Espreso. Global

Way to reduce cost of war of attrition for Ukraine

26 June, 2024 Wednesday

The turbulent week of foreign policy didn't change the trend that has been established in recent months


Neither Ukraine nor the Western world, nor the Russian aggressor and its supporters, have any scenarios for a quick victory.

The resumption of Western aid and progress in mobilization, as well as the strengthening of fortifications and mining, have helped to thwart Russian plans for the northern theater of the offensive - in the Kharkiv and Sumy regions. However, in the Donetsk region, in particular, the advance continues, even though Russia's dreams of "breaking through the front" remain its dreams.

On the other hand, the slowness of fortification and mobilization, the slowness and insufficient supply of weapons - both domestic and partner - have not yet allowed the Ukrainian Armed Forces to reliably stop, crush, and repel the enemy.

“So, the war is rolling on according to its own logic - as a war of attrition.”

Putin's delusions about the "four regions" as a prelude to negotiations reveal the aggressor's attitude. He believes that he will "wait out" Ukraine and the West, suffer losses and costs, and exhaust Ukraine, forcing it to surrender.

This somewhat changes the perception of scenarios for ending the war. The "marathon" and the government's Telegram pool have sown fear of "betrayal" and the "truce not within the 1991 borders" scenario in the public consciousness.

“Instead, the aggressor prioritizes a different scenario: the subjugation and destruction of Ukraine's subjectivity as such. Somewhat along the lines of the recently unveiled "Istanbul agreements.””

Instead, judging by the statements of Western leaders, they continue to consider scenarios of "partial" peace. The only thing is that it should not be a capitulation of Ukraine. So Ukraine must approach from a position of strength.

In the fall of 2022, the Ukrainian Armed Forces were liberating Ukrainian territory. Russian "military correspondents" said something about a "great retreat". Nevertheless, the invaders held fake referendums and announced the "inclusion in the constitution" of the occupied territories.

Therefore, a "position of strength" would mean a decisive defeat of Russian troops in Ukraine. Ukraine does not have the resources for this.

Therefore, the outcome of the war will be determined by who can stand longer.

“How can this be achieved? How can the cost of a war of attrition be reduced for Ukraine and increased for Russia? At the same time, how to avoid falling into the dangerous "habituality" of war. When Ukraine turns into a "sanitary zone," receiving resources just to hold on, but losing people, infrastructure, and resources.”

This requires a significant policy revision.

Firstly, on foreign policy, the absolute threefold priority should be to obtain aid, increase sanctions against Russia, and join NATO and the EU.

Only Ukraine's accession to NATO will mean security from future Russian aggression.

The "summit for the sake of a summit" that did not bring any result, except for a "family" photo, should be the last warning against wasting energy and resources, authority and influence on empty events.

Secondly, the economy should be given the most favored nation status to those who work and pay taxes. Inspections, let alone suspensions of businesses, should be abandoned.

“75% of Ukrainian companies already complain about the lack of labor. 65% of the surveyed companies said that a power outage is critical for them and is close to business bankruptcy.”

In these conditions, producers need support, better access to credit and investment, not pressure and tax increases.

It goes without saying that the reservation system must be put in order. As long as a person's reservation is being resolved, they should not be subject to mobilization.

Thirdly, innovation and supply.

Effective solutions must be implemented at a faster pace. This requires funds from the state, communities, and partners.

Because the only counterbalance to the number of Russians is the achievement of technological superiority.

Fourthly, fortification and mining. Here, attempts at theft and disruption of quality and pace should be punished swiftly and severely.

Fifthly, effective mobilization - with guarantees of training and service in the specialty. With the adoption of a clear term of service and guarantees of rotation.

Responding quickly to problems and correcting mistakes.

In these matters, the authorities show a chronic inability to act quickly and effectively.

Decisions are made late and half-heartedly.

The result is losses at the front, waste of resources, and exhaustion of people.

“The government hopes that the country's strength and periodic aid infusions will be enough to hold out.”

But the task of the government is not to shift the burden to the citizens. The authorities are elected to look for optimal, not "simple" and primitive solutions.

When elections are not possible in times of war, office "managers" should be replaced by a Government of National Unity and Salvation.

However, the government has no motivation to do so yet. It may appear either under pressure from circumstances, public pressure, or pressure from partners.

Unfortunately, every day of delay is very costly for Ukraine.


About the author. Rostyslav Pavlenko, Ukrainian politician, political scientist, political strategist, teacher, former member of the Ukrainian parliament.

The editors don't always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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