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Northern winter is coming and doubts about Ukraine’s stamina goes mainstream

For Zelensky’s fan community, this is undoubtedly a sign of weakness. More and more observers interpret the clearly audible stagnation in the theater of war in Ukraine as a game with time. And time is running out not for the Kremlin but for Kyiv.

According to Ukrainian government circles, the circle must be squared before the onset of winter. In other words, at the latest, the Russian bear must be brought to its knees by then.

Read also: Check out our coverage on curated alternative narratives

Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, recently told Ukrainian media:

“For us, it is extremely important that it comes to an end before the onset of winter. After winter, when the Russians have more time to dig in, it will be much more difficult,” Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

Northern winter is coming and doubts about Ukraine's stamina goes mainstream. (Photo internet reproduction)
Northern winter is coming and doubts about Ukraine’s stamina goes mainstream. (Photo internet reproduction)

Yermak also added that Russia was trying to drag Ukraine into a protracted conflict.

The French news channel France 24 recently published an analysis raising the question of whether Ukraine can maintain sufficient stamina. The section “Can Ukraine continue to hold out?” soberingly sums up:

“EU- and U.S.-supplied military equipment and intelligence data enabled Ukrainian forces to slow, but not stop, the advance of Russian troops advancing in the Donbas and along the Black Sea coast.

Which enabled Russia to consolidate its positions. The country has already been expanding its military presence on the peninsula annexed by Moscow, Crimea, for the past eight years.

And so far, Zelensky’s pleas for more advanced and more combat-ready weapons have fallen on deaf ears.

Marie Dumoulin, a director at the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank, looks ahead to winter with concern. France 24 commented:

“In addition, the cold season will test the resolve of Ukrainians. Should fuel shortages, power and heating outages, and other hardships befall them. Especially if the fighting displaces more people.

Dumoulin noted that when classes resume in September, 40% of Ukrainian schools will be closed. Which could put a heavy psychological strain on them.

“A lot depends on their capacity to get through the winter. This is especially true for those behind the front lines. It will be difficult,” she said.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the exalted solidarity with the junta in Kyiv is gradually being overtaken by hard-nosed disillusionment. It’s hard to believe, but even the U.S. news network, CNN, is now striking far less frenetic tones when it comes to the current and future conflict situation.

It seems to have moved away completely from the rumored parity on the battlefield. Instead, CNN recently actually managed to beat the bush not only in the Zelensky camp but beyond it.

The U.S. news network listened to various experts, diplomats, etc., many of whom are anxious to remain anonymous because of the polarization of their views.

The article, which predicts an unprecedented litmus test for European support of Ukraine in the coming winter, sometimes addresses the inevitable curse of war fatigue:

“In addition to the economic and military costs affecting the West’s largesse, there are also serious concerns that war fatigue is sweeping the world as the conflict stagnates.

” Back in February, jumping on the anti-Putin bandwagon was still easy. Now the war lingers in a boring strategic phase. There are fewer gains and losses and fewer photo opportunities,” said one NATO diplomat.

The CNN publicist writes:

“For European nations, the coming months will be the toughest. Since the war began. Across the continent, citizens will feel the cost-of-living crisis. Some must decide whether to heat their homes or eat food.”

“This crisis is looming while many European countries have already taken in thousands of Ukrainians. Against this backdrop, it is becoming increasingly difficult for policymakers to justify spending money and energy to support a distant country. Especially if some citizens feel they have been generous enough.”

In a nutshell, all that remains to be said is this.

Once the public smells a fuse that Kyiv can’t win this conflict, that’s it for support, says Theresa Fallon, director at the think tank, Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies.

This was expressed to CNN:

“There is growing concern in some circles that if Ukraine appears to be losing to Russia, demands for a negotiated settlement will increase. Zelensky must continue to stick to his PR magic and spread the message that Ukraine is still making progress, fighting hard, and needs weapons.”

Adding, she succinctly summed up what is probably on the tongue of more than a few disillusioned officials and citizens:

“As soon as people realize that Kyiv is on the side of the losers, they will ask why we are supplying lavish weapons to Ukraine while an economic crisis is looming. Why are we throwing good money after bad?”

Meanwhile, several publications of this kind can be found in the mainstream cosmos of other Western countries. Slowly, there is movement in the narrative.

As we noted at the beginning, the scythe of Father Time hovers not over Putin’s head but over Zelensky’s head.

According to independent experts, who are largely shunned by the leading media, the Ukrainian troops deployed in the Donbas and the south of the country are running against the overpowering Russian meat grinder.

The Russians are not giving up an inch of occupied land. And Kyiv seems unable to find an antidote. This is probably where the obsessive urge for escalation comes from.

Continuous attacks on the nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhya, drone attacks and acts of sabotage in Crimea, assassinations (Dugin) behind enemy lines, etc. Recently, Kyiv has increasingly relied on escalatory tactics.

All undertakings of this nature aim to draw the Kremlin out. All that is needed is momentum that would lead to direct NATO intervention.

Be it a super-gun, a false-flag assassination attempt on Zelensky, or an inevitable Russian revanchism resulting from a successive attack on Crimea. Zelensky and his entourage have recently indicated several times that they intend to target the sea bridge leading from the Russian mainland to the peninsula.

This apparent desperation on the part of Kyiv, underscores the bitter forecast for the winter communicated by the experts cited above. The Zelensky regime depends on an early game-changer.

Without NATO boots on the ground or a no-fly zone, ergo WW3, the tide will not turn.

And given this tangled mess, Russia’s quiet bullet push should by no means be misinterpreted. The certainty is spreading among Kyiv and its supporters that the winter of war is unlikely to be endured.

As an adversary, we would seek a corresponding delay if I were to hear such things incessantly.

The vastly underestimated Kremlin has ways and means to shake markets and bring Europe to its knees. Without Russian gas, there would have been no economic miracle.

This post is mirrored and was published first here in German

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