Russian President Vladimir Putin still wants to achieve his initial aims in Ukraine through military force, despite growing Western sentiments to seek a settlement, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.
According to ISW, neither Russia’s unsuccessful efforts to freeze Ukraine and Europe nor the “failures of his major military efforts” persuaded him to negotiate.
“Putin instead remains focused on achieving his initial war aims through protracted conflict in which he wins either by imposing his will on Ukraine by force or by breaking Ukraine’s will following the West’s abandonment of Kyiv,“ the ISW wrote.
The ISW suggests that only a series of Ukrainian victories may persuade Putin to negotiate on terms other than the achievement of his territorial ambitions in Ukraine.
“There is reason to expect that Ukrainian forces can, in fact, make gains through counteroffensives,” the ISW said.