2 years after the invasion in Ukraine,

2 years after the invasion in Ukraine,

Ukraine is entering its third year of conflict since the large-scale invasion launched by the Russian army on February 24, 2022, and a new climate is taking hold. In the first year of the conflict, initial astonishment had given way to admiration at the surge of patriotism and the resistance of a people determined not to fall under the heel. The second was marked by fear at the scale of war crimes and the merciless use of cannon fodder by the invader. On the threshold of a new year, weariness and worry are now showing.

Insufficient help

Last summer’s counter-offensive collapsed on the Russian lines defended by the frightening density of minefields; the rigors of winter limit operations; Western aid, vital for Ukraine, remains too limited to decisively influence the course of operations. Contrary to what Emmanuel Macron asserts, the West is far from having moved to a “war economy”, where rearmament would emerge as a priority. In Ukraine, dissensions are undermining the consensus of the first months. Volodymyr Zelensky, its president, has just dismissed the chief of staff, the very popular General Valeri Zalouzhny. And he faces strong criticism from the other face of the resistance, the mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko. While in the United States, the possibility of the return to the White House of a Donald Trump hostile to the continuation of assistance is tightening the grip on the calendar.

What if Putin won? “For Ukraine, winning the war means reconquering the territories occupied since 2014; for Russia, the current status quo around a frozen front constitutes in itself a victory,” analyzes a Western diplomat. Of course, it is a bit quick to forget that Moscow’s initial war goal – a “special military operation” lasting a few days intended to impose a regime change in kyiv – has become out of reach. But immobility on the ground of arms does not sit well with the impatience of democratic societies. If Putin managed to make public opinion believe that he was winning the war, the entire system of collective security at work in Europe since 1945 would be weakened. This would recognize a bonus for aggression. A bad omen for the future.

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