THE MAGNIFICENT MARTIN WOLF
The first anniversary of Russia’s assault on Ukraine has been greeted with soaring rhetoric. Notably, US president Joe Biden stated in Warsaw that “Our support for Ukraine will not waver, Nato will not be divided, and we will not tire. President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail. And the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail.” These sentiments are admirable. But is the commitment genuine? Will they in fact do whatever is needed to ensure Ukraine’s survival as an independent democracy?
Even those who demand a negotiated settlement should realise by now that a necessary condition for this outcome is the realisation by Vladimir Putin that the west will not allow him to absorb Ukraine into his empire. His army’s failures over the past year may have caused him some doubts over his ability to do so. But still he believes that Russia will prevail. That is not even an unreasonable view, given the relative size of the principal adversaries and Putin’s control over the human and other resources of his country. The only force able to turn the tide for good is a combination of Ukrainian determination with western resources, both military and financial.