JRL NEWSWATCH: “The guns of January; As war looms larger, what are Russia’s military options in Ukraine?” – The Economist
“The Kremlin’s aim would probably be to shatter Ukrainian military power and dictate terms.”
“… Even with [various] advantages, Russia would struggle to occupy [Kyiv], let alone … Ukraine, … as large and populous as Afghanistan. … [O]ver 300,000 Ukrainians have gained … military experience … [M]ost have access to firearms. … [T]he Pentagon and CIA [reportedly] would both support an armed insurgency. … Russia probably wants to avoid a long occupation, [but one might be unnecessary] …. Russia may gamble that [Ukraine’s] government will … collapse and … may use spies, special forces and disinformation to hasten that …. [But] Russia has not fought a large-scale offensive involving infantry, armour and air power since [World War II] …. [A] Russian International Affairs Council [commentator] warns of a ‘long and sluggish confrontation’ … prolonged by Western military aid … ‘fraught with destabilisation of … Russia itself.’ Even victory would be costly. ‘The Ukrainians will fight and inflict major losses on the Russians,’ [according to a retired U.S. general with experience dealing with Russia.]
The latter commentator further observes that a full-fledged attack on Ukraine would, in fact, be difficult for Russia, and that Russia would be all alone in the endeavor.