by Elpidio Estioko
As the Ukraine-Russia war enters its third month, both camps think they will win the war. Both staged their own version of victory day.
When Russian president Vladimir Putin was celebrating his Victory Day, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy also announced his version of Victory Day and declared in his address that his country would eventually defeat the Russians.
“Very soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine. We are fighting for freedom, for our children, and therefore we will win,” Zelenskyy said.
Putin, on the other hand, staged a victory parade in Moscow’s Red Square, but is there a victory to celebrate in the first place?
According to an Associated Press report, “Putin marked his country’s biggest patriotic holiday Monday without a major new battlefield success in Ukraine to boast of, as the war ground continues on through its 11th week with the Kremlin’s forces making little or no progress in their offensive.”
Actually, the victory parade was honoring the Soviet Union’s role in the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany, not the current Ukraine-Russia war. However, Putin used the occasion to make his citizens believe that Russia is winning its special military Nazi operations against a “hostile” enemy nation, indirectly referring to Ukraine.
“The danger was rising by the day. Russia has given a preemptive response to aggression. It was forced, timely and the only correct decision,” Putin said.
He didn’t even mention Ukraine in his speech and generalized the war against Nazism, but his message was indirectly in reference to the Ukraine-Russia war.
After encountering massive resistance from Ukraine forces in its effort to occupy Kyiv, Russia was forced to abandon its attack on the capital city of Ukraine and shifted its military efforts to capture the Donbas, Ukraine’s eastern industrial region.
Phillips P. O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland tweeted: “Without concrete steps to build a new force, Russia can’t fight a long war, and the clock starts ticking on the failure of their army in Ukraine.”
Putin needs to massage his constituents to support him and understand that it was not a war, but a special operation against hostile Ukraine.
Nigel Gould Davies, former British ambassador to Belarus said: “Russia has not won this war. It’s starting to lose it. Unless Russia has a breakthrough, the balance of advantages will shift steadily in favor of Ukraine, especially as Ukraine gets access to growing volumes of increasingly sophisticated Western military equipment.”
The will to fight keeps Ukraine on its third-month war vs Russia. Unlike Crimea which succumbed to Russia’s invasion in 2014 without resistance, Ukraine is resisting Russia’s unprovoked war against the former through guts and the will to fight… the will to win!
With proper support from the US, NATO and the European Council, Zelenskyy is carrying on the war to the very end even if it will cost his life and the lives of his countrymen he said.
With Finland wanting to join NATO of late and starting to support Ukraine, it will enhance Zelenskyy’s optimism to win the war.
Zelenskyy refused to go into exile while the Ukraine-Russia war is going on, unlike most world leaders do but stayed in his country fighting side by side with his people.
In 2018, RAND published two reports for the US Army describing the “will to fight.”
Arguably, the publication noted that “the will to fight is the single most important factor in war. “Will to fight” is the disposition and decision to fight, to keep fighting, and to win. The best technology in the world is useless without the force of will to use it and to keep using it even as casualties mount and unexpected calamities arise. “Will to fight” represents the indelibly human nature of warfare.”
Ukrainians’ will to fight derailed Putin’s timetable to occupy Ukraine originally planned to last for a few days, which forced him to change strategy to go back into contention.
Ukraine’s will to fight is transforming its perceived weak military capability by many into a very strong resistance army trying to weaken, if not defeat, a strong adversary such as Russia.
Can we have a real victory parade soon?
ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Elpidio Estioko