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Online Military Brief – Ukraine vs Russia

2024 Ukraine Kyiv Pic

Dear colleagues,

Key takeaways from OPEWI’s latest Ukraine vs Russia military brief, with ret. General Gary Deakin (LinkedIn) & ret. Commander SG Hans Petter Midttun (LinkedIn) – all moderated by Michael Benhamou:

1/ Only two possible scenarios in 2024 or beyond: Ukraine’s victory or Russia’s victory. Why? Russia’s rigid war aims mostly (“denazification”) and its internal dynamics (war economy + survival for the regime). For Ukraine, a frozen conflict would mean it remains economically unsustainable while Russia prepares for a new attack. It needs to win to survive.

2/ Europeans have raised their military budgets by 56% compared to 2010, but is that enough compared to Russia multiplying its war machine by three or four? If Russia wins in Ukraine, it will have the confidence (and the lack of democratic checks and balances) to pursue its efforts. And Europe will have a much longer & costly border to protect… Radical right wing parties may introduce notions of “negotiations” very soon but the reality of Russia’s aims will soon overflow everything.

3/ On the battlefield : ratios have been reversed indeed. 1/8 for artillery shells in favor of Russia. Perhaps 1/3 in terms of troops. Yet Ukraine still has superior intelligence, situational awareness, medium-range fire, counter battery capabilities.. and higher motivation. That should stem the Russian tide in the first half of 2024. All eyes on the US Congress in February.

Full replay of the brief here.