On the eve of Ukrainian Independence Day, calls for Crimea’s liberation have come amidst warnings by the West and Ukrainian officials of a significant possibility of a Russian attack on major population centers.
Though Russia has made excuses for its slow progress in the Donbas, citing a wish to ‘limit civilian casualties, the reality seems to be a large amount of Western materiel successfully crippling Russia’s ability to push into Ukraine. However, dislodging Russia from occupied territories will be a far more difficult task, requiring Ukraine to receive far more materiel donations than it has so far. Even as Russia attempts to ‘freeze’ the conflict with referendums in the Donbas, Ukraine will likely be able to continue its planned offensives and attacks in southern Ukraine.
Increasingly, the European Union has begun to address the serious issue of energy security, with the success of Ukraine’s military increasingly tied to European cooperation in arms transfers and diplomatic/economic pressure.