The war in Ukraine has far greater implications for Britain’s future security and prosperity than the situation in Gaza, despite the horrors unfolding there. The main concern lies in the potential for nuclear war and Vladimir Putin’s forces advancing further westward. While Middle Eastern terrorist groups pose a threat, their capabilities are limited compared to the tyrannical subjugation Putin aims to achieve in Ukraine. Moreover, they lack the ability to launch strategic nuclear warheads.
President Zelenskyy is growing frustrated as the West becomes preoccupied with other matters. After 20 months of continuous warfare, the recent dismissals of generals and security officials indicate a deep frustration with the state of the conflict. Western weapons and ammunition supplies are dwindling and being diverted elsewhere, potentially affecting the flow of armaments to Ukraine.
In contrast, Russia is preparing for a “total war” stance. Military expenditure could exceed 10% of GDP this year, and the Kremlin is willing to sacrifice its youth while Ukraine’s soldiers at the front have an average age of over 40. Additionally, Putin faces no risk of losing the upcoming “elections,” allowing him to fully commit to the conflict. This unwavering determination could tip the balance in Russia’s favor.
General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, provides an honest assessment of the current state of the war in his essay on “Modern positional warfare and how to win it.” This serves as a warning to both Russia and Ukraine’s supporters that Russia is far from defeated. The essay implies that the conflict has reached a stalemate, but it does not admit defeat outright.
Surprisingly, the number of soldiers has become crucial in this 21st century war, reminiscent of the early 20th century. Russia reportedly lost over 300,000 soldiers in the past 20 months, while Putin remains shielded from the political consequences of this significant loss. The Russians are able to continuously deploy poorly trained soldiers to hold the front lines, whereas Ukraine lacks safe training areas for recruits. The General’s message to the West is clear: assistance in this area is desperately needed.
President Zelenskyy has repeatedly requested new weaponry to break the stalemate. Just as tanks played a crucial role in the trenches of the First World War, they could potentially do the same in the Donbas region. However, a comprehensive and combined arms approach is necessary, and the missing piece is modern fighter jets.
It is crucial for the West to recognize that events in Europe will shape its destiny more than those in the eastern Mediterranean. Providing Ukraine with everything it needs to win is essential; otherwise, there is a real risk of them losing, which could have dire consequences for Europe, reminiscent of the dark cloud that descended in 1939.
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