Each day, the narrative surrounding the conflict in Ukraine shifts a little. Reports show that some days, the Russians sneakily move forward and advance their positions. Other days, beings such as the “Ghost of Kyiv”, which is destroying Russian planes as their forces push across the border, are also revealed. This narrative's constant evolution is consistent with the 24/7 news networks’ coverage and something that most people are used to.
But this narrative isn't supported by Francis Fukuyama, author and political scientist. Fukuyama engaged in an exhaustive analysis of the past, present, and future. What are the realistic possibilities people should expect, and how should they expect them to occur? While on a teaching assignment to the Balkans, he wrote for American Purpose that there was little difference between the Balkans and the rest of Europe, with the exception of a slight increase in support for Putin. He continued by listing 12 points describing the kinds of mistakes Putin is making and what is ahead for Russia.
The points he makes are intriguing, as is the passion he shows in his writing. Although the degree of Russia's losses so far in its invasion of Ukraine have been unimaginable to many, he clearly outlines the entire process and does not mince words.
According to Fukuyama, Russia is not headed for an outright victory in Ukraine. Russian planning was flawed. It was based on the mistaken assumption that Ukrainians would be friendly to Russia and that their military would collapse after a Russian invasion. Russian soldiers were wearing dress uniforms to the victory parade in Kyiv rather than being supplied with additional ammunition and rations. Putin has already committed the majority of his military to this operation. He doesn't have a large army of reserve troops he can call on to help him in the fight. Russian troops are currently stranded in various Ukrainian cities, where they face massive supply problems and constant Ukrainian attacks.
This is the key point that defines this conflict. No one worth his salt will go into battle wearing a dress uniform meant for a victory parade. Sharp uniforms are not something to trade for ammo or rations. These moves not only guarantee a loss but also cause embarrassment.
Many are concerned, including the United States, that Russia could pull in countries such as China, Iran, or North Korea due to the high stakes of this conflict. The US must offer support through an intermediary, even as NATO countries are moving on. This would help people keep their heads and stop making excuses for Russia’s attack. There's nothing wrong with giving the little kid, in this case Ukraine, a rock if the bully, Russia, jumps on him.
The collapse of their positions should be sudden and devastating, as opposed to a slow war of attrition. The field army will be unable to supply its troops, and the soldiers’ morale will plummet.
China has learned a lot from this war. China, like Russia, has developed high-tech military units in the last decade, but they lack combat experience. It is possible that the Chinese leadership won't be as deluded as the Russians were when considering a move against Taiwan.
These two paraphrased extracts from Fukuyama’s stated views, along with those of others, explain a lot about how the Ukraine situation has been playing out. It is a good sign for the world that China has learned much about what it should and should not do and Russia has discovered that it is not battle-tested, making it more vulnerable to attack. Putin should withdraw now. However, like many in power, he believes he still has a chance.