A defence expert has said on Wednesday that he believes that the “conflict” between Russia and Ukraine “will go on for the next 50-80-years.”
During a live Sky News Q&A on Wednesday afternoon, Professor Michael Clarke answering a reader’s question about where the war in Ukraine will go now.
The former director-general of the Royal United Services Institute said, “My guess is that this ‘struggle’ will go on for the next 50-80 years, ie Russia not accepting that Ukraine has the right to be an independent state and Ukraine living with an existential threat to its existence.
“I think there will be a series of on/off conflicts – ceasefires followed by breakdowns after a couple of years or more.
“History will judge that it all began in 2013-14.
“2022 was the second round, and that may come to a temporary end if Ukraine can push Russian forces out of the territories it has conquered since 24 Feb 2022.
“That would be a big win, at least this time, for Ukraine, and a huge loss and humiliation for Putin that he would be lucky to survive, after an 18-month struggle that may have cost, by then, up to 200,000 Russian lives and brought the long-term Russian economy (excluding energy) to its knees.
“But Putin’s successor will not be a nice man, and the hostility to Ukraine will likely continue.
“The prospects for some deeper stability for Ukraine will only arise, I would guess, with the ‘next but one’ Russian leader after Putin, and even that is no more than a hope.”