Ukraine has said it will not agree to any ceasefire deal that would involve handing over territory to Russia, as Moscow intensified its attack in the eastern Donbas region. Andriy Yermak, Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, said: “The war must end with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.” As Russia continues to attack Ukrainian territory, one expert thinks President Vladimir Putin and his forces will be defeated.
Author and political scientist Francis Fukuyama said the Russian military is now facing the possibility of “outright defeat”
He told the American Purpose website: “The collapse of their position could be sudden and catastrophic, rather than happening slowly through a war of attrition.
“The army in the field will reach a point where it can neither be supplied nor withdrawn, and morale will vaporise.
“Russian soldiers were evidently carrying dress uniforms for their victory parade in Kyiv rather than extra ammo and rations.”
Mr Fukuyama then said that Russia’s defeat could prove very damaging for Putin personally.
He continued: “Putin will not survive the defeat of his army.
“He gets support because he is perceived to be a strongman; what does he have to offer once he demonstrates incompetence and is stripped of his coercive power?”
The Russian military has suffered a number of setbacks since its invasion began in February.
Many feared major cities such as Kyiv and Kharkiv would fall within days, but three months on they remain under Ukrainian control.
Moscow also lost its flagship – The Moskva – after it was sunk by Ukrainian forces in April.
On Sky News in the UK, the former chief of the general staff of the British army, General Lord Richard Dannatt, said Putin had not achieved much in this war.
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He said: “The significance from the Ukrainian’s point of view was just how long the fighters within the steelworks managed to hold out and hold on, because that dragged in such large numbers of Russian troops who otherwise might have been deployed elsewhere.
“[Putin] feels obviously very strongly he’s got to achieve something. And that something is, in his view, the complete control of the Donbas region.
“Elsewhere they’ve done really poorly. I think the Russians, according to reports, are making some small gains but frankly, small gains isn’t going to win this campaign for them.
“The Ukrainians are still retaining the very well-prepared defensive positions that they’ve occupied for the last six, seven, eight years.
“With Ukrainian standing on the defence, it’s the Russians who have to throw their combat power against well-prepared Ukrainian positions. And that largely explains why the Russians are taking so many casualties.”
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On the blockade of Odesa port, where Ukrainians have been denied essential goods such as food, Lord Dannatt added: “This is one of those major issues that doesn’t just affect the Ukrainian people.
“It affects all of us worldwide. From a military point of view it is a very interesting one to watch. Ukrainians will be desperate to hold on to Odesa, but they can’t use it as a port at the present moment.
“For defensive reasons they’ve heavily mined it. They are determined to prevent the Russians capturing Odesa and pushing up through to Transnistria in Moldova.”