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Why China Won’t Mediate an End to the Ukraine War

If there is one person other than Vladimir Putin who can end Russia's war in Ukraine, it is Chinese President Xi Jinping. But Xi has so far remained on the sidelines and is likely to stay there, owing to various domestic political vulnerabilities and his own lack of courage and imagination.

CAMBRIDGE – Russian President Vladimir Putin thought he could quickly capture Kyiv and replace Ukraine’s government. Whether he was misled by poor intelligence or by his own fantasies about history, his “smash and grab” failed in the face of effective Ukrainian resistance. He then turned to a brutal bombardment of cities like Mariupol and Kharkiv to terrorize the civilian population into submission – as he had previously done in Grozny and Aleppo. The tragic upshot is that Ukraine’s heroic resistance has been accompanied by increasing civilian suffering.