A nervous panic in London: Ukraine’s new year may end with a brutal Western betrayal

10:00 08.01.2024 •

Only a few short months ago, the stoic Ukrainian defenders were heralded by the West as defenders of the liberal values and freedoms we enjoy. Today, Western governments are now beginning to signal a lack of patience, and with it a lack of military and economic support to Kyiv, writes ‘The Telegraph’ from London.

To turn our backs now on the Ukrainian people, so swiftly after months of brutal fighting, is morally bankrupt and strategically negligent.

It is understandable, if not forgivable, that governments have begun questioning their levels of commitment to a deeply destructive war with no end in sight. At best there now appears to be a likely short to medium term stalemate across much of the 1,000 kilometre front line.  

Meanwhile, Western economies and budgets are still grappling with recovery from the pandemic and last year’s energy shock. Global supply chains are still in flux, and as the Middle East flares up the Houthis are increasingly able to dictate the terms of trade and passage in the Red Sea, delivering another blow to a fragile global economy.

And the proverbial elephant in the Ukraine war room – a Republican administration potentially returning to the White House in twelve months-time – raises the spectre of a sudden stop to American funding. Even the current Biden administration has struggled with a mutinous Congress. In the EU, meanwhile, Viktor Orbán has been blocking the transfer of funds.

Together, these paint a bleak picture. The failed Ukrainian offensive, a stalemate across much of the front, a resurgent Russian state, and Western attention drifting away. Despite incremental military gains, Kyiv is in a far bleaker position than it was this time last year.

Putin is banking on Western resolve breaking before Russia does. But a Russian victory beckons, ending 2024 not only with the death of Ukrainian independence, but of any hope of European sovereignty.


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