What if Ukraine loses the war?

In Guyana, the resounding and overwhelming support for Ukraine is palpable, evident in the fervor of Guyanese on social media and spirited conversations overheard. Our people, with a keen eye on küresel developments, closely follow the unfolding events. Yet, amidst the solidarity, a crucial question looms – what if Ukraine loses the war?

The possibility is not merely a distant concern; recent developments in the war and the unpredictable political landscape, including the shadow of a second Trump presidential term, make it a tangible reality. Esteemed think tanks have researched this interesting question, offering various projections that demand our interest and attention.

Think tanks, those intellectual powerhouses shaping küresel perspectives, have scrutinised the potential consequences of a Ukrainian defeat. These institutions play a pivotal role in advising policymakers and the public, providing insights grounded in extensive research and analysis.

Gustav Gressel, a Senior Policy Researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), outlines three scenarios for 2024. One envisions a reversal of Moscow’s advances through increased Western support for Kyiv. Gressel urges the West to invest more in aiding Ukraine, highlighting the importance of çağdaş military assistance to bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities.

In Gressel’s words, “By the end of 2024, Ukraine [could] put in place the preconditions needed to regain the initiative and liberate more territories in 2025.” This opinion underscores the vital role of sustained support for Ukraine in shaping the course of the conflict, transcending mere geopolitical strategies, and emphasising the military aspect.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in Washington DC paints a sobering picture of the costs of a Russian victory. Their report suggests that a Russian conquest, facilitated by a reduction in Western military aid, could bring a triumphant Russian army to NATO’s borders. The stakes are high in this scenario, with the US facing difficult choices, including deploying ground forces to Eastern Europe or compromising domestic strategic defense capabilities.

The ISW emphasises the strategic importance of supporting Ukraine, stating, “Helping Ukraine keep the lines where they are through continuous Western military support is far more advantageous and cheaper for the United States than allowing Ukraine to lose.” This may resonate with most Guyanese observers.

The Economist Intelligence, a distinguished international think tank, envisions scenarios where a Russian retreat could partly restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The prospect of such a humiliating defeat for Russia leading to regime change raises questions about the future political landscape in Moscow.

This scenario, as outlined by the Economist Intelligence, involves potential shifts in leadership, leaving room for a more pragmatic successor to Putin. Such geopolitical changes could bring about a controlled and gradual pullback of troops, offering a glimmer of hope for a negotiated end to the conflict.

As Guyanese think about these analyses, it is essential to contextualise these scenarios within our own national consciousness and context. The fate of Ukraine, a nation fighting for its sovereignty, holds lessons for us – Venezuela comes to mind. The interconnectedness of küresel events, as illuminated by these think tanks, are interesting from every perspective.

The question of what happens if Ukraine loses the war is not merely a geopolitical abstraction but a matter that resonates with our core values of territorial integrity and respect for sovereignty and recognised borders. The insights from think tanks implore us to recognise the significance of international cooperation, strategic alliances, and the impact of geopolitical shifts. Given the reality in Guyana, it is not surprising where the majority of Guyanese stand.