Ukraine 'experts' say Russia unlikely to gain more territory so long as allied support continues: report

Since war broke out in Ukraine, Russia has made considerable territorial gains. Now, however, support from allies and a weakening Russian military have cast doubt on whether that trend will continue, according to Ukraine "experts." A number of US officials who spoke with the New York Times under the condition of anonymity have predicted that while it is unlikely Ukraine will manage to take back the territory it has lost thus far, it is improbable that much more will be acquired by Russian forces.

The officials noted that despite the loss of land, Ukraine may still come out of the war stronger than before, due to the strengthening of ties with its European neighbors, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. While the war-torn nation has not been accepted into either NATO or the European Union, the possibility is higher than ever.

As the Times reports, Russia has suffered thousands of casualties in its attempts to occupy territory near the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine over the past few months, most of which have come up fruitless. During that same time period, allied nations led by the United States have beefed up support, and strengthened the front lines.
 

Michael Kofman, a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the outlet that "Ukrainian forces are stretched thin and face difficult months of fighting ahead, but a major Russian breakthrough is now unlikely." His colleague, Eric Ciaramella, said he believed neither Russia nor Ukraine "possesses the capabilities to significantly change the battle lines" at this point.

The US officials noted that the situation could change in Russia's favor if Putin and his government expand the nation's draft and institute better training for soldiers. They also warned that a change in American policy towards the conflict could have an impact, urging the US to continue supporting Ukraine through the election in November.


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