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Wearing Down

Attribution to Viewsridge – Own work

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is closing on the two-year mark. The pink part of the map is current Russian occupied territory, within Ukraine. The blue areas are areas that Ukraine has retaken from Russia. Ukraine has made gains but how much longer can Ukraine continue this war?

Russia has three times the population of Ukraine. Putin is now sending convicts, including those convicted of murder, into the war with the promise of once they serve their time, in Ukraine, they can go free.

When Russia invaded, Ukraine declared martial law. In doing so, all males between the ages of 18-60 were declared eligible for military service. This year, this was updated to include women. Up until now, those who have joined the military have done so on a volunteer basis. However, as one military commander puts it,

“The prolonged nature of the war, limited opportunities for the rotation of soldiers on the line of contact, gaps in legislation that seem to legally evade mobilization, significantly reduce the motivation of citizens to serve with the military.”

To put it bluntly, Ukraine is having a recruitment problem. Anyone remember Vietnam? Sooner or later, conscription will come into play. Russia can afford to incur human resource losses that Ukraine cannot. Even worse, allied countries are now having second thoughts regarding the amount of weaponry they are willing to provide Ukraine. The primary example is the US. The House has passed two Continuing Resolutions (CR’s) to avoid a government shutdown. However, neither of these CR’s included extra military funding for Ukraine. The Republicans, not wanting to cross Putin-lover Trump are hesitant to provide additional funding for Ukraine.

The situation is not desperate yet. The spirit of the Ukrainian people has helped carry Ukraine so far in this war. But the question is, might this spirit start to lag?

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