Senior Biden administration officials say they believe that the next four weeks will shape the eventual outcome of Russia’s war in Ukraine, with long-lasting ramifications that will influence the drawing of the map of Europe for decades to come.
While the officials still expect the war to be long and grinding, they say that it is imperative to rush Ukraine as many new weapons as possible — especially long-range artillery and anti-artillery radar — to push back Russia’s new advance in the eastern Donbas region.
Reflecting the renewed sense of urgency, President Biden announced on Thursday that the United States would send Ukraine an additional $800 million in military aid, the second such package in just over a week.
Even if Russian forces prevail in the next month or so, the specter of that army then advancing on western Ukraine or beyond Ukraine’s borders — a real fear at the start of the war — now seems far-fetched, several officials said.
“Win, lose or draw, the Russian military is likely to be a spent force after this next phase,” said Michael Kofman, the director of Russia studies at CNA, a research institute in Arlington, Va. “Russia would be hard-pressed to sustain any campaign beyond the Donbas.”
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