Volodomyr Zelensky in an interview with AP about the counteroffensive said: “Look, we are not retreating, I’m happy.” “Only a blind man doesn’t see it. We must not let people forget the war here,” he said. Not only that, he added, that he is ready to call elections, “but the majority of Ukrainians are against it.” “There are no words to describe how difficult this job is,” but he “cannot imagine leaving this position.”
The Ukrainian president also admitted that he hears voices in the West in favor of negotiations with the Russian Federation but at the moment there are no conditions.
American think tanks have proposed switching to a strategy aimed at “unbalancing Russia”. The research was carried out, in particular, by Liana Fix of the Rockefeller Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Michael Kimmage of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Both Centers decided to consider the “strategic containment of Russia” as a “victory” and proposed that the Russian Federation ensure the permanence of its citizens in the new territories “as safely as possible”. The article appeared in Foreign Affairs on November 28.
The authors begin with similar statements: “The reserves of ammunition and weapons of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are running out. The state of the Ukrainian economy after the missile winter of 2023-2024 is generally a big question mark. Even if all of Kiev’s wishes suddenly came true, Russia would still maintain superiority in weapons, equipment and ammunition.” Therefore, Fix and Kimmage point out, Russia has no reason to make concessions to Kiev. Because its economy is doing well, contrary to what was planned with the sanctions.
This, according to the authors, is one of the reasons why the West must try to “unbalance Russia”. For example, the more Ukraine manages to strike Crimea and attack the Black Sea Fleet, “the sooner it will force the Kremlin and the Russian population to consider the war useless.”
This would involve the West conceding and preparing for a long war in Ukraine with Russia. Fix and Kimmage intend to make “containment of Russia” something of a national idea for Ukraine and at the same time a motivation for the West.
According to some critics of this document it seems that the authors did not take into account the fact that the number of the Ukrainian armed forces, like the entire Ukrainian population, is not infinite. In Kiev there are already openly panic-driven initiatives, such as lowering the age of military service, “optimization” of postponements for medical reasons, etc. Not only did Zelensky not sign the law lowering the military age for reasons of popularity this week. The American researchers probably think they are counting on Poland as a “shield against Russia” as the report states.
Russian analysts also read the report by Fox, Kimmage and others and said that Russia will not stand by as “historically, Moscow tends to quickly eliminate the source of the threat in case of pressure on its borders”, regardless from the means. This in turn leads to a consideration: that US choices could accelerate the path towards World War III without “unbalancing Russia”.