Why Russia Is Going To Win

According to John Mearsheimer, who predicted the war in the first place

15 min readMay 28


Population x Artillery x Resolve = ‘Victory’. Ukranian soldier near Bakhmut by Bulent Kilic/AFP

John Mearsheimer is an imperial scholar who predicted the Ukraine War years ago (along with many others from within Empire itself). I call him imperial because he argues not that American warmongering is bad but that it should be done better. But even an imperial clock is right twice a day, in this case about the start and end of the Ukraine war.

Recently Mearsheimer made another prediction, saying:

The Russians are going to win the war.

They’re not going to win a decisive victory but they’re going to end up conquering a huge chunk of Ukrainian territory beyond what they already have and they’re going to take Ukraine and make sure it remains a dysfunctional rump state.

What’s interesting about Mearsheimer as a scholar is that his argument for this is quite clearly broken down, so if you want to disagree, there are many clear points of falsifiability You can watch the one-hour talk yourself, but herein I break it down with my own vulgate commentary.


The base assumption of Mearsheimer’s argument is that the Ukraine War is a war of attrition. I won’t get into that beyond, well, look at it. It’s fucking atrocious. On top of that assumption he says that victory in a war of attrition depends on three factors:

  1. Resolve
  2. Population Size
  3. Artillery

Broadly and brutally speaking, how much hot metal you can fling at how many bodies before they break? This is the worst sort of war which leads to the worst sort of peace, but after the crossing of every red line about not shoving NATO up Russia’s ass, here we are, knee deep in shit.

To summarize Mearsheimer’s casualty calculus, here are the three points above in table form, with the numbers he pegs to them. I’ve linked to sources for the numbers further down.

|    Country    |    Resolve     |     Population    |    Artillery    |
| Ukraine | Strong | 1 | 1 |
| Russia | Strong |…




Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at www.indi.ca, or just email me at indi@indi.ca.