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The question is not can Ukraine win a war with the Russian Federation, but might the Federation effectively  lose, becoming mired in a combat stalemate whose Russian casualties could sour the Motherland on the excursion .  Ukraine military forces are not what they were in 2014. They have received supplies of advanced Western weaponry and tactical training.  They are listed as 22nd in military power by most strategic estimates. Yet Russia is listed as only 2nd to the United States in those same estimates.  Ukraine remains vastly overmatched. Still, tenacious Ukrainian defense, coupled with a few Russian miscalculations, could ensnare the Russians into a difficult and complex standoff, reminiscent of their Afghanistan adventure.

Many people imagine Ukraine as some tiny, former Baltic, country. In fact it is larger than France and almost as large as Afghanistan in geographic area. Were Ukraine’s combat command staff and key political leaders to immediately flee into Poland, but continue to maintain effective C3 with combat units, it would give the Russians a special challenge.  Russia’s modus oparandi to kill or capture high value political targets would be ineffective. If many regular Ukrainian troops disperse into the countryside, joined by several citizen militias that have formed, it could result in a prolonged and bloody guerilla war which the Russians may be unable to effectively suppress. This confrontation may undermine Russian power with Ukrainian agility.

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