Ukrainian leaders worry about ‘war fatigue’ of Western allies in protracted conflict with Russia

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Ukrainian officials fear that Russia’s protracted war in the country – now entering its fourth month – will tire Western allies of their unwavering support.

The United States, along with its allies, has provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in aid and weapons to defend against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses via video conference the opening plenary hosted by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, left, during the 51st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, in Switzerland on Monday, May 23, 2022.
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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses via video conference the opening plenary hosted by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, left, during the 51st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, in Switzerland on Monday, May 23, 2022.
(Laurent Gillieron / Keystone via AP, File)

European and other allied countries have taken in millions of refugees displaced by the conflict in which Russia has been accused of war crimes against civilians. The United States has said it is ready to accept around 100,000 refugees.

And while videos and images of alleged atrocities have shocked the world, domestic crises and nearly three and a half months have drawn attention to Europe’s biggest war since World War II. Today, officials in Kyiv are worried about international “war fatigue”.

RUSSIA CLAIMS MASTER IN EASTERN UKRAINE BUT ANALYSTS SUGGEST ‘COSTLY’ PROGRESS, POWER DROPS

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a “special military operation” which everyone agrees was much slower and less successful than Putin had envisioned.

Russian troops had initially tried to take Kyiv but eventually moved mainly to the disputed Donbass region to the east.

Ukraine believes Russia could take advantage of a possible waning Western focus on the war to force the defenders to agree to hand over land.

“The fatigue is growing, people want some kind of result (which is beneficial) for themselves, and we want (another) result for ourselves,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said recently.

Political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko told The Associated Press: “It is obvious that Russia is determined to wear down the West and is now building its strategy on the assumption that Western countries will tire and gradually start to change their rhetoric. activist into a more accommodating rhetoric. .”

FILE - In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands during their walk through downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 9, 2022.

FILE – In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands during their walk through downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 9, 2022.
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, file)

MORE THAN 1,000 FIGHTERS FROM MARIUPOL, UKRAINE TRANSFERRED TO RUSSIA FOR ‘INVESTIGATION’: REPORT

An Italian peace proposal was rejected and French President Emmanuel Macron was met with an angry reaction after being quoted as saying that even if Putin’s invasion was a “historic mistake”, world powers should not ” humiliate Russia, so when the fighting stops, we can build a way out together through diplomatic channels.” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said such talk “can only humiliate France and all other countries that require it”.

RUSSIA SAYS IT CONTROLS SOUTHEAST UKRAINE, ROAD NOW CONNECTS CRIMEA TO RUSSIA

Soldiers from the Irpin Territorial Defense and the Ukrainian Army hold flowers to be laid at the graves of comrades who fell during the Russian occupation, at the Irpin Cemetery on the outskirts of Kyiv on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

Soldiers from the Irpin Territorial Defense and the Ukrainian Army hold flowers to be laid at the graves of comrades who fell during the Russian occupation, at the Irpin Cemetery on the outskirts of Kyiv on Sunday, May 1, 2022.
((AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti))

Even a remark by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that Ukraine should consider territorial concessions drew a rejoinder from Zelenskyy that it amounted to European powers in 1938 letting Nazi Germany claim parts of Czechoslovakia to curb Adolf Hitler’s aggression.

Allied leaders are still with Ukraine: President Biden said last week that the United States plans to send the country advanced rocket systems and munitions that will allow it to more accurately strike key targets on the battlefield and promised that he would not pressure Ukraine into making concessions.

Macron could also visit Kyiv next week after a trip to Romania, according to French newspaper Le Parisien.

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Germany, despite its early hesitations over weapons, has also pledged to send its most modern air defense systems to date.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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