Next month will mark a year since the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine has continued. The Russian military has proven to be disorganized and surprisingly inept, President Zelensky by contrast has shown incredible resolve and organization, and the West is by and large committed to a Ukrainian victory. So why is that victory, nearly a year later, still so uncertain? The Biden Administration continues to pursue correct policy, but far too slowly – Washington’s “drip drip drip” approach to aid has left Ukraine approaching something more akin to stalemate than advancement as we reach mid-winter. A pervasive hesitancy to provoke Putin is still holding the West hostage, and plays directly to Russia’s advantage. We have passed the point of immediate and swift defeat, and the war is unlikely to end anytime soon and perhaps not even fully in Ukraine’s favor. Time is not on Ukraine’s side, but the West is not prepared for that reality.
Yaroslav Trofimov discusses his WSJ piece, The War in Ukraine Will Be Long, Is the West Ready? Trofimov is the Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent of the Wall Street Journal. He covered the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 and has been working out of Ukraine since January 2022. He previously served as Rome, Middle East, and Singapore-based Asia correspondent, as bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and as Dubai-based columnist on the greater Middle East. He is the author of two books, Faith at War and Siege of Mecca.