A Neutral View On Ukraine’s Future

Ukraine — Northern Front as of March 30, 2022, from Wiki Commons by Viewsridge. Ukraine approximate positions and counterattack targets mine. Black box marks Kyiv theater. Note the Russian spearheads from north of Sumy in the east — they’ve been stuck for weeks, likely experiencing constant attacks on supply lines. However this is flat country, and a concerted effort to wipe out Ukrainian forces surrounded by Russian advances is possible.
Ukraine —Southern Front as of March 30, 2022, from Wiki Commons by Viewsridge. Ukraine approximate positions and counterattack targets mine in blue, Russian advances expected in red. Fortunately Ukraine is forcing the spearheads across the Dnieper in Kherson back from Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih, necessary to prevent Dnipro from being cut off in the east.
  • Can Ukraine cut off the Russian spearheads that charged across the flat ground between Sumy and Kyiv?
  • Will it be able to force the Russians back to the Pripyat marshes in the northwest?
  • Is Ukraine able to retake all of Kherson province, where Russian forces are threatening the logistics network connecting arms coming across the Polish border and heading to Dnipro?
  • And how battered are Ukraine’s forces in Donbas after over a month of being pounded and slowly surrounded?
  1. A fig leaf compromise is found that lets each side declare victory, with Ukraine still legally claiming territories Russia has taken but agreeing not to try and take them back for 10–20 years, in the meantime giving them effective autonomy. Ukraine agrees to military neutrality backed by a group of outside countries. Russia pulls back forces from the north and Kherson province. Some American and European sanctions on Russia are lifted. A fragile cold peace ensues so long as Putin lives.
  2. Russia keeps up the steady grind in the east, eventually surrounding or at least forcing the retreat of Ukraine’s combat forces. Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kyiv remain under threat. Ukraine refuses to relinquish any territory in talks while Russian strikes across the country slowly crush Ukraine’s infrastructure and try to starve its people into submission. Additional Russian offensives east of Kyiv once the weather improves surround Kharkiv and threaten to take all of Ukraine east of the Dnieper. The war grinds on with nuclear escalation a constant threat, and NATO supply columns eventually come under attack.

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