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Five questions about the three-month-old Ukraine war

On 24 in February, after months of fruitless exchanges and dialogues, Russia invaded Ukraine and amplified tensions in the region that had come from 930, when a pro-Moscow government was overthrown in the former Soviet republic and in retaliation, President Vladimir Putin annexed the Crimean peninsula and supported separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk, in the Donbas region. .

With the war completing three months (according to analysts, more than Putin expected), Ukraine resists and a scenario is no longer projected in which the country is totally dominated by the Russians and President Volodymyr Zelensky, overthrown and/or killed, but the fighting remains fierce and there is no clear outcome for now.

Gazeta do Povo gathered information about the moment of the conflict and some perspectives for the coming months:

Who is winning the war?

It’s hard to say, because not It is known exactly what Vladimir Putin’s goals were before the inv. sion – the Russian president only cited the goals of “denazifying” and “demilitarizing” Ukraine.

Among Kyiv allies and military analysts, there is consensus that Russia expected a short war and even overthrow the Ukrainian government, which it failed. The retreat in the capital region, from which Russian troops withdrew at the end of March, and the change in discourse, which began to concentrate forces in the east, where Moscow already had the support of separatists from Donetsk and Luhansk, indicate that things did not turn out as Putin had hoped. Proof of this is that it did not sing triumphantly at the Victory Day celebrations on May 9.

“Surely, Russia believed that it could take the cities of Ukraine in a matter of days and the rest of the country after. The fact that they didn’t is emblematic of the arrogance at the heart of Putin’s worldview,” Admiral Tony Radakin, Chief of the UK Defense Staff, declared last week.

However, Ukraine also has little to celebrate. Despite being praised for its resistance to the world’s second-largest military power (with a lot of foreign aid, it’s true), the country lost Mariupol last week, which will allow Russia to establish the dreamed corridor between the breakaway regions of Donbas and Crimea.

This month, the leadership of the pro-Russian civil-military administration of Kherson in southern Ukraine announced plans for the region to be incorporated into Russia. That way, only a very big upheaval on the battlefield will prevent Ukraine from losing territory, a possibility that Zelensky refuted in April.

How many refugees from the war?

According to the United Nations (UN), about 14 million people left their homes in Ukraine since the beginning of the war. Approximately 6 million went to other countries (Poland was the main destination, receiving more than 3.4 million refugees), while 8 million went to other places within the Ukrainian territory itself.

Meanwhile , the return is already significant: the UN reported last week that at least 1.8 million Ukrainians returned to the country, mainly due to the retaking of areas and the departure of Russians in certain regions, such as Kyiv and its surroundings.

How many deaths occurred on both sides?

Because narratives are a fundamental part of war efforts, casualty data is imprecise and varies greatly by the source. The UK Ministry of Defense estimates that more than 15 a thousand Russian and allied soldiers have already died in Ukraine, which would represent something close to the losses. that the Soviet Union suffered throughout its war in Afghanistan, between 1979 and 89. The most recent figure released by Moscow pointed to 1.35 casualties in Russian forces by the end of March.

On the Ukrainian side, the figures are also inaccurate. In April, the United States estimated up to a thousand deaths of Ukrainian military personnel. This Monday (23), the UN reported that 3.930 Ukrainian civilians had lost their lives in the conflict, but the country’s own government estimates that the number is already over 25 a thousand deaths – about

a thousand only in Mariupol, the city most affected by the Russian attacks.

How will the economy of both countries be?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that the destruction and economic consequences of the war will cause a 35% drop in GDP Ukraine’s Gross Domestic (GDP) at 2022.

For Russia, the projected retraction is 8.5%, mainly due to the strong economic sanctions imposed by the West and allies.

The result, however, could be much worse – according to a recent report by the European Commission, “thanks to high prices and strong demand for commodities, the projection is that revenues from exports will be strong, increasing Russia’s current surplus to 14% of GDP in 2022”, which “will allow the government to sustain the ruble, the vulnerable groups and the economy, limiting the decline in real GDP to 10, 4% in

”.

How is the expansion of NATO and the EU?

The expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union to the east was Putin’s avowed pre-war preoccupation. Ukraine has for the time given up its intention to apply to join the Western military alliance, but has asked to join the EU days after the start of the conflict – as have Moldova and Georgia.

However, this month, Ukraine French President and current President of the Council of the European Union, Emmanuel Macron, threw a bucket of cold water on the plans of the three former Soviet republics, saying that the process of joining the bloc could take decades. Instead, he suggested that these countries could become members of a new “European political community”, which would bring together nations that share the liberal values ​​of the EU.

“The European Union, given its of integration and ambition, cannot be the only way to structure the European continent in the short term”, claimed Macron.

As for NATO, Finland and Sweden, which admitted concerns after the Russian invasion of Ukraine , gave up decades of military neutrality and applied last week to join the alliance.

The organization’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, signaled that the entry process of the two Nordic countries must be quick and that hopes to overcome Turkish resistance – Ankara said it intended to bar Swedish and Finnish accessions, on the grounds that the two candidate nations would harbor Kurdish terrorists.

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