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Putin Increasingly Likely to Escalate In Ukraine With Political Gains Still Limited

  • Interesting summary here from Economist Tim Ash on the status of the Ukraine crisis:
  • Similar to the thoughts highlighted in this morning’s summary, he sees a near-term escalation as more likely than de-escalation with Putin suffering heavy political losses at this stage in his ideological conquest – adding to concerns of a more protracted conflict with little concern for the economic impact.
  • So far, Ukraine has been unwilling to make concessions, as doing so would destroy Zelensky internally -rendering Russia’s offers yesterday dead in the water. Their population has overwhelmingly supported the effort to push the Russians out, leaving a surrender at this stage as highly unlikely, unless Russia’s military advantage becomes abundantly clear and the threat of mass casualties too great to bear.
  • For now, with morale among Russian troops low, the clearest option is likely increased aerial assault to impose fear with the hope of extracting a surrender. Ash also highlights the concern of the conflict expanding to Poland and the Baltics, given Putin’s frustration.
  • However, this is another kettle of fish entirely and Putin will be wary of a historic defeat, given the difficulties he is currently facing in Ukraine and burgeoning socio-political pressure at home for a quick resolution.
MNI London Bureau | +44 020-3983-7894 |
MNI London Bureau | +44 020-3983-7894 |

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