The conflict in Ukraine is entering a "protracted phase" in which Moscow and Kyiv, whose claims seem irreconcilable, will wage a "war of attrition", according to experts.
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"Russia is preparing for a long-term military operation," Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told the European Union (EU) Defense Ministers and the NATO Secretary General yesterday. The war is entering a protracted phase,” he added.
According to him, Russian troops are fortifying their positions in the territories they occupy in the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions, in order to “go into defensive mode if necessary”.
" War of attrition "
According to experts consulted by Le Journal, the conflict in Ukraine indeed seems to be moving to a new stage, where the front line will not move much and where the belligerents will wage a "war of attrition." »
Faced with Russia's failure to accomplish its initial military objectives, the Ukrainians, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, are "crippled", said Pierre St-Cyr, former Canadian Defense Attaché in Russia and Ukraine.
“Zelensky sees that the Russians are no longer in a strong position. His negotiating position is therefore very simple: you give me everything back, including Crimea ”, annexed by Russia eight years before the invasion in 2014, analyzes Mr. St-Cyr.
Will Kyiv try to reconquer the occupied territories militarily? “It will take a lot of resources to reject the Russians. It can take years. »
On the other side, the Russians have "acquired with pain and misery" territories in the south and in the east and "there is no question of letting that go", he continues.
“It becomes vital for them to tell their people that they have achieved a certain victory,” explains Mr. St-Cyr.
Almost a month without negotiations
For Yann Breault, specialist in post-Soviet states at the Institute of International Studies in Montreal, the “gigantic gap” between the positions of the parties leaves “absolutely no doubt about their inability to come to an agreement. »
The two countries have not met since April 22. A “material and psychological” war is looming according to him, where the military equipment brought to the front could end up benefiting Ukraine.
"Faced with the inability to secure the current positions, there will perhaps be a will [of Moscow] to move the terrain of confrontations towards that of a nuclear war", fears Mr. Breault, whose scenario "prevents him to sleep at night. »
– With AFP