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Russia's war in Ukraine in critical stage. West following three possible scenarios — CNN
15 June, 2022

Western intelligence and military officials believe that the Russian-Ukrainian war is at a pivotal moment, which could determine the long-term outcome of the confrontation. This moment may force Western countries to react more sternly to Russia's actions, according to CNN, who cited sources familiar with US and other Western intelligence.

One NATO official believes that the moment will soon come when one of the parties will succeed.

"Either the Russians will reach Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, or the Ukrainians will stop them here. And if Ukrainians can hold the line here, in front of so many forces, it will matter," the official said.

According to the publication, Western officials are closely monitoring three possible scenarios. Under one scenario, Russia could increase its success in two key areas. Another option: combat clashes can lead to a stalemate, which will prolong the war for months or years. This will lead to huge losses on both sides and a slow-growing crisis that will further undermine the world economy.

The least likely scenario is that Western sources will reconsider their military goals and declare victory. According to sources, this scenario looks no more than wishful thinking.

The West fears that if Russia manages to gain a foothold in the east, it will use these territories as a springboard for further advancement in Ukraine. So far, officials believe that Russia has a more favorable position in the Donbas — solely because of the greater number of soldiers and equipment.

The situation on the front line has escalated into a war of attrition, built around artillery fire, the newspaper writes. Both sides suffer heavy losses and face a potential shortage of manpower. Russia lost about a third of its ground forces. So, according to US intelligence, Russia will try to rebuild its forces without full mobilization, as this is a dangerous step that Putin has so far refused to take.

What preceded?

Putin recently said his goal was a war of aggression against Ukraine, which he called "the return and strengthening of territories." The President of the Russian Federation compared himself to Tsar Peter I.

The Pentagon has said that Putin still wants to seize many Ukrainian territories, if not all of Ukraine, but believes that he will not succeed.

However, on February 24, when announcing the beginning of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said that Moscow allegedly had no plans to occupy Ukraine, but aimed only at illusory "denazification" and "demilitarization." Therefore, the head of the Russian Federation once again contradicts himself.