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The Independent view

Ukraine and its people need us – Western support for Kyiv has to stay strong in 2024

Editorial: Vladimir Putin cannot sustain the current level of Russian casualties for long

Saturday 30 December 2023 17:30 GMT
The cause of the Ukrainian people is just
The cause of the Ukrainian people is just (AFP/Getty)

As we approach the second anniversary of the launch of Vladimir Putin’s invasion in February, Western commentary on the war in Ukraine has become increasingly gloomy.

After the failure of the initial invasion, the friends of the Ukrainian people and the supporters of their right to defend themselves against Mr Putin’s aggression assumed that it would be possible for the Ukrainians to recover their stolen territory reasonably quickly and declare the war over. Ukrainian morale was so high and the condition of the Russian military so poor that such optimism seemed justified.

All through 2023, hopes were invested in the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but they have not been realised. The war has settled into a defensive battle over entrenched front lines that can be moved, slowly, only at great cost in lives and materiel.

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