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Business News/ News / World/  More Trouble for Ukraine: Doors closing for Zelenskyy as West battles war fatigue
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More Trouble for Ukraine: Doors closing for Zelenskyy as West battles war fatigue

The US and European nations, marked with their domestic political consideration, are struggling to balance between the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas war at the same time and as the civilian death toll mounts in Gaza, the balance is shifting

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre attend a press conference (AP)Premium
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre attend a press conference (AP)

Ukraine has been fighting against invading Russian forces for almost two years now. The Volodymyr Zelenskyy-led regime displayed extreme grit and determination in what everybody thought would be a short war, at the end of which Vladimir Putin would conquer Kyiv hiding behind the garb of NATO's expansionist adventures. But, Ukraine backed by the US and European nations hit back strongly and the war has now entered a slow phase where Russia is gaining and losing some regions every day.

Also Read- Israel-Hamas, Russia-Ukraine, Myanmar strife: Wars the world is carrying to 2024

But, things are expected to change soon as another conflict is threatening to permanently change the geo-political order. US and European nations, marked with their own domestic political consideration are struggling to balance between the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas war at the same time and as the civilian death toll mounts in Gaza, the balance is shifting.

Moreover, a prolonged war in Ukraine with no clear end is forcing Western countries to ask for how long they can pump their taxpayer's money into the region and will even bring some concrete results for their own security considerations.

“Honestly, a fatigue has set in the global community with the Russia- Ukraine war. The nature of this war in terms of its intensity, number of casualties, etc has dropped considerably since its inception. The machinery and defence apparatus required to carry out the war on a long-term basis is very hard to find because of the very high costs involved in supplying such materials on a constant basis. Putin is a sharp politician and therefore he would like to build a perception that Russia is more powerful than it actually is. Russia wants to contain NATO's resurgence which is almost a result of Russia's own aggression," said Dr. Martand Jha, Doctoral Fellow at Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

US divided over aid to Ukraine

At the beginning of the Ukraine war, US President Joe Biden didn't face much struggle in helping the country as both Democrats and Republicans were looking united to weaken Russia. Plus, they thought Russia would soon give up against the tough sanctions. It took some time for the US to sense the déjà vu as they again found themselves in the middle of a long war. Surely, this time their boots were not on the ground, but the country has pumped more than $75 billion in assistance to Ukraine.

The people in the administration took the Israel-Hamas war kind of tragedy to question how long they want to keep backing Ukraine. And as the US moves towards the Presidential elections next year, the division is expected to grow. As per several polls, the narrative in the US is moving away from helping Ukraine anymore with presidential candidates like Vivek Ramaswamy promising to put an end to America's support if voted to power.

“Predicting the short-term prospects of the Russia-Ukraine war is complex. Ukraine and the Hamas issue will continue to evolve with shifts in the priorities of the major powers. For now, the US elections are at the forefront. Therefore, geopolitical dynamics can shift rapidly, making it challenging to anticipate outcomes with certainty. I would say that the situation remains fluid, influenced by diplomatic efforts, military developments, and international reactions. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if Biden will succeed in getting the US Congress to pass a bill on assisting Ukraine before the year-end holidays start. Overall, the situation in Ukraine and Israel won’t change that drastically as these elections demand to focus the best it the US or Russia, they can’t afford instability," Dr. Rishi Gupta, Research Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute said.

Europe's helplessness

European countries, owing to their geographical proximity to Russia, look more sympathetic to the Ukraine cause, but they are somewhat helpless in the current geopolitical order. The region has done what it could to weaken Russia as it considerably reduced its energy imports from the country from 15.9% in the second quarter of 2022 to 2.7% in the second quarter of 2023.

Recently, the European Union also opened membership talks with Ukraine, but even if that happens (Hungary has objected to the move), the buck will again stop at how long Europe will economically support Ukraine if the US decides to pull out or Russia attempts to increase the intensity of attacks, considering Vladimir Putin's re-election bid next year.

Russia's close friend in the European Union, Hungary, is doing everything it can to stop the aid to Ukraine. Recently, the Viktor Orban-led regime blocked $54 billion worth of aid to Ukraine saying “Summary of the nightshift: veto for the extra money to Ukraine."

As the geo-political order remains volatile, nothing can be said about the future of the Russia-Ukraine war, but one thing is very clear: Ukraine needs more support to fight for its existence and maybe the existence of many other smaller countries in the region.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devesh Kumar
I cover politics, geo-politics, economy, and technology and have keen interest in understanding and analyzing the complex issues that shape our world. I am committed to delivering well-researched, balanced, and thought-provoking stories that provides insights into the key trends and developments.
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Published: 15 Dec 2023, 07:46 PM IST
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