March 4, 2024

With Russia’s Luhansk region in control, President Vladimir Putin may now focus on capturing the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine before offering a ceasefire, a defense policy analyst told CNBC’s Capital Connection on Tuesday.

“Put it in [may] He offered the possibility of a ceasefire, even if it was only for him[self] An opportunity to consolidate the gains he has made so far,” said Viktor Abramovich, Director of Ostoya Consulting, which advises companies in the defense industry.

On Monday, Putin congratulated his forces for the “liberation” of Luhansk province after several weeks of bloody fighting that took a toll on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides. Much of the area’s infrastructure, including apartment buildings, has been flattened. Several deaths have been reported.

Ukrainian soldiers ride a tank toward the Seversk front line in Donetsk on July 4, 2022. Russian forces are now focused on capturing the Donetsk region of Donbass, where the province came under heavy shelling on Sunday, according to local officials.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russian forces are now focused on capturing the neighboring Donetsk region of Donbass, where the province is under heavy bombardment on Sunday, according to local officials.

Tough choice for Zelensky

Abramovich said that although the campaign did not go Moscow’s way, Russia appears “almost certainly” able to achieve its limited goals in the Donbass. Abramovich said that if Putin later offered a ceasefire, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would be in a difficult position.

“There is no specific reason to believe that…accepting a Russian ceasefire will in fact lead to a lasting peace,” he said, adding that this would give Russia the ability to fortify its forces and attack again in the future.

On the other hand, if Zelensky does not accept a ceasefire, Abramovich said, it raises “the risk of losing, probably, in time, some of the Western support that he depends on,” adding that the choice could be coercive. it by Western leaders.

He added that Zelensky’s acceptance of this ceasefire depends on how much military and financial support he feels he can receive from the West.

The future of Western support

He said there would be continued Western support for Ukraine for at least another six months to a year.

Abramovich said the November midterm elections in the United States, which is by far the largest contributor to Ukraine’s military and financial aid, will have an impact on US support for Ukraine.

“You have to keep in mind that there is a great deal of war fatigue in America but Americans [also] They have enormous resources that they can commit for decades,” he said, adding that France, the United Kingdom and Germany have different accounts of how long they are willing to support Ukraine.

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