How will the conflict between Russia – Ukraine war end? How would the conflict de-escalate or cease, and what would that mean for the two nations? Negotiated settlement efforts have stepped up as the cost of lives and dollars of the Ukraine war has risen.
Following his visit to Moscow and Kyiv last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Avuşolu expressed hope for the success of talks between Russia – Ukraine war authorities over the weekend. In an interview with the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, he said that there was “convergence on the two countries’ viewpoints on the fundamental topics.”
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The United Nations reports that at least 902 people have died and 1,459 have been injured since the battle started on February 24. However, the actual death toll is thought to be substantially higher. Thousands of military fatalities appear to have occurred, despite the lack of data that has been independently validated. Ten million Ukrainians, including more than three million emigrants, have been forced from their homes.
Given that Russia – Ukraine war generate more than half of the world’s sunflower oil supply and nearly 30% of the world’s wheat yield, the World Food Programme has cautioned that the conflict could lead to an increase in hunger and malnutrition around the world.
Experts say it is in the best interests of both parties to strike an agreement as quickly as possible since fighting would be more expensive for Russia and Ukraine than it would be for the rest of the globe. But how would the war end or de-escalate, and what would that mean for the two nations?
Thus, the Russia – Ukraine war seems to be heading towards two more probable outcomes: some form of a peace settlement or a protracted conflict.
An agreement, whether temporary or permanent, Numerous scenarios to forecast the conclusion of the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been put up since it began. Some have now started to stand out as more likely than others.
In the early days, Moscow planned a blitzkrieg that would have led to the dissolution of the Ukrainian army and government. Similarly, since Putin ordered nuclear troops to be on high alert on February 28, worries about a potential nuclear conflict have also partially subsided.
Another eventuality has become less plausible as a result of NATO’s unambiguous pledge that it will not intervene in the conflict by sending soldiers or imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine: a complete military loss for Russia.
According to recent sources, both sides’ positions have shifted recently. On March 15, Zelenskyy declared he would not pursue NATO membership but demanded the West provide Ukraine with sufficient security guarantees.
Avuşolu claims that the Ukrainian government is also willing to discuss disarmament and the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, both of which are requests made by Moscow. Also being proposed is a “de-Nazification” process that would see Ukraine outlaw specific far-right organizations.
However, reaching a consensus on a different issue—the status of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014—and the Donbas region, where Ukrainian security forces and insurgents backed by Russia have been battling for eight years—seems to be more difficult. Putin and Zelenskyy both want to avoid capitulation since doing so would result in significant political repercussions for them both and endanger their chances of remaining in power. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday, the two presidents will not meet unless all difficulties have been resolved beforehand.
Even in the best-case circumstances, it seems likely that both Russia and Ukraine would experience profound upheaval, whether or not a settlement could be reached quickly.
With a significant capital drain beginning even before the invasion, the war has already done significant economic harm to Ukraine. The International Monetary Fund predicts that the Ukrainian economy could contract by up to 35% this year, while Serhiy Marchenko, the country’s finance minister, claims that about 30% of economic activity has ceased. Numerous port facilities on the Black Sea are under Russian control, and important infrastructure like roads, railways, and bridges has been devastated.
In response to Ukraine’s financial crisis, the West has provided substantial financing, including $1.1 billion in military aid, $1.3 billion in emergency microfinance aid, $6.9 billion in financial aid, and $3.5 billion for the purchase of weaponry from the United States.
Zelenskyy officially requested Ukraine’s membership in the EU on February 28. However, the EU’s foreign policy chief cautioned that Kyiv would not be granted any exceptions and that the process may take years.
The best-case scenario for Ukraine, in the opinion of Volodymyr Ishchenko, a research associate at the Institute of East European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, would involve EU membership, substantial financial support, and Russian withdrawal. It would dissuade ultranationalist elements and persuade Ukrainians to accept potentially painful compromises as part of any peace arrangement.
Even with robust guarantees for EU membership, the war’s effects on Ukraine would make for a challenging transition. The social and political landscape would be dominated by anti-Russian emotions, which would also cause a homogenization of Ukrainian identity. and marginalization of certain political views,
Zelenskyy banned 11 parties on Sunday due to alleged ties to Russia, including the largest opposition group in the legislature.
Other scenarios, such as a protracted conflict that would allow the far-right movement to seize control of the military or state institutions, might have an even greater negative impact on Ukrainian society. Russia’s refusal to leave might lead to the division of the nation and the installation of a puppet administration.
The war is also expected to have a substantial impact on Russia’s economy and society. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) may decline by eight to fifteen percent this year, and inflation may reach twenty percent. Meanwhile, Moscow’s ability to pay its debt has been weakened by the sanctions, which have also caused a significant exodus of foreign businesses from the country’s market, increasing concerns about soaring unemployment.
The Russian government has started to tighten down on dissenting voices and critical media outlets in an effort to quell opposition to the conflict. Over 15,000 people have been detained for anti-war protests, and the liberal Echo of Moscow radio station and the independent TV Rain channel have both been shut down.