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World: Before peace is possible, Ukraine will have to experience more war

Biden assists in sending Ukraine an advanced air defense system, fulfilling one of Zelenskyy's biggest wishes

  Biden assists in sending Ukraine an advanced air defense system, fulfilling one of Zelenskyy's biggest wishes "Now is no time for complacency," Biden said in announcing the news. He also accused the Russian military of committing "horrific acts of brutality.""As the Russian military repositions for the next phase of this war, I have directed my Administration to continue to spare no effort to identify and provide to the Ukrainian military the advanced weapons capabilities it needs to defend its country," Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

A building damaged during fighting is seen in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Wednesday. © (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, File) A building damaged during fighting is seen in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Wednesday.

As the war in Ukraine approaches its third month, there are a few conclusions worth noting.

First, the Russian military has revealed itself to be a bumbling mess. A military that is devoid of skilled commanders at the top and motivated soldiers at the bottom. Second, the West, so often divided on Russia policy in the past, has responded to Vladimir Putin’s invasion with an unparalleled, coordinated sanctions campaign. Third, Ukraine is proving to be a far more ferocious defender than many analysts predicted.

Zelenskyy warns Ukraine of crucial days ahead; Russia warns of 'direct military confrontation' with US: Live Ukraine updates

  Zelenskyy warns Ukraine of crucial days ahead; Russia warns of 'direct military confrontation' with US: Live Ukraine updates Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned his nation that the coming week would be as crucial as any in the war with Russia. Live updates.“When people lack the courage to admit their mistakes, apologize, adapt to reality and learn, they turn into monsters. And when the world ignores it, the monsters decide that it is the world that has to adapt to them. Ukraine will stop all this,” Zelenskyy said. “The day will come when they will have to admit everything. Accept the truth,” he said.

Unfortunately, there’s another conclusion we can no longer ignore: the prospects of an end-of-war settlement are probably dead at the moment.

Until a large-scale battle in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region is settled, diplomacy isn't happening. The battle in the Donbas is already underway. The Russians have been conducting shaping operations, surging supplies, and stationing most, if not all, of their ground forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The West is accelerating weapons shipments to Ukraine and sending heavier weapons platforms, including Mi-17 helicopters, howitzers, and armored personnel carriers.

U.S. officials are expecting a drawn-out battle in the Donbas that could last months. In contrast to its bogged-down campaign around Kyiv, Russia has the benefit of a shorter logistical tail in the east, which means some of the problems that plagued the Russian offensive in the north (such as stalled, miles-long columns sitting on the roads without gas) may be minimized this time around. After such a pitiful military performance during the first two months, Russia has something to prove: that its military can shake off the cobwebs and change its fighting strategy. The Ukrainians have something to prove as well: Just as we drove Russian forces from Kyiv and Chernihiv, we can stall the Russian advance in the Donbas indefinitely.

Fact check: Fictional Tucker Carlson quote about Ukraine spreads on social media

  Fact check: Fictional Tucker Carlson quote about Ukraine spreads on social media Thousands of social media users shared a made-up quote in which Tucker Carlson appeared to question the authenticity of images from Bucha, Ukraine.The confusion began with a tweet in which former Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., appeared to quote Carlson on photos depicting the bodies of civilians in the streets of Bucha, Ukraine.

Of course, the number of incorrect predictions that have been shattered in this war should humble us all.

But there is one prognostication we can make with a high degree of confidence: Any diplomatic settlement between Ukraine and Russia will have to wait until after fighting in the Donbas concludes. Painful, bloody stalemates can force combatants to reassess their original objectives and sit at the table. It took eight years and over 1 million casualties before Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein finally agreed to put down their guns. A Russian military victory in the Donbas will inevitably increase Moscow’s diplomatic leverage, whereas a defeat could convince Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Kyiv can forget about negotiations and press for a military solution. Putin will do everything he can to avoid such a scenario. He needs a win.

More than 10K civilians dead in Mariupol, mayor says; European nations temper reliance on Russian gas: Live Ukraine updates

  More than 10K civilians dead in Mariupol, mayor says; European nations temper reliance on Russian gas: Live Ukraine updates More than 10,000 civilians have been killed in the besieged city of Mariupol since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. Live updates.The city is crucial to Russia's effort to link Crimea with the Donbas region, where Moscow-backed separatists have established de facto republics that even Russia only recognized days before the war broke out in February.

Where does this leave us?

Well, the war crimes will continue, and Ukrainian civilians unable or unwilling to evacuate will have no choice but to live in hell. And diplomatic advances, however limited, will be kicked down the road until one or both of the parties feel the need to actually negotiate in good faith.

Daniel DePetris (@DanDePetris) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. His opinions are his own.

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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Blog Contributors, War in Ukraine, Russia

Original Author: Daniel DePetris

Original Location: Before peace is possible, Ukraine will have to experience more war

Russia warns of 'unpredictable consequences' if US continues to arm Ukraine .
A Russian diplomatic note sent to the State Department warned of "unpredictable consequences for regional and international security."The Washington Post first reported on the document, also called a demarche. "We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security," it read.

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