David Dunn, of EA and the University of Birmingham, joined India’s WION News on Saturday to analyze the prospects for Russia’s offensive — perhaps its last chance of making a significant advance — in eastern Ukraine.
He puts that offensive in the context of a year of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, reviewing the military, diplomatic, and economic situation.
It’s a mismatched battle. Russia has more men and more equipment. Ukraine has more Western equipment, better-trained forces, and the will to fight for the liberation of the country.
There is also analysis of a possible Russian plot for a coup attempt in Moldova, which lies to the west of Ukraine.
I think Russia would like to reunite the Soviet Union under a new flag, and Moldova falls into that category. They would like to take on the Balkans.
But the Balkans are now protected by NATO membership for the most part, and so they are out-of-bounds for the Russians.
However, Putin has wrong-footed Western diplomats so people must approach him with caution.
And a reminder of what is at stake:
Putin would like control of the Donbas area [in eastern Ukraine], area which he has declared to be part of Russia. But if he is successful, he may well push on: Putin has come back time and time again to claim more of Ukraine.
He wants all of the country. Even if he gets the Donbas and stops there, he may come back in a few years for the rest of Ukraine.
From Ukraine’s perspective, they want their country back and a long-term security future where they are not frightened of being invaded by their neighbor.