Prior to the war between Israel and Hamas, the US, EU and UK provided Ukraine with just enough financial and military support to allow it to fend off Russia’s assault, but not enough to win the war outright. For example, Ukraine was not allowed to use Western weapons to strike inside Russian territories at the military targets that launched drones and missiles into Ukraine.  This allowed Russia to bomb Ukrainian cities with impunity on a daily basis, including residential buildings, hospitals, port facilities, etc.

After Hamas, which is supported by Russia, massacred and kidnapped civilians in Israel, the situation in Ukraine changed. Global leaders have finally realized that Russian President Vladimir Putin can drive large-scale wars in other regions, with grave consequences for the world.

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In addition to Hamas representatives, Putin has met with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, to obtain additional munitions. In exchange, North Korea has probably obtained access to Russian missiles which are capable of being launched over Japan at any point in the future. This would create yet another massive problem for the West and its allies (including South Korea and Japan).

Such wars and international crises are due to one country: Russia. Indeed, Russia is at war with the entire world, not only Ukraine. Its strategy is simple: organize an artificial shortage of gas, oil and food in order to increase world prices and maximize revenues, which are converted into a military force that allows Russia to destroy not only Ukraine, but also Europe, and ultimately the world order.

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For that reason, a quick and decisive victory is vital for both Ukraine and the whole world, because it will avoid the following:

  • Numerous global confrontations (Ukraine vs. Russia, Israel vs. Iran, North Korea vs. South Korea/Japan, etc.);
  • Total destruction of critical infrastructure and the collapse of Ukraine's economy;
  • Famine in the poorest countries of Africa and Asia;
  • Energy (gas) crisis in Europe; and
  • A global economic crisis due to the rapid increase in oil prices (stemming from the war) and the destruction of key technological chains.

A proposed strategy for a quick victory for Ukraine is described below. Now, it is only a matter of implementation by the US and EU, and – 100 days later – Ukraine’s victory will surely arrive.

1. Tightening of sanctions

Unfortunately, current sanctions against Russia are not as efficient as the West had hoped.  Although they stand to work in the long run, they are clearly insufficient to end the war quickly.

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A gradual slowdown of Russia’s economy does not translate into widespread domestic discontent. Ordinary people in Russia have always lived in poverty, kneeling before authority. As such, the greater their misery, the greater their fear and respect for the Church and their president. Therefore, Western sanctions that lead to a 10 percent decrease in the income of Russians means nothing to the average Russian. And for Kremlin, it is an example of the impotence of the US and the EU.

Instead, Putin's behavior and Russian citizens’ support of his criminal orders can only be eradicated by a significant shortage of money, food and vodka for the majority of the population of Russia – not just the Moscow elite. This is only possible if its GDP falls not by a mere 10 percent, but by 40-50 percent, and very fast, i.e., within a few months.

If such a decline is ultimately spread over years, as current sanctions indicate, it will have no effect, because ordinary Russians will get used to it, and the Kremlin will justify hunger amongst the population by blaming the US, EU, and NATO.

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To achieve a rapid (in two to three months) collapse of the Russian economy (a drop in its GDP by 40-50 percent), Russia should simply be disconnected from Swift. That means not only Sberbank, but all Russian banks, their branches, and "subsidiaries" abroad, while foreign correspondent accounts at such banks should be closed.

Russia should then be allowed to have just one correspondent account, for example at RZB, through which all transactions (including, but not limited to, the export of oil and gas) can be carried out under the strict control of the US and EU. At the same time, a new rule should be established, requiring T+15 days or even T+30 days to be applied to this account (timeframe for verifying the legitimacy of transactions before giving Russia access to the wired funds). This would allow the West sufficient time to monitor and approve all transactions involving foreign currency, while slowing down Russia’s economy considerably.

Lastly, all Russian exports should be taxed at 30 percent (except for oil), half of which should go to a special fund to finance the Ukrainian military, under the supervision of the US and EU. This would result in Russia financing Ukrainian military needs.

2. Military strategy

With regards to new weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), which will lead to victory at the front, everything is already clear. On all fronts, there is a need for a sufficient number of offensive weapons (together with instructors) that can strike the enemy – both equipment and manpower – faster, more accurately and most importantly, at a greater distance than the enemy. It is also obvious that these new weapons must be protected by modern air defense systems, and able to fire far behind enemy lines into Russian territory to eliminate legitimate military targets.

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For example, Ukraine needs 500 ATACMS missiles to destroy 150 military facilities of the occupiers in Crimea. This would enable Ukraine to take Crimea back, which could be accomplished well within 100 days. Our calculations tell us that it is possible to supply Ukraine with new weapons for victory on the military and civil fronts in 60 to 90 days. 

On the civilian front, protection of Ukrainian cities, villages and infrastructure from Russian attacks with rockets and bombs is paramount. Accordingly, this strategy would involve retaliating against the Russians, no matter where their missiles, bombs or shells come from (Belarus, Russia or captured territories including Crimea). This is entirely possible if medium-range missiles are made available.

To seal the victory on the civilian front, air defense systems are needed in all large cities (Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipro, Lviv, etc.) and at strategic infrastructure facilities.

