It’s tempting to see Ukraine’s beautiful successes in opposition to Russia’s aggression as an indication that with enough American and European assist, Ukraine is near pushing Russia again to its positions earlier than the invasion. However that could be a harmful assumption.

A decisive navy victory for Ukraine over Russia, through which Ukraine regains all of the territory Russia has seized since 2014, isn’t a sensible purpose. Although Russia’s planning and combating have been surprisingly sloppy, Russia stays too robust, and Mr. Putin has invested an excessive amount of private status within the invasion to again down.

America and NATO are already deeply concerned, militarily and economically. Unrealistic expectations might draw them ever deeper right into a expensive, drawn-out conflict. Russia, nevertheless battered and inept, continues to be able to inflicting untold destruction on Ukraine and continues to be a nuclear superpower with an aggrieved, unstable despot who has proven little inclination towards a negotiated settlement. Ukraine and Russia now “seem additional aside than at every other level within the practically three-month-long conflict,” as The Times reported.

Current bellicose statements from Washington — President Biden’s assertion that Mr. Putin “can not stay in energy,” Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comment that Russia should be “weakened” and the pledge by the Home speaker, Nancy Pelosi, that america would help Ukraine “till victory is received” — could also be rousing proclamations of help, however they don’t deliver negotiations any nearer.

In the long run, it’s the Ukrainians who should make the onerous choices: They’re those combating, dying and dropping their houses to Russian aggression, and it’s they who should resolve what an finish to the conflict may appear to be. If the battle does result in actual negotiations, it is going to be Ukrainian leaders who must make the painful territorial choices that any compromise will demand.

America and NATO have demonstrated that they are going to help the Ukrainian battle with ample firepower and different means. And nevertheless the combating ends, the U.S. its allies should be ready to assist Ukraine rebuild.

However because the conflict continues, Mr. Biden must also clarify to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his folks that there’s a restrict to how far america and NATO will confront Russia, and limits to the arms, cash and political help they’ll muster. It’s crucial that the Ukrainian authorities’s choices be primarily based on a sensible evaluation of its means and the way far more destruction Ukraine can maintain.