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Experts: Ukraine outcome hangs largely on country's resilience

Riho Terras.
Riho Terras. Source: ERR

Whether Russian President Vladimir Putin gets his way following the attack on Ukraine which began Thursday depends on the country's resilience, security experts told ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) Thursday evening. Putin may need to make the war short and press the Ukrainians into suing for peace, if he is to be successful, they added.

MEP and former EDF commander Riho Terras: Russia may offer peace talks following attacks, territorial gains

MEP Riho Terras (Isamaa) a former Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) commander, says Russia's strategy has been to attack Ukraine with great force and at multiple points by air and on land, to divide its forces and take as much territory as possible. 

This phase could then be followed by an offer from Russia of peace talks, Terras said.

"Ukraine's leadership is currently in a difficult situation. If Russia offers negotiations in a situation where the whole of Ukraine is full of Russian soldiers, tanks, and where helicopters are flying in hordes, it will be very difficult to decide whether to continue fighting, or to negotiate," Terras continued.

Reform MP : Fate of European and world peace in the hands of Ukrainian troops

Eerik-Niiles Kross, Reform Party MP and security expert the fate of the peace both of Europe and of the world now lies in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers.

"Today we are in a situation where the fate of the European and world legal order, world peace, is in the hands of the Ukrainian soldier," Kross said.

Eerik-Niiles Kross. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The offensives seem to be carried out in line with Russian military doctrine, Kross added, with a large-scale attack beginning with missile attacks on military targets.

Kross said: "They are trying to knock out the Ukrainians' leadership, 'command and control' in English, meaning staff, communications etc., making it impossible to run national defense in an organized way. Secondly [targets are] warehouses, military units, etc."

The primary goal in the initial stages is to attain air supremacy ahead of the full invasion by land forces.

EKRE MP: Ukraine should employ delay tactics

EKRE MP and former EDF officer Leo Kunnas says that Ukrainian forces' goal should be to delay and exhaust the Russian offensive as much as possible, and to: "Try to capture and repel any sea and air landings. The tactical ones, as well as those at a strategic level, which are coming there. Until Russian forces reach Ukrainian airfields, Ukrainian forces have hope to repel a landing there."

Leo Kunnas. Source: ERR/Janek Luts

The Ukrainian army is fighting in every direction, Kunnas added.

"Ukrainians must fight doggedly and not panic, even if they are behind the enemy; even then delay, and switch to guerilla activity," Kunnas said.

Security expert: Russia is in a hurry

Security expert Meelis Oidsalu told AK that the Kremlin is in a hurry with its military operation in Ukraine, as there would be no support for a long war with another Slavic nation, he said.

"It seems that the Kremlin wants to rip the head off Ukraine," Oidsalu said.

"But that head is pretty much stuck in place. In some significant respects, Russia needs to be able to show that they control this situation, and control it more than the current [Ukrainian] government," adding that Thursday's attacks were demonstration of that approach.

Meelis Oidsalu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The resilience of Ukrainian forces will be clearer on Friday, he said, as well as the overall situation and where the main actions fought took place, not all of which had reached the media as of Thursday evening, he said.

It is also difficult to imagine the wide-ranging occupation of Ukraine by Russia, he said, adding that bringing the Ukrainian populace to despair, to the extent that they sue for peace, would be more likely.

In any case, time was of the essence for Putin's regime, he said.  "He is in a hurry, in fact, and every day counts."

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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