Is there an opportunity Ukraine wins? Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wes Clark solutions.


In lower than every week, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted worldwide outcry and robust sanctions from america and European Union.

In an opinion column for USA TODAY final week, retired Gen. Wesley Ok. Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, wrote that “NATO have to be ready to acknowledge the brand new actuality of a extra adversarial Russia. This may require new pressure deployments, logistics and emergency procedures, and deepening cooperation within the nonmilitary spheres.”

USA TODAY Opinion requested Clark this week for his perspective on what’s occurring as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine unfolds. His dialog with Editorial Board member Austin Bogues has been edited for size and readability:

‘It has been actually onerous however we’re nonetheless’: Life in Ukraine as Russian forces assault Kyiv, Kharkiv

Wesley K. Clark

Wesley Ok. Clark

Q. What’s Putin’s subsequent transfer after it seems his preliminary efforts have been stymied to grab the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv?

A. He’s going to herald extra forces. This far he has used “ahead detachments” to probe Ukrainian defenses and try to coerce the federal government to give up. It hasn’t labored. Now he’s bringing his fundamental pressure ahead, together with Belorussian forces. He’ll in all probability intensify his air exercise and use heavy artillery strikes.

Ukrainian soldiers take position on a bridge inside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Feb. 25, 2022.

Ukrainian troopers take place on a bridge contained in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Feb. 25, 2022.

Q. How will the conflict come to an finish? Is there nonetheless a risk of a diplomatic answer?

A. A diplomatic answer is unlikely. It may finish with Kyiv overrun and a Ukrainian authorities in exile. Or it may finish in a Russian withdrawal to face one other operation. Or it may finish with a Western and United Nations demand that Putin can not ignore, resulting from sanctions and worldwide strain.

Q. What does the nuclear deterrence activation Putin issued Sunday imply in sensible phrases?

A. This was a method of pressuring Ukraine in doable negotiations and likewise a warning for the West to not intervene.

Q. Is there an opportunity the Ukrainians may win? What would that seem like?

A. The Ukrainians may win if heat, moist climate and poor Russian logistics immobilize the Russian pressure they usually have the means to assault and destroy that pressure. Ukraine may additionally win if the West and worldwide efforts pressure Putin to withdraw.

Q. What are the possibilities the battle escalates?

A. If Putin wins right here, he’ll go after his subsequent targets, Georgia and the Baltic states. This may deliver escalation. Sooner or later, if the combating in Kyiv intensifies, the U.S. might need to intervene even when it dangers escalation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered nuclear deterrent forces on excessive alert.

Q. Will the sanctions issued be efficient in stopping Putin?

A. Sanctions may cease Putin ultimately however in all probability not instantly.

Commentary editor Austin Bogues is a member of USA TODAY’s Editorial Board. Observe him on Twitter: @AustinBogues

You’ll be able to learn numerous opinions from our Board of Contributors and different writers on the Opinion entrance web page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our each day Opinion e-newsletter. To answer a column, submit a remark to

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: May Ukraine win conflict in opposition to Russia? Former NATO commander solutions.

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