The interplay of political objectives and strategic realities dogs the course of every war. It is likely that the current course of the war in Ukraine is also being driven by it. Russia’s stated political objectives are now confronting military realities and shaping its decisions on the force it should use, in what manner, and for how long.
What must be obvious to Russia’s decision-makers is that they have underestimated the potential strength of resistance that the Ukrainians are capable of or overestimated their own military capacity. Possibly, it is a combination of both. In addition, politically, they seem to have underestimated the ability of the United States and its allies to cohere with and take action in terms of arms supply and economic sanctions. Russia’s miscalculations and the realisation that there are limits to what force can achieve will drive the course of the war from here on.