– If you're cynical, you could say: Ukraine moves closer to peace. That would be the good news then. The bad news follows, however: It will be after everything, what we see now, be a Russian dictated peace. The bad news eats up the good news.
What happened? Ukraine feels the hot breath of the aggressor on the back of its neck. In the fight against the Russian invasion, she is demanding a tenfold increase in Western military aid. Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “Ukraine needs ten times more, to end Russian aggression this year.”
"Artificial Red Lines for Support"
The West should finally stop, draw "artificial red lines for support".. Rather, the NATO countries should sign one percent of their gross domestic product for arms deliveries to Ukraine, he demanded. In the case of Germany, that would be more than 35 Billions of euros - almost doubling the annual expenditure for the Bundeswehr.
Immediately, a shitstorm broke out, which even Melnyk may not have experienced before. tasting:
"You should be ashamed."
“How about nuclear bombs?“
"Your war, your money."
"We don't owe you anything."
"I thought, Ukraine wins?!“
The Eight Inconvenient Facts for the West
Anyone who looks through the smoke, who recognizes: Things are not looking good for Ukraine – not in public opinion and not on the battlefield. Western resistance is big with words and small with successes. Here are the eight extremely uncomfortable facts for the West:
1. The front course is round 1.300 kilometers too long, than that the relatively small Ukrainian army could still gain ground here. Ukraine is becoming more and more like a rump state. The regions around Luhansk, Donetsk and Melitopol, but also the port city of Mariupol was lost. The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine is still occupied by Russia. Like Crimea. Their recapture is impossible with the previous military equipment.
Independent experts - at least independent of the Ukrainian government - assume the same, that Ukraine's military equipment is insufficient. The Rheinmetall boss says, the Ukraine would need a multiple of its previous tank stocks. Ex-General Egon Ramms confirms this assessment: “To get the Ukrainian operation moving again, requires a larger number of battle tanks and armored personnel carriers for the mobile combat of combined arms. In addition, long-range artillery and even better equipment for anti-aircraft defense"
Survey results on military support to Ukraine from 21.04.2023, in percent.
Economic sanctions have had no effect in Russia, that could force Putin to give up. For this year and next, the IMF is forecasting increases in Russia's GDP 0,7 and 1,3 percent. Important Western goods such as electronic components for the military find their way to Putin via countries such as Iran or the United Arab Emirates. He can no longer find his oil and gas supplies in the West, but instead strike out in India and China. Putin's new customer acquisition is intact.
4. Is Russia after its invasion, as wanted by the West, become the pariah of the world community? That's what Claudia Major from the Science and Politics Foundation asked on Friday at the Day of Family Entrepreneurs. She gave the answer immediately afterwards: no. A large part of the international community is of the opinion, that America is also an expensive great power and not innocent of this conflict.
With China, Putin has been able to attract an important player to his side. Recently, Xi Jinping called Putin his "esteemed friend". The Russian Ambassador in Paris declared with such encouragement, Lu Shaye, there is "no international agreement" with regard to the ex-Soviet states, including Crimea, which establishes the status of some as a sovereign nation”.
So far, the West - all allies together - has not 55 Billions of dollars provided, as Melnyk says, but a multiple of direct help, plus write-downs on western investments in Russia plus the economic consequences of western sanctions invested in this conflict. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the USA and the EU alone already have more than Ukraine 130 Billions of euros in government support pledged. The price increases, the successes remain.
NATO is essentially a rhetorical unity
7. The once pro-Ukrainian public is in the bush. Support for Ukraine in the United States fell to under in February 50 percent of 60 percent in May 2022. According to an Ipsos survey, in Germany in March 30 percent, that the sanctions against Russia, the economic impact on local energy- and food prices are not worth it.
In the meantime, the unity of NATO was regarded as the greatest demonstrable success, which, however, was essentially a rhetorical unity. In truth, by no means all deliver their arms to Kiev in the same way. and: Macron has made it clear, that his view of America's role differs markedly from NATO's official reading. Referring to China and Europe's role in the Taiwan conflict, he explained: “The paradox would be, that we believe out of sheer panic, we are just followers of America.”
Conclusion: The West, in all its unity, stumbles. Measured against the brutal deployment of the Russian army, his arms deliveries are too small, the sanctions are too ineffective and there is no peace plan at all. The further course of events is not difficult to predict: Without a change in strategy, Kiev will become the new Kabul.