Mr. Putin has little incentive to end the war now, unless his hand is forced, because its continuation helps him retain power, said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a former deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia. Any negotiations after a military defeat would look like capitulation and make him more vulnerable at home, she said.
“Even if Ukraine is wildly successful in its upcoming counteroffensive, he is not going to be forced into some negotiated settlement,” Ms. Kendall-Taylor said. “Instead, he has every incentive to fight through the challenges.”
The only exception is if Mr. Putin can come away from negotiations with something he can sell back home as enough of a victory, she said.
Only 7 percent of authoritarian leaders with governments like Russia’s have found themselves unseated during a conflict that began on their watch, Ms. Kendall-Taylor found in an analysis of conflicts since 1919, which she conducted with the political scientist Erica Frantz.
“Leaders, when they initiate the war, they are rarely ousted so long as the war continues,” Ms. Kendall-Taylor said.
Read the full story and more from The New York Times.