The war rages on, anti russia coalition needs to be intact.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February upended the world order, sparking the largest conflict in Europe since World War II. But it also pushed the globe’s democracies to stand up against Moscow. When Biden visited Brussels and Poland in March, he pushed Europe to balance the moral and geopolitical imperative to act on behalf of Ukraine along with the fears of further escalating the conflict and the economic costs of implementing an aggressive sanctions regime against Russia.

The West unleashed a punishing array of sanctions against Russia and rendered Putin a pariah on the world stage. Moscow’s hopes for a lightning decapitation of Kyiv failed, and the bonds between the Western nations tightened. Much to Moscow’s fury, a debate over expanding NATO to include Sweden and Finland is poised to dominate the alliance’s summit in Madrid.

But Putin didn’t abandon his war. Though the Russian military suffered immense casualties, Moscow redirected its efforts on Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where its supply lines are shorter and the Red Army could better exploit its overwhelming numbers. With brutal violence, Russia has made slow but undeniable progress, prompting Kyiv to urgently call for more weapons as its losses mount.

But as the war grows deadlier, strains have been begun to show among the allies. Though Washington has authorized tens of billions of dollars in funding for Ukraine, there have been questions about whether some countries, namely Germany, have contributed their fair share to Kyiv. Russia’s blockage of Ukraine’s ports has contributed to soaring food prices now exacerbating the pandemic-fueled inflation gripping much of the world. And the sanctions against Russia, as well as bans on part of its energy sector, have led to surging gas prices. “There’s growing sentiment that the sanctions aren’t actually hurting Putin’s ability to carry out the war but are having amplifying effects on energy prices and general inflation,” said Alina Polyakova, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis.

Some in Europe have tried to nudge Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the negotiating table, believing that a brokered resolution could spare lives and stabilize economies. But Zelenskyy has refused to cede any territory to Putin, particularly after evidence of Russian war atrocities, creating a sense that the conflict in the east could last months if not years.

The war has begun to slip from international headlines. A new modern challenge : to keep the continent committed to the cause as the invasion settles into a grueling, bloody battle of attrition that could last for many more months and cause continued global economic strain. The long expected crush of Russia invasion demands patience from leaders, their economies battered by surging inflation, to keep funneling money and weapons to Ukraine instead of keeping them at home. William Taylor, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, said “For now, Europeans are gritting their teeth and staying the course even though they have bigger problems with oil and natural gas than we do.” “But the way to keep the alliance together is to lay out a way forward, a way toward success,” said Taylor. “ to push the allies to stay the course, declaring that Ukraine must be defended not just to deter future Russian violence but to send a message around the globe — namely to China — that united democracies will not allow autocratic aggression.

“The United States needs to send a unified message of developed democracies’ support for Ukraine. Zelenskyy’s participation in the Summit should underscore that point,” said Jeff Rathke, president of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University, “especially if the US and its Allies can show progress through new material commitments or measures to impose new consequences on Russia.”

Students should pressure their political representatives to provide more support to Ukraine to help fight the ongoing Russian invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday, speaking virtually to an in-person audience at the University of Toronto. Zelensky said Ukraine needs more weapons, financial support, humanitarian aid, and permanent sanctions on Russia.

“It’s very important that yourselves, students from many other countries, would pass on this message to their respective countries to pressure their political management to give Ukraine what it needs,” he said.
“With your actions, please do not allow anyone somewhere on the hierarchy of bureaucratic corridors to forget about what’s going on in Ukraine, to forget about war. Please don’t become tired because of the war.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg insists that NATO allies have the ability to continue providing Ukraine with weapons “as long as it takes,” a statement that comes amid Ukrainian warnings that it is running low on ammunition and becoming increasingly reliant on shipments of weapons from Western allies.

NATO allies, Stoltenberg said, have a “political and moral obligation” to not let up on weapons shipments. “We should maintain support deliverables of modern weapons, heavy weapons, as NATO allies have now done for a long time, and also that NATO has a role to play in providing support,” Stoltenberg stressed. He underlined that the war in Ukraine actually started back in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and backed fighters in eastern Ukraine. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said President Vladimir Putin’s forces were pushing forward in the eastern Donbas region, wreaking destruction, but at a heavy cost in soldiers and weapons.

“Our defense intelligence service believes, however, that in the next few months, Russia could come to a point at which there is no longer any forward momentum because it has exhausted its resources,” Johnson was quoted as saying in the interview. “Then we must help the Ukrainians to reverse the dynamic. I will argue for this at the Group of Seven summit (in Germany at the weekend),” he said. “In as much as the Ukrainians are in a position to start a counter-offensive, it should be supported. With equipment that they demand from us,” he said. Asked what a victory for Ukraine, or failure for Putin, would look like, Johnson said: “That we at least regain the status quo that was there before February 24 and that its (Russia’s) troops are repulsed from the areas they invaded.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday told the German parliament, the Bundestag, that members of the NATO alliance could rely on Berlin. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine top of the agendas for three major summits — of the EU, G7 and NATO — Scholz’s speech focused on Berlin’s support for NATO and Kyiv. In his speech, the chancellor stressed that Germany not only took responsibility for its own security, but also for that of its allies. He said this was underlined by a €100 billion ($107 billion) upgrade of the Bundeswehr agreed by both houses of parliament.

“Security is the most fundamental promise that a state owes its citizens,” Scholz said, citing a turning point in history. “The German armed forces will be equipped so it can protect our country and our allies against any attack,” Scholz told the parliament. “That is the standard for the new Bundeswehr.” The chancellor also said Ukraine was getting the weapons it most urgently needed at the current phase of the war. He said the German government had decided to list all of the weapons it had already sent to Ukraine, as other NATO allies have done.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada has committed $1.87 billion in financial assistance to Ukraine, of which $1.5 billion has already been delivered to the country.

“That is more than any other country has managed to send into the bank account of the government of Ukraine,” she said. Freeland said democratic countries, including Canada, cannot allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to succeed in his war that aims to defeat democracy in Ukraine.

“I want to say to President Zelenskyy – and I want to saytoVladimir Putin, who I think is probably listening to us as well – that for as long as it takes Canada will be there for Ukraine,” she said. “We will persist. We will not tire.”

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