The war in Ukraine is entering a protracted phase. It looks like the US is going to back Ukraine with a lend lease sort of a arrangement. In effect this has become a different sort of engagement, one of attrition. With the US and probably other NATO members backing Ukraine, it pits the manufacturing power of the West against Russia’s sanctioned crippled production. Russia can’t win that sort of conflict.
What it can do is kill a lot of people and commit a lot of war crimes. They are doing that now and it’ll probably get worse. Russia has decided it’s not going to back down. What they would really like to do is recover a lot of the old USSR territory. All the Ukraine, about half of Poland, the Baltic states, Moldova, and bits and pieces of other countries. It appears that’s the course they’ve committed to.
In a conventional war NATO would eliminate Russian forces in short order. The big what ifs are chemical, biological and nuclear options. While that’s a risk for the west, it’s an even bigger risk for Russia. NATO ground forces would stop at the Russian border. Western nukes would not.
Of course Russia has made some serious miscalculations already so who knows where this will go? One can hope their nuclear forces are in as bad a shape as their conventional ones but don’t count on it.
The world is on the brink. Better buckle up buttercup.