Ukrainian’s fiercer-than-expected resistance over the last two weeks has delayed the inevitable outcome of a Russian occupation of Ukraine.
Determination and heroics can only stand so long against the multi-pronged attack by Russian invaders of the breakaway republic. When the country falls, experts predict a strong resistance movement will be conducted by Ukrainians.
Putin has reportedly become increasingly concerned in recent years after a Russian-friendly leader was pushed out of office and replaced by Vlodomir Zelensky, who favored better relations with Euorope and the United States. When Ukraine began making noise about joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Putin tried to squelch that idea. For years, he has insisted Russia would not allow Ukraine, which Putin claims is still part of Russia, to join the Western mutual defense group. He threatened military action to prevent that, if necessary.
Putin’s patience came to an end February 28 when Russia invaded Ukraine from land, air and sea. For months, Putin gathered troops and tanks until he had almost 200,000 Russian forces gathered near Ukraine’s border. Ukraine resistance has seemingly bogged down a huge column of troops that headed for the capitol city, Kyiv, and made the Russians work to capture the few cities it has managed to take so far.
American and European officials expect that Ukranians will be revert to a guerilla war of resistance after Russia completes their conquest. Putin insists that he has no desire to occupy the country. He has said Ukraine can have the government of their choice after he has arrested the leaders he views as criminals and accuses of nazi-like behavior. If his words are to be believed, it may explain why they are blasting cities to pieces. If they don’t plan to occupy them, they don’t need the buildings and critical infrastructure needed for a country to function.
If the Russians do stay and rule a conquered Ukraine, a report from The Washington Post quotes un-named diplomats and intelligence officers who say the expect a robust Ukrianian resistance movemnt, which would expect to be supplied by Western countries.
Officials remain cautious about openly supporting Ukrainian insurgents out of fear it may draw NATO members into war with Russia. Putin has said support for a Zelensky government operating in Poland could constitute an attack by the alliance, some officials reportedly warned.
But Ukraine’s leaders and its citizens aren’t likely to be deterred by NATO’s concerns, according to a senior Western intelligence officer quoted by the Post.
According to the intelligence officer, Moscow has “grossly underestimated Ukraine’s ability to resist.
“I’m reminded, especially by my eastern colleagues, about Ukrainians themselves,” the un-named source said. “Ukrainians were some of the fiercest fighters … for the Soviets during World War II.” He predicted that a resistance would continue for months and possibly years.”
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