Russian Revanchism Must Be Defeated in Ukraine
The Ukraine war is only the first phase of a broader conflict between Western democracies and an emerging axis comprising Russia and its allies. And while the West enjoys economic, military, and technological superiority, it is in growing danger of squandering its advantages and paying a much higher price later.
BERKELEY/KYIV – Earlier this month, President Joe Biden’s administration warned Congress that the United States is “out of money – and nearly out of time” to send aid and weapons to Ukraine. This, together with the recent warning by Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhnyi, that “sooner or later we are going to find that we simply don’t have enough people to fight,” has been interpreted by some commentators as a sign of Ukraine’s imminent defeat and the urgent need to negotiate with Russia.
But this interpretation echoes the calls to abandon the United Kingdom during World War II and, more recently, the futile “non-escalation” approach embraced by the West since Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008.
The data tell a different story. Table 1 outlines what Ukraine has been able to achieve with the resources at its disposal. Although these figures are based on open sources like Oryx and are probably imprecise, each data point is supported by photographic and video evidence. Even with this incomplete dataset, Figure 1 clearly shows that the Ukrainian army has been significantly more effective in neutralizing Russian equipment than Russia has been in destroying Ukrainian weapons and supplies. Moreover, Ukraine has managed to retake roughly half of the territory that was under Russian control in the summer of 2022.