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How Ukraine Could Do the Impossible: Win a War Against Russia

Ukraine NLAW
NLAW missile. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

U.S. Officials Say Ukraine Can Win War Against Russia – A combination of increasingly severe Western economic sanctions levied against Russia and clever military strategy could be enough for Ukraine to win the war with Russia, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, former U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and retired Admiral William McRaven.

Ukraine’s Small Army Fights Back

In 2018, Ukraine had 297,000 troops – a figure not substantially different from the 256,000 troops it had in 2014 when Russia successfully annexed Ukraine. By the time Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine, he had built up roughly half of that number on the border with Ukraine already – and the Russian military still has more than a million soldiers ready in the homeland.

Despite having a substantially smaller military, however, Ukrainian troops and citizens have done a remarkable job of fending off Russian troops, destroying military equipment, and blocking Russian convoys. Using American military equipment and training from the US, the UK, and Baltic states on that hardware, Ukrainian soldiers have destroyed at least 280 Russian armored vehicles with 300 shots – a 93% kill rate.

Russian tanks continue to be seized by Ukrainian citizens – some of whom have literally pulled tanks out of their convoys using agricultural tractors. NATO allies also armed Ukrainian soldiers with 17,000 anti-tank weapons in just six days, giving the nation’s small army the tools they need to fight back. For comparison, Russia has only a total of 12,00 tanks total in its entire military.

Could It Be Enough?

During an interview with CNN, retired Admiral William McRaven said that the longer the fight in Ukraine goes on, the better chance the Ukrainians have of beating Russia.

McRaven said that from a conventional standpoint, the Russians have clearly overmatched the Ukrainians in terms of combat power. In terms of what it means to “win” the war, however, McRaven said that he doesn’t see Russia successfully subjugating the Ukrainian people and taking over their territory completely.

“People are standing tall, they are fighting hard, as the Russians begin to move into Kiev and Kharkiv they’re going to find themselves in an urban combat environment, and the urban environment is going to favor the Ukrainians,” he said.

He added that Ukrainian people know the alleyways and the streets better than the Russians do, and eventually, the Russian military and leadership will need to consider whether they can sustain the morale of troops to continue the fight.

“I would say, the longer this fight goes, the better chance the Ukrainians have of winning it,” he said.

That sentiment was echoed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who told the BBC that Ukraine can “absolutely win” the war against Russia.

“The war has already not gone as Russian president Vladimir Putin might have planned,” he said.

A U.S. official also told Reuters that the Ukrainians have a “significant majority of their air combat power available to them, both fixed-wing and rotary-wing as well as unmanned systems and surface-to-air systems.”

Retired United States Army lieutenant general Herbert Raymond McMaster, who served as former President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor between 2017 and 2018, also indicated that Ukraine can win the war. He argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already effectively lost by not winning outright.

Can Ukraine win? Possibly – but it all depends on how determined Vladimir Putin is to continue this conflict.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Alex

    March 8, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Reality: the complete destruction of air defense in Ukraine, the destruction of equipment by more than 74%, and someone turns their tongues to talk about the victory of Ukraine? Lying is also skillful, recently the West has a problem with this.

  2. J.E. F.

    March 8, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    Thank-you troll. Then don’t invade and focus on spreading out the wealth in Russia!

  3. Alex

    March 9, 2022 at 11:23 am

    Jeff: Take Xanox, Bandera Nazi.

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