‘The key moment for Ukraine is the growing international support’

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

People look at destroyed Russian armored vehicles displayed for Ukrainians to see at Mykhailivska Square in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, 21 May 2022. [EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK]

The only way to stop Russian fascism is to make Russia suffer deep military defeat in the war against Ukraine, writes Roman Rukomeda.

Roman Rukomeda is a Ukrainian political analyst. This is his 51st account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The 88th day of war has come to an end. The situation on the battlefronts is moving towards a positional war. Russian aggressors’ offensive has stopped on all fronts except East of Ukraine, where they are trying to capture the whole Luhansk region.

So far, Russian invaders control about 90% of this region, and they want to take control of the remaining 10% at all costs. So they continue to attack despite heavy casualties that will be suffered along the way to achieve this political goal. If they succeed, the next step will be to concentrate on capturing the administrative territory of the Donetsk region of Ukraine.

The other reason for the slowdown of the Russian offensive on the ground (three months ago, Putin planned to capture the whole of Ukraine, and now Russia is concentrating only on the Eastern and southern parts of Ukraine) is the absence of reserves.

There is evidence that on the battlefields, Ukrainian troops have started to capture Russian conscripts that were taken to the army on 1 April.

So Russian terrorists have almost exhausted their resources for sending more troops to the war. The only option left is massive mobilisation, but so far, it seems that Putin’s fascist regime is not ready to announce it and conduct it in practice, running the risk of severe protests and unrest internally.

Besides, there are signs that Russian youth are not supporting the war against Ukraine, avoiding conscription, and burning the military commissariats.

More and more countries admit the fascist nature of the current Russian regime. American historian Timothy Snider came up with a brilliant article in the American press, making it plain that in the case of modern Russia, we are facing new massive fascism in Europe that must be destroyed and punished at all costs.

EU and NATO countries now have enough courage to admit the true nature of Russia and are looking at the best ways to stop this fascism without spreading the war throughout European territory.

For this reason, the proposals of some European politicians about “saving the face of Putin” is just giving Russia additional time to prepare for a wider war.

The only way to stop Russian fascism is to inflict a deep military defeat that will open the door for Russia’s restructuring and create a new European security and defence configuration for the next decades.

For this reason, membership of Ukraine in the EU and NATO is the best and most logical option for the West and a simple one for organising such security after the end of the war.

Anyhow, the Ukrainian army continues to push Russians away from our land slowly and is particularly successful in the Kharkiv region. There Ukrainian Armed forces are liberating more territories and, in some parts, have already reached the national state border.

At the same time, in the areas of battles, due to the Russian tactics of “burned land”, destruction of the buildings and infrastructure made life there impossible.

When Russian war criminals capture some towns in the East of Ukraine through the heavy battles, they cannot organise even an illusion of civilian life as everything is deeply destroyed there, and people can only leave such territories. Some of them are illegally deported to the Russian federation.

Another very important issue for Ukraine is the situation around the defenders of Mariupol. Some agreements between the Ukrainian and Russian sides should result in returning the Mariupol defenders, including the top commanders, to Ukraine in exchange for Russian war prisoners.

The Ukrainian public is waiting for the final result of this swap. The key goal is to save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers.

Life is reviving and regenerating in the other spheres of Ukrainian society, though slowly and sometimes rather painfully. Now more people are returning to Ukraine than those moving out of the country. People are even returning to the cities under constant shelling, such as Kharkiv.

State institutions function and operate in a regular mode, performing all their primary functions. Social state obligations are fulfilled. People are receiving their pensions and salaries though their scope is reduced.

Because of war, the national economy is inevitably shrinking, the national currency is losing its value, and the prices are growing. This year and the next one will be the hardest for Ukraine in this century so far.

People are re-evaluating their lives and start focusing on significant issues for them, abandoning all futile and superfluous occupations.

The critical moment for Ukraine is the growing international support, especially in the military and financial spheres. We appreciate each state’s efforts in saving our country and stopping Russian fascism that can destroy the whole of Europe.

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