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To ensure a quick victory, effective economic sanctions must accompany the military steps outlined above.

3. Post-war steps

Liberation by the AFU of all Ukrainian territory can be considered only the first stage of victory.   If the other conditions for Ukraine’s victory are not achieved, Russia can always renew the war at any time it deems convenient. This is because Russia is fighting not only with the AFU, but also with the civilian population of Ukrainian cities and villages.

Thus, even after the war ends, Russia can continue to terrorize Ukraine with missiles, bombs and artillery, killing Ukrainian civilians, destroying their homes and infrastructure. In other words, liberation of Ukrainian territory and a cease-fire will not be an obstacle for Russia to continue missile strikes from its territory. Such a situation would therefore not spell a victory, but a defeat for Ukraine.

For that reason, after the hostilities cease and the territory of Ukraine is liberated, then immediately afterwards, all the legal, diplomatic and organizational processes must begin and be completed in 500 days. Specifically, Ukraine and Western nations will have to take the following actions:

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  • Hold a tribunal and punish all of Russian criminals accordingly;
  • Organize payment of reparations by Russia to Ukraine (3-5 percent of GDP over 15 years); and
  • Aim to demilitarize and denuclearize Russia, i.e., deprive it of nuclear weapons.

4. Conclusion

The sad reality is that all nations (great and small alike) are afraid of provoking Russia directly, except for Ukraine, which is already at war. In other words, Ukraine is the only nation in the world that can defeat Russia, and the strategy described above will allow Ukraine to win the war quickly and efficiently in 100 days.

Final victory, however, will occur only when Russia has no more nuclear weapons, its current leadership is imprisoned, and all reparations are paid for the enormous damage that was inflicted upon Ukraine and its people. 

Professor Oleksandr Savchenko is an Of Counsel at Frishberg and Partners. He is president, rector of the International Institute of Business in Kyiv.

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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Comments (7)

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David
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I like the fact that such discussions have started. They should be progressed and refined in an international conference setting. That will create its own momentum and make the concepts seem more practical than far fetched.

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Philip Tummarello
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Precisely. Only Ukraine can rid the world of this russian imperialist cancer.

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Schau
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The war started because Russia has nukes. Its nuclear assets are a double edged sword. Because Russia is eager to protect their effectiveness, this makes Russia dangerously aggressive.

Escalating the war now with the aim of de-nuclearizing Russia is too risky, because it only encourages Russia to double down further on protecting them.

Right now we have the sunk cost fallacy operating on both sides. Both Ukraine and Russia have already lost so much. But the resources backing each side are huge. So each persists -- each one hoping for the next breakthrough, but largely only spilling their people's blood on largely static lines.

Freeze the combat lines now. If frozen conflicts were good enough for Korea and Kashmir, they should be good enough for the Ukraine. In 30 years you will have a Berlin Wall moment. But with every extra death until then, you lose untold generations of descendants.

David
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@Schau, frozen conflict is Russia’s aim. Sorry , not going to happen.

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Paolo
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Got to laugh at those who are condemning the Israeli government at the moment, while staying fairly silent on Russia's actions for many years.
If proof was ever needed, world leaders don't take a view of what's right or wrong, rather how important their alliance is to any given country.

Wael
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@Paolo, international interests are interconnected and intertwined secretly ...

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Alexander
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Too little too late all the time. It's high time that NATO put boots on the ground.

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austin Rand
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Mr. Shavchenko lays out a convincing proposalI think ythe next step wouldbe to incorporate elements of his prpposal actual goverbnment policy

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John
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Agree on all points. I've now written ~70 letters to both my Canadian and various other international NGO, Corporate, UN, NATO, IAEC, IMF leadership calling for more immediate and decisive action against putins' regime. One does not stop a bully by ignoring their immoral actions nor with pontificating and placating words. Bullies only understand defeat and by whatever means possible this must be accomplished against russian invasion in Ukraine expediently. Putin deserves no place in any forum seeking peace.

Wael
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@John,
They do not want to provoke Russia into a direct war with Nato . At the same time , they benefit from trying newer weapons and selling them while weakening Russian federation to take out from its resources including oil and grains...Russian oligarchs put their vast wealth in western banks...Prolonged wars weakens Russia as many smart geniuses would leave to other countries as well ...
Consequently , the Nato can have more influence over Russia and then China afterwards ...

Philip Tummarello
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@Wael, It is the opposite of the equation you spelled out. It is putin who wants no war with NATO because NATO would inviscerate the russian hooligan so-called "military" which is comprised of undisciplined drunken thugs and criminals. Ukrainians are the only people on earth with the inner strength to endure this affront to humanity. Their courage and resolve inspire most of the world.
Germany and France still have 82% and 74% of businesses still operating in russia. Their internal conflicted status as "allies" derives from selfishness. Biden has the same advisors Obama had, and they were wrong in 2014 as they are today. russia pouts as a small child, but the bear has no teeth. How can russia use nuclear weapons in Ukraine with a shared border?? This is nonsensical and would cause even more fragmentation within the russian military apparatus.
Slava Ukraini! Geroyam Slava!!

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