The failure of Ukrainian troops to win a decisive victory against Russia during its long-awaited counteroffensive has Western officials prepared to accept the reality that the war is a stalemate as Kyiv enters the winter months.
The U.S. and its allies have been warning that Russia hopes to outlast the West’s willingness to provide Ukraine with billions in funding and weapons so the war can come to an end. There had been a lot riding on the counteroffensive, and the war in Israel is seen as the latest obstacle for Ukraine to keep up its sponsors’ interest.
“European unity is not a given,” Jan Lipavsky, the Czech foreign minister, said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The paper noted that there’s hope that the West could provide Kyiv with new weapons for a new push in the summer of 2024, and then be able to negotiate with Russia from a position of strength.
Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told reporters last week that his country is up to nine months behind in its fight against Russia because of the slow delivery of weapons by the West.
“If Ukraine had received weapons faster, we could have defended ourselves better and launched a counterattack,” he said, according to Business Insider.
The report, citing the Kiel Institute, noted that Podolyak was not inaccurate in his comment and “actual deliveries have been well below pledges,” with about half of the weapons promised actually delivered to Ukraine as of July.
Ukraine’s perception of lack of support has increased tensions between Kyiv and some of its partners.
Dmitry Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, essentially said in an interview that Germany owes Ukraine for its actions against the country in WWI and WWII.
Kuleba said Germany “has never felt any guilt toward Ukraine,” and told his colleagues in Berlin that they owe him one, according to RT, the Russian news outlet.
Boris Pistorius, the German defense minister, called Kuebla’s comments “out of line.”
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on how Ukraine’s counteroffensive has failed. (See “UKRAINE COUNTEROFFENSIVE A BLOODY FAILURE” 3 Oct 2023, “UKRAINE LOST ITS COUNTEROFFENSIVE, NOW LOOKS TO PROVOKE WWIII WITH STRIKES ON RUSSIA’S BLACK SEA FLEET IN CRIMEA” 26 Sep 2023, “UKRAINE’S COUNTEROFFENSIVE COLLAPSE FOLLOWED BY U.S.’s G20 COLLAPSE” 19 Sep 2023, and “WESTERN MEDIA REPORTS ON SMALL GAINS IN UKRAINIAN COUNTEROFFENSIVE, BUT BARELY REPORTS THEIR LOSSES” 19 Sep 2023.)
President Joe Biden famously said in February—during the one-year mark of the war—that the U.S. is fully committed to the war and the support will not stop. Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv at the time and then visited Warsaw, where he told the crowd that “brutality will never grind down the will of a free Ukraine. Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. Never.”
The U.S. and NATO allies have been pumping Ukraine’s military with a historic number of weapons. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a former Raytheon board member, told reporters early in the war that it is his hope “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”
Biden was asked by “60 Minutes” on Sunday night about how the U.S. will be able to help fund the Ukraine War and Israel/Hamas War, and he said Washington can do it.
“We’re the United States of America for God’s sake, the most powerful nation in history—not in the world, in the history of the world,” he said. “We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defense.”
Thomas Graham, a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in Politico that the setbacks of Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive “have made it clear that victory will not come soon, if at all. A long war of attrition lies ahead.”
TREND FORECAST: We disagree. Before the Ukraine War was officially launched we had forecast that Russia would defeat Ukraine. As Russian forces keep pushing back the Ukraine army, as Ukraine’s economy sinks deeper in depression and as the continuing news of Ukrainian government corruption makes the headlines, the support to keep fighting the war among the Ukrainian people will dissipate and Russians will get what they want.
Indeed, Russia now controls some 20 percent of Ukraine that they did not have before the war began on 24 February 2022, and as we had forecast, Ukraine’s counter-offensive would fail…which it has.