Until 2014, hardly anyone in Russia and Ukraine believed in the possibility of war between these countries, but Putin’s aggressive policy did its job.
Reuters estimates the likelihood of war between Russia and Ukraine as a possible but unlikely scenario.
In the event of a war between Russia and Ukraine, the alignment of forces will clearly not be in favor of Ukraine.
The Russian army is estimated at 900,000 people against 206,000 fighters of the Ukrainian army and a threefold excess in tanks and other equipment.
In the event of war, Ukraine can only hope for NATO intervention and make sure that Russia’s victory comes at too high a price.
At the moment (November 2021), Russian divisions with a total number of 92,000 people are concentrated on the border with Ukraine.
However, the army of Ukraine is no longer the army that allowed the capture of Crimea without a fight and was defeated in 2014.
The Army of Ukraine is anti-missile systems, portable anti-tank complexes Javelin and combat drones Bayraktar of Turkish production.
Western military strategists believe that in the event of a military invasion, Russia will land troops in Odessa and attack Mariupol, deploy an offensive along the Russian-Ukrainian border, move military units from the territory of Belarus, but the main offensive will unfold from Donetsk and Lugansk, where Russia has a large bridgehead for the deployment of ground forces.
The Russian army will have to advance through territories whose population is hostile and it is unlikely that Russian troops will be greeted with flowers.
In addition, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause a complete rupture of relations with the West.
Further sanctions and the severance of economic ties between Russia and NATO countries are likely to lead to economic collapse in Russia, where the situation is already difficult. Russia’s economy is in a significant downturn, and a military invasion will require considerable economic effort.
It is unlikely that the rupture of relations with the countries of Europe and the United States will please the Russian elite, which has significant investments in Europe and the United States. In this case, Putin will find himself in a position where the closest like-minded people may turn out to be fierce enemies.
Most likely, the current situation with the escalation of the situation around the possible invasion of the Russian army in Ukraine will repeat the previous scenario of the spring of 2021, when Russia, as a response to NATO military exercises in Eastern Europe, concentrated 100,000 military contingent along the border with Ukraine.
In any case, it is necessary to wait for active actions no earlier than the end of December – the beginning of January, when weather conditions will allow for large-scale military operations, but this will be the last war for Putin, and maybe for Russia.