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Defence Intelligence of Ukraine official says Kyiv can’t win on battlefield alone: such wars end in treaties

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Defence Intelligence of Ukraine official says Kyiv can’t win on battlefield alone: such wars end in treaties

Vadym Skibitskyi, Deputy Head of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, has said that he sees no way for Ukraine to win the war on the battlefield alone. He believes that such wars can only end in treaties.

Source: Skibitskyi in an interview with The Economist

Details: Skibitskyi noted that even if Ukraine managed to push Russian troops back to the borders, which is an increasingly remote prospect, it would not end the war. 

Skibitskyi noted that both sides are currently trying to take the „most favourable position“ before potential negotiations. But he also stressed that meaningful negotiations may not begin until the second half of 2025.

By then, Russia will face serious „headwinds.“ Russia’s military production capacity has grown, but will plateau in early 2026 due to a lack of materials and engineers. 

Both Ukraine and Russia may eventually face a shortage of weapons. But if nothing else changes, Ukraine will run out of weapons first.

Skibitskyi said the biggest uncertain factor in the war was Europe. If Ukraine’s neighbours do not find a way to further increase their defence production to help Ukraine, they too will eventually be targeted by Russia. 

He downplayed the importance of Article 5, which deals with NATO’s collective defence and even the presence of NATO troops in countries bordering Ukraine. This article, in his view, may prove to be of little practical significance. 

Quote from Skibitskyi: „The Russians will take the Baltics in seven days. NATO’s reaction time is ten days.“

More details: He also noted that Ukraine’s bravery and sacrifice have given Europe a multi-year head start, eliminating the immediate threat of the once-fearsome Russian airborne forces and marines for at least a decade. 

Now, as Skibitskyi stressed, the question is whether Europe will reciprocate by allowing Ukraine to stay in the game: „We have no choice. We want to live. But the outcome of the war […] isn’t just down to us.“

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