Counter-intuitive is hardly an adequate term to describe the emerging perception of the war in Ukraine. It has become subtly evident, from recent changes in Ukraine’s policies, propaganda and diplomatic initiatives that it now believes it is winning the conflict with Russia. Just one month ago, anyone who had predicted such an outcome would have been thought deluded; today there is a growing anticipation by observers around the world that a victorious outcome for President Zelenskyy and his courageous countrymen may be possible, even likely.
It is difficult to overstate how dramatic a change that represents from the conventional wisdom prevailing at the start of hostilities on 24 February. Most informed commentators recognized that the Ukrainians would put up a stiff, honourable resistance, before shortly succumbing to the overwhelming might of Russia. Neighbouring countries prepared to receive refugees. There was talk of a Ukrainian government in exile being housed in Britain. It looked like a re-run of “gallant little Belgium”, in the 21st century.