Making Ukrainian Victory Possible
Exactly one year ago, it was still unclear whether Europeans would be able to come together to support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. But, following the latest announcements of stepped-up military aid, there can no longer be any doubt about Europe's willingness to furnish what Ukraine needs to win.
BRUSSELS – Almost one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war is entering a new phase. Following the failed attack on Kyiv last spring and the Ukrainians’ stunning counteroffensive that liberated Kharkiv in the north and Kherson in the south, Russian President Vladimir Putin has embarked on a punitive campaign targeting civilians and energy infrastructure with drones and missiles. Stymied on the battlefield, Putin is seeking to maximize the number of Ukrainians forced to spend the winter in the cold and the dark.
The front line has not moved much in recent months. But the fighting remains fierce (with many casualties), and Russia seems to be preparing for a major spring offensive. The Russian economy is on a war footing, and the Kremlin propaganda machine has gone into overdrive, peddling a mix of apocalyptic threats and imperial delusions. Russia’s last independent news outlet, Meduza, and its last human-rights organization, the Sakharov Center, are being forced to close. The mood in Moscow is defiant.
Under these circumstances, Ukraine’s allies are right to scale up their military assistance, including by providing battle tanks. The goal is for Ukraine to prevail against its aggressor. But we cannot wish for that end without giving Ukraine the means to achieve it. The alternative is a prolonged war of attrition, leading to more deaths in Ukraine, greater insecurity for Europe, and continued suffering around the world (owing to Russia’s weaponization of energy and food supplies).