OpEd

In the third year of war: what fate awaits Ukraine?

Ukrainians without ammunition, Europeans tired and without a plan, Ronald Reagan's party hostage to an isolationist: in the face of this gloom, it seems that Vladimir Putin may have the appetite to aim for the occupation of Kiev. The West faces a crucial year. A comment after 730 days of Russia's barbaric war against Ukraine.

Things are going well for Vladimir Putin. Within 6 months, he got rid of two of his opponents: Yevgeny Prigoshin and Alexei Navalny. Prigoshin died in an "air accident", Navalni died in prison in a polar settlement. In Moscow, the head of the Kremlin hosted Tucker Carlson, American "journalist" and admirer of autocracies, and gave him a long lecture on the history of Russia. In Spain, "unknown persons" killed a Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine. Donald Trump said that he will encourage Russia to attack those NATO countries that do not pay enough money into the budget of the North Atlantic Alliance. Days ago, Russian forces occupied the Ukrainian town of Avdijivka. Russian justice (in quotes) banned an opposition politician from running for president. From March 15 to 17, Vladimir Putin will organize an electoral show in Russia and then announce victory for a new term as president.

Things are going well for Vladimir Putin for other reasons as well. The Ukrainians are almost out of ammunition, the Europeans are tired and seem to have no long-term plan to counter Russia, Ronald Reagan's party is hostage to an isolationist - in the face of this gloom it seems that Vladimir Putin may have the appetite to aim for the invasion of Kiev. The West faces a crucial year. 

On the eve of the start of the third year of Russia's war against Ukraine, the EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell sent a letter of lightning to EU countries accusing them of their political leaders being brilliant with words and frivolous with deeds. The message of Borelli's letter was this: Ukraine is determined in its fight against the Russian invaders. To continue the war, Ukraine needs weapons. Muncion. And much more. 

Europeans and Americans have the opportunity to help Ukraine. Not enough to survive, but to create a favorable position at the front. From this position, negotiations for a cessation of hostilities, a cease-fire, and eventually for some agreement, could possibly begin. The prime ministers of Denmark and Estonia made it clear these days that Europe has plenty of opportunities to stand by Ukraine. Among the many other problems facing Europe, there is this one: the lack of leaders who are aware of the historical momentum. It is no longer just about the fate of Ukraine. It is about the fate of the entire security framework in Europe if Vladimir Putin is somehow tolerated. 

Tolerance towards Putin is if you give Ukraine enough weapons to survive, but not to repel the Russians. Ukrainians have proven that they have a great will to fight against the Russian occupier. They have achieved some spectacular successes by hitting and sinking important ships of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. According to CIA chief William Burns, 315 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in Ukraine so far. Ukraine, against the wildly different expectations of some in the West, has managed to block one of the world's greatest superpowers. 

To the question of what awaits Ukraine in the third year of the war, there are two answers: if this pace of war continues, Ukraine may collapse, while the Ukrainian army is properly armed, the chances are real that the Russian dictator will understand that the way through which he started will lead him to a dead end. Countering Russian hegemonic ambitions costs billions. There are billions that Western governments would like to invest in other projects. But currently the most important project is the expulsion of Russia from Ukraine. Because Vladimir Putin will hardly stop if he sees a chance for victory in Ukraine. Appetite increases by eating. Putin's stew should be salted enough to make it unpalatable to the Russian dictator. Europe and the West in general now need the moment of May 13, 1940 when Winston Churchill in his first speech as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said: "I have nothing else to offer you but blood, toil, tears and sweat." Ukraine is not asking others to fight for it. Looking for a weapon...