Ukraine War: Putin Predicts Kyiv Would Collapse If The West Turns Off The Taps
When does the brutal war in Ukraine end? Earlier this year, former US President Donald Trump claimed if he were re-elected, he would “have that war settled in one day.”
That sounds incredibly ambitious. Russian President Vladimir Putin has a less ambitious forecast: He predicts the war would end in a week if things go his way.
“By and large, the Ukrainian economy cannot exist without external support,” Putin said Thursday at the annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club.
Kremlin Leader’s Plan May Be Gaining Some Traction
It appears Putin is counting on the Western alliance that backs the Kyiv government to fracture, the longer the deadly conflict grinds on.
And developments in recent days suggest the Kremlin leader’s plan may be gaining some traction. Take the recent headlines from Washington.
Last week, Kevin McCarthy was removed from his role as House Speaker, just days after he worked with House Democrats to pass a bill that would cut out aid for Ukraine.
Ouster Of McCarthy Adding Uncertainty To US Aid To Ukraine
The stopgap bill averted a government shutdown and would extend government funding through November 17. But it added further uncertainty to the outlook for US aid to Ukraine.
Throughout the war, the US has been a steady lifeline for Kyiv, committing a total of around $113 billion to it, including military and humanitarian assistance.
But the ouster of McCarthy has thrown the short-term prospects for a new assistance package into serious doubt: Without a permanent speaker, legislative business is effectively on hold.
Is The Presidential Drawdown Authority A Glimmer Of Hope?
The Biden administration does have some options to replenish Ukraine’s dwindling military supplies, including through what is known as Presidential Drawdown Authority.
But resistance among far-right Republican legislators raises serious questions about the US sustaining aid longer term, especially during a major Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Nonetheless, the US isn’t the only country shouldering the financial burden as EU members provide around 39% of direct military assistance to the war-ravaged nation.
“This Is Not A Territorial Conflict”, Putin Stresses
“The Ukrainian crisis is not a territorial conflict,” Putin emphasised at the Valdai forum, adding: “Russia is the largest country in the world, with the largest territory.
“”This is not a territorial conflict or even the establishment of a regional geopolitical balance … We are talking about the principles on which the new world order will be based.”
Nevertheless, Moscow shouldn’t take on the risk of underestimating the resolve of Ukrainians, whose will to fight, regardless of US and western support, appears unwavering.