A men’s professional boxing match is usually scheduled for twelve rounds, but many end in a knockout much sooner. When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th from the North, the South and the East, President Vladimir Putin hoped to knock out Ukraine in just a week or two.
That didn’t happen. Five weeks later, as Russian forces were in hasty retreat, it was obvious that Ukraine won Round 1 by a wide margin, albeit at a heavy cost. That, despite the fact that the Russians held on to most of their gains in Sothern Ukraine.
Russia Vs. Ukraine
Within days Russia will have ramped up its attacks in the South and East. This time, the Russians will not be nearly as confident as they were at the beginning of Round 1.
With more limited objectives, will Russia attain a decisive victory, if not land a knockout punch? Or will her generals have learned very little from their great losses in Round 1?
We shall learn the answer soon enough. Surely the Ukrainians will continue to outfight the Russians as they did in Round 1. So, both sides will remain on their feet to fight in Round 3.
What Putin is surely at least beginning to grasp that the Ukrainians, unlike many of his own troops, will continue fighting. So, we may see a Round 3, and perhaps even a Round 4.
Knowing that the Ukrainians are willing to fight to the death, Putin may try to compel them to give up by carpet-bombing their cities, or even resorting to chemical warfare – tactics he used successfully in Chechnya and in Syria.
It’s trite to compare this brutal war with a professional prize fight. But it is fair to say that this may well be a fight to the death.