine requires sufficient supplies of equipment technologically superior to that of the Russian military. The general also specified the necessary weapons. In other words, supplying these weapons is essential for a Ukrainian victory.

Why a Ceasefire Won't Work

Meanwhile, there have been calls in other countries for Ukraine and Russia to negotiate a ceasefire. The reasoning is that if the war cannot be settled on the battlefield, then a negotiated ceasefire is the only option. But this logic is fundamentally flawed, as Russia is unlikely to consider such negotiations seriously. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Russia will ultimately win in a war of attrition. After all, Russia outstrips Ukraine in human and natural resources. Conversely, a ceasefire would give Ukraine time to bolster its defenses, making it more difficult for Russia to conquer. 

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (right) and General Valerii Zaluzhnyi. (©Reuters via Kyodo)

The Path to Victory is Clear

Therefore, since a ceasefire is not possible, the only way to end this war is to let Ukraine win. To this end, we must expand and accelerate the provision of arms from the liberal democracies that support Ukraine.

With the necessary equipment, the Ukrainian military could drive the Russian army from its territory and end the war. Liberal democracies have all the equipment Ukrainian forces require. Providing Ukraine with this equipment is feasible as long as these countries have the political will to do so. The path to victory in Ukraine is clear and realistic.

So what can Japan do? Japan has been providing humanitarian and economic aid to Ukraine. Recently, the government has also been discussing the relaxation of arms export restrictions. Hopefully, this discussion will yield results and Japan can send arms to Ukraine. This move would significantly contribute to international peace and discourage Russia's aggressive intentions. It would also reduce the likelihood of a contingency in the Far East.

International political scientist Andrii Gurenko, the author of this article, at The Sankei Shimbun Osaka Head Office on February 2, 2023. (©Sankei by Mizue Torikoshi)


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Andrii Gurenko

Andrii Gurenko is an international political scientist from Ukraine.

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