There’s a growing sense in the West that the war in Ukraine is not going well for the West, and Eastern European countries—the loudest “supporters” of Kyiv—are fearful of the reality that Russia could emerge from the conflict much stronger and more assertive in the region.
Gabrielius Landsbergis, the Lithuanian foreign minister, showed his frustrations last week at the commonly used phrase “for as long as it takes.”
“What do we need to do? Plan for Ukrainian victory. Not plan to stand with Ukraine ‘as long as it needs, as long as it requires,’” he told an audience in Spain, according to The Hill. “Plan for victory, they need to win, they need to win for us.”
Edgars Rinkevics, the Latvian president, called on NATO—earlier in the war—to allow Ukraine to conduct strikes inside Russian territory and to not concern itself with Moscow’s response.
The U.S.—under President Joe Biden—has said it will support Ukraine on the battlefield so Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will be able to arrive at the negotiating table from a position of strength. Zelensky has been clear that he will not negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, wants every Russian troop out of the country, wants Crimea, and wants Putin to appear in front of The Hague to face war crime charges.
Leaders from Latvia and Lithuania have urged Western countries struggling under record levels of inflation to remain focused on the task of defeating Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.
“Our goal must be for Putin to lose the war,” Krišjânis Karinš, the prime minister of Latvia, told The Financial Times earlier in 2022. “Yes, it is going to take some time, it is worth it. It is worth paying the costs in terms of energy. In the West, we pay with our wallets. The Ukrainians are paying with their lives.”
WSWS noted that there seems to be no rush in the West to wrap up the fighting. Max Boot, a columnist in The Washington Post wrote earlier this month that “Ukraine may have a better chance to win in 2024.”
The report also noted that former British Army General Richard Barrons wrote in the FT, “Ukraine cannot win against Russia now, but victory by 2025 is possible.”
“Ukraine’s current counteroffensive will not throw Russia out—not that anyone expected it to. Nor is it likely to cut the occupation in half before the winter, which might have been one of the more optimistic aims. It has, however, shown how the Russian army can be beaten. Not in 2023, but in 2024 or 2025,” he wrote.
Polish Gen Rajmund Andrzejczak called on NATO to become more forceful in its response to Russia, according to The Guardian. He also said that a Russian victory in Ukraine, followed by Belarus inching closer to Moscow, would mean that Warsaw would have to increase military spending above its current 5 percent of GDP.
“What is wrong with us? Russia is still the same and we have a situation in a neighboring country where Russia is saying publicly it is putting nuclear systems in Belarus and what are we doing in our Panama T-shirt? I don’t want to escalate too much, but what is wrong with our vocabulary? NATO is a nuclear organization. Full stop.”
TRENDPOST: It should be noted that Russia has claimed that they are fighting Ukraine because it is now a neo-Nazi-controlled nation:
● “TOP UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR: HEIL HITLER” (5 Jul 2022)
● “UKRAINIAN CITY CHANGES STREET NAME FOR NAZI HEAD” (29 Nov 2022)
● “POLAND ANGERED BY UKRAINIAN PRAISING NAZI COLLABORATOR” (10 Jan 2023)
● “ZELENSKY TO UKRAINIAN MEDIA: I OWN YOU” (10 Jan 2023)
● “PUTIN SAYS GERMAN NAZIS ARE AGAIN AT WAR WITH RUSSIA” (7 Feb 2023)
And Lithuania was, as described in Wikipedia, pro-Nazi during WWII:
The military occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany lasted from the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, to the end of the Battle of Memel on January 28, 1945. At first, the Germans were widely welcomed as liberators from the repressive Soviet regime which occupied Lithuania prior to the German arrival. In hopes of re-establishing independence or regaining some autonomy, Lithuanians organized a Provisional Government. Thousands of Lithuanian nationalists then cooperated with the Generalkommissariat, jointly killing almost 200,000 Jews, which marks the highest death rate proportionally in any country during the Holocaust.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on how the Baltic countries have urged the West to stay engaged in the conflict. (See “BALTIC STATES TALK TOUGH WHEN IT COMES TO DEFEATING PUTIN”14 Jun 2022 and “POLAND TO SEND UP TO 10,000 SOLDIERS TO BORDER WITH BELARUS AMID RELOCATION OF WAGNER FORCES” 15 Aug 2023.)
Lithuania, which joined NATO in 2004, has called for Ukraine to become a full member, which means WWIII would become official. NATO held its annual summit in Vilnius in July and the country could not have been happier to receive Patriot missile defenses and U.S.-made Abrams tanks.
The problem that NATO has moving forward is that Eastern European countries have completely unrealistic goals and want to see the strategic defeat of Russia and the removal of Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. Western European leaders, while warmongers, know that is not a possibility and see a world where they will have to coexist with Russia again.
Sadly, Eastern European countries, instead of looking to make peace, are taking the role of the small kid with a big mouth who has a bigger friend to provide protection.