The war between Western democracies and Russia is being waged in the martyred territory of Ukraine and the two contenders seem willing to fight to the last (Ukrainian) man and until all (Ukrainian) infrastructure is destroyed. However, this is a confrontation that due to its already long duration is turning paradoxically in favor of the Kremlin’s goals. Paradoxically, because by transforming what had to be in its initial design a lightning operation that would replace the Zelensky government with a Moscow puppet, after the death, capture or flight of the Ukrainian president, in a slow and tortuous conflict of attrition, the optimism spread in Brussels and kyiv, spurred on by heavy Russian losses and his refusal to take the capital reduced his ambitions to Donetsk and Lugansk. However, historical experience, supported by the defeat of Napoleon in 1812, that of the White Army after the October Revolution and that of the Nazis in World War II, shows that the combination of massive troop contingents, immense capacity to withstand losses and extreme brutality towards the civilian population, they end up playing in favor of Russia. As much sophisticated weaponry as the Europeans and Americans provide Ukraine, the sheer size of its opponent is slowly but relentlessly asserting itself. Marx already said that the quantitative, from a certain level, becomes qualitative, and we must not forget in which school Putin was trained. If someone ever conceived of a Ukrainian win by a landslide, they must give up such an illusion.
Objectively analyzed all the factors at stake, the outlook for European interests is rather gloomy. In the first place, the community front is not homogeneous. For Sweden, Finland and many Eastern European countries, Russia is a contiguous and existential threat, On the other hand, for France, Italy, Spain and Greece, the danger lies in North Africa, in the Sahel and in the Middle East, from where the continuous flow of irregular immigration and jihadist terrorism originates. Both in France and in Italy and Spain, the main political parties are far from maintaining a common position on the war in Ukraine. In Spain, the government is divided, with the socialist side supporting NATO’s efforts, and the communist side sabotaging its partner in Moncloa. In Italy, Draghi has just fallen and the two largest formations, Cinco Estrellas and La Lega, are against continuing the war effort and demand a diplomatic solution. In France, Macron has lost the absolute majority and the left-wing coalition led by Mélenchon also advocates dialogue, as does Le Pen’s right. As to Germany, its crucial dependence on Russian hydrocarbons and its traditional culture of peaceful coexistence with Russia, make it a wavering element in the anti-Putin bloc. The United Kingdom, the most bellicose of the European countries in this confrontation, it is not part of the EU, its prime minister has resigned and it is completely free guided by its special relationship with the United States.
Washington determined to weaken Putin, rightly perceived as an insidious enemy, allocates considerable financial and material resources to prop up Zelensky, but does not intervene directly so as not to unleash a global catastrophe. In addition, North American society is deeply divided, its democracy deteriorated and the current president shows clear signs of exercise his function afflicted with senile ailmentss, which deprives him of the physical and mental strength necessary to face a challenge of this magnitude.
Of course, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and other totalitarian regimes They have sided with Russia. India has refused to apply sanctions, while Israel and the Gulf monarchies have adopted an ambiguous role, without Biden’s recent tour of the region having borne the desired fruit. The food crisis unleashed by the war affects above all the developing countries, over which the Chinese and Russian influence is evident.
The Muscovite autocrat knows all these weaknesses of his opponents and He is willing to let time do the work for him. With rampant inflation and a global recession looming, sanctions are a boomerang and Europeans have become accustomed to a soft life that makes it very difficult to engage with companies that require sacrifice and suffering. Therefore, prudence advises seeking an agreement that will put an end to this disaster, which implies that Russia and Ukraine have to seal a pact that includes the future neutrality of the latter and a sensible formula of autonomy for Donbas. It is true that such an exit sounds disappointing and clashes with the staunch defense of European values, but the alternative in the form of a general setback, cruel famines in Africa, a fall in global GDP with the consequent consequences of unemployment, misery and riots social, it is even worse. Europe has been moving at half throttle for a long time And not only in the energy sector. Therefore, it is better that you assume your reality, even if it is not optimal, be consistent with its inevitable limitations and seek the end of a war you can neither win nor afford to lose and of a carnage that only serves to prolong the torture of the Ukrainian people and the impoverishment of the rest of the world.