July 19, 2024

Investing in Ukrainian victory is an investment in world peace

Stalemate or defeat for Kyiv will cripple the Western security guarantee and embolden revanchist powers from the Middle East to the Taiwan Strait

Could NATO’s 75th anniversary be its last?

In February 2022, the then-30 member military alliance responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with alacrity and purpose. The accession prospects of Finland and Sweden have boosted NATO’s ranks since. But with the wider phase of the war entering its third year, efforts to sustain Ukraine’s heroic resistance have stalled due to political infighting. Continued materiel delays could have ruinous costs for eastern Europe, NATO and the world at large.

As the fighting reached a stalemate last fall, rumours circulated that the U.S. and German governments were nudging Kyiv to the negotiating table with Moscow. Through the controlled delivery of arms and munitions, Ukraine would be given enough to maintain the front — without being offered sufficient means to expand its war aims or fully liberate its territory.

Even if the veracity of these claims can be doubted, the result remains the same. Prolonged attrition has destroyed civilian life and infrastructure and increased the Zelensky government’s desperation to conscript new soldiers. Meanwhile, Russia has been gifted the time needed to raise its cumulative troop strength to 1.3 million while shifting its economy to war footing.

Western sanctions meant to deliver debilitating economic blows have not halted Moscow’s military machine. The World Bank ranks Russia’s total GDP by purchasing power parity ahead of all Western allies barring the U.S. and Japan. Likewise, the International Monetary Fund raised its growth forecast for Russia to 2.6 per cent this year — marking a 1.5 percentage point increase over its predictions from last October.

Russia is pouring a third of its national budget towards the war — ₽9.6-trillion in 2023 and ₽14.3-trillion in 2024 — representing a threefold increase from 2021. The country’s coffers were fuelled last year by energy revenues to the tune of ₽8.8-trillion. With a rejuvenated arms industry in tow, President Putin brags that “They [the West] won’t succeed! Our economy is growing, unlike theirs.”

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