Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - One year on

The Brief, No. 42

23 February, 2023

Tomorrow will be a year since Russia invaded Ukraine.  Much has happened in Ukraine since; there has been widespread destruction of critical infrastructure, thousands have died, and millions displaced. 

When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022 its main objective, we were told by the Kremlin at the time, was to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine and protect the Russian speaking Ukrainians from neo-Nazi harassment.  These were some of the justifications that were provided by Kremlin for its “Special Military Operations” in Ukraine.

One year on, Russia has lost the media war and it is also not winning the fight on the ground.  Ukrainians, with the assistance of NATO and Western nations, are putting up a fierce fight, are gaining ground and recapturing some of the territories lost during the initial stages of the war. 

Below are some of the points to be considered as the war enters the second year:

  • Russia will intensify the bombardment of Ukraine
  • High profile Russian officials will start defecting to the West
  • Oligarchs will begin to organise against Putin
  • Continual sporadic protests in Russia against Putin will likely intensify
  • NATO, EU and the US will increase their military support for Ukraine
  • Ukraine will militarize with sophisticated weaponry
  • Sanctions against Russia will begin to have devastating effects
  • “Brand Russia” which is badly bruised, will take further knocks
  • International sport, economic and sociocultural boycott against Russia will intensify
  • Putin is likely to cement his power by prolonging his tenure in office

Afrasid is available for analysis and commentary.