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The Urgent Need for Continued Support for Ukraine



Two years after Russia's invasion, Ukraine and its Western supporters are facing a critical decision point: How can further Russian advances on the battlefield be stopped and reversed? Russian forces have been steadily advancing, capturing the ruined city of Avdiivka and making fitful progress in other areas along the front.


Russia's advantages in manpower, materiel, and defense production have grown, while Ukrainian forces are facing dwindling supplies of critical munitions and significant manpower shortages.

 

The current battlefield dynamics are rooted in decisions made since 2022. Russia mobilized its war economy, built defensive fortifications, and obtained a large number of artillery shells and drones from partners like Iran and North Korea. In contrast, the West and Ukraine did not fully mobilize their resources. Russia has regenerated personnel and replenished its forces, while Ukraine has struggled to keep up.

 

Without a surge in Western military aid and changes to Kyiv's strategy, Ukraine's battlefield position will continue to worsen. Ukrainian units are at risk of hollowing out, making Russian breakthroughs a distinct possibility. However, Russian forces have vulnerabilities that can be exploited over time if Ukraine receives the necessary support.

 

Russia's military is a mix of strengths and weaknesses. While it has rebuilt its forces and increased defense spending, it also faces challenges, such as a decline in equipment quality and manpower constraints. The erosion of Russia's advantages will only matter if Ukraine is resourced to defend itself.

 

To capitalize on Russia's weaknesses, Western policymakers must understand the current state of the Russian military and provide Ukraine with the support it needs. Ukraine has shown that it can inflict high costs on Russian forces when sufficiently manned, supplied, and entrenched. However, without immediate action, Ukrainian forces are at risk of being overwhelmed.

 

Russia's current objectives include advancing in Donetsk and rolling back Ukraine's 2023 counteroffensive in Zaporizhzhia. To hold their positions, Ukrainian forces need urgent replenishment of ammunition and manpower. Western military assistance must be approved quickly to sustain critical supplies and maintain combat systems.

 

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