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Fri, 06 Oct 2023 Feature Article

Devastating Putin deal looms: Ukraine is on the verge of losing a crucial battle

Devastating Putin deal looms: Ukraine is on the verge of losing a crucial battle
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during a meeting with US President Biden in the Oval Office: The extent to which the mood in the USA has changed was also evident during his second visit to Washington, while he was still celebrated frenetically when he appeared before the assembled Congress, this time it was clearly more reserved. Parts of the Republican Party refuse to help Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selensky has been vehemently appealing for help since the Russian army invaded his country last year, at the latest since his bitter response to the US army's offer to take him out of Kyiv to safety, he has become a leading figure, even a hero for some. "I need ammunition, not a ride".

Ukraine needs ammunition, weapons, aid, Zelensky has made this clear many, many times in video conferences, at important meetings, in front of the world's powerful. Since the Russian invasion, Ukraine has received weapons, tanks, money from NATO allies. Above all, the country depends on military aid from the USA: The United States is by far the biggest supporter with around 69.5 billion euros (as of 31 July 2023). But the chaos caused by the Republican Party could cause support to dry up.

Ukraine: "What lies ahead, in the situation, will be difficult and costly".

For months, Ukraine has been trying to break through Russia's heavy defences with a counter-offensive, especially in the south of the country; the successes have been limited. So it would be all the more important for the country to be sure of the support of its partners.

"What lies ahead will be difficult and costly, but can be made easier by more and, above all, more powerful arms," is how Stephen Sestanovich, once US ambassador to the countries of the former Soviet Union, describes the situation to.

"What Ukraine cannot assess is the political risk; the possibility that Western governments, after all the aid and rhetoric, somehow conclude that it would actually be better to let Putin have much of what he wants," Sestanovich continued. "A year ago, this idea would have been out of the question for most Western countries. But now?"

War in Ukraine: Money will last "a few more weeks", says Kirby

In Washington, too, the previous consensus to support Ukraine is beginning to tip dramatically. Radicals in the Republican Party overthrew House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a unique event in US history. The political drama is not only paralysing Congress, rendering the House of Representatives unable to act, it could also ensure that less money flows to Ukraine. Even the US emergency budget, which the House approved last week, does not include any money for the country.

The communications director of the White House National Security Council, John Kirby, said the current amount still approved by Congress was enough to help Ukraine for "a few weeks" or "a few months". He warned at the same time that "time is not our friend."

There is chaos, about which above all they should be happy: Trump and Putin. "He is," said political scientist Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook recently about Trump on ZDF, "a man who lives on chaos." This has consequences, also for Ukraine. Without the USA, it would "not work at all", she said. In order to compensate for this, Europe would have to make an immense effort.

Ukraine is on the verge of losing a crucial battle

Putin, too, is now interested in waiting for the result of the US election to put the Republican Party back in the White House - in the (from his point of view) best case scenario Trump.

He is one who wants to end the war quickly, if necessary, with a dubious quick deal with Putin. This would certainly be to the detriment of Ukraine and Germany. Ex-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also recently warned of this: Germany and Europe should prepare today for Trump's possible re-election in November 2024. "The real danger threatens not from the number of tanks or troops available, but from doubts about the willingness to stand up for each other."

Already, Ukraine appears to be losing the battle for the minds and hearts of US Americans: Recent polls show a drastic drop in the public's willingness to support a war so far away from their country: a poll published last week by the Washington Post found that the number of those who believe the Biden administration is doing "too much" for Ukraine has already risen to 41 percent - eight percent more than in February. In April 2022, the figure was just 16 percent.

Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)

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