Ukraine must choose a defensive strategy aimed at repelling Russian attacks on territory under its control, about 80 percent of total Ukrainian territory. In addition, it will attack Russian targets with drones and missiles, according to anonymous sources The Washington Post.
Last year, the Americans hoped for an offensive that would allow them to recapture large parts of Ukraine, particularly in the east. However, that attack did not lead to a breakthrough. “It is clear that it will be difficult for them to repeat such large-scale attacks on all fronts,” the US official said in a statement. The Washington Post. Russia remains strong thanks to arms supplies from North Korea and Iran, while Western support for Ukraine is uncertain.
The support package is uncertain
US support is crucial, but Republicans in Congress are still reluctant to approve the $61 billion package. “We cannot survive without American aid, that's a fact,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised interview last week.
The US government is working on a ten-year aid package that would provide more long-term security for Ukraine. However, political support for this is highly uncertain, especially if Donald Trump wins the US presidential election in November. Trump is on good terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin and has said he would end the war within 24 hours.
Next Thursday, EU heads of government will discuss a 50 billion euro support package for Ukraine. However, the package is at risk of being vetoed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Last week, Hungary pushed back so hard that other member states threatened the 'nuclear option', triggering so-called Article 7, which would strip Hungary of its voting rights in the EU.
'New phase of war'
Officially, the war objective of Ukraine and its Western allies is to recapture all Ukrainian territory. Recently, Zelensky reaffirmed that Ukraine is pursuing an offensive strategy so as not to cede the initiative to the enemy. But according to The Washington Post In private conversations with American officials, he is said to have doubted the possibility of an attack on his country, especially now that American support is so uncertain. In December, Zelensky ordered the fortification of the front lines to prevent Russian attacks. He then spoke of a 'new phase' in the war.
Estonia, one of Ukraine's staunchest supporters, also favors a defensive strategy. In 2024, Ukraine must gather forces and strengthen its positions, the Estonian Ministry of Defense wrote in a discussion paper at the end of 2023. A counterattack against the Russians is only possible in 2025, it says.
According to The The Washington Post The US government hopes that talks between Ukraine and Russia will end the war. For now, however, the newspaper writes that President Putin does not want to speak because he believes Donald Trump will be re-elected in November.
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