How the international media covered the Russo-Ukrainian war, June 6

Anton Semyzhenko

"History is littered with nations that launched wars in the expectation of a quick and painless victory, only to bog down in a conflict far more protracted and far less successful than anticipated. Think of Napoleon in Spain and Russia, Germany in World War I and II, North Korea in the Korean War, Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War, the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. Once the initial spasm of optimism faded, these conflicts all turned into wars of attrition in which the side that could endure and inflict the most punishment prevailed." This is how the column of The Washington Post columnist Max Boot. entitled "This is no time to hesitate in Ukraine”. Russiaʼs "military operation”, he said, is moving in this direction of unsuccessful wars for those who started them. Putin, however, does not think so yet, although he has lost more than a thousand tanks in the war. He hopes that the West will get tired of this war. And, of course, some statements by Europeans like Emmanuel Macron, or Americans like Henry Kissinger, give Putin cause for optimism. However, their position, in essence, means rewarding the Russian dictator for inciting this unjust war, Boot writes. Meanwhile, even though the current situation in Ukraine does not look as good for the Ukrainian army as a month ago, it is definitely better than three months ago. Also, the Ukrainians are gradually recapturing the villages in the south and even entered Sievierodonetsk, which was already considered lost. This means that the West should not give up, on the contrary ― now is the best time to help Kyiv more intensely. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has formulated the doctrine of US involvement in conflicts abroad: States join only when they have more than enough weapons and other resources to win convincingly. And now, Boot writes, the United States must provide Ukraine not with minimum weaponry set for waging a war, but more than enough to reach its borders by February 24.

What will happen after Ukraine wins? This is the question the authors of the influential diplomatic monthly Foreign Affairs ask. First, they offer to understand the terms: what exactly will be the victory for Ukraine. The authors of the article, Liana Fix and Michael Kimmage, offer two options: a small victory and a big victory. Small is the liberating of all Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia after February 23. Achieving this will not be easy, but it is realistic, given that Putin is running out of weapons and manpower. However, this will definitely cause revanchism in Russia and will sooner or later lead to a new war, the authors of the article are convinced. The conquest of Ukraineʼs “D/LPR” and the Crimea can be a devastating defeat for these sentiments ― and this is what Fix and Kimmage call a great victory. It cannot be called unrealistic, but for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to really reach the official Ukrainian borders, a lot of stars must align. Itʼs always harder to attack than to defend, and the territories captured by Russia in 2014-2022 are large and well fortified. One significant victory after another is needed ― and this will happen against the background of Putinʼs constant threats of using nuclear weapons. One way or another, after small or large victories, Ukraine will need a lot of weapons to ensure its safety. Therefore, Kyiv, Washington, London, and other Ukrainian allies must be patient in this matter and do not hope to get everything at once, the publication concludes.

The world should show Putin a dead end in his Ukrainian adventure, not give him the opportunity to "save face", writes the head of the Atlantic Council think tank Frederick Kempe in its own publication. The compromise will now leave Moscow with 20 percent of Ukraineʼs territory and continue the horrors of Ukrainians living under Putinʼs troops. Yes, Kempe admits, it is easy to get tired of war ― but people should always remember about the suffering, because they do not stop. And, given this, the head of the Atlantic Council finds it strange that Joe Biden said that the United States would provide weapons to Ukraine only if it wonʼt hit targets on Russian territory. “If someone is killing your family members by shooting across a fence from your neighbor’s yard, what good is a weapon that can only shoot as far as your side of the fence? If you don’t take out the shooter, the killing continues. It’s this kind of weakness that makes Putin so confident he can win through attrition”, Kempe writes. He also insists on more active arms supplies to Ukraine ― at least in order to quickly recapture Kherson, thus making it much more difficult for the Russians to attack Mykolayiv and Odessa.