Ukraine’s successful Kharkiv counter-offensive is a cause to celebrate both the valor of Ukraine’s defenders and the military aid given to Kyiv by its NATO allies. Ukraine might not be a NATO member yet, but this operation has been a well-executed symphony of interoperability.

However, to win not only the battle, but also the war, Ukraine must complete its transformation into Europe’s most formidable fighting force. To do so, it needs a lot more aid: more money, more military training, more intelligence, and more advanced weapons systems. In movie terms, Ukraine must transition from the Star Wars into the Star Trek paradigm, building its own Star Fleet with headquarters in Kyiv.

While the news from the front line is encouraging, it also implies the end of the beginning, rather than the beginning of the end. Ukraine’s success to date means that Russia stands zero chance of conquering its neighbor and further shows that Ukraine will not negotiate its territory away.

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The news does not mean, however, that Ukraine and its allies have brought Russia to its knees. It does not mean that a swift return to the pre-2014 situation is possible. The latter – which is the formal goal for Ukraine and must become the formal goal of those who support it – will take time and effort.

Just as Ukraine’s forces are pushing the invaders out of the country’s territory, Russia has begun accelerating – yet again – the shelling of Ukraine’s peaceful cities. Ukrainian men, women and children are still paying with their homes, limbs and lives for Russia’s insatiable appetite for dominance.

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And Russia has not yet played its trump card – concentrated missile strikes against Kyiv.

So, while celebrating the success of Kharkiv’s counter-offensive – as we should – let’s not forget the still desperate need for advanced air defense systems. Let’s not forget the need for tanks, long range artillery, killer drones and ammunition. Let’s not forget the need for better cyber defenses and for closer intelligence sharing with Five Eyes (FVEY) framework – an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.

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Finally, to nip Russia’s ability to rain death on Ukraine in the bud, it is time to consider striking against Russia’s military targets inside Russia – and to give Russian civilians a fair warning.

Russia’s inhabitants must understand what will happen – and have a chance to move away from Russia’s military facilities and bases. Like it or not, to end the war Ukraine and its allies will eventually have to take it inside Russia’s borders.  They will therefore also need to make the effort to ensure Russian civilians do not become collateral damage.

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