This question is a bit vexing for Western observers. An interesting riff off this idea is described more fully by Felgenhauer. Phillip Karber, president of the Potomac Foundation, has toured the conflict zone numerous times and points out that the Russian military is in the midst of modernization and, as such, is broken into two tiers. His contention is that this whole thing is analogous to World War I's Verdun campaign. This narrative, although chilling, makes sense. But if the Russians outlast the Ukrainians which they almost certainly can do and simply wait for Ukraine to cry uncle, then it makes all the relevant political points, domestically and internationally, far more persuasively than a pure smash-and-grab would.
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