The Russian-Ukrainian war could be the beginning of the end of Putin’s regime.
The Russian invasions have begun and Ukraine is at its epitome of defence. The sheer military onslaught and the formidable Ukrainian response was not foreseen a month ago. It almost felt like a return to the axis versus allies era of the 40s. However, this modern-day warfare is much more complex than implicit alliances and retaliatory remarks. It is a Cold War 2.0 - with diplomacy, economic policy, and military cooperation forming a mosaic of competition in a world that is gradually redressing the hegemonic supremacy enjoyed by the United States since the 90s.
According to political analysts around the globe (barring the prejudiced sycophants of the Western bloc), the conflict could lead to one of the two scenarios. First, Russia regroups its strategic and military might and topples Kyiy. Ukrainian deterrence has been astonishing and commendable. Putin was stupefied by the ferocious defensive showdown by Ukrainian soldiers and civil militia. However, it is inane to assume that this fierce deterrence could continue in the face of a modernized (and ruthless) Russian incursion. Look back to the invasion of Georgia, the annexation of Crimea, or the Syrian expedition. In each conflicts, the Russians were dealt with heavy casualties and severe resistance. In each case, the ruthless Russian President treated the damage as mere roadblocks as the Russian forces ultimately tore through vast territory - subjugating Georgia, truncating Crimea, and annihilating anti-Assad rebels. There is enough evidence to suggest that, albeit the progression is slow, the Russians would eventually prevail as a dominant force.
Such a scenario would subsequently place Putin in a dominant position. He would be able to place his minion in Kyiy while pressuring the US - and the European Union (EU) - to rescind the sanctions placed after the invasion. He could further demand written assurances from NATO and the EU to exclude Ukraine from any prospective membership or alliance; in return, he would recede forces from the occupied territory and allow humanitarian aid to flow to civilian enclaves. Such a scenario would hand Russia a momentary victory but festering chaos in the long run. Given the Ukrainian patriotic spirit and spite for Russia, Ukraine would turn out to be ‘Russia’s Afghanistan’. With the Western nations providing financial backing and the NATO members in Western Europe providing artillery support, guerrilla warfare would ensue in Ukraine as the Putin-backed regime in Kyiy would grapple in maintaining control without Russian military assistance. Such a compromise would be futile as Russia would not tolerate a chaotic, rogue nation on its borders - especially a country sponsored by the US to counter Russian authority. Hence, such a negotiated end to this conflict would only stall the disaster instead of resolving it.