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Ukraine Conflict: Two Years of Uncertainty and Evolving Strategies(UPSC CAPF Essay 2024 | 2025)

20 Jun 2024

Two years into the Ukraine conflict, the situation remains unpredictable and complex.


  • Two years into the Ukraine conflict, the situation remains unpredictable and complex. 

  • Initially, Western countries provided significant support to Ukraine but failed to anticipate the prolonged nature of the conflict and the need for sustained assistance. 

  • This essay explores the dynamics of the war, the role of international players, and the evolving strategies on both sides.

Initial Expectations vs. Reality

  • The term "long wars" is often associated with the US, which has been embroiled in conflicts like Vietnam, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In these wars, the US had direct involvement, making real-time decisions. 

  • However, in Ukraine, the US is leading NATO in a proxy war, providing support without deploying troops, adding complexity and uncertainty.

  • Many initially predicted a swift victory for the Russian Army, known for its perceived proficiency and discipline. However, these expectations were quickly proven wrong. 

  • The Russian Army underperformed, and the US and EU sanctions had limited impact on the Russian economy. Russia adapted by sourcing resources from Iran, North Korea, and, to some extent, China.

Economic and Military Dynamics

  • Despite isolation from the international financial system, Russia's economy was supported by continued oil sales to China and India. 

  • This resilience allowed Russia to sustain its war efforts. Initially, Western countries were liberal in providing resources to Ukraine, but they failed to anticipate the need for ongoing support. 

  • Factories did not shift to wartime production levels, leading to supply shortages. Ukraine turned to Pakistan for $364 million worth of ammunition, missiles, artillery shells, and small arms.

Russia's Evolving Military Strategy

  • Russia’s strategy involved creating space for deep maneuvers by its mechanized forces, unsettling Ukrainian defenses. This included fighting pitched battles in cities, which are challenging and destructive. 

  • Artillery and Precision Missiles: Russia has heavily relied on artillery and precision missiles, causing significant destruction. Armed Drones have also been effectively employed against armor and infantry positions.

Current Momentum

  • Reports indicate that the momentum is currently in favor of Russia. The Russian Army has captured Avdiivka, 15 km northwest of Donetsk, and is attempting to overcome resistance in nearby villages. 

  • Russia’s focus has shifted from capturing Kyiv and Kharkiv to securing victories in the largely Russian-speaking east.

Ukraine’s Resilience and International Support

  • Despite challenges, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remains resolute. 

  • The defense of Donbas has become a critical focus, with NATO members promising financial support to sustain Ukrainian society and military efforts. However, the lack of wartime production levels in Western factories means that promises of weapons and ammunition may not materialize quickly enough

  • Israel has agreed to supply some ammunition, and Pakistan may increase production to meet demand, despite its financial challenges.

Future Prospects

  • Ukraine is at a strategic crossroads. If Donbas falls, NATO may need to accept a new border with Russia. President Putin's ambitions may extend beyond this, leading to further uncertainty. 

  • The upcoming US presidential election could significantly impact the conflict. If Donald Trump wins, the US might abandon Ukraine, leaving the war to NATO allies, introducing significant unpredictability.


  • The Ukraine conflict remains complex and evolving. Initial expectations of a swift resolution have given way to a prolonged and uncertain war. 

  • The resilience of both Russia and Ukraine, combined with the strategic interests of international players, continues to shape the conflict’s trajectory. 

  • Sustained and strategic support for Ukraine is crucial in navigating the challenges ahead

  • Additionally, it is imperative for the international community to remain engaged and adaptable, ensuring that diplomatic efforts are continuously pursued alongside military strategies. 

  • The potential for escalation remains high, and the global implications of this conflict necessitate a coordinated and multifaceted approach to achieve a long-term resolution and stability in the region.

Note: In this CAPF essay, the world limit has gone to +600, you can take relevant portions as per your need. Further, we have given subheadings for your reference. When you write in the UPSC exam, you don't need to do that.

(Ukraine conflict, Russia-Ukraine war, Western support for Ukraine, US and NATO involvement, Russian military strategy, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Proxy war dynamics, Donbas region, Artillery and precision missiles, Armed drones in warfare, International sanctions on Russia, Economic resilience of Russia, Geopolitical implications, Future of Ukraine war, UPSC CAPF, Assistant Commandant, Essay writing, UPSC, CAPF, UPSC CAPF AC essay topics 2024, UPSC CAPF AC exam preparation, UPSC CAPF current affairs, UPSC CAPF AC syllabus 2024, CAPF AC essay writing tips, UPSC CAPF AC previous year question papers, UPSC CAPF AC study material, CDS, NDA, SSB, AFCAT, CSE, IAS, IB ACIO, Current Affairs, News)

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