War Fatigue Complicates West’s Aid to Ukraine


A pall of gloom descended on Europe as the long-feared uncertainty set in over the weekend as to how long would the collective West underwrite the proxy war in Ukraine. To lift their sagging spirit, some European foreign ministers impromptu took the train to Kiev to spend Monday with President Zelensky. It was an extraordinary sight of defiance of the call of destiny, as the war passed the 19-month mark.

A deal in Washington that averted government shutdown for now but cut funding for Kiev; the Polish election campaign in which the ruling Law and Justice party, until recently one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters, has toyed with various measures such as questioning more arms deliveries and blocking agri-products from its neighbour in order to court voters; and, the stunning parliamentary election results in Slovakia catapulting a pro-Russian left-wing political party to power and signalling the first true political embodiment of “Ukraine fatigue” — suddenly, the West’s mantra of being by Ukraine’s side “for as long as it takes” feels seriously open to question.

The CNN exaggerated, perhaps, while commenting that the above developments “appear to have thrown Ukraine and its war with Russia under the bus” — but only by a bit. The politics of Ukraine war has crossed an inflection point and is poised for bigger things in the critical months ahead.

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