Moscow is now totally all-in on this conflict. The window of opportunity to have gotten a settlement is closed. Unless Russia loses significantly soon (which it does not appear to be in danger of, if the Battle of Bakhmut is any indication), the Russians’ numerical superiority over Ukraine’s force structure alone will ensure that they achieve the victory they’ve been waiting for.
The outcome of this war, a defeat for Ukraine and its NATO backers, was totally avoidable. Sensing the weakness of the West – and the fact that they’re woefully overextended – the Russians are going to use all means to break Ukraine and subdue it. The beginning of the end is likely happening right now in Bakhmut, a city in Ukraine’s far east (closest to the Russian border).
Russian forces have spent months implementing an encirclement of the city. At the start of February, Ukraine’s embattled President Volodymyr Zelensky had insisted that his military would fight to the bitter end in Bakhmut.Ukraine is going to lose – Asia Times