Перейти к материалам

How can Ukraine hold the line against Russia?

31 minute
How can Ukraine hold the line against Russia?

It’s a tense moment for Ukraine. The optimism that followed Ukraine’s early successes on the battlefield in 2022 started to fade last summer as its counteroffensive failed to achieve a breakthrough. By late 2023, Ukraine’s then-commander-in-chief said the war had reached a “stalemate” — and by the start of the spring, things were looking even worse, with high-ranking Ukrainian officers warning a collapse of the front lines could be imminent without more weapons from Washington. In mid-April, U.S. lawmakers finally passed a $60-billion aid package, buying Ukraine some time and some hope. But Ukraine’s defense still faces major headwinds, and Russian forces have continued gradually advancing along various sections of the front line in recent weeks.

Amid this enormous uncertainty, a new report from the International Crisis Group titled “Ukraine: How to Hold the Line” aims to distill the lessons of the past year for Ukraine and its backers. According to Simon Schlegel, the group’s senior Ukraine analyst, if Ukraine and its partners take these lessons into account, Russia’s aggression is “likely to fail” — but applying them will be anything but easy.

Schlegel joined The Naked Pravda to discuss Crisis Group’s recommendations for Kyiv and its supporters and the stakes for the wider region if Ukraine fails to hold the line against Russia.

Timestamps for this episode:

  • (1:33) Stakes for Ukraine and Europe
  • (6:41) Western military aid: Incrementalism and its impact
  • (9:47) European allies: Preparedness and challenges
  • (12:25) Advanced weapons systems: Training and deployment issues
  • (16:59) Planning for contingencies: Ukraine’s efforts and limitations
  • (20:34) Negotiation prospects
  • (24:54) Putin’s mixed signals: Peace talks and nuclear threats

Hosted by Sam Breazeale. Sound editing by Kevin Rothrock.