What Is the State of Western Support of Ukraine?

December 27, 2022
UkraineWorld spoke to Oleksandr Khara, expert at the Center for Defense Strategies.

Key points – in our brief, #UkraineWorldAnalysis:

1. On western support of Ukraine.

  • If we take into account how much the Europeans are allocating relative to their GDP, the support is tremendous.
  • A certain evolution in thinking has taken place among Ukraine's Western allies: at the beginning of the large-scale invasion, we were supplied with high-tech weapons for a completely different type of war: for special services and guerrilla warfare. Later, when the world saw that the Armed Forces could fight back, they began to provide artillery, HIMARS, and air defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, namely the right to self-defense.

2. On Russian blackmail

  • Russia very skillfully created a potemkin village, which was accepted by Western military analysts  without much criticism.
  • The Second Chechen War was difficult for Russia, after which they invaded Georgia. Quite small, but trained by Western standards, the Georgian Army gave them a good beating. In 2008, Russia began to prepare for war on the new principles of the Gerasimov doctrine, with illustrations of large-scale exercises and animations of how they could hit Florida with missiles. This was consumed by the West.
  • In 2000, the campaign by the US and its NATO allies against Yugoslavia to stop ethnic cleansing was a wake-up call for Russians. They began to think about strengthening nuclear deterrence both in terms of modernizing their physical arsenal and in terms of the doctrines that regulate their use of nuclear weapons. They followed the path of reducing nuclear barriers to the use of nuclear weapons. Two years ago, a strategy of nuclear deterrence was adopted which envisaged a nuclear attack on a non-nuclear state. In this way, they are trying to compensate for their lack of conventional strength with nuclear weapons. Russia's crimes against humanity hastened decisions on arms transfers.
  • American weapons have been disployed on the European continent since the 1950s and since then their number has not changed. At one time, Putin argued for an attack on Ukraine due to the alleged desire of the United States to place missiles in Ukraine.

3. On US Republican policy on Ukraine

  • Kevin McCarthy, who is likely to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, said that Republicans will not write a "blank check" for Ukraine if they win back the House. He meant that monitoring must accompany the aid. An inspector general was appointed to ensure that US assistance is targeted. Another point of the Republicans' dissatisfaction concerned the fact that Biden called for the passage of large spending bills with Ukraine aid, but with only part of the spending covers military aid: $4-6 billion out of 40 billion. And the Republicans were against filling the aid package with secondary things, such as environmental programs. Military aid comes first.
Oleksandr Khara, expert at the Center for Defense Strategies

This material was prepared with financial support from the International Renaissance Foundation.