War in Ukraine
It will be hard for Ukraine to reclaim all of the territories it has lost in the next 12 months, says Dr Neil Melvin, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). However, he says he is “optimistic that the Ukrainians can make substantial territorial progress”. If President Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces manage this and put themselves in a position to threaten Crimea, “at that point, there may be the opportunity to have a peace conference, which would be a reset of European security relations”. By this point, Dr Melvin says: “President Putin would be under a lot of pressure at that moment possibly step down or be overthrown.” But this is the “optimistic scenario”. The pessimistic one? “That the Ukrainians probably still make some progress but not enough to stop the war dragging on into the second half of the year,” he says.