Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Kyiv, July 2022
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Reuters

As Russian forces gain ground in Ukraine, that country’s president and allies all seem to agree: Ukraine must fight on to victory and restore the prewar status quo. Russia would disgorge the territorial gains it has made since February. Ukraine would recognize neither the annexation of Crimea nor the secessionist statelets in the Donbas and would continue down the path toward membership in the EU and NATO.

For Russia, such an outcome would represent a clear defeat. Given the vast costs it has already paid, along with the likelihood that Western economic sanctions against it would not be lifted

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