Claudia Luna Palencia
ars in the 21st century will not be what they used to be. Skilled technology coupled with digital development is making Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an increasingly detailed and specialised strategic fight.
Today, a Turkish-made drone like the Bayraktar, costing an average of $1-2 million depending on the model chosen, can collapse a long column of Russian tanks by silently destroying several vehicles and dropping explosive charges on train cars carrying supplies for the enemy.
I dare say that all the world’s defence agencies are taking note of this war, which we are practically experiencing live, and are analysing the failures of the Russian offensive and the successes of the Ukrainian defence.
This is the titanic struggle between a nuclear-armed country that boasts military power and a country that lacks nuclear weapons and has a smaller military arsenal, but which has never been intimidated.
Putin’s war continues to add days and with it a psychological and emotional toll that is beginning to take its toll, especially on the invader, who is desperate to return home, embrace his family and get on with his life. The imposition of martial law in Russia is not ruled out.
The Russian dictator’s victory is not possible – so far – because all his calculations, those of his futures, have been shattered thanks to the fact that the Ukrainian leader, Volodymir Zelenski, did not run away at the moment of the invasion. This has shattered all the schemes.
Zelensky is a ruler with his own sins, we cannot deny that, in fact, his name was on the Panama Papers list and Ukraine was (and still is) marked by high levels of corruption and an unequal lack of opportunities among its population. But the media entrepreneur and actor cannot be faulted for the position he took in the face of the wartime uprising.
If Zelensky had fled, perhaps we would not now be in the 77th day of the occupation, which continues to add up to the destruction of buildings and cities, the murder of thousands of civilians, and the heavy casualties of both the Ukrainian and Russian armies.
The comedian, who was so reviled for lacking long political experience, is now praised for his rock-solid, emboldened, reckless and forward-looking stance, demonstrating great leadership skills and the ability to remain calm despite knowing he and his family are targets of the Kremlin.
That has changed the game. He has stayed to defend his country, despite the risk of death for himself and his family. This stance has given the Ukrainians a very high morale, as they have a clear objective: to repel the Russians, beat them, kill them and regain their territory.
This high morale contrasts with the demoralisation of the Russian troops who do not know why they have left their daily lives to go and die in a foreign country that has not attacked them and which they are invading because it fits in with the Kremlin dictator’s supremacist plans.
On the subject
And Zelensky has given NATO a purpose by not running away. He has opened the door to an enormous opportunity to show some cohesion among its member states; above all, he has brought the Alliance out of its coma and also injected vitamins and life into the European Union (EU).
At the same time, the United States has the opportunity to erase the calamitous exit from Afghanistan. Those were days of a very bad image of weakness and it was also at odds with other allies who withdrew their troops in a shameful manner because Washington did not take them into account in carrying out a dignified strategy for a joint withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Putin believed that this window of weakness also provided him with an opportunity to invade Ukraine and that nothing would happen beyond sanctions because Zelenski would flee and then Kiev would fall in less than two days and the Kremlin would reinstate Viktor Yanukovych in power.
None of this has happened, because the Ukrainian leader’s courage has also given courage to NATO and the EU, as if it were a contagion effect. Zelensky resists and the West gives him weapons and shelters Ukraine with money, with historic sanctions against Russia, welcoming refugees and accepting in extremis the country’s accession to the ranks of the European club. If consummated, the EU would in part have to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction, paid for with its taxpayers’ money. Can Ukraine win the war? If Putin does not press the nuclear button …. it can win it. If the Wagner Group does not kill Zelenski… it can win it.
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