The US provided a record $3 billion in military aid to Kyiv for training and equipment
Cold winters helped Moscow defeat Napoleon and Hitler. Vladimir Putin is now counting on skyrocketing energy prices and possible shortages this winter to convince European leaders to get Ukraine to agree to a truce – on Russia’s terms, according to Reuters.
The agency cited two Russian sources familiar with the Kremlin’s actions. According to them, this is the only path to peace that Moscow sees, given that Kyiv refuses to negotiate until Russia leaves all of Ukraine.
“We have time, we can wait. It will be a tough winter for the Europeans
We may witness protests, riots. “Some European leaders may reconsider whether to continue supporting Ukraine and decide it’s time for an agreement,” said a source close to Russian officials on condition of anonymity.
The second Kremlin source claimed that Moscow is already noticing a wavering European unity and expects this process to accelerate amid difficulties in the winter.
“It will be very difficult if the war drags on through autumn and winter. So there is hope that Ukrainians will ask for peace”, he believes.
But Ukraine and its staunchest Western backers say they have no intention of surrendering, and anonymous US officials say they see no signs of wavering in support for Ukraine so far.
US officials believe Putin still is
committed to his goal of capturing Kyiv,
but cannot achieve it. They summarize that they have seen no signs that the Russians are planning an end to the war, and predict that it will be a long one.
But the longer the fighting drags on, the greater the risks of Western divisions over Ukraine, as fuel, gas, electricity and food prices rise, Reuters writes.
“All economic indicators are now turning negative. It will be harder to motivate people who are shivering in their apartments to accept the difficulties if Ukraine is not seen to be winning,” notes Neil Melvin, an analyst at a British think tank. He is of the opinion that pressure for a political settlement could increase and this could divide allies in the EU as well as those in NATO.
At the same time, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, congratulated his compatriots on the occasion of Independence Day, which the country celebrates on August 24. He recorded a video on the Maidan, where there is an exhibition of Russian military equipment destroyed during the war.
“Six months ago, Russia declared war on us. On February 24, all of Ukraine heard explosions and gunshots. What is the end of war for us? We used to say: peace. Now we say: victory”, said Zelensky. He emphasized that he does not intend to make any territorial concessions in the name of peace with Russia.
The US announced the granting of a record 3 billion dollars in military aid to Ukraine, when it marks 6 months since the beginning of the war. Western media say the money will be used to train and equip the Ukrainian military in anticipation of years of hostilities.