Putin's strategy is to prolong the war
Vladimir Putin's strategy relies on the belief that international support for Ukraine may diminish over time
CNN published an article discussing Putin’s aim.
"How does the war in Ukraine end? Earlier this year, former President Donald Trump boasted that if he were re-elected, he’d “have that war settled in one day, 24 hours. Russian President Vladimir Putin is making a slightly less ambitious forecast: If things go his way, the war can be over in a week. Putin predicted that Ukraine would collapse if the West turns off the taps of military aid and economic assistance," the article reads.
These comments represent Putin's clearest explanation yet of his Ukraine strategy: he anticipates that the Western alliance supporting Ukraine will weaken as the protracted war continues. "And developments in recent days, to the alarm of Ukraine’s supporters, suggest that Putin’s plan may be gaining some traction," the journalists observe.
Last week, President Joe Biden signed a stopgap bill to prevent a government shutdown, but funding for Ukraine was a casualty of the brinkmanship on Capitol Hill. The Biden administration underscores that public support for Ukraine in the US remains strong. However, the absence of Ukrainian funding in the bill poses challenges for Kyiv, prompting the White House to seek alternative solutions.
Throughout the war, the US has been a dependable source of support for Ukraine, contributing a total of around USD 113 billion, including direct military aid, budget allocations, and humanitarian assistance.
However, the recent removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has cast doubt on the immediate prospects of a new relief package. With no permanent speaker in place, legislative progress in the House is effectively halted.
Additionally, the Republican presidential nomination race likely influences Putin's calculations. The Kremlin is likely aware that several Republican candidates express skepticism about aiding Ukraine, with Trump, who has a history of unfriendly stances toward Ukraine, leading this group.
It's important to note that the US isn't the sole country carrying the financial burden of supporting Ukraine. EU members contribute approximately 39% of direct military aid to Ukraine.
Putin appears to be banking on European weariness regarding the Ukraine conflict. Recently, a party led by Robert Fico, a populist pro-Kremlin figure, won parliamentary elections in Slovakia, an EU and NATO member. Fico has called on the Slovak government to cease providing arms to Ukraine, and his inflammatory rhetoric, which accuses "Ukrainian Nazis and fascists" of provoking a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, likely aligns with Putin's objectives.
During a discussion at the Warsaw Security Forum last week, Royal Netherlands Navy Admiral Rob Bauer, chairman of NATO's Military Committee, cautioned that ammunition production for Ukraine is nearing its limits.
“If Putin is counting on a long war to blunt Western will to support Ukraine, he is also taking a gamble on the longevity of his system of rule — and perhaps underestimating the resolve of Ukrainians, whom he sees as merely a puppet of Washington and Brussels,” according to CNN's analysis.