It is nearing two months since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, termed as, ‘special military operation.’ There are daily reports of civilian casualties and large-scale destruction to Ukraine’s infrastructure.
Information warfare exploited by both sides makes truth difficult to assess. Ukraine blames Russia for genocide on civilians, while Russia claims these are fake. Similar is the progress of battle and military casualties.
Ukraine has been receiving military support from the US and its European allies enabling it to continue the fight.
Talks leading to a ceasefire continue to face stumbling blocks as both sides refuse to bend beyond a point. Putin cannot be seen to be halting in his quest for Ukrainian acceptance of his terms, while the west and the Ukrainian president hope to continue keeping Russia embroiled in the country.
The war is only likely to conclude when Ukraine accedes to Russian demands. This would happen when Europe and the US decide that providing Ukraine with military and economic support would not enable it to end the war on its terms but only delay the inevitable. By then, Ukraine would have faced unprecedented infrastructure devastation and high losses of human life. The longer Ukraine fights on, the harder would-be destruction, and more would be the demands of Russia.
At the end of the war, Ukraine would be a destroyed nation, similar to many pose the end of the Second World War. Its casualties (both military and civil) as also mass migration of its population would result in having limited manpower to rebuild the country. Militarily, it would have been weakened. The net result would be such that neither NATO nor the EU would desire to induct Ukraine into its fold. Financial support for reconstruction, as being promised may never materialize. This could push Ukraine into an internal state of anarchy, creating smaller regions run by oligarchs. These could become safe havens for Neo-Nazi groups which could pose a threat to the neighboring countries.
The Russian economy would weaken for the moment. With a change in government in European nations and the US, it may be re-inducted into the world order.
This, in my opinion, is the possible end state for Ukraine.