Wall Street Journal

What if Putin Loses His War in Ukraine?

Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship
Vladimir Putin waves while visiting the Victory Day Red Square Parade on May 9, 2023, in Moscow, Russia. (via Getty Images)

Nobody this side of paradise knows how Vladimir Putin’s war will end, but Zbigniew Brzezinski identified the stakes in 1994. “Without Ukraine,” he wrote in Foreign Affairs, “Russia ceases to be an empire.”

Mr. Putin couldn’t agree more, and for him and the Russian nationalists clinging to his coattails, Russia is an empire or it is nothing at all.

A Ukrainian victory—which we can describe as an end to the conflict that leaves Ukraine with all or most of its original territory, independent of Moscow and aligned with the West—would be a geopolitical earthquake. The Russia that Europe has known and feared since the 18th century, an immense and looming presence relentlessly bent on expanding westward, will be gone. The consequences would reshape the politics of Europe and the Middle East and define a new era in US-China competition.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.