EU Cuts Military Aid to Ukraine as Arms Dry Up, Kiev on Verge of Losing Conflict, Expert Says
18:30 GMT 18.08.2022 (Updated: 20:56 GMT 19.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Vadim GhirdaA Ukrainian serviceman carries large caliber ammunitions for armored fighting vehicles mounted weapons during an exercise in a Joint Forces Operation controlled area in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Feb. 10, 2022.
© AP Photo / Vadim Ghirda
BRUSSELS, (Sputnik) - The six largest EU countries refrained from providing Ukraine with new arms systems in July, an indication of the shortage of weaponry in the West and an understanding that Kiev is losing its conflict with Russia, Xavier Moreau, an arms expert and geopolitical analyst from the French think tank Stratpol, told Sputnik.
Kiev, which strongly depends on military and financial aid provided by the European Union, received only 1.5 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in support last month, according to a tracker of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. The updated information has showed that no large EU member states like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy or Poland, made at least somewhat significant pledges.
"The arsenals have been largely depleted in Europe where the armies do not have huge stocks, especially of ammunition. Europe is also limited in its means of production: we no longer have the arms industries that European countries had before the first and second World Wars and which could quickly produce huge quantities of ammunition," Moreau said, adding that EU member states had realized Ukraine's failure to win the conflict and, thus, lost interest in sending expensive armaments to a country that would never pay for them.
Based on these facts, the support for Kiev is becoming much less popular among Europeans, especially amid the energy crisis, ongoing inflation and decline in citizens' revenues, according to the expert. In this regard, EU governments are trying to compensate for the reduction in arms supplies by an increased propaganda effort, sometimes to the point of absurdity, the analyst added.
"Western governments can only bear the heavy consequences of the sanctions imposed on Russia if there is a meaning in the conflict; and for European governments the expected meaning is that Ukraine wins. There is no chance that Ukraine will win and so we are witnessing a headlong rush of propaganda," Moreau told Sputnik.
In particular, Kiev has announced a major offensive in the south, in Kherson, which has in fact never taken place since the Ukrainian army is simply incapable of such an operation, the expert noted. The recent propaganda has also been focused on commando operations in Russia's Crimea and Kursk, where a Russian military truck hit a mine earlier in August.
According to Moreau, the Ukrainian armed formations are capable of organizing one-off actions on the Russian territory, like the sabotage in Crimea, but these steps look more like terrorist acts and cannot be compared with losses suffered by the Kiev army across the entire front.
"What will be left of Ukraine to the west and around Kiev is economically meaningless since Russia has already recovered most of the 'useful' Ukraine," the expert concluded.
On February 24, Russia began a military operation in Ukraine responding to calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Western countries and their allies responded by imposing comprehensive sanctions against Russia while also enhancing their financial and military support for Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly denounced the continuous flow of weapons to Ukraine from its Western allies, saying that it adds fuel to the fire and derails the negotiation process. In April, Russia sent a note to NATO member states, condemning their military assistance to Ukraine.