ANALYSIS: Is Ukraine being left in the mud?

2023-12-10 16:29:18Pikëpamje SHKRUAR NGA CHRISTOPH HASSELBACH
The war in Ukraine

Republicans block in the US Congress billions in aid to Ukraine. Hungarian Prime Minister Orban will block an expanded EU aid package. Are Ukraine's Western Backers Tired?

We will support Ukraine "as long as necessary". This is what the American president, Joe Biden, said. This is also written in the final communique of the last NATO summit. The same promise comes from the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz. But especially in the USA, the main supporter of Ukraine, aid to this country is more than ever in question. According to data from the White House, the aid approved by the congress is spent by the end of the year. The delivery of new aid is being blocked by congressional Republicans.

More and more US congressmen are expressing doubts about support for Kiev or rejecting it entirely. The head of the Kyiv Presidential Office, Andriy Jerman, in a dramatic appeal, warned that Ukraine without American aid will lose the war against Russia. Biden, for his part, has emphasized that aid to Ukraine "is strongly in our national interest and in the international interest of all our friends." If Ukraine falls, President Putin will attack other countries. When they are NATO countries, it would lead to what "we do not intend and do not have today: American troops fighting against Russian troops."

Support also wavers in Europe

Even in Europe, solidarity with Ukraine is wavering. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is seeking a veto at next week's EU summit against the 50 billion euros earmarked for Kiev, as well as against the start of Ukraine's EU accession talks. Orban, who remains in touch with President Putin, regularly tries to thwart EU sanctions against Russia. The Polish government threatened at one time to limit arms aid because of cheap grain imports from Ukraine. Slovakia after the victory of the left-wing populist, Robert Fico, stopped military aid to Ukraine. It is known that Fico does not support sanctions against Russia, as well as a subsequent membership of Ukraine in NATO.

The German politician from the CDU on defense issues, Roderich Kiesewetter, stated in October in a conversation with DW about the entire West that "support for Ukraine has fallen in the meantime, solidarity is suffering a crisis, voices calling for a 'dictated peace' have increased. " And Roman Goncharenko from the Ukrainian Editorial Office of Deutsche Welles said in a DW show that "in Ukraine there is disappointment, that the West is tired."

Is a Ukrainian military victory possible?

Added to this is that despite Western military aid, Ukraine regularly reports limited successes, but has not achieved any major military success so far. The Ukrainian war portal Deep State has determined that "the summer showed that the war in 2024 will not end on our terms." And by "our conditions" we mean the full return of all occupied areas, including Crimea.

President Zelensky regularly asks for more Western weapons such as fighter jets. From Germany he is looking for Taurus type aircraft. Chancellor Scholz has long sent battle tanks to Ukraine, but he refuses to send the Taurus. Constant hesitation, this is the problem, criticizes Kiesewetter. "The liberation offensive is hindered by the west itself because supplies are slow and very scarce."

Russia is hoping for Trump's victory next year

In Germany, there are different positions on the debate whether the massive supplies of Ukraine will determine which way the war will go. Political scientist, Johannes Varwick from the University of Halle, regarding the deployment of the Taurus states, that "of course such weapons make a difference (...) but I do not expect a change in the strategic constellation." CEU politician Kiesewetter, for his part, is of the opinion that "air superiority and long-range precision weapons like the Taurus in sufficient quantity would bring about the turning point."

The Kremlin is likely playing with time and hoping for the victory of Donald Trump in 2024 in the US presidential elections and the end of US support. According to the expert Varwick "it is not possible in terms of dimensions" for the Europeans to replace American aid. "If the Americans give up support or massively reduce it, then Ukraine has a problem, which cannot be compensated by the Europeans."

Ukraine refuses to give land for peace

War fatigue has created pressure on politicians in the West to seek an end to the war through negotiations. According to the expert Varwick this at some point is undeniable. The moment will come to talk about "territorial changes in Ukraine, about Ukraine's neutrality". And the "land for peace" solution, according to Roman Goncharekos from Deutsche Welle, has no chance of being accepted in Ukraine. "A lot has happened, the suffering is too great. This would be a reward for Russia."

CDU politician Roderich Kiesewetter continues to believe in a military victory for Ukraine through Western weapons, so the strategy should be. "To supply everything, as soon as possible. (...)Hesitation costs lives, and increases the risk that Russia will win and Ukraine will fall apart. This is also our shared responsibility."/ DW