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David Rothkov says the United States, Ukraine and NATO have secret weapons against Russia: patience.

How long have you been sitting under a blanket on the floor of a subway station and hugging your baby in your arms while missiles and bombs turn the city into rubble?

How long is the day when there is no water, food, electricity, or escape?

Time means something different in a war zone. It’s more valuable, more winding, more valuable, and more dangerous.

Time was at the heart of all the points he made when I recently spoke to senior US State Department officials about the war in Ukraine. It was a Ukrainian secret weapon and the greatest challenge they and their allies faced. Russians will cause more and more pain. Increasing losses over time in Ukraine will create greater opposition to Putin in his own country.

A thoughtful and experienced national security official emphasized to me that we must find a way to have patience and he admitted that the Russians knew it. That is why they decided to escalate the attack, destroy the city and give it to the civilian population. They knew that only by doing so could Ukraine be put to the negotiating table on favorable terms. Also, as the war prolongs, it becomes increasingly clear that Russia will not be able to reach its goals. Moscow’s bargaining power will be weakened.

In a sense, the role of time in this conflict came to my mind. Initially, a lightning strike on Ukraine by Russia’s large, well-equipped army was predicted to bring immediate victory. With major cities occupied, Russia could threaten Ukrainians and their neighbors to future prisoners of war on the whims of the Kremlin dictator.

But here we are approaching the four-week mark in this conflict, and it is clear that it did not happen. Russia did not rob any of Ukraine’s major cities. Ukrainian Army: The emperor on his throne near the banks of the Moskva River is getting shorter and smaller in Putin’s height, and his reputation is more disgusting than ever.

Russia has lost more troops in the first three weeks of this war, according to conservative estimates, than the United States has lost in the “eternal war” in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last two decades. Victim estimates are unreliable, but that seems to be a problem. A few days or a week or two before Russia’s murder exceeds the country’s total losses in a decade of war in Afghanistan, a very unpopular war has changed leading to the collapse of Western intelligence reports in the Soviet Union. Helped to cause Russia suggests that “little progress” has been made in achieving its prewar goals in Ukraine.

Economic sanctions have hit Russia hard. One ruble is worth less than one penny. More than 400 companies have announced that they will either withdraw from Russia or reduce their scope of business in Russia. Sanctions are estimated to wipe out 30 years of the Russian economy. Growth that has happened virtually everything since the collapse of the Soviet Union. More than 10,000 people are likely to have been arrested in Russia for protesting the war. Opposition from artists and media at the International Space Station, as well as from Russian astronauts. I grew up.

A large flow of military and financial assistance to Ukraine has flowed in from the West. Last week, President Biden approved the transfer of additional important weapons. Parliament has approved about $ 14 billion in war-related spending, including more money to deploy troops and military supplies. Managing the flow of western military aid to Ukraine is extensive. It’s a business and so far it’s been a remarkable achievement. In fact, the Kremlin is beginning to threaten the attack, as it is so important to Ukraine’s success against Russia. Such a flow.

So far, the escalating Russian threat has been one of the few successful initiatives during this conflict, and Putin’s warning, focusing on the threat of nuclear war, has had the desired effect on Western planners. , Ukraine.

In the future, US officials expect such threats to increase, with hints that the use of chemical weapons may be imminent.

U.S. officials can say that the threat of escalation is a strategy to force a reconciliation while Putin still has some power, and his people are “victory” and worth the sacrifice. I’m guessing I can escape this conflict with something. At this point, at least not in Putin’s interests, at least from the perspective of the State Department officials I spoke to. Therefore, he emphasized the importance of allowing strategies to support the fierce resistance of Ukraine while fighting something like a fierce economic war Russia, given time to work.

But he understood the risks. Atrocities will occur. In fact, Putin recognizes that he cannot achieve his goal of a swift victory, occupy a major city, or pay for a protracted city war to counter the rebellion. Through atrocities he can hope to break the will of the Ukrainian people and pressure them to resolve due to some ceasefire conditions that the Russians may find acceptable. And in doing so, they can significantly increase the risk of military conflict between Russia and NATO, and even result in significant loss of life and property.

Western strategy takes time. Russians feel that time is one of the things they can’t afford. As a result, in the very near future, this already horrific war could be even more intense and human casualties could surge. Daily sacrifices are higher and can probably grow much higher.

This means that for many Ukrainians, there is little time left. Also, minutes and hours ahead are so difficult for others that, after all, whatever strategy or plan is being developed in the western capital, you have to keep it. It is entirely up to the Ukrainians to decide if they should endure the sacrifice of the battle and how long they should.

Putin tries to break their spirit. So far, not only has he neglected it, but his brutality has had unintended consequences. It seems to have given the Ukrainian people an even greater will to fight. The strategy of Ukraine and its allies seems to be working. As the weeks go by, people in that needy but very courageous country are more likely to claim this moment as their own in history.

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