As europe and other part of worlds witnessed 3 weeks of military engagement between Russia and Ukraine the questions ponders in many mind.
Four weeks gone and fighting intensifies, how might the situation develop from here..
It is true Russia’s invasion on Ukraine has entered a fourth week, as increasingly harsh rhetoric from Western powers towards Russian President Vladimir Putin fails to stop attacks in several cities.
It is near impossible to verify how many civilians have been killed so far.
According to the United Nations, more than 600 have died but the real figure can not be verified either.
Local news agencies Reports say thousands of soldiers on both sides have also died.
Meanwhile, Russia-Ukraine talks aiming for a peaceful solution continue
Ukrainian forces are still resisting Russia’s invasion, inflicting serious equipment and human losses.
Crucially, they repelled an attempt by paratroopers to seize the capital Kyiv in the opening days of the conflict and have since withdrawn to defensive positions that have enabled them to keep control over all strategic cities.
Although Russia has long claimed it has air superiority, Ukraine’s air defences appear to be still working, while Western countries are pouring in portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.
United States intelligence estimates that 7,000 Russian troops have died, The New York Times reported although experts say that all such claims should be treated with caution.
US President Joe Biden announced a massive new package of military aid for Ukraine on Wednesday, including 100 Switchblade “kamikaze” drones and thousands more missiles.
Ukrainian military resistance comes at a high civilian cost, however, with thousands dead and towns devastated such as Mariupol and Kherson.
“The Russian invasion has largely stalled on all fronts,” an update from the UK defence ministry said on Thursday.
But in an interview Frank Ledwidge, senior lecturer in military capabilities and strategy at the University of Portsmouth, said “What’s happened here is that the Russian attack has, in military terms, culminated”.
“They’ve gone as far as they can with the logistics and weaponry they brought into the country that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s stalled,” he said.
“What we’re seeing now is what’s called an operational pause as they start to get, in colloquial terms, their act together, which they have not had largely due to very poor planning assumptions in the early part of the campaign.
“So they’d be working frantically to try to get weapons and get their planning sorted out and to understand where does it go next. And of course, Ukrainians have a say in that, which is why we are starting to see counterattacks by Ukrainian armed forces that seem to be having some effect.”
Negotiators from both sides began talking just days after the war started, first on the Belarus-Ukraine border, then in Turkey and later in Kyiv.
Mounting battlefield losses and crippling Western sanctions on the Russian economy could push Putin to seek a face-saving way to end the conflict is a million dollar question to get answer
“Ukraine may be able to compel the Russians to make a choice to persist and suffer irreparable losses, or desist and achieve some compensatory peace,” AFP news agency quoted Rob Johnson, a warfare expert at the University of Oxford, as writing this week.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that the two sides were “close to agreeing” on a deal that would see Ukraine accept neutrality modelled on the status of Sweden and Austria.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already publicly acknowledged that his country will not join the Western NATO military alliance a key demand from the Kremlin.
But though the chances of a deal have grown significantly in recent days, there is no sign of a ceasefire and Ukraine wants a full Russian withdrawal and security guarantees about its future.
Given Russia’s superior weapons, air power and indiscriminate use of artillery, Western defence analysts say its forces are capable of grinding forward.
A senior European military official cautioned on Wednesday against underestimating Russian ability to replenish and adapt their tactics.
Some Putin critics suspect that the diplomacy is a smokescreen.
“Reminder that to Putin ‘ceasefire’ just means ‘reload’,” dissident Russian politician and former chess champion Garry Kasparov wrote on Twitter.
To be continued tomorrow …